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Deep tech & artificial intelligence in Europe: full report

Written on October 29, 2017 by Yoram Wijngaarde

As promised, a fresh report on European deep tech & artificial intelligence. Investment trends, notable companies, exits, and so much more. You don’t want to miss this one. Get the 25-page deck directly in your inbox below:

Deep tech & artificial intelligence in Europe

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What are Deep Tech and Artificial Intelligence?

Written on October 23, 2017 by Yoram Wijngaarde

UPDATE 29 Oct 2017: the full report is now available for free download here.

This week Dealroom will release a free report on European deep tech & artificial intelligence. Ahead of that report, this is a preview.

What is Deep Tech?

Deep tech is (admittedly) a subjective term, but useful and frequently requested, in order to group companies that use cutting-edge technologies to solve complex problems. Examples include: artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous driving & delivery, space-flight, aviation, computer vision, speech recognition, AR/VR.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

The above shows that AI is the most frequently occuring description within Deep Tech (it is also the broadest definition). The below schematic from Neota Logic shows the fields of specialisation within AI. For example, machine learning is a more narrowly defined specialisation within AI (where algorithms learn themselves, without needing to be literally 100% pre-programmed). These fields are not mutually exclusive. For example, natural language processing, vision, and speech recognition all make frequent use of machine learning.

What is an Artificial Intelligence company?

Artificial intelligence is increasingly applied across more “traditional” domains such as travel (Skyscanner), music (Spotify) and of course advertising. The term “artificial intelligence company” will therefore likely be obsolete soon, similar to the term “mobile company” (nearly every modern company is mobile-ready, albeit to varying degrees). An important distinction with mobile however, is that AI requires massive capital investments which only few can afford: computing power, data-aggregation, and skills. Either these costs will diminish quickly or true AI-capability is going to be highly concentrated around a few category killers (Facebook, Amazon, Google, Spotify) and potential future government-funded initiatives.

Europe’s top funded Deep Tech companies

The below data table shows several high-profile deep tech companies, ranked by amount of VC funding. The top three funded Deep Tech companies in Europe and Israel are Roviant, Improbable and Mobileye (click to open data-table):

Top investors

Europe and Israel have already generated several high profile Deep Tech exits, as the below data table shows:

Exits

Europe and Israel have already generated many exits:

For more information on Deep Tech in Europe, stay tuned for the full report later this week.

 

HelloFresh, Deliveroo and the path to profitability in Food Tech

Written on October 8, 2017 by Yoram Wijngaarde

HelloFresh, the Berlin-based global meal kit service that’s 53% owned by Rocket Internet, is planning an IPO in October.

HelloFresh is said to be seeking a valuation of €2 billion, roughly 2x its run-rate revenues of €1 billion. Our online valuation multiples show that is double the 1x revenue multiple of Blue Apron, a U.S based close peer, which has been badly struggling after IPO-ing earlier in 2017.

HelloFresh has shown impressive growth in recent quarters of about 53% by revenues and customers, 3x faster than 18% growth for Blue Apron, which it has now also overtaken in size. Blue Apron even posted a net loss in active customers in Q2, and had to announce that it will scale back its marketing efforts. Incidentally, HelloFresh is also the second fastest hiring company in European Food Tech in the Dealroom database (after Deliveroo).

On the other hand, HelloFresh has yet to achieve positive gross margins (i.e. margins after cost of goods, fulfillment and marketing expenses). The below analysis shows what the path to profitability might look like:

In other words, if HelloFresh can reduce marketing expenses closer to Blue Apron’s 14% of sales, then positive gross margins and even positive EBITDA margins are well within reach. Today however, HelloFresh is burning about €100 million in cash per year and with €113 million of cash on the balance sheet this means it has about one year run-way left. An IPO is therefore very welcome and should provide the company with enough new capital and time to reach that profitability. The open question is what user growth will look like by then.

Deliveroo

Another high-profile food tech player is Deliveroo. Recently its 2016 financials were disclosed, showing zero gross margins and a negative 100% (!) operating margin. It is easy to be cynical (as this funny Twitter exchange between Index Ventures Partner and Deliveroo investor Ben Holmes and skeptic Luke Johnson showed). But perhaps it is far more interesting to try and understand the numbers, to see if there is a path to profitability here:

In the case of Deliveroo there are clear precedents. Of course Deliveroo’s business model is more complicated and operationally risky than Just Eat’s business model. And Deliveroo’s management already disclosed it needs affluent areas with high densities to thrive. There are plenty such places around the world of course. At the same time, rival Uber has lost it’s aura of invincibility (and potentially it’s London license).

Food tech investment has had a major revival in 2017, almost back to 2015 levels. This is partly thanks to large venture capital investments into Delivery Hero (which has been performing above market expectations recently), Deliveroo, Picnic and others. To explore the investment data in more detail, see the below interactive Food Tech VC funding chart:

Interested in a further deep dive into food tech? Check out this Dealroom / Priori Data report from earlier this year. It combines proprietary data from Dealroom and Priori Data with annual reports, investor presentations and equity research about Just Eat, Takeaway.com and Rocket Internet, plus SimilarWeb online traffic data:

Food Delivery Tech Deep Dive

If you have any questions regarding this report or to find out how we can help you with data, intelligence or bespoke research, please do not hesitate to contact us. Contact details are provided inside the report.

Identify high-growth companies and trends in Europe using real-time data

Written on August 25, 2017 by Yoram Wijngaarde

Dealroom tracks the growth performance of over 500,000 companies globally, from seed to (very) late stage. In addition to funding and news, Dealroom tracks real-time growth signals (user engagement and employee growth). The report available below is an initial exploration into growth performance across Europe by country, industry, funding and growth stage.

Download report: Comparing growth performance across Europe

Growth performance by country, industry, funding and growth stage

Sometimes it’s useful (and fun) to crunch data without a specific end-goal in mind. This is exactly what we did here. Hence, this report is not yet conclusive but meant to lay the groundwork for more analysis on real-time growth signals going forward. If you’d like us to pursue a specific angle here, please let us know!

Dealroom’s Growth Rank explained

As explained in this previous post, Dealroom tracks the growth performance of over 500,000 companies globally, from seed to (very) late stage. Companies are ranked by growth based on:

  • Estimated website visit from SimilarWeb
  • App store downloads (iOS/Android, via PrioriData)
  • Social media engagement
  • Employee growth (new!)

The growth ranks are based on an algorithm which takes into account growth during the last 6 and 12 months. Growth is adjusted for the base the company is growing from. Out of the 500K+ companies in Dealroom’s database, 220K companies are ranked. Each of those 220K companies has a unique rank (1st, 2nd, …) and is classified into growth percentiles: top 5%, top 10%, top 25% and top half. These growth filters can then be used in combination with other filters (industry, stage, ..) to compare peers and identify high performance companies.

To start using the growth filters, click the below image (or here):

€3bn sale of Bureau van Dijk to Moody’s: a closer look

Written on May 22, 2017 by Yoram Wijngaarde

Credit ratings agency Moody’s Corp will buy financial information provider Bureau van Dijk for €3 billion (about $3.3 bn). Founded in 1991 in Brussels (and currently headquartered in Amsterdam), Bureau van Dijk (BvD) aggregates and sells financial and other information, and has been profitable from the start.

The majority-seller is EQT Private Equity, which is estimated to make a return of about 45% anually (IRR) and a multiple of 2.8x on their original investment. BvD has also undergone four (!) leveraged buyouts, respectively by Candover Partners (in 2004), BC Partners (2007), Charterhouse (2011), EQT Private Equity (2014).

The valuation implies an 2016 EBITDA multiple of 22.7x (based on reported 2016 EBITDA of €132m) and an estimated 2017 EV/EBITDA of 20.7x (EBITDA of €145m based on 10% estimated annual growth). This multiple seems high for a single-digit growth company, but Moody’s is anticipating large synergies, reducing the pro-forma multiple closer to around 15x, which is in line with previous similar transactions. Moody’s said it will fund the deal through a combination of offshore cash and new debt financing.

The BvD database covers about 220 million companies (data somewhat similar to DueDil). BvD has in the meantime diversified its data offering by adding M&A data and intelligence, as well as news stories on deals and rumours (similar to MergerMarket). The majority of its 800 employees focus on sales, marketing and customer support in 30 offices around the globe. BvD is well known by most who have ever worked as analyst or researcher at a large firm, in a world where comprehensive private company information is scarce.

Naspers invests €387 million in Delivery Hero: a closer look at the deal and situation

Written on May 13, 2017 by Yoram Wijngaarde

Naspers will be investing €387 million (about $420 million) for a minority stake in Delivery Hero, the global food delivery marketplace, at a valuation in line with Delivery Hero’s previous valuation, said Naspers’ statement. In a Tweet, Naspers calls it a “pre-IPO round”. Assuming a $3.1 billion pre-money valuation, Naspers will own around 12% while Rocket Internet’s ownership will go from 38% to 33%. Naspers will also take one seat on Delivery Hero‘s Supervisory Board.

The valuation represents a multiple of about 10x 2016 net revenues, which is similar to Just Eat (10x) and slightly below Takeaway.com (11x). For 2017E, the multiple is 7.5x net revenues, a slight discount versus Just Eat (8x) and Takeaway.com (8.5x). Note that Naspers’ investment likely comes with downside protection e.g. in the from of a liquidation preference, distorting the comparison.

Dealroom recently did a deep-dive into the food tech space. The below table compares Delivery Hero’s numbers with it’s peers:

Naspers is obviously a highly experienced investor, but what should we make of this investment?

Delivery Hero’s strengths:

  1. Highest growth (excluding Deliveroo most likely)
    • 2016 revenue growth: Delivery Hero 71%, Just Eat 52%, Takweaway 45%
    • 2017 revenue growth estimate(1): Delivery Hero 40%, Just Eat 25%, Takweaway 30%
  2. Largest food network in the world with #1 positions in 35 of its 42 countries, most notably Turkey, South Korea, Germany (closely tied with Takeaway), Sweden, Finland, Greece and the Middle East. Delivery Hero covers an addressable market that is 3x larger than Just Eat and 6x larger than Takeaway
  3. Delivery Hero’s exposure to emerging markets has long-term growth appeal
  4. Arguably, not being public yet has given the company flexibility to operate a more aggressive growth strategy

Delivery Hero’s weaknesses:

  1. Unprofitable: Delivery Hero is on a path to profitability and management said it would be already profitable excluding Foodora. But while all food delivery players have profitable and unprofitable markets, at Delivery Hero the balance is tilted more towards loss-making positions, whereas Just Eat and Takeaway enjoy several major cash-cow positions
  2. Did not win in some head-to head situations
    • Against Just Eat in the UK, Spain, Italy
    • Against Takeaway in Poland (albeit still an early stage market) and Germany (where the two competitors are head-to-head)
  3. Most complex organisation (the flip-side of being in 40 countries, and now an integration with Food Panda)
  4. Low capital efficiency: $1.6 billion raised with a $3.5 billion valuation compares badly to both Just Eat (only $66M raised with a nearly $4.8B valuation), Takeaway ($90M raised with a $1.4B valuation)

Conclusion

Delivery Hero’s management has chosen a more risky strategy than it’s peers: expanding rapidly across the globe and investing more aggressively into its own fleet and logistics (via Foodora) than Just Eat and Takeaway.com did. Delivery Hero has been an easy target of cynicism due to it’s low capital efficiency and unprofitability. And for a moment it seemed like Delivery Hero was in a tough spot strategically. However, its 2016 revenue growth was ahead of expectations (71% versus 60% expected by analysts). This funding round from Naspers investments indicated strong Q1 2017 performance too. It now seems entirely possible that within a year or two, Delivery Hero’s vast scale, emerging markets and investments will start paying big dividends.

Delivery Hero

 

  1. Source: equity research.

Food Delivery Tech: a Deep Dive

Written on March 10, 2017 by Yoram Wijngaarde

This report is a free slide-deck produced by the Dealroom team, with invaluable data contributions from Priori Data, the Berlin-based leading mobile market intelligence company.

It combines proprietary data from Dealroom and Priori Data with annual reports, investor presentations and equity research about Just Eat, Takeaway.com and Rocket Internet, plus SimilarWeb online traffic data.

Food Delivery Tech Deep Dive

If you have any questions regarding this report or to find out how we can help you with data, intelligence or bespoke research, please do not hesitate to contact us. Contact details are provided inside the report.

FinTech in Europe: any signs of Brexit impact?

Written on March 2, 2017 by Yoram Wijngaarde

FinTech Report

The UK government just published its Digital Strategy document, outlining how it plans to support the UK tech industry post-Brexit.

Has there been a measurable Brexit induced slowdown in UK tech so far? A few reasons for the timing of this post about Fintech and Brexit. First, we are now well into 2017. Second, fintech is a special case, given London’s central role in the EU as financial hub. Third, this BBC post contains some convincing warning signs, both anecdotal and supported with data.

Time for a snapshot of fintech in Europe, using Dealroom Data until Feb 2017, with a focus on the UK vs. the rest of Europe.

Slide6

There seems to be no significant measurable impact on funding levels so far. But the anecdotal signs need to be taken very seriously. Brexit (and more specifically, policies or sentiment impeding science and immigration) will especially have potential ramifications for innovation over the medium to long term.

Momondo acquisition by Priceline: a closer look

Written on February 14, 2017 by Yoram Wijngaarde

Momondo Group was sold to Priceline, owner of rival Kayak, in a $550 million deal. The two Momondo Group brands, Momondo and Cheapflights, will fall under the Kayak division. Another impressive European travel tech success story, made even more impressive by the fact that Momondo underwent major strategic transformations during its development (acquisition, merger and strategic shift by Cheapflights into meta-search).

SkyscannerMomondo3

Growth investor Great Hill owned a majority stake of about 60% in Momondo Group since October 2014. Great Hill’s entry valuation was about $210 million; this implies a value increase of 2.6x in $ terms. In 2 years and 4 months, that’s a roughly 49% annual return, driven by both Momondo’s consistent revenue growth and a large multiple expansion (2.8x LTM revenue at entry vs. 5.0x at exit).

Momondo’s valuation multiples are in line with most similar transactions and with Trivago’s public multiples, post its IPO. However, Momondo’s valuation multiples are below Skyscanner’s, which was acquired by CTrip in Nov last year in a £1.4 billion deal. Both companies have similar EBITDA margins of around 20-25%. And both companies have had roughly similar growth trajectories in the last twelve months. The discrepancy in multiples may be related to some or all of the following factors:

  • Scale: Skyscanner is 1.5x larger in term of net revenues, therefore receives a market leader premium
  • Brand: Skyscanner is a single brand while Momondo Group operates multiple smaller brands (CheapFlights)
  • Model: Cheapflights only recently transitioned to metasearch
  • Buyer: Chinese acquirer being seemingly less price sensitive

Travel tech saw many exits and funding rounds recently. Most of them (if not all) had been previously tipped as “to watch” in our Travel Tech Deep Dive report (free download). So you’ll want to check that out!

Also check the complete data table of travel search and travel deal companies.

Notes:

  • LTM = last twelve months
  • Thanks to Yannick Roux for providing some valuable input!
  • Great Hill return based on public info and excludes impact from financial leverage

Artificial intelligence in Europe: over 1,150 companies and €1.4 billion funding in 2016

Written on February 13, 2017 by Yoram Wijngaarde

Artificial intelligence (AI) will soon be part of nearly every company’s technology stack (proprietary or not) and ingrained in every industry. It is therefore becoming increasingly difficult (and senseless) to draw the line between AI and non-AI. But while we still can, it is interesting to reflect on the state of Artificial Intelligence in Europe.

Here’s a data table with 1,150 companies with proprietary AI technology that’s core to their business. Of them over 525 companies are VC funded.

In 2016, 330 AI related companies got funded, an increase of 25%. Total European funding in 2016 exceeded €1.4 billion, an increase of 26%.

AI funding

Also available in map view:

AImap
A big thanks to Ha Duong who’s work we were able to leverage, via Tech.eu: 600+ European AI tech startups to watch.

Below interactive grid view shows AI companies by growth stage and industry:

AI Grid

A deep-dive report is coming soon.