According to a recent analysis from i5invest, an Austrian IT M&A international consulting and investment organization, European tech companies are pulling ahead in terms of new tech unicorns created.

In 2021, 85 new digital businesses with a capitalization of $1 billion or more were founded in Europe, bringing the total number of unicorns to 132 and achieving a unicorn pace of growth well over double that of the United States. Even so, more firms become unicorns in the US than in the EU.

North American money

The US growth rate from 2020 was 124% compared to the EU growth rate of 400%, which saw 17 new unicorns in 2020 and 85 in 2021. North America has four times as many startups valued at over $1 billion than Europe.

The same investing craze that saw Silicon Valley explode made its way across the pond and played a huge role in creating unicorns in the bloc. Close to 50% of investors in Europe’s unicorn cap tables are not from the EU, and 77% of those come from North America.

Out of the US investors pool, Accel had 19 European unicorns in its portfolio, Index Ventures (12), Tiger Global (10), TCV (9), and General Atlantic (9).

Fintech leads

Based on direct disclosures from funds and public resources, the 2022 European Soonicorn & Unicorn Report found that the UK is making headway, with 41 new unicorns added last year, accounting for 38% of Europe’s overall unicorn valuation. Germany came in second with 25, followed by France with 23, and Sweden and Austria with six apiece.

The fintech industry stood above the rest in terms of valuation in Europe in 2021, with Klarna from Sweden, Checkout.com and Revolut from the United Kingdom, Northvolt from Sweden, and Global Switch from the United Kingdom topping the list in that order.