The COVID-19 pandemic prevails after months but businesses across Europe are swinging back to action and adapting to the new normal standards. Despite this phase, many European tech startups are coming up with solutions that will tackle the crisis and enable them to further develop their business. And, there are some interesting funding rounds that let European tech startups expand into new markets.
Weekly updates in European tech startup arena
Here is a roundup of what happened last week in the European tech startup ecosystem.
Uber Green launched in the Netherlands
Recently, Uber introduced the Uber Green service in the Netherlands. With this sustainable service, users can order an electric car for their ride with just a single click of a button. Notably, the Netherlands is the first country where Uber Green will be rolled out nation-wide. The introduction of this service suits the company’s vision to provide responsible and environmentally friendly options to passengers and stimulate electric driving in the country.
Uber Green will be introduced in cooperation with Vandebron, a sustainable Amsterdam energy startup that makes it more attractive for drivers to drive electrically. Notably, riders made via Uber Green are relatively more expensive as compared to UberX and users will get the option to book a fully electric vehicle. With the launch of this service, it is possible to reduce fuel consumption, reduce the carbon footprint of each journey and improve air quality.
PAL Robotics uses robots to fight COVID-19
As the COVID-19 crisis is placing a high demand on hospitals, Spanish robotics startup PAL Robotics has developed a solution, the TIAGo Delivery robot. This robot will soon be deployed in hospitals following a winning proposal submitted to the European DIH-Hero project. The PAL Robotics’ TIAGo Delivery robot will deliver food, blood, medication, medical samples and surgical supplies to hospitals. Initially, the first robots in the project will operate in Barcelona hospitals next month.
The TIAGo Delivery robot will be integrated with Accerion sensors after which the first prototype will be produced. Following this, the full manufacturing and setting up of new robots will begin. Accerion provides positioning solutions that enable high-performance mobile robots and AGVs for intralogistics with grip mapping or virtual lines to pave the way for free navigation.
Rasa Technologies secures Series B funding for continued growth
Rasa Technologies is involved in building the standard infrastructure for conversational AI and provides the tools needed to build better and more resilient contextual assistants. The California-based company that has offices Berlin and Edinburgh announced the completion of Series B funding of $26 million (nearly €23.2 million). This funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz along with participation from firm’s Cultural Leadership fund, which is a strategic fund designed to bring African American cultural leaders.
The other existing investors include Accel, 468 Capital, Basis Set Ventures, and Mango Capital also participated in the round. And, with this investment, the total funding of Rasa Technologies $40 million (nearly €35.7 million) along with the Series A funding completed last year. Founded by Alan Nichol and Alex Weidauer in 2016, Rasa Technologies intends to use the funding for its continuing growth in open source and other products, developer & community education, AI research, and to better serve their growing commercial customer base.
UK-based employee benefits provider secures funding
London-based Heka formerly known as GoSweat is an online wellness platform, which inspires people to be all that they can be. It offers employees a gateway to over 3,000 curated experiences including lifestyle, physical, mental, and on-demand. In addition to the rebranding, the startup secures £1 million (nearly €1.1 million) pre-seed funding round within two months of their raise of £1 million secured in December 2019. This funding was led by Playfair Capital along with other participants including experienced Angels, ex-professional athletes, mental health experts, as well as the founders of Thomson’s Online Benefits.
Since closing the investment, the team has expanded from 8 to 18 and Heka founded by Alex Hind and Steph N Booth in 2016 will be initiating a new round of hiring later this year to expand its marketing, customer success, and experienced sales teams. Also, it has been announced that the employee benefits provider will offer two months of free trial for the first 100 companies that register with them.
Vienna-based edutech startup GoStudent bags Series A funding
Vienna-based e-learning startup GoStudent has secured €8.3 million Series A funding in a round led by Left Lane Capital. The other participants in the funding round include London-based DN Capital and founders of HomeToGo and Swoodoo. Founded by Felix Ohswald and Gregor Müller in 2016, GoStudent will use the investment to accelerate new customer and tutor acquisition in the German-speaking region. Also, it will invest in product development and expand its presence beyond its current core markets.
GoStudent operates an affordable digital school, which connects students with the best teachers all over the world for both individual and group tutoring sessions. It offers tutoring subscription packages ranging from 6 months to 24 months to students in the DACH region. The company provides software tools to both teachers and students and lets both parties focus entirely on tutoring, teaching, and learning, thereby eliminating tedious administrative tasks with AI.
French consumer privacy protection firm launches premium versions
French consumer privacy protection firm Jumbo Privacy has bagged $8 million (nearly €7.1 million) Series A funding in a round led by Balderton Capital along with other investors. The company will use this investment to take on the tech industry’s privacy issues and provide users with the ability to control their data. Also, Jumbo Privacy has launched premium versions of its app called Jumbo Plus and Jumbo Pro.
Established by Pierre Valade in 2019, Jumbo Privacy protects over 100,000 users on Android and iOS. It scans the apps and websites that people use every day and offers actionable recommendations to increase security and online privacy.
Swedish logistics software startup bags funding
Stockholm-based Airmee, a logistics software company has announced the completion of capital investment round of $5.4 million (nearly €4.8 million). The funding round was led by J12 Ventures along with existing investors including Alfvén & Didrikson and Creades. Previously, Airmee secured €3.7 million back in early 2019.
Founded by Julian Lee and Adrian Prelipcean in 2015, Airmee has developed a technology platform that optimises the last-mile delivery flow such as planning, scheduling, and choice of delivery routes. The company works with local retailers in Sweden including Lyko, Mathem, Babyshop, Meds, and Apotea. The company will use the fresh investment for its last-mile delivery platform.
Dutch VC closes funding for early-stage biotech startups
Dutch VC firm BioGeneration Ventures (BGV) has closed its fourth fund of €105 million for early-stage biotech startups in Europe. With this fund, the total assets under the VC firm’s management is €220 million. The investors involved in BGV IV are Bristol Myers Squibb, KfW Capital, Industriens Pension, and Schroder Adveq.
With this investment, the VC firm aims to build new companies and create transformational medicines by teaming up with entrepreneurs and scientists from major European institutions. Some of the notable companies in the portfolio of BioGeneration Ventures include Acerta Pharma that has been acquired by AstraZeneca and Staten Biotechnology that has signed a deal with Novo Nordisk. The others in its portfolio are Varmx, Azafaros, NorthSea Therapeutics, and Confo Therapeutics.
Belgian ethical hacking security firm secures funding
Antwerp-based Intigriti, which is an ethical hacking security company has secured €4.1 million in a funding round led by ETF Partners along with various business angels. Notably, ETF focuses on sustainability investments. The investment will be used to expand its international growth and develop a special suite of services that will protect companies working with the intention to bring about sustainability.
Founded by Stjin Jans, the Belgian startup provides customers continuous vulnerability testing. Hackers test select areas of a client’s infrastructure and get a payout called bug bounty. Intigriti helps clients design and manage their bug bounty programmes such as payments and vulnerability reports.