What are the hottest spots for GreenTech in Europe?
Although the market doesn’t get the same amount of funding as in the US, GreenTech is a hot one here in Europe. Many European startups made it into the GreenTech unicorns list, and some of the companies attracted an astronomical amount of investment, Especially in the past few months. But which cities in Europe have the biggest concentration of GreenTech startups? Are there some who attract more startups than others, and is there a reason for that?
At Storm4 we prepared a nice-and-digestible overview of the European GreenTech hubs. It might be useful for you if you’re a startup yourself or an investor, but it might also give you some extra knowledge to throw around on your next holiday with friends if you’re going to one of these destinations. Ready to discover the five hotspots for GreenTech startups? Let’s go!
The German capital of Berlin is full of culture, history, amazing places and monuments to see and…. GreenTech, of course! Germany’s most populous city has been a leader in innovation for decades, and it is no surprise that many of the big players in the market have their headquarters there. The city is incredibly diverse, and it continues to attract young and entrepreneurial spirits from all over the globe! According to Business Location Center, the reason why Berlin attracts so many startups can be attributed to ”A high standard of living at a comparatively low cost, lively local communities with lots of networking opportunities, the active venture capital scene, and an international ambience.”
Speaking of GreenTech, Berlin is home to the biggest GreenTech conference, called the GreenTech Festival, which has been taking place since 2020. Many notable startups have their headquarters here, for example:
Ecosia – your favorite search engine that donates 100% of its profits to non-profit organizations focusing on reforestation
Klima – the developer of an app that helps individuals offset their carbon emissions
Plan A – one of the most known developers and providers of ESG reporting tool
Zolar – provider of photovoltaic systems, which homeowners can custom plan, compare, and order online, at a fixed price
Tier Mobility – leading shared micro-mobility provider
The capital of Sweden, known for its beautiful architecture, the first open-air museum and most notably the ABBA Museum (!!) is also home to many GreenTech startups. Sweden is sometimes referred to as the Silicon Valley of Europe, and Stockholm has produced more unicorns per capita than any other city in the world. The unique mix of strong vision, smart governmental policies, cultural traditions, and a global outlook created an environment where startups can thrive. In Europe, Sweden (all together with Denmark, Finland, and Norway) has been leading the way when it comes to sustainability, renewable energy, and a greener way of living. So much so that they met the renewable energy targets set by EU for 2020…. eight years ahead of schedule!
Stockholm is home to SEI – Stockholm Environment Institute – an international non-profit research and policy organisation focused on environment and developmental challenges. Notable startups based in Stockholm are:
Northvolt – battery developer and manufacturer, who signed off a $1.1 billion convertible note in July 2022
Budbee – a startup specializing in last-mile delivery services, who are currently an emerging unicorn
Normative – a carbon accounting startup helping businesses achieve net zero emissions
Carla – developer of an online marketplace for buying used electric cars
Skrym – provider of a logistics platform intended to promote sustainable practices in e-commerce sector
Famous for its canals, that form a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Dutch capital of Amsterdam has its fair share of GreenTech startups. Amsterdam has a big pool of international talent which helps to boost the entrepreneurial spirit. Filled with bike roads, and imposing many sustainability-related policies, Amsterdam truly embraces the green way of living! In 2020, Amsterdam was ranked one of the most eco-friendly cities, and the city is filled with meat-free dining options for anyone to try when visiting. Additionally, due to the popular use of bikes, Amsterdam seems like an attractive place for micro-mobility startups and is home to many!
Amsterdam is home to the first sustainable fashion museum, called Fashion for Good Museum! Some of the most notable GreenTech startups based in Amsterdam are:
Evbox – a leading global manufacturer of electric vehicle charging stations and charging management software.
Roetz Bikes – manufacturer of bicycles made from repurposed steel frames
Peerby – developer of an online, membership-based marketplace helping to rent tools and other items from neighbours
Sympower – a developer of a renewable energy system, specifically designed to respond to disturbances and fluctuations in supply and demand of the grid
Dott – provider of green and affordable micro-mobility solutions
Ranked in the world’s Top 10 Most Sustainable Cities, London is a powerhouse when it comes to GreenTech. With a population of over nine million people, London, as a city, puts a lot of pressure on sustainability, and has a very ambitious net-zero plan – to be carbon neutral by 2030. Almost all of Greater London is a low-emission zone, encouraging EV’s, sustainable public transport and cycling. Adding to that, there are a diverse mix of people, a big pool of talent and an innovative spirit is what makes London such a thriving environment for GreenTech. That is the reason why many UK GreenTech’s decide to pick London as their home.
Designated space for many sustainability conferences, London is host to the Sustainability LIVE event focused on ESG, Women in Sustainability and Circular Economy. Notable startups with their HQ in London are:
Octopus Energy – a provider of renewable energy service, who secured €539.48M in their latest funding round in July 2022
Cervest – developer of an AI-powered climate intelligence platform
Circulor – developer of an app intended to provide traceability of materials in industrial supply chains
Net Purpose – developer and operator of a data aggregation platform dedicated to making impact measurement effortless for investors
Splend – a car rental company specialising in on-demand ridesharing and delivery services
With an ambitious 2030 development plan, Paris, the capital city of France, attracts a lot of GreenTech companies. Known mostly for the incredible sights of the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triumph or the Louvre Museum, most things in the city are accessible by public transport. Paris is also very serious about sustainable urban planning, renewable energy and developing green spaces. The city offers not only access to one of the biggest domestic markets in Europe, but also easy access to other European markets as well as Asia and Africa. Add to that the fact that there are many funding initiatives set by the government and many VC’s – and that’s the reason why Paris has been such a good destination for startups.
Paris was the host of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, where attending countries negotiated the Paris Agreement. Many notable GreenTech’s have their base in Paris, for example:
Ecovadis – developer of software that ranks companies for environmental responsibility, ethical treatment of workers amongst other practices
Spinergie – developer of monitoring applications aimed at industrial activities taking place at the sea
Electra – provider of a e-charging stations network
Traace – provider of an online platform aimed at calculating and offsetting carbon footprint
Deepki – provider of a data management platform with End-to-end ESG and data-intelligence solutions
Located at the Spanish coast, Barcelona is the last GreenTech hub on our list. As a city, Barcelona is committed to sustainable living. It has many bike lanes and great access with public transport, embraces slow food and healthy living and offers a lot of green spaces. Relatively low cost of living, but with a good quality of life and access to a high-quality tech talent is what makes it such a good destination for startups to choose as their home.
Barcelona is home to the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, an institution committed to sustainable research. Notable GreenTech’s based in Barcelona are:
Flexidao – developer of a software that offers transparent information on the green energy purchased by companies and their supply chain
Heura Foods – producer of vegan food available in supermarkets around Europe
Reby – developer of an online mobility service application designed to share electric scooters
Submer – developer of a cooling technology designed to serve the data centre industry
Wallbox – developer of EV chargers for at-home charging
Here at Storm4, we work with startups and scaleups in the GreenTech sector wanting to bring a positive impact. Regardless of funding stage and sector you’re operating in, we can help you with your hiring needs. As a specialised recruitment agency, we pride ourselves with working with the best talent on the market. Don’t hesitate to get in touch in case you’re looking for a growth partner.