The Steady Growth of Tech Scaleups

Find out how tech scaleups have changed over the last decade.
Farshad Fahimi
on December 21, 2021

Scaleups are companies that have grown out of the startup phase – we define a scaleup as an organization experiencing over 20% growth year-on-year with a value of over $50 million – and they’re important to the health of an ecosystem. Scaleups drive job creation and industry growth, and can transform whole sectors through innovation.

A healthy scaleup ecosystem is also necessary to help startups scale and maintain growth. Many startups struggle to grow into scaleups, but the presence of local experience and ecosystem connectedness can provide founders with the tools to survive the difficult first few years and go on to thrive.

Let’s take a look at how the representation of tech scaleups has changed over the last decade.

Startups are becoming scaleups sooner

The average age at transaction has decreased from 5.6 years in 2010–2014 to 5.2 in 2016–2020, an indicator that it is becoming relatively faster to get to the $50 million valuation.

There are currently 198 global ecosystems with at least one scaleup, and more than a third of these have more than five scaleups. The steady increase in the number of scaleups over the last decade indicates that the presence of local experience and support organizations such as accelerators and incubators are helping startups survive and scale.

Scaleups are less concentrated

The share of scaleups has become more distributed in recent years – as emerging ecosystems grow and strengthen, they are producing and maintaining more scaleups. While Silicon Valley is still the leading global ecosystem in terms of share of scaleups, its percentage share has dropped from 18.58% created in the last decade to 16.05% in the most recent five.

Want to know more about tech startup ecosystems? Take a look at the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2021.

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