There are three criteria starutps need to be considered for the report:
1) startups must have their HQ in Europe (incl. UK & Israel)
2) startups must have been founded between 2021 and 2022
3) the startups must have EITHER raised a lot of money in a short time AND/OR are making +2M in TTM (trailing 12 months).
In essence, Launch Mappers are hunting out recently founded European startups experiencing exponential growth. Unlike the two previous editions (2021 and 2022) which were clearly centred around startups related to macro-economic factors from covid on the one hand – and developments in blockchain and the metaverse on the other, such overt trends are less discernible in this 2023 report.
London: down but not out
In news that offers something of a riposte to the post-Brexit decline narrative, 5 of the selected 10 startups are Londoners. Coming joint-second to London are Berlin and Tel Aviv with 2 apiece. Amsterdam is the only other city to have a startup in the top ten, with 2022-founded Instant Commerce.
Given the weekly updates explaining how Britain’s economy will grow less than Russia this year, coupled with reports of failures to land major IPOs (Arm) and various startups leaving the country for the US (Sylvera, Hoxton Farms etc.), this is welcome news to a country supposedly on its knees. Admittedly, London (and the UK’s) ability to create such high-growth businesses is not necessarily the issue at stake – what it struggles with is supporting these companies on their upwards trajectory.
Nevertheless, this strong statement of intent from such recently founded businesses shows the pipeline is there should the UK manage to sort its issues. These include its lack of a supportive home investor base to underpin long-term growth aspirations: the UK is the only major economy where local pension funds have in effect abandoned investment in domestic companies. So-called ‘Big Bang 2.0’ – the shake-up of City regulations post Brexit – hopes to change this, but it’s unclear whether its ambitions will be realised.
The Future Unicorns
David Odier, founder of Launch Mappers, commented that these ten companies demonstrate the confirmation of three previously established visions, namely: better access to consumer products at a better price, supporting the e-commerce economy with tech and funding, and finally, optimising payments for consumers and businesses alike. It is the latter two of these three visions which the London-founded companies fit neatly into.
Payments seems to be the real focal point here: three of the five startups operate directly in this space, with two of them having a solely B2B offering. Otherwise – compensation and incident response are the industries where these future unicorns are making their mark.
Within payments, Super Payments is the most high profile of the lot, having raised the largest pre-seed funding round in Europe. The round totalled $30M, and Super is now estimated to be worth around $90M. What does Super do? Described by Launch Mappers as ‘almost utopian’ thanks to its abilities to resolve both the needs of businesses and consumers, it has a unique offering for both payment parties.
Super offers its customers the promise of cash back (as high as 15%) on purchases made through their app, spanning various categories like clothing, electronics, and flights. Super also partners with businesses to boost their sales, earning a commission from them, some of which is shared with the customer.
Super’s goal is to eliminate the need for payment processors, who often charge up to 5% in fees for each transaction, by connecting brands directly with their customers. Super offers its payment solution to businesses, which has no fees, and if a brand supports it, customers receive instant cash back. However, if the brand does not support Super as a payment option, or if the customer opts not to use it, there could be a waiting period of up to two weeks for the cash back.
Focus on: Ravio
Also exciting is Ravio, who are creating one of the first real-time compensation (both wages and benefits) benchmarking platforms. Set against the backdrop of an increasingly competitive and choppy labour market, a nuanced understanding of what exactly is needed to retain staff is undoubtedly a boon to companies looking to expand without slinging money into the abyss.
The recently launched compensation benchmarking tool enables companies to compare the wages and benefits they provide to their employees with market rates. The tool works by aggregating anonymised data from its employer clients, enabling them to offer more attractive compensation packages that may persuade top talent to join their organisation. The primary aim of the tool is to assist users in making informed decisions about the competitiveness of their current compensation structure.
The Launch Mappers’ report breaks down their rapid growth in the report. Notably, despite only launching last year they are already working with likes of Deliveroo, Plum Guide Flink and others. They have confirmed their core offering – the benchmarking plan – will remain free. In return for use, Ravio is able to anonymously collect the data which powers its database.