2023 has seen European tech funding dip to $45 billion, marking a return to pre-pandemic figures. Despite this, AI and climate tech sectors shine, drawing significant investments into cities at the forefront of innovation.
For developers, this shift opens doors to cities that offer not just tech opportunities but also a desirable lifestyle. From Berlin's AI ventures to Stockholm's climate tech initiatives, we spotlight the top cities for developers in Europe's evolving tech landscape. Keen to see where you fit in? Read on for insights into where to make your mark.
London secures the number one spot on our list for tech jobs, a position it holds firmly, thanks to attracting the highest level of investment funding — particularly in the Fintech sector. Giants such as Revolut, Wise, and SumUp are at the forefront, driving innovation and growth. The city is also making significant strides in Edtech, capturing over 40% of Europe's investment in this sector, showcasing its ability to lead and expand beyond traditional tech boundaries.
The opportunities in London are vast and varied for tech professionals, with the city boasting over 300,000 tech vacancies — 28% of which are in fintech. This job market is predominantly looking for senior-level talent, offering them the chance to work on groundbreaking projects across various sectors. With an average salary for developers at around $65,000, London promises exciting work and rewarding compensation.
The city’s tech prowess is further underscored by impressive financial backing, with over $12.9 billion in VC funding in 2023, nurturing a fertile ground for innovation and success. London is the birthplace of 110 companies that have reached the $1 billion valuation mark, with 32 of those originating from the city itself.
Paris secures the number two spot on our list, primarily due to its impressive tech funding achievements, particularly in sectors like Fintech, big data, and AI. Companies such as BlaBlaCar, Qonto, and Spendesk are at the forefront. The demand for tech talent here is substantial, with approximately 80,000 tech positions open, with some requiring French knowledge.
In 2022, French tech startups, particularly in Paris, hit a new high by securing €13.5 billion in funding, marking a 17% increase from the previous year. This growth made France the only European country to show an increase in its tech sector during a general downturn, with Paris's metro area alone boasting around 12,000 startups, outpacing both London and Berlin.
Paris also holds the second spot for VC funding in Europe, securing 57% of all French VC funding in 2023. Notably, the GenAI model startup MistralAI clinched the largest funding round in the Paris area this year.
These figures and developments underscore why Paris is an attractive destination for tech professionals. The combination of substantial funding, a high demand for tech talent, and a rich startup ecosystem makes this city a compelling choice for those looking to advance their tech careers. The recent increase in technology-related job postings, with a 14.16% rise since March 2023 to 30,410 active listings by June 2023, further cements Paris's status as a top choice for tech professionals looking for new opportunities.
In Berlin, Fintech and food delivery startups like SoundCloud, N26, and Delivery Hero are setting the pace and developers eyeing Berlin are looking at an average salary of around $56,000.
In 2022, Berlin drew in a whopping $5.2 billion in investments, highlighting its allure in the tech world. The city is teeming with over 3,000 startups, growing at an impressive rate of 15% annually. This vibrant ecosystem spans across booming sectors like ecommerce, Fintech, mobility, and healthcare — making Berlin a center of tech innovation.
Despite challenges like climate crisis and inflation, Berlin's startup ecosystem remained robust in 2022, with VC numbers still high. Smaller companies, particularly in Fintech and health sectors, continue to be major job creators, contributing significantly to the city's employment growth. With over 73,000 people working in the startup ecosystem and a supportive environment for young companies, Berlin's tech scene offers a great community for developers.
Stockholm's tech scene is packed with innovation across mobile communications, gaming, cleantech, Fintech, and life sciences. The city boasts nearly 3,000 startups and scaleups, backed by 208 VC investors and a 101,000-strong tech workforce. For developers, the average salary sits at about $56,000.
In 2021, Stockholm was ranked as Europe's fifth top tech hub and is known for churning out tech unicorns like Klarna, Northvolt, and Voi at a rate only second to Silicon Valley. Last year, it kept its crown as the EU’s innovation leader and scored fourth in Europe for VC funding per capita.
With leading companies such as Exeger, Sesamy, and X Shore, Stockholm is a place where tech professionals can thrive, offering a mix of opportunity and a strong push towards the future. And, adding to its accolades, Stockholm recently surpassed Berlin to become Europe's third most funded VC hub. This leap was fueled by significant funding rounds in clean energy tech startups, notably H2 Green Steel and Northvolt, highlighting the city's strong push towards sustainable technology.
But, the city's tech sector isn't just about making money; it's also leading the charge in sustainable technology and impact startups. These businesses are focused on solving societal issues and growing fast here. Plus, Stockholm's support system for techies is solid, with free education, mostly free childcare, and a culture that encourages taking risks and innovating. And, despite the high cost of living and taxes, Stockholm offers a great quality of life. It's a city that values green spaces, and sustainability, and has top-notch infrastructure, healthcare, and education. Almost everyone speaks English, which makes fitting in easier for newcomers.
Munich ranks 5th on the list of tech funding and is known for being the headquarters of Siemens and BMW, as well as having offices for global giants like Apple, Google, and Amazon. This city is a key player in Europe's tech scene, thanks to these tech giants and innovative startups like Personio and Mecuris. Together, they provide jobs for a large number of tech workers, boosting Munich's tech ecosystem.
The city hosts 11% of Germany's startups, with significant investments such as Apple’s European Silicon Design Centre highlighting its technological edge. Munich's 360,000 STEM professionals underscore the high demand for tech talent, supported by a vibrant startup culture across transportation, software, data, and health sectors.
In 2022, Bavaria's economy — with Munich at its heart — was among Europe's strongest. The region reported more job vacancies than pre-pandemic levels, with LinkedIn listing 3,653 developer and 22,177 IT positions in Munich alone. This robust demand, coupled with a nationwide IT skills shortage, puts tech professionals in a strong position for salary and benefits negotiations. Notably, a Software Engineer earns an average annual salary of $66,686 in Munich. The city’s tech companies, from DAX-listed giants to SMBs and startups, span diverse industries, including automotive, engineering, biotech, and aerospace, offering various career opportunities.
In sixth place is Amsterdam — celebrated for its picturesque canals and open-minded lifestyle — as a tech powerhouse punching above its weight for a city of only 900,000. What truly sets Amsterdam apart is its exceptional work-life balance, a rarity in the tech industry and a key factor in the city's flourishing tech environment. This balance, alongside a history rich in technological breakthroughs like Wi-Fi, and being home to global tech behemoths such as Booking.com and Adyen, makes Amsterdam a magnet for tech talent seeking both professional success and personal fulfilment.
In 2022, Amsterdam's tech sector attracted $1.9 billion in investments, a decrease from the previous year but still significant, valuing its startup ecosystem at $82 billion. The city is a hotspot for fintech, life sciences, and Big Data, with major data companies establishing their presence here. Despite the investment dip, the ecosystem remains vibrant, with over 4,000 startups employing around 196,000 people. Developers in Amsterdam enjoy an average yearly salary of $72,000, reflecting the city's commitment to attracting top talent. Government initiatives and favourable immigration policies continue to draw in international talent, bolstering the startup scene.
Notably, Amsterdam has produced 20 unicorns, including WeTransfer and Takeaway.com. The city is also a hub for major tech firms like Uber and Stripe, offering some of Europe's most competitive tech salaries. The demand for tech talent is high, with a significant number of job vacancies, especially for data scientists and software developers.
In 7th place comes Zurich, Switzerland's largest city, which is climbing the ranks as a tech hotspot in Europe. It's third for VC funding per capita, and in 2023, startup exits here jumped by 300% from the previous year. When you look at big-money exits across Europe, Switzerland is in the 6th spot. Despite the pandemic's hit, Zurich's tech investments are on an upswing, thanks in part to its solid reputation as a finance centre.
Living in Zurich is as good as it gets, with the city ranking 6th globally for livability in 2023. If you're looking for a tech job, Zurich is a goldmine, thanks to its pool of highly educated talent and status as a financial hub. The city leads in attracting skilled workers and has been at the top of the Global Innovation Index for 13 years straight.
Big names like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have set up shop here, alongside Swiss unicorns like SonarSource and Acronis. The demand for IT specialists is sky-high, with Switzerland needing over 117,000 more by 2028. And while developers can earn an average of €105,000, the highest in Europe, living in Zurich doesn't come cheap — it's one of the most expensive cities globally.
Helsinki gets 8th place, with startups pulling in €204M in investments in the first half of 2023 alone. Despite a return to VC investment levels similar to those of 2017-18, Helsinki's ecosystem shows remarkable resilience, especially when looking beyond megarounds, outperforming the Nordic average and other regional hubs.
Deep tech startups in Helsinki are particularly noteworthy, securing 30% of all VC investment since 2022 and accounting for 26% of startup jobs in the city. Impact startups are also significant, comprising 14% of the local startup workforce. A notable trend in Helsinki is the role of smaller companies in job creation; nearly half of all startup jobs come from companies with fewer than 50 global employees. As of March 2023, these smaller entities, numbering around 1,000, employed 47% of all individuals in the startup ecosystem.
Moreover, startups founded in the last decade are major job creators, with the 800+ companies established since 2012 employing 11.7K people, or 61% of the startup workforce in Helsinki. This data underscores Helsinki's dynamic and innovative tech landscape, where newer companies play a pivotal role in the city's economic development and job market.
Milan comes in 9th place with a booming tech scene — particularly in Fintech, with startups like Scalapay and Satispay leading the charge. In 2022, Milan's startups — including these fintech innovators — attracted significant investment, highlighting the city's growing influence in the tech world. Specifically, Satispay's recent funding round brought in €320 million, propelling it to unicorn status with a valuation exceeding €1 billion. This achievement underscores Milan's capacity to support high-value tech companies and growth for ambitious software developers.
The city's tech sector benefits from a robust investment climate, with €957 million injected in the first half of 2022 alone, marking a 123% increase from the previous year. For developers, Milan offers a competitive environment with a high average salary, reflecting the city's cost of living and the high demand for tech talent. And, the presence of global tech giants such as Microsoft, IBM, and Google, alongside a vibrant startup scene, provides a huge range of opportunities for career growth.
Milan also offers a high quality of life with its rich culture, excellent cuisine, and historical sites, making it perfect for developers seeking a rewarding career and a fulfilling personal life in a leading tech hub.
In 10th place, Tallinn shines with its digital-first government approach and innovative e-Residency program, attracting significant tech initiatives. Developers eyeing Tallinn can expect an average salary of around €29,000 and a relatively low cost of living. The city also leads Europe in capital invested per capita while boasting the highest number of unicorns per capita, such as Gelato, Pipedrive, Bolt, Wise, and Skype.
The tech sector in Tallinn is known for its rapid development, supported by government digital projects and a bustling startup culture. This makes Tallinn an attractive spot for tech professionals seeking innovation and growth. Tallinn is also recognised globally, ranking #10 in emerging ecosystems with a 30% annual growth in the tech sector and €1.3 billion invested in 2022. Estonia has the most unicorns and startups per capita in Europe, emphasising its dense tech innovation. The cost of living in Tallinn is lower than in other tech hubs, offering developers a cost-effective lifestyle alongside their careers in fintech, robotics, AI or IoT.
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