A European HQ Is Still Essential in a post-covid world
Although decision making has become increasingly decentralised, selecting the right location for a European headquarters is a critical step on the journey to becoming a global business.
Even if you are currently working with a distributed team and have no plans to invest in a physical office right away, you still need to think about where your customers are, where the talent you need is concentrated, and where you can best access markets and opportunities for long term growth.
We’ve written this guide to help you answer “where to go?” in Europe. On the surface, this may sound like an easy piece of the internationalisation puzzle but Europe is not homogenous. Where you land — and how effectively you do it — can have enormous consequences on your global business’s success.
Four Criteria, Three Cities
Europe has a sprawling tech ecosystem — Unicorns have been built in 40 different cities across 20 countries. That said, a robust local start-up scene in and of itself, does not make a particular city the right location for your base in Europe.
The most popular European landing cities are London, Dublin, Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin. Our data demonstrated that of the five, 75% of SaaS end up choosing London, Dublin or Amsterdam as their base.
At the heart of their (and your) decision-making process, should be four key criteria:
- Customers: Market prioritization, GTM model, network/cluster effects
- Talent: Talent pools, leadership, language coverage, network/cluster effects
- Cost: Compensation, real estate, taxes
- Business Environment: Regulation, data privacy, access and connectivity