14 Feb 2019

Why should we celebrate European unicorns?

For the second year in row DIGITALEUROPE is running the Future Unicorn Award. We want to celebrate small and medium enterprises from across Europe that have the potential to become the future European tech giants.

Why do unicorns matter?

Unicorns – billion-dollar startups – may seem like foolishness.

But in the modern economy, digital companies get exponential advantages as they scale. Because digital offering can be reproduced almost freely, instantly, and perfectly, the larger a digital company becomes, the more competitive advantages it gains. Said simply, when scale and network effects dominate markets, economic value rises to the top.

In this world, unicorns are an indicator of something important, namely which company will likely become the future tech giants.

How does Europe fare?

The good news is that there are more European billion-dollar startups. The bad news is that only a fraction of the world’s unicorns are based in Europe. Today, Europe is home to 11.5% of the world’s unicorns, this is a great achievement considering that in 2014, this figure was a meagre 6%.

On the other hand, the United States – which is often represented as the champion of digital companies – has seen its share diminish.

It is now time for Europe  to develop a dedicated unicorn strategy. We need to celebrate those high-scale companies and create a non-fragmented single market for them to take the full advantage of the European economy.


By 2025, a quarter of the world’s unicorns should be based in Europe

About the Future Unicorn Award

At DIGITALEUROPE we believe it is necessary to celebrate the companies that have all it takes to become one of Europe’s unicorns. That is why we partnered with the National Trade Associations from our network from our network to identify outstanding companies from across Europe. Collectively we have a foothold in 29 European countries and represent over 35,000 businesses

Together we identified 16 truly inspiring companies from across all sectors, including financial technologies (iyzico), education technologies (LearnUpon), eHealth (Turbine), mobility (MaaS), energy (Envelio), and many more.

Unicorns are vital for Europe’s digital future. Let’s celebrate them together.

Future Unicorn Award 2019

Read more about the award and the nominated companies

For more information please contact
Yann Finger
Director for Operations & Intelligence
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