Exploring 2023 Automation Market Map: OpenOcean’s 13 New Unicorns

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Private Investment in Enterprise Automation Outpaces 2022, Europe Trails the US: Latest Insights

OpenOcean, a prominent European software and deep technology Venture Capital (VC) firm, has revealed thirteen nascent unicorns, denoting companies with a valuation soaring beyond the illustrious $1 billion mark.

This unveiling comes as a part of OpenOcean’s 2023 Automation Market Map, a comprehensive compass designed to illuminate the intricate terrain of the enterprise automation software realm. This map presents a meticulously curated assembly of over 810 automation companies, each basking in the brilliance of a valuation eclipsing the $100 million milestone. Additionally, it provides a glimpse into the world of the most promising early-stage startups in this domain.

The data unveils a staggering surge in private investments within this space, with a staggering $13.5 billion secured during the initial half of 2023. This sum surpasses the total assets made throughout the preceding year of 2022. A resounding testament to this fact is OpenAI’s monumental funding round, amassing a colossal $10.3 billion, which played a pivotal role in propelling this influx.

We want to help investors and founders understand the enterprise automation market and its various opportunities to a high degree of accuracy. Automation is a hugely dynamic market, with innovations that are revolutionising the lives and livelihoods of people around the world.

Whether it is faster customer service in retail, smoother appointment scheduling in healthcare, or tailored recommendations in cross-channels marketing campaigns, start-ups in this space are delivering a wide array of transformative solutions to drive better outcomes for businesses.

We’re committed to a data-driven approach, and that’s why this year’s market map includes over 100 companies more than 2022’s.

At OpenOcean, we’re looking for the green shoots of innovation: the most promising early-stage startups, poised to take advantage of the phase of growth the market finds itself in, while optimising their burn rate to withstand current tight market conditions.

said Tom Henriksson, General Partner at OpenOcean.

However, it’s imperative to note that the landscape remains relatively constrained overall. The year 2022 bore witness to a $3.5 billion decline in IPO activity, alongside a reduction exceeding 35% in private equity and growth stage financing. In the face of these challenges, the emergence of thirteen fresh unicorns within the domain of enterprise automation underscores the vast prospects and untrodden avenues for innovation that continue to beckon within this sector.

OpenOcean Intelligent Enterprise Automation Map

Key revelations from this immersive exploration encompass the following:

  1. Thirteen nascent unicorns illuminated the enterprise automation arena in the year 2022.
  2. Private capital infusion into enterprise automation enterprises, surging past the $13.4 billion mark in 2022, was eclipsed by the remarkable $13.5 billion amassed in the initial half of 2023.
  3. The inaugural half of 2023 witnessed five companies amassing investments exceeding $100 million, signifying their soaring trajectory.
  4. ITOps, an integral industry segment, reigned supreme with an average company valuation hovering around the $4 billion threshold.
  5. Europe claimed its spot as the host of approximately 22% of all automation companies in 2023, securing the second position behind the United States, home to about 60% of these entities.

The rapid development of generative AI companies in 2023 has been a driving force in the enterprise automation market’s growth. However, despite OpenAI’s current dominance, we expect to see a degree of rebalancing in the sector.

Generative AI has the potential to redefine the way businesses operate, and with the emergence of market-disruptive players, the competitive landscape is bound to change rapidly. Startup founders and early adopters stand to benefit the most by bringing innovative solutions and customised AI models to market at speed.

said Crystal van Oosterom, AI Venture Partner at OpenOcean