Hamburg-based Bepro raises €8.8 million to expand its football tech platform

Today Hamburg-based Bepro, the next-generation sports analysis platform, has announced securing an additional €8.8 million in funding. The startup will use the funds from Altos Ventures, Softbank Ventures, Saehan Ventures, Springcamp and Miraeasset Ventures, to develop their football tech and expand internationally. 

The German startup, founded in 2015, made the journey from Korea to Europe, with the aim of changing football. The team’s next-generation football analysis tools are unlike anything currently out there. Using a fixed multi-camera set up, it records and tracks all players on the field, giving accurate match stats and insights into team performance. When looking back at the video analytics, each data point conveniently links up to the exact moment in the match, which can be played back for reference. Users can also edit clips according to their tactical perspective, and add in visual cues to explain to team members how to improve in certain moments (e.g. “defense line should be here”). 

The platform is made to support professional and semi-professional sides, helping them to find a competitive edge. As football matches are won on fine margins, teams can use the Bepro platform to share evidenced guidance with players, increase their on-field impact and aid their development. All this is done through a single offering that is not available elsewhere, eliminating the need to pay for multiple solutions and opening-up high-quality data and video for clubs who could not have accessed it previously.

So far the startup serves clubs at both first team and youth level in 10 global markets, including Europe’s top leagues like the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 2. In 2018, the startup nabbed a 7.9 million investment, making this their second round closed. 

The recent funding is particularly impressive given the ongoing difficulties faced by the sports industry resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic. Despite sport being on-hold, it demonstrates the strong belief the investors have in Bepro’s team, product and growth potential.

Following the announcement, Luis Kang, Bepro’s CEO, stated: “We are witnessing the start of a significant transformation in the sports industry, powered by new technology and an increased focus on analytics. This investment strengthens our position as the leaders of this change. It is great to receive this support despite the difficult situation with COVID-19. We are excited to continue to enhance our platform and provide our clients with even more value in these challenging times.”

Bepro will use this latest funding to continue to develop their platform and expand their presence in international markets, with a focus on European growth.

EU-Startups

15 things founders should know before accepting funding from a corporate VC

More than $ 50 billion of corporate venture capital (CVC) was deployed in 2018 and new data indicates that nearly half of all venture rounds will include a corporate investor. The CVC trend is heating up and the need for founders and startup executives to stay informed is higher than ever.

We’ve covered the basics in this series, including how to approach CVCs and what to know before the investment, what to look out for when negotiating, and getting the most out of a CVC partnership after the investment.

A great CVC investor can be the best of both worlds — a strong corporate champion who provides insights and connections to help your startup succeed and a committed financial partner who provides the capital you need to grow. But CVCs aren’t just VCs with different business cards. Finding the right CVC requires the right approach and strategy, and getting the right CVC on your cap table can bring unique and lasting value to your startup.

To wind down this series, here’s a list of the top 15 things every founder should know before signing a term sheet with a CVC.

  1. CVCs come in three major types. The type of CVC you’re dealing with will determine a great deal about the potential for the partnership, the professionalism of the investing process, the resources you’ll have available once the investment is made and much more.

    Image credits: Orn/Growney

  2. Different CVCs have different investing strategies. Some CVCs view deals through the lens of, “I’m looking for a great team, huge market and a chance to bring in funding and connections to make a business as strong as it can be.” Others see their investment like, “I’m looking for a solution/product/platform that I can bring into my company or use to expose my company to a brand new marketplace or technology.” As a founder, it’s best to know which type you’re dealing with before the pitch.
  3. CVCs can offer benefits beyond capital. Choose one who can offer money AND … . As Rick Prostko, Managing Partner at Comcast Ventures, says, “Look for someone who will understand your business, meet with you and decide that there’s something beyond just capital that will form the basis for that relationship. In today’s venture market, founders want money AND value. Seek out a CVC who has valuable experience to provide, and look for someone who’s been an operator in this segment previously or who has valuable insight and experience to offer.”
  4. Some CVCs are a better fit for your company than others. As with all investors, some will forge a better relationship with you and the exec team. But with strategic CVCs, the need for a strong bond at the outset is even higher since you’ll be embarking on a strategic partnership with the CVC’s parent company.
  5. Do your own diligence, just as they do theirs. The best way to find out what type of CVC you’re dealing with, what to expect in the investment process and whether your chances are strong for a post-investment partnership is to ask around. Talk to other companies within the CVC’s portfolio, or founders who’ve pitched the CVC in the past. Ask for their feedback on how it went and what to expect. You’ll never regret having more information.
  6. Come into the relationship with ideas for how the CVC can help your company. Do you see possibilities for product feedback loops? New distribution channels? A potential future acquisition by the parent company? Don’t be afraid to share your vision with the CVC during the pitch, and discuss how and whether that vision can be realized.
  7. Expect deeper product and technical diligence. CVCs have technical, product and market experts at their disposal, so their level of product diligence is typically more rigorous than traditional VCs. Be prepared for some grilling by subject matter experts. On the flip side, this diligence process provides you with exposure to potential customers and partners inside the corporation, so use this time to your advantage.
  8. Stay aware of what information you reveal during the diligence process. Remember that you’re sharing confidential info with a large company. If you stay thoughtful and strategic with what you share, and determine whether the CVC is truly interested in doing a deal before you offer financial, technical and competitive information, you’ll usually be fine. Don’t rely exclusively on NDAs — they only provide so much protection.
  9. Ask questions during negotiations. Do they want to lead your round? Do they want a board seat? Do they understand your future fundraising strategy? Will they be using experienced lawyers to do the deal? These are all important touch points during the negotiation process, and the answers will be revealing.
  10. . Set clear rules on ownership percentages ahead of time. As a rule, don’t let any single CVC own more than 19.9% of your company. If they own more than that, the CVC’s parent company will likely need to consolidate your financials into their annual and quarterly reports. If that happens, you’ll be required to get an expensive audit done, meet strict reporting deadlines and invest in financial planning and projections, all of which can hinder your bottom line.
  11. . Be sure to get the CVC to waive audit requirements. We mean it! Do everything you can to avoid any audit obligations. Audits are notoriously time consuming and expensive — we’ve seen audits by Big Four firms cost startups over $ 30,000. While many investor rights agreements “require” an audit, traditional VCs usually waive this requirement to avoid wasting a founder’s time and money. You want a CVC investor to do the same.
  12. . Never give a CVC a Right of First Refusal. Under no circumstances should you let a CVC get a ROFR, which would give the parent corporation the right to “beat” any other potential acquirer if and when you try to sell your startup. In practice, a ROFR means that no smart competitor to the parent organization will try to purchase your company because they know the CVC’s corporate arm will be able to swoop in and steal the deal.
  13. . Be aware that you run a risk of regime change. Staff turnover is a reality that CVCs face as much as any other large corporate operation. Ask the CVC leading your investment: Who will support the company if he or she leaves? What will happen to the CVC if the person leading the venture arm departs? Will the company still do their pro rata if personnel changes happen? What about commercial relationships that come from the relationship? You have a right to know as much as possible at the beginning, though the future can always change.
  14. . You may have to tackle regulatory issues. If the CVC’s parent company is in a certain area, it may be subject to government regulation. For instance, banks must adhere to a variety of regulations very different from those that apply to large tech companies. Navigating these laws can be costly and time consuming, so be aware of what you’re getting into before you sign the dotted line and discuss how you and the CVC can avoid hitting any regulatory roadblocks.
  15. . Know that you may face challenges in the relationship over time. While startups thrive on renouncing hierarchy, chasing innovation and pivoting on a dime, larger corporations operate at a different pace and under a different paradigm. Change comes slower, decisions often involve more parties and some business units have different priorities than others. As a founder, you’ll be in charge of navigating the CVC’s parent company in order to maximize the partnership value.

There are plenty of benefits to taking CVC investments. Many CVC investments lead to acquisitions, and even if the discussions with a CVC fall apart, your meeting can result in valuable introductions that yield new business relationships. The rising CVC trend offers a brave new world for entrepreneurs. If you know the ropes of CVC investing, you could be in for a partnership that benefits you both.

Startups – TechCrunch

7 Ways Entrepreneurs With Great Ideas Must Follow Up

entrepreneur-businesswoman-visionIn my experience with entrepreneurs, there seems to a wealth of self-proclaimed “idea people” who aspire to start businesses, but only a few who are willing and able to dig in and get the job done. All the great ideas in the world won’t make a business, if the ideas never get implemented. Only rare great entrepreneurs, like Bill Gates and Elon Musk, have proven to be both.

I worked with Bill Gates in the early days of Microsoft and the IBM PC, while I was with IBM. Bill was relentless in his focus on getting the software PC DOS project delivered, while continually challenging us with new business models. Elon Musk is known for his focus on implementation, often working 80-100 hours a week, while still able to offer an endless supply of innovative ideas.

If you or your team sees you as an idea person, your first task as an entrepreneur should be to find a co-founder who can deliver. Finding a co-founder is rarely a bad thing, since two heads are always better than one in meeting all the startup challenges. Let me be a bit more specific on how follow-up trumps ideas for success in the key challenges of a startup, or any small business:

  1. Networking with investors, partners, and customers. Meeting people and talking about your ideas won’t get you very far. First you have to listen carefully to what the other party is looking for, and then you have to follow-up to meet their connections, do personal dinner invitations for relationship building, and demonstrate traction.
  1. Tailor investor proposals and term-sheets. Professional investors expect far more than an idea pitch – they are looking for a documented opportunity analysis and realistic financial projections. They watch for formal follow-up to questions, demonstration of real product, and revenue results. Passionate reiteration of the idea won’t close funding.
  1. Detailed product specifications and prototypes. With great idea people, an initial product is rarely fully defined, as features are added and subtracted to meet the audience of the day. Milestones are not met because there is no implementation discipline. Products from idea entrepreneurs often try to be everything to everyone.
  1. Productivity and time management challenges. Idea entrepreneurs are largely driven by the “crisis of the moment” or the next event on their schedule. They are too busy to follow-up on a major partner opportunity, customer inquiry, or a critical internal process that simply isn’t working. Communication to the team suffers, and productivity is low.
  1. Managing marketing metrics and the sales pipeline. Effective marketing requires converting ideas to real content, creating programs to educate channels, and managing metrics to see what works and what needs to change. Follow-up is required for every sales lead, a pipeline built, and a sales process documented, with training for new reps.
  1. Customer acquisition, retention, and support. Ideas don’t generate customer loyalty – they want to see specifics for their case. Most experts agree that acquisition of a new customer costs six times retaining existing customers. Lack of follow-up after a sale can cost you more customers than poor service or poor quality.
  1. Maintaining professional relationships. No business associate will be impressed with ideas for long, if they experience unpredictable follow-up delays in email, phone calls, or delivery commitments. Disciplined execution is as critical to communication and relationships as it is to the bottom line of your business.

For business professionals, I would suggest that if you don’t do follow-up well, you should never aspire to be a manager or an executive. That’s what they have to do most of the time, so you won’t enjoy the job, and probably won’t be seen as doing it well. Most executives will tell you that their idea time is while sleeping, or while working out in the gym.

Of course, every small business needs to be built around a great idea, and every entrepreneur needs to find innovative new ideas regularly to stay ahead of the crowd. But the bulk of the real work and time to make a startup or small business successful is in the execution and follow-up.

In my view, idea people will be more at home and more appreciated in the design, marketing, or planning department of a larger and more mature organization, with an implementation team behind them. Successful entrepreneurs need to enjoy the journey, perhaps more than the destination.

Marty Zwilling
Startup Professionals Musings

How to get the most from your corporate VC after you get the check

Raising capital from a corporate VC can bring many benefits beyond just money. Strategic CVCs, who measure ROI based on the strength of the strategic partnership with their portfolio companies as well as the financial return, will typically seek to maximize their relationships with startups for a long time after the investment is made.

Specifically, a CVC investor can offer the following to an entrepreneur:

  1. Resources and product feedback. CVC parent companies often have deep institutional expertise and teams of subject-matter experts who can advise startups on product development and guide them through issues.
  2. Partnerships. CVCs can leverage their supply chain and operations to build new partnerships that otherwise may have taken months or years for startups to create.

  3. Distribution. Strategic CVCs can become a distribution channel for a startup, connect that startup with their suppliers, or even use the startup to become a channel for the parent company.

  4. Branding halo. If a large company is willing to invest in your startup, it’s a strong signal that your product is good and that your business has a bright future.

  5. Acquisition. Many CVCs invest in startups that they may want to acquire down the line. A CVC may also endorse an exit-seeking portfolio company to their partner companies or suppliers.

Granted, seeing results from these benefits takes time, and even the best of intentions during a capital raise process may not always yield an optimal strategic relationship.

Here’s a list of factors to keep in mind for founders who want the best chances of a productive and successful relationship with their CVC.

Know which type of CVC you’re dealing with from the outset. In our previous posts, we outlined the three types of CVCs — experienced institutional investors, industry-specific strategics, and beginner or “tourist” CVCs. As we’ve discussed, be sure to spend time interviewing and building relationships with CVCs to determine which type they are, what kinds of benefits and resources they can offer and what their history looks like in terms of successfully partnering with startups over time. When in doubt, ask other founders who have done deals with them!

Startups – TechCrunch

This VC fund wants African startups to pitch online for $10k. Here’s what you need to know – Techpoint.ng

This VC fund wants African startups to pitch online for $ 10k. Here’s what you need to know  Techpoint.ng
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

[OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved on i24NEWS] OurCrowd to raise $100M for COVID-19 tech

Jon Medved discusses the OurCrowd Pandemic Innovation Fund.

Watch the interview here.

The post [OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved on i24NEWS] OurCrowd to raise $ 100M for COVID-19 tech appeared first on OurCrowd.

OurCrowd

Feedback Fridays – A Friendly Feedback Exchange For Ideas and Products

Welcome to this week’s Feedback Thread. This is the place to request feedback on your ideas and products.

Be sure to give feedback if you are requesting feedback. Equivalent exchange goes a long way towards reaching your own goals and it makes for a stronger community.

Please use the following format:

URL:

Purpose of Startup:

Technologies Used:

Feedback Requested:

Additional Comments:

Post your site along with your stack and technologies used and receive feedback from the community. Please refrain from just posting a link and instead give us a bit of a background about your creation.

Feel free to request general feedback or specific feedback in a certain area like user experience, usability, design, or code review.

You can also find more support using instant chat on the /r/startups discord.

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

The IPO window is open (again)

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

ZoomInfo went public yesterday. After pricing its IPO $ 1 ahead of its proposed range at $ 21 per share, the company closed its first day’s trading worth $ 34.00, up 61.9%, according to Yahoo Finance. Then the company gained another 5.2% in after-hours trading.

Whether or not you feel that this SaaS player was worth the revenue multiple its original, $ 8 billion valuation dictated — let alone that same multiple times 1.6x — the message from the offering was clear: the IPO window is open.

This is not news to a few companies looking to take advantage of today’s strong equity prices.

Used-car marketplace Vroom is looking to get its shares public before its Q2 numbers come out, despite a history of slim gross profit generation. The company hopes to go public for as much as $ 1.9 billion, a modest uptick from its final private valuations.

We’ll get another dose of data when Vroom does price — how much investors are willing to pay for slim-margin revenue will tell us a bit more than what we learned from ZoomInfo, which has far superior gross margins. Investors have already signaled that they are content to value high-margin software-ish revenues richly; Vroom is more of a question, but if it does price strongly we’ll know public investors are looking for any piece of growth they can find.

This brings us to the latest news: Amwell has confidentially filed to go public. Formerly known as American Well, CNBC reports that the venture-backed telehealth company has dramatically expanded its customer base:

Telemedicine has seen an uptick in recent months, as people in need of health services turned to phone calls and video chats so they could avoid exposure to Covid-19. The company told CNBC last month that it’s seen a 1,000% increase in visits due to coronavirus, and closer to 3,000% to 4,000% in some places.

Startups – TechCrunch