September 6, 2021

Which are Europe’s top unicorns on Glassdoor?

How well did Europe’s unicorns rank on Glassdoor? We have the data.

Riddhi Kanetkar

4 min read

Adrien Cohen, cofounder and president at Tractable

Following a bumper year of VC investment into European startups, the continent’s unicorn herd has grown to record levels — with 72 new unicorns made in 2021 alone. 

But what do employees of these outlier companies think of their workplace? 

Sifted worked with Glassdoor to collect company and CEO ratings of 74 European unicorns, which are accurate as of August 20. The number of reviews per employer is varied and ranges between 10 to over 300. 

Who’s top of the class?

Topping the list is Tractable, which received 49 reviews, with a company rating of 5 and a CEO rating of 100%. The London-based insurtech raised a $60m Series D in June 2021, making it the first computer vision for financial services unicorn in the world. 


One employee raised the “opportunity to take on lots of responsibility and grow quickly in your role”, as well as having a “top-tier management team who really listen to the team and actively pivot their strategy and initiatives based on feedback” as a highlight. 

Payments fintech is another employee favourite; with 181 reviews, a 4.7 rating and a 99% CEO approval rating. It made history earlier this year as Europe’s largest unicorn following a hefty $450m Series C — which catapulted it to a staggering $15bn valuation. 

A people experience associate at the company said: “ really focuses on its values and takes good care of its employees. Wellbeing is important to the company and it has shown this through the way it’s managed things during the pandemic.”

Pleo, the fastest Danish company to reach unicorn valuation, has 55 reviews and enjoys a 100% CEO rating. 

B2B fintech Scalable Capital, SaaS banking engine Mambu, AI and machine learning startup Graphcore and ecommerce cloud company Mirakl also banked 100% CEO approval ratings. 

In the lower ranks

It’s not all fun and games in the unicorn stable, however. From the full list, 32 companies — a little under half the total amount — raked in a company rating of less than four out of five, and 11 companies had a CEO approval rating of less than 70%. 

Meero, an on-demand photography startup based in Paris, has a company rating of 3.2 and a CEO rating of 48%, based on 249 reviews. It’s also not new to controversy, having previously been featured on the Instagram account @balancetastartup, a platform that brings more accountability to the startup world and allows struggling employees to speak out. 

The organisation is a complete mess.

Balance highlighted instances of nepotism in the company, with concerns of employees being paid less than minimum wage — as well as alleged contract breaches during its restructuring process in 2018. This is in line with many of the reviews on Glassdoor, with one employee claiming that “the organisation is a complete mess”, with “opaque communication” and managers having “a sense of elitism”. 

Another low-performing enterprise is N26, a German mobile bank. With 441 reviews, it ranked among the lowest in terms of CEO approval — a mere 42% — and a company rating of 3.3. 

In August 2020, Sifted reported on its employees voicing their discontent with N26 management, with particular grievances believed to be based on uneven salaries. The startup also endured a culture struggle that comes with companies scaling, which amounted to further tensions. 


Reviewers on Glassdoor pointed out that “leadership is basically non-existent”, with one claiming that “delusional decision-making shows how out of touch the founders really are.”

When asked for comment, N26 told Sifted: “The founders are deeply invested in the team at N26 and know that our employees are a central part of what makes us N26, and the foundation and engine of our success. They put a lot of effort, care and attention in creating a positive work environment, which is based on mutual respect and trust, and which is focused on the wellbeing of each individual working at N26.”

Fintech Revolut, which has previously been reported to have “pressure-cooking working conditions”, had a 3.5 company rating and 63% CEO approval rating from 607 reviews and declined to comment. 

Berlin-based insurtech wefox had among the lowest CEO approval ratings, at just 52% — and a company rating of 3.5, based on 94 ratings. Sifted previously noted that wefox had offered just one-third of its staff equity in the business, although it later increased its allowance to options worth €5k for all employees.