[Varo Money in Wired] Making banking better for billions with next-gen technology

By partnering with Temenos, Varo, which launched in 2017, has been able to quickly develop and launch a range of products and bring them to market in record time. Crucially, it has offered innovative digital banking services to the 180 million Americans previously underserved by the traditional system.

Read more here.

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Next-gen construction material startup from Finland, Betolar, lands €2 million for a circular economy

Finnish startup Betolar is a new materials startup specialised in new geopolymer based carbon neutral construction materials for the construction industry and circular economy. The company has just announced closing a €2 million funding round, led by Voima Ventures, and joined by Taaleri Sijoitus Oy and Valve Ventures.  Increasing CO2 levels are affecting nature, food…

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Swiss startup Typewise raises €1 million to grow its next-gen smart phone keyboard

Swiss-based startup Typewise has raised €1 million in a seed round from Swiss investors to develop the future of human-machine interaction through on-device, AI-powered text  prediction technology. Its first product, Typewise Keyboard, reduces typos by 4X compared to other keyboards while offering full user privacy. The app has already been downloaded over 450,000 times in…

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Next-gen skincare, silk without spiders and pollution for lunch: Meet the biotech startups pitching at IndieBio’s Demo Day

Biotech can often, and sometimes literally, fly over our heads. However, the pandemic has shown an increased need for investment and focus on solutions that work on human and planetary health. For IndieBio, a science and biotech accelerator run by VC firm SOSV, this unprecedented year offered high stakes and new challenges.

Today and tomorrow, the biotech accelerator is hosting its twice-annual demo day.

Starting in 2015, IndieBio has provided resources to founders solving complex challenges with biotech, from fake meat to sustainability. Over the years, the accelerator has created a portfolio of biotech companies valued at over $ 3.2 billion, including companies like Memphis Meats, which develops cultured meat from animal cells; NotCo, a plant-based food brand; and Catalog, which uses organisms for data storage.

As part of the accelerator, each participating company receives $ 250,000 in capital, numerous other services and access to lab space. In July, the founder and head of IndieBio, Arvind Gupta, left his position to pursue a role at Mayfield. While Gupta remains an adviser, Po Bronson took the role as the new managing director.

Bronson was immediately put to the test. This year, the program expanded from operating solely in San Francisco to also create a cohort based in New York. It also doubled the amount of companies it invested in, bringing this cohort to 20 companies.

As you can imagine, lockdowns ultimately forced founders to delay key lab work in the beginning of the pandemic. Eventually, founders were able to partner with universities, contract research organizations or other biotech accelerators to begin their research, says Maya Lockwood, the head of investor relations at SOSV. The NYC class received a “golden ticket” for free lab space come November.

And these dynamics make this cohort all the more fascinating to dive into.

Watch the New York Stream here, which will happen on Tuesday October 27 from 1:00-3:00pm ET.

Watch the San Francisco stream here, which will happen on Wednesday October 28 from 10:00-12:00pm PT.

For those who can’t tune in, here’s a list of all the companies presenting in New York and San Francisco over the next two days.

San Francisco cohort

Reazent: Founded by Sumit Verma, Reazent has discovered and patented a way to manipulate soil bacteria into triggering crops to grow more. It works with 116 strains, from kale to potatoes, and wants to dig into the market of organic agricultural land.

seedlings sprouts plants

Image Credits: Witthaya Prasongsin / Getty Images

Kraken Sense: Founded by Nisha Sarveswaran, Kraken Sense has created an in-line autonomous device to measure the concentration of pathogens in large-scale food and water systems. The product can be deployed in farms and kitchens and uses refillable single-use cartridges.

Advanced Microbubbles: The startup, led by Jameel Feshitan, has created a platform that helps practitioners deliver drugs to complex and difficult tumors. The company collaborated with NIH NIDA and uses proprietary bubbles to deliver chemotherapeutics. Currently, Microbubbles is working to solve two types of cancers: neuroblastoma and pancreatic cancer.

Cybele Microbiome: CEO Nicole Scott has created a direct-to-consumer skincare line with a focus on prebiotics. The line uses ingredients that work in tandem with the skin microbiome, even triggering it to express natural scents.

Ivy Natal: Ivy Natal is developing a process to harvest healthy human egg cells from skin cells. CEO Colin Bortner is working on a treatment for infertility and plans to enable families to have genetic children who can’t otherwise with current solutions.

Microgenesis: Led by Gabriela Gutierrez, Microgenesis has created a proprietary test and nutraceutical regiment (including probiotics) to help women who struggle with infertility get pregnant. The company worked with a cohort of 287 mothers, and with its product over 75% of patients became pregnant.

Image Credits: Westend61 / Getty Images

AsimicA: Led by Nikolai Mushnikov, Asmicia has created a new way to bring stem cells to microbes. The company could lengthen and grow the yields of bio-manufacturing, and is currently working to select the right fermentation partner.

Liberum: CEO Aiden Tinafar is working to disrupt what they think could be a $ 400 billion market opportunity: recombinant proteins. Liberum has created a protein printer that could cut down the creation of custom recombinant proteins from weeks to a few hours.

Khepra: Led by Julie Kring, Khepra is leveraging fuel production as a way to store extra renewable energy. The company is building a series of reactors that could take your old plastic bottles and cardboard boxes, extract chemicals and fuels, and sell that fuel to refineries.

Carbix: Carbix, led by Quincy Sammy, takes enriched CO2 and converts it into raw material that can then be repurposed into industrial products.

Spintext: CEO Alex Greenhalgh is creating a new, scalable way of making silk. The company mimics spider spinning and uses a natural protein, with an end product that they see as better than premium silk.

New York cohort

Biomage: CEO Adam Kurkiewicz wants to make single-cell sequencing data more accessible for research biologistics. The technology could help scientists explore human cells to enhance medicine and drug discovery.

Diptera.ai: Vic Levitin is creating a scalable, affordable and sustainable way to fight mosquitoes and their diseases.

Cayuga Biotech: Damien Kudela, CEO of Cayuga Biotech, has created a drug that could induce clots and stop severe bleeding situations.

Brightcure: Chiara Heide, CEO of Brightcure, has created a bioactive cream that uses natural bacterium to restore a woman’s natural microbiome.

Multus Media: CEO Cai Linton is producing an ingredient that hopes to make cultivated meat production affordable and accessible.

Image Credits: Getty Images

BioFeyn: The company uses nanotechnologies based on human medicine to deliver nutrients and disease prevention to fish. CEO Timothy Bouley is working to make eating healthy fish a sustainable practice.

Halomine: Ted Eveleth, CEO, wants to turn every surface into an antimicrobial surface. Halomine’s product, Halofilm, can be used in tandem with any household bleach cleaner to enhance disinfection techniques.

Allied Microbiota: Lauralynn Kourtz, CEO of Allied Microbiota, wants to use natural microbes to eliminate toxic waste. The company uses bacteria to clean contaminated soils.

Scindo: Scindo, led by Gustaf Hemberg, uses enzymes to make plastic biodegradable.

Startups – TechCrunch

Isotropic Systems Signs Contract with SES GS to Initiate Multi-Orbit Trials of Next-Gen Multi-beam Antenna Technologies for US Military – automobilsport.com

Isotropic Systems Signs Contract with SES GS to Initiate Multi-Orbit Trials of Next-Gen Multi-beam Antenna Technologies for US Military  automobilsport.com
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

Isotropic Systems Signs Contract with SES GS to Initiate Multi-Orbit Trials of Next-Gen Multi-beam Antenna Technologies for US Military – automobilsport.com

Isotropic Systems Signs Contract with SES GS to Initiate Multi-Orbit Trials of Next-Gen Multi-beam Antenna Technologies for US Military  automobilsport.com
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

Isotropic Systems Signs Contract with SES GS to Initiate Multi-Orbit Trials of Next-Gen Multi-beam Antenna Technologies for US Military – automobilsport.com

Isotropic Systems Signs Contract with SES GS to Initiate Multi-Orbit Trials of Next-Gen Multi-beam Antenna Technologies for US Military  automobilsport.com
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

Estonian fintech EvoEstate raises €320K to grow its next-gen investment platform globally

Today Tallinn-based EvoEstate announces a €140K pre-seed extension to close its €320K pre-seed round. The next-gen investment platform has been backed by Lithuanian Startup Wise Guys, a Hong Kong-based stealth investment fund, and business angels from France and the Baltics.

Founded in 2019, EvoEstate is a real estate crowdfunding aggregator that makes investing in property easy by offering the lowest investment amount of €50. EvoEstate founders are investing alongside their clients and sharing the investment risks by having skin in the game, currently it amounts to €150K.

This investor-centric approach has made EvoEstate a preferred choice for real estate investments in Europe. Despite being a young industry player, the platform caters to the needs of 2500 investors from 50 countries. Within one year of its operation, EvoEstate has helped co-finance 178 real estate projects from 15 countries. The current average annual return rate of the repaid projects is 12.64%.

While many of the European P2P and crowdfunding platforms have been experiencing heavy delays in interest payments, EvoEstate’s portfolio has remained intact by not exceeding the 3% mark of late interest payments. During the all-European lockdown, the average XIRR for repaid projects stood at 12.6% while projects from 4 countries were repaid.

EvoEstate has recently introduced risk scoring models for property investments. They are powered by machine learning algorithms and analyze thousands of property crowdfunding deals that have been carried out throughout Europe during the last decade. Additionally, EvoEstate runs scoring models on its originators to identify the risk level of the environment the deal is structured in. In the marketplace, investors can find real data on late payments of each originator. These features enable retail investors to engage in institutional investing experience.

Due to its innovative business model and rapid progress, EvoEstate has been recognized as the best Fintech business in the Baltic states by Techchill and named one of top 10 startups by Emerging Europe.

The good news is that with the newly-raised capital, EvoEstate will be able to go beyond Europe and start providing its services on a global scale. However, according to EvoEstate’s founders, the funds will be allocated to serve a few purposes.

With the growing user base of the platform comes the necessity for business expansion. Although EvoEstate operates from the Baltic States, it incorporated the approach of going global from the very first days. Its customer base includes only 5% of local clients, while 95% of users come from Western Europe and international financial hubs. Seeing the increased demand for diversified real estate investment options, EvoEstate aims to become accessible to investors from new geographical areas. Therefore, part of the raised funds will be spent on further expansion and securing the required financial licenses.

EU-Startups

Tech startups weekly: AI sex therapy, a chip for diabetes patients, next-gen solar PV panels

The European tech startup world has started sizzling with activities after the lockdown that lasted several weeks. As soon as businesses bounced back adapting to the new normal set by the COVID-19 pandemic, several tech startups have started securing investments that will be channeled towards their growth and expansion. This activity makes it evident that the investors are still hoping to see development and growth despite the tough times.

European tech startups weekly

Here, we have listed a roundup of the interesting events that happened in the European tech startup arena this week.

Picture credits: Blueheart

London startup wants to ease access to sex therapy

London-based sextech startup Blueheart has bagged €1 million in a seed funding round led by PROfounders Capital alongside Calm/Storm. The sex therapy app is a pioneer providing AI-powered sex and relationship therapy that is designed by experts using latest scientific research. The startup wants to democratise access to high-quality help and make scientifically-proven and safe sex therapy accessible to anyone facing issues.

Blueheart was founded by Robbie Coomber and Sachin Raoul in 2019 with the aim to go beyond wellness support. The company works with the ambition to provide evidence-based therapy sessions that will resolve a slew of sexual issues that are seen as taboo.

Picture credits: Revolut

Challenger bank extends Series D funding

The London-based fintech startup Revolut just secured $ 80 million (nearly € million) as an extension to the Series D funding round that was announced back in February this year. This new Investment comes from TSG Consumer Partners. Back in February, Revolut secured a $ 500 million (nearly €420 million) investment led by TCV that took its valuations to $ 5.5 billion. With the latest investment, the challenger bank will use the investment to add new features in the U.S. as well as rollout it’s banking operations all over Europe.

Recently, the UK-based challenger bank Revolut founded by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko in 2015 announced that it will launch an Open Banking feature in Ireland. Revolut’s Open Banking feature lets the retail customers in Ireland connect their Permanent TSB, AIB, Ulster Bank, and Bank of Ireland bank accounts to Revolut. It has been built in partnership with TrueLayer, a leading provider of financial APIs. The objective of the challenger bank is to help people manage their financial life in an easy, quick and convenient manner.

Picture credits: Tandem

Berlin-based language buddy app wants to capitalise on growth

The Berlin-based app for practicing a second language, Tandem has closed a £4.5 million (nearly € million) Series A funding led by European VC firm Brighteye Ventures along with participation from Trind Ventures, GPS Ventures, and Rubylight Limited. The company wants to use the investment to capitalise on the recent growth opportunities during the boom in e-learning set by COVID-19. As the pandemic crisis doesn’t seem to cease anytime soon, there appears to be a surge in e-learning.

The Tandem app connects users with others who are trying to learn their own language to enable mutual practice via text, phone chat or video call. It incorporates formal learning components by enabling access to tutors. Also, this app lets learners get better by practicing to chat with a native speaker of the language.

Picture credits: Thought Machine

Fintech app secures Series B funding extension

UK-based fintech startup Thought Machine has secured an additional $ 42 million (nearly €35 million) additional funding for the Series B it raised back in March. With this investment, the funding round is all set to close at $ 125 million (nearly €105 million) early in August. The investment has been led by Eurazeo Growth along with British Patient Capital and SEB, a Thought Machine customer. On the other hand, the initial Series B funding round was led by Draper Esprit, Lloyds Banking Group, Backed, IQ Capital, and Playfair Capital.

Thought Machine was founded in 2014 by Paul Taylor, an ex-Google engineer. The London-based company wants to grow in the APAC region and intends to transform the retail banking market with cloud-native technology. Vault is a cloud-native core system built by this startup, which is designed for banks constrained by legacy tech.

Picture credits: Indigo Diabetes

Groundbreaking diabetes device on cards

Belgian medtech startup Indigo Diabetes that develops medical solutions using nanophotonics has raised €38 million Series B funding led by Fund+ along with participation from Ackermans & van Haaren, imec.xpand, Capricorn Digital Growth Fund, QBICII, Titan Baratto and existing investors including Capricorn ICT Arkiv. This investment will be used to finance the impending clinical study phase and the development of its ‘Multi-Biomarker Sensor’ for those who are suffering from diabetes.

0Established by Danaë Delbeke in 2016, Indigo Diabetes has come up with a sensor for diabetes patients. This small sensor chip is designed to be inserted under the skin to continuously measure ketones and glucose. And, it is also capable of detecting life-threatening ailments quickly. This invisible sensor is claimed to enhance the overall quality of life for diabetes patients.

Picture credits: VoltStorage

Innovative greentech startup eyes expansion

VoltStorage that develops and produces solar energy storage systems for private homes has secured €6 million funding led by Korys, Bayern Kapital, EIT InnoEnergy and existing investors. The innovative greentech company wants to use the investment to create energy storage systems that are essential for the transition to 100% renewable energies. The company plans to double its team and increase its production space in Munich three times by the end of 2021.

Established by Jakob Bitner, Michael Peither and Felix Kiefl in 2916, Munich-based VoltStorage is the world’s only home energy storage provider that relies on Vanadium Redox Flow (VRF) battery technology. Eventually, the VoltStorage energy storage systems are free from rare raw materials and are completely recyclable. Also, these are 100% non-flammable and can be charged and discharged sans losing the capacity. It is touted that VoltStorage creates the much-needed ecological alternative to the lithium technology.

Picture credits: Insolight

Solar modules with high efficiency to become mainstream

Insolight is a Swiss tech company that develops the next-generation solar PV panels for the global market. Now, the startup has secured 5 CHF Mio (nearly €4.64 million) in a Series A funding round led by Investiere , with co-investors Zürcher Kantonalbank, Swiss Immo Lab and a number of private business angels. The investment will enable Insolight to start producing and selling the solar modules. Notably, the production will be outsourced to external manufacturers.

Founded by Laurent Coulot, Mathieu Ackermann, and Florian Gerlich, Insolight intends to sell the first modules to large solar energy corporates for applications in agrivoltaics. The Insolight team works with the mission to deliver the modules to the market. With its next-generation solar modules, the company wants to contribute to a sustainable future.

Main image picture credits: Insolight

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[SixGill in PR Newswire] Sixgill and King & Union Join Forces for Next-Gen Threat Intelligence Visualization

 Sixgill, a leading threat intelligence company, has partnered with King & Union to provide users of its Avalon Cyber Analysis Platform with contextual and actionable insights to help them proactively protect their organizations.

Read more here.

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