London is home to 14 billion-dollar valued tech firms, or unicorns.
It is the digital capital of Europe, a hub unrivalled in Stockholm, Berlin, Paris or Tel Aviv. But long-term growth doesn’t come from high profile valuations, but the next generation of emerging businesses.
In this year’s European Unicorn 2016 report, our analyst team has identified the emerging foals in Europe, the companies on the verge of that elusive billion-dollar valuation.
Whilst Britain dominates in terms of unicorns, other countries are fast gathering pace and crowding out our list of up and coming tech companies.
One quarter of these up and coming firms are based in the UK. Within this list there are some very exciting businesses that we are confident will define the technology sector in London during the years to come – businesses with the ambition and credentials to continue experiencing rapid growth and join the expanding list of London tech giants.
Deliveroo and Worldremit are two London-based firms that we believe will break the landmark barrier in the coming months or years.
In just four years since its foundation Deliveroo has experienced astronomical growth, expanding by 25 per cent month on month and is set to grow its revenue to £130m by the end of this year. The rapid growth of the technologically-driven delivery company puts it on course to reach a billion dollar valuation within the seven years that is the average we have found for consumer-facing unicorns. With four funding rounds raising almost $200m, this start-up is on an upwards trajectory.
Fintech high-flier Worldremit is a money transfer service that helps customers send money to their loved ones all over the world. Currently valued at $500m, Worldremit has displayed the fast-growth, ambition and credentials to join the unicorn club since its inception in 2010. This follows a trend of fintech firms reaching billion-dollar valuations in London such as Transferwise and Funding Circle.
London is admirably supported throughout the continent. Looking across the European technology landscape, these firms sit alongside The Hut Group, based in Cheshire, Check24, Kreditech and SoundCloud from Germany, iZettle, LeoVegas and truecaller from Sweden, France-based SigFox, Dutch Takeaway.com and TrustPilot from Denmark.
Whilst such diversity is good news for Europe as a whole, it should act as a reminder to London’s entrepreneurs that international investors may not always look to the capital as the home of the next canny digital investment.
For now, London remains the leading light in European tech, but we must not rest on our laurels. In Blippar, the most recent addition to the unicorn club, along with Deliveroo and Worldremit, we are seeing the next generation of London tech firms maturing and developing.
But other tech hubs, such as Stockholm, Berlin and Tel Aviv, are snapping at our heels. We need to back our tech future to help ensure that in London we can build the next tech giant to rival Silicon Valley.