London is home to more software developers than any other European city, with over 359,000 full stack developers across the capital, according to research by Atomico and Stack Overflow. London retains its spot as the largest tech hub for professional developers, followed by Paris (267,000), Amsterdam (216,000) and Cologne (165,900).
However, in the latest startup Heatmap Europe report, Berlin has overtaken London as the startup founders’ choice for the best city to start a company in. The report is based on data from 1,295 European founders from April 2020 to August 2020 and sees big movements in the most popular startup hubs.
Top European Cities for Startups
The top 10 cities have been very stable since the report began in 2016 but Covid and Brexit have caused remarkable changes, with 15 positions changing in the top 20 most attractive startup cities.
In 2016 Berlin and London were unreachable. In 2020 the positive trend for Berlin continues with 39% of the votes. Results are mixed for London with its popularity falling amongst Central Eastern European founders and with founders based in the UK and Ireland, where London saw its worst results dropping from 55% of the vote to only 36% in 2020.
The report states “This provides a strong argument for a negative perception of the consequences of the Brexit among founders who moved to London or the UK – many of them clearly would not do so again. Across all European regions, London remains the top choice only in the Mediterranean countries.”
Other cities in the top 10 are Amsterdam, Barcelona, Munich, Lisbon, Paris, Zurich, Tallinn and Stockholm.
London Startup Ecosystem
There are of course other factors at play in the future of the London startup ecosystem. London is by far the largest destination for VC funding in Europe with over €8bn startup investment on average per year (based on dealroom.co data). London is also rated top for industry connections, with 90% of startup founders rating London as very good or extremely good for how well the startup scene is connected to industry.
RWA works with world class tech startups in London to recruit global talent. We are accustomed to working with tech companies located across different countries and time zones - companies looking to recruit developers who could be based anywhere.