Business & Startups

The resilient Amsterdam startup ecosystem: New report reveals the city’s startups employ more people than ever | Silicon Canals

In recent months, the once secure and high-paying tech industry has left thousands of employees jobless. 

What started as a hiring freeze in some companies has now escalated into a full-blown crisis as tech industry workers seek new positions due to the deteriorating economy globally.

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Unfortunately, the trend is expected to continue throughout 2022.

However, despite the difficult times, Amsterdam’s tech scene is still growing critically, creating new high-quality, local jobs. 

A new report by Dealroom in partnership with StartupAmsterdam reveals that startups across the capital city have created more jobs in 2022 and are employing more people.   

The fifth edition of the Amsterdam Startup Employment Report dives into the scale of employment in Amsterdam’s startup ecosystem and trends across emerging sectors.

Here’re some of the key findings from the report.

Image credits: Dealroom

Amsterdam startups created more jobs

According to the report, more people are employed by Amsterdam startups than ever. The report also adds that Amsterdam startups have created more new jobs in the last year than in any previous year. 

Across the city, 49,000 jobs are filled across 1,700 local startups, representing a 6 per cent increase year-on-year. 

However, foreign startups added another 23,500 jobs, per the report. Enterprise Software and Security startup jobs make up 30 per cent of the total. 

Foreign startups such as Atlassian and Tesla collectively create more jobs in Amsterdam than mature (foreign) tech companies such as Microsoft and IBM, adds the report. 

Image credits: Dealroom

Impact startup investment on rise

Amsterdam impact startup investment has been on a rapid upward trajectory and is on track to match or better last year’s record total. As per the report, the 180 analysed impact startups provide 5,300 local jobs or 11 per cent of all startup workforce in Amsterdam. 

Impact startups have grown 11 per cent in the last year, adds the report. 

Bas Beekman’s, Program Director, StartupAmsterdam, says, “With this report, we’re happy to notice that not only have impact-driven tech startups in the Amsterdam region been on a rapid upward trajectory when it comes to funding, but also have shown double increase in the number of jobs created since 2017. This data, once again, shows just how important local startups and scaleups are for the local economy – pandemic, recession, lay-offs, and all, startups and scaleups continue creating jobs with a 6 per cent annual increase.”

Created 16,000 net new jobs

The city’s startup community has created around 16,000 net new jobs since Dealroom and StartupAmsterdam started tracking startup jobs in the city in 2017, reveals the report. 

Image credits: Dealroom

Amsterdam dominates municipality

The report shows that Amsterdam remains the dominant municipality, concentrating the majority of startups and jobs within the metropolitan area. 

But startups are employing people throughout the surrounding urban areas. Almost 1,000 startup workers each are employed in Haarlem, Hilversum, and Almere.

Image credits: Dealroom

195 companies provides 17,700 jobs

The report shows that Amsterdam’s startup job creation has increased in the past 12 months. However, growth has mainly come from the ecosystem’s oldest and youngest companies, adds the reports.

The report also discloses that companies founded between 1990 and 2005 have grown 7.6 per cent since last year. This cohort of 195 companies provides 17,700 jobs in Amsterdam, representing over a third of all startup jobs in the city. 

These mature companies created 1,600 jobs in the last 12 months, 43 per cent of the total new startup job creation.

Having said that, companies founded within the past five years have added 1,100 jobs in Amsterdam, representing a 14.9 per cent growth over the previous year, mentions the report.

Image credits: Dealroom

Impact of layoffs

The Amsterdam startup ecosystem has not been immune to layoffs with grownup companies such as TomTom and Messagebird making staff cuts. However, this has not greatly affected the job creation trends. This is because, so far, the layoffs have mostly affected large startups and it’s the small startups that create the most jobs. 

3/4th vacancies are non-technical

In Amsterdam, 3 out of 4 tech company vacancies are for non-technical jobs, indicates the report. 

Out of the 4,800 job openings at Amsterdam-based startups in the last year, 73 per cent are non-technical positions. 

The report also unveils that Business development is the most targeted job role, followed by Development and Marketing.

Image credits: Dealroom

VC and jobs

2022 marks the second-highest year on record for VC investment in Amsterdam, although at a lower level than a record-breaking 2021. 

The report sees a strong positive correlation between the amount of VC funding that Amsterdam startups receive along with the average team size within those funded startups. 

According to the report, startups that have raised more than €15M funding represent just 3 per cent of total startups. But these startups provide almost a quarter of all Amsterdam startup employment, thereby showcasing the impact on VC funding on job creation within the Amsterdam startup ecosystem. 

The report also shows that Amsterdam-based VCs have record levels of dry powder at their disposal, which will be deployed in the coming years. For example, Endeit (€303M), Anterra Capital (€252M), PureTerra Ventures (€250M), and Connected Capital (€1564M)

Bootstrapped & proud 

Most startup jobs are created by non-VC-backed, bootstrapped companies. Meanwhile, venture-backed startups make up just a small proportion of overall startups. For example, Scriptium (40+ jobs), Stuvia (40+ jobs), TomTom (1.3+ jobs), Knab (400+ jobs), leaseweb (200+ jobs). 

Fintech takes the crown

According to the report, the top three sectors for tech jobs remain the same – Fintech, Travel, and Transportation. Fintech is the largest employer in the Amsterdam ecosystem comprising over 20 per cent of all startup jobs in the city. It has added 1,200 jobs since last year, says the report. 

In the recent past, other sectors, including Foodtech and Energy, are adding new jobs faster, reveals the report. For example, Just Eat Takeaway, Picnic, and Crisp have driven job growth in Amsterdam, creating the third largest amount of jobs per sector year to date.

Amsterdam startups in other sectors

Health and life science: In this sector, over 150+ startups create over 3,300 local jobs in Amsterdam, growing at 12 per cent annually since 2017, with a notable acceleration in sectors such as Biotechnology, Health platform, and Femtech. Example: UniQure, LUMICKS and VectorY

Smart mobility: This sector has 15+ startups, creating over 1,100 jobs in Amsterdam, growing at 31 per cent annually since 2017. Examples: Fastned, Dott and VanMoof

Sustainable fashion: According to the report, 10+ startups created over 300 jobs in Amsterdam, growing at 31 per cent annually since 2017. Example: Otrium. 

Sustainable building: 11+ sustainable building startups created over 200 jobs in Amsterdam, growing at 9 per cent annually since 2017. Example: GRESB, De Energiebespaarders and Hero Balance.

Energy transition: This sector comprises 41+ sustainable energy transition startups that create over 1,600 jobs in Amsterdam, growing at 13 per cent annually since 2017.

Agritech: The report shows that 19+ agritech startups create over 300 jobs in Amsterdam, growing at 14 per cent annually since 2017.

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