Though there is an increased awareness about gender equality right now, the number of male entrepreneurs always outnumbers that of women. Especially, when it comes to women in technology, they are somehow overshadowed by men and their scope for achievements in the industry isn’t the same. Despite the many challenges that women entrepreneurs face, some of them in the tech startup ecosystem have shunned all the atrocities and have come out with flying colours.
Female-founded startups raise funding during COVID-19
Given that there are only a few women entrepreneurs in the tech world, the existing ones are highly honoured for their achievements and their businesses reach great levels. Likewise, here we list some notable European tech startups with female founders that have raised funding even during the pandemic crisis as sourced from Dealroom.
Founder/s: Siwei Kang
Founded year: 2019
In June 2020, Edinburgh-based PicoJar completed a £146k (nearly €161k) pre-seed funding led by Techstart Ventures and Gareth Williams, the co-founder of Skyscanner. Founded by a former software engineer at Amazon and Skyscanner, Picojar is an AI-powered note-taking app, which lets users manage and annotate screenshots captured on smartphones.
Picojar is all set to launch its first private beta this month and users can visit the website for early access to the same. It provides a unique workflow to help users efficiently turn their thoughts and discoveries into interconnected and smart notes.
Founder/s: Christian Piechnick, Georg Püschel, Maria Piechnick, Jan Falkenberg, Giang Nguyen, Sebastian Werner, Christoph Biering
Founded year: 2017
Funding: €34.7 million
Dresden-based Wandelbots is a developer of a ‘no code’ robot teaching platform that has secured a $30 million (nearly €27 million) Series B funding during the pandemic. This funding round was led by 83North along with participation from M12, Microsoft’s VC, and Next47. The other investors that have taken part in the funding round are Paua Ventures, Atlantic Labs, EQT Ventures, Haniel and Alexander Rinke. Wandelbots will use the investment to expand globally.
The German software startup that democratises industrial robotics by letting everyone to program any robot via smart input devices and example-based teaching. Its backend software tracks human motion to live-control industrial robots. This software builds a machine learning model that generates automation workflows and several demonstrations that can be optimised with the software tool.
Maria Piechnick and her spouse Christian Piechnick developed the idea of Wandelbots in 2014 at the University of Dresden. Both are IT professionals and Maria dealt with the wearables trend in her thesis.
Founder/s: Kate Jillings, Sian Morley-Smith
Founded year: 2014
Funding: €1.2 million
London-based TouchTech also raised £1 million (nearly €1.1 million) this month. The investment was led by Pembroke VCT, a consumer venture capital trust. The company will use this investment to expand its fast-growing business across the UK as well as overseas.
ToucanTech is a cloud-based community database and website software used by companies, schools and nonprofits. With its simple and beautiful system, the startup lets institutions manage all communications, data and admin in one place. It is synced with social media and combines analytics, CRM, email, news, payments, mentoring, and more at an affordable price.
The ToucanTech story began in 2014 when female founding duo Kate and Sian ran a business education news website. The companies and universities they worked with often described the need for a central admin software to manage their communities of students, alumni and supporters. That’s where they conceived the idea of this startup.
Founder/s: Adriana Avella, Diego Ballesteros
Founded year: 2015
Funding: €7.6 million
BEWE.io, which is a leading management software service provider in Spain specialising in the fitness, wellness, and beauty industry has secured funding led by DILA Capital and SEAYA Ventures also secured funding during the ongoing crisis. The company intends to strengthen its US presence and back its expansion into new global markets with this investment.
Adriana Avella, Co-Founder & Sales Director at BEWE Software has experience working with BEWE Software, Groupon and Procter & Gamble.
Businesses such as gyms, spas, physiotherapy clinics, and salons that use the BEWE.io platform can control their agenda, keep accounts of their centres, customer database, stocks, and charge via a PoS and use loyalty and marketing tools such as sending SMS and email campaigns. Currently, this Barcelona-based startup operates in 20 countries and provides integral management solutions to over 2,500 clients.
Founder/s: Dana Lattouf
Founded year: 2017
UK-based Tickitto closed $700k (nearly €640k) in a pre-seed funding round recently (June 2020). The investment was led by Seedcamp, the leading early-stage investor in Europe. The startup aims to unlock the power of global ticketing by providing an intuitive API, which lets travel companies access tickets to events as well as experiences all over the world in a single platform.
Tickitto aims to work with leading ticketing platforms, event organisers, sports rights holders, and experienced suppliers to modernise its infrastructure and build external collaboration that will scale its reach. A passionate traveller and former tech consultant for Accenture, Dana Lattouf founded Tickitto in 2017.
Founder/s: Marine Thersiquel, Nils Debois
Founded year: 2019
Funding: €1.1 million
The French pet tech startup Pepette was founded from the necessity to something different in the area of feeding pet dogs and cats. Pepette revolutionises the pet food market by putting real fresh ingredients in the bowl of dogs and cats. The startup also bagged €1.1 million funding in a round led by business angels during the coronavirus outbreak.
Created in 2019, Pepette was founded by Marine Thersiquel and Nils Debois. Pepette is an effective alternative that properly nourishes dogs and cats. The company prepares fresh meals with organic ingredients that are personalised to adapt to the needs of your dog or cat. What’s more convenient is that the same will be delivered to your doorstep.
Founder/s: Anna von Stackelberg, Archil Eristavi, Nicklas Teicke, Samir El-Alami
Founded year: 2018
Funding: €6 million
Berlin-based Doctorly is a cloud-powered, digital-first, and fully centralised practice management platform meant for doctors. During the current pandemic, this platform raised $5.6 million (nearly €5 million) funding in a round led by Speedinvest along with participation from Target Global, Seedcamp, Force Ventures, and UNIQA Ventures.
Anna is a Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Doctorly. She focuses on developing partnerships and furthering the platform concept.
Doctorly works with the mission to replace the dated practice management software used by doctors all over the world. The startup provides the necessary digital technology support, and tools via a single system for doctors to digitally and efficiently manage their practice and engage with patients unlike never before.
Founder/s: Antonio Lu, Gonzalo Parejo Navajas, Inigo Juantegui, Javier Escribano, Rika Christanto, Samuel Fuentes
Founded year: 2016
Funding: €53.1 million
Another stunning Spanish startup, OnTruck, the on-demand trucking platform closed the biggest funding round from Spain during the corona crisis. They secured €17 million investment in a round led by OGCI Climate Investments. Even, its existing investors including Cathay Innovation, Idinvest Partners, Atomico, and Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures, and new investor Endeavor Catalyst took part in this funding round.
OnTruck’s technology maximises efficiency in the road freight marketplace by recognising the geolocation and behavioural patterns of drivers. Rika Christanto is the co-founder and COO of Ontruck and it’s an interesting story of how she joined the startup.
Hello Customer (Belgium)
Founder/s: Leslie Cottenjé, Bram De Vos, Joeri Pansaerts
Founded year: 2015
Funding: €8.5 million
When the COVID-19 outbreak was at the peak in Europe, Hello Customer, a Belgian startup secured €6 million funding from Munich-based Senovo Capital and Amsterdam-based Peak Capital. The company intends to expand in the US market with this investment. Already, the Ghent-based firm has expanded into key markets such as the Netherlands, France and Spain and is facing heavy demand from other parts of Europe as well.
The company lets businesses analyse customer feedback and expectations and improve customer experience. Its technology is based on simple open feedback surveys and it deploys Artificial Intelligence and linguistic algorithms to the same.
Leslie Cottenje is the co-founder and CEO of Hello Customer and lives in Bruges, Belgium. Leslie holds a master’s degree in Linguistics. She founded her first company, a digital agency, at the age of 24.
Main image picture credits: Wandelbots