The Global Startup Ecosystem Report: Cleantech Edition

Global Cleantech Ranking: Top 25 + 10 Runners-Up

Key Findings

  • The top five Cleantech ecosystems are Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, Stockholm, London, and Los Angeles. This is the first time that Stockholm has entered the top five, and the first time that Tel Aviv has ranked this high since 2012.
  • North America and Europe dominate the top 25 Cleantech ecosystems, with 44% and 40% respectively. Asia has two ecosystems in the top 25, and MENA and Oceania each have one.
  • The second quarter of 2021 saw 77% growth in the number of Series B+ deals compared to the same quarter in 2020, an all-time high.
  • While Asia saw a decline in Series A deals in recent years, it recorded a 2x increase in total late-stage investments (Series B+) in 2020, from $1.17 billion in 2019 to $2.47 billion, driven in part by several huge investments in EV companies.
  • Post-money valuation of Cleantech companies increased by 23% in 2020 and 176% in 2021.
  • Cleantech companies have the highest age at transaction of any sub-sector, with the average company taking 3.8 years to reach Series A and 5.5 years to reach Series B – almost eight months and 11 months longer than for tech startups across sectors.


Global Top 25

Among the most striking findings of the Global Cleantech Ranking is the presence of Tel Aviv and Stockholm in the top five ecosystems. Stockholm ranks #18 in the world overall but #3 in Cleantech. Sweden is an innovation leader in renewable energy technologies and has an ambitious goal of net-zero emission by 2045. Similarly, Tel Aviv is a technology leader, ranking #7 globally, but its position at #2 in Cleantech is noteworthy. For years Israel has been a global leader in the development of efficient solutions adapted to its resources in agriculture, waste management, clean energy, and water treatment, among others. These two ecosystems are punching above their weight and leading the world in Cleantech innovation.

London’s high position at #4 in the ranking reflects the city’s focus on sustainability in recent years and its decision to promote Cleantech as a key growth sector. In comparison, New York, which tied with London as #2 in the world overall, ranks at just #9 in Cleantech.

Although Asia lags behind North America and Europe in the number of cities represented in the Cleantech ranking, China has enacted ambitious goals and strategies, and is quickly catching up. The number of deals and exits in China is a fraction of the number in Europe, but the nation has recently poured huge amounts into a small number of very large deals, mostly in the electric vehicle sub-sector. As a result, the total amount invested in Series B+ in Asia surpassed the amount invested in both Europe and North America in 2020.