SEP MONITOR Jul 2015: From Unicorns to Reality. A Five-Country Comparison of European ICT Scaleups.

 

The problem we have in Europe is, as indicated in the Startup Manifesto, that “Continental Europe currently does not create new business destined for growth as well as other parts of the world, Silicon Valley in particular”. High Tech giants do not live in Europe and, even when born here, they grow elsewhere.

Despite that, in the last few years, vital startup ecosystems have been growing in almost every European country. Europe today is a definitively better place to be for startups, also compared with just a few years ago.

But the number of scaleups, i.e., startups that have been able to break the “early-stage barrier” and are a candidate to become large global companies and real job creators, remain limited.

This current SEP Monitor presents evidence about ICT scaleups from five ecosystems (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom).

Rather than looking for the “Unicorns” (i.e., private companies with more than one billion dollar valuation), we analyzed the “Scaleups” and “Scalers”, i.e., startups able to respectively raise over $1 and $100 million. Quantity over valuation.

The good news is that we identified approximately 1,000 scaleups and 40 scalers in these five countries only (we haven’t yet mapped the Nordics and the Eastern Europe that are pretty active regions). And almost 400 exits in the last five year period for the same geographies.

Ultimately a valuable starting point.

Now it is time to scale-up.

Alberto Onetti
Chairman, Mind the Bridge Foundation Coordinator, Startup Europe Partnership