We’re well into the tail end of 2023 and for early-stage startups, that’s meant a slowdown in funding.
There were 292 pre-seed and seed deals announced in November, compared with the 361 we saw in October, according to data from Dealroom.
Those 292 rounds drummed up €504m in total, down from €599m in October. However, more promisingly, funding bested last November’s total — €389m — by 29.6%.
So where were the deals being cut?
The UK held onto its top spot and France remained in second place, with Germany coming in third. Early-stage startups in the UK brought in €133m in funding in November, slightly lower than the €142m raised in October, while French startups witnessed an inflow of €79m, down from €116m. German startups raised €51m (down from €79m in October).
There was a smidgen more money funnelled into fintech in November — €90m vs October’s €88m — in what was another good month for the sector. Healthtech came out on top though, with €107m. Third spot went to enterprise software, with €41m.
Here are 12 seed rounds that caught Sifted’s eye.
What comes to mind when you hear the words “energy storage”? Climate, right? Injectpower challenges that notion. The French startup, which raised €6.5m from investors including the IDEC Group and Bpifrance, is building rechargeable micro-batteries for implanted medical devices. With 16 years of research and 40 patents to its name, Injectpower uses semiconductor technology to manufacture batteries that only require patients to charge them for a few minutes each week.
London-based biotech, Valink Therapeutics, which develops antibody-based therapeutics, bagged £6.3m led by RV Invest and saw participation from investors including Hoxton Ventures, SynBioVen, Acequia Capital, Magnet Venture, Oxford Angel Fund and Y Combinator.
The Netherlands’ Artica Therapeutics, meanwhile, raised €12m led by Thuja Capital and Seroba, to advance therapies for patients with autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. Tjeerd Barf, CEO of Artica, thinks the company's track record of successful delivery of covalent-based drugs will help it advance its novel covalent therapies.
After a lacklustre first half of the year, Europe’s once-golden sector is staging a comeback. Maintaining its momentum from October, fintech had some meaty seed fundraises in November as well.
DoorFeed swiped €7m from investors including Seedcamp, Motive Partners and Stride.VC. The French startup enables family offices and institutional investors to access residential real estate portfolios that are custom-built using AI and expert advice. With lots of commercial property lying empty due to the shift to hybrid working, the company claims it is ideally positioned to leverage the shift in investors’ attention to residential real estate.
Milan-based fintech Qomodo, which offers buy now, pay later (BNPL) solutions to brick-and-mortar retailers, bagged €4.5m in a round that saw participation from Notion Capital, Octopus Ventures, Plug and Play and others. Simultaneously, it also raised €30m in lending capital led by Fasanara Capital, according to Dealroom.
Over in the UK, London’s Due netted $3.3m for its cross-border payments platform, in a round led by Semantic and Fabric Ventures. The company’s founder Robert Sargsian previously worked at Revolut and Bolt, and the company uses blockchain technology to make international payments cheaper and more efficient. It is set to launch in the US, UK, Europe and Africa, with further expansion into Latin America and Asia planned in early 2024.
A surprise entrant this month is security. Startups in the space raised €38m.
Cambridge-based SeeChange netted £8m last month in a round led by Crane Venture Partners and Triple Point Ventures. Other participating investors were Runa Capital and True Capital. The company’s visual AI platform SeeWare enables retailers to reduce theft, manage stockouts and improve the checkout experience by making their stores more intelligent and connected.
Ghent, Belgium-based Aikido Security gives an overview of all code and cloud security issues facing a company and enables them to fix them instantly and avoid vulnerabilities. The company raised €5m last month, in a round co-led by Notion Capital and Connect Ventures, with participation from Inovia Capital.
Paris-based Qevlar AI, a company that uses AI to investigate cyber attacks and threats to businesses, raised €4.5m led by EQT Ventures. It offers seamless integration with existing security infrastructure and offers rapid analysis of potential security threats.
Danish startup Again secured a €10m seed round from ACME, Google Ventures and Atlantic Labs to scale its carbon utilisation plant, which uses natural bacteria that "eat" up to 1 tonne of CO2 a day and convert it into chemical products for industry. The company’s gas fermentation process uses bacteria to convert CO2 into sustainable products such as acetate and acetic acid, which are key base chemicals for adhesives and solvents.
Turin-based CarpeCarbon, which is designing Italy’s first direct air capture plant, raised a €1.8m round from CDP Venture Capital’s Tech4Planet initiative and 360 Capital.
Water tech has experienced muted activity this year, but that didn’t stop Antwerp’s groundwater management startup iFLUX, which helps map groundwater pollution using sensors, secure €2m from investors including PMV, PureTerra Ventures and V2Hfin.
Seed rounds of 2023