A word from Orrick

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Innovation in technology knows no borders. As one of the most active global law firms serving technology leaders from Silicon Valley to Europe and Asia, we witness every day Europe’s emergence as a powerful force in the world’s technology ecosystem.

This year’s State of European Tech report, which we’re proud to support, provides concrete data about the opportunities and challenges across the European tech ecosystem.

We seek to provide our clients with not only effective legal solutions but also distinctive market insights. This insight is gleaned from our work with more than 1,800 tech companies, as well as the most active funds and corporate venture investors, in 35 countries globally.  We believe that this report adds to that insight.

This year’s report (like last year’s) celebrates another record year for European tech investment overall. Europe leads the world in several essential sectors, including mobile and fintech, and is generating exciting advances in AI, cryptocurrencies and deep tech. Europe is the fastest growing region for M&A activity (a market we know well, having advised on more tech exits globally this year than any other law firm).  The report makes it clear that the funding environment for European tech companies is very healthy and the appetite for investments in European tech companies is unsurpassed. This is true throughout the entire ecosystem: from seed to early stage and venture, to growth and late stage and even the mega financings of the world.

There is a fundamental shift underway – and it's very exciting. Traditionally, European companies looked to Silicon Valley primarily for exit strategies. Today, they're looking to the US as a destination to acquire, to demonstrate their success and to expand internationally. To us, this signals the true globalization of tech.   As the report observes, “As tech eats Europe, every city is becoming a tech city.”

Yet, the unique regulatory and market conditions in each European country can often be a challenge to navigate, including for Silicon Valley and other international investors. Pay close attention to the regulatory section of the report, which is a call to action for European regulators. Change is needed if Europe is going to continue its advances in the development of new technologies such as drones, autonomous vehicles and crypto currencies. As a global law firm, we regularly help our clients advocate for and navigate those changes throughout the world.

The report makes some bold predictions for 2018’s European tech ecosystem: the ability of founders to gain competitive advantage through regulatory compliance; larger scale investment from non-tech corporate funders; and European VC leaders jumping more eagerly into ICOs. We could not agree more – we see increasing activity in all of these areas among our clients.

European tech has undoubtedly had a breakthrough year. From our vantage point, we are certain Europe’s tech talent base ensures it will continue to succeed on the global stage. We hope this report helps you navigate that future. We hope you agree with us that the data in this report points to ever more borderless innovation.  

Chris Grew

Partner, Technology Companies Group


About Orrick

Orrick is a global law firm focused on serving the technology, energy & infrastructure and finance sectors. Structured as one team, our lawyers work across 25+ markets in Europe, the United States, Asia and Africa. 

Orrick counsels more than 1,800 tech companies, as well as the most active funds, corporate venture investors and public tech companies worldwide. Our focus is on helping disruptive companies tap into innovative legal solutions. We are a top 10 law firm for global M&A volume (MergerMarket) and the #1 most active law firm in European venture capital, and M&A exits (Pitchbook). We offer holistic solutions for companies at all stages, executing strategic transactions but also protecting intellectual property, managing cybersecurity, leveraging data and resolving disputes. We are helping our clients navigate the regulatory challenges raised by new technologies such as crypto currencies, autonomous vehicles and drones. A leader in traditional finance, we work with the pioneers of marketplace lending. We innovate not only in our legal advice but also in the way we deliver legal services, earning us the #1 spot on Financial Times’ list of the most innovative law firms in North America in 2016.