Entrepreneur

Tech startups weekly: Bootstrapped British e-bike startup’s first funding ; learning decision-making from insects; Dutch nanotech company raises funding; and more


Although the pandemic situation hasn’t completely eased, several European tech startups have hit the headlines as they want to grow and take their businesses to another level. And, in the past week, a lot of such startups have received funding to scale up, develop their products as well as provide jobs to help balance the economy in the process.

European tech startups weekly

As a part of a weekly roundup, here is a list of some of the most important tech startups that have hit the headlines in Europe this week.

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Image credit: Opteran

Opteran raises Seed fund to solve autonomy using Natural Intelligence inspired by insects

Sheffield, a UK-based Opteran, a natural intelligence company, has raised £2.1M (approx €2.35M) in its Seed round of funding. The company will use the funds to pioneer its radical lightweight, low-cost silicon-based approach to autonomy called Natural Intelligence and expects its technology will significantly expand the potential addressable market for autonomy in machines and robotics.

The round was led by IQ Capital with Episode1, Join and Seraphim Capital also participating. Following on from a pre-seed round from the Connecting Capabilities Fund of the British Business Bank, the latest funding round also includes angel investors and a CCF grant, a part of the Northern Triangle Initiative.

Founded in 2020, Opteran is a University of Sheffield spin-out by Professor James Marshall and Dr Alex Cope. The company reverse-engineers biological systems onto silicon, enabling machines to see, sense, navigate and make decisions better than existing AI approaches. 

This Brussels-based startup helps produce high-quality visuals for real estate properties; raises €3.43M

Belgium-based Nodalview, a startup that combines smartphone technology, AI, and cloud computing to produce high-quality visuals for real estate properties, has raised $4.1M (approx €3.43M) in its Series A round of funding. The round was led by London-based PROfounders, with participation from Madrid-based K Fund and prior backer Volta Ventures.

Founded in 2016 by Thomas Lepelaars, Nodalview’s solution is used by over 10,000 real estate agents to capture AI-powered eye-catching photos & 360-degree immersive virtual tours of properties using a smartphone. Agents can choose to equip themselves with a nifty professional mobile photography kit for even higher impact and quality. 

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Nodalview is used from small independent agencies to large real estate groups to produce high-quality engaging visual content for over 250K properties shots per year, claims the company.

Image credit: Lightspin

Lightspin comes out stealth mode with €3.35M Seed funding

Israeli startup Lightspin, a pioneer in contextual cloud security protecting native, Kubernetes, and microservices from known and unknown risks, is now out of stealth with $4M (approx €3.35M) in Seed round funding. The round was led by Ibex Investors LLC, the firm’s first global investment from its new $100M (approx €83.87M) early-stage fund, as well as from private angel investors.

With this funding, the company aims to help organisations protect cloud infrastructure and advance digital transformation.

Founded by Vladi Sandler and Or Azarzar, using predictive graph-based technology, Lightspin empowers cloud and security teams to eliminate risks by proactively blocking all attack paths while maximising productivity by reducing and prioritising security alerts, to cut down remediation time.

RevLifter Raise €3.68M to scale personalised offers globally

London-based RevLifter, a platform that helps personalise deals for retailers across any marketing channel, has raised £3.3M (approx €3.68M) in its Series A round of funding from Gresham House Ventures and Maven Capital Partners.

The raised capital will be used to support recent growth, as the company is on track to grow its revenue by just under 200% year-on-year in 2020. Predominantly focussed on the US, RevLifter will also be able to expand its presence in EMEA and APAC, as well as target industries such as finance and utilities.

Founded in 2017 by Ryan Kliszat and Simon Bird, the platform uses AI to understand real-time signals from users onsite behaviour to deliver the right deal to the right customer at the right time, to achieve the advertiser’s goals. It works by personalising offers on a retailer’s site and off-site which are designed to deliver incrementally and prevent customers from leaving to look for deals on competitors. 

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The platform is uniquely used by each retailer to deliver their specific goals, which often include; more new customers, higher AOV, and conversion rates.

Image credit: Innatera

Nanotech company Innatera raises €5M

Dutch nanotech company Innatera has raised €5M in its Seed round of funding to bring its brain-inspired processing technology to sensors and sensor-based devices. The round was led by Munich-based deep-tech investors MIG Verwaltungs and the Industrial Technologies Fund of btov Partners.

Founded in 2018 as a spin-off from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, Innatera is a semiconductor startup that aims to simplify how sensor data is processed in power-constrained devices. 

It develops ultra-efficient neuromorphic microprocessors that mimic the brain’s mechanisms for processing fast information streams from multiple sensors. These microprocessors enable complex turn-key sensor data processing functionalities, with 10,000x higher performance per watt than competing solutions. The company claims that its technology is a critical enabler for next-generation devices in the IoT, wearable, and embedded domains.

Image credit: TransferGo

TransferGo raises funds for its cross-border payments platform

London-based fintech startup TransferGo has raised £4M (approx €4.47M) in a fresh round of funding from Silicon Valley Bank UK Branch (SVB) to expand its real-time payments platform for consumers, SMEs, and enterprise clients.

The fintech company was founded in 2012 by Arnas Lukosevicius, Daumantas Dvilinskas, Edvinas Sersniovas, and Justinas Lasevicius. TransferGo is a global money transfer company that supports migrant workers to send money back to their relatives without paying unnecessary bank fees.

Through the platform, migrants and businesses can transfer money overseas with the help of a digital account-to-account business model as it is a licensed and authorised payment institution controlled by the FCA under the supervision of HMRC, the company is considered a secure way of transferring money. 

The company charges a fixed fee for transferring money as well as a 0.6% to 1.5% fee for the currency conversion per transaction.

Image credit: FuroSystems

Bootstrapped British e-bike startup raises first funding

London-based bootstrapped e-bike manufacturer FuroSystems has raised £750K (approx €838K) in its first funding round since its launch in 2017. This Seed round was participated by TSP Ventures, Europe’s impact investment bank, ClearlySo as well as several angel investors.

Despite being profitable since inception, the raised capital will allow the company to accelerate growth and R&D as it aims to become a key player in the electric transport future. According to the company, it has witnesses demand surge since the coronavirus lockdown from an already high growth rate, with year-on-year sales up fivefold.

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FuroSystems was founded in 2017 by engineers Eliott Wertheimer and Albert Nassar. The company is a manufacturer of high-performance electric vehicles. Its hero product is the Furo X folding e-bike. The carbon fiber frame makes it one of the lightest e-bikes in the world, weighing a mere 15kg, claims the company. Its high-density removable lithium-ion battery has a range of 55km.

The company has also designed and manufactured the Fuze, a versatile, high-end e-scooter with over 800W of available peak power, though the top speed can be limited to 15.5mph/25kph depending on local legislation.

Image credit: Metrikus

Metrikus, a proptech startup has raised €5.58M

London-based prop-tech startup Metrikus has announced the completion of its series A funding, doubling the amount of funding it has attracted in the year to December 2020 to reach £5M (approx €5.58M) in funding since its inception in May 2019. 

Investors in this round include RentaMarkets, the Spanish independent financial services group as well as private individuals.

The raised capital comes with strategic agreements for new business across Europe and will drive business in the US, India, Japan and South Korea in addition to core geographies.

The company was founded by Adrian Purvis, Gary Cottle, Juan Quintas, and Michael Grant. Metrikus is a software platform that helps understand and optimise a building’s environment, maintenance, usage, and health. It connects the building’s assets and sensors into a single digital platform and offers 24/7, real-time information on all aspects of the estate that are relevant. 

The company also mentions, “We help our customers gain useful insight into many areas, including critical asset maintenance, space utilisation, and the health of a building’s physical environment.”

Image credit: Pixabay

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