The tech boom in 2021 brought a tantalising opportunity for tech companies and their investors to list and cash out — and it ended up being a bumper year for IPOs.
But the majority of the companies that went public at the tech market's apex have failed to perform amid a global equity rout. As a result, there are at least five European tech companies now worth less than the money VC investors ploughed into them before they listed, according to Sifted analysis.
It’s a global trend. According to Pitchbook data, more than 140 US companies that listed since 2020 now have a market cap that’s less than the VC funding they received.
Opinions are mixed on whether the startups are underpriced now on the public market or the valuations VC investors gave them were too high.
Sifted compiled data from Dealroom and media reports. VC funding only includes equity funding.
Used car company Cazoo has seen the biggest difference between its current market cap — $74m — and the money it raised before it listed, £450m ($550m). The company’s share price has tanked over 99% since it listed in 2021.
Health tech company Babylon has also seen a sizeable difference between its current market cap — $156m — and the money it raised before it listed. It IPO'd in June 2021 at a $4.2bn valuation having raised $595m in VC cash, according to Dealroom. It’s now got a market cap of $157m.
Babylon’s founder Ali Parsa recently told Sifted he thought taking the company public was the biggest mistake he’s made.
There are a few companies hovering near the edge of the negative difference list. Deliveroo currently has a market cap of £1.53bn ($1.87bn), having raised $1.61bn in VC funding. Healthtech companies BenevolentAI and Exscientia also fall into this category.
Aside from listed companies, some European startups have lower private valuations than the funding they’ve received from investors. One example is UK fintech Atom Bank, which has raised £600m and its most recent valuation put the company at £460m.
There are others, like events startup Hopin, which has raised $1bn in total, and once reached a $7.75bn valuation — but which sources expect now holds a significantly lower valuation. Data platform Beauhurst estimates Hopin’s latest valuation is £661m.
Sifted has contacted all companies mentioned in this article for comment.