Meet the New Unicorns: October Edition

Introducing startups from Israel, the UK, Spain, and Liechtenstein that entered the unicorn club
Elena Cherkas
🇪🇪 Uniborn Team
4 min read

The European startup scene is gaining more attention as it ignites new stars. This article discusses startups that broke through the coveted billion-dollar valuation in October of this year.

Do you want to know how exactly the founders achieve such an evaluation? Then we advise reading our article: 35 Pitch Decks of European Unicorns

🦄 Vesttoo

  • Country: Israel
  • Verticals: Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Big Data, FinTech, InsurTech
  • Money raised: $104M
Vesttoo co-founders: Yaniv Bertele, Alon Lifshitz and Ben Zickel
Vesttoo co-founders: Yaniv Bertele, Alon Lifshitz and Ben Zickel

Insurance risk transfer platform Vestto has managed to raise $80M in these challenging times during a Series C round from venture capital firms such as Gramercy Ventures, Hanaco Ventures, Mouro Capital, Black River Ventures, and Goldman Sachs. 

According to Reuters, the insurance sector and insurtech startups continue to grow and attract funding this year, despite a general decline both in business activity and in the benchmark S&P 500 index of about 20%.

Vestto's product is based on a patented AI-based technology that facilitates risk transfer between insurance companies and institutional investors.

"Our vision is to create a world where the insurance and capital markets are fused and globally accessible, bridging the insurance funding gap with capacity from the capital markets," the company's website says.

Vesttoo employs 140 people, most of which are located in the Tel Aviv office. The company also has offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Seoul, Dubai, and Tokyo. In addition, the team will use the funds raised during the last round for mergers and acquisitions of other companies over the next 12 months.

🦄 Celestia

  • Country: Liechtenstein
  • Verticals: Cryptocurrency/Blockchain, SaaS
  • Money raised: $57.7M
Celestia co-founder Mustafa Al-Bassam
Celestia co-founder Mustafa Al-Bassam

Web3 startup Celestia Labs has raised $55M in funding from Bain Capital Crypto and Polychain Capital funds, FTX Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Delphi Digital, and other investors. Following the close of Series A and B rounds, the company announced it had reached a billion-dollar valuation.

The company was founded in 2019 to simplify blockchain deployment and scaling processes. The Celestia team has made its bet on modular blockchain networks that allow blockchain infrastructure providers to avoid growth-related disruptions.

The autonomy and, at the same time, the interconnectedness of the modular infrastructure makes it possible to reduce the risk of a system crash manifold. Furthermore, developers building Web3 applications on the Celestia network can also mix and match different kinds of infrastructure while maintaining compatibility.

Mustafa Al-Bassam, a co-founder of Celestia, believes that "Web3 cannot scale within the constraints of a monolithic structure." He considers overcoming these limitations to be the company's primary mission. 

The Celestia team has about three dozen employees, and the company's headquarters is in Liechtenstein, Vaduz.

🦄 Factorial

  • Country: Spain
  • Verticals: HR Tech, SaaS
  • Money raised: $220M
Factorial co-founders: Bernat Farrero, Pau Ramon and Jordi Romero
Factorial co-founders: Bernat Farrero, Pau Ramon and Jordi Romero

Factorial is an all-in-one automated HR platform for small and medium businesses. In October, the startup team closed an astonishing $120M Series C investment round, after which they joined the list of unicorns with a $1B+ valuation.

The round was led by venture capital firm Atomico, with GIC and all previous investors as participants, including Tiger Global, Creandum, K-Fund, and CRV. 

Founded in 2016, Factorial has grown by 200% over the past three years, from 70 to 7,000 customers, according to its data. The company serves customers in Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, the United States, Latin America, and many other countries.

The Factorial team has 800 people. The service allows you to automate most HR processes, including document management, reporting, cost management, onboarding, and employee performance management. 

🦄 Stability.AI

  • Country: UK
  • Verticals: Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Augmented Reality
  • Money raised: $101M
Stability AI founder Emad Mostaque
Stability AI founder Emad Mostaque

London-based Stability AI raised $101M in October from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Coatue, and O'Shaughnessy Ventures. According to Bloomberg, this investment round made the startup a unicorn.

Stable Diffusion, one of the company's essential products, is a free and open-source text-to-image generator. According to its data, more than 200k developers worldwide have used the platform — impressive numbers considering that Stable Diffusion was only released this fall.

DreamStudio, the B2C version of the platform, has over a million registered users who have generated over 170 million images.

Stability AI has a cluster of over 4,000 Nvidia A100 GPUs running on AWS that is used to train AI systems. It is pretty expensive to maintain — according to Business Insider, the startup's spending on cloud services has exceeded $50M. But the company founder, Emad Mostaque, believes investing in R&D will enable the company to manage resources more efficiently.

Emad Mostaque graduated from Oxford with an MS in Mathematics and Computer Science and worked as a hedge fund analyst before switching to AI and founding the company in 2020.

The company is using the raised funds to accelerate the development of open AI models for image, language, audio, video, 3D, and more. In addition, the company plans to increase its staff from 100 to 300 worldwide within the following year.

  • Source: PitchBook
  • Cover image: Unsplash
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