VivaTech has released "Top 100 Scaleups," its annual list of the 100 most promising scaleups in Europe (including the UK and Israel). These are companies with high potential in the tech sector, having the attributes to reach unicorn status in the near future, which means attaining a valuation of $1 billion or more. This list was drawn up in partnership with investment bank GP Bullhound, with contributions from five of the world's most reputable investment funds: Accel, Balderton, IdInvest, Partech and NorthZone.

The list of scaleups is based on the following criteria:

- Growth and potential for growth

- Total funds raised

- Growth in number of employees

- Geographical distribution with regard to the selection process

- The ability to have a positive impact on society

The Next Unicorn Awards Ceremony will be held for the second time at VivaTech after a first edition in 2020. A prestigious jury, composed of investors, top unicorn founders, leading VivaTech corporate partners,and key ecosystem players, will judge the 100 scaleups and select winners by category. In 2019, the scaleups Vinted, OpenClassrooms, Olio, Payfit, Algolia and Snyk won the category prices, with  Vinted reaching the prestigious unicorn status since then. The initial ambition of the Next Unicorn Awards is to boost visibility and business opportunities for the most promising scaleups in Europe. Europe is taking on an important role in the creation of unicorns. The average valuation of the companies in the list in 2020 was €304m; this year that number increased by 24% to €377m.

Final of the Next Unicorn Awards at VivaTech 2019, with the winner OpenClassrooms

Julie Ranty, Managing Director of Viva Technology, said, "This Top 100 scaleups list demonstrates the extraordinary potential of the European ecosystem and its influence as a leading technology hub. The pandemic, which we have been living with for over a year now, has highlighted the importance of digital sectors and innovation in continuing to move forward past these obstacles, turning challenges into opportunities so we can evolve. The challenge now is to support these European digital champions and help them achieve success – helping them access larger rounds of financing, strengthen collaboration with corporates, recruit talent, develop an international presence, and create a positive impact on society."

Here are some interesting facts and key takeaways from the list of Top 100 Scaleups:

16 Countries

       - Top 3 countries: UK (24 scaleups), France (21 scaleups), Germany  (15 scaleups); these figures are in line with the relative size of the ecosystems in these  countries

       - The Nordic ecosystem (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark) with 21 scaleups is particularly strongly represented this year.

       - Average yearly employee growth is 29%. This statistic reinforces the strong position of Europe in the creation of future unicorns. 

Manish Madhvani, Managing Partner of GP Bullhound commented, "Entrepreneurs and investors can be proud to have created more than 112 European unicorns since 2000. As we go through one of the most difficult times in our history, the world realises how much we depend on technology and the ambition of visionaries to turn innovative ideas into reality. It is essential to support these leaders by  facilitating  their access to capital, talent and internationalisation for them to realize their ambitions and ensure their growth. With this list we see all the potential presented by the European ecosystem.”

The "Scaling Up" track is an important part of the VivaTech conference program, designed to celebrate the most promising scaleups and unicorns and highlight the success stories of prominent venture capitalists. In five two-hour episodes, this part of the VivaTech program will cover all aspects of scaling up: talent management, markets to watch, the art of scaling up, investments & funding trends, and the outlook for Europe. GP Bullhound, in partnership with Viva Technology, will publish the 2021 edition of its "Titans of Tech" report  to coincide with the event. For the eighth consecutive year, this report will analyze  the  growth  of the major European  technology companies and  highlight  several  key  players  in  its  ecosystem  with  the  potential to achieve  the  status of "Titan" –  a valuation of more than $50 billion. The Next Unicorn Awards ceremony will end this Scaling Up track on Friday June 18.

Top 100 Scaleups of 2021


Article by Bastien Carves

Startup Manager @VivaTech