The State of European Angel Investing

Johan Öberg Nicolas Schmidt Sergey Sushentsev Vaibhav Singh

Written as part of a collaboration between BCG and Nordic Angels, this report analyzes the historical development and the current state of Europe’s early investing in startups. We have conducted extensive research and numerous interviews with leading European angel investors so that their fundamental role in the evolution of the ecosystem is accurately captured.

Europe’s strides in seed-stage funding, reaching rough parity with the US, offer a strong indication of future growth. Angel investors are at the heart of this resurgence, providing not just financial support but also essential mentoring and strategic guidance, fostering a nurturing environment for innovation.

New hubs across the continent are emerging as thriving centers of activity. This innovation is boosted by the flywheel effect initiated by successful startup funders that evolved into angel investors, fueling the growth of new generations of startups. Governments are also playing their part, initiating policies that are propelling both investment and talent attraction.

Europe’s journey to realizing its startup potential is not exempt from challenges, and will require a collaborative effort involving governments, private enterprises, investors, and innovators. To reach its next growth horizon, Europe will need to become nimbler and further develop a growth mindset . This will require strengthening its capital markets strengthen its capital markets by enabling pension funds to allocate money to venture capital, promoting simplified and innovation-friendly regulations, enhancing collaboration among hubs, and intensifying talent attraction efforts through simplified visa procedures and competitive tax incentives.