Meet the European startups that made Sequoia’s Arc Accelerator
US venture capital heavyweight Sequoia has announced the 17 early-stage European companies in the inaugural cohort of its arc startup accelerator programfrom monday.
The eight-week program will run until July 15 and will give participants time with some of Europe’s top founders and operators to build start-up skills. Additionally, Sequoia will invest $1 million upfront in each selected startup.
The Arc Accelerator is part of a larger trend of VCs looking to build relationships with companies at an earlier stage through angel and scout programs (Sequoia also has a scouting program in Europe). Sequoia invests from seed to advanced stage.
For Sequoia, it is particularly important to establish relationships with companies at their inception. “Our business is built around this idea of trying to get people as early as possible in business with them for as long as possible,” says Sequoia partner George Robson.
A question that often comes up when VCs invest in companies through programs like this is whether they will invest more money in subsequent rounds. Some founders say it can send a negative signal if a VC doesn’t follow.
Robson says Sequoia thinks of the Arc startup accelerator program “in that context of trying to build a lasting relationship,” citing the fact that Sequoia often participates in multiple rounds for companies going public. “We believe there is a signaling advantage for companies that participate in Arc,” he says.
Despite the various sources of instability affecting the market, Robson says Sequoia’s advice is to “encourage [the startups] focus on the factors they can control inside the building, investing in the R&D behind their products, [and] thinking very carefully about which channels work for them.
The cohort hails from 13 countries and includes 33 founders across Europe, including five female founders. Members of this cohort come from “all walks of life,” including immigrant and refugee founders. The selected companies cover a wide range of fields, from AI to edtech.
So which companies created Arc, Sequoia’s startup accelerator program? Two stealth companies are not on this list.
- Synativ – Synative uses the latest AI research to support companies building computer vision solutions to train models and generate high-quality images.
- Akero – Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly urgent and important, and that’s where Akeero comes in. The Security Design Platform aims to enable teams to collaboratively build secure applications for cloud products.
- baselime – Serverless architecture offers greater scalability and resilience for software engineers – but this brave new world is also extraordinarily complex. Baselime hopes to help software developers better understand and use the serverless architecture through its automated dashboards and alerts system.
- Vernier caliper – Startups want to make the most of their data, but in reality data is stored and processed in a fragmented way. Calliper seeks to change that by providing a plug-and-play Mission Control Center that consolidates all operational data in one place and highlights the most important information.
- CreatorSpace – Finding the right collaborators can be difficult, and it is easy to fall back on old university networks and local groups. CreatorSpace wants to change that by helping engineers, designers, and content creators find collaborators with the right skills and interests to work together.
- Fides – Munich-based Fides seeks to digitize corporate compliance by creating an all-in-one management governance platform, which also provides a secure audit trail for businesses.
- Otto Finance – The London-based platform wants to make financial support services accessible to employers and employees. Through its suite of coaching and training resources, Otto strives to give employees more control over their financial health.
- popsink – Based in Munich and Paris, Popsink aims to create innovative data tools to create real-time data jobs for continuous operations, without the hassle of scripts.
- RevMap – RevMap is on a mission to fix the product sales feedback loop and help companies find the right product for the market faster. Through playful teamwork, the platform seeks to encourage greater collaboration between product and sales teams.
- sour – The Berlin-based platform helps small businesses choose the right level of insurance, providing personalized recommendations through its automated advisor.
- Telescope – Using advanced machine learning, Telescope acts as a B2B sales assistant that can monitor, create outreach emails, and close deals using machine learning.
- twain – Twain is a free Google Chrome extension, which acts as a virtual sales coach. By using natural language generation, Twain hopes to help salespeople communicate more effectively.
- Options of choice (no website) – Whether it’s choosing which Netflix movies to watch or deciding which AirBnB to book, consumers today face a ‘paradox of choice’. Choice Options wants to help consumers discover the movies, music and destinations they love, while using responsible algorithms.
- Studio – The London-based edtech company wants to make quality education more accessible to students. Their app brings together short tutor videos, practice tests, flashcards and a community forum, and aims to encourage more effective learning.
- Xelda – Payment app takes the hassle out of paying through a card machine. The app allows users to send and receive money by simply scanning QR codes on their phone.
Sophie Zhang is Sifted’s editorial assistant. They help write Sifted’s main newsletter. You can register here.