The 90 European digital startups that raised more than $20 million in 2015 🚀

FrenchTech, GermanTech and EnglishTech on top

  • 16 out of the 90 startups are French

Founded in 2006, the ride-sharing company BlaBlaCar has broken all records in France with its $200m fundraising round in September 2015. The Paris-based company allows riders to share the cost of their long distance trips with passengers. After announcing the massive investment, BlaBlaCar became a member of the very exclusive Unicorn Club with a $1.6bn valuation.

  • Germany gets 18 startups

Rocket internet invested a crazy $568m amount in Delivery Hero in February 2015 ($328m in equity, the rest being a secondary share purchase). The food delivery company is now valued $3.1bn and is part of Rocket Internet’s strategy to control the global online food delivery market: Delivery Hero and Foodpanda are the two leaders around the world…and they’re Rocket Internet backed.

  • UK remains on top with 25 startups

Unlike BlaBlaCar and Delivery Hero, the “fundraising of the year” in the UK is a B2B business. Founded in 2012, OneWeb is a a developer of a low-earth orbit communication satellite network: the final goal is to provide high-speed internet access worldwide by 2019 with a network of 648 satellites.

1/3 of these startups are e-commerce companies or online marketplaces

There are today marketplaces for almost every single vertical and these businesses are cash burners (online paid marketing). Although these Rocket Internet-like startups are not the most exciting regarding technological innovation, online is taking share from offline and they can be represent great investment opportunities for Venture Capitalists. 
40% of the European Unicorns are marketplaces or e-commerce startups: it’s a 100% in Germany with Delivery Hero & HelloFresh (online food delivery), Home24 (online furniture delivery), and Zalando (online fashion delivery), all backed by Rocket Internet.

Cloud-based software startups are getting more and more interest from VCs

¼ of the 90 European startups that raised more than $20 million are cloud-based software companies. FinancialForce, based in the UK, is the European software startup that raised the biggest amount in 2015. It is a Human Capital Management (HCM) solution on the cloud supporting the entire HR spectrum — HR system of tecord, recruiting, on-boarding, talent management, benefits, and time & attendance. 
Other HR softwares raised more than $20m: PeopleDoc (France), TalentSoft (France), Workable (Greece) and Jobandtalent (Spain). HRTech is a very promising sector as human capital is the top priority for most of the companies and my bet is that the coming years will see HR software startups / investments proliferate.

B2C or B2B?

Consumer oriented startups are highly appreciated in European countries: 80% of the European unicorns are consumer services companies. Therefore, many B2C startups are evolving in a winner-takes-all environment, multiplying the risk factor for venture capitalists. Consumers’ markets are much more competitive than enterprises’. 
Moreover, regarding exits, 60% were B2B companies in Europe and tech startups operating a B2B model were more successful than B2C-oriented startups…

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