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On camels and cash: Startup funding and the road ahead

News from the startup environment. Check out which sectors will be raising funds, how AI revolutionizes business flows, and why camels are the new unicorns.

3 min read

Are you up-to-date? A round-up of the latest startup news and investment trends across the globe.

Investment trends: Cleantech and deeptech on the rise

US and Europe backing cleantech startups

In 2022, US President Biden approved the Inflation Reduction Act, setting aside $400 billion for clean energy, aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.

This move is boosting confidence in the market, leading private investors to pour money into climate tech startups.

US startups can leverage the bill's incentives to attract customers: they can reduce the Green Premium principle, the additional cost of choosing a clean technology over others, to make their products more affordable.

Staples of coins with a tree on each of them, representing the funding for cleantech startups

However, the bill only permits North American startups to benefit from this program. The EU responded with the Green Deal Industrial Plan in 2023, seeking to scale up innovative technological solutions in the EU.

This incentive was launched to create a predictable and simplified regulatory environment for cleantech companies, making it easier and faster to gain access to funding.1 

France supporting 4000 deeptech startups

France is also jumping on the bandwagon of promoting startups with a scientific focus. Looking to convert scientific discoveries into innovations, the French government will invest $500 million to support 500 deeptech startups per year, aiming to create 100 unicorns in France by 2030.2

UK pushing Seed and Series A

Further north, IQ Capital, a major tech investor in the UK, has secured $187 million for their fourth fund, pushing their total assets to over $934 million. They will invest in Seed and Series A UK and European startups.3

A traffic sign saying Funding, indicating the way

Finland investing in science and deeptech 

Meanwhile, Voima Ventures from Helsinki is looking to support Nordic and Baltic early-stage deeptech startups with globally scalable solutions, with the initial investment ranging from $200k to $3 million and beyond. Focusing on incentives that will change entire industries, their investment thesis focuses on solutions for global green transformation, cutting-edge life science, and health technologies.3

Outlook: Making your startup future-proof

Be a camel, not a unicorn

While early-stage startups witnessed a small increase of 5% in their average quarterly valuation and secured seed and angel funding up to this time of 2023, later-stage funding rounds have been going down the rabbit hole. Series D and beyond saw a drop of 33% in their quarterly growth.4

Text saying: Be a camel, not a unicorn. Next to it, a picture of a camel.

However, there is no need to bury your head in the sand. Harvard Business Review suggests that in difficult times, startups should aim to be more like "camels" than "unicorns". While unicorns chase rapid growth and high valuations, camels prioritize sustainability and resilience. Built to survive in tough environments, they can efficiently manage their resources.

In the context of economic downturns, adopting a "camel" mindset means focusing on business fundamentals, maintaining cash reserves, and ensuring operational efficiency.

By doing so, startups weather challenges, serve real customer needs, and ensure long-term success, rather than just aiming for a fleeting high valuation.5

Leverage generative AI to speed up startup processes

For the past decade, entrepreneurs have embraced the "lean methodology"—formulating a hypothesis, testing, and refining it. In the fast-paced startup environment, however, this complex process could become outdated very quickly, especially with AI in mind. 

Steve Blank, the creator of the “lean methodology” concept emphasizes that generative AI has the potential to revolutionize this whole process.

This means making product testing and refinement for startups more cost- and time-effective: AI can evaluate marketing expenses and supply chain limits.

Instead of founders sifting through spreadsheets or navigating media dashboards, efficient algorithms do this job within seconds.

Enhancing a startup's process of (re)defining their brand strategy was also our goal when creating BranxAI, a free brand strategy tool for startups.

Stay tuned for more industry insights and useful tips for your tech startup.



About the author

Tamara Hofer
Copywriter & Marketing Assistant

Tamara is our multi-lingual expert in copywriting and storytelling. She also helps with all digital marketing efforts.