With Robinhood’s UK launch delayed, eToro to bring out UK debit card following acquisition

Investment app eToro is to launch a debit card, following its acquisition of Marq Millions Ltd, the UK based e-money business. Marq Millions will now trade as eToro Money and will be the issuer for eToro’s card. The acquisition was for an undisclosed amount, and the Marq Millions management team stays on.

The card will initially be available to eToro Club members in the UK, then Europe, and will later be extended to non-eToro users. eToro has over 14 million registered users and expects take-up of the card to be strong.

A spokesperson said the card could now provide instant ‘cash-out and cash-in’ functionality to customers, a feature which their user-base has been requesting for a while.

The debit cards won’t launch immediately but will launch first in the UK, followed by other markets. eToro Money has a Principal Membership with VISA and an EMI License permission from the Financial Conduct Authority . This means they are likely to hit the ground running, subject to approval from the FCA.

Commenting on the acquisition, co-founder and CEO of eToro, Yoni Assia, said in a statement: “The launch of a debit card is a natural next step for eToro as we broaden the range of services that we provide to our users… The debit card will provide instant cash-out and cash-in functionality, greatly improving the user experience. We expect to see a strong take-up of the card – initially from our client base.”

eToro allows customers to invest in stocks and commodities, as well as crypto assets like Bitcoin. It claims to have 14 million registered users, all of whom share their investment strategies, similar to a social network. It’s regulated in Europe by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK and by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Mahmood Kamran, former COO of Marq Millions and now Managing Director of eToro Money, commented: “We are incredibly excited to become part of the eToro Group. The backing of this leading global fintech, will allow us to issue a debit card which we are confident will become a market leader globally.”

The context to this is that eToro is racing to build up it’s UK user-base ahead of a potential launch by competitor Robinhood . The US-based investment platform , which has made waves in the US, has had to delay its UK launch “indefinitely” after one of its customers killed himself in the US, with the consequent regulatory interest in its activities.

Robinhood previously said it had a waiting list of more than 250,000 people in the UK ahead of a launch planned for this year, showing that there will likely be strong demand for eToro’s services, given it now has a ‘head start’.

eToro has had over 256,000 new registrations in the UK since it launched zero commission stocks in May last year, (over 3 million globally), and says it can afford to offer zero commission as it is multi-asset and global.

Berlin’s Cavalry Ventures closes €80M, backed by DACH founders and EIF

Cavalry Ventures, the Berlin-based early-stage venture fund which was the lead inceptor into BRYTER, has closed its second fund of €80M, more than 3.5x the size of its maiden fund.

Geared somewhat like a large Angel syndicate, Cavalry’s LPs tend to be active founders and other LPs in early-stage funds in the DACH region, and the fund is best known for its focus on key SaaS and B2B infrastructure startups such as those in HR, sales, PR, fundraising, legal and internationalization.

In a statement Stefan Walter, managing partner at Cavalry, said: “Our mantra has always been ‘what’s best for the startup?’. If that is staying on the sidelines and letting you as a founder do your job, that’s what we’re going to do. But if you request our support, you can count on us to be there – any time of the day.”

Typically, Cavalry invests alongside angels, both external and from within its network.

Among these angels are Martin Henk (Pipedrive), Nico Rosberg (former F1 World Champion), Viktoriya Tigipko (TA Ventures), Myke Naef (Doodle), Emmanuel Thomassin (Delivery Hero), Gero Decker (Signavio), Joshua Cornelius & Mehmet Yilmaz (Freeletics), Tobias Balling (Blinkist) and Felix Jahn (Rocket Internet, McMakler).

The Cavalry II fund is the partnership’s first vintage with institutional funds including the European Investment Fund .

Cavalry was launched by Rouven Dresselhaus, Claude Ritter and Stefan Walter in 2016 and has since invested in McMakler, Rekki and PlanRadar among others.

Growth capital investor Kennet raises $250M fund, backed by Edmond de Rothschild

Venture capital is “not the only fruit” for entrepreneurs, as the often quieter ‘Growth Capital’ can also see great returns for entrepreneurs who prefer to retain a lot of ownership and control but are also willing to bootstrap over a longer period in order to reach revenues and profits. With the COVID-19 pandemic pushing millions of people online, tech investors of all classes are now reaping the dividends in this accelerated, Coronavirus-powered transition to digital.

Thus it is that Kennet Partners, a leading European technology growth equity investor, has raised $250m (€223m) for its fifth fund, ‘Kennet V’, in partnership with Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity, the Private Equity division of the Edmond de Rothschild Group.

Kennet is perhaps best know for its involvement in companies such as Receipt Bank, Spatial Networks and its exist from Vlocity, IntelePeer, and MedeAnalytics. It’s also invested in Eloomi, Codility, Nuxeo and Rimilia. In raising this new fund, Kennet says it exceeded its target and secured new investors from across Europe and Asia.

The Kennet V fund has already started to deploy the capital into new investments in B2B, SaaS across the UK, Europe and the US.

Typically, Kennet invests in the first external funding that companies receive and is used to finance sales and marketing expansion, particularly internationally. It’s cumulative assets managed are approximately $1 billion.

Hillel Zidel, managing director, Kennet Partners, told me by phone that: “We were fortunate in that most of the capital was raised just before Covid hit. But we were still able to bring additional investors in. Had we been designing a fund for now, then this would have been it, because people have rushed towards technology out of necessity. So this has brought forward digitization but at least five years.”

Johnny El-Hachem, CEO, Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity said in a statement: “We partnered with Kennet, because we liked the dynamism of the team coupled with their strategy of financing businesses providing mission-critical technology solutions. The COVID crisis has underscored the importance of many of these tools to business continuity.”

Dfinity demonstrates its TikTok clone, opens up its ‘Internet Computer’ to outside developers

Dfinity appeared in 2018, amid the flurry of investments in the blockchain space. It raised $102 million in funding at a $2 billion valuation in a round jointly led by Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital, along with other investors, including KR1. I must admit that at the time it appeared for all intents and purposes as if it would be yet another attempt to replace Ethereum. Or at least something similar. But then something odd happened. It started behaving like an actual software company.

In January this year it didn’t talk about blockchain at all, but instead demonstrated an open social network called “LinkedUp,” sort of open version of LinkedIn. The demonstration didn’t go live, and technically speaking it was under-whelming — until you realized it wasn’t running on any server, and performed faster than a native mobile app. Dfinity, it turned out, wasn’t a traditional blockchain startup, but was taking a leaf out of that world’s championing of the move toward decentralization.

In fact, it was building its so-called “Internet Computer”: a decentralized and non-proprietary network to run the next generation of “mega-applications.”

Today it announced that the “Internet Computer” is now open to third-party developers and entrepreneurs to build that next generation. The vision is to “reboot” the internet in a way that destroys the ability to create virtual monopolies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and WhatsApp.

As its next technical demonstration, it launched “CanCan”, a TikTok-like app that will run in a browser (though it is not publicly available as such) and which is not owned by a company. The idea is that anyone could build their own TikTok.

The tantalizing part of Dfinity’s ideas is that because of the nature of the architecture, apps like CanCan can be built with less than 1,000 lines of code. Facebook, to take an example, contains more than 62 million lines of code.

To achieve this, Dfinity is drawing on the work of Andreas Rossberg, co-creator of WebAssembly, who has now created Motoko, a new programming language optimized for Dfinity’s Internet Computer.

The Internet Computer’s serverless architecture allows the internet to natively host software and services, eliminating — claims Dfinity — the need for proprietary cloud services. Without web servers, databases and firewalls, developers can create powerful software much more quickly, and that software then runs far faster than normal.

Dominic Williams, founder and chief scientist at Dfinity, said in a statement: “One of the biggest problems emerging in technology is the monopolization of the internet by Big Tech — companies that have consolidated near-total control over our technologies. They collect vast amounts of information about us that they sell for profit and leverage to amass greater market share, and acquire or bulldoze rivals at an alarming rate… The Internet Computer provides a means to reboot the internet — creating a public alternative to proprietary cloud infrastructure. It will empower the next-generation of developers and entrepreneurs to take on Big Tech with open internet services. It aims to bring the internet back to its free and open roots — not dominated by a handful of corporations.”

This “Tungsten” release of the Internet Computer means third-party developers and entrepreneurs will be able to start kicking the tyres on this platform and start spitting out web apps and even smartphone apps.

Projects currently being built include a decentralized payment application and a “pan-industry platform for luxury goods,” whatever that is. Successful and promising applications may also benefit from Beacon Fund, an ecosystem fund stewarded by the Dfinity Foundation and Polychain Capital that aims to support ‘DeFi’ apps and open internet services built on the Internet Computer.

Interested developers and enterprises can submit an application to access the Internet Computer starting July 1, 2020, via dfinity.org.

Data startup Axiom secures $4M from Crane Venture Partners, emerges from stealth

Axiom, a startup that helps companies deal with their internal data, has secured a new $4m seed round led by UK-based Crane Venture Partners, with participation from LocalGlobe, Fly VC and Mango Capital. Notable angel investors include former Xamarin founder and current GitHub CEO Nat Friedman and Heroku co-founder Adam Wiggins. The company is also emerging from a relative stealth mode to reveal that is has now raised $7m in funding since it was founded in 2017.

The company says it is also launching with an enterprise-grade solution to manage and analyze machine data “at any scale, across any type of infrastructure”. Axiom gives DevOps teams a cloud-native, enterprise-grade solution to store and query their data all the time in one interface – without the overhead of maintaining and scaling data infrastructure.

DevOps teams have spent a great deal of time and money managing their infrastructure, but often without being able to own and analyze their machine data. Despite all the tools at hand, managing and analyzing critical data has been difficult, slow and resource-intensive, taking up far too much money and time for organizations. This is what Axiom is addressing with its platform to manage machine data and surface insights, more cheaply, they say, that other solutions.

Co-founder and CEO Neil Jagdish Patel told TechCrunch: “DevOps teams are stuck under the pressure of that, because it’s up to them to deliver a solution to that problem. And the solutions that existed are quite, well, they’re very complex. They’re very expensive to run and time-consuming. So with Axiom, our goal is to try and reduce the time to solve data problems, but also allow businesses to store more data to query at whenever they want.”

Why did they work with Crane? “We needed to figure out how enterprise sales work and how to take this product to market in a way that makes sense for the people who need it. We spoke to different investors, but when I sat down with Crane they just understood where we were. They have this razor-sharp focus on how they get you to market and how you make sure your sales process and marketing is a success. It’s been beneficial to us as were three engineers, so you need that,” said Jagdish.

Commenting, Scott Sage, Founder and  Partner at Crane Venture Partners added: “Neil, Seif and Gord are a proven team that have created successful products that millions of developers use. We are proud to invest in Axiom to allow them to build a business helping DevOps teams turn logging challenges from a resource-intense problem to a business advantage.”

Axiom co-founders Neil Jagdish Patel, Seif Lotfy and Gord Allott, previously created Xamarin Insights that enabled developers to monitor and analyse mobile app performance in real-time for Xamarin, the open-source cross-platform app development framework. Xamarin was acquired by Microsoft for between $400 and $500 million in 2016. Before working at Xamarin, the co-founders also worked together at Canonical, the private commercial company behind the Ubuntu Project.

Halal fintech startup Wahed closes $25M led by Saudi Aramco’s investment arm

New York-based fintech startup Wahed (meaning ‘One’ in Arabic) describes itself as a digital Islamic investment platform and as the world’s first ‘halal robo adviser’. It’s now closed a $25 million investment round led by Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures (also known as Wa’ed Ventures), a venture capital investment arm of oil giant Saudi Aramco.

Existing investors BECO and CueBall Capital participated, as well as Dubai Cultiv8, and Rasameel. The funds will be used to expand internationally, including developing the company’s subsidiary in Saudi Arabia. The platform is currently running in the US and UK, and has more than 100,000 clients globally. It plans to grow in the largest Muslim markets including Indonesia, Nigeria, India and the CIS. The three-year-old company has already received a license to operate in Saudi Arabia, and aims to get regulatory approval in 20 countries.

According to Crunchbase, Wahed has now raised a total of $40 million in funding since its 2015 founding by Junaid Wahedna.

Last October, Wahed launched in Malaysia after the Malaysian Securities Commission awarded the company the country’s first Islamic Robo Advisory license. The firm is also considering listing its Islamic ETF on the Saudi stock exchange

Ethical investment and Islamic finance is growing in popularity in Muslim countries so long as it is in line with Islamic ethics, so Wahed looks set to benefit.

Commenting on the investment, Junaid Wahedna, CEO of Wahed, said: “We’re excited to have the support of Aramco Ventures as we foray into the Saudi market. We consider Aramco a strategic long term partner in both the Kingdom and the rest of the world.” 

Wassim Basrawi, Managing Director at Wa’ed Ventures, said: “We believe in Wahed’s mission to provide ethical investing. The company has taken the lead in delivering investment services to one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors – Islamic Finance. Wahed is also, in the true spirit of FinTech, helping to broaden the investment landscape. This latest funding round will enable Wahed to make Saudi their regional MENA hub and contribute towards a fast-growing FinTech ecosystem.”

Sourcing software provider Keelvar raises $18M from Elephant and Mosaic

It was perhaps not until the COVID-19 pandemic hit the planet that most of us had ever heard or uttered the phrase “supply chain”. But in a global economy that had become drunk and lazy on ‘just in time ordering’ and similar, the threat to supply chains of things like, oh, food, from that pesky virus has become real and visceral. That why automation of ‘the supply chain’ has become such a huge issue. So it’s not a huge surprise that startups aimed at tackling this are suddenly thrust into the limelight.

Step forward, Cork, Ireland-based Keelvar, strategic sourcing software company, which today announces that it has raised $18 million in Series A funding led by Elephant and Mosaic Ventures with participation from Paua Ventures, enabling the company to further expand into enterprise markets.

The investment will support Keelvar’s expansion plans for Europe and the US, amid the rapidly-growing need for supply chain automation solutions, which has been further accelerated by the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Keelvar provides large enterprises with ‘Advanced Sourcing Optimization’ software and ‘Intelligent Sourcing Automation’ that uses AI to fully automate tactical buying processes.

It competes with Coupa and Jaggaer in terms of all three offering sophisticated eSourcing software. Keelvar says its key competitive advantage is that it provide intelligent bots to autopilot the sourcing projects, thus making the whole process easier, faster and cheaper.

It also currently manages over $90bn in spend annually for enterprises in all major industries. Customers include Siemens, Coca-Cola, Novartis, BMW, and Samsung.

With COVID-19 disrupting supply chains globally, Keelvar expects the demand for automation to further increase.

In a statement Alan Holland, CEO of Keelvar said:”The Future of Work in procurement is changing quickly, with COVID19 acting as a catalyst. We have witnessed an escalation in demand from enterprises seeking intelligent systems to automate complex processes as teams became overburdened with disrupted supply chains. Keelvar has proven that Sourcing Bots can relieve that burden enormously. Now it’s time to hit the accelerator and scale-up.”

Speaking about the investment, Peter Fallon, partner at Elephant noted: “Keelvar’s sourcing optimization and automation software delivers meaningful ROI to enterprise sourcing and procurement organizations globally. We are excited to partner with Alan Holland and the team at Keelvar as the company continues to emerge as a leader in this market.”

Private sector companies alone spend trillions annually buying from third-party suppliers. External sourcing is usually the largest expense category and on average it is 43% of total costs (Bain & Company). The global procurement software market is currently growing at a CAGR of 9.1%, and expected to reach $7.3 billion by 2022 (IDC).

Speaking about the funding, Toby Coppel, co-founder, and partner at Mosaic Ventures said: “Keelvar is a brilliant example of machine learning in action, giving superpower to procurement teams in every large enterprise. With COVID-19 pushing businesses to embrace these new technologies, we’re excited to partner with Keelvar on the next phase of growth.”

Workshops, pitches and the shortlist of Europe’s hottest startups in The Europas Awards

Well the votes from the public and the judges are in and we can finally reveal the shortlist for The Europas Awards 2020 to find the hottest European tech startups!

The entries were sorted and sifted by journalists to compile an editorially-driven ‘long list’ of some of Europe’s most exciting startups and investors.

The list is below, plus information on the premium virtual workshops being held into key categories in the awards.

The winners will be announced at the online awards ceremony on the evening of 25 June 2020, from London, UK.

The Europas Awards 2019 is sponsored by:

If you are interested in sponsoring The Europas or participating in the workshops as a partner? Get in touch with Claire Dobson // [email protected]  Interested in speaking on the workshops? Contact Dianne See Morrisson // [email protected]

THE EUROPAS CATEGORY WORKSHOPS

The 13 live workshops are built around the awards categories, and will feature key speakers, and VIP guests. Shortlisted companies will be pitching live on the platform. In addition, the “Pathfounder Sessions” offer exclusive workshops with specially invited guests, aimed at European startups raising money at this time.

Attendees can network virtually via a dedicated Slack community and easily exchange contact details, just as you would at a real-world event.

Virtual attendees will include only investors, founders and senior executives of mid to late-stage companies as well as some of the newest companies on the scene.

The Europas is always attended by journalists from major tech titles, newspapers and business broadcasters.

See below or here for the workshops:

Workshop: Thu Jun 04, 11:00 AM – 11:40 AM GMT +1 (40 Min)
The Europas 2020: AgTech & FoodTech, plus startup pitches

Speakers:
• Niccolò Manzoni, Five Seasons Ventures
• Mr. Alain Revah, Ynsect
• Emilie Vanpoperinghe, Oddbox

Workshop: Thu Jun 04, 3:00 PM – 3:40 PM GMT+1(40 Min)
The Europas 2020: Impact, climate & sustainability startups, plus pitches
Speakers:
• Greg Jackson, Octopus Energy
• Lubomila Jordanova, PlanA.Earth
• Sofia Hmich, Future Positive Capital

Workshop: Fri Jun 05, 11:00-11:40 GMT+1(40 Min)
The Europas 2020: CyberTech startups , plus pitches

Speakers:
• Yessi Bello-Perez, The Next Web
• Ben Brabyn, GenieShares, former Level 39
• Emily Orton, Darktrace
• Max Vetter, Immersive Labs

Mon Jun 08, 11:00 AM – 11:40 AM GMT +1 (40 Min)
The Europas 2020: SpaceTech Sector Deep Dive + Pitch
Join us for a deep dive into SpaceTech along with pitches from The Europas shortlisted startups.
Speakers:
Dr. Barbara Ghinelli
Director, Clusters and Harwell Campus, Business Development, UKRI-STFC
Harwell

Jason Maroothynaden
Business Broker
European Space Agency

Mike Butcher
Editor-at-Large
Techcrunch
Moderator

Mark Boggett
CEO
Seraphim Capital

Mon Jun 08, 3:00 Pm – 3:40 Pm GMT +1   (40 Min)
The Europas 2020: FinTech Sector Deep Dive + Pitch : Join us for a deep dive into FinTech along with pitches from The Europas shortlisted startups.

Tue Jun 09, 11:00 Am – 11:40 Am GMT +1   (40 Min)
The Europas 2020: EdTech Sector Deep Dive + Pitch
Join us for a deep dive into EdTech along with pitches from The Europas shortlisted startups.
Speakers:

Bernhard Niesner
CEO
busuu

Tue Jun 09, 3:00 PM – 3:40 PM GMT +1 (40 Min)
The Europas 2020: Mobility Sector Deep Dive + Pitch
Speakers:

Shona Ghosh
UK Tech Editor
Business Insider
Moderator

Colin Hanna
Principal
Balderton

Thu Jun 11, 11:00 AM – 11:40 AM GMT +1 (40 Min)
The Europas 2020: PropTech Sector Deep Dive + Pitch: Join us for a deep dive into PropTech along with pitches from The Europas shortlisted startups.

Thu Jun 11, 3:00 Pm – 3:40 Pm GMT +1   (40 Min)
The Europas 2020: GovTech, CivTech, RegTech Deep Dive + Pitch
Join us for a deep dive into Gov, Civic, RegTech sectors along with pitches from The Europas shortlisted startups.

Robyn Scott
CEO and Co-founder
apolitical

Mark Lazar
Director of Programmes
Public

Fri Jun 12, 11:00 AM – 11:40 AM GMT +1 (40 Min)
The Europas 2020: Retail and eCommerce Sector Deep Dive + Pitch
Join us for a deep dive into the retail and eCommerce sectors along with pitches from The Europas shortlisted startups.
Speakers:
Tom Adeyoola
Co-founder
Extend Ventures
Speaker

Mon Jun 15, 11:00 AM – 11:40 PM GMT +1 (12 Hours, 40 Min)
The Europas 2020: SaaS and B2B Sector Deep Dive + Pitch
Join us for a deep dive into the B2B and SaaS sectors along with pitches from The Europas shortlisted startups.
Speakers:

Cayetana Hurtado
Investor
Balderton Capital
Panelist

Mon Jun 15, 3:00 Pm – 3:40 Pm GMT +1   (40 Min)
The Europas 2020: HealthTech Sector Deep Dive + Pitch
Join us for a deep dive into the HealthTech sector along with pitches from The Europas shortlisted startups.

Tue Jun 16, 11:00 Am – 11:40 Am GMT +1   (40 Min)
The Europas 2020: Emerging Tech (AI, Blockchain, Quantum) Deep Dive + Pitch
Join us for a deep dive into emerging tech includingAI,  blockchain and quantum industry along with pitches from The Europas shortlisted startups.
Speakers:

Chris O’Brien
European Correspondent
VentureBeat
Moderator

Keld van Schreven
Managing Partner
KR1

THE PATHFOUNDER WORKSHOPS

The Pathfounder Workshops
Prior to the awards there are special, premium content events The Pathfounder, designed be a “fast download” into the European tech scene for founders looking to raise money or enhance their business.

Thu Jun 18, 11:00 Am – 11:40 Am GMT +1   (40 Min)
The Europas Pathfounder Workshop: Comms for Startups – What we talk about when we talk about PR
What actually is “PR”? When it comes to startups, this term often gets bandied about as if cracking “PR” will lead to a flood of customers or partners and propel startups to super stardom . In this workshop, we will examine and unpack what communications can and cannot do for startups, what the objectives of comms should be and how, beyond headlines, it should be measured.

Fri Jun 19, 11:00 Am – 11:40 Am GMT +1   (40 Min)
The Europas Pathfounder Workshop: Meet the Press
Tech reporters talk about what makes a good news or features story and how to get their attention.

Mon Jun 22, 11:00 Am – 11:40 Am GMT +1   (40 Min)
The Europas Pathfounder Workshop: Negotiating with VCs

11:00 Am – 11:40 Am GMT +1   (40 Min)
The Europas Pathfounder Workshop: Crossing the Chasm – Making the Leap to Series B and Beyond

With investments slowing down, we invite a panel of leading investors to discuss how they are navigating these times and what they are looking for when currently investing.

Wed Jun 24, 11:00 Am – 11:40 Am GMT +1   (40 Min)
The Europas Pathfounder Workshop: How We Scaled – 3 Former Europas Winners Share Their Journey to the Top

THE AWARDS

The Awards themselves will be announced live on 25th June at an online event which will feature special guests, and live entertainment.

Thu Jun 25, 6:30 Pm – 7:30 Pm GMT +1   (1 Hour)
The Europas Tech Startup Awards 2020
Join us to hear who’s won and have a celebratory virtual drink.

After a decade of identifying the most innovative tech startups in Europe including Spotify, Transferwise, Soundcloud, and Babylon Health, The Europas has shown itself capable of finding Europe’s hottest startups. The Europas Awards is the only independent and editorially-driven event to recognize the European tech startup scene. The winners have been featured in Reuters, Bloomberg, VentureBeat, Forbes, Tech.eu, The Memo, Smart Company, CNET, many others — and of course, TechCrunch.

Here are the shortlisted entries for The Europas Awards 2020:

Hottest AgTech/ FoodTech Startup

ConstellR

Earth Rover

iFarm

Planted

 

Hottest Social Innovation

Aidonic

Amicable

DataSwift

Farewill

 

Hottest ClimateTech/ Green /CleanTech Startup

Cervest

GreyParrot

Hawa Dawa

Solytic

SpaceTech

Angoka

FocalPoint

SatelliteVu

 

Hottest CyberTech Startup

Aloha Browser

Buguroo

Picus Security

Swidch

 

Hottest Sustainability Tech

Infinited Fiber Company

Little Black Door

Otrium

Peel Pioneers

 

Hottest EdTech Startup

Blackbullion

CoachHub

Life Based Value

Lingoda

SoSafe Cyber Security Awareness

 

Hottest AI

Builder.ai

Monolith AI

Mostly AI

Papercup

Sonantic

Speechly

Veriff

 

Hottest FinTech Startup

Fintech OS

Funding Options

Holvi

TaxScouts

WeVat

YuLife

 

Hottest Blockchain

Fireblocks

Trustology

Ubirch

Nexus Mutual

 

Hottest GovTech, Public, Civic, RegTech Startup

Apiax

Apolitical

Cyan Forensics

Parlia

Seed Legals

 

Hottest Quantum

IQM

Oxford Quantum Circuits

Phasecraft

Rahko

 

Hottest HealthTech Startup

Axial3D

Foodmarble

Fundamental Surgery

Joint Academy

Patchwork Health

Medshr

Siilo

 

Hottest Accelerator

ATI Boeing

Entrepreneur First

Founders Factory

Seraphim Space Camp

SetSquared Bristol

Startup Wise Guys

 

Hottest Mobility / Travel Tech Startup

Cake

Dott

Einride

Tier Mobile

 

Hottest Seed

Cavalry Ventures

Entrepreneur First

Forward Partners

Kima Ventures

Playfair Capital

 

Hottest PropTech

GoodMonday

Home.ht

MQube

Tiko

 

Hottest VC

Accel

Balderton

EQT Ventures

Draper Esprit

IDInvest

Joyance

Northzone

Target Global

 

Hottest RetailTech, eCommerce Tech Startup

Trouva

Typology

Ave + Edam

 

Hottest Unicorn

Bolt

DoctoLib

Klarna

Meero

 

Hottest SaaS or B2B Startup

Akur8

AnyDesk

Chattermill

Dixa

Funnel

Huub

Keylight

Polystream

 

Pathfounder of the Year

Dom Hallas, Coadec

Kinga Staniilawska

Richard Godfrey

Taavet Hinrikus

C4 Ventures raises $88M fund for for post-Series A startups, in a post-COVID19 world

C4 Ventures, the Paris -based VC, has raised a new €80 million ($88 million) “Fund II”. The fund was founded by Pascal Cagni, a former Europe boss of Apple, and includes cofounder Raph Crouan, another Apple alumni previously with Techstars and Hardware Club. C4 is designed to be a “post-Series A” fund and normally invests around €3-4 million euros.

The new fund is described as a “boutique” VC which will focus on tech which will thrive in “post-Covid” world. Recruited by the late Steve Jobs, Cagni started the fund within months of leaving Apple, but the firm didn’t become significant until 2014. Outside of business, Cagni is an “ally” to President Emmanuel Macron and has worked on several initiatives to boost France’s technology and entrepreneurship sectors.

Cagni, who was head of Apple in Europe from 2000 to 2012, said: “Having witnessed first-hand technology’s unique power to drive real-time behavioral change, we believe that, although Covid-19 is going to bring about an economic slowdown, it is also going to be a breeding ground for innovation and change through disruptive tech,” said Pascal Cagni. “We felt confident that we should, as planned, raise and deploy capital during this period.”

Fund II has a good head start, having invested in seven companies which will be able to adapt to a Post-Covid world including:

• Zoov, a French electric bike-sharing platform

DriveNets, a software company adapting the cloud model to networking, allowing consumer service providers to scale up for lower costs.

• Trouva, a European online homeware marketplace helping independent local shops scale their offers online.

C4 has previously invested in include Nest, the smart thermostat company acquired by Google for $3.2 billion, and Graphcore, an AI chip start-up now valued at over $2 billion. But it also put cash into Anki, a consumer robotics company that went bust last year after raising around $200 million.

Tictrac secures $7.5M to expand employee wellbeing platform as WFH balloons

“Employee Wellbeing” SaaS platforms have been around for some time. Both regulation and increasing stress levels and health problems in the workplace have fed the rise of this sector of tech, and with many corporates painting long-term contracts with providers, it’s a lucrative business. Furthermore, with the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, large remote-workforces look here to stay for the foreseeable future and are likely to need these platforms more than ever. Notable players in the space include Rally Health, Dacadoo and Virgin Pulse.

Tictrac is a startup in this space that uses a combination of personalized content, lifestyle campaigns and incentivized challenges to motivate staff. It combines this with behavioral science to identify trigger points to egg-on staff to positive behaviors. Existing investors of Tictrac include world-class tennis champion, Andy Murray and American basketball player, Carmelo Anthony who has been named an NBA All-Star 10 times.

Today it secures a £6m ($7.5M) in a funding round led by London-based Puma Private Equity, bringing its total investment to date to £13.5m ($17M). The latest round will allow the company to expand its Employee Wellbeing platform for its thousand-plus customers. It will also now expand its Enterprise platform, which enables insurance companies and health providers to engage their customers in their health and tailor relevant products and services to them.

Tictrac relies heavily on content, contributed by well-known health and fitness influencers, covering fitness, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, recipes and blog posts which provide its users with inspiration and advice on how to improve their lifestyle.

Unlike a lot of other “Employee Welbeing” platforms, users can follow the content or experts that they can relate to (much like with Instagram, Calm or Glo Yoga) powered by a campaign engine that delivers creative themes across Tictrac features, like healthy habit-forming action plans and activity challenges.

Founded in 2010, the company has partnered with healthcare and insurance providers including Aviva, Allianz and Prudential.

In a statement Martin Blinder, CEO and founder of Tictrac, commented: “Now more than ever, companies have a greater role and responsibility in supporting the health of their workforce. And while businesses are focused on sustaining retention and productivity – particularly with so many people working remotely – they are now tasked with trying to navigate health issues such as burn-out and striking a healthy work-life balance.”

Rupert West, Managing Director at Puma Private Equity said: “We have been consistently impressed with Tictrac’s ability to heighten health and wellbeing engagement, which in turn will help alleviate some of the pressures our health services continue to face.”