The European startup ecosystem is evolving and maturing. Most startups are undergoing a digital transformation and coming up with new innovations to stay relevant. This week, 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.
Bolt launched new e-scooter
Estonian-based Bolt, a mobility platform, has unveiled its 4th-generation scooter, powered by innovative hardware and software to become the safest model on the market. The e-scooter is fully designed and engineered in-house, with Bolt’s team directly in charge of the manufacturing and sourcing of the components.
Bolt 4 is equipped with sensors to detect accidents, falls, sharp braking, and unsafe riding patterns. The e-scooter’s construction is optimised for extra stability and safe manoeuvring, with the lowest centre of gravity, highest ground clearance, improved caster angle, and is lightweight.
A set of hardware and software features, such as sharp braking detection and intelligent voice alerts, allows Bolt to minimise the risk of accidents through educating and warning riders as well as alerting pedestrians, and enables its local teams to react immediately when necessary.
Belgian prop-tech startup raises €1.9M
Brussels-based Shayp has raised €1.9M in its Seed round of funding led by Signa Innovations from Berlin with participation from AMAVI Capital from Belgium along with past investors and Finance&Invest.
The raised capital will help Shayp to accelerate and expand its water-saving services across Europe towards private and public real-estate owners.
Founded in 2017 by Alexandre McCormack, Gregoire de Hemptinne, and Zineddine Wakrim, Shayp is an end-to-end water leak management software for homes and businesses – it detects concealed leaks and mitigates water damage claims.
“The real estate sector accounts for over 70% of the water supply, making it a key player in
addressing the increasing water shortages we are facing. This is where we want to help and make a difference,” says Alex McCormack, CEO of Shayp.
Bizay raises €20M for market penetration in Portugal
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has invested €20M in a Portuguese software company, Bizay. This venture debt operation is part of the European Growth Finance Facility (EGFF), a programme loan under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) guarantee, which enables the EIB Group to increase its support for investments that promote innovation, economic growth, and employment.
The raised capital will help the startup to implement its research and development (R&D) programme and in product development. The funds will also help promote job creation in Portugal, a fundamental aspect of the European Union’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery.
Founded in 2013 by Jorge Correia, Jose Salgado, and Sergio Vieira, Bizay aims to become the “Amazon” for SMEs for fulfilling the needs of these businesses for customised products, such as merchandising, packaging and consumables, business essentials, decorations, and uniforms, with professional quality at a fraction of the cost.
Based in Portugal, Bizay sells to more than 1 million SMEs in 21 countries, with three production hubs in Europe, Brazil, and North America.
Fintech startup lets you break up with your credit cards
London-based Fintech Updraft, a part lending, part credit report, and part financial planning platform, has raised £16M (approx €17.7M) in an equity and debt funding. Investors in this round include Quilam Capital leading on the debt side, and the UK Government’s Future Fund participating via their convertible loan note alongside a group of high-net-worth investors.
In addition, Updraft has also attracted a board of advisors that includes Mat Braddy, Brand (Founder of Just Eat plc), Philip George (founder of Shawbrook Bank), and Sanjiv Sud (ex Head Retail Bank HSBC India, and Global exec at HSBC).
Updraft was founded by financial services executive Aseem Munshi, former Head of Cards and Unsecured Lending for HSBC, UK. With over 15 years’ of experience in banking, Munshi realised there was a problem that could only be solved from the outside – that consumers drift into borrowing more and more each month without noticing.
Updraft turns borrowers into savers by automating the day to day decisions involved in managing money and mainstream borrowings. The company aims to help customers get rid of spend-linked borrowings such as credit cards, overdrafts and increasingly, the buy now pays later schemes often found on e-commerce sites.
Bizzabo raises €113.6M in Series E round
Israeli-born events platform, Bizzabo, has raised $138M (approx €113.6M) in its Series E round of funding led by Insight Partners, with participation from existing investors Viola Growth, Next47, and OurCrowd. Bizzabo claims this Series E is the biggest funding round yet for any events platform.
With this funding, Matt Gatto, a managing director at Insight Partners, will join the Bizzabo board of directors.
The raised capital will help the business to open 2 new offices in Europe in the first half of 2021, adding to its current stakes in New York, Tel Aviv and Kyiv. Additionally, Bizzabo is also looking to hire over a hundred new employees next year, tripling its engineering, product, and experience teams.
Founded in 2011 by Alon Alroy, Boaz Katz, and Eran Ben-Shushan, Bizzabo is a meeting and event planning platform for operating virtual or in-person conferences.
Protecting organisations from file-based threats
British cybersecurity technology group, Glasswall Solutions, raises £18M (approx €20M) in additional equity capital to finance its continued expansion. The funding round was led by IPGL, Lord Spencer’s private investment group, and a number of other high net worth investors including Lord Rose (Chairman of Ocado), Lance Uggla (Chairman and CEO of IHS Markit), and Andy Bell (founder and CEO of AJ Bell).
The raised capital will be invested in advancing Glasswall’s next stage of growth with a focus on product development, engineering, sales and marketing.
Founded in 2005, Glasswall protects organisations from file-based threats and is recognised in the field of content, disarm and reconstruction (CDR). Its patented technology regenerates files to a safe standard of ‘known good’, delivering proactive protection in milliseconds.
Glasswall’s CDR technology is used in the government, intelligence and defence space and is increasingly gaining traction across a large number of sectors, including financial and professional services, pharma and healthcare.
Four-legged robots company ANYbotics raises €18.4M
Zurich, Switzerland based ANYbotics, a maker of four-legged robots, has raised €18.4M in its Series A round of funding led by Swisscom Ventures with participation from co-investors including Ace & Company, EquityPitcher Ventures, and others.
The raised capital will be used to accelerate the commercialisation of the company’s autonomous robots for industrial inspection applications.
ANYbotics spun out in 2016 from ETH Zurich. It enhances safety and productivity in industrial operations through autonomous mobile robots capable of navigating complex environments.
“Over the past four years, we took our walking robots out of the lab to become truly industry-grade,” says Dr Hanspeter Fassler, co-founder and Chairman of ANYbotics.
The company works with a team of over 50 employees on developing, producing, and deploying full-stack robotic solutions.
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