It’s 2030, and Europe has joined the tech trillionaire club. Two European tech companies are now valued at over $1 trillion, joining a club that, back in 2020, consisted solely of US companies. Europe’s two trillionaire companies were founded with a focus on financial services and healthcare, but have steadily expanded their scope.

These tech companies have excelled both at crafting technology and at execution. The profits generated by their core business have been relentlessly reinvested into new products and services, as well as rapid expansion into new territories. Their leading ability to execute, consistent 60% gross margins and willingness to make big, but calculated bets of an audacity that established European tech companies would run away from, have delivered each a trillion dollar valuation in under a decade.

Both trillion-dollar companies, one headquartered in the UK and the other in the EU, have been lauded and supported by their respective governments. Spendtastic, the UK trillionaire, grew rapidly by offering new types of credit service to consumers in direct competition with traditional credit card companies. Risk assessments were based on a wide range of data points in addition to traditional measures such as employment and banking history. Daily step count, likelihood to exceed speed limits while driving and takeaway purchase behaviours were proven to be invaluable inputs which Spendtastic had the sole rights to. The company was particularly adept at identifying consumers with a propensity to repay late, along with a penalty payment.

In the latter half of the decade, Spendtastic became has world-leading at identifying and filtering out attempted inbound fraud. In 2030 it signed its one billionth subscriber to its machine-learning based anti-scam service, and claimed to have saved its customers a cumulative $100 trillion.

The other company, SuperSecurus is headquartered in continental Europe. It started off as a not-for-profit portal focused on balancing supply and demand of vaccines between every region in every EU state. This portal was subsequently awarded the contract to create a vaccine passport database and app used across the EU, which then expanded to most of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. It licensed vaccine status data to the growing proportion of companies that would only employ those with current vaccinations (by 2030, vaccines were able to cope with all forty Covid-19 variants of concern), and to the growing proportion of suppliers, from airlines to theme parks, that would only serve individuals that had the correct vaccinations.

Whilst this approach was initially divisive, it enabled companies and economies to continue trading without risk of lockdown. In the latter half of the decade, as Covid-19 mRNA vaccines became ever more personalised, the company pivoted its major focus to the offer of targeted gene-modification treatments and preventions, leveraging its vast, unique data set. These medications were used to address and suppress a growing range of major diseases, including multiple types of cancers, as well as, covertly, to extend expected lifetime. Subscriptions to SuperSecurus’ gene modifications were offered by the top employers as a perk to attract and retain staff. As of 2030, the most lucrative area the company was moving into was customised gene editing, which was being applied to target dementia.

The trillion-dollar valuations, and skyrocketing valuations of smaller European tech companies have been a boon for the region’s confidence, and been a just reward for bold but measured European entrepreneurship. However, there are distinct downsides. The dominance of the trillion dollar companies has further reset the balance of power between the private and public sector. It has also deepened the digital divide within countries and between countries. It has concentrated wealth among a few individuals. Last but not least, new startups have become wary of moving into in a new sector only for a tech giant to swallow the company or worse swoop into their space at the first signs of success.

The drivers and enablers of the Who Wants to be a Trillionaire scenario.

Frontier technologies

The trillion-dollar companies have become innovation hubs in their home countries. They have major R&D labs, and actively scour the market in Europe and outside the region for intellectual property to add to their arsenal. A common outcome for fast growing tech companies in Europe is to be bought out by these two titans, even if the acquired technology is ultimately never used. A growing proportion of tech R&D in universities throughout Europe is focused on anticipating the needs of the two tech giants.

Talent

The best tech talent among Europe’s universities is often tempted by the prestige and financial rewards and prestige offered by Spendtastic and SuperSecurus . This leads to a net drain of talent away from traditional players, incumbents and mid-market companies. Alumni from the two tech giants often create their own start-ups, sometimes with the intent of being bought out by their former employer.

Management Philosophy

Inspired by the trillionaire companies, more European tech companies stay founder led, rather than being replaced at the helm by professional managers, giving birth to an entrepreneurial culture similar to the US, but with European twists, such as subsidized e-Bikes. Business schools write a series of case studies on Europe’s trillion-dollar companies: almost every MBA student at the top schools also wants to be a trillionaire.

Availability of Capital

The level of capital is at historical levels, but not evenly spread. The two tech titans have access to seemingly unlimited cash reserves to fund their own research, invest to disrupt other industries, and pursue a very active M&A strategy at an average rate of one acquisition a week. Funds have entered the market to identify and invest in companies that the two tech giants may wish to purchase at some time.

Economic Environment

The trillion-dollar companies have generated significant economic activity in their home countries. They dominate national stock markets; their employees pay the highest income tax per person for a company of their size; they are major patrons of the arts and charities. Most political leaders publicly acclaim the tech titans but privately feel emasculated by the growing power and leverage that these two titans have particularly with regard to subsidies available.

Political Environment

The emergence of trillionaire companies was initially welcomed by most political parties. But as of 2030, not everyone is happy. The European countries that do not house the tech giants’ HQs and vast campuses are predominantly sales markets and thus are lesser beneficiaries. This imbalance causes friction between European states.

Global influences

The trillion dollar valuations of two European tech companies has reset perceptions of the region’s capability in the tech space. Europe is now regarded as a serious player, rather than just a nursery for talent, rather than a university.

This scenario is one of four fictionalised views of the future, each of which features made-up companies but with each narrative extrapolated from real trends, events and technologies.

Meet our European technology sector specialists

Core team

Dr. Andreas Gentner

TMT Industry Leader – DCE & Germany

Daan Witteveen

NSE Technology Sector Leader, Deloitte Netherlands

Ed Shedd

NSE TMT Industry Leader, Deloitte UK

Paul Lee

Global Head of Research - TMT, Deloitte UK

Selina Newstead

UK TMT Marketing Lead, Deloitte UK

Sophie Beerlage

Manager - Human Capital, Deloitte Netherlands

European team

Ariane Bucaille

TMT Industry Leader - France

Daryl Hanberry

TMT Industry Leader – Ireland

David Halstead

TMT Industry Leader - UK

David Osville

TMT Industry Leader - Luxembourg

Emmanuel Durou

TMT Industry Leader – Deloitte Middle East

Francesca Tagliapietra

TMT Leader – Deloitte Central Mediterranean

Jan Corstens

Technology Sector Leader - Belgium

Jeffry Keulaerds

Technology Sector Leader – The Netherlands

Metin Aslantas

TMT Industry Leader - Turkey

Nikola Suessl

TMT Industry Leader - Austria

Pedro Tavares

MT Industry Leader – Portugal, Head of Telecom Engineering Centre of Excellence

Slawomir Lubak

TMT Industry Leader - Central Europe