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The Boom in Unicorn Startups isn't Going Anywhere

Audrius Milukas, Partner, Open Circle Capital

Audrius Milukas, Partner, Open Circle Capital

European tech companies raised more money in the first half of this year (€43.8 bn) than in the whole of last year (€38.5 bn), which means that we've already surpassed the all-time highs for the entire year. We have in total 762 unicorns across the globe, of which 111 are in Europe. Already, this year, we have 46 new unicorns on the continent, which is fascinating, and I believe this trend is going to continue.

Data Shows Continuing Growth

On average, so far this year, we get around one new unicorn per day. Around 90 unicorns during the period of the pandemic announced their IPO, and their total value stands at over $1 trillion. Yes, it is incredible, but even so, we could have expected and predicted it. 22% of US dollars were printed in 2020. The pandemic has also encouraged digitalisation and advancements in many sectors, including medtech, delivery services, cybersecurity, so investors simply have more quality startups to invest in. All of these factors will continue heating up the market as new companies continue to emerge and investors have significant amounts of money to use.

More Fintech, Software and E-Commerce Unicorns

During the pandemic, most new unicorns remain to be from the fintech, software, and e-commerce fields, and that’s where Lithuania shines. Our country is especially strong in fintech. Findexable ranked Lithuania as the 10th country in the world for fintech. At the moment, we host over 230 such companies, and the numbers continue to increase because Lithuania is one of the first countries in the world to use IMF’s and World Bank’s guiding principles for fintech regulation, and we also have a huge talent pool of IT specialists.

That’s also why we have successful fintech such as TransferGo, SME Finance, Ondato, or our portfolio company Paysolut, which was acquired by one of the largest fintech start-ups in the USA, SumUp. Meanwhile, in the e-commerce and software sectors, we have our largest start-ups, such as our unicorn Vinted, Tesonet, with over 1500 employees, or vastly growing businesses, such as digital marketing analytics and reporting startup Whatagraph, or video ad tech company Billo.

I am convinced that the coming years will also be favourable for advanced start-ups and new unicorns, and records will definitely be broken across Europe, including Lithuania.

A major breakthrough can also be seen in AI. One-third of our portfolio startups are developing different AI technologies: Pixevia is creating AmazonGo-like grocery stores, Eddy Travels – AI assistant for travel, meanwhile, Perfection.AI is trying to revolutionize the game and animation developer industry.

Over 50 Advanced Startups in Lithuania

The era of unicorns will undoubtedly continue. I am convinced that the coming years will also be favourable for advanced start-ups and new unicorns, and records will definitely be broken across Europe, including Lithuania. The country currently has more than 1,000 start-ups, and this number has doubled within the past three years.

We can consider more than 50 start-ups in Lithuania as advanced, and those companies have real opportunities to become unicorns. We already have a very successful unicorn, Vinted, which is valued at $4.5 bn and might be close to exiting, and a few other start-ups such as Trafi or TransferGo might be getting closer to unicorn status. We also have smaller companies that are growing very fast: Interactio, Ziticity, Billo, Whatagraph, CGTrader, Eneba and more. There is certainly no shortage of potential success stories in our region, and there will be more in the future. Trust me, unicorns are here to stay, and soon you’re going to see the name of Lithuania a lot more often.

See Also:Top Marketing Attribution Solution Companies

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