August 24, 2021

Y Combinator’s European founder intake continues to grow to record levels

The famed American startup accelerator that gave rise to the likes of Airbnb and Reddit has largely focused on home territory, until recently.

Tom Matsuda

5 min read

Seth Bannon, Ben Lamothe, Topper Bowers (Amicus) | Credit: Y Combinator

Startup accelerator Y Combinator’s spring-summer cohort is the largest yet for European founders. 

Last year, after being forced to move online due to the pandemic, the accelerator more than doubled its European intake. This year, there are 73 European founders making up more than 17% of the cohort — the highest percentage yet in its 15 year+ history. 

“There's clearly a lot of talent in Europe and we’re excited to support more European founders,” says Stephanie Simon, YC’s head of admissions. 

“Applications from the EU have been steadily increasing every batch, with significant growth since YC has gone remote (we’ve been remote since Summer 2020)."


This increase accompanied European tech’s banner year, with startup funding raised in the first half of 2021 totalling $57.5bn — 3x more than the same time period of last year. 

In another sign that Y Combinator is looking past the country with the star-spangled banner, 54 startups in the cohort come from Asia and 26 from South America. 

Here are the European startups announced ahead of Demo Day:


  • Gamerpay — Integrated with gaming platform Steam, Gamerpay offers an online marketplace that makes it safe to trade gaming skins and assets without the fear of being scammed. 
  • Shopscribe — This startup aims to bring the subscription economy to your local store by providing the high street the opportunity to offer subscriptions for their products and thus guarantee revenue. 
  • Appollo — The London-based startup allows ecommerce clients to create one app and launch to all ecommerce platforms through the power of an application programming interface (API). 
  • Pabio — Fancy $20k of furniture with no upfront costs? Rent-to-own furniture startup Pabio offers just that, allowing the customer to pay monthly for personalised interior design. 


  • Beau — This startup automates the repetitive interactions businesses have with their clients, such as collecting submissions, payments and messages. 
  • Whaly —  No-code, no problem. Whaly helps fast-growing businesses combine data sources and build metrics to improve decision making processes. 
  • Snowboard Software — Automated data catalogue for the Snowboard data cloud to help analytics team better source and understand data.  


  • Luminate Medical — This healthtech aims to develop a device that prevents chemotherapy-induced hair loss. 
  • Digistain — Platform technology to eliminate overuse of chemotherapy by more accurately identifying high-risk patients. 
  • Iona Mind — Software-based mental health solutions. 


  • Abatable — Helps companies offset their carbon footprint by offering a high-quality portfolio of carbon removal credits. 
  • — Software service that reduces heating and energy emissions in buildings, and the costs that come with it. 
  • Heimdal — Ever dreamed of carbon neutral concrete? Heimdal has cracked it. 
  • Carbonfact — Find out the carbon footprint of any product, courtesy of the Carbonfact API. 
  • SolarMente — This startup bring the solar panel installation experience online.


  • Payflow — Dream of payday? Payflow hopes to make salaries at the end of the month a thing of the past by offering on-demand payment of wages. 
  • Synder — Automated accounting software to consolidate ecommerce platforms into one space so that you have easy access to cash flows and inventory. 
  • Numary — Offering ledger-as-a-service, Numary allows clients to build and scale money flows.
Y Combinator founder intake
Percentage of European YC companies by cohort | courtesy of Y Combinator.


  • Quest — Jumping on the social audio app craze, Quest is a Q&A app where experts answer career-related questions. 
  • Female Invest — Subscription-based e-learning platform to help close the financial gap by teaching women how to invest. 
  • StudyStream — This startup hopes you’ll say goodbye to solo study sessions by offering an online community where students can study with others around the world in real-time. 

Hybrid working tools 

  • Café — Who’s at the office? Find out with Café, a platform which shows you who’s working where in the remote working age. 
  • Teamspace — Shared realtime digital canvas to enable remote working teams to collaborate effectively. 
  • Hera — App that hopes to enable users to prepare, join and take notes of meetings more efficiently. 

Developer tools

  • Moving Parts — Library of components for iOS to undercut designers and engineers of apps. 
  • Noloco — Tailor-made portals for client-facing operations. 
  • Arengu — Low-code platform to build signup flows. 
  • Enso — No-code interactive ETL and data analysis tools. 
  • Archbee — Tool to create documents, such as internal wikis and knowledge bases, for software teams. 


  • Genei — AI that can translate long texts into sharps summaries to enable faster research. 
  • Malloc — Mobile app that monitors and prevents other apps from recording you or transferring data about you.
  • Lightly — Data curation platform that has efficiency at its core by selecting only the most relevant data to train ML models. 


  • QOA — Can chocolate be future-proofed? QOA are creating cocoa-free chocolate to prevent the endangerment of the cocoa crop. 
  • Membo — Another grocery delivery app? Rather than delivering as fast as possible, Membo aims to get you the freshest possible groceries such as bread baked that same morning or fish caught the day before. 
  • Orderli — QR code ordering app for restaurants and bars. 


  • HeyCharge — This startup aims to disrupt the EV charging industry by offering low-cost and adaptable chargers. 
  • Sitenna — Cloud-based marketplace connecting mobile operators with landlords to speed up time to deployment. 

HR tech

  • Crew — Productivity tools designed for recruiters. 
  • Zoios — Collects analytics on people to recognise which groups are highly engaged or overly stressed to gauge churn as a way of increasing employee retention. 
  • Awesomic — This HR tech startup matches designers to companies who pay a flat subscription fee. 
  • Onfolk — Software offering payroll and HR all in one place by ex-Monzo staff. 


  • EchoesHQ — Analytics for engineers to determine decisions on hiring, communication and engagement. 
  • SigmaOS — A browser dedicated to making research more efficient. 
  • Protex AI — Software that monitors cameras in the logistics and manufacturing industries to ensure compliance and notify of any safety issues. 
  • Palette HQ — SaaS platform that makes sales commissions data understandable to non-tech people. 

And everything else:

Tom Matsuda

Tom Matsuda is a freelance tech journalist based in London. Find him on Twitter and LinkedIn