European ScaleUp Monitor 2021

The state of the art around young fast-growing companies in Europe

The European ScaleUp Monitor 2021 is a report, in collaboration with international partners, that studies the scaleup landscape in Europe. It offers a platform that centraliseEuropean knowledge around opportunities, challenges, best-practices and other salient elements of the process of scaling-up and the emergence of scaleups in various countries as well as regional ecosystems. 

Tap on the icons below to find out the Key Takeaways from the European ScaleUp Monitor 2021! 

European scaleups got knocked down, but are up again.

With respect to 2019, the total value of investment in European scaleups dropped by 20% in 2020. This is in contradiction to the long-run trend that has been going upward over the last 14 years. Although the year is not over yet, investment in European scaleups recovered in 2021, and 2021 investment level has already doubled the 2020-numbers. 

God save the Queen.

The United Kingdom is the leader in terms of both the number of scaleups and the total value of investment, followed by France and Germany at a distance. 

These top three countries attract more than 2/3 of all investment in scaleups.

Key Takeaways

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Digitalisation and Tech dominate the landscape. Most of the scaleups can be found in the Computer Software-industry (57.1%), followed by Banking, Insurance & Financial Services (12%), and Biotechnology and Lifesciences (7.5%). However, in terms of funding, Computer Software received 43% of the total funding, followed by Communications (18%), and Biotechnology, and Life Sciences (16%). Within the Computer Sofware-industry, Web Hosting & Internet is very dominant, followed by Application Software.

Energising the future and home delivery rule the roost.

The European top scaleup companies are: Northvolt (Sweden), IVC Evidensia (United Kingdom) and Delivery Hero (Germany).

Amsterdam awakes in 2021. London is the European capital in terms of total investment in scaleups and the number of deals. However, in 2020, Berlin took over and collected the most funding for its scaleups, with London as the number two. So far, over 2021, Amsterdam is the top city in terms of funding (in euros invested) for its scaleups, followed by London, Paris, and Cambridge.

“Data and insights about scaleups are crucial. Scaleups provide tomorrow’s income, create new jobs and, most importantly, contribute by introducing innovative products and services to solving global challenges.” – Prof.dr. Justin Jansen

Research insights

European ScaleUp Monitor 2021

European scaleups, also known has fast-growing companies, play a vital role in the economic landscape of Europe, contributing to economic growth, job creation and innovation. On top of that, scaleups increase the resilience of a regional economy and appear to be particularly suited to address effectively pressing societal issues. Fostering their success can thus not but be addressed within a European context. However, while single European countries have articulated policies to sustain their scaleup ecosystems, the European landscape lacks coordination. As a consequencewe are missing out on several opportunities.   

With the idea of strengthening the European scaleup ecosystems and increasing its internal coordination, at Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship we launched the European ScaleUp Monitor. In cooperation with academic experts and ecosystem coordinators from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus School of Economics, The Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School, Vlerick Entrepreneurship Academy, Bocconi for innovation, and Carbon Equity we want to bring this issue high on the agenda and create a platform to share and multiply the latest knowledge about European scaleups. The latest edition of the monitor can be downloaded below. The 2020 edition can be downloaded here

“Scaleup ecosystems are vulnerable to external shocks and crises. Even the ‘’top dogs’’ in the European landscape, the UK and London, have not been exempted by the negative effects brought about by both Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemicAt the same time, thoughdespite the persistent challenges of the latest months, we see resilience in the scaleup landscape and a promising outlook towards recovery.”
Martin Luxemburg, Director of Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship.
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More scaleup research

At the research team of Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship we focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, paying particular attention to startups and scaleups. We do this in our open publication and in cooperation with national and international authorities in the Netherlands and abroad to uncover the secrets of fast-growing companies and help other innovative firms replicate their experience. Starting with this publication, in the coming months, we intend to make even more resources available to foster scaleup growth at the European level. In this way, we want to maximise the impact of the knowledge European universities have around this topic. 

Read below for an overview of our research projects. 

scaleup startup ecosystem research

Startup and scaleup ecosystems

How is it possible to attract startups in your region and help them and other companies to scale up? Read here why you should invest in your ecosystem. 

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Scaleup Ecosystems and The Future of Mobility

What are the building blocks of scaleup ecosystems and how can we ensure that it fosters the growth and prosperity of (Future of Mobility) scaleups? Read more about it in our latest research study initiated by Deloitte.

Read more

Erasmus Scaling Programme

Erasmus Scaling Programme is designed to educate ambitious scaleup-entrepreneurs to excel and sustain steep growth paths over time. The programme kicks off in Q1 2022 and pre-registrations are open!

Read more
Fast-growing companies in the Netherlands

ScaleUp Dashboard

The ScaleUp Dashboard is one of our annual research publications around scaleups in the NetherlandsIn this report, we analyse the latest developments of the Dutch scaleup ecosystem. How many scaleups are there in the Netherlands and in which sectors? Have scaleups been growing and, if so, at what pace? Most importantly, what is their impact on the Dutch economy and job creation? 
Get in touch

Research team

Curious to learn more about the European ScaleUp Monitor and our research in the area of fast-growing organisations?

Get in touch with our Research Team!

T: +31 10 302 1331

Prof. Dr. Justin Jansen

Professor Corporate Entrepreneurship

Prof. Dr. Tom Mom

Professor Strategic Growth & Implementation

Leonardo Fuligni

Deputy Director

Katty Hsu

Senior Researcher & Startup Facilitator

Michel van Dalfzen


Boris de Veer

Research and Design

Niels de Groot

Project Member