🕶️ Europe's green future: US backing

And the era of utility-driven NFTs

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OpenAI fired back at Elon's lawsuit by dropping some private emails for everyone to see. Then Elon went ahead and tweeted THIS 😬

Also, according to a recent report by TheNextWeb, US VCs are really digging into European climate tech startups for a bunch of reasons. Meanwhile, a recent partnership between OpenSea and Coachella underscored a rising trend towards utility-driven NFTs, offering more than just collectibles.

Lastly, a hospitality tech startup achieved unicorn status following a $110M funding round 🦄👇🏽


Six bullets of updates

  1. 😮 OpenAI fights back against Elon's lawsuit, revealing internal emails and insisting they're focused on their mission.

  2. 🚀 Applications are open! for TechCrunch's Startup Battlefield 200 - offering startups a shot at $100K and global exposure!

  3. 🧬 Swedish startup Cellcolabs bags $8.7M to turn adult bone marrow into a cheaper, non-controversial source of stem cells.

  4. 🌱 Beware the top 10 mistakes startups make when communicating about sustainability

  5. 🛡️ Despite new public funding, European defence tech startups struggle for VC interest, with only 64 deals made in 2023.

  6. 🔌 UK's semiconductor startups lobby for policy changes to stay globally competitive amid $50bn US and €43bn EU chip initiatives.

Green dollars across the pond: US venture capital's impact on European climate innovation

US-based venture capitalists are increasingly investing in European climate tech startups, according to a recent report by TheNextWeb. Despite a 40% drop in VC funding in 2023 due to global economic challenges, the climate tech sector in Europe was resilient, experiencing only a 6% reduction, and almost equaled US investments in the same year.

The report attributes this trend to the richness of innovation and early-stage research in Europe, along with the supportive policy environment, which proves enticing for US investors. Also, Europe's diverse market and unique urban designs function as a great testbed for startups looking to scale.

However, it's worth noting that US investors tend to participate in larger deals, especially those requiring substantial funds for production and manufacturing. Read more!

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These companies just raised money

  1. 🦄 Amsterdam's hospitality tech startup, Mews, hits unicorn status with a $1.2B valuation after a $110M funding round.

  2. 💳 UK's digital bank Monzo pockets a cool $430M, soaring to a $5B valuation, set to relaunch in the US market.

  3. 💼 Remofirst raises $25M Series A, offering global HR solutions cheaper than rivals, serving clients in over 180 countries.

  4. 🌱 German startup Greenlyte raises €10.5m to advance its radical carbon removal tech, aiming at $80 per tonne cost.

  5. 🩺 Nigerian health tech startup MDaaS Global bags $3M pre-Series A funding to expand its diagnostic centers and enhance healthcare access in Nigeria.

  6. 🌍 Geospatial data startup Fused snagged $1M pre-seed, offering a fast, serverless-based product for visualizing satellite data.

NFTs are not just a pretty face

source: Unsplash

OpenSea, the NFT marketplace, has partnered with music festival Coachella to launch three NFT collections offering virtual and physical VIP experiences and merchandise. This includes a VIP Festival Pass and lounge access. The NFTs, powered by Avalanche, represent a growing trend towards utility-driven NFTs that offer not just collectibles but also tangible real-life utilities. This could contribute to reshaping the perception of NFTs, beyond overpriced digital profile pictures to digital assets with real-world value.

This project aims to simplify the process of buying NFTs by accepting email sign-ups and credit card payments, reducing the barriers to entry for potential new users.

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Why investors reject most startups

While the number of angel rounds decreased with the pandemic, the number of VC rounds grew - but more importantly, the size of the rounds skyrocketed. More than $600B were raised in 2021, twice as much as companies raised in 2020. But, this is a select club. In the US alone, over 5 million new business registrations happened in 2021, but less than 4,500 early-stage companies raised any venture capital 😥 Check out our other videos!