How many startups have a woman on their board? 👎

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Hi Sifted Reader,

Today's star of the show is no other than the US rap legend Snoop Dogg, whose LA-based VC firm Casa Verde has made its first European investment in a medical cannabis startup. If that's not crazy enough, here's what else we have in store for you:
  • Data on Europe's most popular speedy grocery apps
  • US VCs are becoming modern-day investment banks. Can Europe compete?
  • VC picks: 18 insurtech startups to watch
  • The state of diversity on startup boards


Snoop Dogg’s VC firm makes first European investment

US rap legend Snoop Dogg's LA-based VC firm Casa Verde announced its first investment into continental Europe — leading a $15m round into a Lisbon-based medical cannabis company.

The startup, AceCann, will use the funding to build a 3,500m² cannabis production plant in Portugal, which CEO Pedro Gomes thinks could bring in up to €15-20m in annual sales.

Tim Smith reports.

\Our latest report

Who runs the world? Wealthtech apps 

Gone are the days when people put their capital into the hands of wealth managers and waited patiently for a quarterly report. We now live in a brave new app-driven world — and a new generation is harnessing the power of trading platforms to manage their wealth. But will this lead to democratised wealth for the masses?

Read Sifted’s new wealthtech report to find out. 

\For Members Consumer

Europe's speedy grocery apps, compared

From London to Berlin to Istanbul, the speedy grocery sector has torn through Europe this year.

But which companies are leading the pack when it comes to app downloads? 

Find out here. (Spoiler: Gorillas isn't in top spot.)

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


US VCs are becoming modern-day investment banks. Can Europe compete?

The most successful American VC firms are acting like investment banks.

They're offering startups more than just equity — debt financing, working capital, structured financial products and access to specific counterparties is all on the menu these days.

But what about Europe? Can the continent give birth to one-stop-shop firms that emulate their American counterparts and become global players?

Nicolas Colin explores.

\For Members Fintech

18 insurtech startups to watch, according to top VCs

In 2021 insurtech has been the poster child of the fintech sector, with VC funding hitting a whopping €2.7bn so far, minting six unicorns in the process.

Sifted asked some of Europe’s top investors which non-portfolio European startups are set to shape the sector.

Can you guess which startups they chose?

\Startup Life

34% of startup boards still include no women

Recruitment firm Erevena has released a new report on the boards of high-growth businesses in Europe. It’s packed with data from 300 board members showing who sits on startup boards, what they do and how much they get paid.

Amy Lewin details the key takeaways.

News that Matters

🤑 Personio raised $270m at a $6.3bn valuation. This makes the German unicorn Europe's most valuable private HR tech company. Personio says that it's seen 100% growth year on year for "several years" and currently has 5k customers. 

👀 Step aside Instacart. Paris-based food shopping app Jow has raised $20m in a Series A round led by Eurazeo ahead of a planned US expansion. It's hoping to emulate the huge success it's seen in France. But navigating the US market is a different ball game, admits Jow's cofounder and CEO Jacques-Edouard Sabatier.

💳 Swile bags $200m. That pushes the French startup, which provides a payment card for employee benefits, into unicorn status. In the four years it's been operating, Swile has captured a 13% market share of meal vouchers in France.

💥 N26's incoming megaround. Big investors like Third Point, Coatue and Dragoneer are set to be splashing $700m of fresh capital into the German neobank. 

\Sifted Talks

Construction: built to last?

Construction accounts for 9% of the EU’s GDP, but it’s also one of the least digitised industries. Join our next Sifted Talks on Thursday to hear from the likes of Tara Mirkovic, seed programme associate at Leonard, and Material Mapper CEO Ieva Sibilla Strupule, on how startups can help turn things around.

Sign up here — it’s free.

Sifted Suggests

🤖 The state of AI. It's that time of the year! Nathan Benaich and Ian Hogarth have released the fourth annual State of AI report which flags the most interesting developments in AI over the past year in terms of research, people, industry and politics. Here's what we thought was most interesting.

🧑‍💻 The state of SaaS. Over in the software department, VC firm Accel published its annual European SaaS report. From valuations to funding to IPOs, we've outlined seven things you should know from the report.

🙅‍♀️ Not deeptech. There's much more to deeptech than digital solutions like AI, blockchain and cybersecurity. Enter science equity (think of it as deeptech's non-digital sister), which Almudena Trigo, founding partner and chair of science equity focused VC BeAble Capital, thinks investors should be paying more attention to. Here's why.

💡 Five characteristics that good board members need. There's much more to being a non-executive director (NED) now than there was a decade ago. Fiona Hathorn, CEO of Women on Boards UK, outlines the top five traits you should look for.
Amy Lewin
Deputy Editor

Get in touch with her at
Or tweeting @amyrlewin
Connor Bilboe
Editorial Assistant 

Get in touch with him at
He likes sustainability stories.
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