Klarna strikes back 🥊

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Happy Monday Sifted readers!

Here's what we'll be serving up to start off your week:
  • Klarna's hitting back at credit card companies
  • All the Baltic startups you need to know
  • How China's splurging on European startups
  • How to scale a deeptech startup


What should we make of Klarna's #WhyPayInterest campaign?

After years of criticism and the UK's recent Woolard Review, which found that Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) companies represent "a significant potential consumer harm", Klarna is hitting back with a new ad campaign.

It's reminding everyone that credit cards aren't so cuddly either — Brits paid £5.7bn in credit card interest and fees in 2020.

Ryan Weeks spoke with Alex Marsh, Klarna's UK lead, to find out more.


The Baltic startups and scaleups to watch in 2021

The Baltics are not to be sniffed at — Lithuania is Europe's second-largest regulated fintech hub and Estonia churns out more than its fair share of unicorns.

The region's birthed Bolt, the Estonian ride-hailing app, and Vinted, Lithuania's increasingly popular secondhand clothes marketplace. Exited unicorns include Skype and Wise.

But the Baltics have a lot of room for growth — and need it if they're going to compete with more established markets.

So who will lead the way? We list the startups to keep tabs on.

\A message from our sponsor AWS

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Chinese money is splurging into European startups

Chinese investment into European tech reached an all-time high in the first quarter of this year. 

But what does this mean for European startups, how might political differences impact investments and will this trend continue?

Julia Caesar has the details.

If you're not yet a Sifted member, subscribe here for as little as £19 per month.


How to scale a deeptech startup

Deeptechs are pretty different to consumer or software companies when it comes to scaling.

'Deep' technology takes longer to get right, meaning revenue and profitability can be a long way off.

So how can deeptechs start scaling before their tech is perfect?

Find out in the second of our three-part series on deeptech, from Octopus Ventures.

\Sponsored by Google for Startups

How iLoF turns blood into a cloud-based fingerprint library — to fight diseases

The digitisation of healthcare is well and truly underway.

One startup that's riding the wave is Oxford-based Intelligent Lab on Fiber, which has created a database of disease subtypes that pharmaceutical companies can use to make clinical trials up to 70% quicker and 40% cheaper. 

We spoke to the company about personalised disease treatment, and how Oxford turns academics into entrepreneurs.


Fundraising Field Guide 2.0 | Online | June 1
Seedcamp's managing partner Carlos Espinal has written a book to demystify the fundraising process for founders. He'll share the top tips from it on this panel, moderated by Sifted's Anisah Osman Britton.

What European countries should learn from Lithuania | Online | June 3 
Find out why fintechs are flocking to Lithuania to set up headquarters in our next Sifted Talks event on June 3.

How the payments space is changing | Online | June 9 
Learn from experts why valuations in the open banking space are soaring and what investors are betting big on.

Sifted Opinion

Startups, don't be afraid to charge more that the competition
Your fixation with innovation is stopping your company actually innovating 
Why all companies should offer paid period leave
The danger of venture capital 'foie gras'
Why you should put salaries on your job ads
Michael Stothard

Get in touch with him at michael@sifted.eu
Or find him tweeting @MStothard
Isabella Pojuner
Editorial Intern

Get in touch with her at isabella@sifted.eu
She tweets @ipojuner
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