Launching the 2021 Venture Capital Investor Prominence Rank

We are currently putting together the ranking for 2022 to be launched at the end of April, in the meantime, check out the preliminary results, or see here for the final 2021 VC prominence ranking.

We’re excited to soft launch the fourth edition of our annual Venture Capital Investor Prominence rank. Every year Dealroom releases a quantitative ranking of Europe’s most prominent venture capital investors. It’s based primarily on the number of unicorns and future unicorns backed by investors and secondarily on the number of investment rounds in the last 12 months.

Give us your feedback on preliminary rankings

The final ranking will be published in early March. Today’s preliminary ranking are meant to give investors time to feed back about any missing data. With submissions to be sent using this data submission template to [email protected] by 15th February.

A practical ranking

The Dealroom database contains over 98,000 investors. That’s a daunting starting point for an everyday situation. Say you’re looking for VCs to back your startup, (co-)investors for a funding round, the best VCs to work for, or investors to invite to a panel. The prominence rank gives you a useful starting point. It’s not a ranking of investor returns; that said, there’s probably a high correlation between fund performance and this ranking. And LPs use the ranking as guidance too.

View VC ranking

Going global

In the past, the prominence rank has focussed on European Seed and Series A round investors. This year, Europe has been expanded to EMEA, and we’ve introducing a global ranking too. Venture capital is increasingly borderless, after all. This only relates to the location of the investments. Both rankings are agnostic about the location of the investor. The global ranking looks at both investments and investors globally. Meanwhile, the EMEA ranking continues to count only EMEA investments. 

*New* general ranking

Like last year, we have separate rankings for Seed and Series A investors. This year, however, we re-introduce a general ranking, which combines late-stage, Series A and Seed investors. In order to allow for meaningful comparison, we introduce a dilution factor.

Dilution factor

Investing in a unicorn at seed stage is much more impressive than investing at Series A stage, when its trajectory is already becoming more visible. The same applies to Series B/C vs. Series A. But how to quantify the difference? We looked at the median  round sizes as an indication of valuation – a Series A round is 5x the size of a Seed round. We are applying a factor of 3x, to be conservative. This means that 1 unicorn investment at Seed stage counts the same as 3 unicorn investments at Series A stage. 

The median Series B round is only 2.5x bigger than the series A round, but the Series C round is 5x bigger than Series A round. We again apply a factor of 3x between Series A and “late stage investors” (a mix of B, C, D+ rounds). 


If you think we’re missing some of your portfolio transactions that may affect your position in the prominence rank, now is your chance to get in touch. Let us know what we’ve missed, as we make final adjustments ahead of the official ranking launch in February.

Unicorn and Future Unicorn criteria

Unicorn: Companies founded since 1990 that has reached USD$1B valuation. Sometimes represented as €800M, which is a rounded version of USD$1B

Realized unicorn: A company that has successfully exited at USD$1B+ valuation. This also includes companies that have since dropped below the USD$1B mark after going public.

Future unicorn: Fast-growing companies with valuations between USD$250M – 1B. We include only companies that have raised investment in since 2015. Sometimes represented as €200 – 800M, which is a rounded version of USD$250M – 1B.