Though the numbers show that only European 12% of startups that raise VC funding are founded by women, versus 88% for men, companies founded by women are on the rise. A new study found that 22% of Spanish startup founders are women compared to 18% last year, and our numbers are steadily increasing at events and meetups across the continent.
So let’s say “goodbye” to the stigma that says males do business way better than females do. From talks with investors and leaders in the startup world, I have rounded up 10 of the most promising European startups that have been founded by women that you should start or keep paying attention to in 2019.
These super women have set their minds to disrupt huge markets like fashion, fintech, healthcare, travel, wellness & beauty, and education.
Futrli: This UK-based startup is a financial forecasting platform for SMEs, giving business owners and accountants tomorrow’s insights, today. Founded by Hannah Dawson in 2014, Futrli (pronounced future-lee) supports over 40,000 businesses and 1,000 accountants in 130 countries with its cloud-based platform that helps small businesses make decisions and take actions that lead to success.
Through a powerful suite of reporting, budgeting, cash flow forecasting and predictive modelling tools, SMEs can use Futrli’s platform to plan for the future, get a grip on cash flow, and see how their business is performing in real time. For accountants working with SMEs, Futrli’s CPD-accredited Advisory Certification course helps them achieve their advisory potential. Futrli operates globally and has offices in Brighton, Sydney, and Melbourne. The startup has raised €4.5 million in October in a Series A round.
Omni:us: Founded by Sofie Quidenus-Wahlforss in 2015, omni:us delivers structured data from highly variable documents to streamline insurance backend processes. Based in Berlin, omni:us builds cognitive, deep domain insurance products that automate tedious human data extraction and classification tasks and allow a quick deployment of AI capabilities to claims management systems, without the difficulty and delay of trying to build an internal AI system. The startup has raised €23.9 million to date.
Mercaux: Founded by Olga Kotsur in 2013, UK-based Mercaux enables retailers to transform the customer shopping experience by bringing the benefits of digital tools into physical stores. With omnichannel capabilities on its platform and app, creating an empowered sales force and an engaged customer base, retailers are able to realise a 7-14% increase in sales, as well as improve customer service and streamlined operations. The startup recently raised €4 million in a Series A round.
Nova Leah: Connected medical devices are vulnerable, and the cybersecurity landscape is constantly changing. That is why the team at Nova Leah developed SelectEvidence, an expert cybersecurity risk analysis system. Founded by Anita Finnegan in 2015 and based in Ireland, Nova Leah is the first of its kind, providing medical device manufacturers with an automated solution for implementing and maintaining cybersecurity requirements across medical device product portfolios. Nova Leah has raised €2.3 million to date. We included Nova Leah as one of the top Irish startups to look out for in 2018.
Kukua: Founded by Lucrezia Bisignani in 2014, London-based Kukua empowers children’s literacy globally. Kukua leverages the intersection of technology and entertainment to advance the learning of millions of children, starting with literacy in Africa – where 171 million children cannot read, write or do basic math, and 67% drop out before even finishing primary school. Kukua’s products are based on five key pillars: entertainment & storytelling, embedded education, technology and media, local relevance, and human centered design. The startup raised €2.2 million in a seed round in November.
Vinted: Founded by Milda Mitkute with Justas Janauskas, Vinted is a peer-to-peer mobile social marketplace for pre-loved clothing. Based in Vilnius, Lithuania, Vinted is one of the most successful startups in the Baltic countries. Founded in 2008, Vinted keeps spreading the style-sharing experience; it creates a way to enjoy shopping for less and supports mindful consumption by growing a community that puts resources to good use instead of growing landfills. Sell, buy, and swap your clothes online. Earn some cash, save the world and vint up your style! We previously featured Vinted as one of the hottest Lithuanian startups to look out for in 2015. The startup has raised €105 million to date.
TransferMate: Founded by Sinead Fitzmaurice with Barry Dowling and Terry Clune, TransferMate is a global B2B payments technology that enables companies to send and receive payments cheaper, faster, easier than ever before. Founded in Dublin in 2010, the startup has transferred over $10 billion to date for its clients. TransferMate can send and receive payments for clients at half the cost and twice the speed of banks. Its technology also integrates with top global accounting software suites (including Quickbooks, SAP, & Xero), eliminating payment administration for finance teams. Combining their technology and payment licenses, the startup is now partnering with innovative banks and financial channels who wish to improve the global payments experience for clients. So far, TransferMate has raised €51 million.
TOLREMO: Despite medical advances, resistance to cancer therapies continues to limit the long-term survival of many cancer patients. Founded in 2017 by Dr. Stefanie Fluckiger-Mangual with Dr. Emmanuel Savioz, Isaac Kobrin and Dr. Wilhelm Krek, TOLREMO is using ground-breaking scientific knowledge to discover and develop small molecule drugs that target novel drug resistance pathways in cancer therapy. TOLREMO’s vision is to meaningfully prolong the lives of cancer patients using its personalised anti-drug resistance therapies. The company has raised €10.1 million to date.
Waldo: Founded in 2017 in London by Ashleigh Hinde, Waldo delivers high quality contact lenses by subscription. Waldo’s contact daily lenses include a super fine edge design, greater moisture for maximum comfort, and UV protection. No longer are contact lenses banished to the confines of a bathroom cabinet, instead Waldo lenses come beautifully packaged and arrive at our customer’s door each month or within 48 hours from placing an order online. Waldo has raised €6.3 million in funding to date.
Sendoo: Founded in 2016 by Sandra Kinnmark and Sebastian Malmberg, Stockholm-based Sendoo enables consumers to send and transport things with drivers who want to help out or earn extra money. Sendoo connects available capacity in vehicles with people who need to ship their goods, quickly matching them with a driver on its platform, and giving them the possibility to connect with the other person in a safe matter. All transactions are made through the platform after the completion of the transport. Sendoo raised €250k in a seed round in August.