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Europe and UK: Here are the biggest funding rounds of 2023

Picture credits: Zenobe

In the third quarter of 2023, funding for European startups reached a total of $16.4 billion, showing a notable 28% increase compared to the previous quarter, though it remained steady when compared to the same period last year.

Upon closer examination of Crunchbase data, it becomes apparent that this surge in funding is mainly concentrated in late-stage financing. For seed and early-stage companies in Europe, the funding amounts and counts hit their lowest point since we started tracking this downturn.

The UK emerged as the leading region for funding in Europe during the third quarter, followed by Sweden, France, and Germany. In Q3 2023, European AI companies secured $1.8 billion, constituting 11% of the continent’s total funding and nearly one-fifth of global AI funding. Notable contributions came from Conigital, Helsing, Poolside, Tractable, and Neura Robotics. We can expect the trend to seep into 2024 as well.

Now, let’s shift our focus to the ten most significant funding rounds raised by European and British companies in 2023.

Zenobe – $1.4 Billion

Founder/s: James Basden, Nicholas Beatty, Steven Meersman
Founded year: 2017

Zenobe, the largest independent owner and operator of battery storage in the UK, landed an investment of $1 billion (£870 million) in September. This was split into £600 million from KKR, a leading global investment firm, and £270 million of equity by existing shareholder Infracapital. Before this, in February, Zenobe secured £235 million in debt to fund grid-scale, transmission-connected battery storage assets in Scotland.

With the latest investment, the company plans to expand the number of electric vehicles and supported charging equipment. By 2026, Zenobē aims to support 4,000 electric buses, trucks, and commercial vehicles on the road.

Wayflyer – $1 Billion

Founder/s: Aidan Corbett, Jack Pierse
Founded year: 2019

In September, the Irish unicorn Wayflyer, which provides financing to e-commerce startups in exchange for a portion of their revenue, secured $1 billion in capital from investment management firm Neuberger Berman. With this investment, it can continue to offer capital on the most competitive terms to its customers, while growing its offering to meet the huge demand from US ecommerce businesses.

Mistral AI – $500+ Million

Founder/s: Arthur Mensch, Timothée Lacroix, Guillaume Lample
Founded year: 2023

At a time when AI has emerged as a prominent buzzword in the business world, a young French generative AI unicorn Mistral AI has secured over $500 million in two investment rounds, propelling its valuation to $2 billion. The latest round of €450 million closed this month was led by Andreessen Horowitz alongside Nvidia and Salesforce. The previous investment of $113 million in June came from Lightspeed, Redpoint, Index Ventures, Xavier Niel, JCDecaux Holding, Rodolphe Saadé, Motier Ventures, La Famiglia, Headline, Exor Ventures, Sofina, First Minute Capital and LocalGlobe.

This funding boost will fuel Mistral AI’s ambitious growth plans, empowering the company to expand its team, enhance its research and development efforts, and bring its innovative generative AI solutions to market.

Getir – $500 Million

Founder/s: Nazım Salur
Founded year: 2015

The Turkish rapid grocery delivery company snapped $500 million in a funding round, at a dropped valuation of $2.5 billion. Previously, the company was valued at $11.8 billion after it raised $800 million last year.

With investments from Mubadala, G Squared, and recent Sequoia departee Michael Moritz, alongside Revo Capital, the latest downround came soon after the company’s exit from the Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and French markets. It is aimed at concentrating its resources and curbing expenditure.

Conigital – £500 Million

Founder/s: Don-Paul Dhaliwal
Founded year: 2015

A driverless vehicle unicorn from Birmingham, Conigital secured £500 million in Series A+ funding in September. This combination of equity and debt came from the global Private Equity infrastructure firm. Being the highest-funded driverless vehicle startup in the UK and Europe, Conigital will use the fund to bolster existing commitments.

LendInvest – £500 Million

Founder/s: Christian Faes, Ian Thomas
Founded year: 2008

In July, UK’s LendInvest, a platform for mortgages, announced a £500 million investment to fund part of its future mortgage originations for its Buy-to-Let and Residential Mortgage products from Chetwood Financial Limited. This new funding is aimed at the growth of LendInvest’s Buy-to-Let business, which supports professional landlords, and its newly launched Residential Mortgage range, which supports customers who are underserved by high-street mortgage providers.

Northvolt – $400 Million

Founder/s: Peter Carlsson, Paolo Cerruti
Founded year: 2016

Swedish integrated battery platform, Northvolt, which works with the mission to develop the world’s greenest battery cell, snapped $400 million from the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO). It is aimed at facilitating Northvolt’s global expansion plans, aligning with IMCO’s commitment to establishing a highly sustainable battery supply chain.

TP24 – $345 Million

Founder/s: Ben James, Martijn Corbée, Steve Pike, Niels Turfboer
Founded year: 2018

TP24, a Swiss fintech offering flexible revolving business credit, raised £345 million in debt funding in July. It came from UK parties Barclays and M&G Investments. The company announced that a part of this will be used for lending to SMEs in the UK and the Netherlands. UK SMEs looking for financing for further growth can turn to TP24 for flexible revolving loans from £250K to £5 million.

SumUp – €285 Million

Founder/s: Marc-Alexander Christ, Petter Made, Jan Deepen, Stefan Jeschonnek
Founded year: 2018

Yet another Fintech company, SumUp from London netted €285 million recently. The investment came from Sixth Street Growth alongside Bain Capital Tech Opportunities, Fin Capital, and Liquidity Capital. The London unicorn will use the funds to expand its global footprint to continue providing the tools and services small merchants need to build, operate, and scale their businesses. It also plans to grow its business by launching more financial services.

AI21 Labs – $208 Million

Founder/s: Amnon Shasuha, Yoav Shoham, Ori Goshen
Founded year: 2017

Last month, Israeli unicorn AI21 completed the $208 million Series C funding round at a valuation of $1.4 billion. Earlier this year, the company raised $155 million in the Series C round. The round saw participation from additional new investors – Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of Intel Corporation, and Comcast Ventures, the venture capital arm of Comcast Corporation, alongside previous investors. The fresh funds will be used to accelerate the growth of its highly accurate text-based generative AI services for enterprises.

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