Celebs go mad for European angel investing ✨

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Hi Sifted Reader,

What links Harry Potter star Emma Watson, pop star Cheryl, tennis ace Andy Murray and Game of Thrones actor Maisie Williams? They've all backed European startups recently.

Celebrity angel investing is an American trend that's getting bigger and bigger in Europe. In today's newsletter, we look at what it means for the continent's startups, plus...
  • We reveal which VCs actually back a good proportion of female founders
  • Meet the startups with "gigacorn" potential
  • Why investment theses aren't just for VCs; angels need them too

\Venture Capital

Revealed: The VCs who’ve backed the most female founders in Europe

VCs are at pains to show their support for female founders, who currently scoop up just 13% of all VC funding in Europe.

But... which firms are putting their money where their mouth is? We’ve analysed the portfolios of Europe’s top VCs to see how many women they’ve backed over the last five years. 

Find out which VC has backed just one female founder...

\A message from our sponsor Sailthru 

‘Tis the season to use your data insights 


We know... it’s not even Halloween yet. But ecommerce startups should already be thinking about data-driven strategies for boosting their marketing this holiday season.

Learn how to use data to create personalised shopping experiences for customers in Sailthru’s holiday success guide.

Sign up for your copy here. 

\Venture Capital

European celebrities copy US stars by flocking to angel investing


Emma Watson backed a plastic-free packaging startup, while pop star Cheryl invested in a vitamin company. The American trend of celebrities backing startups is taking off in Europe.

Miriam Partington finds out what it means for European founders.

\For Members Sustainability  

13 startups with gigacorn potential, according to top investors

While some investors spend their days hunting for unicorns, others are looking for a far rarer beast: the “gigacorn”.

They're companies which have the potential to get rid of one gigatonne of CO₂ from the atmosphere per year — equivalent to the weight of 10,000 fully loaded aircraft carriers. We spoke to VCs about which companies they think have the potential to be a gigacorn.

Here's what they said.

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

\Opinion

Investment theses aren’t just for VCs. Angels need them too


Aided by VC Atomico's angel programme, Sarah Drinkwater, a former Google executive, says she's fallen in love with angel investing.

But over time, she's realised how few angels have distinctive investing theses, something she says is as important as a VC having one.

Read Drinkwater's thesis, and why all angels need one.

\Sponsored by Sailthru

How ecommerce marketing saved Christmas

The holiday season is fast approaching. Now’s the time for ecommerce startups to kickstart their holiday marketing plans, presenting a golden opportunity to attract new customers and put a rocket booster under their sales figures. 

Here's how your ecommerce marketing should change during the holiday season.

News that Matters

🔑 One startup's failure is another's gold. US contech startup Katerra shut down in June, and now UK rival Modulous has opened an American office by hiring four former senior Katerra employees. We spoke to Modulous about the strategy.

💰 360Learning, a Paris-based startup, has raised $200m in new funding. It's one of the biggest edtech rounds in Europe this year — here's the pitch deck the company used.

💥 Quantum banking. Goldman Sachs said useful quantum computing for finance is five years away; but Spanish startup Multiverse is already giving banks a 100-fold advantage using the tech. 

🇫🇷 Station F, the startup campus in Paris, is launching a new online school for entrepreneurs. It's called Launch and it's aiming to help the next generation of founders learn the basics of starting a company: think modules on building an MVP, finding a cofounder and A/B testing.

🚌 Flixbus is expanding to America. The German mobility startup has bought iconic bus company Greyhound, based in Dallas. Greyhound posted an operating loss of $12m last year, hit by the pandemic.

💸 Form Ventures, a British VC firm, has launched a new £30m fund. It's got an interesting remit: investing in startups working in "regulated industries"— things like healthtech or fintech. 

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Amy Lewin
Deputy Editor

Get in touch with her at amy@sifted.eu
She loves a bit of reader feedback.
Freya Pratty
News Reporter

Send her your news at freya@sifted.eu
Or find her (occasionally) tweeting @FPratty
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