The Tech Tour Growth 50 2017

1. All figures are in USD millions

2. Source: Tech Tour, Crunchbase, Pitch Book, Silverpeak, Go4Venture

What is the Tech Tour Growth 50?

For the third year running, through a combination of quantitative research and a qualitative selection process the Tech Tour, in conjunction with the International Venture Club and Silverpeak Technology Investment Banking, has identified a list of 50 of Europe’s fastest growing pre-exit investor backed companies.

The Tech Tour Growth 50 of 2017

The companies listed below deserve particular recognition as they made the list for the second year in succession.

Actility, Alfresco, Algomi, AlienVault, B2x, Babbel, Calastone, Cedexis, Crocus, Currency Cloud, Darktrace, Deliveroo, Elastic Search, E-Leather, Feedzai, Fenergo, Improbable, Kreditech, NewVoiceMedia, NexThink, Nfon, Nutmeg, Outfittery, Scytl, Secret Escapes, Sigfox, Soundcloud, WeTransfer, WorldRemit

This year’s Tech Tour Award winners will also be selected from the Tech Tour Growth 50. Last year’s winners can be seen here. This year’s winners will be announced at the Tech Tour Growth Forum on March 30th

Why has the Tech Tour created the Tech Tour Growth 50?

European entrepreneurs, together with their venture capital backers, have long built great companies. It is of course only natural that our attention is grabbed by the companies that make the big "exit". Sometimes it’s a public market listing, sometimes a well-publicized sale to a much larger company or simply because they have achieved the iconic "Unicorn" status. These success stories are undeniably important, however, they are just the tip of the iceberg.

Through the Tech Tour Growth 50 we put the spotlight on the rest of the European innovation portfolio - or to put it another way - identify the next set of European companies with the chance to make "unicorn" status.

The full analysis of The Tech Tour Growth 50 can seen on this presentation here.

The European Eco-System is deepening – Success Breeds Success

Successful entrepreneurs in the US have long gone on to invest in promising start ups either as super angels or through VC firms they have founded. With some notable exceptions such as Hermann Hauser (Acorn Computers, ARM Holdings) who went on to found European VC firm Amadeus Capital, Europe hasn’t been as strong. This is clearly changing and the "Soonicorns" of the Tech Tour Growth 50 have some great examples, not just of entrepreneurs turned angels, but of real tech dynasties being born.

A good case is the influence of Skype: Atomico Venture Capital, founded by Skype’s Niklas Zennström backs three TTG50 Companies (LendInvest, Truecaller, Uniplaces), co-founder Janus Friis was an early backer of TTG50 Vivinio and Skype’s first employee Taavet Hinrikus (founder of Transferwise – a TTG50 company in 2015 that has now achieved unicorn status) backing TTG50 company Improbable.

Another European Unicorn founder, Autonomy’s Mike Lynch, through Invoke Capital, backs Sophia Genetics and Darktrace while Zoopla’s co-Founder Alex Chesterman backs Secret Escapes and Uniplaces. Carphone Warehouse’s Charles Dunstone backs Nutmeg, LoveFilm’s William Reeve is invested in Secret Escapes (alongside Net-a-Porter alumni Murray Salmon) and Uniplaces while Wolfgang Heigl (founder of France’s Iliad) backs Devialet (alongside Vente Prive’s Jacques Antoine Granjon) and NexThink.

We also see individual investors from large corporate backgrounds now supporting Tech Tour Growth 50 companies such as Bernard Arnault (CEO LVMH) invested in Devialet, Arun Sarin, former CEO of Vodafone backing Truecaller and Thomas Glocer, Thompson Reuter’s former CEO backing Algomi.

When we include “super angels” with a silicon valley pedigree we see nearly half the Tech Tour Growth 50 companies of 2017 are backed by at least one individual that has helped build either a US or European unicorn.

The Tech Tour Growth 50 by the numbers:

Figures in parenthesis are for 2016

  • The median year of incorporation was 2008, the first company founded in 1999 and the most recent in 2013
  • Collectively the TTG50 have raised over $ 3.7 ($3.7) billion of venture funding
  • TTG50 companies have an estimated average valuation of $338 million ($280 million)
  • The TTG50 have over 2.9 million (2.5) followers on Twitter
  • There are 309 (277) investors currently backing the TTG50 companies – 67% (64%) from Europe, 28% (30% from the US)
  • A US investor backs 52% of companies
  • The average time from company foundation to first funding round is 2 years 8 months (1 year and 10 months)
  • The average time from first funding round to most recent funding round is 4 years and 4 months (4 years and 2 months)
  • The mean number of funding rounds is 4 (4)
  • The average size of the first funding round is $5.7 million
  • The average size of the most recent funding round is $65.7 million

How did we get to the Tech Tour Group 50?

The Tech Tour using its own database, publically available data, proprietary insight from Silverpeak and the Go4Venture platform generated a long-list of 281 European companies that potentially met three of the four criteria below:

  • >€10mn in revenue
  • >€20mn in total funding
  • >€100mn valuation <€1billion valuation
  • >min revenue growth pa on average over the last 3 years (Dec 31st 2012 to Dec 31st 2015)
    • 80% for companies with €10-30mn in revenues
    • 50% for companies with €30-100mn in revenues

The selection committee then supplemented the list with their own insight.

Companies were asked, together with their investors, to qualify they met the financial criteria and supply supplementary/qualitative information covering:

  • Achievement: Capital efficiency, Growth in last 3 years, Business Plan execution, Market penetration, Barrier to competition / IP
  • Impact: Addressable market, Scalability / International expansion, Disruptive business model / value proposition
  • Momentum: Projected growth, Financial backing / future requirements, commercial partnerships, Management

Committee members each had up to 50 votes based on their own insight and additional information. The vote was based on the three pillars of Achievement, Impact and Momentum.

As this is a "meta" list covering a broad range of sectors and geographies, and no method is perfect, the Tech Tour Growth 50 companies are not ranked and are displayed in alphabetical order. Given the rigour of the process, and the quality of the selection committee, it is a significant enough achievement in itself to be a Tech Tour Growth 50 company.

The 2016 Selection Committee was convened to deliver insight across a broad range of sectors and European countries.