New data shows that the prices of some of Europe’s most successful private tech scaleups have fallen as much as half in the last 18 months — and some, like Sweden’s Kry, may have even lost their unicorn crown.
The data was compiled by Caplight Technologies, a startup that helps institutional investors trade on pre-IPO companies. Caplight also compiles public statements from certain US investment firms that are required to report the value of their holdings quarterly, which gives an indication of how they're currently valuing their stakes in tech businesses.
According to data on seven private European tech companies provided to Sifted, the company whose valuation had taken the biggest hit was, unsurprisingly, the buy now, pay later company Klarna. In July, it very publicly raised at an 85% discount on last year.
Bolt, the Estonian mobility giant, has also seen its share value marked down drastically by mutual funds. The price per Bolt share held by one Fidelity fund at the end of September was marked down 46% from its price in March. Given that Bolt last raised in January at a €7.4bn valuation, that would suggest a valuation now of more like €3.4bn.
The price per share of Kry in one Fidelity fund was down 59% from the end of June 2021 compared to the end of September this year. That would suggest that the Swedish healthtech is now worth less than $1bn. Another Fidelity fund had marked down the price per share of Kry 52% from June 30, 2021 to the end of July this year, which would mean Kry was likely still a unicorn.
In an email to Sifted, a spokesperson for Kry said valuations are based on conditions affecting the wider tech industry and that the company’s recent fundraise demonstrated investors' confidence in the company.
Mutual funds prepare these valuations based on information they can get from the companies they have invested in, or from speaking with brokers of secondary transactions in these companies (secondary transactions are when an existing investor in a company sells their shares to another investor).
It’s important to take the data with a pinch of salt — these are a few data points, and might not reflect the valuation a company could receive if it went out to fundraise again.
Some declines also reflect currency moves; the US dollar gained 8% against the Euro between January and December this year and 10.4% against the British pound.
German aircraft manufacturer Volocopter was marked down 5.4% between March and September by one BlackRock fund. A Volocopter spokesperson tells Sifted that this is likely down to currency moves; the company raised an additional €182m in November as part of its Series E round, which had valued the company at €1.7bn.
Despite the impact of foreign exchange rates, however, these figures do speak to the scale of the hit that private company valuations have taken amid a fall in tech stocks and a chill in funding.
Despite a few very large, publicised markdowns, there has been very little data to put a number on that scale so far.