The State of Global Startup Ecosystems in 2022

The GSER 2022 is the world’s most comprehensive research on startups, with data from over 3 million companies across 280 ecosystems.
Startup Genome
on June 16, 2022

The period covered in the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2022 reveals a global uptick in post-money valuation. In 2021, companies were exiting at inflated valuations. In both Series B+ and Series C+ deals, there was a huge uptick in the median deal size to revenue and also the median valuation to revenue. The first quarter of 2022 has already seen a pull-back from those levels, perhaps spurred in part by the Federal Reserve introducing interest rate hikes.

  • Since 2012, global average Series A rounds have tripled to more than $18 million

  • Since the pandemic, tech companies grew 2.3 times more than their non-tech counterparts.

  • Continuing a trend of declining funding share that began in 2016, North America accounted for less than half of early-stage funding in 2021, with Europe and Asia both taking a bite of the total. VC activity in Latin America nearly doubled from the previous year.

  • Record amounts of venture funding descended on Asia ($165 billion), North America ($329.5 billion) and Latin America (the world’s fastest-growing region at $19.5 billion), according to Crunchbase. Australian startup funding tripled to $10 billion, reports Folklore Ventures, and African startups raised $4.8 billion — two-and-a-half times as much as in 2020 — according to the World Economic Forum.

  • In MENA specifically, Cairo has seen a 156% increase in total VC funding rounds Amount ($) in 2021 vs. 2020 and in the last 5 years (2017 vs. 2021) the overall number of VC funding rounds increased by 60%.

  • A record 540 companies achieved unicorn status in 2021 (vs. 150 in 2020), with 113 ecosystems producing at least one billion-dollar-plus behemoth.

  • Nineteen ecosystems — including Brisbane, Luxembourg, Santiago-Valparaiso and Ho Chi Minh City — achieved their first unicorns in the period examined for the GSER.

  • North America has seen 312 unicorns in 2021, while in 2020 the unicorn count was 83.

  • Africa produced three unicorns in the GSER 2022 time period, all Fintechs

  • Recently, pundits have been predicting the end of globalization. The proliferation and dispersion of startups point to a different future. More regions with more companies that are funded from everywhere, staffed from everywhere, and attract customers from everywhere will reduce inequality and create opportunities that almost all will find irresistible. Ten years ago, just a few places strove to put a startup in every garage. Someday we’ll see a unicorn in every stable.

Startups in the Age of Geopolitics

  • The importance and dispersal of tech startups have amplified the influence — for both good and ill — of geopolitics. Where once the sector was sufficiently small to avoid the kind of pressures experienced by large industries such as energy and travel, those garage-spawned entrepreneurs have grown into a major economic force. Keeping their heads down is no longer an option.

  • U.S.-China tensions over everything from 5G to social media loom especially large, reflecting those nations’ widely divergent views on markets and the flow of information. The rise of India may reflect, in part, investors’ appreciation of India’s digital economy as an unaligned alternative to that of China or the United States. European leaders also worry about China’s investment in and acquisition of their countries’ tech companies, its protected market, and its threats to privacy and security.

For more insights, read the full report:

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