The past six years: 123% more start-ups and scale-ups in Antwerp

In 2018, Antwerp had twice as many start-ups and scale-ups than in 2012. This is a remarkable finding: in 2018, these innovative companies raised up to four times more capital for their business growth than six years earlier. With this, the city of Antwerp demonstrates a clear ambition: within six years, the city wants to occupy a place in the European top 10 scale-up cities.

More starting digital businesses, more raised capital

The figures speak for themselves. In the past six years, the number of start-ups and scale-ups grew by 123%. This is an increase from just under 200 digital growth companies in 2012 to more than 400 in 2018. Not only did the number of companies grow, they are also creating more value. In total, the companies raised over four times more capital.

In 2018, Antwerp start-ups and scale-ups raised an average of 474,000 euros; in 2012 this figure was still at 116,000 euros. Finally, the researchers noticed significant progress in the internationalisation of Antwerp's digital businesses: in 2018, 12% of the scale-ups had a branch in the US, the Netherlands or the UK.

Antwerp in the top 10

Antwerp has a young, lively ecosystem of start-ups. Therefore, it is the city's priority to allow these start-ups to develop into scale-ups, thus creating more employment. Start-ups form the basis of a resilient local economy. Within six years, Antwerp should occupy a position among the top 10 scale-ups in Europe.

A European comparison of the number of investments in scale-ups ranked Antwerp 19th out of 330 cities in 2016. This is on the same level as Cologne and Lille.

The city of Antwerp will work on four crucial elements so that start-ups can grow faster into scale-ups: talent, customers, markets, and capital. The city will support new corporate academies, strengthen its 'Buy from Start-ups' approach, assist companies towards international accelerators and connect companies with providers of risk capital.

Discover more about digital innovation in Antwerp.

Antwerp is Open for Business
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