Europe has long stood in America’s shadows when it comes to basking in the tech spotlight, but that’s all quickly changing. Indeed, the European app economy is booming and already leading in many ways. From e-commerce in Germany to games in Finland, Europe is giving rise to some of the most impressive players for both Android and iOS.
An increasing share of the European workforce – including developers, marketers, and app distributors – is joining in on Europe’s mobile app revolution, propelling it to its elevated position today. The Progressive Policy Institute estimates that the European Union, plus Switzerland and Norway, accounted for 1.64 million app economy jobs as of January 2016 as compared to 1.66 million in the US. This is a clear sign of positive growth for European companies, who are taking advantage of the mobile apps revolution – and it means more choices for consumers and businesses who turn to mobile every day.
The strengthening of the European app economy combined with an open market means that startups need not launch immediately from the US. London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin top the list of European cities with the largest app economies. The Economist also reports that government officials consider the technology sector to be particularly important for the continent’s economic growth, which has led to the implementation of localised measures to boost the app economy.
Startups can also thrive when setting sights on acquisitions by bigger players or an IPO. In fact, acquisitions aren’t always rosy for fans of third-party apps. At the same time this proves that major companies are not untouchable and rely on startups to improve their products. Examples are Microsoft’s buyout of Wunderlist, or Sunrise Calendar.
Innovation is happening constantly, and the overall variety of apps available remains high. Thanks to platforms like Google Play and Apple’s app store, startups can scale quickly and reach billions of users over night. New apps have the potential to grow significantly and quickly in a rich European market.
In a short series of posts, we’ll highlight some of the best apps in Europe across several verticals – especially those that have exploded in popularity within the last several years. We feel there’s no better place to begin than with one of the most popular app categories in Europe: Productivity & Utility.
Let’s take a look at six zero-to-hero European apps that are making people’s hectic lives easier and proving that Europe deserves its fair share in the mobile spotlight.