Let's have a look at the notable news as of 15.02.23
We are sure we did not cover many interesting news worth sharing, feel free to add more in the comment section below! Let us know, what interests you!
1.Why Lithuania could be set to be Europe’s next deeptech hotspot
Lithuania might become next Europe’s deeptech hotspot, beeing one of the leading innovation hubs in central and eastern Europe. This is driven by a focus on entrepreneurship within the STEM community, strong universities, generous public funding opportunities, and a favorable tax and legal regime. Deeptech and life science startups in Lithuania are supported by government and European Union investment, robust life sciences sector, and the availability of tech talent. With the country expected to contribute 5% to Lithuania’s GDP by 2030, Lithuania is set to create a snowball effect as tech founders with capital from successful exits invest in new startups.
2.Poor knowledge of EU data and digital laws impacts central and eastern EU startups
Start-ups in central and eastern Europe are struggling to keep up with EU regulations, including data sharing and privacy laws and the forthcoming artificial intelligence act, according to a report by Startup Hungary. The report, which is based on interviews with founders, investors and policy experts, highlights a lack of awareness among companies of what the rules entail, blaming it on poor top-down communication. However, the central and eastern European start-up scene is generally healthy, with the region being one of the fastest-growing in Europe in terms of enterprise value, now valued at around €190 billion, according to a report by Google for Startups, Atomico, Credo and Dealroom.co.
3.An early-stage investor on care navigation, health tech headwinds, & mental health data brokers
In the latest health tech news, the federal government has selected several organizations to implement the framework for exchanging health data, making transferring medical data easier between patients, providers, apps, insurers, and researchers. Meanwhile, a new report has highlighted the lack of standards for handling mental health data, and there are calls for a comprehensive national privacy law to guard against misuse by brokers. In the midst of all this, a founder and CEO of Vive Collective shares thoughts on how to differentiate in the increasingly crowded care navigation market, while researchers have developed an ingestible device that could change GI care by making the process of detecting GI disorders like acid reflux and constipation easier.
4.Phenomenal Ventures, built by Meena Harris and Helen Min, debuts
Meena Harris, the entrepreneur and niece of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, and her partner Helena Min have launched a new venture capital firm called Phenomenal Ventures. The firm has closed a $6 million early-stage-focused fund, which includes investments from 776, Tribe Capital, Slow Ventures and founders from tech companies such as Dropbox, Quora, and Pinterest. Phenomenal Ventures plans to invest in pre-seed to Series A rounds, with check sizes ranging from $100,000 to $500,000. The firm has already invested in 13 companies, nine of which are built by underrepresented founders. The new fund aims to have a "mission-driven impact" on the tech industry, with a focus on investing in software enterprise companies, fintech and the future of commerce.
5.Is it finally European insurtech’s moment in the sun?
Insurtech is becoming a hotter topic as investors shift their focus from neobanks and payment companies to startups that help businesses and consumers reduce risk in the current economic climate. Despite a wider funding slowdown, European insurtech had its second-best year of funding on record in 2022, raising $2.2bn from investors, according to Dealroom data. European insurtech investors are looking for startups that can use technology to make better risk calculations and underwrite well, rather than just scaling fast. In this article, Sifted explores how this generation of insurtechs is poised to crack some of the underwriting challenges faced by the first generation.
6.Wefunder’s equity crowdfunding platform has officially expanded to the EU
Wefunder, a US-based investment crowdfunding platform, has received regulatory approval to operate in the European Union, marking the first time it has expanded outside the US. CEO and founder Nick Tommarello called the expansion a "no brainer" and highlighted the importance of recent policy changes that unified regulations in the EU. The regulatory approval process took over two years and required significant legal assistance, according to Katie Powers, head of Wefunder’s EU operations. The move has positioned Wefunder to launch strongly, but it faces competition from other US and UK-based crowdfunding platforms also seeking to enter the EU.
7.The Upside of Venture Capital’s Slowdown
Is the tech world returning to more sustainable business practices? On the latest episode of Pivot podcast, Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway discuss the current state of venture capital and the potential benefits of higher interest rates. They analyze the difficulties of keeping consumer apps growth and provide their advice to VC firms on where to invest. Galloway shares his insights on the importance of finding a tech-enabled service that will generate immediate revenues and slowly build enduring value, rather than just chasing a boom. If you want to know more about their views on the future of the tech industry, this is a must-listen episode!
8.Europe to ‘assess’ Adobe’s proposed $20B Figma acquisition on competition grounds
The European Commission (EC) has announced that it will examine Adobe’s proposed $20 billion acquisition of digital design rival Figma to determine if it will significantly affect competition in the market for interactive product design and whiteboarding software. The deal does not meet the turnover thresholds set out in EU merger regulations, but Article 22 allows member EU countries to refer specific cases to the EC if they believe the transaction will diminish competition in European markets. The EC has received requests from 16 countries to examine the deal, which will now trigger an initial review at an EU level. The US Department of Justice and the UK are also scrutinising the acquisition.