Which innovations attract investments lately?
Fusion energy, pay-as-you-go car insurance, AI – driven drug discovery and face-blurring technologies. These are some of the fields leading the European investment ranking right now.
In a previous blogpost we were writing about the latest funding trends for startups . Now we dive deeper into the actual figures, with an overview of some of the most prominent recent investments, based on the list of sifted.eu.
Equinor, the Norwegian oil company, and ENI Next, the Italian energy company’s cleantech VC arm, took part in the $84m series A round for Commonwealth Fusion Systems, a US startup working on commercialising fusion energy.
Fusion, with its promises of unlimited no-carbon energy has been something of a Holy Grail for the industry — and almost equally unattainable. The standing joke in the industry is that fusion is always a few decades away. CFS says it can get it working by the 2030s, though. By the way ITER, another ambitious fusion energy project with the collaboration of 35 nations also scheduled to produce fusion power by 2035.
We may be approaching a power-revolution in the coming decades.
End of cash
Digital payment companies already had a promising future a few months ago and then the COVID-19 appeared on the scene and the real boom started.
One of the latest success stories is the one of Marqeta, a US-based digital payment processing company with $150m raised recently from a single, undisclosed investor, at a valuation of $4.3bn.
CommerzVentures led the £15m series B funding round into By Miles, the UK insuretech company that provides flexible insurance for lower-mileage drivers.
As cars rest(ed) unused during lockdown, more and more people are questioning old-school insurance models, so the insuretech company has indeed good prospects.
BBVA and Anthemis have launched Wollit, a startup that helps guarantee a minimum income for self-employed people every month, without interest, which they can pay back when their income goes back above that threshold.
Telehealth still raking in investment
Two Swedish banks, Carnegie and Handelsbanken, and the health and wellbeing company Oriola Corporation took part in the €45m series C funding round for Doktor.se, a Swedish startup that offers digital health consultations through a smartphone app, with plans to go international next year.
AI drug discovery
Novo Holdings became a new investor in Exscientia, as the UK startup that uses AI to speed up drug discovery raised a $60m Series C financing round. Exscientia is on the cusp of interesting times, with its first AI-discovered drug having entered human clinical trials in January and the company joining the hunt for treatments for coronavirus.
Poste Italiane invested in the €25m third funding round for Milkman Deliveries, a Milan-based startup offering last-mile delivery options for e-commerce orders. Milkman currently operates in just Milan, Turin and Rome, but is planning to expand internationally.
Zurich-based startup Scandit, which uses computer vision to scan barcodes, raised a $80m series-C funding round with Swisscom Ventures and NGP Capital participating.
Axa Venture Partners was the lead investor in the $13.5m funding round for D-ID, an Israeli startup developing technology that can mask and blur faces, anonymising images and video.
In an era where Covid-19 is ramping up surveillance, de-identification tech like this will increasingly be in demand, the company believes.
Cloud-based phone systems, ideal for helping businesses transition to remote working, are another coronavirus winner, so it was not surprising to see Paris-based Aircall pull in a €59.2m series C round.