This article is an update of a previous version published at the beginning of 2022 with information about the Unicorns and Centaurs that were part of the EIC portfolio at the time.
2022 continued to bring great rounds of follow-on investment for European companies. Europe is quickly catching up to North America when it comes to the number of unicorn companies, benefiting from an increasing investment interest. Healthcare sector is leading the way, as it also reflects the European Innovation Council’s portfolio, according to the 2022 Impact Report. When it comes to the EIC Accelerator’s portfolio, it now includes 112 “centaurs” (valuation over €100m) and 11 “unicorns” (valuation over € 1 billion). The total valuation of the EIC portfolio of companies is now around €40 billion.
Below, you can get to know who the current EIC-backed Unicorns are. These companies come from different markets, but they are mainly working on the ICT and Engineering sectors, as well as in Health.
Relex OY | Valuation: €5500 million | Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
RELEX Solutions helps retailers and consumer goods brands drive profitable growth across all sales and distribution channels by maximising customer satisfaction and minimising operative costs with their unified supply chain and retail planning platform. After closing a funding round on February 2022, the company has reached Unicorn status with a valuation of more than €5500 million.
Rimac Automobili | Valuation: €2200 million | Engineering and technology
Rimac, a Croatian company, designs, engineers and produces high-performance EV components and systems to help the automotive industry building great hybrid and electric vehicles. Their innovation consists in a unique electrical power source that works wherever there is a need to combine strong power surges for relatively short periods of time and lower average power consumption.
NEL HYDROGEN | Valuation: €2000 million | Energy
Nel is delivering optimal solutions to produce and distribute hydrogen from renewable energy. Their hydrogen solutions cover the entire value chain from hydrogen production technologies to hydrogen fuelling stations, enabling industries to transition to green hydrogen, and providing all fuel cell electric vehicles with the same fast fuelling and long range as fossil-fuelled vehicles.
Innovafeed | Valuation: €1000 million |Food
InnovaFeed’s insect protein is an alternative source of quality protein that addresses the fish feed challenge and supports the aquaculture sector’s growth. InnovaFeed has optimised the zootechnical model of Hermetia illucens (European endemic fly species) to achieve maximum productivity.
SWORD Health | Valuation: €2000 million | Health
SWORD Health is a healthtech company that provides virtual musculoskeletal (MSK) care services. They have recently closed a Series D funding round which landed them at a valuation of €1.6 billion, giving the company their current unicorn status. With this achievement, SWORD Health also became the EIC’s third Unicorn.
Verbit | Valuation: over €2000 million | Engineering and technology
The Verbit’s innovation consists in a suite of voice AI solutions, simple integrations and the largest professional captioner workforce in the world. Verbit’s technology offers highly accurate captioning and transcription for business. On June 2021, after closing a $157 million Seried D funding round, the company has reached Unicorn status.
Alphasense OY | Valuation: €1700 million | Engineering and technology
AlphaSense is the provider of a disruptive AI-based technology used by analysts and portfolio managers, including many of the world’s leading investment firms and banks. AlphaSense’s innovation provides a combination of cutting-edge language processing technologies yielding major time savings for knowledge professionals.
HAILO | Valuation: €1000 million | Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Hailo produces AI accelerators that enable AI on a variety of edge devices such as intelligent cameras, on-road and off-road vehicles, autonomous robots, and more. Their unique, patented silicon architecture enables efficient, high performance AI processing at a low power consumption, small size, and low cost. By making AI more efficient and affordable, Hailo’s solutions enable customers to bring the power of neural networks and AI to edge devices.
CELLINK (currently a BICO company)| Valuation: €3000 million | Health
CELLINK was the first EIC-funded company to achieve Unicorn status. With their release of the first universal bioink in 2016, the biotech company revolutionised the industry by taking the bioprinting technologies from the lab to the clinics. CELLINK is a pioneer of 3D cell cultivation systems in pharmaceutical research and drug development.
Bioarctic | Valuation: €2700 million | Health/Biotech
BioArctic is a biopharma company working in the development of new treatments to address the causes of disorders that affect the Central Nervous System. Through their intensive research, BioArctic was able to achieve ground-breaking discoveries regarding Alzheimer’s disease, leading to the development of new treatment strategies.
INFARM | Valuation: over €1000 million | Vertical farming
INFARM achieved their unicorn status due to their pioneering farming concept: the company is changing the concepts of how we can grow, consume and distribute food. Their goal is to contribute to a more sustainable production by using a vertical farming method that relies on data analysis to improve plants’ growth while reducing natural resources’ use. Recently, the company has decided to move its business outside Europe, potentially focusing on North America or Middle East, as detailed in an article by Sifted.
112 Centaurs make the list of EIC companies in 2022. In this list, we can find a wide variety of sectors and very different innovations, however there are three areas that stand out with their number of centaurs. Following the trend of the unicorns, we have Health, Digital and Green-focused companies ranking with the highest valuations. Below, you can find three infographics that show who are the Centaurs belonging to these three main sectors.
If you’d like to know more about EIC’s Unicorns and Centaurs and how the EIC is contributing to make the European innovation scene move forward, read the 2022 EIC Impact Report.
DISCLAIMER: This information is provided in the interest of knowledge sharing and should not be interpreted as the official view of the European Commission, or any other organisation.