Europe’s ‘soonicorns’: Who will be next to reach a €1B valuation?

In 2022, Europe recorded its second-biggest year for newly minted unicorns, but the continued slowdown could dampen creation.

A total of 46 European and Israeli companies crossed the €1 billion threshold last year, according to data from PitchBook. Companies including payment network provider Satispay and edtech specialist Multiverse were among those to join the continent’s unicorn herd.

Investors expect conditions to remain difficult for the foreseeable future as the challenges that arose last year, such as rising interest rates and inflation, will continue into 2023. And as valuations become more realistic, fewer companies are likely to take the plunge. billion euros than in recent years.

That said, VCs are still sitting on a mountain of dry powder and will continue to place big bets on startups they see as future winners.

We’ve compiled a short list of some of the VC-backed companies that are currently valued at over €500m and could be the next to join the ranks of the €1bn+ European and Israeli startups. euros.

Be real

Latest post-money valuation: €610.6m (2022)

Billions of people around the world already use social media daily, and the market is expected to grow to $777.64 billion by 2026, according to The Business Research Company. One startup looking to share in this growth is Paris-based BeReal.

Described by Forbes in December as “the social media app of the year”, BeReal’s selling point is authenticity. The app only allows users to post photos once a day and without filters. Although overshadowed by the likes of Instagram, the company is growing rapidly and has gained 73.5 million monthly active users and 20 million daily users since its launch in 2020.

BeReal’s latest funding round pushed its valuation to over €600m. Its backers include Andreessen Horowitz, Accel and DST Global.

Clean carbon

Latest post-money valuation: €537.2m (2022)

Investor appetite for climate tech startups has intensified over the past year, and the sector has been one of the few to see record funding levels – €5.3 billion in 2022 compared to 5 .2 billion euros in 2021, according to data from PitchBook.

Most venture capitalists are anticipating another strong year for deals as the popularity of the sector grows. One area of ​​interest is carbon capture, which is the mission of UK-based Carbon Clean.

Founded in 2009, Carbon Clean’s technology is designed to capture, store and utilize carbon dioxide in a range of industries including steel and refineries. In May, the startup secured $150 million in a Series C round led by Chevron and backed by Samsung Ventures and Wave Equity Partners, among others.


Latest post-money valuation: €507.8m (2022)

HR technology has been a staple for venture capital investments. The industry has seen a surge during the pandemic that has spawned several new unicorns, such as Personio and Factorial.

Based in Paris, Malt offers a freelance consultancy platform that currently has over 360,000 freelancers and 40,000 clients. In 2021, the company raised €80 million in a funding round led by Goldman Sachs Growth Equity and Eurazeo.

Due to the recession, more and more companies are looking to save money by downsizing. This means that there is a growing need to outsource projects that can no longer be done in-house. Add to that the fact that more and more people are turning to freelancing to hold them over until their next job, and Malt could see benefits on both fronts.


Latest post-money valuation: €953m (2021)

Private equity allocations have increased in recent years and Berlin-based Moonfare is looking to democratize entry. The startup offers individual investors and advisors access to private equity funds for as low as $125.

Last year, the company doubled its AUM to more than 2 billion euros and registered more than 40,000 users. In late 2021, it secured a $125 million Series C led by Insight Partners.

With the current volatility in public markets, Moonfare expects more investors to diversify their portfolios by putting money into private equity, which could boost the company’s numbers.


Latest post-money valuation: €678.7m (2021)

Fraud prevention is a top priority for most businesses as cyberattacks and scams continue to rise.

London-based Quantexa offers software that provides a contextual view of internal and external data, which can help address challenges related to financial crime, customer intelligence, credit risk and fraud.

The company recently raised $153 million in July 2021 in a round led by Warburg Pincus. Its clients are banks, insurers and government authorities.

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