Although the pandemic situation hasn’t completely eased all over the world, the European tech startups are gradually picking up pace. After being initially hit by this global health crisis, several tech startups all over Europe have started securing investments that will help them grow further.
European tech startups weekly
As a part of a weekly roundup, here is a list of some of the most important tech startups that have hit the headlines in Europe this week.
Sennder acquires Uber’s European freight business
Berlin-based Sennder, a digital freight forwarder has acquired the European freight business of Uber in an all-stock deal. This way, Uber becomes a minority shareholder in this company. The agreement includes a shipper referral program, wherein Sennder will refer shippers looking for freight brokerage or other similar services.
Sennder was founded in 2016 by David Nothacker, Julius Koehler, and Nicolaus Schefenacker. It is a logistics platform and marketplace connecting commercial shippers and smaller freight carriers. The digital trucking company digitalises the truck-loading-shipping ecosystem by providing mobile apps to drivers, fleet management tools to carrier managers and logistics management solutions to shippers.
3D and VR tool product design
London-based Gravity Sketch, a product design and collaboration platform recently announced that it secured nearly €3.1M seed funding led by Kindred Capital. Others to take part in the funding round include Point Nine Capital and previous investors Forward Partners. Gravity Sketch will use this investment to scale up its platform and become entirely hardware-agnostic. This way, it will be able to make its complete suite of tools available to creative professionals and businesses alike.
Established in 2014 by Oluwaseyi Sosanya, Daniela Paredes and Daniel Thomas, Gravity Sketch works with the objective to revolutionise how physical products are designed, developed and made available. It is one of the leaders in the digital design industry providing intuitive 3D design software to create, collaborate and review in a new way.
On-device cybersecurity solution
Israeli IoT cybersecurity company Sternum bagged $6.5M (nearly €5.5M) Series A funding led by Square Peg, along with existing investors such as Merle Hinrich, btov Partners. A slew of private investors including Eyal Shavit, a Boston-based entrepreneur and Udi Mokady, CyberArk founder and CEO, also participated in this round. The investment will be used to expand the company’s R&D team and develop its go-to-market strategy.
Based out of Tel Aviv, Sternum was founded by Natali Tshuva in 2018. The company’s security solution can be put directly into the binary code of the device and integrated into a range of devices including high-end, low-end, old, new, Linux and RTOS-based devices without any major changes to the existing code.
Smart city operator
London-based smart city operator Connexin pocketed £80M (nearly €87.6M) funding in an attempt to keep up with the demand in the UK. An Australian independent infrastructure manager, Whitehelm Capital bought a minority stake in the company. It has also been announced that it has earmarked further capital for investment via the partnership.
Connexin founded by Furqan Alamgir and Alex Yeung in 2006 develops IoT and smart city solutions for a wide range of urban issues including water and electricity usage, flood prevention, waste management, mobility and parking. Last year, the smart city operator delivered UK’s first purpose-built Smart City OS for Hull City Council.
Any company can become a fintech
Paris-based banking platform Swan has bagged €5M seed funding in a round led by Creandum and Bpifrance. The company will use the investment to meet strict financial regulations and acquire its first clients. Furthermore, Swan expects to witness specialised banking for vertical markets especially for e-commerce, dentists, etc.
The French banking platform Swan debuted in 2019 by Nicolas Benady, Mathieu Breton, and Nicolas Saison. The company has built a product that makes it possible for any company to become a fintech. Any business can use the API of this French startup to handle their own payments and provide branded bank IBANs, accounts, and cards.
Healthtech startup to expand NHS virtual outpatient services
UK healthcare startup Medefer has secured £10M (nearly €11M) funding led by Nickleby Capital. The company will use the investment to scale its presence and make it perfectly positioned to tackle the potential 10 million patient backlog, which has grown during the COVID-19 era.
Founded by NHS consultants Dr. Bahman Nedjat-Shokouhi and Dr. Andrew Millar, Medefer is a CQC regulated healthcare provider. The digital platform connects general physicians, consultants, and patients. Its outpatient operating system manages the entire patient pathway ranging from referral to triage to diagnosis, investigation, and discharge sans the necessity for physical outpatient appointments.
Upcoming big data platform for esports
Berlin-based Bayes – formerly DOJO Madness – an esports startup that makes use of big data to build various tools and services has secured $6M (nearly €5.1M) from Pohlad Family investment group, Sony Innovation Fund, Fertitta Capital, and other sports as well as media investors. The investment will be used to expand its platform further.
Bayes was established in 2015 by Jens Hilgers, Markus Fuhrmann, and Christian Gruber. The German holding company owns two business units – Bayes Esports Solutions, a co-venture with Sportradar that distributes esports data to customers, and Shadow, which develops analytical tools for tournaments and esports teams.
Fort Ross’ third venture capital fund
Fort Ross Ventures, a Russia-connected VC firm has announced its third fund called Fort Ross Seed Fund. This new venture capital firm has already received support from Sberbank. The fund intends to invest in nearly 200 startups at the seed and Series A stages. And, it will also support the international expansion of these companies.
Fort Ross Investment Director Egor Abramov confirmed that the VC fund will be more focused on Russia and the neighbouring CIS countries than the other previous Fort Ross Funds. He believes that the investor composition of the VC fund could be quite close to that of SBT Ventures II fund.
Platform for public affairs
Danish startup Ulobby, which offers a platform for public affairs and stakeholder management has secured €1M funding that will be used to expand into the Nordics and accelerate its presence in Brussels as it is a key market for the company. With expansion plans in the Nordics, this startup intends to become a market leader in Northern Europe in two years.
Founded in 2016 by Bertel Torp and Anders Kopp Jensen, Ulobby is a SaaS platform for public affairs and stakeholder management. Currently, the company employs 18 staff with offices in Brussels and Copenhagen. It aims to make the lobbying process more accessible and transparent for companies and organisations that want to comprehend and influence the political agenda.
London-based money-saving app
London-based Chip has secured a total of £10M (nearly €11M) Series A funding from the crowd and government-backed Future Fund. This crowd amount was secured in less than 48 hours from 6,420 investors via Crowdcube. Chip will use the investment to accelerate growth and improve the capacity and infrastructure to provide access to more deposits, evolve to investment funds, and launch their premium account dubbed ChipX.
Founded by Simon Rabin in 2016, Chip is a clever app, which automatically lets you save for your goals. The free app is available on both Android and iOS platforms and uses Artificial Intelligence to decide what to save. The app sends you a notification indicating how much money you want to put aside for savings along with an option to cancel it any time.
Main image picture credits: Ulobby