Pronto Secures $1.6M To Both Cook For, And Deliver To, Hungry Londoners

177261-foundersphoto-27e3ca-large-1440608266 Fueled by apps and the web, ‘on-demand’ is a big business right now. Uber is on-demand transport and (eventually) logistics. PostMates is on-demand delivery. TaskRabbit is on-demand you name it. Everything is on demand, and there are few places where on-demand is bigger than the simple human needs of food. That’s why JustEat IPO’d, that’s why Rocket Internet is… Read More

European VC firm Lakestar launches mammoth new $400M fund for local and U.S. startups

Europe Funding

Europe’s Lakestar has announced a fresh €350 million ($400 million) fund, as the Guernsey-based venture capital (VC) firm looks to plow more cash into European and U.S. startups.

Founded and chaired by European VC Klaus Hommels, who is an early investor in Skype, Spotify, Facebook, and other well-known tech companies, Lakestar II is a follow-up to the €135m ($154m) fund launched in 2013, and which is still active.

The new fund will be used to invest in “all stages,” though it will have a particular focus on early-stage and growth-stage investments across a “wide range of sectors.” And given its focus on the U.S. and Europe, it says it aims to “embrace” connections between the two regions.

“The European technology market is continuing to boom — we’re seeing high-quality investment opportunities in tech, in a venture capital ecosystem that has materially improved and is increasingly producing market-leading companies on a global scale,” says Hommels. “We were very pleased to have received interest in Lakestar II from many prominent investors – in fact, the fund was significantly oversubscribed. However, €350 million is the right size to give our portfolio companies the appropriate level of personal attention and support from our partners, and to help these businesses grow.”

There has been a flurry of fresh VC funds in Europe over the past year or so. Back in July, cloud computing startups got a major boost thanks to a new $120 million Notion Capital fund, while Google Ventures launched a European branch last year promising $100 million in capital to local startups.

Elsewhere, Balderton Capital revealed a new $300 million fund for European firms, Mosaic Ventures lifted the lid on a fresh $140 million fund, Index Ventures announced $460 million for early-stage startups, and 83North confirmed that $200 million was on the table.

Though Lakestar is officially registered in Guernsey, a small British island in the English Channel, the firm has offices in key hubs across Europe, including Berlin and Zurich.

VB's research team is studying web-personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.

Skin Cancer Checker App, SkinVision, Snags $3.4M To Move Beyond Moles

SkinVision Can an app warn you that you might have skin cancer? Digital health startup SkinVision is using smartphone tech and vision algorithms to allow consumers to track changes to their moles. Users of its iOS and Android apps, which have been downloaded some 200,000 times since launch back in 2011, take a photo of a mole and the app then performs a visual analysis, with the aim of identifying… Read More