Open innovation outperforms venture capital in generating value for startups

100 Open Startups
5 min readJul 27, 2022


The 100 startups in the 2016 Batch Ranking 100 Open Startups soar in market value, going from $100 million to $1.7 billion in just 6 years.

After the first publication of the Ranking 100 Open Startups, which highlights the startups that perform best in open innovation partnerships with leading corporations , many venture capital fund investors argued that this connection could even be harmful to the development of startups.

Nothing better than data to explain the phenomenon!

On the side of venture capital investors, the hypothesis was formulated that, by opening up to an innovative relationship with corporations, startups could delay their own growth. This hypothesis was mainly based on the lack of expertise of corporations in generating value for startups and the potential strategic conflicts with the partner corporation.

However, in 6 years, what we saw was that the portfolio formed by the 100 startups awarded in the Ranking 100 Open Startups achieved a result that would be the envy of any investment fund.

Growth data TOP 100 Startups

Of the 100 startups awarded in 2016: 50 of them are still active ; 20 received a venture capital contribution after the award; 5 were acquired by other corporations; 4 received investments from corporate venture capital funds ; 2 raised via crowdfunding platform; 8 reached scaleup status and one became a unicorn . The total capital raised by these 100 startups in the period was $0.5 billion.

Growth data TOP 100 Startups

Using the main measure of success of venture capital ( valuation ), the valuation of these 100 startups, from the date they were awarded in 2016 to date, was 17 times , from an estimated value of $500 million to $1.7 billion .

Making a simplified estimate, let’s imagine a venture capital fund investing in all 100 startups as soon as they are announced in the Ranking. Defining an average ticket of $0.2 million of investment in each startup at a post-money valuation of $0.25 million, the fund would have a 20% stake in each one. Considering the subsequent funding and the average dilution of this participation to 12% — average market value for the considered period — the return of this portfolio reaches the mark of 10 times.

As a reference, a fund that returns 10 times the amount invested, that is, just over 47% per year, is considered the Top 4% of American venture capital funds , according to data from the National Venture Capital Association

Open Innovation will continue to generate value for startups

The expectation is that the next batches will outperform the first, given the growth of the network and the general maturing of the ecosystem , both on the side of startups, corporations, and the startup investment market itself.

Proof of this is the increase in startups and corporations participating in the Ranking. Since 2016, the platform has grown from 1050 startups to over 20,000 startups and from 342 corporations to over 7,000 . In 2021, the Ranking broke a record, with more than 26 thousand relationships declared. According to the Panorama of Open Innovation between Corporations and Startups in 2016–2021 study , Open Innovation with Startups more than doubles every year , and there are no signs that this growth will stop anytime soon.

“The result of the 1st Batch of the 100 Open Startups Ranking shows the effectiveness of the method proposed by the 100 Open Startups, which highlights startups for their performance in the relationship with corporations , in addition to showing how open innovation generates value for the ecosystem ”, says Bruno Rondani , CEO of 100 Open Startups.

Featured Startups from Batch 2016

Check out some of the startups that comprise the analysis of Batch 2016 and that had an extraordinary growth after being highlighted as leading startups in open innovation:

Banco Neon (controly): Fintech founded in 2016, the startup became a unicorn in 2022, after receiving an investment of $ 0.4 billion . The digital bank already has 15 million customers and provides financial services to individuals and small businesses, such as free digital accounts, personal loans and debit and credit cards.

Solids : HRTech that provides support tools for decision making, development, performance evaluation, professional monitoring for companies. The last contribution received this year was US$ 100 million , in a series B round promoted by private equity manager Warburg Pincus.

Hi Platform : Customer Experience (CX) startup that has established itself as the largest relationship platform between brands and consumers in the country. The company has 1,400 customers and raised $ 14 million in investment in its last round, in 2020.

Agrosmart : AgriTech that offers cutting edge solutions for corporations and producers, such as: collection, control, monitoring and analysis of soil, plant and atmosphere data. In 2019, the startup received an investment of $ 5.5 million .

RankMyApp : Founded in 2015, RankMyApp is 100% focused on mobile intelligence and performance, being a global reference in marketing intelligence and media management for applications. The startup has an active portfolio with more than 200 clients in 7 countries and received its last investment in 2020, by the venture capital fund KPLT. : Founded in 2006, the startup’s solution is the application of Artificial Intelligence and exclusive automation and advanced control technologies for Industry 4.0. In 2018, it received a contribution from Grão together with Provence Capital.

Participate in the Ranking 100 Open Startups

The Ranking is based exclusively on the quantity and intensity of open innovation contracts between startups and corporations. Startups with up to US$ 2.5 million in revenue and US$ 2.5 million in investment received are eligible for the Ranking .

To learn more about the Ranking 100 Open Startups 2022 and register your open innovation relationships, visit:

Take the opportunity to indicate corporations and startups to participate in the Ranking . The awards will take place in the second half of 2022. More information on the website or app.