Hello, I would like to hear stories and strategies of other redditors who are tech enterpreneurs and/or work in optimization or automation of information processing (To reduce the time, effort or risk, for clients, in tasks related to researching, documentation, reporting, information extraction/processing) and succesfully boosted their social media, specially Instagram.
I hope you are willing to share them, it would be great and we all could learn a lot!
Boston has been an exemplar of the trend, with early pandemic caution dissolving into rapid-fire dealmaking as summer rolled into fall.
We collated new data that underscores the trend, showing that Boston’s third quarter looks very solid compared to its peer groups, and leads greater New England’s share of American venture capital higher during the three-month period.
For our October look at Boston and its startup scene, let’s get into the data and then understand how a new cohort of founders is cropping up among the city’s educational network.
A strong Q3, a strong 2020
Boston’s third quarter was strong, effectively matching the capital raised in New York City during the three-month period. As we head into the fourth quarter, it appears that the silver medal in American startup ecosystems is up for grabs based on what happens in Q4.
Boston could start 2021 as the number-two place to raise venture capital in the country. Or New York City could pip it at the finish line. Let’s check the numbers.
According to PitchBook data shared with TechCrunch, the metro Boston area raised $ 4.34 billion in venture capital during the third quarter. New York City and its metro area managed $ 4.45 billion during the same time period, an effective tie. Los Angeles and its own metro area managed just $ 3.90 billion.
In 2020 the numbers tilt in Boston’s favor, with the city and surrounding area collecting $ 12.83 billion in venture capital. New York City came in second through Q3, with $ 12.30 billion in venture capital. Los Angeles was a distant third at $ 8.66 billion for the year through Q3.
Robots are specialised in carrying out repetitive tasks in a controlled environment. As a result, robotics has penetrated seamlessly into various industries including automobiles, healthcare, among others. Of late, the construction and real estate industry has been increasingly adopting robotics to enhance efficiency and safety.
Construction robotics in Europe
Some of the construction robots include 3D printing robots that are used to build large buildings on demand. These robots have the potential to build an entire structurally safe building from scratch. A notable example of the same is the first-ever 3D printed bridge that was built in the Netherlands. Demolition robots are also being increasingly used.
Several robotics startups in Europe have started developing robots focused on the construction industry to resolve the challenges faced by manual labour and make the industry more efficient. Here is a list of construction robotics startups in Europe as sourced from Dealroom.
Blue Ocean Robotics (Denmark)
Founder/s: Claus Risager, Rune K. Larsen, John Erland Østergaard Founded year: 2013 Funding: €44.3M
Blue Ocean Robotics develops, produces, and sells professional service robots across industries such as healthcare, hospitality, construction, and agriculture. It also claims to be the world’s first Robot Venture Factory. Its portfolio includes UVD Robots, GoBe Robots, PTR Robots, and other service robots. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company came up with a UV sterilising robot that can kill virus cells and sanitise hospital wards, sans any chemicals.
Back in late 2019, Blue Ocean Robotics secured $ 12M (nearly €M) funding to fund the expansion of its operations and business.
Founder/s: Maxime Bossens, Stanislas van der Vaeren, Vishal Punamiya Founded year: 2016 Funding: €2.8M
Sitemark operates with the intention to become the most trusted AI-powered Aerial Data Platform across the globe. The company provides end-to-end drone operation solutions for improved operational efficiencies. It is an Aerial Data Analytics company active in over 30 countries across energy, mining, agriculture, and construction industries. Sitemark enables enterprises to deploy drones and aerial data at scale.
Last year, Sitemark raised €5M Series A investment led by Korys and existing investor Chroma Impact Investment.
Founder/s: Lars Baun Founded year: 2012 Funding: €950k
Odico operates with the intention to bring about a change in the concrete industry and architectural profession. With the introduction of robot technology, the company wants to transform the global construction industry, which is heavily dependent on manual labour, wherein small innovative designs are difficult to realise. It is one of the global companies in the world to develop software and robotics technology for industrial cutting of advanced casting molds in expanded polystyrene.
Founder/s: Alimzhan Rakhmatulin, Artem Kuchukov, Eirini Psallida, Ekaterina Grib, Leonidas Pozikidis, Sebastian Weitzel Founded year: 2016 Funding: €3.6M
Munich-based startup KEWAZO works with the intention of improving construction logistics via data analysis and robotics. The company’s first solution is a robotic elevator for construction sites as well as industrial plants with a focus on scaffolding. In the construction sector, it focuses on activities such as painting work, roof work, facades, insulation work, and more. This construction robotics startup raised €2.5M funding earlier this year led by MIG AG, a German VC firm to strengthen its business.
Founder/s: Tom Lipinski Founded year: 2012 Funding: €9.8M
Q-Bot develops tools using robotics and AI that can inspect, monitor, and maintain the health of your buildings and infrastructure. Q-Bot’s robots to spray insulation under the floor with minimal disruption to your life. The insulation immediately reduces the heat lost through the floor and stops draughts.
Back in 2019, Q-Bot secured £3M (nearly €M) Series A investment backed by Wealth Club, EMV Capital, and Foundamental. Q-Bot also received continued support from its existing investor base.
Founder/s: Ehsanullah Ekhlas Founded year: 2018 Funding: NA
Unicontrol focuses on machines under 15 tons with its swivel arm. The company ensures a flexible, solid, and simple system along with user-friendly technology. And, the company offers functionality and flexibility for the smaller excavators by helping them get accurate data during excavations. It displays all the necessary information and data on a screen in the cab to help the excavators. A few months back, Unicontrol secured an angel investment round from local investors from Denmark – Thomas Visti and Lasse Kieffer.
Craft Robotics (Denmark)
Founder/s: Rasmus Lundgaard Founded year: 2018 Funding: NA
Craft Robotics builds adaptive and intelligent robots for the construction industry, which is extremely monotonous and dangerous. Its robots are claimed to be an extension of the workers’ toolbox that enables people to do a lot more in a day with the help of automation and prevent them hazards. Its robotic tool fits into existing workflows and logistics of construction sites.
Founder/s Agnes Petit Founded year: 2018 Funding: €80k
With 3D concrete printing, sustainable construction is approaching close to reality. MOBBOT intends to bring about a change in the construction sector with its 3D printing system, which brings about digitisation into the field of construction. It develops 3D printing solutions that are efficient to use and robust, improve working conditions, and reduce CO2 emissions. MOBBOT’s mobile robots print concrete components needed by builders.
Earlier this year, Mobbot secured CHF 2.9M (nearly €2.7M) funding from Mutschler Ventures, investiere, Swiss Immo Lab, Capital Risque Fribourg, NEST Pension Fund, and business angels to boost its 3D robotic system.
Scaled Robotics (Spain)
Founder/s: Bharath Sankaran, Stuart Maggs Founded year: 2015 Funding: €2M
Scaled Robotics claims to rethink constructing buildings by developing mobile 3D printing robots that bring about automation in the construction sites. This robotics startup reduces material consumption by up to 75%. Scaled Robotics operates with the mission to modernise construction by deploying Artificial Intelligence and robotics and create a manufacturing process, which is efficient, lean, and cost-effective.
A few months back, Scaled Robotics bagged €2M seed investment led by European firms Norwegian Construct Venture and PropTech Fund Surplus.
Businesses across the world have adapted to the ‘new normal’ set by the COVID-19 outbreak. During this time, many European tech startups are coming up with ways to tackle the crisis and further expand into new markets despite the tough times.
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.
Limehome doubled its sales since the crisis broke out in mid-March 2020
Munich-based accommodation startup, Limehome has further raised €10M in its Series A round of funding bringing the total raised so far to €31M. It had received €21M earlier in February this year. Existing investors HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, Lakestar, and Picus Capital all participated in this round.
The raised capital will be used by the company to focus on its proprietary technology platform as well as expansion.
Launched in 2018 by Dr. Josef Vollmayr and Lars Stabe, Limehome is an accommodation startup that is run by hospitality professionals and equipped by interior designers. It has been able to combine the quality standard of a hotel with the advantages of an apartment. Currently, its suites are present in about 35 prime locations in German and Austrian cities and cater to customers with its proprietary technology and digital access system.
Dubsmash founder launches Acapela
In a bid to re-imagine online meetings for remote teams, Berlin-based “remote-friendly” startup Acapela (co-founded by Dubsmash founder Roland Grenke), is all set to launch, as it raised €2.5M in a fresh round of funding. The round is led by Visionaries Club with participation from various angel investors, including Christian Reber (founder of Pitch and Wunderlist) and Taavet Hinrikus (founder of TransferWise).
The raised capital will be utlised by Acapela to expand its core team, focusing on product, design, and engineering as it continues to build its offering.
€49M for Turkish & European startups
Istanbul-based venture capital firm 212 has announced a second fund of €49M to invest in 7 portfolio companies so far as it looks to invest in startups across Turkey, Central and Eastern Europe, and the MENA region.
According to the firm, it will invest in companies with primarily B2B tech solutions, with a mindset to test local and go global. Fund II’s portfolio includes; SmartMessage, OMMA, Marti, MallIQ, Meddy, Chooch, and AppSamurai.
Founded in 2012 by Ali Karabey and Numan Numan, the Turkish VC firm’s first fund was $ 30M (approx €25.3M). That fund was fully invested in 12 startups, including Iyzico, which exited last year (PayU bought it for approx €139.3M), and Insider, a Sequoia-backed company that just raised a $ 32M (approx €27M) Series C round to enter the US market.
Mysterious new web browser
Paris-based Beam, a company that is building a web browser that gathers knowledge from your web activity has raised €3M in its seed round of funding. Since the project is still in beta stage, details about the startup or its product are unknown.
The investors include Spark Capital (known for its early investments in the likes of Twitter and Tumblr), C4 Ventures (led by former Apple EMEA VP Pascal Cagni), Amaranthine (the ‘Web Summit fund’), Alven Capital (investors in Stripe, Algolia, etc.), Tiny Capital (founded by Andrew Wilkinson from Metalab – which helped create designs for Slack, Uber, and Vice), and a couple of angel investors including Antoine Martin (Zenly), Nicolas Steegman (Stupeflix) among others.
Sebastien Metrot – with 6 years of experience working for Apple as a senior software engineer has founded the startup along with Dom Leca, who back in 2012 sold his software company, Sparrow, to Google.
“We’re building beam because we think something is fundamentally broken in the way the tools at our disposal have us use the web – and thus, our minds. It feels like we have not freely chosen our online practices – that they are habits we have helplessly picked up,” the company mentioned in a “bright paper”.
Vectary wants to make 3D design and Augmented Reality accessible to everyone
California-based accessible 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) design platform, Vectary, has raised $ 7.3M (approx €6.1M) in a fresh round of funding led by the EQT Ventures fund (“EQT Ventures”). Existing investor BlueYard also participated in the round.
Founded in 2014 by Michal Koor (CEO) and Pavol Sovis (CTO), Vectary provides a 3D and augmented reality (AR) design platform used by over more than a million creators worldwide. According to the company, more than a thousand digital agencies and creative studios are using the tool to provide 3D content to millions of users.
With the COVID-19 pandemic shifting more people online, the company claims to have seen a 300% increase in its AR views as more businesses have started using their products in 3D and AR.
Customer-Centric AI price optimisation for retailers platform raises €2M
The Prague-based company Yieldigo, founded by three mathematicians, has raised €2M in its seed round of funding. The Hungarian VC fund PortfoLion and Silicon Valley’s Alchemist Accelerator participated in the round, alongside J&T Ventures.
The raised capital will help Yieldigo to ramp up research and development and expand into new markets.
Founded in 2016 by Radim Dudek, David Klecka, and Jiri Psota Yieldigo helps retailers such as supermarkets, drugstores, and pharmacies to set optimal non-promotional prices to increase profitability. This is done by a proprietary machine-learning algorithm that creates a model of consumer’s purchasing behavior, combines it with retailers’ business objectives, and creates optimal prices based on both perspectives. With this, the company helps create a profit uplift for its customers of 5-15%, while preserving its revenues and price index.
Early-stage VC firm Antler welcomes Ronald Jan Schuurs
Global early-stage VC Antler has introduced serial entrepreneur and experienced operator, Ronald Jan Schuurs, as a newly appointed Partner to Antler Netherlands.
Schuurs is an experienced operator who has spent over a decade with various tech startups including Rocket Internet, Everjobs, and Delivery Hero – where he served as CEO Germany. During his time at Delivery Hero, he brought the company from strength to strength by restructuring and reinvigorating the company’s business in its home-market in Germany. Schuurs contributed to its IPO in 2017 and in December of 2018, the business was sold to Takeaway for €930M. Most recently as CFO at Zava, a telehealth company, he played an essential role in securing Series A funding.
Founded in Singapore in 2017, Antler is a global early-stage venture capital firm that has offices across six continents and most major entrepreneurial hubs, including cities such as London, New York, Singapore, and Sydney. It has invested in over 200 technology companies. Over 40% of Antler’s portfolio has at least one female co-founder and with founders representing over 70 nationalities.
Challenger bank “with principles”
Germany-based online banking startup, Insha, has secured €2.5M in its seed round of funding from Turkish payments provider Param. The raised capital will be used for European expansion, further develop its ethical banking product, and strengthen the team at its headquarters in Berlin and Istanbul.
Insha is a digital branch of Albaraka Turk Participation Bank and was first developed for the Turkish market. Now Insha is regulated by EU authorities and currently available in Germany. In a press release, the startup says that since the beginning of 2020, the number of German users has grown by more than 300%, topping 40,000.
Founded in 2018, Insha offers a digital account that puts moral values first. Based on strong moral principles, Insha offers tools that help its customers achieve their saving goals, gain insights into spending behaviour, transfer money abroad for little cost, and donate easily to charities of their choice.
Swiss startup wants to help enterprises keep their data confidential; raises €3.2M
Swiss-based Decentriq, a data security company, has raised $ 3.8M (approx €3.2M) in its seed round of funding led by btov Partners, with significant participation from Paladin Capital Group and existing investor Atlantic Labs.
The raised capital will help the company to drive international growth and widen its client base, which currently resides mostly in the healthcare and finance sectors.
Founded in 2019 by Maximilian Groth, Stefan Deml, and Alexander Katz, Decentriq cloud-based platform provides data analysis solutions for developing and deploying machine learning models. It allows the team to compute any kind of statistics on sensitive data without compensating privacy and security. The features of the product include data leak prevention, statistical computing, data security, and privacy, secure data sharing, etc.
Earlier this week I asked startups to share their Q3 growth metrics and whether they were performing ahead of behind of their yearly goals.
Lots of companies responded. More than I could have anticipated, frankly. Instead of merely giving me a few data points to learn from, The Exchange wound up collecting sheafs of interesting data from upstart companies with big Q3 performance.
Naturally, the startups that reached out were the companies doing the best. I did not receive a single reply that described no growth, though a handful of respondents noted that they were behind in their plans.
Regardless, the dataset that came together felt worthy of sharing for its specificity and breadth. And so other startup founders can learn from how some of their peer group are performing. (Kidding.)
Let’s get into the data, which has been segmented into buckets covering fintech, software and SaaS, startups focused on developers or security and a final group that includes D2C and fertility startups, among others.
Obviously, some of the following startups could land in several different groups. Don’t worry about it! The categories are relaxed. We’re here to have fun, not split hairs!
Numerated: According to Numerated CEO Dan O’Malley, his startup that helps companies more quickly access banking products had a big Q3. “Revenue for the first three quarters of 2020 is 11X our origination 2020 plan, and 18X versus the same period in 2019,” he said in an email. What’s driving growth? Bank digitization, O’Malley says, which has “been forced to happen rapidly and dramatically” in 2020.
BlueVine: BlueVine does banking services for SMBs; think things like checking accounts, loans and payments. The company is having a big year, sharing with TechCrunch via email that has expanded its customer base “by 660% from Q1 2020 to” this week. That’s not a revenue metric, and it’s not Q3 specific, but as both Numerated and BlueVine cited the PPP program as a growth driver, it felt worthy of inclusion.
Harvest Platform: A consumer-focused fintech, Harvest helps folks recover fees, track their net worth and bank. In an email, Harvest said it “grew well over 1000%+” in the third quarter and is “ahead of its 2020 plan” thanks to more folks signing up for its service and what a representative described as “economic tailwinds.” The savings and investing boom continues, it appears.
Uniphore: Uniphore provides AI-based conversational software products to other companies used for chatting to customers and security purposes. According to Uniphore CEO Umesh Sachdev, the company grew “320% [year-over-year] in our Q2 FY21 (July-sept 2020),” or a period that matches the calendar Q3 2020. Per the executive, that result was “on par with [its] plan.” Given that growth rate, is Uniphore a seed-stage upstart? Er, no, it raised a $ 51 million Series C in 2019. That makes its growth metrics rather impressive as its implied revenue base from which it grew so quickly this year is larger than we’d expect from younger companies.
Text Request: A SMS service for SMBs, Text Request grew loads in Q3, telling TechCrunch that it “billed 6x more than we did in 2019’s Q3,” far ahead of its target for doubling billings. A company director said that while “customer acquisition was roughly on par with expectations,” the value of those customers greatly expanded. I dug into the numbers and was told that the 6x figure is for total dollars billed in Q3 2020 inclusive of recurring and non-recurring incomes. For just the company’s recurring software product, growth was a healthy 56% in Q3.
Notarize: Digital notarization startup Notarize — Boston-based, most recently raised a $ 35 million Series C — is way ahead of where it expected to be, with a VP at the company telling TechCrunch that during “the first week of lockdowns, Notarize’s sales team got 3,000+ inquiries,” which it managed to turn into revenues. The same person added that the startup is “probably 5x ahead of [its] original 2020 plan,” with the substance measured being annual recurring revenue, or ARR. We’d love some hard numbers as well, but that growth pace is spicy. (Notarize also announced it grew 400% from March to July, earlier this year.)
BurnRate.io: Acceleprise-backed Burnrate.io hasn’t raised a lot of money, but that hasn’t stopped it from growing quickly. According to co-founder and CEO Robert McLaws, BurnRate “started selling in Q4 of last year” so it did not have a pure Q3 2019 v. Q3 2020 metric to share. But the company managed to grow 3.3x from Q4 2019 to Q3 2020 per the executive, which is still great. BurnRate provides software that helps startups plan and forecast, with the company telling TechCrunch with yearly planning season coming up, it expects sales to keep growing.
Gravy Analytics: Location data as a service! That’s what Gravy Analytics appears to do and apparently it’s been a good run thus far in 2020. The company told TechCrunch that it has seen sales rise 80% year-to-date over 2019. This is a bit outside our Q3 scope as it’s more 2020 data, but we can be generous and still include it.
ChartHop: TechCrunch covered ChartHop earlier this year when it raised $ 5 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz. A number of other investors took part, including Cowboy Ventures and Flybridge Capital. Per our coverage, ChartHop is a “new type of HR software that brings all the different people data together in one place.” The model is working well, with the startup reporting that since its February seed round — that $ 5 million event — it has grown 10x. The company recently raised a Series A. Per a rep via email, ChartHop is “on-target” for its pre-pandemic business plan, but “far ahead” of what it expected at the start of the pandemic.
Credo: Credo is a marketplace for digital marketing talent. It’s actually a company I’ve known for a long-time, thanks to founder John Doherty. According to Doherty, Credo has “grown revenue 50% since June, while only minimally increasing burn.” Very good.
Canva: Breaking my own rules about only including financial data, I’m including Canva because it sent over strong product data that implies strong revenue growth. Per the company, Canva’s online design service has seen “increased growth over both Q2 and Q3, with an increase of 10 million users in Q3 alone (up from 30 million users in June).” 33% user growth from 30 to 40 million is impressive. And, the company added that it saw more team-based usage since the start of the pandemic, which we presume implies the buying of more expensive, group subscriptions. Next time real revenue, please, but this was still interesting.
The world has changed. In the wake of Covid-19, and the global recession it has caused, business leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors are all girding for a long period of extremely challenging conditions in the global market. How can startups and innovators of all stripes survive in such conditions? Many are not prepared.
With the third fund, UVC Partners aims to invest in the fields of industrial technologies, B2B software, and mobility. Simultaneously, the VC plans to provide access to ‘UnternehmerTUM,’ Europe’s largest innovation centre at the Technical University of Munich.
150 corporate partners and 5000 students
With 150 corporate partners and more than 5000 students, UnternehmerTUM is an important hub for Europe’s next generation of entrepreneurs. “We are already accelerating more than 10% of all German tech startups and serve as a central and open innovation platform for future challenges of leading SMEs and DAX-listed corporations,” says Prof. Dr. Helmut Schönenberger, Managing Partner at UVC and CEO of UnternehmerTUM.
Venture Capital 3.0
While the first VC funds focused primarily on financing issues, the second generation increasingly offered support in operational matters. The third-generation venture capital “Venture Capital 3.0” is all about sustainable, partnership-based relationships with the founding team, claims the German company.
The investor base of the new fund ranges from startup entrepreneurs, such as the FlixBus founders, to institutional investors, family offices, corporations, and family businesses. “We have invested in UVC III because we expect a good financial return when it comes to our pension assets and see added value in working together with UVC Partners,” saya Oliver Stratmann, Head of Treasury & Investor Relations at LANXESS AG.
UVC Partners typically invests in Seed or Series A rounds
The UVC Partners typically invests between €0.5M to 4M initially and up to €15M in total per company. According to the VC firm, it typically invests in Seed or Series A rounds. Its portfolio includes investments such as Blickfeld, Carjump (Free2Move), FlixBus, KONUX, TWAICE, and Vimcar.
The coronavirus outbreak triggered a worldwide economic recession, forcing both small and large companies to find ways to survive. Startups and SMEs have suffered the most due to a shortage of resources, a limited number of suppliers, and lower revenues. The US Census Bureau conducted a survey to estimate the influence of COVID-19 on small…
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