August 16, 2019

These were the biggest European tech startup news stories this week

From brand new venture capital funds to delivery wars, it was another big week for European startup news. Here's the news you need to know.

Kim Darrah

3 min read

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.

Delivery wars

? Uber is moving into grocery delivery. It won’t be dropping off people’s weekly shop (yet), but it plans to begin delivering necessities — you know, nappies, ready meals and ice cream — in several markets soon.


? Deliveroo reached new highs (or lows?) with its very own helicopter. This isn’t a new delivery method. Deliveroo took several lucky Londoners "soaring above the city skyscape" while they feasted on “a delicious takeaway”. It looked a lot like a pricey PR stunt. 

? Deliveroo has pulled out of Germany. Despite flying high in London, this week marked the end of the ride for Deliveroo in Germany (for now at least). The company's withdrawal leaves fellow food delivery firm with a virtual monopoly in the German market. Great Twitter thread here.

More on mobility

? Norwegian cities are cracking down on scooters. Trondheim thinks it’s found a way to limit the number of vehicles on its streets — and now Oslo might follow suit.

? E-bike and scooter company Lime is reporting raising a mega round — and is looking to SoftBank to stump up the cash. Could that edge some weaker European scooter startups out of the market?

? Bus turned train turning carpooling startup FlixMobility has announced an extension to its latest €500m funding round. But, it’s not saying exactly how much extra cash it has in the bank.

? Dostavista, a delivery service startup from Russia (which sounds a little like Spain’s Glovo) has raised $15m. It operates mostly in Asia.


? Digital bank Monzo now offers short-term loans. Customers can borrow £200 to £60,000, with interest rates ranging from 3.7% to 24% APR. The move isn’t likely to please everyone; the practices of “payday loans” provider Wonga, which offered short-term personal loans with interest rates as high as 1509% APR (!) before it collapsed in 2018, has left a bad taste in many people’s mouth.

?Small businesses in Britain could soon get a boost, thanks to a £425m pot of funding which has been doled out to 15 fintechs to improve small business banking. The latest tranche of the funding — £40m — was awarded this week to Iwoca (the fintech company focused on small business lending), CurrencyCloud (global payments platform), Modulr Finance (which offers digital payment accounts) and Atom Bank (a challenger bank). Maija Palmer finds out which doors startups should be knocking on for their business banking needs.

? Swedish impact investor Norrsken Foundation, started by Klarna founder Niklas Adalberth, is starting its own accelerator for impact companies.

?️ Transferwise founder Taavet Hinrikus has backed another startup — this time London-based fintech Flatfair. It has raised $11m in a round led by Index. Flatfair offers cash-strapped renters an alternative to paying a deposit.

Startup stories and VC news

? Corporate catering startup Caterwings has acquired its competitor, Lemoncat. Win win for German company-builder Rocket Internet: it’s an investor in both.

? Croatia has a new VC fund. With a €42m fund, Fil Rouge Capital is hoping to capitalise on the country’s technical talent and bolster the local startup ecosystem.

? Amsterdam has a new fund too; Peak Capital has raised its fourth fund of €66m to invest in marketplace, SaaS and data startups

? Coaching for founders — and startup employees — is all the rage; and digital coaching platform Berlin-based CoachHub is making the most of it. It’s raised €6m to expand across Europe and offer video calls and chats with coaches to more people, at a much lower price than most of what’s on offer at the moment.