March 25, 2024

Which European startups have hit unicorn status in 2024?

2023 was a slow year on the new unicorn front in Europe — but things are looking up

Last year was a very quiet year for new unicorns in Europe — but things are looking a little brighter in 2024.

Just seven startups hit the golden $1bn valuation last year — the lowest figure since 2017 and a huge drop from the 47 the year before, according to Sifted data. 

As we approach the end of the first quarter of 2024, four European startups have become unicorns. And more could be on the way. 


After a slow year for later-stage funding in 2023, investors tell Sifted they’re seeing more attractive growth-stage funding opportunities in Europe in 2024.

For now, here are the European scaleups that have entered the unicorn stable so far in 2024. If there’s a company you think we’ve missed off the list, get in touch.

Europe’s 2024 unicorn stable

DataSnipper — Netherlands

DataSnipper is a platform that helps automate and speed up the auditing process for finance professionals. 

A €92m Series B led by Index Ventures last month saw its valuation tick over the $1bn mark. After being founded in 2017, DataSnipper raised its first round, an undisclosed sum, from Insight Partners in 2022. 

Pennylane — France

Pennylane is an accounting platform founded in 2020 that’s designed to improve workflows between enterprises and accountants. 

It hit unicorn valuation after raising a €40m Series C in February, in an all-equity round led by UK investor DST Global, with participation from US VC giant Sequoia Capital.

The Series C took the startup’s total funding to $169m, according to Dealroom, and will be used to finance acquisitions as the company looks to expand its technology and services portfolio. 

“What was at stake [with this Series C] was to have cash to do M&A,” says CEO Arthur Waller. “We have actors in front of us who have the money to acquire and we want to fight on equal terms. We want to be predators, not prey.” 

Bending Spoons — Italy

Bending Spoons has built a suite of mobile apps for content creators — including photo-editing apps, motion graphics and typography apps — and claims it has around 500m users worldwide.  It’s the owner of note taking app Evernote and social media platform for events Meetup.

The startup became a unicorn after raising $155m in February in a round led by Durable Capital Partners, which brought its valuation to $2.6bn. Existing investors Baillie Gifford, Cox Enterprises, NB Renaissance, NUO Capital and StarTIP were also involved in the round. 


Bending Spoons also counts Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds on its cap table, with the actor participating in a $340m megaround in September 2022.

Founded in 2013, Bending Spoons was bootstrapped for six years before first tapping investors for cash in 2019. It’s since raised $635m, according to Dealroom. 

Mews — Netherlands

Amsterdam-based Mews is a property management platform for hoteliers.

It raised a $110m round earlier this month to hit a valuation of $1.2bn. The round was led by Kinnevik, and featured participation from Revaia, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Notion Capital, and LGVP.

The full list of European unicorns

To be classed as a unicorn by Sifted, startups must have reached a $1bn valuation on any round prior to IPO or acquisition, been founded after 2005 and be both founded and headquartered in Europe. You can find the full list of all unicorns in Europe here

Note: This article originally stated that there were three new European unicorns in 2024. Four startups have actually hit a $1bn valuation so far this year.

Kai Nicol-Schwarz

Kai Nicol-Schwarz is a reporter at Sifted. He covers UK tech and healthtech, and can be found on X and LinkedIn