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.
By the numbers
According to OpenOcean's data, a notable increase in private investment in the space, with $13.5 billion raised in H1 2023 — a figure greater than the entirety of 2022 — has been driven largely by generative AI company OpenAI’s $10.3 billion funding round.
2022 saw a drop of $3.5 billion in IPO activity and over 35 percent in private equity/growth stage financing. Despite the decline, the enterprise automation sector minted 13 unicorns, although the only European company to achieve the title was Paris-based PayFit, an SME-focused payroll and HR management solution that shed 20 percent of its workforce earlier this year.
OpenOcean's key findings
Thirteen new unicorns emerged in the enterprise automation space in 2022.
Private capital investment in enterprise automation companies (over $13.4 billion) in 2022 was exceeded by H1 2023 (approximately $13.5 billion).
Five companies have raised over $100 million in the first six months of 2023.
ITOps is the highest-valued segment, with an average company valuation of approximately $4 billion.
Europe hosted 22 percent of all automation companies in 2023, making it second behind the US, which hosted approximately 60 percent.
OpenOcean AI venture partner Crystal van Oosterom shared:
“The rapid development of generative AI companies in 2023 has been a driving force in the enterprise automation market’s growth. However, despite OpenAI’s current dominance, we expect to see a degree of rebalancing in the sector.
"Generative AI has the potential to redefine the way businesses operate, and with the emergence of market-disruptive players, the competitive landscape is bound to change rapidly. Startup founders and early adopters stand to benefit the most by bringing innovative solutions and customised AI models to market at speed.”
Lead image via OpenOcean