Startup Europe. Grown up reporting
Our team of experts at Sifted have chosen a list of more than 100 companies we think you need to know about, with an added “Sifted take” on some to provide an extra layer of insight. Keep reading below and stay informed about Europe’s new economy!
(P.S The data is from our partners at dealroom.co If there is anyone missing from this list, or anything is wrong, please let us know by email at [email protected]).
Please check out our jobs board to see some of the compamies hiring from this list.
Sifted Take When former Tesla manager Peter Carlsson said he wanted to build at €3bn battery farm in northern Sweden, many thought he was crazy.
But his three-year-old company, Northvolt, has today raised a whopping amount of money ($1bn just last year) from the likes of Volkswagen, BMW and Goldman Sachs to realise the dream.
Phase one of “”Northvolt Ett”” project in Skelleftea, Sweden, is to produce 16 GWh of capacity a year but once fully operational, it will be one of Europe’s largest battery cell factories and produce 32 GWh worth of capacity annually.
There are also plans for a second gigafactory with an “intended location” in Lower Saxony, Germany – this time to be called ‘Northvolt Zwei’.
“The whole purpose of Northvolt is, to be the future of energy,” Emad Zand, Northvolt’s president of its energy solutions division, told Energy-Storage.news in an interview earlier this year.
Speaking last year to Sifted, Carlsson said that the difficulty of this kind of project is that you have to start huge or not bother at all.
“We knew that it isn’t possible to start off small with this kind of project, the prerequisites for this industry is going big from scratch… That was a challenge.”
The wider context is that, with a need to cut down on fossil fuels and changing consumer tastes, automotive companies have all been making a push into electric cars.
Volkswagen and BMW have invested heavily in the development and production of electric cars, and so it makes sense for them investing in Northvolt.”
Sifted Take Chief executive Sebastian Siemiatkowski is aiming to make Klarna one of the world’s top five fintech companies and, at least for now, the Swedish buy-now-pay-later startup is on a roll.
In 2019 it launched a new $460m fundraising, giving the company a post-money valuation of $5.5bn, making it the highest-valued private fintech company in Europe. That was a 250% increase on its last valuation.
And now, after four bumpy years trying to capture the US market, Klarna has finally made inroads and is reportedly growing at approximately half a million customers a month.
It’s managed to entice a new millennial audience who love shopping online and would prefer — wouldn’t we all? — to pay later rather than today.
There are some concerns that the “pay later with Klarna” button is being overused by young people, who are getting into trouble with debt as a result, so the company will have to manage their image here carefully. They have won criticism recently from Swedish politicians.
Also notable is that Calvin Broadus, better known as Snoop Dogg (or Smoooth Dog), the American rapper, is an investor and brand ambassador. One big question is if the company will stay European when it looks for an eventual exit, or follow the route of Izettle and Skype, who were bought by US giants.
In February, Klarna has acquired the Italian buy now, pay later startup Moneymour and established a new product development hub in MIlan.
Under the deal, Klarna has taken over the intellectual property rights to Moneymour’s scoring engine and intends to adopt it across its own markets. The entire Moneymour team will join Klarna at its new technology hub.
Sifted Take In the rapidly-growing market for digital health, Kry is one of the leaders in the Nordics with ambitions to take on the rest of Europe.
In 2018 the Swedish startup, which facilitates video calls to doctors or psychologists, raised €53m in a round was led by Index Ventures with Accel, Creandum and Project A. Then in early 2020 it raised $155m in a funding round led by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to support plans for further expansion in Europe,
The idea is that the service saves everyone time: users put in their symptoms and then organise a call rather than going to the GP every time there is a problem. The company already provides nearly 2% of all GP visits in Sweden. Since the company was founded in 2015 it has completed more than 1.4m patient meetings.
The big question for the company, which operates in Sweden, Norway and Germany under its own name and in the United Kingdom and France under the name LIVI, is how the European expansion will go.
It already has tough competition in this new space from the likes of Babylon Health (UK), Push Doctor (UK), Min Doktor (Sweden) and ViviDoctor (Belgium). There are also ongoing challenges of companies such as Kry working to disrupt such a sensitive and heavily-regulated sector such as healthcare.
Kry had net sales of 234 million Swedish crowns ($25 million) in 2018 and an operating loss of 256 million crowns.
Sifted Take Initially launched in 2013 as a consumer-facing app for account aggregation, Tink has since pivoted into a B2B model aimed at helping banks and other financial groups comply with and take advantage of open banking across the UK and Europe.
The pivot was a good move. Investors interviewed by Sifted talk about a growing reluctance to push even more money into the consumer banks given their lofty valuations, but ever-growing interest in the business-focused startups.
In January this year, Tink secured €90m in a fresh funding round co-led by Dawn Capital, HMI Capital, and Insight Partners. The round came less than a year after the startup announced a €56m and valued the fintech a €415m.
Tink has a big number of high-profile partners like BNP Paribas Fortis, ABN AMRO, SEB, and Klarna. The startup’s platform is now live in 12 European markets, connecting to over 2,500 banks that collectively reach more than 250m customers across the region.
Is big and powerful, but has competition, most worryingly from Plaid after the open banking rivals was recently bought by Visa for $5.3bn.
Stockholms län, Sweden
Simrishamn V, Sweden
San Francisco, United States
Västra Frölunda, Sweden
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