Hello Sifted reader,
We kick off this week with some big-picture thoughts on the state of European tech, and the data behind it. The last three months have been a mixed bag for the continent, with deal count down to its lowest level since 2015 and last month's total funding down 43% on 2021's figure.
But there are some glimmers of optimism — noticeably the performance of Italy, which bagged its second unicorn in September alongside some noteworthy megarounds.
Elsewhere today, Klarna's done with large-scale layoffs — at least that's what head of UK Alex Marsh told our fintech reporter Amy O'Brien at the Sifted Summit. The buy now, pay later giant also has some juicy long-term plans.
Also from the Sifted newsroom:
🦄 Meet Europe's deeptech unicorns. It's a sector notorious for taking far longer to go to market than most in startupland, but nevertheless there are almost 20 companies that investors believe in enough to push above that magical $1bn valuation mark. So, we listed every single one of them — including some very familiar names.
📉 Mixed fortunes for European tech in Q3. It hasn't been the prettiest quarter for European tech, as layoffs, downrounds and some weak-as-water currency values have left numbers way down on recent months. But it's not all bad news — some tasty funds are being raised and there's plenty of dry powder still out there waiting to be deployed.
🎓 Lessons on fundraising in a downturn. SaaS startup Cledara tried to raise a Series A round in February this year, but the markets had spooked investors so much that cofounder Cristina Vila had to pull the plug. But when she restarted the process in July, tweaks she made to her pitch and her philosophy made it a much easier ride.
🙏 Klarna promises it’s done with layoffs this year. The buy now, pay later giant’s head of UK, Alex Marsh, sat down with Amy O’Brien at the Sifted Summit to go over the Swedish fintech’s difficult year. That includes that downround, tough US growth and new regulator interest.
🔝 The best startups to work for. Recruitment startup Otta has put together a list of Europe's 100 top-growing startups — no mean feat in a slowing economic environment. They've collectively raised $14bn in the last 12 months and a fifth of them are unicorns, but not every startup is a household name.
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⚛️ QuantrolOx raises €10.5m to fine-tune quantum computers. The Oxford-based startup is building a tool that can stabilise — or tune — the qubits in quantum computers using machine learning. It's a process that usually takes hours manually, so the software could unlock the scaling potential of the entire subsector. It raised the money from the European Innovation Council (EIC).
Is this the right time to scale your startup internationally? It’s not an easy feat — growth beyond borders comes with complex compliance and security challenges — but can a streamlined approach accelerate your business growth? We'll ask Vanta, 10x Banking and Maze on October 19.
🤝 It's no secret that VCs need to improve their dealflow diversity, and some firms reckon scout programmes can help find them startups run by non-white and female founders — but there's not been much research into whether they actually work, until now. Ada Ventures has pulled the data on its own programme, and it's been a stonking success.
👼 How to find the perfect angels. The sales, tech or finance nous of a founder turned angel investor can sometimes be the kick startups need. But how do you find them? And once you do, how do you get them onboard? Karoli Hindriks, CEO of Jobbatical, thinks she has the answers.
☀️ What's the next hot ticket in solar energy? The EU generated 12% of its power between May and August from solar, which is good news for a continent trying to cut down on its fossil fuel dependence — and for startups working on new breakthroughs in the space. Freya Pratty asked investors what they're excited about.
💰 How to raise money in 2022, live from the Sifted Summit. At our flagship event recently, we asked a panel of VCs for their top tips for founders on what the new economic reality means for the fundraising process. It's not all sunshine and roses, but there's still plenty of money to be had.
🎙 Startup Europe, the Sifted Podcast, is back. This week, Amy and Eleanor are back in the studio after the live show at the Sifted Summit. There's plenty to chew on, as Gorillas face a potential buyout at a huge discount, N26 reports growing losses and Amazon aggregators get dragged into court battles. Listen wherever you get your podcasts.
👀 The future of augmented reality in four charts. Healthcare, retail and entertainment could all be revolutionised by VR's more accessible cousin. (In partnership with Rocketmakers).
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