The rise of the European decacorns

Europe has now produced 289 unicorns, companies valued at over a billion dollars. But as this breed of startup is no longer quite as rare on the continent as they once were, what’s happening at the next level up?

Europe has created 37 startups that have now reached decacorn status, or a $10 billion valuation, and they’re multiplying fast. The UK is third in the world for decacorn creation after the US (134) and China (36), with 15, but eight of these have come from the first 6.5 months of 2021 alone. Germany has produced seven decacorns in total, while Sweden has five. Add in the five in Israel and EMEA’s tally comes to 42, or 13% of all the region’s unicorns.

The decacorn funds

But who are the investors funding EMEA’s biggest tech companies? Well, Index Ventures‘ track record makes it easy to see why LPs have backed them to the tune of $2.9B in venture and growth equity capital announced today. Index have so far backed 10 EMEA decacorns (Wise, Revolut, Deliveroo, Just Eat, Farfetch, Elastic, Adyen, Supercell, Zendesk, and Ozon), more than any other investor. That means they’ve backed 21% of all EMEA decacorns, with first money provided for Revolut, Wise, Adyen and Deliveroo to boot.

Filtering out later-stage funds that may have joined the party when these startups had already gained proper traction or even unicorn status, there are 16 Series A funds that have backed at least two EMEA decacorn.

The next decacorn

As shown in our H1 report on startup cities in the entrepreneurial age, 2021 is crushing all records for global venture capital, but no mature ecosystem is growing as fast as Europe. There are 65 cities in Europe with at least one unicorn. The next decacorn could come from any of them.