DeepTech is a rapidly growing technology industry in Europe. European deeptech companies have raised nearly $20 billion in the first nine months of 2021, according to research data released by Atomico. These are the most significant deep tech deals in Europe we have seen during the year. DeepTech funding in 2021 !
Here is an overview of the top 10 funding rounds for European DeepTech companies in 2021:
$125 million investment in digital therapy platform MindMaze
Swiss digital neurotherapy platform MindMaze raised $125 million in October from AlbaCore Capital Group, with the startup valued at more than $1.5 billion. In addition to its products, the company is also known for having Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio on its list of backers.
MindMaze uses its expertise in neuroscience to develop games that use virtual and augmented reality to help patients regain motor function after a stroke or brain injury. Games that people can play at home or in the hospital include tasks that involve moving the arms, legs, or torso in a certain way. The movement tracked by the camera is amplified in the game – and triggers a reward.
$165 million investment in the DNA printer of DNA Script startup
French biotech startup DNA Script received $165 million in funding in October, just months after launching its desktop DNA printer for use in CRISPR gene-editing systems. The Series C round was led by Coatue and Catalio Capital Management, bringing the total raised by DNA Script to $280 million.
The printer in question, called the SYNTAX platform, is a device that “sets up in 15 minutes and produces up to 96 oligosomes within hours, immediately ready for use in genomics and molecular biology research.” The company’s technology promises to transform research processes in many synthetic biology industries by printing longer DNA sequences than ever before and delivering them within hours.
AI startup Owkin raises $180 million for AI-enabled research platform
French-founded AI startup Owkin officially became a unicorn in November when it struck a deal with biopharma giant Sanofi. In addition to $180 million in equity funding, Owkin will receive $90 million through a “discovery and growth partnership” over the next three years. The deal also provides for additional payments, which will depend on the achievement of certain milestones in the research process.
Its platform brings together data scientists, clinicians, academic researchers and pharmaceutical companies to create global datasets while protecting patient data within the local hospital infrastructure. The company’s offering consists of four parts: Owkin Loop (network), Owkin Connect (technology infrastructure), Owkin Studio (AI software) and Owkin Lab (expertise).
$205 million investment in Vertical Aerospace’s electric air taxis
Bristol-based Vertical Aerospace received $205 million in November to support its work on electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The money received from the American company Mudrick Capital and the Parisian company Kouros is to be used to certify and produce the first Vertical Aerospace vehicle.
The eVTOL aircraft VX4, designed for four passengers and one pilot, is expected to be certified around 2024. According to the specification, it can fly at speeds up to 321 km/h and has a range of more than 160 km. The manufacturer also claims that the VX4 will be “virtually silent” in flight. Vertical Aerospace has already placed 1,350 pre-orders for the VX4, and London, Tokyo and Sao Paulo airports are interested in testing the aircraft as a flying taxi.
Bio-company Oxford Nanopore receives £195m in COVID funding
British DNA sequencing biotech Oxford Nanopore raised £195m in May 2021 in a surprise funding round ahead of its September IPO. The public listing, which raised £524m, valued the Oxford company at nearly £5bn.
The company, which has developed next-generation DNA and RNA sequencing devices, has been actively working to combat Covid-19. She focused on tracking coronavirus mutations with proprietary genome sequencing technology and providing rapid tests for the NHS.
DeepTech funding in 2021 – The German company Agile Robots attracted investments of $220 million
German hardware and software company Agile Robots raised $220 million in funding in September in a round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The deal brings Agile Robots a market valuation of more than $1 billion. located in Munich and Beijing, modestly calls its products “the future of robotics” because its five-fingered robots can be used in a variety of environments, from home appliance assembly lines to medical organizations.
Agile Robots identifies four pillars of its robotics:
- force perception, which means her robots can literally sense the physical world;
- advanced vision technology based on deep learning;
- autonomous planning, which allows robots to develop and correct movement trajectories in real time;
- and intelligence algorithms with which robots can quickly adapt to new conditions.
DeepTech funding in 2021 – €200 million investment in eVTOL VoloCity air taxi production
German-based urban air mobility (UAM) startup Volocopter received €200 million in funding in March to certify and manufacture its VoloCity eVTOL air taxi. Unlike the aircraft designed by Vertical Aerospace, which resembles a regular aircraft, the German craft is more like a quadcopter on steroids, with a helicopter cockpit mounted under a frame with 18 rotors.
Rome’s Fiumicino Airport is likely to be the first location where VoloCity will start operating. It is planned to connect the airport with several points in the capital of Italy within “two to three years”.
DeepTech funding in 2021 – $300 million for OneWeb satellite Internet access
London-based satellite communications company OneWeb has raised a $300 million investment from South Korean defense electronics and information infrastructure company Hanwha Systems, with a market valuation of over $3 billion.
OneWeb had a rough year in 2020 when it was bailed out of bankruptcy by the UK government and Bharti Global, who jointly invested $1 billion in the company. However, it looks quite alive these days: 394 of the planned 648 satellites are already orbiting our planet.
Once the entire satellite constellation is up and running, which is expected to happen next year, OneWeb will be able to offer high-speed, low-latency Internet access to customers around the world. The list of potential customers includes “telecom providers, aviation and maritime markets, Internet service providers and governments around the world.”
DeepTech funding in 2021 – Investment of $600 million in surgical robots of CMR Surgical company
British robotics company CMR Surgical raised $600 million in Series D funding in June. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Ally Bridge Group participated in the round, which raised the company’s market valuation to $3 billion.
CMR Surgical’s flagship product is a keyhole robotic surgical system called Versius. It is optimized to make the operation minimally invasive and targeted for conditions such as bowel disease or bowel cancer. During the announcement, CMR mentioned that Versius was already involved in 1,000 operations. It has been used in four NHS hospitals in the UK, as well as in Italy, India, the UAE, Australia and other countries.
DeepTech funding in 2021 – Massive $2.75 billion investment in green batteries by Northvolt
The largest deep technology funding round in 2021 was raised in June by Swedish battery developer Northvolt. The company, which aims to produce sustainable lithium batteries, plans to use the proceeds to increase its annual production capacity in Europe to 150 GWh by 2030. Financing was carried out under the joint leadership of existing investors Goldman Sachs and Volkswagen, as well as new ones – the Swedish pension funds AP1-4 and the Canadian OMERS.
Volkswagen contributed €500 million to this round to maintain its 20 percent stake in the battery maker. The German auto giant also placed a $14 billion battery order with Northvolt in March; another player from the region, BMW, ordered batteries worth $2.3 billion last year. In addition, Northvolt is working with Swedish truck manufacturer Scania and energy storage company Fluence (a joint venture between Siemens and AES).
Northvolt previously announced that its Swedish manufacturing facility had delivered the first lithium-ion battery cell. The company claims it is the first cell of its kind to be fully designed, developed and assembled in a gigafactory by a European company. She also mentioned that commercial deliveries will begin in 2022.