Europe will soon produce a $50bn tech startup "titan" like Facebook, Uber or Tesla, experts predict

Lynsey Barber
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Spotify is one of Europe's most highly valued startups (Source: Getty)

Europe is not far off creating a tech startup that's worth more than $50bn, taking on the might of Silicon Valley, experts predict.

Almost 60 technology companies on the continent are worth more than $1bn - a so-called unicorn valuation - 10 more than last year, according to investment bak GP Bullhound, while three are worth more than $10bn: Spotify, Zalando and Supercell.

But even greater things lay ahead, with shifting market conditions across the region hitting critical mass to create a "tech titan" on a par with Facebook or Ant Financial and the four other giants created in the US and China since 2000 - Uber, Tesla, Didi Chuxing and Baidu.

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“Ambition defines successful entrepreneurs. It sets apart the handful of pioneers that confront fundamental problems in the world’s largest industries and create innovations that transform business and society," said GP Bullhound managing director Manish Madhvani.

"While we have made great strides in recent times, our European tech leaders have on average received only one fifth of the capital raised by the titans such as Facebook, Tesla and Baidu. This report shows that Europe’s leading entrepreneurs now have the collective vision, ambition and execution capabilities to build titanic businesses.”

Tech startups in Europe have attracted greater amounts of funding in recent months, but have also scaled revenues and profitability at the same time, the report found.

Unicorns were found to generate revenues on average of $150m and a quarter are generating more than $1bn of sales. And 72 per cent are profitable, a rise on 60 per cent last year.

Sizable rounds of funding for the likes of shopping startup Farfetch and virtual reality firm Improbable this year mean the total value of the five most funded startups in the first six months is now $2.1bn In 2013, that figure stood at just $0.7bn.

Read more: Deliveroo's now worth more than $2bn as huge new investment round confirmed

Analysis of unicorn firms' valuations identified three that are on their way to becoming $50bn titans: music streaming service Spotify, ecommerce firm Zalando and takeaway service Delivery Hero.

Meanwhile, UK startups Darktrace and The Hut Group were among five startups which investors believe will reach a billion dollar valuation within the next two years.

It comes as Deliveroo became the latest UK startup to attract a huge new round of funding, with top US investors T Rowe Price and Fidelity among backers ploughing $385m into the food delivery firm.

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