The UK is home to the highest number of European unicorns, privately held startup companies valued at over $1 bln, with a total of 47 unicorn start-ups, according to MoneyTransfers.
Germany takes second spot with 30 firms, while France is in third slot with 28. Sweden (8) and the Netherlands (7) follow a distant fourth and fifth, respectively.
The UK’s prominence here is due to several factors, according to MoneyTransfers CEO Jonathan Merry.
“One reason is that the UK has a very strong start-up sector. This is thanks to London’s status as a global financial centre, as well as its strong tech sector. Different businesses have been able to tap into these advantages leading to some major successes.”
Merry added that the UK has a robust entrepreneurial culture. The country has a well-developed venture capital market, meaning ample start-up funding is available. Consequently, firms can achieve high valuations relatively quickly.
Europe’s top 10
MoneyTransfers’ analysis showed that the UK and Germany are clear front-runners regarding the top ten unicorns in Europe. They dominate the list with six and three unicorns, respectively.
Additionally, another survey by the UK’s Checkout.com tops the list with a roughly $40 bln valuation.
So, what’s behind this domination?
Merry explains that both countries have large economies and vibrant tech sectors. They also have a history of successful start-ups, with a lot of experience and funding available to help new companies get off the ground.
Another important factor is access to capital.
Both the UK and Germany have a lot of venture capitalists who are willing to invest in high-growth start-ups. This enables companies to grow quickly and reach a larger scale.
Finally, both countries have a robust infrastructure for start-ups. That includes good laws and regulations and a supportive ecosystem of incubators, accelerators, and mentors.
All of this helps entrepreneurs to succeed and grow their businesses.