September 22, 2023

Europe’s generative AI startups, mapped

Europe already has around 150 startups working with generative AI. Here's the list

Tim Smith

3 min read

Picture: DALL-E/Stable Diffusion

After a crypto-related false start, Generative AI seems to be the best candidate to follow software in eating the world. Investors and social media have gone wild for this new class of machine learning models. Advances in the technology, as well as investor hype, have led to a whole new wave of startups being built, and existing ones leveraging the tech for existing products.

So who are the European companies building with generative AI? Sifted drew on global data sets from Antler and NFX and Dealroom to build a list of companies in the generative AI space in Europe (we’re aware that the list will not be fully comprehensive, so please get in touch if you’re building with generative AI and aren’t featured).

Which country has the most generative AI startups?

The UK is by far the best represented in terms of generative AI startups, with 48 companies working in the space, compared to second-place Germany, with 29.


The best funded generative AI startups in Europe

Here are the six startups that have raised the most capital so far.


This AI-powered video maker lets users create talking head videos with text inputs and a short sample video of an actor. Headquartered in London, the company has secured around $153m in funding far, most recently raising a $90m Series C in June 2023 which also saw it pass the $1bn valuation mark and become a unicorn. It counts companies like Reuters, Accenture, Amazon and the BBC among its clients, and use cases include making training content for staff, as well as turning PowerPoint presentations into video. 

Poolside AI

Originally based in the US, Poolside AI — which is working on a ChatGPT-like tool that can write software code — recently announced it's relocating to Paris after a huge $126m seed round backed by French billionaire Xavier Niel and US VC Felicis in August 2023. It brings its total funding to $152m. 

Aleph Alpha

Germany-based Aleph Alpha offers a platform to help businesses and governments develop generative AI tools and research, which includes large language models trained in five languages and the ability to modify systems to suit the needs of specialised environments.  Earlybird Venture Capital, SAP SE and chip-maker Nvidia were amongst the backers of its €100m funding round in June 2023, which brought total cash to €128.3m. 

Mistral AI

French generative AI model maker Mistral AI, which wants to rival Open AI, made headlines with its €105m seed round in June 2023. Investors included Headline, Index Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Bpifrance


Real-time language translation programme DeepL made it to unicorn status when it secured €100m ($106m) in January 2023, which included backing from Atomico, Bessemer Venture Partners and Institutional Venture Partners. It was the first round since founding in 2009 where the company announced the figure raised, according to Dealroom.

Stability AI

London-based StabilityAI raised $101m in a single round in October last year, as it burst into the public consciousness via its image generation tool Stable Diffusion (a competitor to Silicon Valley-based OpenAI’s DALL-E).

In an interview with Sifted, former hedge fund manager and Stabilty AI cofounder Emad Mostaque said that he believes his company’s open source approach will lead to wider penetration of its AI-powered tools, as they’ll be more customisable and localisable. He also said that the company’s three main focuses are media, education and gaming, and that Stability AI has already signed deals with a number of major entertainment companies, including an announced partnership with Indian Bollywood giant Eros.

Generative AI Market map

Tim Smith

Tim Smith is news editor at Sifted. He covers deeptech and AI, and produces Startup Europe — The Sifted Podcast . Follow him on X and LinkedIn