The European startup ecosystem is evolving and maturing. Most startups, across the continent, are acclimatising to the new normal, undergoing digital transformation, and coming up with new innovations to stay relevant. Fundraising and consolidation are prevalent, as startups are focusing on scale and expansion.
European tech startups weekly
Brighteye Ventures grabs €46M
Luxembourg-based Brighteye Ventures, the European EdTech VC firm, has announced the $54M (approx €46M) first close of its second fund, bringing its total assets under management to over $112M (approx €95.5M).
The capital comes from a mixture of existing and new investors, made up primarily of unnamed international family offices. The fund’s second close is expected to take place next year. The new funds will go to 15-20 companies over the next 3 years at the seed and Series A stages, with cheques up to $5M (approx €4.2M).
Brighteye Ventures is an EdTech venture capital fund in Europe. It leverages deep experience in tech, education, media, and VC and invests at Seed and Series A stages.
“Unsolicited” marketing emails.
Stockholm-based Klarna has been reported to the UK’s data regulator for sending “unsolicited” marketing emails.
Apparently, Klarna has sent its newsletter to people who had never used its services. Some of the claimants showed anger on Twitter, asking the company, why and how their details had been obtained.
Klarna had also sent out a second email apologising to recipients. The company claims to have around 8.6 million customers in the UK. And, it could pay a penalty of up to 4% of its annual revenue. It made SEK 7.2B (approx €631.5M) in 2019. This means a fine could look as big as $29.6M (approx €25.2M).
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is investigating the issue.
The online canteen
Berlin B2B food delivery service, Smunch, has raised €18M in capital funding. The money represents the capital raised since the company’s founding in 2016, provided by investors including Luxor Capital Group, Thomassin, Nosara Capital, and Colle Capital.
The startup aims to make it easy for companies to provide healthy, mindful food for their employees. The food delivery service provider has tied up with the restaurants in town, who take turns providing food with options including vegan and meat. Currently, the startup operates in three major German cities, including Berlin, but it’s looking to expand – and introduce new services.
Company software for strategic implementation
The Munich-based SaaS platform Workpath has received millions in funding from signals Venture Capital to further grow and expand its market leadership.
Founded by Johannes Müller (CEO), Thomas Obermüller, and Pascal Fritzen (CTO) in 2017, Workpath uses Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to help companies flexibly and effectively execute their strategy. It aims to increase the adaptability, innovative power, and effectiveness of companies with its software-based on agile methodologies.
Ex Revolut employees launch a new investment company
The business was set up by former Revolut employees Rishi Stocker, Dan Westgarth, Will Mahon-Heap, and Neil Shah. A fifth, unnamed Revolut stalwart is also involved in the new venture. Currently, an angel investment firm, however, Expansion Capital aims to grow into a fully-fledged venture capital firm.
It is currently investing between £50,000 (approx €54,966) and £100,000 (approx €109,959) in a range of early-stage tech startups. The founders are investing their own cash alongside a group of angel investors, who contribute on a deal-by-deal basis. Expansion Capital – incorporated in March 2020, is a seed-stage investor. It has already backed around fifteen early-stage startups.
Balderton to launch a new fund
Balderton Capital is raising money for a new growth fund to fill the financing gap in the European market and take early-stage startups through to public listings. It is focused exclusively on backing the best European-founded technology companies.
Founded in 2000, Balderton has invested in more than 200 early-stage companies over the past 20 years. It is aiming to raise hundreds of millions of dollars from investors in order to help promising startups expand more aggressively.
The firm has invested in over 100 early-stage startups between 2000 and 2017, including Betfair, The Hut Group, MySQL (sold for $1B – approx €852M – to Sun Microsystems) among others. It has raised eight funds over 20 years, totaling $3B (approx €2.5B).
Funds for lab-grown meat project ‘Meat4All’
The EU’s Horizon 2020 R&D funding framework programme has granted €2.7M to a lab-grown meat project ‘Meat4all’, which is led by Spanish firm BioTech Foods and its Ethicameat B2B concept.
BioTech Foods has been working on developing its cultured meat, which it supplies to food business customers, known as ‘Ethicameat‘ since 2017.
The ‘Meat4All’ project, in which the French company Organotechnie also participated, aims to increase cultured meat production technology, work on market acceptance and perform testing to assess safety in order to start sales by July 2022.
Irish e-scooter startup to start the trial in the UK
Zipp Mobility, an Irish micromobility startup, has been given a green light by Somerset West and Taunton (SWT) Council to run a 12-month e-scooter trial scheme in Taunton, the county town of Somerset. SWT Council has received approval from the UK Department for Transport (DfT) to operate the scheme which is scheduled to commence in late October.
Founded in 2019 by Charlie Gleeson, Zipp is a dockless scooter sharing company launching in the UK and Ireland in this year. The startup aims to reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions by providing affordable micromobility alternatives that enhance the quality of life of communities across the world.
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