For a startup across any industry, investment is very important to keep it running. While there are several types of investments, greenfield investment is a type of foreign direct investment aka FDI in which the parent company creates a subsidiary in a different country and builds its operations there from scratch. It handles construction of new production units, offices, and distribution hubs.
Greenfield investment involves both risks and benefits. Firstly, the companies that expand their operations in the developing countries enjoy benefits including lower corporate tax and economic benefits among others. The risks include problems related to permissions to relationship with the host country.
fDi Intelligence from Financial Times provides the world’s most comprehensive offering of services when it comes to foreign direct investment. fDi Markets is one of the most comprehensive online databases providing an insight into crossborder greenfield investments that are available, including all sectors and countries across the world in real-time.
Recently, The fDi Report 2019 revealed the annual assessment of cross-border investment depending on the fDi Markets service. Going by this report, Vilinius, the Lithuanian capital has been ranked the leader with the highest number of greenfield FDI projects per capita from startups in the software and IT services sector between 2016 and 2018. Take a look at top 10 cities ranked by The fDi Report 2019 here.
Vilnius was ranked the leading city by Financial Times Foreign Direct Investment’s (FDI) Index 2019 as there are 1.006 greenfield FDI projects per 100,000 inhabitants. Vilnius has a clear strategy to attract tech startups. It is estimated that the business-friendly regulatory environment of the city, successful integration of newcomers, and it’s open data policy contributed to the leadership of the city. Notably, it is as simple as starting a business in just a single day with an e-signature in Vilinus. This city is home to various successful tech startups including Interactio, CGTrader, Bankera, Universa Blockchain, etc.
London ranks second in this index as it has attracted 110 most greenfield FDI projects. There are 0.875 greenfield FDI projects per 100,000 inhabitants in London, as per the index. The capital of the UK has been an attractive location for tech startups for long due to the ample flow of venture capital, impressive talent pool, and tech clusters in the city. Some big names in the London tech ecosystem include top global startup brands like Benevolent AI, Deliveroo, Greensill, Monzo, Immunocore and more.
Even the Netherlands has performed well with Amsterdam leading the race, thanks to the terrific tech talent and world-class startup ecosystem in the city. The Dutch capital has become popular among tech startups of all categories of late and has been ranked third by FDI with 0.802 greenfield FDI projects per 100,000 inhabitants in the city. The popular Dutch startups and scaleups based in Amsterdam include Bidroom, Tiqets, MessageBird, Picnic, and more.
Finland is one of the countries in Europe with a low population density. If you are wondering how the country manages to be successful in the tech startup ecosystem, then you need to know that Finland is extremely connected to the rest of the world. Helsinki’s tech startup ecosystem is ranked fourth by FDI 2019 as it has an index of 0.797 greenfield FDI projects per 100,000 inhabitants. Helsinki is home to numerous exciting tech startups including Wolt, Varjo, Swappie, etc.
Singapore is one of the top tech startup ecosystems in the world. Most companies are in the sector of digital technology while the rest are dominated by fintech and enterprise tech. The reason for the success of these startups is the support from the government, the dynamic community, funding, talent base, and more. This index has ranked Singapore fifth in the world as it has attracted 0.731 greenfield FDI projects per 100,000 inhabitants. AirTrunk, Grab, Trax, Caroussel, etc. are the top tech companies in Singapore.
#6 The Hague
The Hague is one of the largest safety and security clusters in the continent with a high concentration of global embassies and organisations surrounded by hundreds of security businesses. The city’s HSD (The Hague Security Delta Campus) supports cybersecurity startups with training facilities, living labs, and office space. HackerOne is one of the most exciting startups in Hague’s security cluster. As per the FDI Tech Start-up FDI Attraction Index, The Hague has attracted 0.691 greenfield FDI projects per 100,000 inhabitants. The fast-growing tech startups in The Hague include Sabern, Doculayer.ai, Finturi, Tykn, etc.
Dublin is one of the most underrated tech startup ecosystems in Europe. The city boasts the youngest population in Europe, easy-to-avail work visa system and is home to universities as well. Additionally, costs have become more affordable than other European countries in recent years. This has attracted 0.646 greenfield FDI projects per 100,000 inhabitants choose Dublin as their destination. Dublin is home to a slew of tech companies such as Flipdish, TerrAvion, Atlas Dynamics, Coras, and others.
Belfast has 5 FDI projects that converts to an index of 0.633 greenfield FDI projects per 100,000 inhabitants. Eventually, it has occupied the eight spot in the FDI Tech Start-up FDI Attraction Index 2019. The city’s sci-tech ecosystem is increasing in popularity, making it become one of the hottest startup environments in Europe. As the startup scene there is gaining momentum, there is a surge in job opportunities too. The Belfast tech startup community includes Analytics Engines, AppAttic, B-Secur, etc.
In the Middle East, only Dubai has made it into the top 10 cities ranked by FDI Tech Start-up FDI Attraction Index 2019. It has attracted 21 greenfield FDI projects during the review period, which is 0.615 projects per 100,000 inhabitants. In the city, there is an increasing demand to come up with new companies among entrepreneurs. Even the government is working continuously to create the best possible conditions for startups. Property Finder, Wadi, Intransa, Fetchr, and Flemingo are notable startups in Dubai.
In the 10th position is the German city of Dusseldorf, which has attracted 0.581 greenfield FDI projects per 100,000 inhabitants between 2016 and 2018. Dusseldorf has the potential to help entrepreneurs and their startups become stars in terms of innovation, growth, and other aspects. Of late, the startup scene in this city has become bigger and more multi-functional. Dusseldorf is home to tech startups including Helpcheck, Kesselheld, etc.
Stock photo from By Roman Babakin/Shutterstock
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