October 9, 2023

LocalGlobe tops list of most successful ‘unicorn backers’ in EMEA

LocalGlobe, Index and Accel are Europe's top unicorn investors, according to a new ranking from Dealroom

London-based VC LocalGlobe has topped a list of the most successful “unicorn backers” in Europe.

The ranking, published by data platform Dealroom, lends more weight to the earliest investments into companies that later become billion-dollar companies, or unicorns. It also takes into account the number of “future unicorns” (private companies valued at $250m-$1bn) in an investor’s portfolio.

Since 2021, Europe (and the US) have seen the number of startups reaching a billion-dollar valuation dramatically decrease — and many startups have also lost their unicorn status, including events tech startup Hopin and food delivery company Oda. 

1. LocalGlobe

Latest fund: LocalGlobe raised a $500m scaleup fund called Solar in June 2022 to back businesses from Series D all the way up to IPO. 


Focus: Solar stands alongside three other funds — LocalGlobe, which backs startups at pre-seed and seed; Latitude, which invests at Series B and C; and Basecamp, which invests in other VCs. This means that the London-based firm is able to back startups throughout their full lifecycle, from pre-seed to public listing. 

Number of investments in last 12 months: 29

Notable investments: Wise, TravelPerk, Monzo, Zego.

2. Index Ventures

Latest fund: Index’s second seed fund — a $300m fund called Index Origins II — was launched in November 2022. 

Focus: The San Francisco- and London-headquartered firm invests across continents out of three vehicles — the seed fund, a $900m venture fund and a $2bn growth fund. It is sector agnostic, even though Index has core investing themes such as fintech, gaming, marketplaces and enterprise software.

Number of investments in last 12 months: 13

Notable investments: Deliveroo, Revolut, Mistral AI, Wise, Adyen.

3. Accel 

Latest fund: $650m early-stage European fund, raised in 2021. 

Focus: Accel invests at Series A (and sometimes seed) into companies in all sectors across Europe. Alongside its early-stage fund, it also invests out of a $1.75bn global growth fund.

Number of investments in last 12 months: 18

Notable investments: Vinted, Pigment, Sorare, Celonis, Personio, Doctolib. 

Pawel Chudzinski CJia - Point Nine Capital
Point Nine founders Christoph Janz and Pawel Chudzinski

4. Point Nine 

Latest fund: Point Nine raised its sixth seed fund, of $180m, in 2022.

Focus: Berlin-based Point Nine focuses exclusively on early-stage B2B startups, primarily in Europe. 

Number of investments in last 12 months: 18

Notable investments: Revolut, Typeform, Delivery Hero. 

5. HV Capital 

Latest fund: HV closed its ninth fund, of €700m, in May this year.

Focus: Munich-based HV backs startups from seed to Series C, primarily in the DACH region. 

Number of investments in last 12 months: 33

Notable investments: Delivery Hero, Depop, Enpal, SumUp. 

6. Sequoia Capital 

Latest fund: The US firm announced a $195m seed fund — its fifth — last January, to invest in startups across the US and Europe. 

Focus: One of the best-known VCs in the world, Sequoia is a multi-stage generalist investor. It launched an accelerator programme for startups in Europe and in the US in 2020.

Number of investments in last 12 months: 14

Notable investments: Bolt, Graphcore, Ledgy, Getir.

7. Global Founders Capital 

Latest fund: The Berlin-HQed firm, which is the VC arm of startup factory Rocket Internet, has raised two funds since 2013. 

Focus: Global Founders Capital invests globally and is stage and sector agnostic, but is particularly active in fintech. The firm, however, made significant layoffs last year and Sifted understands that it is no longer active as an investor. 

Number of investments in last 12 months: 17

Notable investments: Personio, SumUp, Revolut, HelloFresh.

8. Insight Partners 

Latest fund: New York-HQed Insight raised a $20bn flagship fund, its 12th, in 2022.

Focus: Insight, which opened an office in London in 2016, is one of the most active US VCs in Europe. It’s a generalist fund.


Number of investments in last 12 months: 30

Notable investments: Vinted, Qonto, 

9. Bessemer Venture Partners 

Latest fund: San Francisco-HQed Bessemer closed $4.6bn across two funds — one for early-stage and one for growth investments — in 2022.

Focus: The firm invests in enterprise, consumer and healthtech startups.

Number of investments in last 12 months: 12

Notable investments: Zopa, DeepL, Sorare.

A landscape photo of Jean de La Rochebrochard at a restaurant in Paris
Jean de La Rochebrochard of Kima Ventures

10. Kima Ventures 

Latest fund: Kima was founded to invest the fortune of French billionaire Xavier Niel and describes itself as a business angel rather than a VC fund.  

Focus: The investor, which is run by Jean de La Rochebrochard, backs up to 100 startups a year with €150k tickets at all stages and in all sectors.

Number of investments in last 12 months: 50

Notable investments: Alan, PayFit, Front, Sorare, Ledger. 

11. Balderton 

Latest fund: London-based Balderton closed a $600m early-stage fund in 2021.

Focus: Historically one of Europe’s most prolific Series A investors, Balderton has transitioned to a multistage strategy with investments in seed as well as later stages. It's a generalist VC investing in a range of verticals including fintech, health, enterprise software, mobility, cybersecurity, entertainment and food.

Number of investments in last 12 months: 25

Notable investments: Revolut, Contentful, Darktrace, Wayve, GoCardless, Omio, Cleo. 

Reshma Sohoni, cofounder and managing partner at Seedcamp

12. Seedcamp 

Latest fund: A $180m seed fund, its sixth, raised in May this year.

Focus: London-based Seedcamp invests across Europe, at pre-seed and seed.

Number of investments in last 12 months: 44

Notable investments: Curve, Pleo, Wise, UiPath, Revolut. 

Read more: Seedcamp's managing partner Reshma Sohoni on the Sifted Podcast.

13. Cherry Ventures

Latest fund: A €300m seed fund, raised in 2022.

Focus: Berlin-based Cherry is sector agnostic. 

Number of investments in last 12 months: 24

Notable investments: Flink, Forto, TourRadar. 

14. Creandum 

Latest fund: The Swedish VC closed a $500m seed and Series A fund in 2022.

Focus: A multi-stage investor.

Number of investments in last 12 months: 17

Notable investments: Bolt, Klarna, Pleo, Tide, Factorial, Kry. 

15. Speedinvest

Latest fund: Austria-HQed Speedinvest closed €500m across two funds — one for pre-seed and seed companies and one for follow-on investments — in 2022.

Focus: Speedinvest now has dedicated vertical teams in deeptech, fintech, health, marketplaces and consumer, industrial tech and SaaS. 

Number of investments in last 12 months: 53

Notable investments: Bitpanda, wefox, Curve, GoStudent, Pleo. 

A note on the methodology: Dealroom’s greater weighting for earlier stage investments into unicorns and “future unicorns” works like this:

  • Seed-stage investments were given a factor of 100
  • Series A/early VC investments were given a factor of 30
  • Series B investments were given a factor of 10
  • When the investment stage was unknown they were given a factor of 10

To get the final number, Dealroom “adds your unicorn score with a factor of 100,000, your future unicorn score with a factor of 10,000, and finally, the number of investment rounds carried out in the last 12 months”.

More information on the research can be found here.