Like it or not, startup ecosystems are partly defined by how many unicorns exist. In other words, by how many companies have hit the billion-dollar valuation mark. This term was first coined by Aileen Lee, founder of Cowboy Ventures. And it was used to lay emphasis on the rarity of such startups. The definition of a unicorn startup has remained unchanged since then. However, the number of unicorns have gone up – and Europe has now hit 60.
In 2020 so far, several new unicorns have been ‘born’ — including super-speedily growing events platform Hopin, meal kit company Gousto, communications platform MessageBird, fitness business Gymshark, payments fintech Mollie, messaging platform Infobip, online used car retailer Cazoo, rental kitchens company Karma Kitchen, cybersecurity startup Snyk and electric vehicle maker Arrival.
Others will leave: Europe has also seen several IPOs this year, including The Hut Group (although Covid has slowed things here) — and is likely to see many more in 2021.
To help you keep track of it all, Sifted’s team has compiled a list of Europe’s unicorns using data from European Startups and their own research. The list will be updated whenever a new company hits the billion-dollar valuation.
N.B. To make the list, companies must hit the following criteria: headquartered in Europe; founded in 2000 or later; private (not listed or acquired or spun out of a larger company).