who does cool SAAS in Europe
Happy New Year and welcome to a new edition of Sunday CET, our weekly coverage of what’s interesting in the startup ecosystem from Europe.
Hope all is well and you charged your batteries! Writing this from the French Alps where I am recharging myself and where it’s unusually warm for this time of the year. BUT it started snowing just this morning, and we expect 60-100 cm of fresh powder over the next few days. Speaking of which, we’re doing a snowboarding/skiing get together in the Italian Alps at the end of January, and we have an open spot for a dude or dudette to share in a double room. Let me know if you’re interested or know anybody who’s wants in - gracias!
This week’s newsletter includes:
interesting Euro startups doing early stage SAAS
will OpenAI be bought by Microsoft?
guide for startups in Germany
Let’s get to it!
One way for my staying updated on specific intel from the European investment deals is using trackers over at Nordic 9.
It’s a good way to quickly scan who did what and taking the pulse of what happened in the Euro investment world on a given week - I go about it either generically, following specific country + vertical, or granularly, by setting up a specific group of investors from one or more countries, by ticket size and industry, as you can see below.
The trackers are a free feature to use btw, you just need to create an account.
All the up and coming software startups, about 50 or so, are available in a cheat sheet over at Nordic 9, which I will update on constant basis (available for our customers).
🤖 OpenAI, the American startup doing open source AI and which managed to change the public narrative from the crypto scams and economic crisis in the last couple of months, is considering selling shares at a valuation of around $29 billion, which makes it one of the most valuable startups out there.
Everybody seems to believe that Microsoft will eventually buy OpenAI, since it’s already a shareholder in the company. Just because it can doesn't mean it should - for once, the OpenAI investment was strategic in the form of Azure credits, and this kind of deal is a typical Microsoft biz devel tactic for becoming the go-to-infrastructure play for would-be software behemoths. The more you grow, the higher the switching costs to competing vendors such as Google or Amazon.*
OpenAI, said to reach to 1 bill in sales in the next year, operates an economic model powering startups run their business with embedded ChatGPT tech and, at the end of the day, that simply means that the OpenAI economy will run on Microsoft technology. That’s likely Microsoft’s end game, a similar one to being an early investor in Facebook, for those of us old enough to remember that deal.
OpenAI will end up listing on the public market for providing investors with liquidity, not being acquired - Sam Altman is in for the glory not for getting rich by selling out to corporate droids.
*AWS is the most used cloud platform for developers, Azure is second and Google Cloud third - the tools and technologies developers are currently using and what they want to use
🗣️ Cheat sheets
Investors in Europe:
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Good to know basis
🇩🇪 Guide for startups in Germany - basic stuff
👉 What it takes to be a founder? - first principles
🤔 Worst VC or angel experience for founders - the usual
🇨🇭 What to expect in 2023 - according to Swiss VCs
👏 Macro VC: what happened in 2022, what’s in store for 2023.
Have you produced useful resources for the community? They can be events, reports or tools - send me an email with submissions at email@example.com
🤔 Everybody is a VC nowadays Here’s a good quote:
VC investing structurally shifted from incentivizing “non-consensus” thinking to becoming a “consensus-driven” industry
Food for thought: what VCs consider top 1% of companies at preseed/seed and price accordingly may not deliver the expected returns down the line because it is consensus. FOMO, herd thinking etc.
🇫🇷 French innovation The La Poste edition, which is looking to cut costs by stopping the daily postal deliveries in France:
Instead of using a timbre rouge to send an urgent letter, people will need to buy the e-Lettre service online on the La Poste website at €1.49 per letter
They will then need to scan the letter to digitise it
The contents of the letter will then be printed and put in an envelope at the closest post office to the final destination, to speed up delivery.
The eight million people in France who do not yet have internet at home – or cannot use it – will be able to go to a La Poste office directly with their paper letter and have it scanned there.
At least it doesn’t seem they copied the Americans on this one, right? 🙃 The US Postal Service will move to an all-electric delivery fleet, btw.
🇩🇰 No cash, no problems. Denmark did not have a single bank robbery in 2023 - cashless society.
🍺 Retail sales of nonalcoholic beverages grew more than 20% last year, and 120% over three years. Meanwhile, sales of alcoholic beer and wine have declined year over year, and alcoholic spirit sales grew less than 1% annually. In USA that is.
🇨🇳 State vs Capitalism, the Chinese edition: Chinese billionaire Jack Ma will no longer control Ant Group. Dude has disappeared from public view and moved to Tokyo since giving a speech that criticized Chinese regulators in 2020.
🕸️ Your go-to social network is where your graph is Why would anyone use another centralized social media service after this? link
🤑 BNPL done in America Buy now, regret later? link
🇪🇺 Cash was used in 59% of transactions in Europe in 2022, down from 72% in 2019.
💶 What can you buy in Europe with just one euro?
⚡ 13 power systems around the world. link
💲 NFT creators diversify into real-world assets to generate new revenues.
🧜♀️ Over 50% of Disney+ subscribers are adults without kids link
🇳🇱 More people died than were born in the Netherlands for the first time since 1900. There’s 17.8 million people living in NL.
🇪🇺 It’s legal to break out of prison in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Austria… and more.
🦆 How to duck More tech layoffs are coming, if you’re in sales, here are some things you can do to make sure you’re not included.
👶 Hands-free, AI buggy Self-driving stroller aims to reduce parents’ stress – $3300 a pop.
🔥 Sergey Brin: "Irate call from Steve Jobs"
🙈 People are weird An American indie romance author who faked her own death for over two years, announced she was alive and ready to start writing again.
🎥 Best movie posters of 2022. link
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