Why a European WeChat won't work 🙅‍♀️

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Hi Sifted Reader,

Today's line up:
  • The European startup going against Amazon Go
  • Introducing the SaaS soonicorns
  • Europe, stop trying to replicate WeChat
  • Sustainable D2C tips, from beauty startup founders

\Deeptech

Is this Europe's answer to Amazon Go?


In 2018, ecommerce giant Amazon launched its first autonomous store — built using technology where customers can walk out of the door without going to a cash register, and instead pay automatically via an app.

Amazon's also crept into Europe, launching a store in London three months ago. But now, Lisbon-based startup Sensei wants a piece of Amazon's pie and has launched a new autonomous store.

So how does it work? And can Sensei compete with Amazon Go?

Cecile Bussy paid a visit to the store to find out.

\Our latest report Construction tech

Startups are rebuilding the foundations of Europe’s construction industry

Technology innovators across Europe are eyeing the construction industry as the next frontier for tech opportunity. Founders — and their investors — are betting big on the impact of the digital transformation that is currently underway.

Download our latest Intelligence report.

\Opinion 

Fintech founders, stop trying to build a European WeChat


It might seem like a good idea for European fintechs to replicate the huge success of super apps like WeChat and Alipay in China, but that completely misses the point of fintech, think Ivan Zhiznevskiy and Eugene Dugaev, CEO and CTO of fintech 3s.money.

Instead of looking to Chinese super apps for inspiration, Europe’s fintech founders should be looking to stripped-back apps like music finder Shazam, they say.

Here's why.

\For Members SaaS

Introducing Europe's SaaS soonicorns


European SaaS startups have been on fire recently. The continent boasts 10 $1bn companies — like insurtech Tractable and freight forwarder Sennder — and SaaS funding has already hit €15bn this year so far, topping the whole of 2020 by €3bn.

So which SaaS startups in Europe are shaping up to be the next unicorns?

Kai Nicol-Schwarz investigates.

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

\Consumer

5 steps towards more sustainable D2C businesses


Whether it's plastic packaging, consumer pressure, animal cruelty or complex supply chains, beauty companies have heaps of challenges they need to tackle before they can call themselves a sustainable business.

Many of the beauty sector's direct-to-consumer brands, like Beauty Pie, Q+A and Wild, have been prioritising sustainability from the outset.

So what can they teach the industry about sustainability, and what can they tell aspiring beauty entrepreneurs?

Isabella Pojuner finds out.

Sifted Suggests

💡 6 insights on open banking payments. What roadblocks is open banking still facing — and can the upstarts ever compete with payment giants like Mastercard and Visa? Find out.

🥷 The stealthy robotaxi entrepreneur. Inside the secretive emobility company that Mate Rimac, the founder and CEO of Croatian electric hypercar and components developer Rimac Automobili, is working on.

🚫 How not to be sexist at work. Silvia Adriasola, a gender coach, explains the reasons for gender bias at work and offers advice on how to counter it.

🤔 To IPO or not to IPO? Slush surveyed 200+ European startup founders to find out whether they wanted to go public — and if so, how, where and when. Here’s what they had to say. 

Events [digital only]

How last-mile delivery is transforming our cities | Online | June 23 
Join our next Sifted Talks to learn how last-mile delivery could help solve congestion and pollution problems across Europe.

Online Growth Summit | Online | June 22 - 24
Don't miss the chance to hear Anisah Osman Britton — the wonderful coauthor of our Startup Life newsletter — and other star speakers talk about how to grow your online business like a pro. Register with code SIFTED50 for a 50% discount.

\Meet Eleanor

Our new commissioning editor 

Say hello to Eleanor, who joins us as Sifted’s first commissioning editor today. She’ll be overseeing our news stories and commissioning opinion pieces from outside contributors. Eleanor joins us from the VC firm Atomico where she was communications manager. She has an MBA from INSEAD and was a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in Tokyo for five years. Follow her on Twitter @misssaxbys or send her all your brilliant opinion ideas at op-ed@sifted.eu.

Sifted Opinion

It shouldn’t be taboo for founders to take cash off the table early
Corporates need a 500-venture strategy
Startups, don’t worry about building the tech — focus on your customers
These five mistakes will kill your startup
How much is too much when investing in grocery delivery?
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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