Brussels-based data privacy startup secures €1M to help consumers create, control their own data; here’s how

In an interview with New York Times, Tim Berners-Lee, one of the most important people of the 20th century and the mastermind behind the World Wide Web stated that big platforms have too much power and they are built on too much personal data. Too many players are trying to gather too much data, thereby putting consumers and companies at risk. A better way to curb this risk is to give consumers the control over their own data and the ability to choose who to share that data with. That’s the purpose behind this Brussels-based data privacy startup Datavillage.

Secures €1M funding

In a recent move, Datavillage secured €1M funding in a mix of equity and grants along with the regional aid for research and innovation. The company will use the fresh funds to grow its team with key talent. “At the moment we’re working on various pilots of personal artificial intelligence and we’re finalizing our platform in order to bring it to the right maturity for industrialisation by the end of this year. In order to handle the growing demand, we’re looking for experienced, top-notch believers to join our quest,” says Quentin Felice, co-founder of Datavillage.

Digital twin to store personal data

The Belgian startup aims to give back control of their personal data to the user, thereby bringing about complete transparency and ensure respect for their privacy. This is a vision shared and evangelised by internet luminaries including Tim Berners-Lee. Datavillage ensures that personal user data is safe by creating a digital twin of each customer. The personal data will be stored in this digital twin that the consumers can manage themselves.

Consumers can let companies access their digital twin to provide personalised services such as content preferences. This way, they can have control over their own data.

Reduces time and cost for organisations

Besides customers, this also benefits businesses relying on data. It lets businesses extract value sans any burden and risk rather than controlling and processing it themselves. The use and sharing of personal data via end-users lets organisations save a lot of time and manage personal user data in a compliant way. Many big players have made this user-centric data approach their core business and a majority of their revenue relies on collecting and processing personal data.

In addition to time, this approach also reduces the cost they spend on managing personal data. “Instead of controlling and processing all these data themselves, organisations can extract value without the burden of managing personal data and reduce the risk in regards to regulations”, explains Frederic Lebeau, co-founder of Datavillage. “They can focus on their products and services and they can even make this an advantage by being more transparent with their consumers in regards to privacy.”

The user-centric data approach also lets smaller organisations come together in user-centric data ecosystems. They can combine their services to consumers to make sure they are competitive compared to leading internet giants.

About Datavillage

Datavillage, founded in 2019 by Quentin Felice and Frédéric Lebeau, is an early-stage startup based in Belgium. It works with the mission to unlock the value of personal data for both the companies and their consumers following 3 values: user control, user privacy and transparency.

Datavillage provides an end-to-end user-centric data management platform combined with key concepts including personal data store, decentralised consent and data cage for getting access to personal data and processing it in respect of privacy. The company merges behavioural data, artificial intelligence and semantic knowledge graph in order to create data matchmaking between products data and personal data. These new derived data brings new opportunities for organisations to create new innovative products & services.

Startups – Silicon Canals

Danish startup Oveo lands €1 million to help companies manage their SaaS tools

Copenhague-based SaaS startup Oveo.io has just raised €1 million in pre-seed funding from PreSeed Ventures, angel investor Ole Andersen and the Danish state’s investment fund, Vaekstfonden. Founded in 2019, Oveo.io is an intelligent SaaS platform that gives a complete, automated overview of all the company’s additional SaaS platforms. A lot of companies use endless SaaS…

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EU-Startups

Stacker raises $1.7M to help nocoders build apps from spreadsheets

Stacker, a company that helps non-developers create software from spreadsheets, announced that it has raised $ 1.7 million in a seed round.

Stacker fits inside the growing no-code, and low-code niche that TechCrunch has explored at length over the last year. But its approach to the topic is worth examining, as is its new funding round.

According to Stacker CEO Michael Skelly, the idea for his company came from his time at an asset management company where he had helped build internal apps using Salesforce’s platform. Later on in his career, he found the process more difficult without as assistive service, and noticed that teams in need of engineering time — even for more modest changes to how something worked — were stuck waiting in a long line for developer attention.

Thinking back to his former experience building tools on Salesforce’s platform, he decided to build something that would help non-technical end-users at companies build their own apps, as they know best what they need.

By now this concept should be familiar to anyone who has spent time in the no-code space; allowing non-technical teams to build their own app is a somewhat normal effort. But Stacker is betting that people already know how to get data into a spreadsheet, and that they don’t want to build an app from zero.

So, users of Google Sheets and the popular Airtable, can use Stacker to build apps from their spreadsheets. In Skelly’s view, lots of people already use spreadsheets as a way to make software of a sort; spreadsheets are a workaround, in his perspective, used by non-developers to get as far as they can towards building their own solution. So, turn those into real apps, let the end-users tinker with them, and presto, non-technical teams are off on their own.

Stacker’s method also solves the issue of expecting users to start from scratch, adding buttons to a blank screen, as the service will make users an initial app from their selected Google Sheet, or Airtable.

If that seems like a narrow use case, it isn’t. Skelly was clear during an interview with TechCrunch that he is not trying to help non-developers build the next mega-product. Instead, he wants to help teams build neat internal apps. And that market is proving out so far, with Stacker racking up 500 customers so far. TechCrunch noted that the company had 250 in August of 2020, when the startup took part in Y Combinator’s demo day. Today the company has reached $ 1 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR), it said. You can infer growth rates from the three data points.

Initialized Capital led the startup’s round, with participation from Y Combinator, Pioneer Fund and Makerpad. The capital was closed in September of 2020, but announced today as Stacker wanted to skip the holiday dead zone. That makes the round about as temporally laggy as most seed deals.

What’s next for Stacker’s distributed team of 12? Skelly told TechCrunch that some folks are using Stacker not just for customer portals or other simple uses, but to create daily-use apps. So the startup wants to invest in making that better, and bring the ability to link even more data sources — think SaaS apps, and the like — in time to allow for what we reckon is more rich app use-cases.

Finally, to whom does Stacker sell? On the customer front, it said that most of its customers are SMBs. That makes sense, as larger companies have more internal development resources. But to whom might Stacker sell? At the end of our call, TechCrunch jokingly enjoined the company not to exit early to Airtable. The CEO said that he tells people that in five years that his company will buy Airtable. That was a good answer.

Startups – TechCrunch

Club Feast raises $3.5M to help restaurants deliver meals that only cost $5.99

Club Feast, a startup with a more affordable approach to meal delivery, is announcing that it has raised $ 3.5 million in seed funding led by General Catalyst.

The company was founded by Atallah Atallah, Ghazi Atallah and Chris Miao. The basic concept is pretty simple: Restaurant delivery that only costs $ 5.99 per dish — cheaper than almost anything you’d find on other delivery services. (The startup also charges diners a $ 2 delivery fee, as well as a $ 1 fee for single meal orders.)

Atallah Atallah, who previously co-founded restaurant rewards company Seated and serves as Club Feast’s CEO, said the startup works with restaurants to select a few meals that they can afford to offer at the $ 5.99 price. Diners, meanwhile, sign up for a weekly meal plan and place their orders at least 24 hours ahead of time. The restaurant then knows exactly how much of a dish will be purchased, so they can plan ahead and cook in an efficient and economical way.

“We really work with them to create a meal that they can make at a price that works for their users,” Atallah said. Plus, he noted that with all the orders placed ahead of time, Club Feast and its partners can plan the best routes without having to build sophisticated algorithms for optimizing on-demand deliveries: “Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest ones.”

Club Feast CEO Atallah Atallah

Club Feast CEO Atallah Atallah. Image Credits: Club Feast

Of course, that requires more planning and upfront commitment from diners. However, Atallah noted that while meal credits are purchased via weekly subscription, they can be paused or spent at any time. He also suggested that he doesn’t see Club Feast as a direct competitor to on-demand food delivery — instead, he suggested that he continues to use DoorDash and Uber Eats for spur-of-the-moment orders or special occasions, while Club Feast is a more affordable option for regular meals.

“With our price point, our average user orders eight times a month,” he said. “Why not make the pie much bigger?”

Atallah added that Club Feast is diversifying the food options on the platform by adding side dishes and desserts. And it could eventually introduce higher prices for fancier meals, but he said, “We want to make sure that does not affect the $ 5.99 concept.”

The startup currently makes deliveries in San Francisco and San Mateo, where it works with restaurants including The Halal Guys, Kasa Indian Eatery, HRD and Kitava. With the new funding, it plans to expand throughout the Bay Area and into New York City.

“The pandemic exposed significant gaps in the food delivery industry, and we’re proud to support Club Feast on their mission to make the experience more affordable for both restaurants and consumers,” said General Catalyst Managing Director Niko Bonatsos in a statement.

Startups – TechCrunch

Eloho Omame & Odunayo Eweniyi are on a Mission to Help Women Invest in Tech with FirstCheck Africa – BellaNaija

Eloho Omame & Odunayo Eweniyi are on a Mission to Help Women Invest in Tech with FirstCheck Africa  BellaNaija
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

Starting a brand, need help!

So yeah, I’m starting a brand. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time and I’m more motivated than ever.

Little FYI on me, I’ve never attempted this before, I haven’t even started a career yet. However, this year I have become so money conscious it has forced me to become a entirely different, money driven person. I’m relatively young, and I don’t have enough money to take on considerable risk, but I can make losses back and I am willing to take the risk.

I really just need help with how to ‘startup’ I’ve already got a place where I want my base products to come from, like unprinted T-shirt’s, bags, etc. I’ve got an artist to help me design this, I roughly know my audience.

I need help with how to get to the audience. How do I get people to see this, how do I get people to buy, how should my mission statement form my brand.

Any tips, hints, resources, or direction, anything at all would be highly appreciated. Even if you’ve been in this position of considerable confusion before, I’d love a pearl of wisdom.

Thank you! 🥺

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

German drone startup Wingcopter raises €18M; will help distribute COVID-19 vaccines

Wingcopter

Darmstadt, Germany-based Wingcopter, a startup which develops and sells transport drones for humanitarian and civil applications, has raised $ 22M (approx €18M) in its Series A round of funding to advance technology leadership in drone delivery; also announces serial production.

Investors in this round

The latest round was led by Silicon Valley-based Xplorer Capital, a key investor in autonomous technologies, and Futury Regio Growth Fund, a Germany-based growth capital fund focusing on investments in globally scalable business models. 

In addition, Futury Ventures and Hessen Kapital III also participated in this round.

Use of the raised capital

Wingcopter will use the funds to strengthen its leadership position in drone-based logistics, with a special focus on healthcare-related applications, including the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

In addition, the company also claims to have well-positioned and ready to establish more partnerships worldwide centring around other fully automated delivery applications.

A portion of the funds will also be used in setting up a partially automated serial production at Wingcopter’s new headquarters in Weiterstadt, Germany – already home to more than 100 employees. “The 7,200 square meter (77,500 square feet) site allows for a swift ramp-up to mass production to meet a constantly growing global demand. To achieve this, Wingcopter combines the scaling methods of the automotive industry with an aviation-grade discipline for quality and safety,” mentions the company in the press release. 

Everything about Wingcopter

The company was founded in 2017 by Ansgar Kadura, Jonathan Hesselbarth, and Tom Plummer. Wingcopter is a developer, manufacturer, and operator of unmanned eVTOL fixed-wing aircraft dedicated to improving the lives of people through meaningful commercial and humanitarian applications. The company focuses on the delivery of goods such as medicines to remote health facilities, packages and food to private households.

The company’s patented tilt-rotor mechanism, the electrically powered Wingcopters far exceed the range and payload capabilities of commercial multicopter drones, claims the company. “Taking off and landing vertically like multicopters, Wingcopters fly long distances as efficiently and quickly as fixed-wing aircraft, reaching ranges of up to 75 miles (120 kilometres) and a Guinness world record speed of 150 mph (240 km/h). Even in strong winds of up to 44 mph (70 km/h) or inclement weather, Wingcopters fly autonomously and reliably,” says the company. 

The drones are also used for the efficient inspection of public infrastructure and for long-range mapping applications.

Specification of unmanned eVTOL & its production

The current model, the Wingcopter 178 Heavy Lift, provides both one- and two-way delivery, covering distances of up to 120 kilometres. It can accurately lower a package through a winch mechanism, or land at the point of destination and return to its origin with a new payload. 

To further expand its market reach, Wingcopter is looking to launch the next generation of its aircraft, a claimed game-changing delivery drone with unmatched technical specifications.

In addition to selling drones, Wingcopter will rapidly expand its drone-delivery-as-a-service offerings. These services give customers the opportunity to instantly benefit from Wingcopter’s technology and its BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) flight operations track record on five continents without having to own and maintain a fleet of drones, hire and train pilots, or run operations themselves.

Providing COVID-19 support

In Malawi, East Africa, Wingcopter recently started a long-term COVID-19 response project named Drone + Data Aid to improve healthcare supply chains together with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). 

As part of the undertaking, Wingcopter has partnered with UNICEF’S African Drone and Data Academy to train local youth in drone operations, from mission planning to piloting beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) delivery and surveying flights.

In 2020, Wingcopter was named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, recognising its significant social impact as part of the fourth industrial revolution.

Future developments

Wingcopter plans to enter in the fields of flight testing, certification, production (including a new US facility), and software development, specifically focused on ground and flight control software, embedded systems, software architecture, and cloud infrastructure.

Tom Plummer, CEO of Wingcopter, says, “Our team is driven by tackling the world’s challenges through scalable innovations. This chapter of our journey is dedicated to setting up logistical highways in the sky that leapfrog traditional means of transportation. Poor infrastructure has always been a barrier, especially for healthcare provision, impacting billions of lives – a situation further exacerbated by COVID-19. With the support and powerful networks of our investors, we are taking a huge step closer to fulfilling our vision of creating efficient and sustainable drone solutions that improve and save lives everywhere.”

Startups – Silicon Canals

[JumpCloud in Help Net Security] JumpCloud raises $200M to expand product development, marketing, and sales globally

JumpCloud announced that it has added $ 25 million to its Series E financing, closing the oversubscribed growth round at $ 100 million. Funds managed by BlackRock led the round, with additional investment from an affiliate of H.I.G. Growth Partners, OurCrowd, and participation from existing investor, General Atlantic.

Read more here.

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OurCrowd Blog

Relocation startup Perchpeek raises €2.2 million to help employees work anywhere

British startup Perchpeek, the AI-powered relocation agent, is today announcing it has raised around €2.2 million, led by early-growth experts Episode 1. Founded in 2018 as a UK property marketplace, Perchpeek was originally dubbed ‘Tinder for renting’, but has since developed into a completely unique, global relocation service that is transforming the relocation industry. The Perchpeek…

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