The European tech scene is still trailing far behind the US. While American venture capital dollars are starting to pour in, overall, the continent’s startup hubs pale in comparison compared to Silicon Valley.
Here’s a stark illustration of this: In 2014, 358 European tech companies were acquired. 211 of these acquisitions were by other European companies in a wide range of countries — but another 122 came from the US alone.
In short, when European companies successfully exit, it is overwhelmingly because of interest from across the pond. The second-most prolific country, Germany, only acquired 40 companies — less than one-third of America.
The data comes from a new report from Tech.eu on European tech exits. It found that American companies alone make as many acquisitions (122) of European companies as the next four most prolific countries combined — Germany (40), the UK (33), France (30), and Spain (19).
While the European ecosystem is maturing, it still has no single company that can compete with the American tech behemoths like Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Accordingly, these companies are able to treat Europe as a hunting ground for new talent. Google was responsible for the most tech company acquisitions (8) in 2014, Tech.eu found, followed by Microsoft, Yandex, and Facebook.