The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2022

Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking 2022 (Top 30 + Runners-Up)

The Most Comprehensive Research On Startup Ecosystems Globally

Startup Genome’s coverage of ecosystems is growing. Our analysis — which expanded from 60 ecosystems in 2018 to 150 in 2019 and to nearly 300 today — has allowed us to rank the top 40 global startup ecosystems as well as 100 emerging startup ecosystems.

We have expanded our list of ecosystems and it now includes regions that have traditionally received less coverage, including Central Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. We have also expanded our list to talk about the top 100 Emerging Ecosystems. Although these ecosystems are outside the list of highest performing ecosystems, their impact and importance is significant in the global economy.

Key Findings

  • The same five ecosystems remain at the top of the ranking as in 2020 and 2021, but Beijing has dropped one place, with Boston taking its former place at #4. Silicon Valley is #1, followed by New York City and London tied at #2, Boston at #4, and Beijing at #5.
  • Seoul entered the global top 10 ecosystems for the first time, up six places from #16 in 2021 and #20 in 2020.
  • Several Indian ecosystems have risen in the rankings, most notably Delhi, which is 11 places higher than in 2021, entering the top 30 for the first time at #26. Bangalore has moved up one place from last year, to #22.
  • Overall, China’s ecosystems have declined in the rankings, a reflection of the relative decline in early-stage funding in comparison to other ecosystems. 
  • Helsinki has risen more than 20 places from last year, joining the runners-up category at joint #35.
  • A record 540 companies achieved unicorn status in 2021, up from 150 in 2020.
  • In 2021, Brazil saw 237% growth in the dollar amount of Series B+ rounds compared to 2020. The nation’s total exit amount for 2021 was $49 billion, a huge leap from $1 billion in 2020.
  • Asia experienced a 312% increase in the dollar amount of exits over $50 million from 2020 to 2021.
  • In 2021, the dollar amount of exits in London grew 413% from 2020. The ecosystem’s Series B+ rounds increased 162% in terms of dollar amount from 2020, and it saw 55% more $50 million+ exits in 2021 versus 2020.

Factors scored 1 to 10, with 1 the lowest and 10 the highest. For more information, please see Methodology.

Ecosystem Assessment & Reporting

Developing ecosystems can be a fuzzy business. Together with 300 partners, we made it a science. Without reliable benchmarks or data, innovation policies and programs often don't result in expected economic impact. Our leading entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem assessment methodologies guide policy executives toward sound decisions to develop more talent, startups, and scaleups.

This year’s ranking is perhaps Startup Genome’s most interesting to date, with a multitude of ecosystems showing significant movement, and two key themes emerging: the rise of India and the slowing of China’s growth in early-stage funding compared to other ecosystems.

India’s ecosystems show overall growth in Ecosystem Value, and collectively Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore-Karnataka, and Pune generated 25 unicorns between 2019 H2 and the end of 2021. Regardless of this growth, North America continues to dominate the Global Rankings, with 47% of the top 30 ecosystems in this region. Asia is next with 30%. In North America in 2021, exits over $50 million made up a total of $698 billion. In Asia, exits over $50 million made up $531 billion.


Global Leaders

The top five global ecosystems remain largely the same as in previous years, but with the notable difference that Beijing has dropped one place since 2021, trading places with Boston for #4. In aggregate, the top five ecosystems now account for an Ecosystem Value of $3.8 trillion. The remaining 25 of the top 30 ecosystems, in aggregate, are worth $2.3 trillion in Ecosystem Value.

Silicon Valley is undoubtedly still the world’s leading ecosystem, but its share of early-stage investment by dollar amount has declined from 25% in 2012 to 13% in 2021. As early-stage funding is a leading indicator of the future of tech, this trend suggests that the growth of tech in the rest of the world will continue to be faster than in Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley’s share of number of exits over $1 billion has also halved since 2012.



New York and London remain leading tech hubs, and their joint position at #2 largely derives from strong scores in Knowledge in both ecosystems. Los Angeles holds its place at #6 but shows a significant increase in Connectedness this year. Tel Aviv also held steady from last year, remaining at #7. The Israeli ecosystem saw three $1 billion exits in the period examined, crossing $100 billion in total Ecosystem Value this year.

Thanks to five $1 billion+ exits, Seoul has moved into the top 10 for the first time. The Korean ecosystem has moved up an impressive 10 places since 2020 and six spots from 2021. Its biggest exit, e-commerce platform Coupang’s March 2021 $60 billion IPO, makes up approximately 42% of its Ecosystem Value.



Hot Spots & Rising Ecosystems

India is showing significant changes in this year’s ranking. Delhi has moved up an impressive 11 places, coming in at #26, the first time that the ecosystem has entered the top 30 and a result of increased early-stage funding and three $1 billion+ exits. Bangalore-Karnataka is just ahead at #22, an increase of one place from last year. The ecosystem saw eight $50 million+ exits — three more than in the GSER 2021 period — and improved in Market Reach.

Mumbai isn’t far behind, up to tied #36 this year thanks to two new unicorns and three $1 billion+ exits in the GSER 2022 time period, increasing its overall Ecosystem Value. Chennai, and Kerala climbed the rankings significantly — up 21 places and 20 respectively — and Pune and Telangana also added to India’s overwhelmingly successful year.

Berlin confirms its place as a leading European ecosystem by moving up six places from last year, to #16, with five $1 billion+ exits. The German capital has now produced 14 unicorns.

On the other side of the Atlantic, San Diego moved up eight places from last year’s ranking, to #13. Its strong Life Sciences sub-sector was a major element in the change, contributing three of its four $4 billion+ exits and many of its 25 $50 million+ exits.



Top 30 & Runners-Up

Sydney shows Oceania’s biggest leap in the rankings, moving up four places from last year to #20. Its $67 billion Ecosystem Value is in large part due to Canva’s $39 billion valuation.

Denver-Boulder moved up three places from 2021, taking #24. The Colorado ecosystem is increasing in both value and count in early-stage funding, and has shown significant growth in Connectedness.

Miami moved up nine places in ranking since last year, to #33. The number of $50 million+ exits here increased from four in the 2021 GSER period to 11 this year. It also recorded two $1 billion+ exits.

Both Copenhagen and Helsinki have moved into the runners-up category this year, with Helsinki making a giant leap to joint #31 from #59. Copenhagen saw two $1 billion+ exits in the period analyzed, including Unity’s $13.7 billion valuation at IPO in September 2020. Helsinki saw seven exits over $50 million, including food delivery company Wolt’s $8.1 billion November 2021 acquisition by DoorDash. Helsinki also gained two unicorns in the period considered.


Success Factor Highlights

To create the 2022 rankings, we measured six Success Factors in each ecosystem:
• Performance
• Funding
• Market Reach
• Talent & Experience
• Connectedness
• Knowledge

Each of these Factors is assessed and awarded a score of 1 to 10, with 1 the lowest and 10 the highest. For more information, please see Methodology.


Performance

Key Findings

  • The top five ecosystems in terms of Performance are also the overall global leaders: Silicon Valley, London, New York, Boston, and Beijing.
  • Tel Aviv is producing the same level of large exits as Los Angeles and London.
  • San Diego jumped four ranks from last year, to #13 and Delhi jumped six places in the Exit factor. Both had growth in $50 million+ exits.

The Performance Success Factor Assesses:

  • Ecosystem Value: a measure of the economic impact of the ecosystem, calculated as the total exit valuation and startup valuations over a two-and-a-half-year time period.
  • Exits: the number of exits over $50 million and $1 billion, as well as the growth of exits.
  • Startup Success: how many startups succeed in the ecosystem. Measured in early-stage success (ratio of Series B to Series A companies), late-stage success (ratio of Series C to A companies and number of billion-dollar club startups), and speed to exits (both to IPO and other exits)


Funding

Key Findings

  • In the Access factor, Seoul jumped up four places from 2021, and Sydney by two.
  • Washington, D.C. is showing particular strength in Quality & Activity.
  • Tel-Aviv is ranking high in both the number of deals and amount of funding. Its strength in early-stage funding indicates the ecosystem’s innovation.

The Funding Success Factor Assesses:

  • Access: A function of early-stage funding volume and growth.
  • Quality & Activity: The number of local investors; those investors’ experience (average years investing and exit ratio); and their level of activity (percentage of investors active in the first quarter of 2022 and the number of new investors).


Market Reach

Key Findings

  • In addition to the largest tech economies, Tel-Aviv, Shanghai, and Stockholm are among the top ecosystems generating Globally Leading Companies. These are the startups that reach new countries and customers.
  • Delhi and Bangalore have moved up in their score for Globally Leading Companies since last year, as have Berlin, Stockholm, and São Paulo.
  • Commercialization of IP, reflected in the Quality factor, is strong in Tel-Aviv, San Diego, Seattle, and Singapore.

The Market Reach Success Factor Assesses:

  • Global Leading Companies: A function of scaleups and unicorns in the ecosystem. Measured in terms of the ratio of companies valued at over $1 billion to GDP; the ratio of $1 billion exits to GDP; and the ratio of large exits to funding (exits over $50 million to Series A rounds).
  • Local Reach: size of local markets, proxied as a function of country GDP.
  • IP Commercialization: An indicator of how much policy encourages the commercialization of tangible IP, measured at the country level.


Connectedness

Key Findings

  • LA, Toronto-Waterloo, Copenhagen, and Helsinki have improved in Local Connectedness from last year.
  • LA, San Diego, Paris, and Philadelphia rank highly in Infrastructure for research in technology and Life Sciences.

The Connectedness Success Factor Assesses:

  • Local Connectedness: A function of the number of tech meetups in the ecosystem.
  • Infrastructure: A Life Sciences-focused metric that considers the number of accelerators and incubators, research grants, and R&D anchors (for example, top research hospitals and corporate R&D labs) in the ecosystem.


Talent

Key Findings

  • The top ecosystems in the Startup Experience are no longer just the global leaders. Tokyo and Paris follow right after the world’s biggest ecosystems in this category.
  • The U.S. still dominates in terms of Scaling Experience, with most of the high-scoring ecosystems in this category coming from the country.
  • The acquisition of talent has been easier with things moving online, but there is still a wide range of scores within Access to Talent, particularly within Life Sciences. The cost of talent is rising with startups being more open to remote technical staff members.

The Talent Success Factor Assesses:

Tech Talent
  • Access: the percentage of engineers and employees with at least two years of startup experience at time of hiring.
  • Quality: a function of the number and density of top developers on GitHub, English proficiency, and history of exits. Quality is also a proxy for experienced scaled teams in the ecosystem.
  • Cost: Above this is referred to as cost efficiency average software engineer salaries. (Higher salaries lead to lower scores.)

Life Sciences Talent

  • Access: Number of STEM students and graduates, number of Life Sciences-focused universities and degree programs.
  • Quality: A function of Life Sciences quality of instruction and research at local universities as measured by the Shanghai Rankings.

Experience

  • Scaling Experience: The cumulative number of significant exits (over $50 million and over $1 billion) over 10 years for startups founded in the ecosystem.
  • Startup Experience: The cumulative number of early-stage companies started and funded at the Series A stage.


Knowledge

Key Findings

  • Silicon Valley, Beijing, and Tokyo are top patent producers, and the complexity of patents is adding to their strong scores.
  • Research quality, an important factor in more specialized sectors such as AI and Life Sciences, is strong in leading U.S. ecosystems. London, Paris, Berlin, and Toronto-Waterloo follow closely behind.

The Knowledge Success Factor Assesses:

  • Research: Based on the H-Index, a measure of publication impact, this metric looks at the production of Life Sciences research at the country level.
  • Patents: The volume, complexity, and potential of Life Science patents generated in the ecosystem.