European technology groups lose $400 billion in value after funding crisis

European know-how teams lose $400 billion in worth after funding disaster

Greater than $400 billion in market worth has been wiped from European tech firms because the peak of the increase in 2021, when enterprise capital offers hit a wall in late summer season.

The continent’s start-ups benefited from a funding frenzy in 2021, which led to the creation of greater than 100 “unicorns” – tech start-ups value greater than $1 billion.

That quantity has fallen to 31 thus far this 12 months, in line with a report by London-based enterprise capital agency Atomico, the bottom stage since 2017, excluding the coronavirus pandemic 12 months of 2020. Greater than 14,000 European tech staff have been laid off, Atomico estimates.

The pattern is a mirrored image of traders’ issues about excessive inflation, rising rates of interest and the struggle in Ukraine. The funding disaster represents the primary actual take a look at of the European tech scene since a brand new era of homegrown firms, led by the likes of Spotify, Revolut and King, turned worldwide successes.

“Our view is that the difficult macro will persist” properly into 2023, mentioned Tom Wehmeier, accomplice and head of analysis at Atomico. “There is no such thing as a going again, at the least for a really very long time, to the situations we noticed on the finish of 2021.”

Since its inception in 2015, Atomico’s annual State of European Tech report has charted – and inspired – the emergence and development of start-ups in London, Paris, Berlin and Stockholm, because the area lastly appeared to bridge a decades-long funding hole with Silicon Valley.

The $85 billion invested in European tech this 12 months will nonetheless be greater than double that in 2019 or 2020, Atomico estimates, though the second half of 2022 noticed a pointy decline with solely 37 funding rounds value greater than $100 million, in contrast with 133 within the first half.

Separate analysis printed final month by one other enterprise agency, Accel, primarily based on evaluation by Dealroom, discovered that greater than 200 VC-backed unicorns in Europe have spawned greater than 1,000 start-ups, due to what they name “founder factories” that t .ex. Supply Hero, Criteo and Klarna.

Even VC veterans are struggling to make sense of the startup funding second amid macroeconomic and geopolitical upheavals.

“I have been on this recreation for 20 years and it is exceptionally troublesome to learn the tea leaves for the time being,” mentioned Nic Brisbourne, managing accomplice at London-based Ahead Companions, which has a £95m portfolio of early-stage know-how enterprise. “I really feel an actual insecurity that if I put cash in now, is that firm going to have the ability to elevate cash once more within the subsequent 12-18 months?”

After a strong start to 2022, deals stalled in late summer.  The capital invested in European technology decreased by 18% compared to last year

Buyers say confidence, not capital, is the issue. Atomico estimates that there’s nonetheless about $80 billion value of “dry powder” in Europe: enterprise capital funding raised throughout the increase that is still untapped by traders.

Cautious traders might maintain out for years. At a current occasion in London hosted by Accel for fintech start-ups and traders, Eric Boyle, accomplice at know-how advisor Qatalyst Companions, mentioned he anticipated the downturn in enterprise to final for some time, particularly with the general public markets successfully are closed to new listings. After 86 IPOs valued at greater than $1 billion within the US and Europe final 12 months, there have been simply three this 12 months.

“We have already had just a few folks asking us when the IPO window is opening once more,” Boyle mentioned. “We do not even give it some thought. The reply just isn’t quickly.”

Until they want capital urgently, most start-ups keep away from funding actions, particularly after so many raised final 12 months. For a fintech start-up, a elevate now might imply accepting a valuation a number of of as much as 10 instances their subsequent 12 months’ earnings, whereas traders paid 40-50 instances final 12 months, Boyle steered.

This 12 months’s slowdown additionally displays that the frenetic tempo of enterprise final 12 months drew out many investments that might usually have taken place over the course of some years.

“Usually we fund a fantastic entrepreneur with a fantastic thought,” says Harry Nelis, accomplice at Accel in London. “A number of months in the past, many nice entrepreneurs have been funded who nonetheless did not have a good suggestion.”

The enlargement of US tech traders similar to Sequoia, Lightspeed and Normal Catalyst into Europe lately solely accentuated this “concern of lacking out” amongst native VC corporations, whilst they hailed it as a validation of the area’s technological maturity.

Some US corporations are pulling again once more, significantly so-called “crossover” funds similar to Tiger International and Perception Companions, out of concern {that a} recession might last more in Europe than within the US. The variety of US traders concerned in offers of greater than $100 million in Europe has fallen 22 % to 122 thus far this 12 months, after leaping from 48 in 2020 to 157 in 2021.

Regardless of the turmoil, some start-up offers are nonetheless being made, primarily in quieter corners of enterprise software program as an alternative of high-profile crypto or e-commerce ventures.

Paris-based Pigment, which makes enterprise planning software program, raised $65 million in September. “It is good market situations for us,” says Eléonore Crespo, Pigment’s co-founder. “Our purpose is to assist companies navigate uncertainty.”

However after a interval of sturdy development, Europe’s tech entrepreneurs are dealing with extra skeptical traders and difficult instances.

“The final two years have been actually an anomaly,” mentioned Jan Hammer, accomplice at Index Ventures, one among Europe’s largest enterprise corporations, which raised a brand new $300 million seed fund final month. “The market acquired carried away.”

Further reporting by Ian Johnston

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