Employees let loose in a playroom at the Spotify headquarters in Stockholm. Employees let loose in a playroom at the Spotify headquarters in Stockholm. Employees let loose in a playroom at the Spotify headquarters in Stockholm. (Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP/Getty Images)

Five countries beloved by venture capitalists

Mega-investment in Spotify helped put Sweden over the edge.

Everyday investors often look to America's hottest tech companies when picking stocks. Apple, Facebook, and Google are the usual suspects.

But venture capitalists often take a more global look, seeking the best startups from around the world worthy of their cash infusions. So which countries are drawing the most investment money?

A new report shows the European countries that attracted the most venture capital in the recently-completed second quarter of 2015. Sweden tops the list, thanks in part to a June infusion of $526 million by venture capitalists to Stockholm-based Spotify. The popular music-streaming service now has 75 million active users.

Coming in second place is Israel, which has burnished an image as a haven for startup tech companies traversing the landscape from medical innovations to iPhone apps. Rounding out the top five countries were the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

Powered by a large investment in Spotify, Sweden took the top spot in the second quarter of 2015.Powered by a large investment in Spotify, Sweden took the top spot in the second quarter of 2015. (Photo: Gil Dibner)

Gil Dibner, a London-based venture capitalist, compiled the report. "I wasn't happy with any of the current data sources, and the depth of the data they offered, especially on this side of the Atlantic," he told From The Grapevine. "So I started gathering my own data. I wanted to get the real data around what I saw on the ground – the incredible explosion of entrepreneurial talent all over Europe."

Dibner runs the largest AngelList syndicate based outside the United States, and is bullish on startups in his region. "The diversity of deal flow around Europe is amazing," he explained, referring to the rate at which he receives business proposals. "I'm not at all surprised to see Israel as such an important player on the scene, but it's impressive to see great startups being founded all over the continent. About half of my deal flow is Israeli, but half is from Western Europe – from Edinburgh to Belgrade and everywhere in between."

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