June 21, 2019

These were the biggest European tech startup news stories this week.

From new VC funds to one of the biggest raises in French history, 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.

Big money

? Meero, the Paris-based photography platform, raised a massive $230m. The company, which is essentially a marketplace of photographers all around the world, says it is largest ever Series C round in France. Its lead investor is private equity firm Eurazeo, which led fellow French startup PayFit’s €70m round (see below), and is also a shareholder in DIY marketplace ManoMano, healthtech company Doctolib, fashion platform Vestiaire Collective and electronics marketplace Back Market (all founded in France).


? Wolt, the meal delivery company based in Helsinki, raised $130m to keep up with its competitors in the fierce food wars. It has a 450-person team, and is live in 50 cities in 15 countries (including Tbilisi, Georgia and Stavanger, Norway).

? Three-year-old payroll platform Payfit, based in Paris, had a €70m raise. It’s used by more than 3000 SMEs across Europe, and plans to massively grow its geographical footprint and team over the next few years. People in-the-know in France talk about this company with starry eyes, so it's definitely one to watch.

Medium money

? Zego, the insurtech for gig workers, raised $42m. Transferwise founder Taavet Hinrikus, a prominent angel investor in London, will join the company’s board. But Zego is far from the only startup providing fintech for the gig economy, as we explored here.

? Pre-launch travel tech startup Duffel raised $21.5m from Benchmark, Index and Blossom Capital — but what the heck does it do? It says it’s “reinventing the underwiring” of the industry; which we think means all the old-fashioned software and processes connecting online players and providers. Watch this space: launch coming later this year.

Health tech  news

? French-American startup Owkin is using AI to develop more effective drugs — and could soon be working with medical centres in London (and, yes, NHS data).

Another company finding new ways to treat diseases is UK business BenevolentAI, which this week had its finances dragged through the wringer by the FT’s Alphaville. ?️ Fascinating dive into the company’s filings here.

?? Meanwhile, healthtech startup Babylon has announced that it’s opening an office in Singapore, as part of a push into Asia.

? And, on the less futuristic side of healthcareFrench startup Lifen — which helps cut down on the use of paper post in the health system — has raised €20m from Partech, Idinvest and Daphni.

? Health startup Babylon has launched its digital doctor service in Birmingham. Some UK GPs are not happy.

More Scooters

100 Circ (previously known as Flash) scooters have hit the streets of Berlin. The hardware has been purpose-built to fit new micromobility regulations in Germany. Will chaos ensue?


Bolt Mobility, an electric scooter sharing company co-founded by Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt, is planning to launch in London — but could face a legal battle over its name.

New funds

? Berlin-based VC Cherry has raised a €175 seed-stage fund. Its big hitters to date include car marketplace giant Auto1, indoor farming startup InFarm and coach company FlixBus.

? Over in London, B2B investor Dawn Capital has raised a $125m follow-on fund, which will enable it to write cheques of up to $70m for existing portfolio companies (or invest in other high-growth businesses).

? And investment bank GP Bullhound has closed a €113m fund focused on European tech.