The dialog round ethnic range in European tech usually centres on entrepreneurs within the UK. However there are a lot of Black and mixed-race founders, notably ladies, in different elements of Europe.
With the assistance of Vera Baker, founding father of For Colored Girls Who Tech and a enterprise companion at pan-African VC agency Jua Fund, Sifted has compiled a listing of a number of the Black and mixed-race feminine founders in Europe (outdoors of the UK) who you need to learn about. (We’ve beforehand printed a listing of UK-based Black female founders who’ve raised funding.)
“I’ve been accumulating knowledge on these I name the ‘Hidden Figures’ in European tech for years,” says Baker. “These pan-European Black and Brown feminine founders have saved their heads under the fray and centered on constructing. I’m excited to share a listing of ladies to observe, a few of whom have efficiently raised funding. Armed with capital, I count on to see them scaling their companies past the borders of Europe.”
Discover the total checklist of over 40 ladies founders under — however first, we profile 16 of the ladies who’ve raised funding for his or her startups.
If there’s anybody lacking from this checklist, or any data is inaccurate, please tell us by e mail at [email protected].
Shirley Billot, founder and CEO of Kadalys (Paris, France)
Billot has began two firms in her entrepreneurial profession up to now. The primary, SHB SAS, which was based in 2011, is a biotech firm specialising within the analysis and growth of an lively beauty ingredient from banana timber. Based mostly on this analysis, Billot additionally based Kadalys in 2014, an natural and eco-conscious skincare model that was the primary to make use of banana agri-waste in its merchandise to rejuvenate the pores and skin. To this point, Billot has raised €1.5m from authorities funds and a cooperative of banana growers in Martinique, and is within the means of elevating a €30m Sequence A spherical.
Karin Fuentesová, founder and CEO of Digitoo (Prague, Czech Republic)
Fuentesová began off her profession within the accounting sector, the place she labored for 13 years. Throughout this time, she noticed how a lot time is wasted by individuals doing mundane duties — like guide knowledge entry of invoices into accounting methods. That led her to discovered Digitoo, which automates guide bookkeeping processes.
Digitoo, which was based in 2019, initially struggled to search out buyers however in 2021, it raised €900k in seed funding from Czech buyers Kaya VC and Nation 1. Fuentesová considers this an enormous success: “Only 46% of founders elevate more than $250k within the pre-seed part in Central Japanese Europe. That is the primary pre-seed funding of this quantity in an organization led by a single feminine founder.”
Laura Medji, cofounder of Tracktor SAS (Paris, France)
Medji wears many hats. She’s the cofounder of Tracktor, an internet platform for development and trade gear rental based in 2016. She’s additionally the president of The Light Initiative, a suppose tank for range and inclusion — and he or she’s the chief product officer of medtech startup Epoca, which she joined in July final yr.
To this point, Medji has raised €3.7m for Tracktor — whose buyers embrace VC agency Kerala Ventures and angels comparable to Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet, Pierre Krings and Xavier Niel.
Deborah Choi, cofounder of Founderland and managing director at Bosque (Berlin, Germany)
Choi is a serial entrepreneur who has based 5 companies in her profession up to now. Based mostly in Berlin, she’s finest identified for founding plant care platform Horticure in 2018, for which she raised €1.3m in seed funding.
The corporate later merged with Bosque, one other Berlin-based plant supply and plant care enterprise, the place Choi is now managing director and chief model officer. However that’s not all.
Choi can also be a part of the cofounding workforce of Founderland, an organisation supporting ladies of color founders throughout Europe and the UK, which was launched in 2020. Final yr, Founderland received a $25m grant from Google.org’s Affect Problem for Girls and Women — and was one in all 5 tasks chosen out of 8,000 purposes.
Stephanie Nenta Mbianda, founding father of Xtramile (Paris, France)
Nenta is the founding father of Xtramile, a platform which makes use of AI to assist recruiters scale back acquisition prices, goal a big viewers and enhance the standard of candidates. Earlier than launching her personal firm, Nenta labored at JP Morgan in London in non-public lending for over 5 years. Xtramile has up to now raised over €1.5m from Google’s Black Founders Fund, Finovam, Institut Lorrain de Participations, and different enterprise angels, and is at present elevating additional capital.
Noelly Michoux, cofounder and CEO of 4.5.6 Pores and skin (Brussels, Belgium)
Michoux, initially from Normandy and now primarily based in Brussels, landed her first job in New York as a director for BrandOnline, an ecommerce company devoted to luxurious magnificence and skincare manufacturers. Throughout this time, Michoux realised there was a scarcity of merchandise particularly formulated with individuals with melanin-rich pores and skin. She turned fascinated with researching pores and skin physiology and the the explanation why there may be such a scarcity of inclusivity within the magnificence market.
This led to her founding 4.5.6, a customised physiology skincare company formulated to be protected and efficient for individuals with pores and skin varieties 4, 5 and 6 (gentle brown to darkish brown pores and skin). Michoux has simply raised €2m from Scale Fund, Kima Ventures, BPI France and one of many greatest luxurious French firms.
Marie Assé, cofounder and CEO of Clustdoc (Paris, France)
Assé held numerous product roles in banking and fintech earlier than founding her personal startup, Clustdoc, with cofounder Karim Bakoume in 2019. Clustdoc is a shopper onboarding automation platform utilized by monetary companies to streamline routine client-facing processes. To this point Assé has raised $850k in pre-seed funding from InReach Ventures, January Ventures and Google for Startups.
Rebecca Cathline, founder and CEO of Ma Coiffeuse Afro Haircare and In Haircare (Paris, France)
Cathline is the brains behind Ma Coiffeuse Afro — an app which helps individuals with African heritage (who symbolize 20% of the French inhabitants, but don’t have entry to 99% of hairdressers) discover and e book an applicable hairdresser at residence simply. She’s additionally the founding father of In Haircare, a line of hair merchandise which can be plant-based and made in France with pure lively substances.
Cathline beforehand raised a €350k seed spherical for Ma Coiffeuse Afro from US buyers CRE.VC and French enterprise angel Denis Fayolle. And she or he’s simply closed a Sequence A spherical led by Marie Claire Ventures and Obratori.
Christina Calje, cofounder of Autheos (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Born and raised in New York, Calje spent seven years working for Goldman Sachs earlier than turning to tech and VC. She’s launched and scaled companies within the finance and know-how sectors, throughout geographies comparable to New York, London and Amsterdam. Her most up-to-date success is Autheos, a platform optimising video advertising, which she based in 2016 and exited in 2021. Calje can also be an angel investor and advisor at Amsterdam-based VC agency Curiosity VC.
Diana Blondel, founder and CEO of Xaalys (Paris, France)
Blondel based Xaalys, a banking app geared toward 12-17 yr olds, in 2018. Since then, the fintech has raised €1.5m in seed funding from Bouyges Telecom and several other angel buyers. Beforehand, Blondel spent ten years working at Société Générale, a European monetary companies group primarily based in Paris, and was additionally a board member for France Fintech, a non-profit affiliation selling the fintech sector in France and overseas.
Rukayyat Kolawole, founding father of PaceUP Make investments GmBH (Mannheim, Germany)
With 15 years of expertise in funding banking, funding and wealth administration, Kolawole helps extra ladies and other people from underrepresented communities change into financially impartial and empowered. Her fintech firm, PaceUP, which she based in October 2020, presents recommendation and options for wealth administration, in addition to e-learning and training to information individuals by way of constructing wealth. Kolawole has raised €200k in pre-seed funding up to now, from authorities grants and angel buyers.
Kindja Andjou Muongo, cofounder and CEO of Andjou Cosmetics (Brussels, Belgium)
Muongo labored in branding and advertising for firms comparable to L’Oréal and Henkel earlier than founding two beautytech companies of her personal. In 2015, she launched Magnificence Sprint, which supplied at-home hair and make-up companies for giant occasions. Later, in 2019, she launched Andjou Cosmetics — a DTC magnificence model for the African client — which has up to now raised €200k in pre-seed funding.
Lola Akinmade Åkerström, cofounder of Native Purse (Stockholm, Sweden)
Akinmade Åkerström is a visible storyteller who has labored with business manufacturers comparable to Nationwide Geographic, BBC, Dove and Mercedes-Benz. She’s finest identified for being a thought chief throughout the journey trade, and has based many initiatives inside this sector. In 2010, she based Geotraveler Media Sweden, a journey media and visible storytelling consultancy and in 2020, she launched Native Purse, a web-based platform the place journey guides and native artisans can host travellers utilizing reside video procuring. Native Purse, which received the 2021 Bessie Award for social influence, has up to now obtained a authorities grant and is elevating a pre-seed spherical.
Angelyne Larcher, CEO of Fea Cash (Zurich, Switzerland)
Larcher is a fintech entrepreneur and neighborhood builder. In 2019, she based The LadyBoss enterprise membership — a coworking area in Zurich the place feminine entrepreneurs and executives can community, acquire contracts and be taught from one another. To this point, Larcher has raised €100k in pre-seed funding from family and friends, and is within the means of elevating extra. Larcher can also be the CEO of Fea Cash, a fintech providing personalised digital financial institution accounts and monetary recommendation for girls in an effort to bridge the gender wealth hole.
Nicole Brown, founder and chief content material officer, NotaBeneTV (Rome, Italy)
Brown is the founding father of NotaBeneTV, a European content material creation lab that produces premier luxurious and way of life TV tasks. NBTV has a contact display interactive ecommerce software program that allows the viewers to buy any merchandise proven inside their TV tasks. Shoppers embrace Cardiff Productions, Jay-Z’s Version Trendy Luxurious and Phoenix Satellite tv for pc Tv Holdings. Brown has raised €75k for NotaBeneTV from family and friends. Earlier than launching NotaBeneTV, Brown moved from New York to Italy, and labored as VP of worldwide communications for luxurious model Dsquared2.
Myriam Taylor, cofounder and CEO of Muxima Bio (Lisbon, Portugal)
Taylor is the founding father of Muxima Bio BV, an organization which has a number of strings to its bow. It’s a biotech startup that focuses on analysis for different sources of protein for software in cosmetics and medico prescribed drugs, amongst different issues. It has its personal texture-specific luxurious haircare line, Muxima Caviar System.
The corporate additionally acts as a stress group and lobbyist on problems with equality and human rights, and produces instructional conferences and occasions with a humanist agenda. Based in 2014, Muxima Bio has up to now raised seed funding of €800k from family and friends. Taylor can also be a tv host for RTP (Radio Tv Portugal) in Lisbon.
If you’re a Black or mixed-race feminine founder in Europe and want to be included within the checklist, please fill out our Airtable here.