McDonald's: Watch out 🍔

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Hi Sifted Reader,

Happy Friday! Here's what we have lined up today:
  • Taster's plans to rival McDonald's
  • Is bureaucracy holding Europe back?
  • Find out what COOs earn
  • TravelPerk raises $160m


'Bigger than McDonald's': Taster raises $37m for its big dark kitchen vision

Anton Soulier, founder of dark kitchen startup Taster, has spent a lot of time studying the big food brands recently — places like McDonald's, Burger King and Domino's.

Now, he's planning on taking their franchise model, giving it a digital spin and growing Taster to become the biggest delivery food brand in Europe, with 10,000 digital restaurants by 2025.

Amy Lewin digs into how exactly he plans to make that happen.

\A message from our sponsor 

There's a science to scaling, and this podcast is digging deep's new podcast, The Scale Lab, serves up knowledge from some of the Netherland’s biggest success stories. 

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\Scale Up Europe

Is bureaucracy chasing talent away from Europe?

Europe's tech founders are trying to answer one of the continent's most pressing questions: how to attract top-notch global tech talent, and how to improve diversity. 

We spoke to some of Europe's leading founders, including those from Wise, Cabify, Jobbatical and BlaBlaCar, about what they think can be done to solve the problem.

Here's what they said.

\For Members Startup Life 

COO salaries: the data 

Chief operating officers (COOs) need bags of organisational acumen, and in many cases are second only to the CEO in a startup’s hierarchy.

But how much does a startup’s second in command actually make?

We dug through the data to find out. 

Not yet a Sifted member? Become a monthly member and get £10 off your first month with the code NEWSLETTER10. Sign up here. 


TravelPerk raises $160m as business travel returns

Barcelona-based business travel startup TravelPerk wasn’t planning on raising a $160m Series D round this early into the year.

But investors, looking to bet ahead of the curve and prompted by the eagerness of the business community to get travelling again, had other ideas.

Tim Smith has the story.

\Sponsored by Netguru 

6 things we learned at Disruption Forum Fintech 2021

What are the latest trends driving innovation in fintech?

At this year's Disruption Forum Fintech, Sifted took notes from the likes of Visa, Ayden and Starling Bank on everything from why empathy improves user experience, to how fintechs and banks can work better together.

Read the key takeaways here.

News that Matters

🚑 German healthtech Caresyntax has raised $100m. The company uses AI analytics to give surgeons more information during operations, aiming to mitigate against human error. The round is one of the biggest in German healthtech.

💸 Manna, the Irish drone delivery company, has raised $25m. The company's preparing for a "big year" in 2023, when European regulations will allow its services to start scaling across the continent.

🚚 Toulouse-based EasyMile has raised €55m to prove it can turn its autonomous vehicle technology into a sustainable business.

💻 Dutch startup MessageBird, which competes with US cloud computing company Twilio, has acquired email platform SparkPost in a $600m deal to help the company with its US expansion plans.

🐕 Barkyn, a wellness startup for pets in southern Europe, has raised a $9.6m Series A round. The Portuguese startup offers healthy food subscriptions for pets.

💰 Greek startup Viva Wallet has raised $80m for its neobank which targets small businesses. The company's live in 23 European markets and plans to move into Croatia, Sweden and Hungary soon.

🖥️ Berlin-based Finoa, a digital assets platform for institutional investors, has raised a €18.1m Series A funding round, led by Balderton Capital. 

🦵 Virtual physical therapy healthtech Kaia Health has raised $75m. The company, based in Munich and New York, offers at-home workouts as physiotherapy, and it's seen usage surge by 600% since the pandemic began.

Sifted Suggests

🌲 How serious is Klarna about sustainability? We quizzed CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski to find out. This article first appeared in our Sustain newsletter. 

📞 Customer support. Your startup's customer support team shouldn't be an island, argues Ashley Sachs, and outsourcing the team could hinder your growth. This opinion piece first appeared in our Startup Life newsletter.

📦 Last-mile delivery and logistics have been the hot ticket of the European VC space this year. We asked investors which startups they're watching in the sector, with one condition: they couldn't name companies in their own portfolios. Check out the list here. [Member]
Amy Lewin
Deputy Editor

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She loves a bit of reader feedback.
Freya Pratty
News Reporter

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