Outfunnel picks up €1.1M pre-seed to bridge the gap between marketing and sales

Outfunnel, a startup that has built software to help companies “bridge the gap between marketing and sales functions,” has quietly raised €1.1 million in funding.

The pre-seed round was led by Paua Ventures and byFounders, with participation from Lemonade Stand, Omnisend and various angel investors. The latter includes Bolt co-founders Markus and Martin Villig, Matterport CMO Robin Daniels, Pipedrive co-founder Ragnar Sass and long-time Skype exec Sten Tamkivi, amongst others.

Formed in 2017, Outfunnel’s founders are marketing veteran Andrus Purde (previously of Skype and Pipedrive), Andris Reinman (creator of open-source email projects like Nodemailer and WildDuck) and Markus Leming. The startup has developed what it dubs a “revenue marketing automation tool” that is designed to enable sales and marketing functions to work together to drive revenue.

“SMBs still struggle to unite sales and marketing data,” Purde tells me. “Money and time is wasted setting up workflows, connecting databases with digital duct tape and manually pulling reports… This [also] means that everyone misses opportunities, as well as revenue goals.”

Furthermore, salespeople have no context for sales conversations and don’t know which leads are ready to buy, and leadership doesn’t easily have “big picture” visibility into the effectiveness of campaigns. “Last but not least, all of us receive lots of ‘spam’ instead of relevant messages,” he says.

To solve this, Outfunnel’s secret sauce sees it integrate deeply with CRMs (currently Pipedrive, Copper and HubSpot CRM, with more to follow) coupled with various features such as automated emails in sync with CRM data, reporting and precise targeting. The startup has already won over more than 400 paying customers, with North America being its biggest market, followed by larger European countries and Australia.

“Our typical customer is a small to medium-sized business that needs both sales and marketing and where sales cycles are longer, not transactional,” adds Purde. “That’s roughly 25% of all SMBs according to our estimations e.g. businesses selling professional services, consulting, real estate, healthcare… That said, we have some better-known scale-ups as customers, too, such as Bolt.”

Startups – TechCrunch

This Estonian fintech startup looking to replace inflexible and expensive motor insurance with personalised offerings raises €1.1M

Founded in Estonia in 2018 by Hedi Mardisoo and Kalle Palling, Cachet is a financial services marketplace for gig workers. The company has recently raised a €1.1M seed round led by Icebreaker.vc and includes previous pre-seed stage investors like Techstars (in a follow-on investment), Barclays, and Lemonade Stand as well as angel investors like Chris Adelsbach, Kartik Varma, Martin Cass, and Richard Howard.

The Tallinn-based company intends to use the funding to expand its offering from ride-hailing platforms to urban mobility and vacation rental marketplaces and launch in new markets like Poland, the Nordics, and the UK. 

Hedi Mardisoo, Co-founder and CEO of Cachet: “The number of people working part-time or full-time for online platforms like Uber, Airbnb or Fiverr has more than doubled in the last three years. COVID-related economic slowdown is bound to accelerate it further. However, platform workers are currently underserved by financial services providers. This means that platform workers often have the choice of either buying expensive coverage or simply not working.

Personalised insurance 

Cachet is a “trustee” data layer between the sharing economy platforms and insurance providers. The platform has been providing drivers of ride-hailing platforms with on-demand motor insurance that takes into account hours driven on platforms rather than forcing part-time drivers to pay the full price of monthly insurance. 

Hedi Mardisoo added: “Cachet’s first step has been to create an insurance product that would replace the current inflexible and thus expensive motor insurance and match the workload of ride-hailing drivers. We’ve succeeded in saving our customers on average 50% on their insurance policy by serving as a unique ‘trustee’ data layer between the ride-hailing platforms operating in a market and insurance providers.”

25% of all drivers uses Cachet

The company achieves this by aggregating and enriching cross-market data from the platforms to provide a unique view into gig workers’ actual work patterns and enable insurance companies to sell better-priced and personalised coverage. 

Right now, Cachet is used by various companies including Uber, Bolt, and Yandex. Around 25% of all drivers on the platforms have signed up for insurance via Cachet.

Hedi Mardisoo said: “However, there are currently millions of people in Europe that depend on flexible income and would be able to take advantage of better-priced and personalised financial services. We’re excited to replicate the success of our first product in further areas of the sharing economy where insurance products are currently expensive or non-existent like urban mobility and vacation rental marketplaces.”

Riku Seppälä, General Partner at Icebreaker.vc: “Gig work has enabled better services for all of us and new ways to earn a living for many. The gig lifestyle is growing fast and is here to stay. Luckily, we have entrepreneurs such as Hedi and Kalle and their team who have the right experience to enable gig work to run smoothly. They created a product that works for all parties and makes life easier for gig workers. We’re excited to be part of their journey and will be working hard to help them realize the vision of enabling better work and flexible work arrangements through gig work.”

Chris Adelsbach, Founding Partner at Outrun Ventures who invested in Cachet in a personal capacity: “Having seen the early success of Cachet and the strong team behind the product, I am confident in the company’s huge potential to solve many problems for the increasing amount of people joining in the gig economy. Cachet is part of a high growth vertical called ‘embedded finance’ and helps opens up a market to financial service providers that have been struggling to price services in this new, fast-growing part of the economy.”

Main image credits: Cachet

The post This Estonian fintech startup looking to replace inflexible and expensive motor insurance with personalised offerings raises €1.1M appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals

UK-based hyper local delivery startup to rival Amazon Fresh, Prime Now, quietly secures €1.1M funding

Home delivery is a fiercely competitive market, irrespective of what services one might provide. Companies, big and small, are pushing for faster home deliveries with one-day, one-hour and even faster deliveries. Going hyper local in this competitive space is the new UK-based online grocery shopping startup Weezy, which claims to offer blazing fast 15-minute deliveries. The company launched out of the blue after quietly acquiring notable funding in a pre-seed round. 

Hyper-local 15 minute home deliveries

Weezy is a home delivery startup that delivers groceries, home supplies, over-the-counter medicines and more. What’s more? the it promises to do so in merely 15 odd minutes from when you place the order. Currently, the company is introducing its home delivery services in London’s opulent Fulham and Chelsea districts. Users in the two districts can use the Weezy app to place an order, which will be picked and packed at the company’s own fulfilment centre, before being delivered on electric scooters or bicycles within 15 minutes. 

Weezy is offering its services between 10AM and 10PM every day and it charges £2.95 (€3.28) for delivery. As per a TechCrunch report, the company sources its groceries for deliveries not only from wholesalers but also from local independent bakers, butchers and markets. This is Weezy’s bit in supporting local businesses. The company is reportedly planning to open 15 more fulfillment stores across London by the end of next year, before expanding to other regions in  the UK. 

“No other service delivers as quickly,” says Weezy CEO and co-founder Van Beveren. “Our hyperlocal fulfilment centre model works since we are able to optimise the space for fast picking and packing while having low property and fit-out costs, thereby keeping prices in check. This, coupled with our in-house team of riders, allows us to offer the fastest and friendliest grocery delivery service. And, compared to convenience stores, Weezy has better pricing and a broader and more premium range of products”.

Quiet funding, big impact

Weezy might just be starting out but time will tell if the promise of 15-minute home delivery entices consumers. In order to launch its services, the company also secured £1 million (€1.11 million) in pre-seed funding from Heartcore Capital. Other backers who invested in the startup are made up of former executives of Ocado, Tesco, Sainsbury’s Chop Chop and Deliveroo. 

The startup was founded last year by co-founders Kristof Van Beveren and Alec Dent. The duo feel there’s a market gap for a hyper-local online grocery delivery service that targets “time-poor professionals and parents” who need zippy on-demand service without it being exorbitant. 

In comparison with Weezy’s services, Beveren notes that Sainsbury’s Chop Chop takes around 60 minutes to deliver, while outsourcing delivery to courier company Stuart. Additionally, Amazon Prime Now promises to deliver within 1-2 hours via Morrisons and utilises its own warehouses, while Amazon Fresh in London offers same or next day delivery.

“Next to speed, we have a full range of carefully curated products and pricing in line with recommended retail prices,” adds Weezy co-founder and COO Dent. “We also only use electric vehicles or bicycles for deliveries. We are committed to creating a supportive culture and the best working conditions for our team of riders, who are also trained to work in the fulfilment centre, and offered opportunities for career progression. Happy staff make happy customers”.

Main image credits: Weezy

The post UK-based hyper local delivery startup to rival Amazon Fresh, Prime Now, quietly secures €1.1M funding appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals

UK-based hyper local delivery startup to rival Amazon Fresh, Prime Now, quietly secures €1.1M funding

Home delivery is a fiercely competitive market, irrespective of what services one might provide. Companies, big and small, are pushing for faster home deliveries with one-day, one-hour and even faster deliveries. Going hyper local in this competitive space is the new UK-based online grocery shopping startup Weezy, which claims to offer blazing fast 15-minute deliveries. The company launched out of the blue after quietly acquiring notable funding in a pre-seed round. 

Hyper-local 15 minute home deliveries

Weezy is a home delivery startup that delivers groceries, home supplies, over-the-counter medicines and more. What’s more? the it promises to do so in merely 15 odd minutes from when you place the order. Currently, the company is introducing its home delivery services in London’s opulent Fulham and Chelsea districts. Users in the two districts can use the Weezy app to place an order, which will be picked and packed at the company’s own fulfilment centre, before being delivered on electric scooters or bicycles within 15 minutes. 

Weezy is offering its services between 10AM and 10PM every day and it charges £2.95 (€3.28) for delivery. As per a TechCrunch report, the company sources its groceries for deliveries not only from wholesalers but also from local independent bakers, butchers and markets. This is Weezy’s bit in supporting local businesses. The company is reportedly planning to open 15 more fulfillment stores across London by the end of next year, before expanding to other regions in  the UK. 

“No other service delivers as quickly,” says Weezy CEO and co-founder Van Beveren. “Our hyperlocal fulfilment centre model works since we are able to optimise the space for fast picking and packing while having low property and fit-out costs, thereby keeping prices in check. This, coupled with our in-house team of riders, allows us to offer the fastest and friendliest grocery delivery service. And, compared to convenience stores, Weezy has better pricing and a broader and more premium range of products”.

Quiet funding, big impact

Weezy might just be starting out but time will tell if the promise of 15-minute home delivery entices consumers. In order to launch its services, the company also secured £1 million (€1.11 million) in pre-seed funding from Heartcore Capital. Other backers who invested in the startup are made up of former executives of Ocado, Tesco, Sainsbury’s Chop Chop and Deliveroo. 

The startup was founded last year by co-founders Kristof Van Beveren and Alec Dent. The duo feel there’s a market gap for a hyper-local online grocery delivery service that targets “time-poor professionals and parents” who need zippy on-demand service without it being exorbitant. 

In comparison with Weezy’s services, Beveren notes that Sainsbury’s Chop Chop takes around 60 minutes to deliver, while outsourcing delivery to courier company Stuart. Additionally, Amazon Prime Now promises to deliver within 1-2 hours via Morrisons and utilises its own warehouses, while Amazon Fresh in London offers same or next day delivery.

“Next to speed, we have a full range of carefully curated products and pricing in line with recommended retail prices,” adds Weezy co-founder and COO Dent. “We also only use electric vehicles or bicycles for deliveries. We are committed to creating a supportive culture and the best working conditions for our team of riders, who are also trained to work in the fulfilment centre, and offered opportunities for career progression. Happy staff make happy customers”.

Main image credits: Weezy

The post UK-based hyper local delivery startup to rival Amazon Fresh, Prime Now, quietly secures €1.1M funding appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals

Eco-friendly alternative to animal leather: Amsterdam-based accelerator Rockstart invests €1.1M in Danish startup Beyond Leather Materials

Danish startup Beyond Leather Materials, a company that produces plant-based and eco-friendly alternatives to animal leather, raised €1.1 million seed investment with Rockstart and Vækstfonden, led by Angel Investor Steen Ulf Jensen via Jensengroup Investment Fund to further advance their production facilities.

Mikael Eydt, CEO of Beyond Leather Materials, says: “We believe that we can deliver high value and sustainable leather alternatives that are based on fruit waste. We have been developing our animal-free product for 3 years, and with this funding, we are now able to set up our production line and enter the market this year.”

The company is planning to enter the €70 billion leather supplier market this year and will start to provide it’s material to the fashion industry. With this funding, the company is planning to open a new production facility in the Copenhagen area and expand its team. 

Mark Durno, the Managing Partner of the Rockstart AgriFood, said: “At the core of Rockstart we aim to help reduce food loss and waste; Beyond Leather, Materials fits perfectly into this mission by upcycling food process by-product into high-end sustainable fashion textiles. It was excellent to see the team progress so far during the accelerator, and ultimately access and build the investor consortium during the program. This is a perfect example of how we like to collaborate with startups, investors, mentors, and partners.”

Based out of Copenhagen, Beyond Leather Materials supplies sustainable alternative textile based on apple pulp, the byproduct from juice and cider production. The product is fully biodegradable, animal-free, and much more sustainable than animal-derived or synthetic leather.

Lead investor Steen Ulf Jensen said: “Hannah and Mikael are an exceptionally talented founder team. They have invented a unique patent-pending solution that solves a huge environmental problem caused by the production processes involved in producing animal leather. The massive inbound interest in Beyond Leather Materials’ first product proves to me they are creating real value for both the fashion industry and increasingly conscious consumers”

Launched in 2011 in Amsterdam, Rockstart is an international accelerator that supports and empowers the best startups on their way to success across four domains: Energy, Health, AgriFood, and Emerging Technologies. The accelerator provides startups with access to capital, market, community, and expertise by connecting them to partners, investors, mentors, and the wider Rockstart network.

Main image credits: Rockstart

The post Eco-friendly alternative to animal leather: Amsterdam-based accelerator Rockstart invests €1.1M in Danish startup Beyond Leather Materials appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals