Danish startup Layerise has raised €1.1 million from German VC E.ventures, Falcon.io founder Ulrik Bo Larsen and Danish VC Heartcore. Founded in 2019, Layerise fills the gap that exists between the end user and the manufacturer of physical products. It acts as a digital assistant for physical products, allowing the buyer to find deeper information…
Hello, I'm a 18 year old entrepreneur and I built my virtual platform's MVP from scratch. I'm pretty inexperienced so please bare with me 🙂 As I near the end of the development process, I've begun thinking of what comes next in terms of how to launch it and well… I'm a bit clueless.
I'm really not sure at all how to go on about this. I was thinking of doing the pre-launch campaign for 2-3 months though as I said I'm not too clear on how to go on about launch/where to look for what to do. My goal is to get 10,000 users signed up at least after launch (that's the limit I've set for how many spaces I have available)
My plan was within those months would be to do as much as I can to get exposure for the coming soon platform… and then open it after (though allowing sign-ups before). But is that really it? It seems bland just to go and advertise it… I feel I'm missing something but not sure what.
I have seen how some startups get going and it seems they really document the development process before launch (updates on dev. and so on), and that's also something I'm mixed up on. Before I even have an usable product ready, should I begin getting it around? I was thinking I shouldn't begin going around until I have a very set product (as in, no huge updates to make). Should I perhaps, before I am completely done with the platform, start marketing it to get the name buzzing around a bit?
TLDWR Basically when do you know you're ready to start displaying your product to the world prior to officially launching it? Should it be when you have a very set product? Or when you have the basic structure down, with updates on extra features being added until the launch date?
How did you know there was a problem worth solving? From there, what was your process?
I find every seemingly good idea that I have, there is a company I’ve never heard of that raised $ X million in 2016 and turns out to be killing it. Are you all subject matter experts/domain experts? I’m a SWE at a niche startup, so I’m not exposed to problems that non-SWEs face. How are you finding these problems?
Say you were going to save $ 100k over the next year, all the while discovering that problem you’re going to solve. How would you do it? How do you get that “problem insight”?
We all know one of the early game rules of opening a business or building a product is “talk to your users”. Sometimes it is difficult to get feedback when we are very early in the game. Places like Reddit work, but sometimes even on Reddit it is difficult to gather 50-100 people to review your product.
Watching Y combinator videos, I often hear they talk about posting the product on Product Hunt. Besides PH, what are the places we can get feedback for our product/service? Hacker news? Please share the ones you know and let’s make a list.
Although the pandemic situation hasn’t completely eased all over the world, the European tech startups are gradually picking up pace. After being initially hit by this global health crisis, several tech startups all over Europe have started securing investments that will help them grow further.
European tech startups weekly
As a part of a weekly roundup, here is a list of some of the most important tech startups that have hit the headlines in Europe this week.
Sennder acquires Uber’s European freight business
Berlin-based Sennder, a digital freight forwarder has acquired the European freight business of Uber in an all-stock deal. This way, Uber becomes a minority shareholder in this company. The agreement includes a shipper referral program, wherein Sennder will refer shippers looking for freight brokerage or other similar services.
Sennder was founded in 2016 by David Nothacker, Julius Koehler, and Nicolaus Schefenacker. It is a logistics platform and marketplace connecting commercial shippers and smaller freight carriers. The digital trucking company digitalises the truck-loading-shipping ecosystem by providing mobile apps to drivers, fleet management tools to carrier managers and logistics management solutions to shippers.
3D and VR tool product design
London-based Gravity Sketch, a product design and collaboration platform recently announced that it secured nearly €3.1M seed funding led by Kindred Capital. Others to take part in the funding round include Point Nine Capital and previous investors Forward Partners. Gravity Sketch will use this investment to scale up its platform and become entirely hardware-agnostic. This way, it will be able to make its complete suite of tools available to creative professionals and businesses alike.
Established in 2014 by Oluwaseyi Sosanya, Daniela Paredes and Daniel Thomas, Gravity Sketch works with the objective to revolutionise how physical products are designed, developed and made available. It is one of the leaders in the digital design industry providing intuitive 3D design software to create, collaborate and review in a new way.
On-device cybersecurity solution
Israeli IoT cybersecurity company Sternum bagged $ 6.5M (nearly €5.5M) Series A funding led by Square Peg, along with existing investors such as Merle Hinrich, btov Partners. A slew of private investors including Eyal Shavit, a Boston-based entrepreneur and Udi Mokady, CyberArk founder and CEO, also participated in this round. The investment will be used to expand the company’s R&D team and develop its go-to-market strategy.
Based out of Tel Aviv, Sternum was founded by Natali Tshuva in 2018. The company’s security solution can be put directly into the binary code of the device and integrated into a range of devices including high-end, low-end, old, new, Linux and RTOS-based devices without any major changes to the existing code.
Smart city operator
London-based smart city operator Connexin pocketed £80M (nearly €87.6M) funding in an attempt to keep up with the demand in the UK. An Australian independent infrastructure manager, Whitehelm Capital bought a minority stake in the company. It has also been announced that it has earmarked further capital for investment via the partnership.
Connexin founded by Furqan Alamgir and Alex Yeung in 2006 develops IoT and smart city solutions for a wide range of urban issues including water and electricity usage, flood prevention, waste management, mobility and parking. Last year, the smart city operator delivered UK’s first purpose-built Smart City OS for Hull City Council.
Any company can become a fintech
Paris-based banking platform Swan has bagged €5M seed funding in a round led by Creandum and Bpifrance. The company will use the investment to meet strict financial regulations and acquire its first clients. Furthermore, Swan expects to witness specialised banking for vertical markets especially for e-commerce, dentists, etc.
The French banking platform Swan debuted in 2019 by Nicolas Benady, Mathieu Breton, and Nicolas Saison. The company has built a product that makes it possible for any company to become a fintech. Any business can use the API of this French startup to handle their own payments and provide branded bank IBANs, accounts, and cards.
Healthtech startup to expand NHS virtual outpatient services
UK healthcare startup Medefer has secured £10M (nearly €11M) funding led by Nickleby Capital. The company will use the investment to scale its presence and make it perfectly positioned to tackle the potential 10 million patient backlog, which has grown during the COVID-19 era.
Founded by NHS consultants Dr. Bahman Nedjat-Shokouhi and Dr. Andrew Millar, Medefer is a CQC regulated healthcare provider. The digital platform connects general physicians, consultants, and patients. Its outpatient operating system manages the entire patient pathway ranging from referral to triage to diagnosis, investigation, and discharge sans the necessity for physical outpatient appointments.
Upcoming big data platform for esports
Berlin-based Bayes – formerly DOJO Madness – an esports startup that makes use of big data to build various tools and services has secured $ 6M (nearly €5.1M) from Pohlad Family investment group, Sony Innovation Fund, Fertitta Capital, and other sports as well as media investors. The investment will be used to expand its platform further.
Bayes was established in 2015 by Jens Hilgers, Markus Fuhrmann, and Christian Gruber. The German holding company owns two business units – Bayes Esports Solutions, a co-venture with Sportradar that distributes esports data to customers, and Shadow, which develops analytical tools for tournaments and esports teams.
Fort Ross’ third venture capital fund
Fort Ross Ventures, a Russia-connected VC firm has announced its third fund called Fort Ross Seed Fund. This new venture capital firm has already received support from Sberbank. The fund intends to invest in nearly 200 startups at the seed and Series A stages. And, it will also support the international expansion of these companies.
Fort Ross Investment Director Egor Abramov confirmed that the VC fund will be more focused on Russia and the neighbouring CIS countries than the other previous Fort Ross Funds. He believes that the investor composition of the VC fund could be quite close to that of SBT Ventures II fund.
Platform for public affairs
Danish startup Ulobby, which offers a platform for public affairs and stakeholder management has secured €1M funding that will be used to expand into the Nordics and accelerate its presence in Brussels as it is a key market for the company. With expansion plans in the Nordics, this startup intends to become a market leader in Northern Europe in two years.
Founded in 2016 by Bertel Torp and Anders Kopp Jensen, Ulobby is a SaaS platform for public affairs and stakeholder management. Currently, the company employs 18 staff with offices in Brussels and Copenhagen. It aims to make the lobbying process more accessible and transparent for companies and organisations that want to comprehend and influence the political agenda.
London-based money-saving app
London-based Chip has secured a total of £10M (nearly €11M) Series A funding from the crowd and government-backed Future Fund. This crowd amount was secured in less than 48 hours from 6,420 investors via Crowdcube. Chip will use the investment to accelerate growth and improve the capacity and infrastructure to provide access to more deposits, evolve to investment funds, and launch their premium account dubbed ChipX.
Founded by Simon Rabin in 2016, Chip is a clever app, which automatically lets you save for your goals. The free app is available on both Android and iOS platforms and uses Artificial Intelligence to decide what to save. The app sends you a notification indicating how much money you want to put aside for savings along with an option to cancel it any time.
Main image picture credits: Ulobby
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British startup Gravity Sketch, a product design and collaboration platform, today announces an approx. €3.1 million seed investment led by Kindred Capital with participation from Point Nine Capital and previous investors Forward Partners. The round brings the total amount raised by Gravity Sketch to €4.5 million, in addition to the initial grant funding from InnovationRCA…
The New York-based startup HowGood, which provides a sustainability database for consumer product ingredients, is publicly launching its product Latis and has already signed an initial customer with Danone North America, the company said.
The company said that its Latis tool can be used to determine the impact of any ingredient or product against environmental and social metrics, like biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, labor risk and animal welfare.
“Consumers no longer just want the best product at the best price,” said Alexander Gillett, CEO and founder of HowGood, in a statement. “Today’s shoppers place value on protecting the environment and ensuring that the brands they support align with their personal values.”
Aggregating information from academic papers, industry findings, research from non-governmental organizations and other sources, Latis can be used by product development groups inside corporations to assess the implications of using certain ingredients.
Because the information is only used by the company to inform product development, there are no guarantees that product developers won’t use toxic or environmentally damaging products — they’ll just have the opportunity to be aware of how those products effect biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, labor risk, and animal welfare.
The company currently has data on more than 33,000 ingredients, chemicals and materials, according to a statement. HowGood is backed by investors including FirstMark, Great Oaks Venture Capital, High Line Venture Partners, Joanne Wilson and Contour Venture Partners.
“Having an impact assessment tool for our product portfolio is raising the sustainability awareness of our product developers and brand teams,” said Takoua Debeche, SVP of Research and Innovation at Danone, in a statement. “This holistic tool is critical to improving the sustainability impact of our brands.”
I often see the suggestion of building a landing page to validate a product idea: build the page, pretend as if the product is almost ready, and either have the user enter an email for a notification when it's done, or even go so far as to have them "checkout", only to find it's not available yet.
My problem is these both feel a little misleading, and don't accurately reflect the state of the project. What's the best way to validate a B2C SaaS with broad appeal without misleading the end user?