With the second wave of COVID-19 strengthening its grip on Europe, many countries have already ordered fresh lockdowns. Despite the economy crippling from the impact of the coronavirus, businesses are trying to keep it steady and in some cases even thriving. Several tech startups have hit the headlines as these have secured funding for scaling up, product development, and recruitment.
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.
Disrupting the 3D-printing sector
A Danish 3D Print solution provider Create it REAL, has raised €3.1M in a fresh round of funding led by a new investor Investo Capital. The round also included all the existing investors, including Vækstfonden’s department of direct investments, VF Venture – a Danish growth fund.
Founded in 2009 by Jeremie Pierre Gay, Create it REAL claims to launch the first real-time processor dedicated to 3D printing back in 2013. Since then, it developed a complete 3D printing platform, consisting of all the technology bricks necessary to build a 3D printing solution.
The raised capital will be used to further develop Create it REAL’s forthcoming 3D printing platform, and its visibility outside the 3D printing industry.
VC firm 10D raises over €92.9M to invest in early-stage tech startups
Israel-based venture capital firm 10D, previously named Ofek Ventures, has reportedly raised over $110M (approx €92.9M) to invest predominantly in early-stage and Series A rounds funding in digital health, fintech, insurance, computer vision, and artificial intelligence startups. The firm was started by Yahal Zilka, Rotem Eldar, and Itay Rand.
Yahal Zilka is a 20-year veteran of the VC industry where he served as an investor, consultant, and board member in companies including Waze, Argus, and Onavo. As for Rotem Eldar, he was a partner at Gemini Israel Ventures, and Itay Rand was an investor at 83North and Founders Group.
The fund invests between $1M to $5M (approx €845K to €4.2M) in the initial round and follow-on investments of up to $10M (approx €8.4M). Its portfolio companies include Seebo; developer of AI technologies for industrial plants, StuffThatWorks; a new healthcare database based on crowdsourcing, DayTwo; a provider of customised nutritional guidelines based on the gut microbiome for the purpose of lowering blood sugar levels, among others.
Now you can pay for a coffee with your Tesla stock!
France-based fintech startup on a mission to transform retail digital banking and wealth management, Automata, has reportedly raised an additional €2M in funding as part of the company’s ongoing Series A round, which has a target of €7M.
Founded in 2017 by Gael Itier, Automata is the umbrella company and creator of akt.io – a wealth-centered neobank. It merges AI-powered investment tech and decentralises finance and innovative payment solutions in a single platform.
The platform enables customers to make automated fractional investments with the help of sophisticated algorithms, earn daily interest pay-outs by depositing funds into high-yield vaults, buy and exchange financial assets directly using a proprietary asset exchange and instantly pay with any owned currency, asset, or vault using the ‘Wealth Card’.
According to an example by the company, a user can buy a cup of coffee with Tesla stock.
The raised capital will help akt.io’s product development and expand its ‘Wealth Card’ to the UK.
This fintech startup lets you invest in startups that are fighting climate change
Finnish fintech startup Cooler Future, that develops impact investment solutions for the climate-conscious generation, has raised €1.4M in a fresh round of funding. The investors include Lifeline Ventures, Nordic Makers, Gary Lin (Purple Orange Ventures), and Patrick Schmidt (CEO at Global Fashion Group).
Cooler Future was founded in 2019 by Moaffak Ahmed and Matti Rönkkö. Its aim is to create a positive climate impact by investing in assets from companies that are actively reducing their carbon footprint.
With a carefully designed mobile app, users will be able to invest in a climate-friendly portfolio of assets and track the CO2e impact of their investments alongside their financial returns. The company will offer a globally diversified Fund that invests exclusively in sustainable companies and projects committed to cutting down emissions.
Beverage delivery startup acquired for €1B
German on-demand beverage delivery startup Flaschenpost, which delivers drinks within 120 minutes and promises “no delivery fee – low prices”, has reportedly been acquired by food giant The Oetker Group for €1B.
Münster-based Flaschenpost was founded in 2016 by Dieter Büchl, Dr. Stephen Weich, Niklas Plath, Christopher Huesmann, and Julian Pachta. Flaschenpost (or ‘bottle post’) offers a beverage delivery service. Currently, it is live across 23 German cities and uses about 1,500 delivery vehicles to make it to their customers.
Customers can place orders via its app, the beverage then gets delivered within 120 minutes without delivery costs. The beverage is delivered at supermarket-level prices, sophisticated in-house logistics, company-owned storage space, and a fleet of delivery vehicles, claims the company.
The startup has also created its own water and beer brands, which count for 15% of sales.
This British startup offers finance to gaming and app studios; raises €1.6M
A UK-based platform that provides flexible loans to gaming and app studios, Sugar, has raised £1.5M (approx €1.6M) in its pre-seed round of funding led by Passion Capital. The round also included participation from Velo Partners, as well as angel investors including Victoria van Lennep of Lendable.
The raised capital will help the startup to expand its team and scale its platform to support more studios in key markets. Sugar has already provided finance to several UK studios this year and plans to build its platform and business in the UK, before expanding to Scandinavia and the US in the near future.
Founded in 2019 by Matt Frenchman and Dror Gensler, Sugar is a financing platform for the digital economy, created to provide capital to games and app studios with growth ambitions. The platform offers a range of flexible loans and products that can significantly boost growth without taking any equity away from the founders. The startup provides funds quickly and painlessly, so the founders can focus on running their business and smooth out any cashflow speedbumps along the way.
Intel acquires data science startup Cnvrg.io
The US-based chipmaker giant Intel has reportedly acquired an Israeli data science startup Cnvrg.io to ramp up its machine learning and AI operations. According to the report, Cnvrg.io will be serving both its existing and future customers while operating as an independent Intel company.
The chipmaker giant has been focusing its business on next-generation chips to better compete against the likes of Nvidia and smaller players like GraphCore and this acquisition will enable them to develop and track different models.
Founded in 2016 by Leah Forkosh Kolben and Yochay Ettun, Cnvrg.io is a data science company built to favor data scientists in scaling up AI and building machine learning models which can be used to train and track multiple models, run comparisons among them, build recommendations, among other things. Besides, data scientists can focus on devising algorithms and measuring their work instead of building and maintaining the current working platform in place.
Intel recently sold it NAND flash memory and storage business to South Korean chip manufacturer, SK Hynix.
Featured image credit: MichaelGaida/Pixabay