A quick look at the private companies with a valuation in excess of 1 billion dollars backed by venture capital (the so-called “unicorns”) shows that very few come from Europe (and none from Italy). They are not yet real valuations, but they can be a good proxy in terms of continent or country share.
These data are taken from the dedicated page on the WSJ website, considering valuations in January 2018.
- 103 companies from the US
- 46 from Asia (which means mostly China, then India)
- 15 from Europe
- 6 from Other (Canada, Australia, Africa)
As a breakdown of the 15 companies from Europe we have:
- 6 from the UK (Oxford Nanopore, Farfetch, TransferWise, Deliveroo, Shazam, Funding Circle)
- 3 from Germany (Auto1Group, HelloFresh, CureVac)
- 2 from Sweden (Spotify, Klarna)
- 1 from The Netherlands (Adyen)
- 1 from France (BlaBlaCar)
- 1 from Luxembourg (Global Fashion Group)
- 1 from Czech Republic (Avast Software)
Then only 1 from Israel (IronSource) as of today.
One can discuss the reasons for this distribution, but I do not have a simple answer and have to look at some more data.