Otta’s Rocket List reveals fastest-growing European startups to work for in 2021

Otta Rocket List

Working for a startup can be a challenging task. However, a fast-paced environment, rapid growth and constant challenges make for a perfect learning environment. If you are someone who is looking to work at a notable startup, Otta has published its Rocket List of 50 top growing start-ups and scale-ups. There are also some unicorns in the mix such as Revolut, Gousto and Hopin. Most of the listed companies are also looking to hire fresh talent. 

Putting job seekers first

The startup Otta aims to deliver relevant and personalised job recommendations by going beyond traditional methods. It uses data and gathers real-time feedback from job seekers. Founded in June 2019, Otta has raised €954K in seed funding and has been publishing its Rocket List of top growing startups since the past three years. 

This year’s list includes some renown companies such as Cazoo, Hopin, and Gousto, along with fintech firms Revolut and Checkout.com. Overall, 50 companies are listed that have been selected based on their level of financial investment, the number of jobs available, employee growth, and their corporate mission and purpose. 

This year’s list was curated by a panel of experts, which includes several leading VC firms like LocalGlobe, Atomico, Seedcamp, Accel, and Amadeus Capital, along with the UK’s tech entrepreneurial network Tech Nation.

Otta also notes that four startups and scaleups – Cleo, Revolut, TrueLayer, WhiteHat – have appeared on the Rocket List three years in a row. This is being contributed to their consistent growth and hiring. 

Top 50 tech start-ups to work for in 2021

Here are the 50 startups and scaleups that made it to the Rocket List 2021. These are;

  • Ably
  • accuRx
  • Bark
  • Beacon
  • Behavox
  • Blink
  • Capdesk
  • Cazoo
  • Checkout.com
  • Cleo
  • Codat
  • Credit Kudos
  • Cutover
  • Duffel
  • Eigen Technologies
  • Elvie
  • Farewill
  • Fidel
  • Form3
  • Freetrade
  • Goodlord
  • Gousto
  • Harbr Data
  • Hopin
  • Impala
  • Infogrid
  • Kheiron Medical
  • LabGenius
  • Lingumi
  • Marshmallow
  • Moneybox
  • Onfido
  • Paddle
  • Primer
  • Privitar
  • Prolific
  • Qatalog
  • Revolut
  • SeedLegals
  • Sensat
  • Snyk
  • Streetbees
  • Thought Machine
  • Tiney
  • Trint
  • TrueLayer
  • Unmind
  • Wagestream
  • WhiteHat
  • Yapily

Otta notes that Codat, Blink, and Unmind are new entries to the list, each of which raised a notable €8.9M in Series A funding last year. The startups Impala and Marshmallow are also new additions, which raised over €16.38M and €24.69M in funding, respectively, and are open about their diversity and inclusion initiatives. Out of the mentioned companies, the ones with the most open positions are Revolut (79), Checkout.com (68), Gousto (46), Hopin (34) and Snyk (26). 

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Here are the top 3 predictions by PitchBook on what may be in store for European PE and VC industries in 2021

Pitchbook growth

It would be an understatement to say that the year 2020 was difficult. However, we’ve entered 2021 and it’s worth having a positive outlook towards the coming year. Businesses need some expert insight into what they can expect in 2021 and the SaaS company PitchBook that delivers data, research and insights has shared some predictions that apply to European PE and VC industries. Here are the predictions;

European PE deal activity to cross €480B in 2021

Private Equity or PE deals are expected to cross the €480B mark in 2021. The rationale behind the prediction is provided by PitchBook’s EMEA Private Capital Analyst Dominick Mondesir. He notes that 2021 will primarily be about recovery. 

“Many managers have stated  their deal pipelines across all strategies are particularly robust going into 2021, and recent GP surveys indicate deploying capital in 2021 is the main priority for managers,” says Modesir. “When analyzing previous downturns, it took managers around one year post-crisis to deploy capital at scale, and we expect outsized figures in 2021 to reflect that trend. Finally, pent-up demand from sponsors that were not able to hit deal volume and capital deployment targets in 2020 will also contribute.”

While PitchBook’s prediction seems sunny, there’s also a caveat. COVID-19 is still raging on, which is expected to lead to considerable dispersion across European economies and dampen economic and PE deal activities. Furthermore, Brexit and associated European geopolitical tensions could cause material disruption to PE deals in the Europe’s largest PE market. 

VC follow-up rounds will remain above 90% of overall capital invested across Europe

Nalin Patel, EMEA Private Capital Analyst at PitchBook, notes that during the last decade, capital pouring into first-time rounds has remained consistent, whereas capital within follow-on rounds has soared. “Capital has not been siphoned away from first-time rounds. Rather, there is a wider array of sources and greater amounts of capital flowing into the European VC landscape, with a particular focus on the early and late stages. We do not expect the tap at each financing stage to shut off anytime soon,” Patel notes. 

The PitchBook prediction takes note that over 90% of overall VC deal value took place within follow-on rounds for the first time in 2019 and 2020. Median VC deal sizes and valuations are said to have grown notably during COVID-19 as well. The possible caveat here is that there could a stagnation in terms of follow-on round investment as growth becomes harder to capture during the uncertain period of COVID-19, which is characterised by rising unemployment figures and limited sustainable macroeconomic growth.

European SPAC listings could hit double digits in 2021

In 2020, we witnessed a surge in US SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) with over 220 listings, while Europe observed only four European SPAC listings. However, this year, SPAC listings in Europe are expected to rise notably and could hit double digits. As per Mondesir, the outsized activity in the US will affect Europe and Multiple European exchanges

and regulators are said to be competing to become the most favourable exchange and jurisdiction to list a European SPAC. 

“Duplicating the favourable portions of the US SPAC structure, improving upon its weaker areas, and changing exchange rules will be crucial in unleashing European SPACs as an option for sponsors and institutional investors,” Mondesir notes. 

The challenge for the European SPAC market is touted to be a thin investor base, a perceived lack of credible managers, and key structural and regulatory challenges. 

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