This week brought more bad news for used car marketplace Cazoo, once a darling of the European VC world.
The New York Stock Exchange suspended the trading of Cazoo warrants, which give people the right to purchase stock at a set price, and started delisting proceedings.
Cazoo tells Sifted the warrants are being delisted due to low price and volume trading levels, stressing the move doesn’t affect its Class A ordinary shares. The London-founded company listed in 2021 through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
That said, it’s the latest in a string of alarm bells for European tech stocks, which took an almighty battering in 2022 amid a global rout in equities.
Sifted analysed 14 of the highest-profile public tech companies that have listed since 2021 and are headquartered in Europe to see how they performed across 2022. On average, the group saw a 70% dip in share price across the year. None of them ended the year at a higher stock price than they started it.
So here are the worst performing — and the best of the bad bunch.
Arrival: down 98%
The company which saw the biggest tumble across 2022 was electric vehicle manufacturer Arrival. It listed on the Nasdaq in March 2021, back in the age of SPAC merger IPOs.
Arrival is yet to bring a vehicle to market. Last year, it announced 800 job cuts — 30% of staff — and said it would pivot to focus on the US rather than the UK, with an eye on the climate tech incentives offered there. In November, Arrival raised a going concern risk and said it might not have enough cash to keep going for the entirety of 2023.
Cazoo: down 97%
Used car marketplace Cazoo went through a tumultuous 2022. At the start of the year, it expanded out into continental Europe. But, by the end of the year, it had exited the four countries it opened in — Spain, Germany, France and Italy.
The company laid off 1,500 people in 2022. Its market cap is currently at £135m, a fraction of the £6.5bn it was valued at when it IPO-ed in August 2021.
Babylon: down 95%
Babylon Health listed on the New York Stock Exchange via a SPAC in 2021 — a decision its charismatic founder, Ali Parsa, has since told Sifted was his “biggest mistake”.
Its share price dropped 95% across 2022. By September last year Babylon shares had been trading at under $1 for 30 days — the point at which the NYSE considers delisting companies. To avoid that, the company decided to implement a reverse share split, reducing the number of shares by grouping them together and upping the price per share.
Oatly: down 78%
Swedish oat milk manufacturer Oatly also had a rough 2022. Its stock price lost 78% of its value across the year. The company reported a fall in profits across 2022, down from $28m in Q2 to just $5m in Q3 — perhaps hindered by the reduction in consumer purchasing power, analysts say.
Wallbox: down 78%
Spain’s Wallbox, which makes electric vehicle chargers, went public via a SPAC in New York in summer 2021. At the time, it marked one of Spain’s largest tech IPOs to date.
It went public at a $1.5bn valuation; its market cap now stands at $649m.
The best of the worst
No European public tech stocks which Sifted analysed closed 2022 at a higher price than they opened. Some did, however, manage to weather the storm better than others.
Here are the five companies that saw the smallest dips across the year.
Wise: down 25%
The best performing was fintech Wise, which closed 2022 just 25% lower than it opened. The company enjoyed a particularly strong third quarter, where its share price rose by 112% — though that wasn’t quite enough to end the year on a net increase.
Shares fell in December after an analyst's note from Liberum told investors to dump the stock over mounting competition fears. Wise did not comment at the time.
Darktrace: down 38%
DarkTrace IPO'd in 2021 and saw an immediate dive in share price as soon as its lock-up period ended — the time when investors can’t sell their shares right after a listing. 2022 was comparatively kind to the company, which saw a 38% dip in share price across the 12 months — a small fall amid the wider European cohort.
Its balance sheet for the year looks pretty healthy — revenue grew 50% from $285m in 2021 to $415m in 2022.
Deliveroo: down 57%
Deliveroo floated in the UK in April 2021. The share price fell 26% on the opening day, giving London its worst IPO in two decades. Shares started to fall more dramatically again in November 2021 and continued to do so across the whole of 2022.
Deliveroo reported a loss on adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) of £68m in the first half of 2022, slightly better than analysts had predicted but still significantly more than for the same period in 2021, £25.8m.
Auto1: down 60%
Auto1, like fellow used car company Cazoo, also saw a dip in 2022: its share price fell 60% across the year.
Auto1 shares tumbled for the first half of the year, then went on to jump up and down for the remaining six months. The share price spiked slightly after Q3 results showed a 36% increase in revenue year on year.
Benevolent: down 65%
AI drug discovery company Benevolent AI, headed by UK tech veteran Joanna Shields, only went public in April 2022, listing via a SPAC on Amsterdam’s Euronext. Since then, it’s seen a 66% dip in share price.