Welcome to the latest edition of Notion Capital’s annual Cloud Challengers report.
The report aims to identify Europe’s top 100 early stage, B2B SaaS/Cloud companies.
We’d like to congratulate every company that has made it on to the list. We apply a scoring methodology that has been well-honed from the data and learnings of the many thousands of companies Notion has evaluated over the years. You’ll see that Kam, one of our Principals, talks about the methodology in more detail later in this report, but upfront let’s summarise with the fact that it is rooted in three main categories: founders, funding and product. For early stage companies, we believe these are the areas that provide the best signals for future success.
Without blowing our own trumpet too loudly, we think that based on 2022’s Top 100 list, we’re doing a decent job of identifying the emerging stars of European SaaS. Nearly half of the companies featured on last year’s list have already raised follow-on funding; a conversion rate that - after only 12 months - far surpasses market averages. We will continue to monitor every Top 100 cohort and expect many of these companies to continue their impressive trajectories and go on to become established market leaders. Here, as well as providing some great insights and analysis of the Top 100 list, Kam also looks at the progress made by last year’s alumni.
This year Radu, one of our Associates, conducted a more detailed survey with around 35 companies in the list and you can read about some of his findings. Perhaps the most encouraging thing to come out of this work is that the majority of companies (80%) are not feeling the impact of a recession.
Our other Principal, Stephanie, takes a look at technology, market and product trends across the Top 100 companies. Perhaps her most striking insight is that a very high 64% of our companies are focused on one or some combination of big data, API and automation sectors. It has always felt that we were on the cusp of AI leveraging the massive amounts of data and huge computing power in the Cloud to truly automate workflows and replace people for certain jobs. It looks like this potential is, at last, starting to accelerate towards reality.
Michelle, our Talent Director, provides some interesting people-based insights from the list. As expected there is a strong showing for companies with more than one founder (77%) and also featuring at least one technical founder (73%). There is, however, still lots of work to be done on gender diversity, with only 13% of teams including a female founder.
I hope you enjoy the report.