VC funding in CEE in 2022 increased by €0.5B and exceeded €5.9B — Vestbee’s report

The investment in European-based startups in 2022 exceeded €90 billion, indicating a decline of more than 15% from the previous year, Vestbee’s report states. Meanwhile, the CEE ecosystem demonstrated resilience, surpassing €5.9 billion in deals and with over 1100 financial rounds taking place. In 2022, 8 new unicorns emerged, bringing the total number of unicorns to 44. AIN.Capital looked through the report and shares key points.

VC funding in CEE in 2022

  • The start of the 2022 shows great results: CEE-based startups secured over €1.6 billion in 1Q, and over €2 billion in 2Q, but deal value dropped significantly in 3Q, likely due to uncertainty fueled by the rising inflation.
  • The data shows that in 2021, the number of deals decreased throughout the year, while in 2022, it consistently increased. However, despite more transactions in 2022, the amount of funding allocated to them decreased, especially in Q3 and Q4. 
  • The total funding delivered to startups increased from €5.4 billion in 2021 to almost €6 billion last year.
Images: VC transactions in CEE report 2022
  • In 2022, for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, Europe experienced falling startup valuations. The aftermath of COVID, followed by the war in Ukraine with all its consequences, have a significant impact on the economy.
  • Nevertheless, venture capital investments in the CEE region have been steadily increasing, with Polish startups leading the way by securing over 41% of total funding rounds (460 out of 1106 and €750 million), Estonia, Czechia, and Bulgaria also stood out, with 150 (13.5% — €1.5 billion), 91 (8.2% — €1.1 billion), and 89 (8%) rounds respectively.
  • The majority of funding secured by Estonian and Czech startups came from mega-rounds raised by companies such as Bolt, and Rohlik.
  • Among CEE startups, which have raised the largest funding rounds, are also:
  • Investors in the CEE region have shown particular interest in startups operating in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), financial services, energy, e-commerce, cybersecurity, healthcare, analytics, and shared-services. These sectors are critical and rapidly evolving, making startups operating in those verticals highly attractive for investment.
  • The list of the most active VC funds includes: 
    • Startup Wise Guys, EBRD, LT Capital, Presto Ventures, Credo Ventures, EIC Fund, Movens Capital, Nation 1, Carlson ASI EVIG Alfa VC Fund, Depo Ventures, Early Game Ventures, Seedblink, SMOK Ventures, Change Ventures, and Inovo VC among others.

CEE Unicorns of 2022

  • The CEE region has seen a significant increase in the number of new CEE unicorns. In 2021, 15 new unicorns emerged, followed by 8 in 2022, bringing the total number of unicorns to over 44 in 2022.
  • Such CEE companies as NordVPN, Unstoppable domains, Productboard, Rimac, airSlate, Glia, Payhawk, Veriff reached a billion-dollar status in 2022.