Investors predict Europe's next unicorns at Tech Tour Growth

Tech Tour, with a selection panel of over 90 of the most active international VCs and growth funds, joined forces to vote for Europe’s next unicorns in health, sustainability, and digital tech. 
Investors predict Europe's next unicorns at Tech Tour Growth

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Tech Tour Growth50 event hosted by Tech Tour in Paris. These curated European events allow startups and scaleups to meet key industry professionals and foster potential partnerships and funding.

Tech Tour and over 90 of the most active international VCs and growth funds vote based on factors such as revenue growth, market potential, and funding raised. 

Here are the winners:

2023 growth award winners 

Digital: ICEYE (Finland)

ICEYE owns and operates the largest constellation of radar-imaging satellites, providing customers with reliable and frequent imagery. This enables the rapid detection and tracking of changes on the Earth’s surface, regardless of time of day or weather conditions. 

This capability is vital for government and commercial uses, including insurance, natural catastrophe response and recovery, national security, defence, humanitarian relief and climate change monitoring.

ICEYE has raised $313.3 million in funding over ten rounds. It most recently raised was $136 million in February 2022 from a Series D round.

Health: Huma (UK) 

Healthcare company Huma has developed an evidence-based, patient-centred platform for remote patient monitoring that improves connected care delivery to patients and accelerates research and therapies. 

It offers enhanced decision-making tools for clinicians, such as treatment and diagnostic recommendations for serious conditions and advanced triage alerts. 

The platform also supports decentralised and hybrid clinical trials that get effective treatments to patients faster.

In March this year, the company became the only company in the world to receive EU MDR 2017/745 Class IIb certification for a disease agnostic Software as a Medical Device. This makes Huma’s technology the highest classified configurable disease-agnostic platform in the sector today.

Huma has raised $217 million in funding over ten rounds. It most recently raised £25 million from a Corporate Round in March 2022.

Sustainability: Refurbed (Austria)

Refurbed is addressing the significant environmental impact of e-waste in the electronics industry, developing a resale platform to put more usable tech back out into the market. 

Since launching in 2017, it’s saved 170 tonnes of electronic devices from untimely death, resulting in a cumulative reduction in CO2 impacts by 31,000 tonnes.

Over 800,000 products have been traded hands via the platform, with the company planting one tree in Haiti, Madagascar, Kenya, Indonesia, Mozambique, or Nepal for every device sold.

Refurbed has raised $73.2 million in funding over four rounds, most recently raising $54 million Series B in August 2021. 

The European Investment Council drives deep tech innovations

The European Innovation Council (EIC) is pivotal to the event, playing a significant role in achieving the EU’s deep tech innovation ambitions. It comes with a budget of over EUR 10 billion under the EU Horizon Europe programme and a mission to identify, support and scale up deep tech innovation. 

The following three companies from the Growth50 list, which are also part of the EIC ScalingUp deep tech programme, received the honorary Investment Impact Award for having raised significant funding in the past 15 months despite the market conditions: 

PASQAL (France)

PASQAL is a leader in neutral atoms quantum computing. Its quantum computers control neutral atoms with optical tweezers, using laser light to manipulate quantum registers with up to a few hundred qubits.

Cofounders include Alain Aspect, who won a Nobel Prize for his work on quantum entanglement in 2022.

The company recently launched Quantum Discovery, the first neutral atoms quantum computing exploration platform for workplace teams. 

PASQAL has raised €127.5 million over seven rounds, most recently raising €100 million Series B in January 2023. 

SMART Photonics (The Netherlands)

SMART Photonics is an independent foundry for Indium Phosphide photonic integrated circuits, which provide small-scale integration and high performance combined with low energy consumption. 

Photonic integrated circuits enable a variety of next-generation communication and highly accurate sensor applications in telecoms, health care, smart mobility, and sustainable industrial processes.

The company has raised $78.2M million over six funding rounds.

IQM (Finland)

IQM builds on-premises quantum computers for supercomputing data centres and research labs, providing full access to its hardware. Industrial customers benefit from a unique application-specific, co-design approach.

The company has raised €233.8 million in funding over seven rounds. 

The Tech Tour Growth Europe event was co-organised by Tech Tour, EuroQuity-Bpifrance, BCG and Deepwave Ventures and is co-funded by the European Commission under the European Innovation Council (EIC) ScalingUp project.

Lead image: Placid place

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