Munich-based HR scaleup Personio lands €103.5 million Series D funding and a €1.4 billion valuation

Munich-based Personio, the all-in-one HR platform, today announces approx. €103.5 million of new and preemptive Series D funding in an investment round that values the business at around €1.4 billion. The new funding will accelerate further the scaleup’s international expansion, supporting its ambition of becoming Europe’s leading HR platform for SMEs. It follows a strong…

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The post Munich-based HR scaleup Personio lands €103.5 million Series D funding and a €1.4 billion valuation first appeared on EU-Startups.

EU-Startups

Everlywell raises $75M from HealthQuest Capital following its recent $175M Series D round

At-home health testing kit startup Everlywell has raised $ 75 million, following the close of the $ 175 million Series D it announced in December. The new funding comes from HealthQuest Capital, and sees the fund’s founder and managing partners Dr. Garheng Kong join the company’s board of directors. The new funding is a secondary sale, with proceeds used to provide liquidity to existing investors rather than further diluting shares, so the startup’s $ 1.3 billion valuation from December still holds.

HealthQuest Capital’s investment portfolio has a heavy focus on commercialization of diagnostics businesses, and the company’s parent obviously has a board network of partners including hospitals, and healthcare payers, both of which are going to be very strategically useful to Everlywell as it looks to scale its business on the enterprise side.

Austin-based Everlywell develops at-home testing kits for a range of health concerns, including thyroid issues, allergies and food sensitivity. The company also added a COVID-19 home collection test kit in 2020, and that has resulted in a lot of growth – both from the COVID test itself, and for its other range of products, according to Everlywell CEO and founder Julia Cheek, who I spoke to in December for the Series D raise.

Having HealthQuest’s venture arm on board as a partner could help it take its direct-to-consumer business and further develop a complementary enterprise operation. The company already works with employers and health plans, but this should definitely help accelerate that aspect of its business as it looks towards more growth in 2021 and beyond.

Startups – TechCrunch

Harness snags $85M Series C on $1.7B valuation as revenue grows 3x

Harness, the startup that wants to create a suite of engineering tools to give every company the kind of technological reach that the biggest companies have, announced an $ 85 million Series C today on a $ 1.7 billion valuation.

Today’s round comes after 2019’s $ 60 million Series B, which had a $ 500 million valuation, showing a company rapidly increasing in value. For a company that launched just three years ago, this is a fairly remarkable trajectory.

Alkeon Capital led the round with help from new investors Battery Ventures, Citi Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Sorenson Capital and Thomvest Ventures. The startup also revealed a previously unannounced $ 30 million B-1 round raised after the $ 60 million round, bringing the total raised to date to $ 195 million.

Company founder and CEO Jyoti Bansal previously founded AppDynamics, which he sold to Cisco in 2017 for $ 3.7 billion. With his track record, investors came looking for him this round. It didn’t hurt that revenue grew almost 3x last year.

“The business is doing very well, so the investor community has been proactively reaching out and trying to invest in us. We were not actually planning to raise a round until later this year. We had enough capital to get through that, but there were a lot of people wanting to invest,” Bansal told me.

In fact, he said there is so much investor interest that he could have raised twice as much, but didn’t feel a need to take on that much capital at this time. “Overall, the investor community sees the value in developer tools and the DevOps market. There are so many big public companies now in that space that have gone out in the last three to five years and that has definitely created even more validation of this space,” he said.

Bansal says that he started the company with the goal of making every company as good as Google or Facebook when it comes to engineering efficiency. Since most companies lack the engineering resources of these large companies, that’s a tall task, but one he thinks he can solve through software.

The company started by building a continuous delivery module. A cloud cost-efficiency module followed. Last year the company bought open-source continuous integration company Drone.io and they are working on building that into the platform now, with it currently in beta. There are additional modules on the product roadmap coming this year, according to Bansal.

As the company continued to grow revenue and build out the platform in 2020, it also added a slew of new employees, growing from 200 to 300 during the pandemic. Bansal says that he has plans to add another 200 by the end of this year. Harness has a reputation of being a good place to work, recently landing on Glassdoor’s best companies list.

As an experienced entrepreneur, Bansal takes building a diverse company with a welcoming culture very seriously. “Yes, you have to provide equal opportunity and make sure that you are open to hiring people from diverse backgrounds, but you have to be more proactive about it in the sense that you have to make sure that your company environment and company culture feels very welcoming to everyone,” he said.

It’s been a difficult time building a company during the pandemic, adding so many new employees, and finding a way to make everyone feel welcome and included. Bansal says he has actually seen productivity increase during the pandemic, but now has to guard against employee burnout.

He says that people didn’t know how to draw boundaries when working at home. One thing he did was introduce a program to give everyone one Friday a month off to recharge. The company also recently announced it would be a “work from anywhere” company post-COVID, but Bansal still plans on having regional offices where people can meet when needed.

Startups – TechCrunch

Mosaic raises $18.5M Series A from GC to rebuild the CFO software stack

CFOs are the supposed omniscient owners of a company. While the CEO sets strategy, messages, and builds culture, the CFO needs to know everything that it is going on in an organization. Where is revenue coming from, and when will it arrive? How much will new headcount cost, and when do those expenses need to be paid? How can cash flows be managed, and what debt products might help smooth out any discontinuities?

As companies have migrated to the cloud, these questions have gotten harder to answer as other departments started avoiding the ERP as a centralized system-of-record. Worse, CFOs are expected to be more strategic than ever about finance, but can struggle to deliver important forecasts and projections given the lack of availability of key data. CMOs have gotten a whole new software stack to run marketing in the past decade, so why not CFOs?

For three Palantir alums, the hope is that CFOs will turn to their new startup called Mosaic. Mosaic is a “strategic finance platform” that is designed to ingest data from all sorts of systems in the alphabet soup of enterprise IT — ERPs, HRISs, CRMs, etc. — and then provide CFOs and their teams with strategic planning tools to be able to predict and forecast with better accuracy and with speed.

The company was founded in April 2019 by Bijan Moallemi, Brian Campbell and Joe Garafalo, who worked together at Palantir in the company’s finance team for more than 15 years collectively. While there, they saw the company grow from a small organization with a bit more than one hundred people to an organization with thousands of employees, more than one hundred customers as we saw last year with Palantir’s IPO, and incoming revenue from more than a dozen countries.

Mosaic founders Bijan Moallemi, Brian Campbell and Joseph Garafalo. Photos via Mosaic.

Strategically handling finance was critical for Palantir’s success, but the existing tools in its stack couldn’t keep up with the company’s needs. So Palantir ended up building its own. We were “not just cranking away in Excel, which is really the default tool in the toolkit for CFOs, but actually building a technical team that was writing code, [and] building tools to really give speed, access, trust, and visibility across the organization,” Moallemi, who is CEO of Mosaic, described.

Most organizations can’t spare their technical talent to the CFO’s office, and so as the three co-founders left Palantir to other pastures as heads of finance — Moallemi to edtech startup Piazza, Campbell to litigation management startup Everlaw and Garafalo to blockchain startup Axoni — they continued to percolate on how finance could be improved. They came together to do for all companies what they saw at Palantir: build a great software foundation for the CFO’s office. “Probably the biggest advancements to the office of the CFO over the last 10 years has been moving from kind of desktop-based Excel to cloud-based Google Sheets,” Moallemi said.

So what is Mosaic trying to do to rebuild the CFO software stack? It wants to build a platform that is a gateway to connecting the entire company to discuss finance in a more collaborative fashion. So while Mosaic focuses on reporting and planning, the mainstays of the finance office, it wants to open those dashboards and forecasts wider into the company so more people can have insight into what’s going on and also give feedback to the CFO.

Screenshot of Mosaic’s planning function. Photo via Mosaic.

There are a handful of companies like publicly-traded Anaplan that have entered this space in the last decade. Moallemi says incumbents have a couple of key challenges that Mosaic hopes to overcome. First is onboarding, which can take months for some of these companies as consultants integrate the software into a company’s workflow. Second is that these tools often require dedicated, full-time staff to stay operational. Third is that these tools are basically non-visible to anyone outside the CFO office. Mosaic wants to be ready to integrate immediately, widely distributed within orgs, and require minimal upkeep to be useful.

“Everyone wants to be strategic, but it’s so tough to do because 80% of your time is pulling data from these disparate systems, cleaning it, mapping it, updating your Excel files, and maybe 20% of [your time] is actually taking a step back and understanding what the data is telling you,” Moallemi said.

That’s perhaps why it’s target customers are Series B and C-funded companies, who no doubt have much of their data already located in easily-accessible databases. The company started with smaller companies and Moallemi said “We’ve been slowly inching our way up there over the last 12 months or so working with larger, more complex customers.” The company has grown to 30 employees and has revenues in the seven figures (without a sales org according to Moallemi), although the startup didn’t want to be more specific than that.

With all that growth and excitement, the company is attracting investor attention. Today, the company announced that it raised $ 18.5 million of Series A financing led by Trevor Oelschig of General Catalyst, who has led other enterprise SaaS deals into startups like Fivetran, Contentful, and Loom. That round closed at the end of last year.

Mosaic previously raised a $ 2.5 million seed investment led by Ross Fubini of XYZ Ventures in mid-2019, who was formerly an investor at Village Global. Fubini said by email that he was intrigued by the company because the founders had a “shared pain” at Palantir over the state of software for CFOs, and “they had all experienced this deep frustration with the tools they needed to do their jobs.”

Other investors in the Series A included Felicis Ventures, plus XYZ and Village Global.

Along with the financing, the company also announced the creation of an advisory board that includes the current or former CFOs from nine tech companies, including Palantir, Dropbox, and Shopify.

Many functions of business have had a complete transformation in software. Now, Mosaic hopes, it’s the CFO’s time.

Startups – TechCrunch

Berlin-based Sennder crosses €820M in valuation after securing €131.64M in series D funding: Here is all you need to know

Sennder

There are few companies that can continue a growth streak, especially after last year. However, the Berlin-based digital road freight forwarder Sennder is a company that has shown remarkable growth over the years. It is now continuing its growth streak as it raises €131.64M in its series D funding round. With the latest funding, the company’s valuation surpassed €820M.

Funding details

In its latest series D funding round, Sennder raised a notable €131.64M. Participants in the round included all of the company’s existing investors such as Accel, Lakestar, HV Capital, Project A and Scania, among others. With this funding round, the total amount raised by the company till date stands above €214M. The company plans to invest €82.3M from fresh funds into growing and developing its technologies.

The latest investment will also help Sennder expand its 200-people technology team and accelerate its research and development into automation, digitalisation, optimisation and decarbonisation of road freight. It will also channel funds towards expanding its business into new European markets and replicating the success it witnessed with Poste Italiane. Through the Italian joint venture, Sennder is said to have helped the business save 6% of its €100m annual spending and it aims to replicate the same with its other partners. 

David Nothacker, CEO and Co-Founder of sennder, says, “As a data-driven company, we contribute to making the logistics industry fit for a sustainable future; ensuring transparency, flexibility and efficiency in the distribution of goods. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of a digitalised logistics industry. Throughout 2020, we helped our carriers increase their profitability by enhancing operating margins by up to 80% during a challenging time.“

Enabling transparency and efficiency

Sennder is a road freight forwarder that banks on digitisation of the sector to provide its services. The company directly connects enterprise shippers with trucking companies via its proprietary technology, which is said to provide greater transparency and efficiency to both carriers and shippers. It also uses data to optimise route efficiency, which not only decreases the cost of transportation but also helps in reducing the environmental impact of road freight.

Sennder predicts that it will move over 1M truckloads this year, making it Europe’s leading digital road freight forwarder. Founded in 2015 by David Nothacker, Julius Köhler and Nicolaus Schefenacker, the company now has over 800 employees, which work across its seven international offices. It enables transport services for over 10 organisations listed in the German DAX 30, and 11 companies from the Euro Stoxx 50. 

The year 2020 was notable for Sennder as the company merged with French competitor Everoad in June and  acquired Uber Freight’s European business in September.

Startups – Silicon Canals

Rho, a startup bank aimed at high-growth businesses, raises $15M Series A led by M13 Ventures

Rho Technologies, the NYC-based fintech behind Rho Business Banking, has raised a $ 15 million Series A round led by M13 Ventures with participation from Torch Capital and Inspired Capital. The company will use the proceeds to further expand their commercial banking platform aimed at high-growth businesses, starting with today’s launch of Rho AP. The platform is oriented toward companies that need more autonomy in business banking and will map quite well to the current distributed nature of work, post-pandemic.

After raising capital and launching in December 2020, the platform now claims to be handling more than $ 2 billion per year in annualized transaction volume for its clients. Rho AP expands on the core banking platform by enabling companies to run full accounts payable lifecycles right within Rho, meaning invoices are uploaded, approved, coded and paid — all within Rho. Companies no longer need another payables solution in addition to their bank account.

Rho’s platform approach consists of a single solution that encompasses both collaborative finance software and commercial-grade banking. It was founded by former Point72 and Deutsche Bank alum Everett Cook (CEO) and British-Canadian serial entrepreneur Alex Wheldon. Banking services are provided by Evolve Bank and Trust, member FDIC.

In a statement, Cook said: “At Rho, we are dedicated to empowering the teams that run today’s growing companies. We’ve developed the modern commercial banking platform built around the way companies operate today: distributed, team-oriented, transparent and built for scale. Rho AP is the next step on our mission to help teams work better together with money.”

Latif Peracha, general partner at M13 and board member at Rho said: “We knew Rho had product-market fit when we discovered that several of our portfolio companies which span different sectors and sizes chose Rho for their banking needs. We believe there is an opportunity to build a powerful brand in business banking that treats the enterprise – and specifically, the CFO – as a consumer, and Rho has done that with a fully integrated product that makes managing a business much easier.”

Wheldon said: “Having built and scaled multiple businesses, I’d always found that commercial banking was a major point of friction. Rho is empowering the whole organization to work better together by removing the silos and bottlenecks associated with finance.”

Startups – TechCrunch

UK on-demand supermarket Weezy raises $20M Series A led by NYC’s Left Lane Capital

Weezy — an on-demand supermarket that delivers groceries in as fast as 15 minutes — has raised $ 20 million in a Series A funding led by New York-based venture capital fund Left Lane Capital. Also participating were U.K.-based fund DN Capital, earlier investors Heartcore Capital and angel investors, notably Chris Muhr, the Groupon founder.

Although the company hasn’t made mention of a later U.S. launch, the presence of U.S. investors would tend to suggest that. Weezy is reminiscent of Kozmo, the on-demand groceries business from the dot-com boom of the late ’90s. However, it differs from Postmates in that it doesn’t do pickups.

The cash injection will be used to expand its grocery delivery service across London and the broader UK, and open two fulfillment centers across London. Some 40 more U.K. sites are planned by the end of 2021 and it plans to add 50 new employees in the next four months.

Launched in July 2020, Weezy uses its own delivery people on pedal cycles or electric mopeds to deliver goods in less than 15 minutes on average. As well as working with wholesalers, it also sources groceries from independent bakers, butchers and markets.

It has pushed at an open door during the pandemic. In Q2 2020, half a million new shoppers joined the grocery delivery sector, which is now worth £14.3 billion in the U.K., according to research.

Kristof Van Beveren, co-founder and CEO of Weezy, said in a statement: “People are no longer happy to wait around for deliveries, and there is strong demand for a more efficient service.”

Weezy’s co-founders are Kristof Van Beveren and Alec Dent. Van Beveren is formerly from the consumer goods world at Procter & Gamble and McKinsey & Company, while Dent headed up operations at U.K. startup Drover and business development at BlaBlaCar.

Harley Miller, managing partner, Left Lane Capital, commented: “Weezy’s founding team have the right balance of drive, experience and temperament to lead in e-commerce innovation and convenience within the UK grocery market and beyond.”

Nenad Marovac, founder and managing partner, DN Capital, said: “Even before the pandemic, interest in online grocery shopping was on the rise. The first time I ordered from Weezy, my delivery arrived in seven minutes and I was hooked.”

Startups – TechCrunch