June 14, 2019

These were the biggest European tech startup news stories this week

From big new VC funds to a clampdown on e-scooters, it was another big week for European startup news. Here's the news you need to know.

Want to keep up to date about European startup news? Want to be in the know about controversies, deals, acquisitions, reports and other interesting tech tidbits from across the continent. Look no further!

Here is all the news about startups in Europe this week, brought to you by our pan-European team of Sifted journalists. If you want the news (and so much more) in your inbox three times a week, sign up to our newsletter here.

Hot fintech

? Europe’s fintechs tried to outbid each other on exciting news this week. Revolut launched in Australia, Monzo said it plans to launch in the US (but didn’t we already know that?) and N26 said it had hit 3.5m users.

Cash Money (or VC news)

? Influential London VC LocalGlobe casually announced two new funds on Wednesday — a $180m follow-on fund for its portfolio at Series B and beyond, and a new $115m seed-stage fund. It’s also hiring two new partners, and an associate trainee, if you fancy your chances.

? Publicly-listed, UK-based fintech VC Augmentum has released its first year results. It’s reviewed 675 “opportunities” (read: pitch decks, or phone calls), made nine investments (1.3% of opportunities seen) and clinched 90% of deals where it offered a term sheet.

?️️ Crane, another early-stage, UK-based VC firm, has raised a $90m fund. Stars of its portfolio so far include identity verification startup Onfido and cybersecurity firms Tessian and Senseon. It’s also been working with trendy design agency Koto (of Airbnb redesign fame) on its own brand. Is it perhaps keen to be seen as one of those “cool” VCs?

Startup stories

? London-based travel app Citymapper is ending its bus service to focus on selling multi-modal travel passes. But is that really what’s going to make it the global success some predict?

?️  Speedily scaling estate agent startup McMakler, based in Berlin, has raised more than €50m: that’s a record for European proptech. It now has more than 450 employees (including 255 agents), and is active in Germany, Austria and France.

? Too busy or embarrassed to see a doctor for the morning-after pill or erectile dysfunction? There’s Zava for that; the London-based startup has just raised $32m to provide more online prescriptions and tests to customers across Europe.

?‍? Vertical farming startup Infarm, based in Berlin (and known for excellent free staff lunches) has raised $100m from Atomico, Balderton and Cherry. It now has 200 in-store farms, 150 farms in distribution centres, and is harvesting 150,000+ plants monthly across Germany, Switzerland and France.

Also receiving some of the Atomico money pot is Spacemaker, a Norwegian startup which has raised $25m. It provides design and construction simulation software. Watch this space: the construction sector is massive, and seriously behind on digitalisation.

Paris plans to limit the number of scooter companies operating in the city. It will assess startups’ sustainability credentials and how much they pay their workers as part of the selection process; hopefully other cities follow suit.

? Meanwhile, Uber competitor Bolt launches its taxi service in London. But not without some complications.


Depop, the London-based fashion app wildly popular with teenagers in Europe and the US, has raised $62m. It plans to continue to expand in the US, hoping to triple the number of users there.

Big picture

?️ The European Commission has selected sites for the next eight supercomputers to be built in Europe; it’s part of a plan to make sure we don't fall behind the US and China. Locations? Sofia (Bulgaria), Ostrava (Czechia), Kajaani (Finland), Bologna (Italy), Bissen (Luxembourg), Minho (Portugal), Maribor (Slovenia), and Barcelona (Spain).

?️️ Global investment into space tech continues to grow: it’s up 42% over the past year. Wondering what all the fuss is about? Read our interview with specialist space tech investor Seraphim Capital.