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This week in Europe: 3 European YC startups you should know about

August 30th | #40

Twice a year, for the past 14 years, the best investors in the Valley flock to the star event of the season. No, it's not Burning Man. But it's almost as good – YC Demo Day. 

Earlier last week, YC CEO Michael Siebel kicked off S2019 Demo Day by noting that 15% of the batch is focused overseas, with a big emphasis in India an Europe.

Overall, 9 European startups crossed the Atlantic to go through YC S2019. I usually don't pay attention to these things, but this year, I went through all of them, and I gotta say... some of them are impressive.

So in today's edition we are going to go over three of the most promising European YC startups (in no particular order).

Let's dig in. 


I LOVE startups that take an obscure, off-line niche and use software to beat the shit out of the incumbents. 

Well, Prolific is just that – a marketplace that connects researchers with verified study participants. My dad is a doctor who happens to do research, and I know how big of a pain recruiting participants for studies is.

This startups allows you to launch your study to tens of thousands of trusted participants in minutes (vs weeks) by recruiting niche or representative samples on-demand. 

Why is this so cool? 

  • There are thousands of studies launched each year, so the market is huge. Approximately 2.5 million new scientific papers are published each year.
  • It’s a real problem that no one knows about except the people who REALLY know about it.
  • The #1 competitor is not another company, but the status quo.
  • They have traction, over 3000 researchers from 500+ institutions and companies.
  • It takes a time consuming, dreading task into something that can be done over a matter of minutes.


The PredictLeads team describes their product as "providing business intelligence via clean APIs."

In 4-year-old terms, they help companies and investors figure out emerging trends, identify potential customers, and gain insights into a company by predicting what's going to happen as it happens.

They solve a problem very, very close to my heart – behavioral targeting in B2B environments. As an example, PredictLeads can figure out when a company is hiring Customer Support staff. If you are in the Customer Support software business, that is a very valuable insight and you should definitely pay money for it.

Why is this so cool?

  • The market is huge, and it can be used alongside competitors. You don't need to off-board Pitchbook to use PredictLeads. 
  • The product is influencies performance. It helps companies sell more, and investors find investments that are picking up traction.
  • They have data (20 million companies), traction AND are profitable.
  • It taps into a big human need – to avoid being wrong. The tool helps investors track companies they’ve considered in the past, and notifies them if certain companies start getting traction so they can reevaluate the deal.


Actiondesk helps business save time by making it easy for them to build powerful automations using only their spreadsheets skills.

It's everything a data nerd would want out of spreadsheets. You can dynamically connect data sources to youe spreadsheets so that edits made in the spreadsheet will be replicated in the data source, and viceversa.

Users are also able to schedule actions related to the data in their sheets, or enrich data with third party tools like Mixpanel or Clearbit.

Why is this so cool?

  • There are over a billion spreadsheet users (and I'm definitely one of them). Actiondesk turns them into programmers, and allows them to build internal tools for their teams.
  • It solves a BIG problem. Spreadsheet softwares are great for static data. The only way to keep it updated is by copying and pasting, or importing .csvs. This leads to crappy work, and multiple sources of truth. Not anymore.
  • It saves money by freeing up the Engineering team. 

Community News 🌐

Health insurance startup Alan launches four new verticals
French startup Alan announced new products, international expansion plans and a brand refresh at a press conference this morning.

Raisin buys pension specialist Fairr
The acquisition gives the German company access to the €12tn European pension and retirement market, which few fintechs have yet entered.

YouTube to reduce conspiracy theory recommendations in the UK
I'm not sure how I feel about YouTube meddling with what people can and can't watch. 

Presight Capital raises $80M fund to connect US startups with Europe
The international venture arm of Apeiron Investment Group, is announcing that it’s closed its first fund of $80 million.

Good Reads 📕

Starbucks, monetary superpower
Starbucks is leveraging the Starbucks Rewards Cards and prepaid balances in the Starbucks mobile app to invest. And it's awesome. 

How VCs cover Europe
A good overview of how US VCs cover the European market.

Macron's handshake with Donald Trump is AMAZING

Big cities, startups are over you
Another pretty good Sifted piece on why startups are over big cities. I don't buy it tho.

Fundraising & Acquisitions 💰

  • Insurtech Hedvig raises €9m in bid to become Europe’s Lemonade
  • Koru Kids raises £10M Series A for its childcare platform
  • Residently raises £7M to digitise the rental experience
  • Zurich-based fintech startup Numbrs raises over €36 million at billion-dollar valuation to boost its expansion
  • Oslo-based influencer marketing platform raises €1.2 million
  • Sweden’s Hedvig raises $10.4M led by Obvious Ventures to build ‘nice insurance’

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