In our previous article, we explored the types of start-ups that have
emerged in the automotive and mobility sector over the last 10 years,
narrowing in on the select few that have become ‘Mobility Unicorns’. In the latest in our series analyzing investment
opportunities within the Auto Tech and mobility sector, we look at what factors influence the valuation of mobility start-ups.
Don't forget, you can register for our upcoming Investing in Auto Tech webinar here
Quantitatively assessing start-up valuations can be tough – most start-ups are private companies with little or no information shared publicly on their
financial performance. To support our analysis we have combined data from Crunchbase, Privco and SBD’s own database of mobility start-ups. The interactive chart below shows a sample of one hundred mobility start-ups founded in the last decade that we selected for deeper analysis, which represent a combined $300 Billion in total valuation. This list is far from comprehensive but provides a good cross-section of different types of start-up companies at
different stages of maturity.
the EV/Revenue (Enterprise value-to-Revenue multiple) across all 100 companies gives a
flavor of the types of start-ups that investors are placing bigger and longer-term bets on. The interactive chart below
summarizes EV/Revenue broken down by company type, which highlights the following trends:
Another source of data for assessing the performance of
mobility start-ups is the stock market. Only around 2% of mobility start-ups founded in the last 10 years have gone public via an IPO. SBD analysed 40 publicly listed mobility startups to see how they’ve performed in the last few years. We found that on average mobility start-ups took a much bigger hit during the early stages of the COVID pandemic in
Q1/Q2 2020, but recovered much of their value during Q3 2020. In the last quarter of 2020 and beginning of 2021 stock prices in mobility start-up have rocketed, growing at a much faster pace than the broader stock
of this growth has been fueled by EV start-ups like Nio riding Tesla’s coattails, but other types of mobility start-ups
like HyreCar (P2P car sharing), Carvana (eCommerce platform) and Luminar (AV Lidar supplier) have also achieved >100% YoY growth in
is undoubtedly some wariness of a Tesla-shaped bubble within parts of the investor community, with many now openly questioning the robustness of valuations within the mobility sector. However, there is
enough diversity within the mobility start-up eco-system to withstand a correction of some sub-segments. The key for investors, as always, is to make investment decisions with a grounded understanding of how fast the market is likely to grow and how well positioned (commercially and technically) a start-up is to capitalize on that growth.
next week’s article we’ll be sharing insights that our teams have gained from conducting technical and commercial due diligence on mobility start-ups, including how to
spot red flags and hidden gems.
the meantime, don’t forget to register for our upcoming ‘Investing in Auto Tech’ webinar, when we’ll be joined by Rothschild & Co, Maniv Mobility and Autotech Council.