The dialog round ethnic range in European tech usually centres on entrepreneurs in the UK. But there are numerous 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 an inventory of a few of the Black and mixed-race female founders in Europe (exterior of the UK) who you need to learn about. (We’ve beforehand printed an inventory of UK-based Black female founders who’ve raised funding.)
“I’ve been gathering information on these I name the ‘Hidden Figures’ in European tech for years,” says Baker. “These pan-European Black and Brown female founders have chkept their heads beneath the fray and targeted on constructing. I’m excited to share an inventory of girls to look at, a few of whom have efficiently raised funding. Armed with capital, I anticipate to see them scaling their companies past the borders of Europe.”
Find the complete listing of over 40 ladies founders beneath — however first, we profile 16 of the ladies who’ve raised funding for his or her startups.
If there’s anybody lacking from this listing, or any info is inaccurate, please tell us by e mail at [email protected].
Shirley Billot, founder and CEO of Kadalys (Paris/Martinique)
Billot has began two corporations in her entrepreneurial profession to this point. The first, SHB SAS, which was based in 2011, is a biotech firm specialising in the analysis and improvement of an energetic beauty ingredient from banana timber. Based 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. So far, Billot has raised €1.5m from authorities funds and a cooperative of banana growers in Martinique, and is in the method of elevating a €30m Series A spherical. The firm is positioned in Martinique, with workplaces in Paris and Montpellier.
Karin Fuentesová, founder and CEO of Digitoo (Prague, Czech Republic)
Fuentesová began off her profession in the accounting sector, the place she labored for 13 years. During this time, she noticed how a lot time is wasted by individuals doing mundane duties — like guide information entry of invoices into accounting techniques. That led her to discovered Digitoo, which automates guide bookkeeping processes.
Digitoo, which was based in 2019, initially struggled to seek 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 greater than $250k in the pre-seed part in Central Eastern Europe. This is the primary pre-seed funding of this quantity in an organization led by a single female founder.”
Laura Medji, cofounder of Tracktor SAS (Paris, France)
Medji wears many hats. She’s the cofounder of Tracktor, an online platform for building and business gear rental based in 2016. She’s additionally the president of The Gentle Initiative, a assume tank for range and inclusion — and she’s the chief product officer of medtech startup Epoca, which she joined in July final yr.
So far, 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 to this point. Based in Berlin, she’s finest recognized for founding plant care platform Horticure in 2018, for which she raised €1.3m in seed funding.
The firm 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. But 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. Last yr, Founderland received a $25m grant from Google.org’s Impact Challenge for Women and Girls — and was one among 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. Before launching her personal firm, Nenta labored at JP Morgan in London in non-public lending for over 5 years. Xtramile has to this point raised over €1.5m from Google’s Black Founders Fund, Finovam, Institut Lorrain de Participations, and different enterprise angels, and is at the moment elevating additional capital.
Noelly Michoux, cofounder and CEO of 4.5.6 Skin (Brussels, Belgium)
Michoux, initially from Normandy and now based mostly in Brussels, landed her first job in New York as a director for BrandOnline, an ecommerce company devoted to luxurious magnificence and skincare manufacturers. During this time, Michoux realised there was an absence of merchandise particularly formulated with individuals with melanin-rich pores and skin. She turned fascinated with researching pores and skin physiology and the the reason why there may be such an absence of inclusivity in the sweetness market.
This led to her founding 4.5.6, a personalized physiology skincare firm formulated to be secure 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 varied 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. So far Assé has raised $850k in pre-seed funding from InAttain 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 guide an applicable hairdresser at dwelling simply. She’s additionally the founding father of In Haircare, a line of hair merchandise which might be plant-based and made in France with pure energetic elements.
Cathline beforehand raised a €350k seed spherical for Ma Coiffeuse Afro from US buyers CRE.VC and French enterprise angel Denis Fayolle. And she’s simply closed a Series A spherical led by Marie Claire Ventures and Obratori.
Christina Caljé, 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 in the finance and expertise sectors, throughout geographies comparable to New York, London and Amsterdam. Her most up-to-date success is Autheos, a platform optimising video advertising and marketing, 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 aimed toward 12-17 yr olds, in 2018. Since then, the fintech has raised €1.5m in seed funding from Bouyges Telecom and a number of angel buyers. Previously, Blondel spent ten years working at Société Générale, a European monetary companies group based mostly 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 Invest GmBH (Mannheim, Germany) and PaceUP Invest SAS (France)
With over 15 years of expertise in funding banking, funding, and wealth administration, Kolawole helps extra ladies and individuals from underrepresented communities develop into financially impartial and empowered. Her fintech firm, PaceUP Invest, which she based in October 2020, provides recommendation and options for wealth administration, in addition to e-learning and teaching to information individuals by means of constructing wealth. Kolawole has raised €200,000 in pre-seed funding to this point, from a mix of the federal government and a enterprise angel as co-investors.
Kindja Andjou Muongo, cofounder and CEO of Andjou Cosmetics (Brussels, Belgium)
Muongo labored in branding and advertising and marketing for corporations comparable to L’Oréal and Henkel earlier than founding two beautytech companies of her personal. In 2015, she launched Beauty Dash, which offered 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 to this point raised €200k in pre-seed funding.
Lola Akinmade Åkerström, cofounder of Local Purse (Stockholm, Sweden)
Akinmade Åkerström is a visible storyteller who has labored with business manufacturers comparable to National Geographic, BBC, Dove and Mercedes-Benz. She’s finest recognized for being a thought chief throughout the journey business, 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 Local Purse, a web-based platform the place journey guides and native artisans can host travellers utilizing dwell video procuring. Local Purse, which received the 2021 Bessie Award for social impression, has to this point obtained a grant and is elevating a pre-seed spherical.
Angelyne Larcher, CEO of Fea Money (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 female entrepreneurs and executives can community, achieve contracts and study from one another. So far, Larcher has raised €100k in pre-seed funding from mates and household, and is in the method of elevating extra. Larcher can also be the CEO of Fea Money, 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 life-style TV tasks. NBTV has a contact display screen interactive ecommerce software program that allows the viewers to buy any merchandise proven inside their TV tasks. Clients embrace Cardiff Productions, Jay-Z’s Edition Modern Luxury and Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings. Brown has raised €75k for NotaBeneTV from mates and household. Before 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 various sources of protein for software in cosmetics and medico prescription drugs, amongst different issues. It has its personal texture-specific luxurious haircare line, Muxima Caviar System.
The firm additionally acts as a stress group and lobbyist on problems with equality and human rights, and produces academic conferences and occasions with a humanist agenda. Founded in 2014, Muxima Bio has to this point raised seed funding of €800k from mates and household. Taylor can also be a tv host for RTP (Radio Television Portugal) in Lisbon.
The full listing of black and combined race female founders in Europe
If you’re a Black or mixed-race female founder in Europe and want to be included in the listing, please fill out our Airtable right here.