the French, family offices and Seedcamp
- What are tech startups that raised funding from non-French investors last year
- the European payment startup funded by family offices aiming to become an alternative to the American systems
- a neobank based in Germany, registered in Cyprus, with backoffice in Russia and American investors.
Cheat sheet data
🇫🇷 French by non-French
The French ecosystem can be a challenge for non French investors.
It is true, it's opened up in the past few years, with more deals involving outsiders, but it ain't a straightforward business.
In this context, we reviewed some of the tech startups that raised funding from non-French investors last year.
Some of them are quite interesting:
• Strapi - open-source headless CMS, raised $10M led by Index.
• MyDataModels - automated machine learning platform for small datasets, raised $3M led by Speedinvest.
• Prevision IO - automated machine learning platform to generate and deploy highly accurate predictive models, raised $7.1M led by Upfront VC.
We screened about 300 deals made in France in 2020 at early stages and produced a report where we profiled 11 of them.
🇨🇭 Swiss going after American payment providers in Europe
Bluecode announced raising €20 million in series B in a round backed by family offices from Europe led by Dievini Hopp, the investment vehicle of one of SAP founders.
Bluecode was announced with a bit of fanfare back in 2017 as it positioned itself as an alternative to the American systems which are mostly used by retail and e-commerce operations from Europe.
They are active in Austria and Germany and did a partnership with the Chinese Alipay for having them make mobile payments at retailers in Europe via the Bluecode European payment network.
It only raised money from European family offices with no disclosed professional VCs or other established investment houses in their captable.
🇩🇪 Global startups
Vivid Money announced raising €60 million in series B led by Greenoaks.
This is interesting - launched about a year ago, Vivid is a mobile banking startup spinoff owned by Tinkoff Bank from Russia and which moved to Berlin as it intends to build an Euro business and it is easier to do it from Germany.
It provides the standard deposit, payment and investing services you'd expect from a consumer service bank, raised €15 million at the end of 2020 from American investors (Ribbit) and now series B backed by another American investor, Greenoaks.
Berlin is the customer facing front (also have an office in Amsterdam), the company is operated by a Cyprus-based org, the back office is based in Moscow and the investors are Americans.
🇺🇸 Greenoaks portfolio
Speaking of Greenoaks, Vivid is its fifth investment in Europe made this year.
The other four includes Casavo (real estate), Gorillas (ecommerce), Checkout.com(financial services) and Wiz (security SAAS).
All of them later stage deals, with the exception of Gorillas which competes in the grocery delivery segment - Greenoaks was also part of Deliveroo's pre-IPO round in 2019.
FT did a good profile on them a few weeks ago.
🇬🇧 British exit
Skew was acquired by Coinbase. They do data analytics for financial traders.
Seeded by Seedcamp, Kima, firstminute and Kleiner Perkins with 2M raised pre-covid and did a $5M follow on in April last year. One of the founders left the company at the end of last year.
🇬🇧 Seedcamp's 2020 portofolio
Apropos of Seedcamp, it is probably one of the more active very early stage institutional investors from Europe.
A quick look at their 2020 portfolio shows that they invested in 42 companies from Europe and UK, and followed on with a few of them already.
From the European ones (non-UK) - 3 are from Germany, 2 are from France and one each comes from Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.
We have profiled all of them here.
🇪🇸 Ecomenda Smart Capital
🇷🇺 DST Global
🇮🇹 Primo Ventures
🇩🇰 Chris Bach
🇸🇪 Sebastian Knutsson
🇮🇱 Avi Meir
🇳🇱 Endeit announced a €250 million fund to invest in B+ stage European startups, while one of its founding partners was bought out.
🇩🇪 F-LOG Ventures announced first closing of its first fund.
🇸🇪 NEA (Never Eat Alone) had a second close of their fund at $20 million.
🇵🇱 Freya is a new €14 million venture fund from Poland.
verticals: climate change
Cquestr8, founded by Steve Willis and Jerry Joynson, is a non-profit research group seeking billion-tonne-scale carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies.
The first commercial project to graduate from Herculean Climate Solutions, the company has developed carbon sequestration solutions, leveraging natural processes to safely lock away CO2 as stable ocean bicarbonate.
verticals: food industry, SAAS
investors: Seedcamp, Mustard Seed Maze, angels
Founded by the two guys who launched Uber in Portugal, they developed a mobile app for food delivery providers, as it aggregates all the vendors in one place.
The food delivery market is fragmented, and it will be even more crowded with the dark kitchens proliferation.
🇫🇷 Not so dark
verticals: food industry
investors: Kharis Capital
Another startup with Uber roots, this time backed by one of the Uber co-founders, Oscar Salazar.
Their model is super simple and smart - a food delivery white label solution that involves coming up with exclusively online brands for DTC food delivery. The company already launched 7 virtual brands (i.e. Como Kitchen, Gaïa or JFK ) through nine kitchens located in Paris, throughout France and in Barcelona.
They have a competitor in France, Taster, which just announced a $37 million growth round.
investors: Tiny VC, Angel Invest, Wingman
DePoly, founded by CEO Samantha Anderson, Bardiya Valizadeh and Christopher Ireland, has developed a novel technology to depolymerise post-consumer PET plastics into their two main chemical components.
The technology handles a plethora of materials including mixed plastics (PET in the presence of PVC, PP or PS), mixed colours, dirty PET plastic, fabrics and fibres.
Unlike existing solutions, DePoly’s process operates at room temperature and requires no additional pressure. It also involves sustainable and environmentally friendly chemicals.
Target customers are consumer goods companies.
investors: Connect Ventures, System One, angels
Meeshkan developed a framework for interactive machine learning.
Their app is for data science teams to be able to train, test, and deploy ML models right from Slack.
Did you find it useful? Have your colleagues and friends sign up too.
Data-based intel from the European startup ecosystem written professionally in an easy to understand format - tactical bits and industry-wide trends, curated deals, active investors and relevant early stage transactions.
Published every Monday morning and emailed to the Nordic 9 customers - investors, founders and decision makers willing to stay updated with the strategic moves from Europe.