Europe now has 70 startup unicorns 🦄

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Hi Sifted Reader,

Today's line up:
  • Exclusive interview with UK chancellor Rishi Sunak on UK tech
  • Europe's new unicorns in 2021, so far...
  • Inside SaltPay, the payments startup that quietly raised $650m
  • Five questions investors need to ask deeptech startups

\Government

Welcome to age of entrepreneurship, says UK chancellor Rishi Sunak


In an exclusive interview with Sifted, UK chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined his plan to jumpstart support for smaller fast growing tech companies in Britain.

He said that the government is planning an “ambitious set of reforms” on a range of topics like R&D credits and access to talent, and shares details about wanting his ministry to be a “startup treasury”.

Michael Stothard gets Sunak’s rundown on the future plans for UK tech.

\In partnership with Mitek

How are fintechs preparing for the next generation?

Find out from experts — Mitek’s CTO, Stephen Ritter, founder and COO of GoHenry, Louise Hill, and senior product owner at Revolut Junior, Maisum Dairkee.

Sign up here.

\Unicorns

Europe now has 70 startup unicorns


It’s been a cracking year for European startups so far — we’ve seen eight startups reach the coveted unicorn status and eight unicorns (including Arrival, Darktrace and Cazoo) go public.

Last Thursday, Shift Technology became the latest addition to the list after raising $220m — Europe's largest-ever insurtech funding round.

But which other companies have recently joined the herd? We take a look at some of the newbies here. 

\For Members Fintech

SaltPay, the under-the-radar payments startup that's quietly raised $650m


If you've never heard of SaltPay, you're not alone. Several VCs interviewed by Sifted hadn't come across the two-year-old payments company either. 

But, for a company that's raised $650m in VC financing, has a $1bn+ valuation and has completed six acquisitions in under a year, that's kind of... strange. 

So what's the story? Isabel Woodford reports. 

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

\Opinion

Five questions investors will ask deeptech startups


Deeptech founders, prepare to get grilled: investors are going to have a whole lot of questions for you — and they won't all have simple answers.

Luckily for you, Simon King, partner and veteran deeptech investor at Octopus Ventures, explains what VCs are really looking for.

Read his words of wisdom here.

\Sponsored by Google for Startups

The startup that wants to be the Airbnb of sports facility booking


Founded in 2018, Belfast-based sports facility booking startup Pitchbooking was born out of a frustration at how long it took to book football pitches. Now, it's landed over 1k deals with UK facilities and has some ambitious goals moving forward.

Sifted spoke to cofounder and COO Fearghal Campbell about how Pitchbooking works, and how Belfast’s close-knit startup community helped him leave his day job to found the startup.

Here's what he said.

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🙅‍♀️ Why is Europe hard on tech? The New York Times looks at whether European authorities’ stance on regulating tech is visionary, or could kill innovation. Here’s the verdict.

🍎 Top 5 trends shaping Europe’s food industry. European foodtech startups had a good 2020, raising €2.7bn in funding. So what trends await the buzzy sector? Plug and Play lays it all out.

🇱🇹 Lithuania’s female founder landscape. Dealroom maps out the female-founded startups in Lithuania and breaks them down into industry verticals. The most prominent sectors include enterprise software and fintech.

Events [digital only]

Sifted Talks: Let's talk £ — is honesty the best policy? | Online | May 13 
Not many people would willingly talk about money with their manager — but should this change? Join our next Sifted Talks to find out.

Show the code, MMC Ventures edition | Online | May 20
Join Techtree and Silicon Roundabout for your chance to pick the brains of developers, CTOs and lead engineers from some of Europe’s most exciting tech companies.

Sifted Talks: Capital for equity isn’t the only way to finance your startup | Online | May 26
Venture debt 101: which businesses should consider it and how can startups can use it to weather storms like Covid-19? 

Sifted Members

Sweden’s hottest up-and-coming startups — according to top investors
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COO salaries: the data
Fatter customers and secondhand sales: how Covid-19’s changed fashion startups
Meet Europe’s fastest growing fintech (it’s not who you think)
Amy Lewin
Deputy Editor

Get in touch with her at amy@sifted.eu
Or tweeting @amyrlewin
Connor Bilboe
Editorial Assistant 

Get in touch with him at connor@sifted.eu
He likes sustainability stories.
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