Global venture capital is crushing all records in 2021

Global VC investment has reached an all-time high in 2021 having already smashed last year’s records with 2.3x year-on-year growth. 

Since the start of the year to date, more than €264B has been invested globally – up from €114B for the same period in 2020.

Report - Startup cities in the entrepreneurial age

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The total of all mega rounds – rounds in which investment exceeded $100M – in the first half of 2021 outstripped the total Seed-Series C investments throughout the whole of 2020. This higher number of venture capital investments in Series C funding and above demonstrates that companies globally and across sectors are maturing, profitable, developing new products and expanding into new markets.

Over the past six months, Europe has been the fastest growing region for VC investment attracting 49 billion; outperforming the USA, China and Asia. Europe is also leading the charge with the most unicorn cities, currently standing at 65. 

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It’s not just one country that’s driving the growth either. In the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, startups have raised more in the first six months of 2021, than in any other full year period. I.e they have all reached record annual investment levels, with half the year left to go. The same is true for Spain, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, Austria, and Norway.

Unicorn boom

There has been an explosion of billion-dollar tech firms. Since January, more than two unicorns have been born every day, and there are now 170 cities that are home to at least one business behemoth, 65 of which are in Europe.

The unicorn club
There are now 1,600 unicorns globally. The USA leads the way with more than half (853) and the USA’s nearest rival, China sits at 280. However, Europe is hot on China’s heels with 268. Within Europe, London continues to dominate as home to 71 unicorns, more than three times the number in Paris (21).

Megarounds are becoming every day news in Europe. In 2021 there have been 37 rounds of €250M+, compared to 12 mega+ rounds in Europe in the whole of 2020. In addition there have been a further 59 rounds with a ticket size of between €100M and €250M, vs 53 for full year 2020.

Startups creating jobs in East and West

Singapore has benefited tremendously from startups in recent months with the new energy and innovative ideas creating new career opportunities, and helping to make cities more liveable. From helping to embed tech into spaces, using autonomous robots to deliver food or shopping to making it easier for Singapore-based companies to hire Indonesia’s pool of young tech talents.

Trends are also showing the prosperity of the tech sector is rapidly spreading across the Middle East, Sub Saharan Africa and Latin America with an increased number of unicorns and venture capital invested in countries such as Turkey, Nigeria and Sao Paulo. 

Turkey has attracted 18 times more VC investment than the same time last year. Nigeria is the tech capital of Africa, with over $1.9bn invested since 2015 and the pandemic hasn’t slowed down investment with an additional $474m investment in 2021.

In West African, fintech is dominating as entrepreneurs look to encourage a cashless society with Nigerian fintech unicorns Opay and Interswitch and Ghana’s Chipper making it easier to send and pay bills online.

Report - Startup cities in the entrepreneurial age