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Meet the European startups making Sequoia’s Arc accelerator

US VC heavyweight Sequoia has announced 17 European seed stage companies in its startup cohort. startup accelerator program ArcMonday starts.

The eight-week program will run until 15 July and will give participants time with some of Europe’s best founders and operators to strengthen their company-building skills. Additionally, Sequoia will invest $1 million upfront in each selected startup.

It forms part of a larger trend of VCs looking to build relationships with companies at an earlier stage through accelerator, angel, and discovery programs.Sequoia also has an exploration program in Europe). Sequoia invests from seed to final stage.

Building relationships with companies from day one is particularly important to Sequoia. “Our business is built around the idea of ​​trying to find people as early as possible and engage with them for as long as possible,” explains Sequoia partner George Robson.

A question that often arises when VCs invest in companies through programs like these is whether they will invest more money in subsequent rounds. Some founders say a VC can send a negative signal if it doesn’t continue.

Robson says he thinks of Sequoia’s accelerator program “in the context of trying to build a lasting relationship,” citing the fact that Sequoia often takes multiple rounds for companies on their way to a public listing. “We believe there is a signal advantage for companies participating in Arc,” he says.

Despite the various sources of instability affecting the market, Robson says Sequoia’s advice is to “encourage.” [the startups] to focus on the factors that they can control within the building by investing in R&D behind their products, [and] to think very carefully about the channels that work for them.”

The group hails from 13 countries and includes 33 founders from across Europe, including six women. Members of this group come from “all walks of life”, including founders with immigrant and refugee backgrounds. The selected companies span a wide range of fields, from AI to edtech.

So which companies formed the first cohort? Two companies that are confidential are not included in this list.

AI initiatives

  • exam – Synative uses the latest AI research to train models and support companies that build computer vision solutions to create high-quality images.
  • Telescope – Telescope acts as a B2B sales assistant using advanced machine learning, able to monitor using machine learning, compose access emails and close deals.
  • twins – Twain is a free Google Chrome extension that acts as a virtual sales coach. Twain hopes to help salespeople communicate more effectively by using natural language generation.

B2B initiatives

  • akeero – Cybersecurity is becoming more urgent and important than ever, and this is where Akeero comes in. The security design platform strives to enable teams to create collaboratively secure applications for cloud products.
  • basis – Serverless architecture offers greater scalability and flexibility for software engineers – but this brave new world is also extraordinarily complex. Baselime hopes to help developers better understand and use serverless architecture through its automated system of dashboards and alerts.
  • caliper – Startups want to get the most out of their data, but in reality, data is stored and processed in a fragmented way. Calliper aims to change that by providing a plug-and-play mission control center that gathers all operational data in one place and highlights the most important insights.
  • Creative Space – 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 creators find collaborators with the right skills and interests to work with.
  • seedlings Munich-based Fides aims to digitize enterprise compliance by creating an all-in-one management governance platform that provides a secure audit trail for companies.
  • popsink – Based in Munich and Paris, Popsink aims to create innovative data tools to create real-time data jobs without the hassle of scripting continuous transactions.
  • RevMap – RevMap is on a mission to fix the product sales feedback loop and help companies find the right product for the market faster. The platform aims to encourage greater collaboration between product and sales teams by gamifying teamwork.
  • your sure – The Berlin-based platform empowers small businesses to choose the right level of insurance by providing personalized recommendations through its automated advisor.

Consumer initiatives

  • Choice of Choices (no website) – Whether choosing which Netflix movies to watch or deciding which to book on AirBnB, consumers today face a “choice paradox”. Choice Options wants to help consumers discover movies, music and destinations they’ll enjoy while using responsible algorithms.

Edtech initiatives

  • studio – London-based edtech company wants to make quality education more accessible to students. Its apps combine short videos from teachers, practice tests, flashcards, and a community forum, aimed at promoting more productive learning.

Fintech startups

  • xelda – The payment app takes the hassle out of paying through a card machine. The app allows people to send and receive money by scanning QR codes on their phones.
  • Otto Finance – The London-based platform wants to make financial support services accessible to both employers and employees. Through a suite of coaching and training resources, Otto seeks to give his employees more control over their financial health.

Sophie Zhang is Sifted’s assistant editor. They help write Sifted’s main newsletter. You can do register here.

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