Dublin is the second most preferred location in Europe for US start-ups

26 May 2017

Silicon Docks in Dublin, where roughly 40,000 people work. Image: Tuzimek/Shutterstock

US start-ups are setting their sights on a Dublin HQ.

When it comes to establishing headquarters in Europe, London remains in the lead, but Dublin and Amsterdam are holding firm and attracting many US start-ups, as revealed by a new Index Ventures study.

London was the choice of 17 of the 31 Index-backed companies that the VC firm surveyed for the Expanding into Europe report. These included Flipboard, Hortonworks, Zuora and Zendesk.

‘If customer support is your priority, which often it is, start with Dublin’

Dublin came in second, attracting the headquarters of players such as Dropbox, Etsy, Slack and Squarespace.

What US start-ups want in Europe

The Irish capital city ranked number one alongside London for ‘ease of set-up’, for being comparable to the US and use of the English language.

For enterprise customers, London ranked first and Dublin third, and likewise when it came to availability of senior talent.

Dublin got top marks for salaries being more reasonable than London, but also cost. The report estimates that Dublin and Berlin are cheaper than London to operate in.

The UK capital was described as having the deepest pool of tech talent in all of Europe and being the most attractive relocation point for talent from the US.

Downsides to London, though, are high costs, salaries, office space and the recent Brexit-induced jitters.

“In spite of all of that, we remain bullish on London and believe its fundamental strengths will persist, and outlast any current uncertainties.”

Dublin has proven its worth as an attractive location for US start-ups.

“Four Index companies (Dropbox, Zendesk, Slack and Squarespace) chose Dublin, which has for 20 years been the choice of large US tech companies like Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce, with strong customer support and inside sales needs.

“It also has the lowest corporate taxes in Europe (12pc). So, if customer support is your priority, which often it is, start with Dublin.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years