Biweekly VC Insights by Uniborn #39

Inside: Updates on top European venture hubs, rounds, and founder expectations
Barbara Krassner
🇬🇪 Uniborn Team
3 min read

From a Slovakian startup revolutionizing the IoT with biocompatible sensors to a Finnish company tracking criminals from space, we've curated the most compelling innovations, news, and stats of the past few months just for you. Subscribe, and let's dive in!

🔥 A fast look at Europe's hottest VC hubs

Remember our analysis of prime European spots for venture investors? Now, PitchBook has ranked cities worldwide based on their startup networks' size and maturity. See what European hubs made it to the top 50 👇

Image: PitchBook
Image: PitchBook

Check the PitchBook infographics for more details.

🔥 By the way, Barcelona and Madrid frequently rank among the top venture ecosystems

In the past year, Spanish startups have seen a surge in investment (a historic €2.4 billion raised across over 345 deals), catapulting the country into the top 10 globally by the total amount raised.

Tech.eu has curated a list of a dozen compelling Spanish startups to keep an eye on; many of them are in the sustainable energy and sharing economy space.

Check the Tech.eu rank for more details.

🔥 This April, venture funding in Europe was led by these countries and sectors 

In April 2024, European tech companies secured a hefty €3.7 billion across approximately 320 deals. While impressive, this figure marks a 15% decrease from the previous month's €4.4 billion and a 5% dip compared to April 2023's €3.9 billion.

Fintech dominated the investment landscape, claiming nearly a quarter of the total funding.

Image: Tech.eu 
Image: Tech.eu 

And regarding countries, alongside the traditionally well-funded ones (the UK, Germany, and France) Denmark, Turkey, Poland, and Latvia also emerged as noteworthy players in venture capital funding.

Image: Tech.eu 
Image: Tech.eu 

Check the Tech.eu analytics for more details.

🔥What about pre-seed numbers?

Carta's analysis of fundraising in the first quarter of 2024 revealed a stable landscape with some key nuances:

  • SAFE dominance ➡️ SAFE agreements emerged as the preferred investment vehicle for rounds under $3 million.
  • Valuation caps stability ➡️ Valuation caps for SAFE rounds remained largely unchanged throughout Q1, contrasting with the more variable nature of fully priced rounds.
  • Small check prevalence ➡️ A significant portion (41%) of checks in SAFE rounds under $1 million amounted to less than $25,000.
Image: Carta
Image: Carta

Check the Carta review for more details.

🔥 Lastly, when it comes to founder sentiment, over two-thirds reported having worsened relationships with investors over the past year

The market gears up for a rebound, but the investor-founder relationship is still hitting a snag. According to a Sifted survey of 96 startup leaders (mostly from early-stage ventures), the results are: nearly 44% lament a downturn in their rapport with venture capitalists, with 27% citing a substantial decline. Last year, under 43% faced similar challenges. 

But it's not all gloom and doom — 29% report a silver lining, noting improvements in their investor connections.

Image: Sifted
Image: Sifted

What's more, 84% of founders are feeling the pressure to prioritize profitability, just a tad below last year's 86%. But here's the most crucial part — almost 87% of respondents feel investors aren't giving a thought about their mental health.

Let's face it, nearly half of entrepreneurs are struggling too hard mentally, while the business success hinges on their psychological well-being. So, fellow investors, how about giving founders more much-needed support and attention?

Check the Sifted report for more details.

Cover image: Unsplash

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