German intermittent fasting app Fastic snaps up €4.3 million to continue US expansion

Berlin-based Fastic, one of Europe’s fastest growing intermittent fasting apps, has announced a seed round of around €4.3 million. Well-known german entrepreneurs such as Rolf Schrömgens (Trivago) and Robin Behlau (Aroundhome) participate in the investment. The startup wants to push ahead with its US expansion, further develop the product and establish an international remote company….

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Helsinki-based HappySignals snaps up €4.7 million to help put employee experience at the core of digital transformation

Finnish startup HappySignals, an Employee Experience Management Platform provider, has announced the successful closure of a €4.7 million series A funding round led by Nauta Capital, with Vendep Capital also participating. HappySignals will use the funds to further its mission and scale up operations in Europe and the US. Founded in 2014, HappySignals aims to…

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London-based Gravity Sketch snaps up €3.1 million to grow its 3D & virtual reality tool for product design

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…

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Omnipresent, a UK startup born out of COVID-19 snaps €1.7M to simplify remote working

Previously, a lot of traditional companies do not allow work from home, whereas the new-age startup offered it as a perk. Right now, the remote working phenomenon has become the new normal for many during the coronavirus pandemic. So remote work is here to stay. Many challenges come with managing a remote team. 

While some may have all the experience in the world working the office environment with a huge team, not everything will translate into a remote working world. 

Based out of London, Omnipresent addresses this challenge by building a tech-enabled platform that handles all of the complexity of international employment for clients and their remote workers with a simplified employment solution. 

Planning to cover 80 markets with new funding

Recently, the company raised $ 2 million (approx €1.7 million) funding in a seed round led by Playfair Capital and Episode 1. Other investors including Entrepreneur First, Truesight Ventures, Charlie Songhurst, Andrew Goodman, Akash Gupta, Srin Madipalli, and Ian Hogarth also participated. It’s worth mentioning that the company raised funding within 6 weeks of its inception remotely. 

“Remote work is one of the great equalisers of our time,” said Matt Wilson, the company’s co-founder, and Co-CEO. “It allows people to secure employment opportunities from the best companies around the world, no matter where they were born or where they live. Yet, at a time when remote work is exploding, most companies are finding it operationally too complex, as well as prohibitively costly, to employ workers internationally. At Omnipresent, we’re centralising this complexity for our clients and offering them, and their remote workers, a simplified, cost-effective and legally compliant employment experience.”

The company intends to use the funding to extend Omnipresent’s coverage to 80 markets by the end of 2020, enabling the company to meet the explosion in demand from companies wanting to employ their inter-jurisdictional remote workers in a legally compliant and cost-effective manner.

Joe Thornton, who leads the deal on behalf of Playfair Capital, said: “Change always has a transaction cost. For business executives, the prospect of shifting from a collocated office to a fully distributed workforce was previously viewed as too risky a change, even though the evidence has long supported the superiority of remote workforces. And then suddenly, earlier this year, the decision was taken for every business executive as the entire knowledge economy globally was forced into remote working due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.” 

How Omnipresent helps clients? 

While the demand from employees for remote positions has exploded, it also brings significant challenges with it. Some of the legal risks include Permanent establishment, transfer pricing, employers’ liability, and others. 

With an automation-focused tech platform and network of legal entities across the globe, Omnipresent is centralising the complexity and cost of global employment by offering what Wilson refers to as “the premium global employment-as-a-service offering on the market.” 

“The most ambitious companies in the world need no longer be constrained by the available local talent,” said Dr. Guenther Eisinger, Omnipresent’s co-founder, and Co-CEO. “Covid-19 has shed light on the opportunity for a new way of working and businesses have to adapt to it or face extinction.”

Why was Omnipresent born?

Founded by Matthew Wilson and Guenther Eisinger, Omnipresent was established to solve challenges faced by businesses thousands of miles apart and manage a remote team. 

“As entrepreneurs, we believed that our priority should be towards growing our business and accessing the best global talent, not focusing on the admin required to make that possible.”

Born out of COVID, Omnipresent built a team remotely, serving remote clients who want to employ remote staff. “We take care of the boring and often complex stuff, so you and your workers can focus on executing your business plans.”

Carina Namih, General Partner at Episode 1 who co-led the deal, said: “I’ve experienced these challenges firsthand as the CEO of a business with my team spread across several jurisdictions. Now as a board member of several rapidly growing businesses, I see management grappling with these challenges time and again. Omnipresent’s solution is sorely needed.”

Main image credits: Omnipresent

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This London startup is accelerating fight against financial crime with machine learning, snaps €42.6M funding

ComplyAdvantage, an AI-based financial crime detection startup has announced the close of a $ 50 million (approx €42.6 million) Series C funding round, bringing the total investment to date to $ 88 million (approx €75 million). 

The round was led by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board along with existing investors Index Ventures and Balderton Capital. London-based startup intends to use the funding toward rapid product and market expansion across the United States, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. 

“Ontario Teachers’ deep experience and credibility with global financial institutions made them a natural choice to lead the round,” said Charles Delingpole, Founder, and CEO of ComplyAdvantage. “Ontario Teachers’ takes a long view of investing that is genuinely aligned with our own vision at ComplyAdvantage to transform how companies mitigate risk. This funding allows us to accelerate the development of our industry-leading data and suite of products to serve institutions with diverse clients and complex risk exposure.” 

Aims to neutralise financial crimes

ComplyAdvantage is on a mission to neutralise the risk of money laundering, terrorist financing, corruption, and other financial crime. The platform uses machine learning and natural language processing to help regulated organisations manage their risk obligations and prevent financial crime

“ComplyAdvantage offers mission-critical technology solutions for combating financial crime and keeping pace with an ever-evolving regulatory landscape,” said Olivia Steedman, Senior Managing Director, TIP, at Ontario Teachers’. “The company is well-positioned to continue its rapid growth as its powerful technology platform transforms the compliance and risk management process for its clients.”

Identifies tens of thousands of risk every day

The company’s proprietary database is derived from millions of data points that provide dynamic, real-time insights across sanctions, watchlists, politically exposed persons, and negative news. This reduces dependence on manual review processes and legacy databases by up to 80% and improves how companies screen and monitor clients and transactions. 

ComplyAdvantage actively identifies tens of thousands of risk events from millions of structured and unstructured data points every single day. As per the company claims, more than 500 enterprises in 75 countries rely on ComplyAdvantage to understand the risk of who they’re doing business with through the world’s only global, real-time database of people and companies. 

Founded by Charles Delingpole in 2014, the company has four global hubs located in New York, London, Singapore, and Cluj-Napoca.

“Detecting financial crime in billions of transactions that take place around the globe has become nearly impossible without the application of data science and machine learning. It is this approach that has made ComplyAdvantage into a leader in the category, and the go-to partner for organizations who seek to automate what are still very often manual or inadequate processes,” said Jan Hammer, Partner at Index Ventures.

Main image credits: ComplyAdvantage

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Cambridge-based startup Spotta uses AI to identify bed bugs, snaps €1M

Founded in 2018, Spotta uses the latest technology to revolutionise pest control, shifting the industry from reactive to proactive. Recently, the company has secured $ 1.18 million (approx €1M) seed funding round.

Representatives of Cambridge Angels and REMUS, a US-based VC firm, will join Spotta’s board as part of the investment deal. Other major investors include Martlet Capital, Wren Capital, and the Angel CoFund. 

Robert Fryers, CEO at Spotta, states: “For decades, pest management has been held back by laborious, error-prone manual monitoring. With our technology, it is finally possible to change this and help industries around the world to make a step change from reactive to proactive management of pests. This will save billions and massively reduce the amount of pesticide used globally. We’re delighted to have strong support from a wide group of investors who share our vision. This funding will allow us to scale up our commercial operations and continue to address the £320bn global problem of insect pests.”

Hiring, new products, expansion and more

Based out of Cambridge, the company will use the new funding to continue hiring top talent, launch two new products, and enter into new international markets beyond its current presence in the UK, the US, and Europe. 

Additionally, Spotta aims to grow rapidly to support this expansion and continue its innovative use of AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) to offer an accessible technological solution for pest detection.

Spotta Bed Pods

The Spotta Bed Pods offer accommodation providers the first continuous monitoring system which can identify common pests – including bed bugs – removing the need for manual checks by staff. The company uses AI to confirm the pests’ identity at the earliest point of introduction, sending an alert to hotel management, encouraging hotels to treat the problem before infestations occur.

“We are at an exciting intersection of AI, environmental sustainability, and IoT,” continues Fryers. “Our scalable, platform technology enables huge increases in productivity in a range of sectors including agriculture, forestry, textiles, and hospitality. We are building a substantial, highly profitable business by giving our customers better tools for dealing with invasive and costly species.” 

Working with major forest management organisation

In addition to its Bed Pod product, the company is working with a major forest management organisation to develop an outdoor pest monitoring solution and anticipates its technology being used in other applications including insect monitoring to help boost yields in agriculture.

‘Fit and forget’ technology

Since February 2019, the Pods have been installed in popular hotels in the United Kingdom. The Bed Pods run off Spotta’s own long-range, stable wireless network, with a low power image processing and communications system. 

Fuelled by a single battery which will last over a year, Spotta’s ‘fit and forget’ technology is a time-saver for housekeeping and maintenance staff, helps protect affected hotels against reputational damage, and minimises treatment costs and litigation fees – all of which can save hotels up to £67,200 per year (based on 200-room hotel).

Paul Anson, a lead investor from the Cambridge Angels says: “Throughout its initial market roll-out with the Bed Pod, Spotta has proven that its pest detection and identification technology has real-world capabilities and delivers customer value in a global marketplace. This was a very strong follow-on round and that speaks to the capability of the management team and their execution success. We look forward to supporting Spotta as it continues on its commercial journey.”

“We’re excited about the Spotta team’s multidimensional technical expertise and the larger pest control space, which has been relatively untouched by digital innovation. Spotta’s expansion into the US specifically makes it an exciting time for the company and our partnership,” says Krishna K. Gupta, who is the CEO of REMUS and is joining the Spotta board. “We’re looking forward to working with them to deliver on their global vision.”

Tim Mills, managing partner of the Angel CoFund says: “The smart pest system that Spotta has developed is a great example of a product built to solve a specific, persistent problem very effectively. Not only is that the hallmark of some of the most successful startups but beginning in the narrow application is also where AI use has proven most successful to date. This approach has allowed it to quickly enjoy commercial success and expand into new markets, and we look forward to seeing the team scale the product into other applications with this funding.”

Main image credits: Spotta

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This Spanish medtech startup helps detect COVID-19 through AI, snaps €8M

Based out of Valencia, QUIBIM is a biotech company dedicated to medical image processing and extraction of imaging biomarkers for the medical imaging workflows. 

Raised €8M funding

Recently, the company has secured €8M funding in a seed funding round co-led by Amadeus Capital Partners and Adara Ventures, with participation by Apex Ventures, Partech, Crista Galli Ventures, and existing shareholders, including Tech Transfer UPV, managed by Clave Capital and Juan Roig. 

The company will use this investment to expand the range of algorithms and high-value components available through its AI-based radiology platform.

Angel Alberich Bayarri, founder and CEO of QUIBIM, said, “QUIBIM is now at a scale-up point ready to grow internationally while maintaining great science at the core of our mission. This latest round of funding will be used to boost the AI platform, our available algorithms, and high-value components, to provide a seamless, all-in-one solution supporting healthcare providers. Our new investors will open opportunities for us in new markets and help us to strengthen our brand internationally. We will be able to promote our new prostate, musculoskeletal, and oncology solutions and increase sales globally, by expanding our workforce over the coming year.”

Extracting information from medical imaging data sets

Founded by Dr. Ángel Alberich-Bayarri and Prof. Luis Marti-Bonmati, QUIBIM specialises in radiomics, the extraction of standardised, quantitative information from medical imaging data sets using artificial intelligence (AI). This postprocessing and extraction of imaging biomarkers enable hospitals and pharmaceutical companies to detect diseases early and systematically.

QUIBIM Precision, its proprietary platform, extracts and quantifies disease-specific biomarkers from medical images with ultra-high accuracy. Its products are used in over 70 hospitals and 11 clinical trials across the world, with 600,000 analyses and 6.5 million images processed to date.

The company is launching its qp-Suites product family, designed to support radiologists by centralising the essential tools for clinical diagnosis in one platform, increasing operational efficiency.

Launched over 20 algorithms

To date, the company has already launched more than 20 algorithms for a range of conditions including cancer, Alzheimer’s, osteoarthritis, and liver disease. Notably, the company launched chest X-ray and CT scan products for COVID-19 recently. 

Pierre Socha, the Partner, Amadeus Capital Partners, added: “We are excited by the potential of radiomics to improve disease detection and enable precision treatments guided by imaging biomarkers. QUIBIM’s all-in-one platform is the answer that radiologists have been waiting for and we look forward to helping them grow internationally while continuing the fight against COVID-19 and other life-threatening conditions.”

“QUIBIM’s rapid adoption is an indicator of how innovative doctors and researchers are eager to have access to and exploit AI technology and methods that can automatically recognise complex patterns in imaging data, to get quantitative assessments and improve the service they provide”, said Rocio Pillado, partner at Adara Ventures.

Main image credits: QUIBIM

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Modius: This wearable from Belfast-based healthtech startup can treat diabetes, anxiety and insomnia, snaps €5.5M

In the latest development, Neurovalens, a MedTech company that delivers innovative solutions in the field of neuroscience, bioscience and neurophysiology has secured £5.1 million (approx €5.6 million) funding. 

Clinical trial research, expansion and more

The round was led by Q Capital, with additional investment from Wharton Asset Management Company, The Angel CoFund, Techstart Ventures, Co-Fund II managed by Clarendon Fund Managers, and the UK government’s Future Fund. The Belfast-based company intends to use the funding to conduct clinical trial research, develop technology’s application, and hire new team members. 

Dr Jason Mckeown, Neurovalens, CEO and co-founder, “We are delighted to receive this investment and support at such a critical time for our business. Our work in the US and the success of the trials we have run to date have demonstrated the potential of our technology and encouraged us to pursue other applications. With this financing and the backing of our investors we can accelerate our mission of delivering effective and non-invasive solutions for some of the most common and debilitating medical conditions.”

Stimulates brainstem and hypothalamus in a non-invasive way

Founded by Jason McKeown, and Paul McGeoch in 2015, Neurovalens in collaboration with the University of San Diego, develops technology that stimulates brainstem and hypothalamus in a non-invasive way to treat neurological diseases, without any implanted electrodes. The company’s first product is Modius, a wearable device for stimulating the brain’s metabolism functions.

Waiting for FDA & EU regulatory approvals

Right now, the company is going through FDA & EU regulatory approvals for its Neurovalens technology for approved medical treatment around the world. As per the company claims, Neurovalens is in the final phase of trials for obesity and aims to gets approval for insomnia & anxiety devices in the next 1 year months and diabetes trials planned for 2021. 

Kerry Balwin, Managing Partner of IQ Capital commented: IQ Capital is delighted to further support Neurovalens on their mission to deliver medical technology that can transform the lives of those who suffer from metabolic or neurological diseases. This funding, will allow Neurovalens to accelerate their entry into the US healthcare system and to establish the technology as doctor-prescribed treatments for four of the biggest global health epidemics.”

Main image credit: Neurovalens

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Sirius Medical: Eindhoven-based startup wants to make breast cancer surgeries less painful and effective, snaps €4.4M

A revolutionary new approach to treating breast cancer has been put on the fast track by Dutch startup Sirius Medical. The high tech medical startup has recently announced the commercial launch of the Sirius Pintuition System for cancer localisation and to develop a pipeline of complementary products and indications.

Further, the startup has informed in the press release, that it has been possible with the help of the funding they raised, which is €4.4M. The Series A funding is provided by a syndicate led by the BOM Brabant Ventures, with co-investors Curie Capital and Holland Capital. Additional funding was provided by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and the Mibiton Foundation, next to local development agencies, business angels, management and existing shareholders of Sirius.

Hubert Martens, CEO of Sirius Medical Systems noted: “We are grateful for the trust provided by our investors in the Sirius Medical team. The A-round funding enables Sirius Medical to execute on its ambitious growth plans; delivering superior localisation technology to our customers and developing our further pipeline of solutions.”

Sjoerd van Gorp, senior investment manager BOM Brabant Ventures noted: “As BOM we are proud to support this venture to bring optimal care to patients with breast cancer. The innovative solution developed by Sirius allows for a better value pathway, which is crucial in the health landscape of today”.

René Medema, director of The Netherlands Cancer Institute added: “It is gratifying to see how an idea that was conceived at the Netherlands Cancer Institute to improve surgical care for breast cancer patients, is now introduced to the market by our spin-out Sirius Medical to help patients around the world”.

Breast cancer localisation

For patients diagnosed with breast cancer, breast conserving surgery is the cornerstone of a curative approach. As diagnostics have rapidly improved over the past decades, surgeons are facing increasingly challenging procedures as they have to locate ever smaller and earlier-stage tumours. Until now, patient-unfriendly metal anchor wires were used as surgical localisation devices to guide the surgeon.

Sirius Pintuition: the next generation localisation that simply makes sense

Sirius Pintuition enables breast surgeons to accurately pinpoint the tumor location during surgery while optimising hospital workflow; it just simply makes sense. Sirius Pintuition provides surgical oncologists with a high precision, easy-to-use, and affordable solution that contributes to an improved hospital workflow. The Sirius Pintuition System is CE marked and FDA clearance is pending.

The Sirius Pintuition seed can be placed up to 180 days before the surgery to mark a target within soft tissue. During surgery, the Sirius Pintuition Probe provides highly accurate, real-time feedback and directional guidance to the marked tissue. Sirius Pintuition aims to provide all the benefits of radioactive seeds without any of its hassle.

Main image credits: Sirius Medical Systems

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Drover: The British ‘Netflix of cars’ helps you subscribe instead of buying one, snaps €23M funding

With more and more millennials choosing flexible monthly payments over buying or leasing a car — quite a popular mobility startup in UK dubbed as Drover — that offers flexible car subscriptions for private users has just announced a new growth funding round. London-based Drover basically works like ‘Netflix of cars’ — gives access to car subscription models that are longer than a typical rental, shorter than a lease or purchase, and easy to shorten or extend as per an individual needs.

Raises €23M funding

Now it has snapped a £20.5 million (€23 million) investment, co-led by new investors Target Global, RTP Global and Autotech Ventures. Additional new investors are Channel 4 Ventures and Rider Global. Existing investors Cherry Ventures, BP Ventures, Partech, Version One and Forward Partners also participated in the round. 

The ‘pandemic’ effect

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards a ‘digital-first’ mentality in the automotive industry and is fundamentally changing the way cars are consumed and sold. As appetite for flexible solutions grows, Drover is shaping the future of car retailing by building a new type of ‘car-as-a-service’ platform that streamlines the traditionally fragmented and dealership-based process of buying, financing and insuring a car into a simple online transaction. 

Drover has delivered record results in its consumer business during a period when traditional car sales had nearly halted completely. While in May only 13,000 new personal cars were registered in the UK, down 89% from last year, Drover more than doubled the number of new subscriptions sold compared to a year ago – finishing Q2 with a record high in revenue. Drover’s completely digital model has been particularly appealing as customers are looking for a more flexible, modern alternative to car ownership in a time of significant uncertainty and a deep economic downturn. 

Scaling ‘car-as-a-service’

Drover will be using the new capital to scale its ‘car-as-a-service’ business across the UK, where it launched initially, and France, where it launched earlier this year. The company will invest further into its technology platform and into nationwide marketing campaigns to turn Drover into a leading car retail brand. 

For one flat monthly payment, Drover customers can get a car with everything included, for a duration of one month to two years, without the need to take on debt. Instead of steep upfront payments, lengthy credit checks, and hours spent in dealerships, Drover has created a frictionless, fully digital transaction process: users simply create a profile, upload a photo of their driver’s licence, browse a selection of cars tailored to their location and budget, then personalise their subscription package based on their preferred term time, mileage and insurance options, and checkout with the same convenience people use when buying everything else online. Drover then delivers the car to their door in as little as 72 hours, customers pay monthly throughout their subscription, and Drover takes the car back at the end of the term. 

Felix Leuschner, Drover’s founder and CEO, commented: “The car market is one of the last retail categories that has yet to shift online, with online penetration of car sales being still below 1%, while 20% of all UK retail sales are now online. Drover’s digital ‘cars-as-a-service’ model is the right approach to truly build the ‘Amazon of Cars’ as it lends itself much better to an online model than does the long-term commitment, high ticket size type transaction of buying a car with cash or on finance. As a result, the last few years have seen Drover evolve and grow into a serious contender in the UK car retailing market. 

Drover team.
Picture credits: Drover

The Drover team has been agile through COVID-19 and that has enabled us to continue to show fantastic growth in a challenging time. The need for a simpler, more flexible model for car ownership is only accelerating and we’re proud to be leading that journey in the UK and France and in hopefully many more markets in the future.” 

Ben Kaminski, Partner at Target Global, added: “By tapping into ongoing digitalisation and on-demand trends in tandem, Felix and his team are well poised to aggressively seize market share from traditional car retailers. This new capital injection is a testament to both the team and the tech behind Drover which is disrupting the car-ownership model for the better. We’re excited to offer our support as Drover continues to scale throughout Europe.” 

Daniel Hoffer, Managing Director at Autotech Ventures said: “After studying the European landscape closely, we believe that Drover’s unique focus on a next-generation customer experience enabled by an asset-light approach has the potential to revolutionize how Europeans relate to car ownership. Bolstered by strong execution, Drover is poised to emerge stronger as a result of Covid-19 and recession-driven changes to consumer preferences in the ground transportation domain.” 

Anton Inshutin, Partner at RTP Global said: “Drover offers an attractive and affordable alternative to car ownership, which has proven to be extremely robust during the recent CoVID-19 crisis with record high subscriber bookings. We fully share in Felix’s vision for Drover as the future European leader in the car-as-a-service market, and offered our support to the company in both Series A and Series B financings.” 

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