Businesses across the world have adapted to the ‘new normal’ set by the COVID-19 outbreak. During this time, many European tech startups are coming up with ways to tackle the crisis and further expand into new markets despite the tough times.
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.
Limehome doubled its sales since the crisis broke out in mid-March 2020
Munich-based accommodation startup, Limehome has further raised €10M in its Series A round of funding bringing the total raised so far to €31M. It had received €21M earlier in February this year. Existing investors HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, Lakestar, and Picus Capital all participated in this round.
The raised capital will be used by the company to focus on its proprietary technology platform as well as expansion.
Launched in 2018 by Dr. Josef Vollmayr and Lars Stabe, Limehome is an accommodation startup that is run by hospitality professionals and equipped by interior designers. It has been able to combine the quality standard of a hotel with the advantages of an apartment. Currently, its suites are present in about 35 prime locations in German and Austrian cities and cater to customers with its proprietary technology and digital access system.
Dubsmash founder launches Acapela
In a bid to re-imagine online meetings for remote teams, Berlin-based “remote-friendly” startup Acapela (co-founded by Dubsmash founder Roland Grenke), is all set to launch, as it raised €2.5M in a fresh round of funding. The round is led by Visionaries Club with participation from various angel investors, including Christian Reber (founder of Pitch and Wunderlist) and Taavet Hinrikus (founder of TransferWise).
The raised capital will be utlised by Acapela to expand its core team, focusing on product, design, and engineering as it continues to build its offering.
€49M for Turkish & European startups
Istanbul-based venture capital firm 212 has announced a second fund of €49M to invest in 7 portfolio companies so far as it looks to invest in startups across Turkey, Central and Eastern Europe, and the MENA region.
According to the firm, it will invest in companies with primarily B2B tech solutions, with a mindset to test local and go global. Fund II’s portfolio includes; SmartMessage, OMMA, Marti, MallIQ, Meddy, Chooch, and AppSamurai.
Founded in 2012 by Ali Karabey and Numan Numan, the Turkish VC firm’s first fund was $30M (approx €25.3M). That fund was fully invested in 12 startups, including Iyzico, which exited last year (PayU bought it for approx €139.3M), and Insider, a Sequoia-backed company that just raised a $32M (approx €27M) Series C round to enter the US market.
Mysterious new web browser
Paris-based Beam, a company that is building a web browser that gathers knowledge from your web activity has raised €3M in its seed round of funding. Since the project is still in beta stage, details about the startup or its product are unknown.
The investors include Spark Capital (known for its early investments in the likes of Twitter and Tumblr), C4 Ventures (led by former Apple EMEA VP Pascal Cagni), Amaranthine (the ‘Web Summit fund’), Alven Capital (investors in Stripe, Algolia, etc.), Tiny Capital (founded by Andrew Wilkinson from Metalab – which helped create designs for Slack, Uber, and Vice), and a couple of angel investors including Antoine Martin (Zenly), Nicolas Steegman (Stupeflix) among others.
Sebastien Metrot – with 6 years of experience working for Apple as a senior software engineer has founded the startup along with Dom Leca, who back in 2012 sold his software company, Sparrow, to Google.
“We’re building beam because we think something is fundamentally broken in the way the tools at our disposal have us use the web – and thus, our minds. It feels like we have not freely chosen our online practices – that they are habits we have helplessly picked up,” the company mentioned in a “bright paper”.
Vectary wants to make 3D design and Augmented Reality accessible to everyone
California-based accessible 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) design platform, Vectary, has raised $7.3M (approx €6.1M) in a fresh round of funding led by the EQT Ventures fund (“EQT Ventures”). Existing investor BlueYard also participated in the round.
Founded in 2014 by Michal Koor (CEO) and Pavol Sovis (CTO), Vectary provides a 3D and augmented reality (AR) design platform used by over more than a million creators worldwide. According to the company, more than a thousand digital agencies and creative studios are using the tool to provide 3D content to millions of users.
With the COVID-19 pandemic shifting more people online, the company claims to have seen a 300% increase in its AR views as more businesses have started using their products in 3D and AR.
Customer-Centric AI price optimisation for retailers platform raises €2M
The Prague-based company Yieldigo, founded by three mathematicians, has raised €2M in its seed round of funding. The Hungarian VC fund PortfoLion and Silicon Valley’s Alchemist Accelerator participated in the round, alongside J&T Ventures.
The raised capital will help Yieldigo to ramp up research and development and expand into new markets.
Founded in 2016 by Radim Dudek, David Klecka, and Jiri Psota Yieldigo helps retailers such as supermarkets, drugstores, and pharmacies to set optimal non-promotional prices to increase profitability. This is done by a proprietary machine-learning algorithm that creates a model of consumer’s purchasing behavior, combines it with retailers’ business objectives, and creates optimal prices based on both perspectives. With this, the company helps create a profit uplift for its customers of 5-15%, while preserving its revenues and price index.
Early-stage VC firm Antler welcomes Ronald Jan Schuurs
Global early-stage VC Antler has introduced serial entrepreneur and experienced operator, Ronald Jan Schuurs, as a newly appointed Partner to Antler Netherlands.
Schuurs is an experienced operator who has spent over a decade with various tech startups including Rocket Internet, Everjobs, and Delivery Hero – where he served as CEO Germany. During his time at Delivery Hero, he brought the company from strength to strength by restructuring and reinvigorating the company’s business in its home-market in Germany. Schuurs contributed to its IPO in 2017 and in December of 2018, the business was sold to Takeaway for €930M. Most recently as CFO at Zava, a telehealth company, he played an essential role in securing Series A funding.
Founded in Singapore in 2017, Antler is a global early-stage venture capital firm that has offices across six continents and most major entrepreneurial hubs, including cities such as London, New York, Singapore, and Sydney. It has invested in over 200 technology companies. Over 40% of Antler’s portfolio has at least one female co-founder and with founders representing over 70 nationalities.
Challenger bank “with principles”
Germany-based online banking startup, Insha, has secured €2.5M in its seed round of funding from Turkish payments provider Param. The raised capital will be used for European expansion, further develop its ethical banking product, and strengthen the team at its headquarters in Berlin and Istanbul.
Insha is a digital branch of Albaraka Turk Participation Bank and was first developed for the Turkish market. Now Insha is regulated by EU authorities and currently available in Germany. In a press release, the startup says that since the beginning of 2020, the number of German users has grown by more than 300%, topping 40,000.
Founded in 2018, Insha offers a digital account that puts moral values first. Based on strong moral principles, Insha offers tools that help its customers achieve their saving goals, gain insights into spending behaviour, transfer money abroad for little cost, and donate easily to charities of their choice.
Swiss startup wants to help enterprises keep their data confidential; raises €3.2M
Swiss-based Decentriq, a data security company, has raised $3.8M (approx €3.2M) in its seed round of funding led by btov Partners, with significant participation from Paladin Capital Group and existing investor Atlantic Labs.
The raised capital will help the company to drive international growth and widen its client base, which currently resides mostly in the healthcare and finance sectors.
Founded in 2019 by Maximilian Groth, Stefan Deml, and Alexander Katz, Decentriq cloud-based platform provides data analysis solutions for developing and deploying machine learning models. It allows the team to compute any kind of statistics on sensitive data without compensating privacy and security. The features of the product include data leak prevention, statistical computing, data security, and privacy, secure data sharing, etc.
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