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Why care about the Next Unicorn?

18 Jan 2022

Well, at Capgemini Ventures, we do care. And this is why we are thrilled to participate in the VivaTech Next Unicorn Awards as a member of the jury, along with major venture capital firms.

For the first time in history, European VC fundings exceed the $100 billion threshold in 2021. Even though the first quarter 2022 indicates the end of a fever valuation peak, the 86 unicorns leading this ecosystem are the future of our economy and pave the way for the newcomers. Their valuation stories are providing precious insights to understand technology and business trends. But what does it actually mean to be a unicorn and what does it tell us to reach  a $1 billion valuation?

The unprecedented amount of money raised by European scales-ups is steering the top verticals in this selection: Enterprise Saas is the main category represented, followed by Fintechs and Big Data & Analytics. This access to capital enables startups to boost R&D and expansion, core drivers of their success. In other words, granting them the financial resources to deliver upon their ambition, to pioneer sustainable innovation and transform the economy as a whole.

Talents too are attracted by the skyrocketing startup valuations. The average founding year of the selected scaleups is 2013 and yet, in less than ten years, 85% of them count more than 100 employees, with nine of them crossing the 500 headcount bar. Being able to constantly increase its talent pool is a key ingredient of the entrepreneurship magic formula.

In addition, VC players bring more than just capital, they bring their vision and network to support the startups’ journey. Because unicorns are addressing much bigger markets in an industrial play, the Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) collaboration framework is also a strategic lever. Those investment and partnership vehicles, such as Capgemini Ventures, grant them access to the corporate client segment at global level by building a joint go-to-market and helps them scale. We are proud to have already three unicorns in our portfolio: Copado, Alation and more recently Devo.

Following the money in innovation is also a powerful Market Intelligence driver. The VC/CVC industry plays a key role in backing overtime the most promising startups via a highly selective process. VCs unique outside-in perspective enables them to map emerging trends and guarantee the perfect blend of Tech, Talent and Capital that will make the champions of tomorrow. It is not by chance if Accel is a stakeholder into 10 of the scaleups nominated for this year’s Award, and the number one fund in number of European unicorns.

40% of the companies spotted by the VivaTech Next Unicorn Awards since their creation are now labelled as unicorns. So, who will be the Next Unicorn?