How Europe Became the Stage for a Fintech Revolution

At the beginning of 2021, Europe had one decacorn, a startup that’s gained a valuation at $10 billion or higher. Now it has three — and it seems as though the ongoing fintech frenzy sweeping the continent will leave plenty more decacorns in its wake.

The three decacorns that have been built on European shores come in the form of Klarna, Revolut and Checkout — all of which are fintech companies, and according to Crunchbase data, they’re closely followed by 19 new fintech arrivals to unicorn status this year.

This significant rise in the number of highly valued fintech companies in Europe shows the key role that the continent is playing in disrupting key fiscal sectors like payments, banking, insurance, loans, trading and eCommerce.

As the data shows, 2021 has already been a record-breaking year for venture capital exits for European fintech companies — illustrating what’s clearly a maturing industry.

Overall, fintech exits banked VCs $70 billion between January and July worldwide, concentrated in major public listings like that of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. European exits accounted for around 20 percent of the total figure.

This has also been a record year for startups across all sectors in Europe, with more businesses reaching the coveted unicorn status of $1 billion valuations than ever before. At the time of writing, there are now 125 private company unicorns with headquarters situated in Europe.

Furthermore, almost one-third of those companies, 39 in total, are based in the financial services sector, making the fintech industry one of the most significant creators of unicorns across the continent.

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