Berlin-based Sennder crosses €820M in valuation after securing €131.64M in series D funding: Here is all you need to know

Sennder

There are few companies that can continue a growth streak, especially after last year. However, the Berlin-based digital road freight forwarder Sennder is a company that has shown remarkable growth over the years. It is now continuing its growth streak as it raises €131.64M in its series D funding round. With the latest funding, the company’s valuation surpassed €820M.

Funding details

In its latest series D funding round, Sennder raised a notable €131.64M. Participants in the round included all of the company’s existing investors such as Accel, Lakestar, HV Capital, Project A and Scania, among others. With this funding round, the total amount raised by the company till date stands above €214M. The company plans to invest €82.3M from fresh funds into growing and developing its technologies.

The latest investment will also help Sennder expand its 200-people technology team and accelerate its research and development into automation, digitalisation, optimisation and decarbonisation of road freight. It will also channel funds towards expanding its business into new European markets and replicating the success it witnessed with Poste Italiane. Through the Italian joint venture, Sennder is said to have helped the business save 6% of its €100m annual spending and it aims to replicate the same with its other partners. 

David Nothacker, CEO and Co-Founder of sennder, says, “As a data-driven company, we contribute to making the logistics industry fit for a sustainable future; ensuring transparency, flexibility and efficiency in the distribution of goods. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of a digitalised logistics industry. Throughout 2020, we helped our carriers increase their profitability by enhancing operating margins by up to 80% during a challenging time.“

Enabling transparency and efficiency

Sennder is a road freight forwarder that banks on digitisation of the sector to provide its services. The company directly connects enterprise shippers with trucking companies via its proprietary technology, which is said to provide greater transparency and efficiency to both carriers and shippers. It also uses data to optimise route efficiency, which not only decreases the cost of transportation but also helps in reducing the environmental impact of road freight.

Sennder predicts that it will move over 1M truckloads this year, making it Europe’s leading digital road freight forwarder. Founded in 2015 by David Nothacker, Julius Köhler and Nicolaus Schefenacker, the company now has over 800 employees, which work across its seven international offices. It enables transport services for over 10 organisations listed in the German DAX 30, and 11 companies from the Euro Stoxx 50. 

The year 2020 was notable for Sennder as the company merged with French competitor Everoad in June and  acquired Uber Freight’s European business in September.

Startups – Silicon Canals

German air taxi startup Lilium gets funding from Tesla investor, crosses €1B valuation

Munich-based aviation startup Lilium is known for its all-electric, vertical take-off and landing aircraft for regional air mobility. In a recent move, this air taxi startup announced that it secured an additional investment of $ 35 million (nearly €30.1 million) from Baillie Gifford, its new investor. Notably, this new investor has a track record of investing in high-impact tech companies such as Tesla, Amazon, Airbnb, SpaceX, and Spotify.

Lilium surpasses $ 1b valuation!

This investment comes just three months after Lilium raised $ 240 million (nearly €211.2 million) led by existing investors Atomico, LGT, Freigeist, and Tencent. With this new investment, the overall investment in the current funding round extends to over $ 275 million (nearly €242 million). And, the overall investment raised by the German air taxi startup goes to over $ 375 million (nearly €330 million).

What’s interesting is that this additional investment makes Lilium one of the most valuable and highly capitalised aviation companies with a valuation of $ 1 billion.

Eyes to ramp up serial production

Lilium will use these funds to support the development of Lilium Jet and underpinning preparations for the serial production at its newly completed manufacturing facilities.

Commenting on the new investment, Christopher Delbrück, Chief Financial Officer, Lilium, said, “Baillie Gifford is one of the world’s most influential tech investors and their commitment to Lilium represents a significant vote of confidence in both our physical product and our business case. We look forward to working closely with Baillie Gifford as we seek to bring emissions-free, regional air mobility to the market as early as 2025.”

Commenting on their investment, Michael Pye, Investment Manager at Baillie Gifford, said, “We are delighted to support the remarkable team at Lilium in their ambition of developing a new mode of transport. While still at an early stage, we believe this technology could have profound and far-reaching benefits in a low-carbon future and we are excited to watch Lilium’s progress in the years ahead.”

Air taxi to go live by 2025

Lilium was established in 2015 by Daniel Wiegand, Sebastian Born, Matthias Meiner and Patrick Nathen in Munich. Back in 2019, the company revealed the prototype of its five-seater electric air taxi, which completed its maiden flight over Germany. The Lilium Jet can fly at up to 300 km/h and a range of 300km. The company aims to make its all-electric air taxi operational across the world by 2025.

Main image picture credits: Lilium

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Startups – Silicon Canals

German mobile wallet company Stocard rolls out new payment feature as it crosses 50M users

The fintech industry has exploded with innovations in the past few years, thanks to technological advancements. What used to be considered as an idea before like mobile payments and other financial options have become standard these days. 

New mobile payment feature!

Stocard, a German mobile wallet company has announced the launch of a new mobile payment feature as it reaches 50 million users globally. Starting today, Stocard users can pay via a virtual Mastercard issued in the app, an option which will be rolled out across Europe later this year. 

In an exclusive interview with Silicon Canals, Björn Goß, CEO and co-founder of Stocard says, “Currently, Stocard supports Visa and Mastercard as funding cards. Users can add all their bank cards to their loyalty cards and select which of these cards they use to fund their wallets with. In the future, Stocard will also offer several ways to connect bank accounts, such as bank transfers and direct debits.”

Talking about the possibility of adding direct debit cards, Goß adds, “Stocard’s ambition is to offer users maximum flexibility. Thus, direct debits will be offered as well. Beyond that, other ways to easily connect funding sources in the way that’s most convenient to each user will be offered. For example, soon users will be able to auto-load money from cards they added to Stocard: whenever the Stocard wallet balance drops below a certain amount, Stocard automatically adds additional money to the Stocard wallet making sure the wallet is always sufficiently funded.”

Future of banking is not banks!

Founded by Björn Goß, David Handlos, and Florian Barth, Stocard lets users store all their loyalty cards in one place – on their smartphones. The company is on a mission to build the leading mobile wallet platform making the daily shopping experience easy, engaging, and rewarding. 

Goß adds, “Stocard wants to build the leading mobile wallet and believes that the future of banking is not banks. Thus, there is no big ambition for Stocard to become a bank itself.”

Uses Wirecard’s license to offer financial services!

As per the company claims, sign-up only takes a minute and is completely digital, with no paperwork required. Just like with their loyalty cards, users will now be able to add their bank cards to the Stocard app and select which one they want to fund their wallet with. The app has Stocard’s proprietary NFC technology embedded to make it easy.

In the long run, Stocard wants to offer more financial products such as Point Of Sale lending (buy now, pay later), cashback, and savings within their digital wallet. It should be noted that Stocard is using Wirecard’s license to offer financial services, including payments.

Expansion plans!

The mobile wallet company counts 50 million customers predominantly located in various places. “Stocard has been launched in Canada, where already 10% of the population is using Stocard for their daily shopping. After this successful proof of concept for the North American market entry, supporting its ambition to build the leading mobile wallet for the Western World, Stocard has also silently launched in the US, which will become a bigger focus later. The obvious next steps in the near-term future are the roll-out of the payment feature across Europe” adds Goß. 

Raised €27.4 million!

Last year, shoppers made 1.7 billion purchases with the app, spending close to €40 billion annually. According to the company claims, Stocard customers spared €2 billion globally in 2019. To date, the company has raised €27.4 million funding over 5 rounds. The last funding was raised from Macquarie Capital in 2018. 

About the funding, Goß says, “Stocard is very well funded. Even during Corona, the company is growing fast – we are also still hiring – and believe that we will be one of the winners emerging from the crisis. Thus, we see strong interest in the market and it, therefore, might be that we close another round this or next year to further accelerate our growth and build the leading mobile wallet for the Western World and growing from 50 to 200, 300 million users.”

The company now operates in the UK, Germany, Italy, France, the Benelux countries, and Australia.

Main image credits: Stocard

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Startups – Silicon Canals