Berlin-based MEDWING secures €28 million to solve hospital staff shortages

This morning German healthtech MEDWING, whose platform helps healthcare professionals find opportunities and solves staff shortages, announces having successfully closed its €28 million Series B financing round, led by Cathay Innovation, with participation from existing investors Northzone, Atlantic Labs, Cherry Ventures and Adevinta. 

Founded in 2017, MEDWING’s mission is to make working in the healthcare sector more attractive and to solve the shortage of healthcare personnel. The Berlin-based company wants to empower healthcare candidates to work in a way that suits their individual lifestyles and to support hospitals and care facilities in recruiting and human resource management. This is achieved through the combination of innovative matching, communication technology and personal consultation.

According to the World Bank, the global shortage of health professionals is expected to rise to around 20 million by 2030. In Germany, according to a survey by the Ipsos Institute, 6 out of 10 Germans (61%) believe that the shortage of healthcare professionals is the main issue of the German healthcare system.

In short, the healthcare sector needs to better manage its existing personnel, avoid misplanning and increase transparency. This is where MEDWING comes in, offering digital solutions for this purpose and aiming to become the leading one stop shop for jobs in the healthcare sector.

So far MEDWING has more 200,000 professionals and 2,500 partner hospitals, nursing homes and medical practices registered Germany-wide, making it the largest personnel pool and the most modern job matching system for the European healthcare sector. Every month, the startup registers more than 15,000 new candidates, places over 100 health care experts in permanent positions and fills more than 2,000 individual shifts via its own platform all over Germany.

With the fresh funds, MEDWING will develop further its features, products and services, which are specifically aimed at health professionals, hospitals and care facilities. The capital will also be used to expand its international business and team of 200 employees from Germany, France and the UK, to more countries.

Johannes Roggendorf, founder and Managing Director at MEDWING: “Our goal is to address the global shortage of healthcare workers and to improve access to healthcare globally. Today, we have the technology to think and live healthcare completely differently – making it better for everyone. For example, we can balance work  and family life for healthcare professionals in a way that no one needs to be stressed out anymore. We make it possible for well-trained nursing staff who give up their job after a few  years  and  do  something  completely  different to return to their actual calling. It is not acceptable that hospital wards have to be closed due to staff shortages. We solve these important societal challenges. A goal that we share with our investors.”

Jacky Abitbol, Partner at Cathay Innovation:“The digitalisation of work and digital health are among Cathay Innovation’s core investment themes. MEDWING stands exactly at this crossroad and it is therefore no coincidence that with the returning of Costanza Carissimo to Europe, we chose the company for our first investment in Germany. MEDWING’s platform has already brought positive changes to the recruitment, human resources management and care of many hospitals and institutions, especially highlighted during this covid-19 crisis. We strongly believe in Johannes and Timo’s vision and are excited to leverage our global platform to support them as they expand further across Europe.”

It’s also worth mentioning that MEDWING is also leading the charge pro bono in the fight against the coronavirus, by placing nurses, doctors and non-medical volunteers in hospitals, nursing homes and private households, as part of the initiative ‘WIR WOLLEN HELFEN’. With this nationwide initiative in Germany, the company is helping to reactivate the ‘hidden labour force’. Within a month, over 10,000 professionals and volunteers have already registered with the initiative.


Cloud canteen startup Feedr has been acquired by Compass Group for ~$24M

Feedr, the food tech startup that delivers personalised meals to office workers as an alternative to companies setting up their own canteens, has been acquired by Compass Group, the publicly-listed foodservice company.

The price is described as “in the region” of $ 24 million, while I understand the the deal between the two companies was completed in early March 2020.

Compass Group says the purchase of Feedr will help accelerate its digital transformation, and — amidst the coronavirus crisis — form part of its “return to work” strategy. Specifically, it plans to utilise Feedr’s software across its portfolio of corporate clients in the U.K. and Ireland, with further potential applications of the technology in education and healthcare sectors.

“Feedr’s mobile ordering and pre-pay technology will enable Compass to transform the way people interact with on-site restaurants, so employees can browse menus, pay and collect more flexibly, enhancing their food at work experience,” explains Compass Group UK and Ireland.

Launched in 2016 by Riya Grover and Lyz Swanton, Feedr pitched itself as a “cloud canteen”. This sees it operate a two-sided marketplace that connects healthy food suppliers with office workers at companies, in addition to arranging delivery.

To do this, Feedr publishes a “unique rotating menu” every day and asks workers to choose what they want to eat by 10.30am. It then pools those orders and sends them to the food suppliers it works with, which are mostly artisan and independent food producers, to have ready for delivery at lunch time.

However, the technology behind Feedr handles logistics planning, in terms of predicting and helping to manage demand for each meal on offer from specific suppliers. There is also a large emphasis on personalised recommendations based on the preferences of individual customers and their order history. And it’s this aspect of Feedr’s offering that Compass Group thinks has utility when applied to on-site restaurants and canteens, too.

With that said, in addition to adopting Feedr’s technology, Compass says it will also invest in growing Feedr as an independent brand that will continue to operate in the delivery market with its cloud canteen product.

Riya Grover, co-Founder and CEO of Feedr comments: “We are thrilled to be part of Compass Group and to integrate our ordering, payments and health technology across their portfolio. Operating at new levels of scale will allow us to accelerate our product innovation, and to support our marketplace of restaurant partners with new opportunities.”

Meanwhile, Damien Lane, partner at Episode 1, and early backer of Feedr, adds: “We invested in Feedr because we bought in to Riya and Lyz’s vision of using technology to deliver healthier meal options to the workplace, and have been hugely impressed with the progress made since our investment. I’m sure that Feedr will prove to be a hugely successful acquisition for Compass, who will be able to deploy Feedr’s technology platform into its worldwide network and accelerate Feedr’s mission of bringing healthy food choices to consumers and employees”.

Alongside Episode 1, which led Feedr’s £1.5 million pre-Series A funding in 2018, other investors include Founders Factory, and angel investors Errol Damelin (Wonga founder and renowned fintech investor), Richard Glynn (former Ladbrokes CEO and founder of Alinsky Partners) and David Pritchard (founder of OpenTable Europe). The company had raised £2.7 million in total.

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What are the biggest challenges and frustrations you found when it comes to growing your Instagram Business profile?

It's important to have a well-performing IG profile so we can get leads/sales consistently. I have seen many business owners struggling with this especially building up quality followers and engaging content.

What would you say is your main stepping stone when it comes to this topic?

Feel free to leave a comment below, I would love to give you some insights! 🙂

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

10 most promising Slovenian startups to watch in 2020

Somewhere between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea lies a country with unspoilt nature, friendly people and delicious food. Slovenia is also home to young entrepreneurial minds, who have been enjoying the thriving startup community. The scene has gained momentum, with a few global success stories, venture capital funds and the famous PODIM conference.

As with all of our lists, the selected startups were founded in around the last 5 years, are growing their team and product quite fast, are doing something quite cool and have won funding or recognition in the past few years. They are not the only interesting startups in Slovenia, but are some that we think we should keep a close eye on.

So without further ado, are 10 Slovenian startups with potential to skyrocket in 2020.

Smart Optometry – Smart Optometry (2015) is developing digital solutions for the eye industry, to ensure eye and vision health. Their first product is a professional application Smart Optometry for eye specialists, which enables basic eye screening and diagnosis, while their second product, AmblyoPlay, is a vision training application for children between 4 and 14 years of age who experience eye problems. The startup has been backed by corporate investors and healthcare accelerators, most recently with a 150K seed investment from Salus.

MAG-LEV Audio – Good news for vinyl lovers. MAG-LEV Audio (2016) is bringing you the ultimate audio experience with the world’s first levitating turntable. More precisely, they have developed a deck that supposedly eliminates the need for a motor, using magnets and an electric current to rotate the platter above the plinth, and as such, enhances the experience of listening to vinyl records. By pushing the frontier of audio technology, they were able to integrate the uplifting experience of music into the turntable design itself, bringing the feeling of zero gravity into the living room. Now sit back, relax and enjoy. 

ICONOMI – A pioneer among Slovenia’s blockchain movement, ICONOMI (2016) is helping users make their first investment step with cryptocurrency. Designed as a digital asset platform, it gives users the possibility to invest in a variety of cryptocurrencies with one click, through a number of digital asset arrays – cryptocurrency funds and indices with varying levels of expected yields and risk profiles. As holders of the most funded Kickstarter campaign in Slovenia, they raised over 5 million to further transform the way people invest in the blockchain space. 

Eligma – Launched in 2018 with the aim to make cryptocurrencies part of daily life, Eligma is a facilitator of seamless and secure crypto payments. Their product, Elipay, is a unique infrastructure that enables merchants to accept instant crypto payments at their points-of-sale. The buyer makes a purchase by scanning the product’s QR code at the store via their smart mobile, picking a cryptocurrency to pay and the seller then gets the payment in euro. In 2019, the startup secured backing of €4.4 million from famed bitcoiner Roger Ver and Swiss investment firm Pangea Blockchain Fund.

Hive Terminal – One of the biggest blockchain successes in Slovenia, Hive Terminal (2017) is a fintech startup offering a blockchain-based invoice-financing platform. Hive terminal cuts costs, automates processes, and eliminates invoice duplication to open up new sources of financial liquidity to small businesses, creating high-return investment opportunities for invoice buyers in the process. In April 2020, the startup secured an investment by Swiss Venture Investment, slowly reaching their goal to become a full marketplace with advanced trading analytics for peer-to-peer lending. 

PredictLeads – Founded in 2016 and backed by YCombinator, 3VC Seed and several high profile angel investors, Predict Leads helps venture capital firms and sales teams identify high-growth companies, i.e. potential investments and potential customers, using AI and machine learning. By extracting deep business insights at scale, such as recent customers, partners, technology suppliers, hiring trends, investment areas, product launches, expansions, Predict Leads saves companies a lot, a lot of time.

Beeping – Named Slovenian Startup of the Year 2018, Beeping is a fast, safe and effective way of hiring verified cleaners to one’s home. The guarantee for the service quality, vetted and trained cleaners or “Beepers”, time flexibility, online payments, and responsibility insurance are just some of the features of the platform. Future plans include using artificial intelligence and machine learning to ensure better matching between user and cleaner preferences, thus ensuring a more personalised user experience.

CargoX – The Ljubljana-based blockchain startup offers blockchain-based Smart Bill of Lading (Smart B/L) solution. Founded in 2017, it is built atop the Ethereum, to enable logistics, financial, manufacturing, trading, energy, and services companies, along with governmental and regulatory agencies, to transfer original documents digitally, efficiently and securely, without the possibility of tampering, loss, or theft. In February 2020 the multi-award winning startup became the first public blockchain Bill of Lading provider approved by the International Group of P&I Clubs.

Viberate – If you’re working in the music industry, brace yourself for something epic. Viberate (2015) is a crowdsourced live music ecosystem and blockchain-based marketplace, where musicians are matched with booking agencies and event organizers. So far, over 450k artists, 130k venues, 2k booking agencies and 500k music events have joined the platform. Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the event industry is currently on hold. So, Viberate set up a special website where festivals and concert enthusiasts can track which festivals are cancelled or will be postponed.

Chipolo – Forget lost bags, phones, and wallets. Chipolo (2013) is here. Currently the startup offers two products: Chipolo ONE, a smart pendant which uses a wireless Bluetooth connection and helps you find misplaced or lost items by using your smart-phone, and Chipolo CARD, perfect for your wallet, passport pouch and remote control. Via the Chipolo app, a registered unit can be shared with as many friends and family members as desired and its locations recorded. Nothing will ever be lost again.

By the way: If you’re a corporate or investor looking for exciting startups in a specific market for a potential investment or acquisition, check out our Startup Sourcing Service!