Mental health startup Spill raises €2.2 million to help companies emotionally support their employees over Slack

Spill, a British startup that provides remote mental health support for companies through the workplace messaging tool ‘Slack’, today announces that it has raised €2.2 million in a seed round led by Ada Ventures.  The rising demand for employee mental health support in 2020 drove rapid growth for Spill last year. After its founding in…

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Calling all SaaS companies! Join this free webinar on 3rd Feb 2021 (Sponsored)

Are you a software company looking to modernize your application? If you’re looking to benefit from public cloud hosting and to provide your customers with a scalable and flexible ‘software-as-a-service’ solution, then read on! In these changing times, it can be complicated as a founder to make sure your startup stays relevant for the market,…

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Home services platform Porch acquires four companies

Only a few weeks after its SPAC IPO, Porch today announced that it has made four acquisitions, worth a total of $ 122 million. The most important here is probably the acquisition of Homeowners of America for $ 100 million, which gets Porch deeper into the home insurance space. In addition, Porch is also acquiring mover marketing and data platform V12 for $ 22 million, as well as home inspection service Palm-Tech and iRoofing, a SaaS application for roofing contractors. Porch did not disclose the acquisition prices for the latter two companies.

You may still think of Porch as a marketplace for home improvement and repair services — and that’s what it started out as when it launched about seven years ago. Yet while it still offers those services, a couple of years after its 2013 launch, the company pivoted to building what it now calls a “vertical software platform for the home.” Through a number of acquisitions, the Porch Group now includes Porch.com, as well as services like HireAHelper, Inspection Support Network for home inspectors, Kandela for providing services around moving and an insurance broker in the form of the Elite Insurance Group. In some form or another, Porch’s tools are now used — either directly or indirectly — by two-thirds of U.S. homebuyers every month.

Porch founder and CEO Matt Ehrlichman. Image Credits: Porch

As Porch founder and CEO Matt Ehrlichman told me, he had originally planned to take his company public through a traditional IPO. He noted that going the increasingly popular SPAC route, though, allowed him to push his timeline up by a year, which in turn now enables the company to make the acquisitions it announced today.

“In total, we had a $ 323 million fundraise that allows us now to not only be a public company with public currency, but to be very well capitalized. And picking up that year allows us to be able to go and pursue acquisitions that we think make really good fits for Porch,” Ehrlichman told me. While Porch’s guidance for its 2021 revenue was previously $ 120 million, it’s now updating that guidance to $ 170 million based on these acquisitions. That would mean Porch would grow its revenue by about 134% year-over-year between 2020 and 2021.

As the company had previously laid out in its public documents, the plan for 2021 was always to get deeper into insurance. Indeed, as Ehrlichman noted, Porch these days tends to think of itself as a vertical software company that layers insurtech on top of its services in order to be able to create a recurring revenue stream. And because Porch offers such a wide range of services already, its customer acquisition costs are essentially zero for these services.

Image Credits: Homeowners of America

Porch was already a licensed insurance brokerage. With Homeowners of America, it is acquiring a company that is both an insurance carrier as well as a managing general agent..

“We’re able to capture all of the economic value from the consumer as we help them get insurance set up with their new home and we can really control that experience to delight them. As we wrap all the technology we’ve invested in around that experience we can make it super simple and instant to be able to get the right insurance at the right price for your new home. And because we have all of this data about the home that nobody else has — from the inspection we know if the roof is old, we know if the hot water system is gonna break soon and all the appliances — we know all of this data and so it just gives us a really big advantage in insurance.”

Data, indeed, is what a lot of these acquisitions are about. Because Porch knows so much about so many customers, it is able to provide the companies it acquires with access to relevant data, which in turn helps them offer additional services and make smarter decisions.

Homeowners of America is currently operating in six states (Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia) and licensed in 31. It has a network of more than 800 agencies so far and Porch expects to expand the company’s network and geographic reach in the coming months. “Because we have [customer acquisition cost]-free demand all across the country, one of the opportunities for us is simply just to expand that across the nation,” Ehrlichman explained.

As for V12, Porch’s focus is on that company’s mover marketing and data platform. The acquisition should help it reach its medium-term goal of building a $ 200 million revenue stream in this area. V12 offers services across multiple verticals, though, including in the automotive space, and will continue to do so. The platform’s overall focus is to help brands identify the right time to reach out to a given consumer — maybe before they decide to buy a new car or move. With Porch’s existing data layered on top of V12’s existing capabilities, the company expects that it will be able to expand these features and it will also allow Porch to not offer mover marketing but what Ehrlichman called “pro-mover” services, as well.

“V12 anchors what we call our marketing software division. A key focus of that is mover marketing. That’s where it’s going to have, long term, tremendous differentiation. But there are a number of other things that they’re working on that are going to have really nice growth vectors, and they’ll continue to push those,” said Ehrlichman.

As for the two smaller acquisitions of iRoofing and Palm-Tech, these are more akin to some of the previous acquisitions the company made in the contractor and inspection verticals. Like with those previous acquisitions, the plan is to help them grow faster, in part through integrating them into the overall Porch group’s family of products.

“Our business is and continues to be highly recurring or reoccurring in nature,” said Porch CFO Marty Heimbigner. “Nearly all of our revenues, including that of these new acquisitions, is consistent and predictable. This repeat revenue is also high margin with less than 20% cost of revenue and is expected to grow more than 30% per year on our platform. So, we believe these deals are highly accretive for our shareholders.”

Startups – TechCrunch

Parisian startup Shippeo raises €26.3M to help companies track road transport and provide more sustainable operations; here’s how

Shippeo

Paris-based Shippeo, a SaaS platform that provides real-time transportation visibility, has raised $ 32M (approx €26.3M) in a fresh round of funding. The round is co-led by Battery Ventures, (a technology-focused investment firm) and existing investors, including NGP Capital, ETF Partners, Partech, and Bpifrance Digital Venture. 

Use of the funds

Shippeo will use the current investment to strengthen its position in the market and continue to deliver product innovation.

Speaking on the development, founders Pierre Khoury and Lucien Besse of Shippeo, said, “Battery Ventures, founded in 1983, has a long track record of investing in prominent SaaS businesses in the US and Europe and partnering with management teams to help them grow their businesses smartly. With Battery’s industrial reach and strong experience in the technology sector, Shippeo will carry out its main objectives: strengthening its leading position in Europe and boosting its edge over its competitors.”

About Shippeo

The company was founded in 2014 by Pierre Khoury, Lucien Besse, David Barre, Jean-Bastien Dussart, Brice Hua, and Thibaut Morlot. 

Shippeo aims to build a data platform for the freight industry, by leveraging its growing network, real-time data, and AI to help supply chains deliver exceptional customer service and achieve operational excellence.

The company’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform offers an API that integrates transportation management systems as well as telematics products, ERP, and electronic logging device technology, among other data sources. This provides real-time location data, delivery tracking, and a proprietary algorithm to calculate a shipment’s Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA).

Shippeo claims to have tracked more than 140,000 deliveries per month throughout Europe for companies such as Leroy Merlin, Saint-Gobain, and Faurecia.

Solving the pain-point of the freight industry

Due to the Covid-19 scenario, the need for supply-chain visibility has been increasing more than ever. With many countries in lockdown and with unpredictable border closures, companies with advanced visibility solutions have managed to reduce the transport delays and operational inefficiencies.

Beyond tracking shipments, visibility platforms now give supply chains the data-driven transparency to meet various customer demands in uncertain and challenging market conditions.

And supposedly, this is where Shippeo stepped in and claims to have more than doubled its subscription revenues year on year.

Companies using Shippeo’s platform can now identify every pain point and inefficiency end-to-end across their global logistics operations and take action to optimise their processes. This results in lower transportation costs, increased customer satisfaction, and more sustainable operations.

Recent development

Just last October, Shippeo acquired the French company oPhone, bringing major customers in the retail and manufacturing sectors in its community. And now, the company’s total workforce has more than doubled, totaling 160 employees, of which 45% work in R&D.

In February 2020, Shippeo raised €20M in its Series B round led by NGP Capital and ETF Partners, with participation from Bpifrance Digital Ventures and Partech.

Prior to that, the company has raised €10M (2017) in Series A round from Otium Capital and Partech. In 2016, it raised €2M in its Seed round from Otium Capital, and in 2015 it raised its pre-Seed round funding of €90K.

Startups – Silicon Canals

Flutterwave makes Y Combinator’s list of top companies by valuation, ranks 115th – Nairametrics

Flutterwave makes Y Combinator’s list of top companies by valuation, ranks 115th  Nairametrics
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News