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10 European startups helping you to create (and keep!) new positive habits in 2021

It’s the start of a new year, and there’s no better way to kick things off than by developing some new, positive habits to see us into 2021. Luckily, you needn’t look further than the world of startups for inspiration.

Despite the rollercoaster of the last 12 months, 2020 was the year that saw growth in many of the startups designed to keep us on track. From virtual fitness to online training, startups are leading the way when it comes to providing us with the tools to lead healthier, more productive and more sustainable lifestyles. Here’s our list of 10 startups helping you to create and keep new positive habits in 2021.

Rent tech, don’t buy – Grover, a Berlin based tech startup founded in 2015, is helping gadget lovers to enjoy tech sustainably. Designed around the circular economy model, the company has just completed its second international market launch in the Netherlands with its subscription service that allows customers to rent from a portfolio of over 1300 tech products. At the end of the rental period, customers can easily return the product and exchange it for something new. Aiming to reduce throwaway culture, Grover’s model allows items to be circulated up to 4 or 5 times.

Stay fit – The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the virtual fitness market to blossom. Amongst the startups disrupting the sector is Asana Rebel. Founded in 2015, this young and growing startup is committed to creating highly engaging health and fitness experiences. Already available in 6 languages, the app is mainly focused on yoga-based workouts but also allows users to design their perfect day around fitness, productivity, meditation and sleep. A good one to try if you’re looking to make space for better health and increased calmness in 2021.

Save money – London based startup Plum recently raised an impressive €8.7 million to expand its smart money saving app further across Europe. Developed in 2017, Plum’s app uses AI to help make money management easier for users through automations. Named ‘The AI assistant that grows your money’, the app has been particularly useful during the COVID-19 period for those looking to save whilst at home.

Keep learning – Amsterdam-based startup Growth Tribe has recently raised €3 million in funding to continue to shape the future of adult learning after 5 years of bootstrapping. With a focus on improving the global digital skills gap, the startup is aiming to help adult learners and organisations become digitally flexible and innovative through re-skilling. Their platform offers mini learning experiences and personalised coaching, allowing users to develop skills in areas such as AI, UX design and growth and marketing to name a few. Having grown to a team of 80 in just 5 years, Growth tribe has now helped over 15,000 individuals and organisations to develop new digital skills.

Fight food waste – You might have heard of Copenhagen born startup Too Good to Go. As Europe’s leading app for fighting food waste, it’s transforming the way we go about getting our hands on food products. Launched in 2016, the app connects hungry customers with shops and restaurants with a surplus of food, giving them a discount on food that would otherwise go to waste. The startup has recently raised €6 million to continue fighting food waste and has teamed up with over 1500 partners like Carrefour, Accor and YO! Sushi. This app is a must if your looking to do your part to reduce food waste in 2021.

Reduce stress and meditate – Berlin and Istanbul-based startup Meditopia is helping users to calm their mind by changing their personal approach to mental wellbeing. Having recently announced Series A investment of €13.1 million, Meditopia is the most downloaded wellness app in non-english speaking markets, and downloads show no sign of stopping. With 3,000 pieces of content in 10 languages, the service is personalised to each region and the team also works with experts to provide users with mental wellness support in response to localised events such as natural disasters.

Donate to Charity – Dutch startup Kinder (founded in 2016) is on a mission to make donating easier and more effective through its online donation platform. Having recently closed an investment deal of €525K, it’s hoping to help restore trust in those looking to donate to good causes through a custom vetting framework that makes sure donations end up in the right hands. It also helps users to identify those organisations who are best prepared to provide solutions to pressing issues. There’s no doubt that in the COVID-19 context, this startup is playing a big part in shaping the future of online fundraising.

Stop buying plastic water bottles – London-based startup Ocean Bottle is helping customers dramatically reduce their use of plastic water bottles and support communities across the globe. Founded in 2018, they’re doing this through  selling their own water bottle made from recycled plastic and teaming up with global recycling communities. For every bottle sold, the company funds 11.4kg of plastic collection. The plastic is collected by individuals in local costal regions who are then able to exchange the plastic they collect for things they need like tuition, healthcare and access to micro finance.

Build better sleeping habits – If there’s one healthy habit we can all benefit from, it’s getting good sleep (and enough of it!). Amsterdam born startup Shleep has developed a B2B platform to help employees get better quality sleep. This neuroscience based platform helps companies unlock the full potential of their teams through online coaching, looking to reduce burnout and increase productivity. It’s already partnered with companies such as Huffington Post, Deloitte and Spotify and is reporting up to 25% increases in productivity for its users.

Stick to your plan! – Talking of sticking to new habits, German startup Actio (founded in 2019) is helping users do exactly that through their online platform, live community and coaching service. The company is a motivational support system for anyone looking to optimise or build a new routine and has just closed €8.5 million in seed funding to continue to help users stick with their goals. The app works on the basis that human connection is the best kind of motivation. Its VoIP calling software connects users with real coaches worldwide, bringing them together in group calls.

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Phoebe Smith
Phoebe Smith
Phoebe Smith is passionate about impact and innovation-based startups looking to empower people and solve real problems. Also a content and story-telling fanatic, she’s currently Digital Content Lead at startup Bridge for Billions, having made her way over to Madrid, Spain, from the UK.

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