Sifted - Europe's biggest ever Series B 😅

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Hello Sifted Reader,

Europe has been taken over by NFT mania. Yesterday, NFT-based fantasy football game Sorare raised a monster $680m Series B at a $4.3bn valuation, making it France’s most highly-valued scaleup. Smaller startups, like NFT sneakers marketplace Futures Factory,  also raised this week. Maybe NFTs have finally entered the mainstream... 

Also in this issue: 
  • Lvndr raises £1.5m to help destigmatise LGBTQ+ sexual health
  • Six startup ideas — from Germany’s top VCs
  • Why entrepreneurship should be mandatory at school
  • Tiger's on the prowl

\Fintech 

Sorare valued at $4.3bn after monster Series B led by SoftBank


In a bid to take the NFT craze mainstream, Sorare — the blockchain-based fantasy football game — has raised a $680m Series B round led by SoftBank.

It’s the biggest Series B round in Europe to date, gives the company into a whopping $4.3bn valuation and makes it France’s highest-valued scaleup.

Is this madness? Maija Palmer finds out.

\A message from our sponsor Tech Nation 

The next big thing in fintech, biotech, edtech and beyond?


Meet Tech Nation’s newest cohort of late-stage unicorns and soonicorns in their Future Fifty programme, which counts Depop and Monese as alumni.

Discover the next generation of unicorns here.

\Healthtech

Lvndr raises £1.5m to help destigmatise LGBTQ+ sexual health


Healthcare is failing the LGBTQ+ community, and London-based healthtech platform Lvndr wants to change this.

Securing investment wasn’t easy, but Lvndr's just closed a seed funding round from Octopus Ventures, alongside Calm Storm Ventures, Soho Ventures and several angel investors.

Here’s how Lvndr hopes to transform the LGBTQ+ health sector.

\For Members Venture Capital 

Six startup ideas — from Germany’s top VCs


The life of a VC involves listening to thousands of startup pitches — some good, some not so good — and choosing only the best ones to plug cash into. 

But what startup would they be pitching if they were starting a company today?

Sifted spoke to six of Germany’s top investors to hear their startup ideas — asking them where they see a gap in the market, and how it could be filled.

Here's what they came up with.

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

\Opinion 

Entrepreneurship should be mandatory at school


Maths and science are considered essential subjects at school — and entrepreneurship should be too, according to Vanessa Martins Lopes, CEO and cofounder of hair care startup The Wild Curl.

By teaching entrepreneurship skills as the default rather than as an afterthought, students are empowered to enter a world that would otherwise remain closed to them. 

Here’s how Europe can take action on the matter.

\Our latest report

Europe’s $3.6tn opportunity


Embedded finance is worth $43bn globally, with reports projecting it’ll grow to $3.6tn by 2030. It’s taken fintech by storm, but what does it mean for consumers — and banks?

Read Sifted’s embedded finance report to find out.

News that Matters

👟 NFT sneakers marketplace Futures Factory raises $2.5m. Amid a gold rush for startups that merge the worlds of crypto and the creator economy, the French company secured funding from some of Europe’s top investors — notably Seedcamp, Stride, Voodoo’s cofounders, Kima Ventures and RTP Global.

💳 TrueLayer announced a $130m funding round led by Tiger Global. The open banking infrastructure startup has now bagged a $1bn valuation, following a recent tsunami of investor interest in open banking. 

💵 Tiger makes its 27th European investment this year. Belfast-based Cloudsmith, a software supply chain management company, has raised a $15m Series A from the prolific US investor, the largest ever Series A in Northern Ireland.

🇫🇷 France overtakes Scandinavia in fintech funding. With French fintechs raising a total of €1.9bn so far this year, and pushing ahead of Sweden, Paris is now a ‘go to’ destination for investors in financial services.

🛒 French marketplace platform Mirakl raised $55m at a $3.5bn valuation. Ecommerce is booming — and so are SaaS companies, like Mirakl, which help businesses get themselves set up with online stores. Its clients include ABB, Airbus and Carrefour. Silver Lake led the round.

Sifted Suggests

💰 The future of fintech-enabled marketplaces. This Dealroom report looks at how marketplaces are partnering with fintech startups (like Klarna) to boost revenues and serve underbanked global communities.

👚 This clothing repairs app wants to transform the fashion industry. Josephine Philips, the founder of Sojo, wants to pioneer slow, ethical and sustainable fashion — and she’s launched a Deliveroo-style app for clothing repairs.

📚 What can we learn from edtech startups’ expansion in Europe? Digital education is now so commonplace that it’s possible to build a billion-dollar edtech in a single, larger European market, according to this article.

🇬🇧 UK tech investment reaches record $18bn. Investment in UK tech startups skyrocketed in the first half of 2021 — more than investment into Germany, France and Israel combined. More than half of the investments came from mega-rounds of $100m or more.
Michael Stothard
Editor

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

Get in touch with her at riddhi@sifted.eu
Or find her tweeting @r1ddhi
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