February 3, 2023

January’s hottest seed rounds

The first month of 2023 has kicked off to a promising start when it comes to seed funding — here are some of the most interesting rounds

Sadia Nowshin

4 min read

Supernormal cofounders Colin Treseler and Fabian Perez

European startups raised €462m in seed funding across 286 rounds last month, a healthy figure compared with recent months.

It’s still impressive even when taking out a huge $50m follow-on seed round closed by UK-based fintech Tranch. The second highest-round was raised by global media company TDGA Holdings for its upcoming TV show Space Hero, a competition series offering a trip to space as the prize, which landed $20m in funding.  

When it comes to the countries leading the way, the UK tops the list with €176m, followed by France and Switzerland with €92m and €33m each. 


Fintech returns to the top of the list with €93m across 22 rounds, after a couple of months of slipping down the ranks. It’s followed by a surprise entrant — media — with €35m raised, pushed up the list by entertainment startup Space Hero’s hefty raise, and third-placed healthtech, which drummed up €26m. 

From accelerating cancer diagnosis to alternative social media platforms, here are some of the rounds that caught our eye last month.  

Healthtech and techbio

Germany’s Refined Laser Systems, which is working on a new microscopy procedure that aims to speed up cancer diagnosis to a matter of minutes, raised a €2.7m round led by High-Tech Gründerfonds and APEX Ventures. Onsight Ventures, Papst Venture Capital, NRW.Bank and a number of angel investors also participated in the round, which will be used to develop a new AI-assisted prototype to be used in surgery rooms. 

Decentralised autonomous organisation VitaDAO, based in Switzerland, raises money to support longevity research — and its $4.1m round had some big names on the cap table. Pfizer Ventures led the round, which also saw participation from former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan. Alongside funding longevity projects, the money will also go towards launching the company’s first biotech startup, expected to be revealed in Q1 of 2023. 

QV Bioelectronics, a UK startup developing a surgically implanted electronic device that aims to improve brain tumour treatment, raised a £2m round led by Science Angel Syndicate and Fink Family Office. It’ll use the cash to develop its product, which is currently in preclinical stage. 


The UK’s Tranch, which offers businesses a “grow now, pay later” scheme to pay for SaaS and services like flexible expenses, raised $100m — though $50m was made up of debt from Clear Haven Capital Management (which we haven’t included in our total for the month). Its equity round was led by Soma Capital and FoundersX.

Goparity, a platform for crowdlending to sustainability and impact startups, based in Portugal, raised a €2m round from Mustard Seed MAZE and Schneider Electric Energy Access Asia. It also raised an equity crowdfunding campaign from the platform’s users, which accounted for €600k of the round; 69% of the participants were ages 18 to 40, and four of the top 10 investors (including the highest individual investor) were women. 


TDGA Holdings, a London-based media company, took the month’s second biggest round with $20m from New Media Holding, for show Space Hero. It’s planning to hold a televised competition where 24 people from around the world will compete to win a seat on a SpaceX journey to the International Space Station. 

Netherlands-based Vylo offers a news curation and reaction app, where users can decide which topics are reflected in their newsfeed and share their thoughts on news stories via short video or audio clips, which are then shared among their friends. It raised a $2m round from Kleiner Perkins’ Fairchild Fund IV, Target CEO Brian Cornell and 8808 Ventures, the venture firm of Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, among others. 

Productivity tool Supernormal uses AI to generate meeting notes after video calls in minutes. The company, which is remote-first but has offices in Stockholm and New York, raised $10m from Balderton Capital, Acequia Capital, byFounders and previous backer EQT Ventures. 


SLAY, an alternative social media platform for teens that offers social gaming experiences to combat the negativity of current platforms, has rustled up €2.5m in a round led by Accel. It’s quite the cap table: Harry Stebbings's 20VC joins founder of Behance Scott Belsky, Supercell founder Ilkka Paananen, German footballer Mario Götze and Alex Pall, half of DJ duo The Chainsmokers. The funding will be used to launch the app to the public and develop the product. 

Food and agritech

UK-based BlakBear, which helps consumers accurately measure the shelf-life of grocery items like meat, fruit and pre-packaged meals — and was named as one of Europe’s agritech startups to watch by investors — secured a £2.3m round. It saw investment from Ada Ventures, Remus Capital and Ponderosa Ventures. 

Hyperplan, a French startup that was highlighted as a foodtech startup to watch, raised €4.1m in funding led by Demeter, with participation from BNP Paribas Development, Techmind, Polytechnique Ventures, PeakBridge and Unilis Agtech. The startup uses satellite and meteorological data to help food producers to improve the efficiency and yield of their operations in unpredictable climate conditions by identifying the best decisions to avoid food loss and optimise CO2 efficiency. 

👉 Read: How to spend your seed funding

Sadia Nowshin

Sadia Nowshin is a reporter at Sifted covering foodtech, biotech and startup life. Follow her on X and LinkedIn