On March 9, VivaTech unveiled the “Top 100”, its list of the 100 most promising scaleups in Europe (including Israel). The list was created with leading investment and advisory firm GP Bullhound, in collaboration with five of the most renowned international investors who invest actively in Europe: Accel, Balderton, IdInvest, Partech and NorthZone. Together, we unveiled the high-potential companies that have a legitimate prospect of becoming unicorns in the near future, with a valuation of €1 billion or more.
Despite the current context and the challenges that have consequently arisen since March, we believe that this remains an opportunity for VivaTech to renew its commitment to startups in these difficult times. These companies, like many others, have been severely impacted but more than others, they need to be able to continue to raise funds, recruit talents and win over clients to be able to pursue their growth. As Julie Ranty, VivaTech’s Managing Director, put it: " The key challenges that await them are access to financing rounds of several tens of millions of euros, access to talent, international development and the management of hypergrowth.”
With this in mind, we plan to enable you to discover this selection over the following weeks by providing you with some new perspectives: the scaleups of finance, marketing and communication, mobility, etc... This will be a unique opportunity to discover the companies that will be challenging large corporates thanks to their innovative solutions.
Moving forward, let us begin with a quick reminder of some of the first key insights!
Of the 19 countries represented:
➜ The top 3 countries are: the UK (31 scaleups), France (22 scaleups), Germany (16 scaleups) in line with the size of the ecosystems in these countries.
➜ The Nordic ecosystem (Norway, Sweden, Finland) represented by 10 scaleups, a testament to its leading position in Europe’s tech scene.
18 sectors are represented, including:
➜The "software/cloud" sector, which comes in first place. (22 companies out of 100)
➜The fintech sector is in second place (21 companies out of 100), followed by the advertising / communications sector (10 companies out of 100).
➜Only 13 women founders or board members of scaleups featured in the list, underlining the challenges facing female founders at start-up level.
When talking about the Top 100, we can’t forget or leave out the Next Unicorn Award (the NUA), which served as the basis of the Top 100. Created by VivaTech in 2019, the Next Unicorn Award is first and foremost an award designed to highlight the finest startups on the European continent. In a context where there are numerous awards for startups, the NUA differs in several ways: The majority of awards focus on young projects or those that are in the process of being created: seed and early stage startups. The NUA, however, focuses on more mature and established startups: the scaleups.
When it comes to scaleups, we generally think of the United States or China, where the vast majority of mega startups are born, become scaleups and subsequently, evolve into unicorns (€1bn in valuation). With the NUA, VivaTech is betting that Europe can be a fertile ground for startups and we aim to develop European champions.
While the future of the NUA as a physical award in 2020 is being worked on due to the current circumstances, one thing is sure: VivaTech will continue to support and recognize the startup community and help build a continent fit for champions. We look forward to welcoming you all in 2021 to recognize many more of these achievements and between now and then, remember to stay tuned for the rest of this series about the Top 100 scaleups in Europe.