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European Venture Picks Up In Q3 Following Slow Start




The European venture ecosystem is robust and growing with strengths in fintech, health care, deep tech, data and analytics, and commerce and shopping. 

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In the last 10 years, European venture has experienced growth year over year at between 16 percent and 55 percent–bar one year (2016) that was down 13 percent. (2014 and 2015 each experienced growth above 50 percent year over year.)  

Fast-forward to 2020: Overall European venture funding is down 17 percent for the first three quarters of 2020 compared with the peak funding year of 2019, according to Crunchbase Data.

Read our Q3 2020 funding reports for the globe here and North America here

However, this third quarter captured the highest funding since Q3 2019, with a particularly strong funding month in September 2020, the second-highest funding month in the last two years. Funding tracks at $10 billion in Q3 2020, up 21 percent quarter over quarter but down 12 percent year over year. 

And as we note in this report, investors are raising ever larger funds, along with more companies raising rounds above $100 million. 

Overall, European venture peaked in 2019, contrasting with the U.S., which peaked in 2018. Funding to European-headquartered startups is around a third of U.S. funding. However, with some leading European startups moving to the U.S., but retaining their initial offices in Europe, the funding impact is larger than the following investment charts indicate.

Large fundings

In Q3 2020, there were 20 European companies that raised rounds above $100 million, the highest count of companies in that range within a single quarter over the last two years. These companies are headquartered across Europe from seven different countries including Sweden, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Finland, Netherlands and Turkey, which are listed below in order of the most funding raised. 

Notable companies include payments company Klarna from Sweden, cloud kitchen service Karma Kitchen, and security analysis platform Snyk, both from the U.K., Auxmoney, a peer-to-peer loan marketplace, and vertical farming company Infarm, both headquartered in Germany. 

Funding rounds over $100 million represent 45 percent of venture capital this quarter, higher than the second quarter at 27 percent and Q3 2019 at 39 percent. 

Five new European companies joined the unicorn leaderboard this quarter including ecommerce marketplace enabler Mirakl (France), fitness apparel-maker Gymshark (U.K.), customer-engagement platform Infobip (U.K.), payments platform Mollie (Netherlands), and nutrition company Oatly (Sweden), bringing the total to 71 private European unicorn companies

Leading countries

The leading countries for investments are the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Sweden. For France and Sweden, funding in 2020 for the first three quarters of the year is slightly above 2019 funding levels. For the first three quarters of 2020, the U.K. and Germany are down 21 percent and 19 percent, respectively, compared with 2019.

Funding by stage

Seed-stage funding is down both quarter over quarter and year over year, but seed funding also shows the highest data lags with the majority of smaller seed fundings added after the end of a quarter. 

Early-stage venture was at $4.1 billion in Q3, up 33 percent quarter over quarter and 1 percent year over year. We attribute some of this increase quarter over quarter in part to large fundings above $100 million at the Series A and B stages. 

Late stage–which includes Series C and later rounds as well as private equity–in venture-backed companies comes in at $5.2 billion, up quarter over quarter by 19 percent, but down year over year by the same percentage.

Active investors

Despite the pandemic, European venture firms are raising ever-larger funds in 2020. Earlier this year, Atomico from London raised its fifth and largest fund of $820 million. This past quarter, London-based Dawn Capital raised its fourth and largest fund to date at $400 million to back enterprise software startups. Point Nine Capital, headquartered in Berlin, raised its fifth seed fund of $100 million to back B2B SaaS and marketplace companies. And Daniel Ek, the founder of Spotify, has committed to investing $1 billion into European deeptech startups over the next decade. 

Leading investors this quarter include Bpifrance (France), Balderton Capital (U.K.) and Speedinvest (Austria). Business Growth Fund (U.K.), Global Founders Capital (Germany), and High-Tech Grunderfonds (Germany) round out the top six firms by funding count. 


Acquisitions with disclosed amounts totalled $3.5 billion for European startups in Q3 2020. The largest deal was the acquisition of idealista, a Madrid-based online real estate platform for renting, buying and selling homes and apartments. The company is active in Spain, Italy and Portugal, and is set to be acquired by EQT, a global investment organization. EQT  acquired in Q3 2020, a leading player in online real estate advertising in Italy. 

Strong performers that went public this quarter include CureVac and COMPASS Pathways. CureVac is up over 200 percent from its IPO price and currently valued at $9.6 billion, and COMPASS Pathways is up over 100 percent and valued at $1.3 billion as of mid-October. 

The big picture

The two leading ecosystems in Europe, namely the U.K. and Germany, secured less funding in 2020 compared with 2019. Despite Brexit and the accompanying loss of European funds, the U.K. will continue to be the leading market in Europe due to the cluster of leading venture firms, ties to the U.S. venture markets, English as a global language, and London, a cosmopolitan city. 

Since the 2016 Brexit vote, the U.K. has fluctuated between 34 percent and 41 percent of European venture capital on an annual basis. In contrast, Germany, the second-biggest funding market in Europe, garners 12 percent to 17 percent of European funding capital. 

Four out of the next five leading countries–France, Sweden, Netherlands and Finland–have all experienced funding growth in 2020.

“Despite the global health and economic crisis, European tech has proved its resilience and solid foundations this year,” said Tom Wehmeier partner and head of insights at Atomico. “Investment levels reflect the quality of founders and companies emerging from Europe, such as some of this year’s breakout companies like Hopin, Klarna, and MessageBird, companies that have capitalized on the shift toward more remote work and growth in e-commerce.

“There remains huge upside potential as tech entrepreneurship and startup communities scale to all corners of Europe, and the flywheel of systematic recycling of talent and capital propels more mature hubs through the scaling of highly liquid entrepreneurial talent and funding marketplaces,” he added.

After a slower start to the year, European funding has picked up in the third quarter, the strongest funding quarter since Q3 2019 with a higher count of $100 million plus rounds. With the strong performance of recent public offerings of tech stock in the U.S., we are asking which European unicorn companies will go public next. 


The data contained in this report comes directly from Crunchbase, and is based on reported data as of Oct. 7th 2020. 

Data lags are most pronounced at the earliest stages of venture activity with seed funding amounts increasing significantly after the end of a quarter. 

The most recent quarter will increase over time relative to previous quarters. For funding counts, we notice a strong data lag, especially at the seed and early stages, by  as much as 26 percent to 41 percent a year out. 

Please note that all funding values are given in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted. Crunchbase converts foreign currencies to U.S. dollars at the prevailing spot rate from the date funding rounds, acquisitions, IPOs and other financial events are reported. Even if those events were added to Crunchbase long after the event was announced, foreign currency transactions are converted at the historic spot price.

Glossary of funding terms

Seed and angel consists of seed, pre-seed and angel rounds. Crunchbase also includes venture rounds of unknown series, equity crowdfunding, and convertible notes at $3 million (USD or as-converted USD equivalent) or less.

Early-stage consists of Series A and Series B rounds, as well as other round types. Crunchbase includes venture rounds of unknown series, corporate venture and other rounds above $3 million, and those less than or equal to $15 million. 

Late-stage consists of Series C, Series D, Series E and later-lettered venture rounds following the “Series [Letter]” naming convention. Also included are venture rounds of unknown series,  corporate venture, and other rounds above $15 million.

Technology growth is a private-equity round raised by a company that has previously raised a “venture” round. (So basically, any round from the previously defined stages.)

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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The Briefing: RVShare raises over $100M, Google disputes charges, and more




Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

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RVShare raises over $100M for RV rentals

RVShare, an online marketplace for RV rentals, reportedly raised over $100 million in a financing led by private equity firms KKR and Tritium Partners.

Akron, Ohio-based RVShare has seen sharp growth in demand amid the pandemic, as more would-be travelers seek socially distanced options for hitting the road. Founded in 2013, the company matches RV owners with prospective renters, filtering by location, price and vehicle types.

Previously, RVShare had raised $50 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data, from Tritium Partners. The company is one of several players in the RV rental space, and competes alongside Outdoorsy, a peer-to-peer RV marketplace that has raised $75 million in venture funding.

Funding news

  • BrightFarms closes on $100M: Indoor farming company BrightFarms said it secured more than $100 million in debt and new equity capital to support expansion plans. The Series E round of funding was led by Cox Enterprises, which now owns a majority stake in the company, and includes a follow-on investment from growth equity firm Catalyst Investors.
  • Anyscale inks $40MAnyscale, the Berkeley-based company behind the Ray open source project for building applications, announced $40 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. Existing investor NEA led the round and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital and Foundation Capital. The new funding brings Anyscale’s total funding to more than $60 million.
  • Klar deposits $15M: Mexican fintech Klar closed on $15 million in Series A funding, led by Prosus Ventures, with participation from new investor International Finance Corporation and existing investors Quona Capital, Mouro Capital and Acrew. The round brings total funding raised to approximately $72 million since the company was founded in 2019. The funds are intended to grow Klar’s engineering capabilities in both its Berlin and Mexico hubs.
  • O(1) Labs rakes in $10.9M: O(1) Labs, the team behind the cryptocurrency Mina, announced $10.9 million in a strategic investment round. Co-leading the round are Bixin Ventures and Three Arrows Capital with participation from SNZ, HashKey Capital, Signum Capital, NGC Ventures, Fenbushi Capital and IOSG Ventures.
  • Blustream bags $3M: After-sale customer engagement company Blustream said it raised $3 million in seed funding for product usage data and digital transformation efforts for physical goods companies via the Blustream Product Experience Platform. York IE led the round of funding for the Worcester, Massachusetts-based company with additional support from existing investors.Pillar secures another $1.5M: Pillar, a startup that helps families protect and care for their loved ones, raised $1.5 million in a seed extension to close at $7 million, The round was led by Kleiner Perkins.

Other news

  • Google rejects DOJ antitrust arguments: In the wake of a widely anticipated U.S. Justice Department antitrust suit against Google, the search giant disputed the charges in a statement, maintaining that: “People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives.”
  • Facebook said to test Nextdoor rival: Facebook is reportedly testing a service similar to popular neighborhood-focused social Nextdoor. Called Neighborhoods, the feature reportedly suggests local neighborhood groups to join on Facebook.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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Syte Sees $30M Series C For Product Discovery




Online shopping has become the norm for most people in 2020, even coaxing traditional retail brands to up their presence to stay competitive. However, now that shoppers can’t see and touch products like they used to, e-commerce discovery has become a crucial element for customer acquisition and retention.

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Enter Syte, an Israel-based company that touts creating the world’s first product discovery platform that utilizes the senses, such as visual, text and voice, and then leverages visual artificial intelligence and next-generation personalization to create individualized and memorable customer experiences, Syte co-founder and CEO Ofer Fryman told Crunchbase News.

To execute on this, the company raised $30 million in Series C funding and an additional $10 million in debt. Viola Ventures led the round and was joined by LG Technology Ventures, La Maison, MizMaa Ventures and Kreos Capital, as well as existing investors Magma, Naver Corporation, Commerce Ventures, Storm Ventures, Axess Ventures, Remagine Media Ventures and KDS Media Fund.

This brings the company’s total fundraising to $71 million since its inception in 2015. That includes a $21.5 million Series B, also led by Viola, in 2019, according to Crunchbase data.

Fryman intends for the new funding to be put to work on product enhancements and geographic expansion. Syte already has an established customer base in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and will now focus expansion in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific.

Meanwhile, Syte has grown 22 percent quarter over quarter, as well as experienced a 38 percent expansion of its customer base since the beginning of 2020.

“Since we crossed $1 million annual recurring revenue, we have been tripling revenue while also becoming more efficient,” Fryman said. “We can accelerate growth as well as build an amazing technology and solution for a business that needs it right now. We plan to grow further, and even though our SaaS metrics are excellent right now, our goal is to improve them.”

Anshul Agarwal, managing director at LG Technology Ventures, said Syte was an attractive investment due in part to its unique technology.

“They have a deep-learning system and have created a new category, product discovery that will enable online shopping in a way we never had the ability to do before,” Agarwal said. “The product market fit was also unique. We believe in the strong execution by the team and the rapid growth in SaaS. We looked at many different companies, and the SaaS metrics that Syte showed are the strongest we’ve seen in a while.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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Intellimize Closes $12M Round Of New Funding




Website optimization startup Intellimize has landed $12 million in new funding, the company announced Wednesday. 

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Intellimize automatically optimizes websites using artificial intelligence. Marketers are able to use the software to try different experiences in parallel and in real time. 

“With A/B testing, all the work is on me,” said CEO Guy Yalif in an interview with Crunchbase News. “With intelligent website optimization, the work is on the machine.”

The company uses machine learning to adjust web pages to respond to a customer’s behavior over time. When a customer goes on a company’s website, Intellimize can give the  customer’s location, time of day, previous website behavior summary, traffic source and other information so marketers can optimize the customer’s experience.

Intellimize says it delivers an average of 46 percent increase in online conversations. And more online conversations can lead to more sales and revenue.

Intellimize, which is based in San Mateo, competes with companies like Granify, accoridng to Owler. 

Addition led the round, with participation from previous investors including Homebrew, Amplify Partners, and Precursor Ventures. The new round brings Intellimize’s total funding to $22 million.

In terms of growth, Yalif said Intellimize had seen its in-target revenue grow 5x in the last year. The company counts Snowflake, Sumo Logic, Tableau, and Unilever Prestige among its customers.

The company plans on using the new funding to significantly expand its team, with a particular focus on people with machine learning expertise, Yalif said.

Intellimize last raised an $8 million Series A led by Amplify Partners in April 2019.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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There’s a lot that’s lost in the clamor to “do something” about the tech industry, namely the impact on smaller companies and the overall innovation…


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Fintech Startups Broke Apart Financial Services. Now The Sector Is Rebundling




As fintech companies mature, many no longer aspire to be the best at one thing. That could mean not only new revenue sources for fintech companies, but also additional venture capital to startups and even a surge in M&A activity.

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One example of a hot startup that has drawn attention from a big financial services company is San Francisco-based Plaid, an early fintech startup that manages the connections between apps and banks. Earlier this year, Visa agreed to acquire Plaid for $5.3 billion.

Five years ago, that deal might not have happened. Early leading fintech brands like Lending Club, SoFi or Robinhood started out as “best-of-breeds,” essentially unbundling one aspect of financial services. Today, venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Unbundling was driven by a sensible bit of conventional wisdom, Ben Savage, partner at Clocktower Technology Ventures, told Crunchbase News. In the 1990s and early 2000s, banks were emerging as one-stop shops, essentially building a “supermarket of financial services,” he said.

However, many of those offerings represented a small amount of the bank’s overall business. The early wave of fintech startups settled on taking one of those bank functions and executing better.

“You can really only do one thing at a time as a startup, but if you do that really well and find product market fit, you win the opportunity to expand the features,” Savage said.

In addition, the barriers to entry were difficult: any infrastructure or function required to execute had to be built internally. Fast forward to today, and “the price of admission has come way, way down,” Savage said.

Indeed, there are now infrastructure businesses that help fintechs build in less time and with less cost, enabling them to expand their product footprint more easily. However, as it turns out, consumers eventually liked seeing all of their information in one place again and pushed fintechs to reintegrate.

“Profitability nudges you to open more product lines,” Savage said. “You see this in companies like Credit Karma, which used to do only credit checks, but now offers their own products. It is much easier to do it now, consumers expect it and it is a better economic model to offer more products.”

Credit Karma is also another example of a startup being acquired by a larger financial services company. The San Francisco-based personal finance platform is being acquired by Intuit, the financial software provider behind TurboTax and QuickBooks, for $7.1 billion, pending regulatory review.

Startup perspective

With rebundling comes an opportunity to bring in new lines of revenue, said Alex Pomeroy, co-founder and partner at AGO Partners, in an interview.

One of his portfolio companies is Aspiration, a Marina Del Rey-based fintech platform that offers a range of products oriented around conscious consumerism, including spend-and-save, investing, retirement and giving products.

“Most of the fintechs are basing themselves off of savings and checking, but we are already seeing mutual fund products, as well as credit and insurance products,” Pomeroy said.

M1 Finance is another example of a fintech trending toward rebundling. The Chicago-based company, founded in 2015, recently closed a $45 million Series C round of funding and is one of the 995 U.S. fintech companies to receive a cash infusion this year.

Investors pumped just over $17 billion into fintech startups year-to-date in 2020, according to Crunchbase research.

M1 Finance is bundling investment, borrowing and banking products into what co-founder and CEO Brian Barnes coins a “finance super app.”

When fintech companies began unbundling, the tools got better, but consumers ended up with 15 personal finance apps on their phones. Now, a lot of new fintechs are looking at their offerings and figuring out how to manage all of a person’s personal finances so that other products can be enhanced, said Barnes.

“We are not trying to be a bunch of products, but more about how each product helps the other,” Barnes said. “If we offer a checking account, we can see income coming in and be able to give you better access to borrowing. That is the rebuild—how does fintech serve all of the needs, and how to leverage it for others?”

Traditional banking revolves around relationships for which banks can sell many products to maximize lifetime value, said Chris Rothstein, co-founder and CEO of San Francisco-based sales engagement platform Groove, in an interview.

Rebundling will become a core part of workflow and a way for fintechs to leverage those relationships to then be able to refer them to other products, he said.

“It makes sense long-term,” Rothstein said in an interview. “In financial services, many people don’t want all of these organizations to have their sensitive data. Rebundling will also force incumbents to get better.”

Policy perspective

The concept of financial services bundling is driven by two U.S. laws:

“These laws prevent banks from operating outside the narrow realm of financial services, nor do they allow for companies to do banking and investing or banking and commerce at the same time,” said John Pitts, head of policy at Plaid.

Those laws don’t apply to commercial firms, which is how companies including Netflix, Google, Amazon and Apple are able to get into financial services, he said.

“These companies are big enough to do banking services and are interested in doing it,” Pitts added.

Traditionally, financial services did all of their competing and bundling based on the location of the bank branch. However, fintechs are not restrained by geography, he explained. As a result, he predicts the merging of fintech and commerce may be almost an undoing of both of those regulations, and if those were to change, rebundling will look different.

Where we go from here

However, several experts say it is too early to know the right services to rebundle or exactly what rebundling will look like.

“As we see challengers become dominant players, they will have the opportunity to experiment digitally,” Savage said. “They won’t be burdened from history and will be able to start with a blank slate.”

He also expects more innovation in the customer experience over time. That could mean niche financial challengers coming on, similar to how credit unions operate today, and offering very targeted services like a bank for yoga instructors or one for people who travel frequently.

Meanwhile, Barnes acknowledges that not every fintech company will rebundle in the same way, but if a company does well, they will most likely be the predominant system in the future.

If federal regulations are amended, Pitts expects rebundling to have no restrictions from those two acts. He points to changes on the horizon, due in part from a request for comment in June by the Office of the Comptroller of Currency on updates for banks’ digital activities.

“Banks are moving to be more like fintechs, and as fintechs rebundle services, we will see banks doing their own unbundling and re-bundling,” Pitts said. “The questions will be who is the best at meeting consumer demand, and what those bundles will look like?”

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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