It is a silly (meta) question, and my gut says it is a bad idea. But, would you launch your product listing site on a competitors product listing site? And even pay for it? Somewhere, it makes sense because this is where most of your audience hangs out. On the other hand, it feels dangerous and could maybe harm your project? Or, waste your money.
Today Contingent, the AI-powered supplier risk and resilience platform, announces an approx. €1.9 million seed funding round led by Connect Ventures. The round also includes participation from Seedcamp, Concentric and Angel Invest Ventures. Contingent is a cutting edge platform that leverages AI to quickly reduce the enormous burden of detecting, mapping and monitoring third-party risk…
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With the increasing adoption of urban mobility solutions such as e-scooters and last-mile delivery services, access to already scarce public space has become a major challenge for cities.
Mobility data platform raises €1.8M
Now, with an aim to improve collaboration between cities and shared mobility operators, as well as to promote more efficient use of public space, Paris-based mobility data platform, Vianova, has raised €1.8M in its Seed round of funding led by RATP Capital Innovation and Contrarian Ventures.
Use of the funds
The raised capital will help the company to expand its European footprint and target new, adjacent markets.
Vianova claims it will integrate more mobility modes such as carsharing, robot taxis, drones, etc., and develop new use cases within the transport ecosystem, such as new connections to MaaS initiatives.
Initiatives on MaaS are progressing mainly in the EU, including Finland. Such initiatives are characterised by government policy for promoting the use of public transport and linking with private-sector technologies against the background of advances in ICT and IoT.
The Vianova Platform
The company was founded in 2018 by Thibaud Febvre and Thibault Castagne.
According to Vianova, it is building the digital layer between cities and mobility operators to foster collaboration, and jointly facilitate a modal shift toward more sustainable and accessible modes of transport.
The platform helps cities digest mobility data and provides insights on usage patterns, distribution, market evolution, as well as popular riding areas. Thus, cities can better comprehend and integrate new mobility solutions by taking more informed urban planning and transportation policy decisions.
The startup is a third-party data platform, facilitating mobility data sharing between 10 cities and 20 mobility operators across Europe. The company claims that with its API suite and policy knowledge, it helps cities make better, data-driven decisions about transport and urban planning.
Currently, the platform is making over 2 million trips per month, with city partners including Brussels, Helsinki, Zurich, and Stockholm. Besides, Vianova also recently joined, what it claims will become the world’s largest urban logistics and curbside management project, working with the Paris Region.
Other big mobility operators, including Bird, Voi, and Bolt, have also chosen to partner with Vianova to improve the compliance and operational efficiency of their fleets, and to enable new business opportunities.
Thibault Castagne, co-founder & CEO of Vianova, says, “Our city partners now consider data as an essential tool of their governance, and our close collaboration on this subject has led to the development of increasingly advanced use cases. Mobility operators also understand the major role that cities can play in their development and success.”
What can cities do with mobility data?
According to Castagne, the need for good and timely data is the key if city operators are to dynamically react to potential traffic incidents. Notably, qualitative mobility data is critical for cities to be able to:
- manage enforcement of transport regulations in real-time
- identify and enable timely intervention in incidents on the transport networks
- provide advice back to travellers on the real-time status of the network and nudging their transport choices
- measure the effectiveness of the current transport system’s operations and for developing long term transport models and forecasts
- enable penalties or other charges to be allocated to operators as agreed within the city
Image credit: Vianova
COVID-19 caused plenty of issues for multiple businesses. However, some sectors experienced unprecedented growth as people work from home and need everything delivered to them. Home delivery of food is one such service that gained momentum during this pandemic. UK-based HungryPanda is a food delivery platform that has raised a notable €58.47M in its latest funding. The latest funding round comes soon after the €16.7M the startup raised, earlier this year.
New investors bank in on HungryPanda
The latest €58.47M funding round for HungryPanda was led by the investment company Kinnevik, which invested a major chunk of €29.2M in the food delivery startup. Previous investors such as 83North and Felix Capital also participated in the funding round.
The two investors share the experience of building sector-leading platforms including Wolt, Deliveroo and Just Eat. Other investors joining this round include Piton Capital, VNV Global and Burda Principal Investment.
According to the company, it will invest in growing its market share in the US, Canada and Australia to cement its market leader position while exploring new business opportunities and expanding its market offering. This will be supported by investment in technology and talent with plans to double the team to 1,000, claims HungryPanda.
“This has been an exceptional year of growth for HungryPanda. We can launch in new cities in just two weeks and have established ourselves as the market leader due to our laser focus on developing the best service for our customers and providing high-quality execution,” says Eric Liu, CEO and Founder of HungryPanda.
“The new investment further cements us as the leading specialist food delivery service for the Asian market overseas and will be used to double down in our existing markets,” he further adds.
The company tells Silicon Canals that, in Europe, HungryPanda will still be relatively UK-focused.
Started local, gone global
The food delivery platform HungryPanda started its business in London, where its headquarters are currently situated. The company was founded in 2017 by Eric Liu, a computer science graduate at the University of Nottingham. Liu faced issues in getting hold of authentic Chinese food on-demand, and thus the idea for HungryPanda was born. The company has grown exponentially, about 300%, in the last three years with a total staff of 500 people.
HungryPanda previously raised €16.7M in a funding round that happened in February this year. 83North and Felix Capital led the previous round, and the amount was directed towards hiring, product development and global expansion, particularly in the United States.
The company differentiates itself by offering ‘authentic Chinese food’ on its platform, which is tailored for Chinese populations overseas. It also accepts payment methods like Alipay and WeChat Pay, and uses WeChat for marketing.
According to the company, in 2020 HungryPanda continued its fast expansion and is now operating in six different countries, across 47 different cities across Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the UK and the US. Supported by strong unit economics, the business claims to be already profitable in the UK and other major cities such as New York, with a clear path to profitability in more locations.
Image credits: HungryPanda
DENSO to use Foretellix’s Foretify platform and the newly announced ADAS & Highway solution to advance safety of DENSO’s next-generation products
Read more here.
Two organisations facilitating investment in both startups and scaleups – BeAngels and investiere have joined hands to speed up the process of fund-raising and the development of European startups. These companies intend to create new success stories in Europe and let investors access a new asset class in the private equity sector. As a result of this exclusive partnership, BeAngels will offer Belgian investors access to the VC-centric platform developed by investiere.ch.
Enables cross-border investments!
Currently, it is tedious to create champions by investing in Europe, especially in select countries. While most seed investments are made locally, it is important to be able to finance companies over several phases of development while they expand internationally. As Europe is fragmented, the flow of capital is hampered by national borders and other constraints that sometimes does not pave the way for cross-border investment, according to the press release issued by both the organisations.
With this cross-border partnership, BeAngels and investiere.ch look forward to promoting startups going international and the creation of European champions. “With its innovative approach to investing in private equity and its understanding of the mechanics of venture capital financing, investiere.ch seemed to us to be an exceptional partner for investors who wish to further diversify their investment portfolio in the real economy in multiple European countries. Access to investiere’s financing platform becomes, moreover, an asset for the companies financed via our ecosystem because it gives them the possibility to finance the industrialisation and growth phases” says Claire Munck, CEO of BeAngels.
Invests finances starting from €10K
With investiere.ch as its exclusive partner, BeAngels will be able to make cross-border investments in Series A and Series B rounds. As a part of the partnership, both the organisations will identify the most promising startups, analyse them and present them to their online investors so that they can decide where to invest. Apparently, they will be able to offer a quality deal flow that lets investors participate in several rounds of investment starting from €10,000 per round. And, the financing will be completely digital as well.
Those companies that raise funds will benefit from financing ranging from a few hundred thousand to several millions of euros. Right now, BeAngels and investiere.ch will invest in companies located in Switzerland, Germany, and France.
“The partnership with BeAngels demonstrates the strong desire in Europe to work together and to innovate in the field of financing startups. Startups that are financed via our platform will be able to reach an even wider, international audience of investors. The BeAngels network will be able to offer its members an even greater project pipeline outside Belgium,” says Chris Gay-Crosier, head of International Investments at investiere.
A heads up about new partners
BeAngels offers investors with four different financing formulas and supports a network of business angels in fund-raising and investing in private equity ranging from pre-seed to pre-Series A rounds. With investiere.ch as its partner, it will extend up to Series B rounds. Currently, the network has over 370 affiliate members and is growing by 15% per year on the recruitment of new business angels. It facilitates between 30 and 40 fund-raising events per year and aims to double this figure thanks to this growth lever.
Talking about investiere.ch, it brings together 4,600 private investors on its platform and has made over 100 investments – worth over €120M – of which about 20 are outside Switzerland. In Belgium, it has invested in OncoDNA and S-Biomedic. Founded in 2010 by Lukas Weber and Steffen Wagner, investiere is backed by 68 business angels as well as the Zürcher Kantonalbank that took a minority stake in investiere in Summer 2016.
Main image picture credits: BeAngels
Proptech company Metrikus has announced the completion of its Series A funding, bringing its total raised since its founding in 2019 to around €5.6 million. Metrikus provides a smart-buildings software platform that gives owners and occupiers a secure, ‘single-pane-of-glass’ view of the operation and performance of their building, allowing managers to plug in any type…
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Based out of Leuven, Belgium, Cumul.io is a software company in data visualisation, providing a low-code platform for data analysis with seamless integration into other SaaS platforms or applications.
Recently, the Belgian company raised €3.5M funding led by Axeleo Capital, LRM, and SmartFin, who led their previous investment round. The proceeding will be used to continue growing their market presence worldwide with a special focus on Europe and the US.
“We’re taking strong leadership in Europe, driven from our HQ in Leuven and a new office in Genk. To accelerate our global expansion plans, our growing US office will play a key role in gaining traction on the US market. We aim to double the size of the team on our main markets: we are actively hiring a Product Marketer, and planning to hire new team members in sales, marketing, and customer support, both in Europe and the US,” says Karel Callens, CEO at Cumul.io.
A part of the funding will go to accelerating the Belgian company’s product roadmap, which includes an embeddable dashboard editor, and a brand-new query engine, capable of ingesting & analysing large datasets at an unparalleled depth & speed.
Solid roots in Europe and the US
Founded by Haroen Vermylen, Karel Callens, and Thomas De Clerck in 2015, the Belgian company Cumul.io answers the increasing demand for easy and accessible data analysis tools and integrations. Notably, 25% of the revenue is generated from the US market, according to the company.
190 companies from 30 countries
As per the company’s claims, Cumul.io has seen exponential growth since the launch of its embedded analytics offering two years ago. More than 190 SaaS companies across 30 countries are using Cumul.io to speed up the development of analytical features in their application.
As a part of the funding round, Stijn (Stan) Christiaens, co-founder & CTO at Collibra, a well-known software European unicorn, joins Cumul.io as an independent board member.
Eric Burdier, Founding Partner at Axeleo Capital, says “Their user-friendly interface combined with API-first and Cloud-first approaches makes the platform a unique solution in its kind for CTOs and CPOs. Add to this their disruptive usage-based pricing model that eliminates the cost of licenses per end-customer, and you have a guaranteed recipe for success.”
Main image credits: Cumul.io
WeGift, the London-based startup that has built an “incentive marketing” platform that lets businesses easily issue e-gift cards and other digital rewards to customers, has raised $ 8 million in new funding.
Dubbed a Series A extension, the round is led by AlbionVC. Existing investors including Stride.vc, SAP.iO fund and Unilever Ventures also followed on. Following the fundraise, Ed Lascelles, general partner at AlbionVC, is joining the WeGift board.
WeGift says it will use the additional capital to continue building out its “real-time infrastructure” for digital rewards and incentives. This will include investment in building its supply chain through direct integrations with brands, and product development “that serves corporate marketing teams looking to acquire, activate and retain customers at scale”.
Founded in 2016 by Aron Alexander, WeGift wants to digitise the $ 700 billion rewards and incentives industry, which is largely still powered by legacy systems built for physical gift cards.
“Currently payments are a one way street,” WeGift’s Alexander told TechCrunch in June. “Payments technology is built to enable businesses to take money from consumers but it doesn’t let businesses send money to consumers.
“We’ve created a new category of digital non-cash rewards to power customer acquisition, retention and loyalty globally: the ‘Twilio for e-gift cards’”.
To do this, WeGift offers a “cloud-based, open API” platform that allows businesses to automate sending digital incentives. This is combined with analytics, making it easier to track ROI on incentive marketing campaigns.
Since we last covered the startup, WeGift has grown its network to more than 700 brand partners (such as Nike and Uber), across 30 markets and 20 currencies. It claims “hundreds of clients,” such as Vodafone, Samsung, Vouchercodes, Perkbox and Sodexo, among others.
“We’ve become a favourite of the telecom and energy industry with companies like Vodafone, Utilita, LookAfterMyBills and E.ON using our platform,” Alexander tells me.
WeGift is disclosing 317% in annual revenue growth, but isn’t providing actual revenue numbers. Notably, the company has also opened a New York office.
Alloverse, a Swedish VR startup developing an open-source platform for virtual collaboration, has closed their pre-seed round at €250K. The startup has an ambitious mission of building the future of the 3D internet by keeping their technology open, and growing a global community of VR/AR enthusiasts. The idea of the Alloverse was sparked in Nevyn…
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