OpenOcean, a prominent European software and deep technology Venture Capital (VC) firm, has revealed thirteen nascent unicorns, denoting companies with a valuation soaring beyond the illustrious $1 billion mark. This unveiling comes as a part of OpenOcean’s 2023 Automation Market Map, a comprehensive compass designed to illuminate the intricate terrain of the enterprise automation software realm.
European software and deep technology Venture Capital firm OpenOcean has revealed the emergence of thirteen new unicorns (companies with a valuation of $1Bn or more) with the release of its 2023 Automation Market Map. The map aims to enhance the understanding of the enterprise automation software sector with a curated collection of over 810 automation companies, each valued at over $100M, along with the most promising early-stage startups in this area.
Helsinki and London-based VC firm OpenOcean has updated its automation market map, adding over 100 companies from the year prior. The firm curates a collection of over 810 automation companies, each valued at over $100 million, but also includes a number of early-stage startups that they deem most promising, all with the aim of enhancing the understanding of the enterprise automation software sector.
For the past number of years, Ekaterina Almasque has dedicated herself to advocating for women in the venture capital industry. She is a co-founder of European Women in VC, an advocacy group she helped set up with a group of women who were equally frustrated with the blocks preventing talented women from breaking into the scene.
“Tech Nation 2.0 will be especially important for deep tech firms in fields like quantum technology. These companies have timelines measured in decades. They rely on targeted incentives and funding from the government to ensure continued progress is made. Furthermore, we need to establish the right procedures to guide visionary founders with innovative software concepts from initial whiteboard sketches all the way to becoming publicly listed companies in Piccadilly Square.”
Ekaterina Almasque, general partner at deep tech venture capital company OpenOcean said key players in the industry should have a seat at the table, but excluding prominent start-ups risks decisions being made without critical input from those at the frontlines. “To properly regulate AI in a way that fosters innovation, we need to make every effort to connect investors, startups, and policymakers,” she says. “This involves increasing R&D budgets, creating sovereign funds to support strategic initiatives, and attracting top talent into start-ups. However, we cannot adequately take these steps without the presence and perspective of the startups themselves.”
Right now, we’re entering an era of lean unicorns powered by AI and a modular approach to building a business. A recent Sifted article, featuring our GP Ekaterina Almasque, delved into this new, emerging age, shaped by rising interest rates and cautious VCs. As market conditions continue to stay uncertain, founders must use their resources wisely. New solutions are paving the way for leaner startups, with AI tools at the forefront. However, their use should be taken with a grain of salt.
In a recent article, the Financial Times reported a decline in funding for UK university spinouts, marking the first decrease in a decade. Ekaterina Almasque's letter highlighted the critical challenges faced by UK university spinouts.
The vibrant start-up ecosystem in the UK makes it a premier investment destination for global capital, fueling innovation and contributing to robust economic growth. Raising £24 billion ($29bn) in 2022, the UK tech sector leads Europe and ranks third globally. However, sustaining this success requires a clear R&D support strategy.