April 5, 2024

Fintech regains top spot and UK maintains its crown: March’s early-stage funding wrapup

March early-stage dealmaking in Europe sees 14% drop compared to 2023

Deal activity for Europe’s early-stage startups was flat month-on-month in March.

VCs invested €1.2bn spread across 336 pre-seed, seed and Series A rounds last month — flat compared to February’s figures, according to Dealroom data. 

Overall funding at those stages last month was down 14% on March 2023, when investors dished out €1.4bn to 621 pre-seed, seed and Series A startups. It’s worth noting that because of a reporting lag, this year’s numbers are likely to climb a bit further. 

The UK maintained its early-stage crown for funding in Europe, with France following in second. Germany made it to the third spot — with no change in the top 3.


Early-stage British startups pulled in €396m from VCs in March, up from the €374m raised in February, while French startups saw an inflow of €209m, up from February’s €157m. German startups raised €109m, down from February’s €113m. 

Sector-wise, fintech regained the top spot for funding with €208m raised, while enterprise software startups followed in second with €164m worth of deals. The third spot went to security and semiconductor startups, which pulled in €158m.

Here are 12 early-stage rounds that caught Sifted’s eye. 


March was a good month for biotech. Paris-based Cure51, a startup focused on building cancer therapies by analysing the biological mechanisms of cancer survivors who survived aggressive forms of the disease, bagged €15m led by Sofinnova Partners. Other participants included: Hitachi Ventures GmbH and Life Extension Ventures. Edinburgh-based Wobble Genomics bagged £8.5m from Business Growth Fund, Mercia Asset Management, IQ Capital, Eos Advisory and Old College Capital. The startup is working on RNA and DNA sequencing-based gene biomarker therapies. 

A good month for longevity too. UK-based Senisca, a longevity tech startup working on molecular genetics to solve the aesthetic signs of ageing and age-related disease, bagged £3.7m in equity and £1.1m in debt. APEX Ventures, Emerging Longevity Ventures, QantX, Trend Investment Group, R42 Group and LifeSpan Vision Ventures participated in the equity round and Innovate UK led the debt round. Swedish startup Sand Clinic is a luxurious longevity clinic offering its members therapies such as primary care, vascular ultrasound and red light therapy. It raised €4m from Spotify founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. Read more about them here.

Enterprise software

Paris-based Adaptive ML bagged €18.3m which saw participation from Index Ventures, IRIS, ICONIQ Capital, Motier Ventures, Databricks Ventures and Factorial Capital. It has built a platform facilitating companies to assess, deploy, monitor and continually refine their extensive language models through user interactions and reinforcement learning techniques. Stockholm-based Dema bagged €7m from Daphni and J12 Ventures. It has built a profit analytics platform to get actionable insights from e-commerce data.

London-based Haiper AI bagged €13.8m from Octopus Ventures. The startup is building a community-led AI model to offer various features such as text-to-video, animation and video repainting. Another London-based startup, Fluent, bagged $7.5m from Hoxton Ventures and Tiferes Ventures. The startup has built an AI-powered data analytics platform helping non-technical teams get quick data insights.


March was a good month for crypto startups, with 9 of the 46 fintech rounds in crypto & decentralised finance (defi). One startup that caught our attention was London-based Ubit, which has created a crypto derivatives exchange. It collected a $20m Series A from eToro, BlackRock, Blockchain Capital and Crystal Capital Partners.

Climate tech

Not a lot of multi-baggers for climate tech but there were a handful of deals that caught our attention.

Essen, Germany-based Greenlyte Carbon Technologies bagged a €10.5m pre-Series A round from Earlybird Venture Capital, Green Generation Fund and Carbon Removal Partners. The startup uses a patented tech which uses a liquid-sorbent solution to effectively ‘grab’ CO2 from the air and produce hydrogen as a byproduct. It is currently removing carbon at $400-500 a tonne but thinks it can do the same at $100 a tonne at scale. Read more about them here.

Phelas, a Germany-based energy storage startup, raised 4.1m from Axon Partners Group, Hub:raum, E44 Ventures and BNV Partners. The startup has built a liquid air energy storage system to enable solar and wind power usage even when the power is not accessible, such as at night time.


Amsterdam-based Orbio Earth bagged a €4m round from Initialized Capital. The startup uses analytics and satellite technology to monitor methane emissions.

Early-stage rounds of 2024

Shubham Jaipuria

Shubham is a data analyst intern with Sifted Intelligence, and can be contacted on LinkedIn