Venture capitalists invested more money than ever into start-ups last year

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  • Despite the pandemic, the number of so-called “unicorns” continued to grow at a clip last year, with some 133 start-ups in the San Francisco Bay Area valuing them at more than $1 billion.
  • The growth in the number of unicorns was greeted by the number of MegaRounds — start-up funding rounds of over $100 million.
  • Venture capitalists invested $328.8 billion in US start-ups and $61.8 billion in Chinese start-ups in 2021, while they invested only $39.8 billion in UK start-ups.

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Venture capitalists invested more than $675 billion in start-ups worldwide in 2021, doubling the previous all-time high of 2020, according to data published Thursday by VC analysis firm Dealroom and British promo agency London & Partners. gives.

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Despite the pandemic, the number of so-called “unicorns” continued to grow at a clip last year, with some 133 start-ups in the San Francisco Bay Area valuing them at more than $1 billion, followed by 69 in New York. 21 in Greater Boston, 20 in London, 16 in Bangalore and 15 in Berlin.

The growth in the number of unicorns was greeted by the number of MegaRounds — start-up funding rounds of over $100 million.

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These increased dramatically in some cities, with London seeing a 3.4-fold increase. According to Dealroom, there were 64 of these megagrounds in London alone last year, up from 19 in 2020. Fintech app Revolut raised $800 million in a Series E round, while rival Monzo raised more than $600 million in two deals. Elsewhere, online events platform Hoppin’ raised $850 million in two deals in 2021.

Overall, start-ups in the UK capital raised $25.5 billion from VCs last year, up from $11.2 billion in 2020, and now have 75 unicorns in London, including mobile banking app Starling Bank and insurtech start-up Marshmallow Are included.

London & Partners CEO Laura Citron said in a statement that London is now a truly mature global technology capital.

“We have large pools of later-stage funding, about two new unicorn companies every month, and massive funding rounds and exits,” she said. “This data shows that London is a great place not only for entrepreneurs to start businesses, but for them to grow on a global scale.”

VC firms in London raise $9.9 billion in new funding in 2021, It accounts for 35% of all European VC funds. Index Ventures, Balderton Capital and 83North all closed large new funds, while well-known US VC firms including Lightspeed and General Catalyst set up offices in the city.

Europe vs America and China

But London and the rest of Europe have yet to build a tech firm that can match the size of Alphabet, Apple, Amazon, Meta or Microsoft in the US, or Alibaba and Tencent in China.

Europe’s largest tech firm by market cap is chip manufacturing machine maker ASML, which is valued at more than $300 billion. Meanwhile, in the US, many companies are valued at more than $1 trillion and Apple briefly saw its market cap climb to more than $3 trillion earlier this month. Indeed, US and Asian tech giants have acquired many of Europe’s most promising companies, including artificial intelligence lab DeepMind and the chip designer arm.

Venture capitalists invested $328.8 billion in US start-ups and $61.8 billion in Chinese start-ups in 2021, while they only invested $39.8 billion. In UK startups. But VC investment in the UK and Europe is growing faster than in the US and China.

Several well-known London start-ups, including food delivery firm Deliveroo and cybersecurity start-up Darktrace, went public on the London Stock Exchange in 2021. However, he received a mixed response from investors and several of Europe’s biggest start-ups. Ups including Spotify still choose to list in New York.

Nazim Salur, co-founder and CEO of rapid grocery delivery app Getir, told Businesshala in December that Europe doesn’t treat tech companies as well as the US.

“Too much doubt [in Europe],” he said, it comes from investors and policymakers. Getir, which was recently valued at $7.5 billion, will be mostly listed in the US if it goes public. It’s about a new round, he said. is in talks with investors for private funding, which will be valued at more than $12 billion, according to Businesshala,

Salur said, while Europe has a “very strong economy overall” and is a powerful player in car manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, fashion and other industries, it is not as powerful as a start-up.

“There are many good start-ups. But when you look at the vast amount of Unicorn List, for example, about 800 companies, half are from the US and a third are from China. And the rest are all from the rest of the world. . Unfortunately, Europe is not represented as it should be.”

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