The Notion Cloud Challengers Report

January 2022

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Welcome to Notion Capital’s first Cloud Challengers report

The report aims to identify the leading early stage cloud companies across Europe. Notion has teamed up with Rare Consulting, an independent research company, to develop a comprehensive methodology (much of which we use in our day-to-day work) to identify the top 100 early stage B2B Software and Cloud companies across Europe. There is plenty of great research and news coverage available on the overall European cloud services market and its more established players. However, we think the emerging stage receives far less of the coverage than it deserves - and that instructive insight can be gained. We have therefore taken the opportunity to dive into this stage in more detail.

I hope you enjoy the report.

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Jos White
General Partner, Notion Capital

Report highlights

Take a look at our top takeaways 


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The inexhaustible need for exceptional talent

A record €26 billion was invested in European SaaS startups in 2021, and the lion’s share of it will be directed into funding human capital.
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The gender gap prevails - and we’re poorer for it!

Only 11% of the 243 founders and co-founders in our top 100 list are female. However, companies with a female co-founder raise on average 50% more than their all-male counterparts.
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The European Cloud Challenger market

The capital flowing into the market is creating billion-dollar companies (“unicorns”) at a pace we have never seen before. As recently as 2017 there were 141 unicorns globally. By September 2021 that number had reached 800, and it’s likely there will be more than 2,000 unicorns by the end of next year.
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The drivers of success: what makes a top 100 performer in 2021?

HR/employee collaboration tools scored highly in 2021, which is no surprise. We’ve seen a continuous evolution of HR software and its adoption in the start-up ecosystem, as it’s become increasingly relevant to every size of organisation, in every industry.
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Report contributors

Meet the team at Notion who put this report together 

Jos White

General Partner

Kamil Mieczakowski


Ines de Lestapis


Michelle Cheng

Head of Talent

Stephanie Oldham


We hope you enjoy the report!

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