The European tech startup world has started sizzling with activities after the lockdown that lasted several weeks. As soon as businesses bounced back adapting to the new normal set by the COVID-19 pandemic, several tech startups have started securing investments that will be channeled towards their growth and expansion. This activity makes it evident that the investors are still hoping to see development and growth despite the tough times.
European tech startups weekly
Here, we have listed a roundup of the interesting events that happened in the European tech startup arena this week.
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London startup wants to ease access to sex therapy
London-based sextech startup Blueheart has bagged €1 million in a seed funding round led by PROfounders Capital alongside Calm/Storm. The sex therapy app is a pioneer providing AI-powered sex and relationship therapy that is designed by experts using latest scientific research. The startup wants to democratise access to high-quality help and make scientifically-proven and safe sex therapy accessible to anyone facing issues.
Blueheart was founded by Robbie Coomber and Sachin Raoul in 2019 with the aim to go beyond wellness support. The company works with the ambition to provide evidence-based therapy sessions that will resolve a slew of sexual issues that are seen as taboo.
Challenger bank extends Series D funding
The London-based fintech startup Revolut just secured $80 million (nearly € million) as an extension to the Series D funding round that was announced back in February this year. This new Investment comes from TSG Consumer Partners. Back in February, Revolut secured a $500 million (nearly €420 million) investment led by TCV that took its valuations to $5.5 billion. With the latest investment, the challenger bank will use the investment to add new features in the U.S. as well as rollout it’s banking operations all over Europe.
Recently, the UK-based challenger bank Revolut founded by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko in 2015 announced that it will launch an Open Banking feature in Ireland. Revolut’s Open Banking feature lets the retail customers in Ireland connect their Permanent TSB, AIB, Ulster Bank, and Bank of Ireland bank accounts to Revolut. It has been built in partnership with TrueLayer, a leading provider of financial APIs. The objective of the challenger bank is to help people manage their financial life in an easy, quick and convenient manner.
Berlin-based language buddy app wants to capitalise on growth
The Berlin-based app for practicing a second language, Tandem has closed a £4.5 million (nearly € million) Series A funding led by European VC firm Brighteye Ventures along with participation from Trind Ventures, GPS Ventures, and Rubylight Limited. The company wants to use the investment to capitalise on the recent growth opportunities during the boom in e-learning set by COVID-19. As the pandemic crisis doesn’t seem to cease anytime soon, there appears to be a surge in e-learning.
The Tandem app connects users with others who are trying to learn their own language to enable mutual practice via text, phone chat or video call. It incorporates formal learning components by enabling access to tutors. Also, this app lets learners get better by practicing to chat with a native speaker of the language.
Fintech app secures Series B funding extension
UK-based fintech startup Thought Machine has secured an additional $42 million (nearly €35 million) additional funding for the Series B it raised back in March. With this investment, the funding round is all set to close at $125 million (nearly €105 million) early in August. The investment has been led by Eurazeo Growth along with British Patient Capital and SEB, a Thought Machine customer. On the other hand, the initial Series B funding round was led by Draper Esprit, Lloyds Banking Group, Backed, IQ Capital, and Playfair Capital.
Thought Machine was founded in 2014 by Paul Taylor, an ex-Google engineer. The London-based company wants to grow in the APAC region and intends to transform the retail banking market with cloud-native technology. Vault is a cloud-native core system built by this startup, which is designed for banks constrained by legacy tech.
Groundbreaking diabetes device on cards
Belgian medtech startup Indigo Diabetes that develops medical solutions using nanophotonics has raised €38 million Series B funding led by Fund+ along with participation from Ackermans & van Haaren, imec.xpand, Capricorn Digital Growth Fund, QBICII, Titan Baratto and existing investors including Capricorn ICT Arkiv. This investment will be used to finance the impending clinical study phase and the development of its ‘Multi-Biomarker Sensor’ for those who are suffering from diabetes.
0Established by Danaë Delbeke in 2016, Indigo Diabetes has come up with a sensor for diabetes patients. This small sensor chip is designed to be inserted under the skin to continuously measure ketones and glucose. And, it is also capable of detecting life-threatening ailments quickly. This invisible sensor is claimed to enhance the overall quality of life for diabetes patients.
Innovative greentech startup eyes expansion
VoltStorage that develops and produces solar energy storage systems for private homes has secured €6 million funding led by Korys, Bayern Kapital, EIT InnoEnergy and existing investors. The innovative greentech company wants to use the investment to create energy storage systems that are essential for the transition to 100% renewable energies. The company plans to double its team and increase its production space in Munich three times by the end of 2021.
Established by Jakob Bitner, Michael Peither and Felix Kiefl in 2916, Munich-based VoltStorage is the world’s only home energy storage provider that relies on Vanadium Redox Flow (VRF) battery technology. Eventually, the VoltStorage energy storage systems are free from rare raw materials and are completely recyclable. Also, these are 100% non-flammable and can be charged and discharged sans losing the capacity. It is touted that VoltStorage creates the much-needed ecological alternative to the lithium technology.
Solar modules with high efficiency to become mainstream
Insolight is a Swiss tech company that develops the next-generation solar PV panels for the global market. Now, the startup has secured 5 CHF Mio (nearly €4.64 million) in a Series A funding round led by Investiere , with co-investors Zürcher Kantonalbank, Swiss Immo Lab and a number of private business angels. The investment will enable Insolight to start producing and selling the solar modules. Notably, the production will be outsourced to external manufacturers.
Founded by Laurent Coulot, Mathieu Ackermann, and Florian Gerlich, Insolight intends to sell the first modules to large solar energy corporates for applications in agrivoltaics. The Insolight team works with the mission to deliver the modules to the market. With its next-generation solar modules, the company wants to contribute to a sustainable future.
UK digital bank faces huge losses
British digital bank Monzo announced that its annual losses are more than double during the COVID-19 pandemic uncertainty. The startup has reported an annual post-tax loss of £113.8 million (nearly €126.4 million) in 2020, which is over twice the loss of £47.1 million (nearly €52.3 million) it reported in 2019. The big challenge for the digital bank Monzo is figuring out how to make money from its customer base during the uncertain pandemic crisis.
Founded by Tom Blomfield, Paul Rippon, Jason Bates, Jonas Huckestein and Gary Dolman in 2015, Monzo had to lay off 120 employees during the ongoing crisis. Earlier this year, the digital bank shuttered a customer support office located in Las Vegas.
Main image picture credits: Insolight