EIB funds a space firm for the first time; invests €15M in this Italian New Space company

D-Orbit EIB satellite releasing in space

Space missions have evolved in the past few years. The field which was once available only for government backed entities is now the playground of private corporations as well. D-Orbit is one such Italy-based private startup, which has made a name for itself in the space sector. The company has now secured €15 million financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB). 

EIB’s first space firm investment

This is the first time the European Investment Bank has invested in a space firm. The current financing round was led by EIB, with participation from the company’s existing investors such as Seraphim Capital, Noosphere Ventures, Elysia Capital, CDP Venture Capital Sgr, Nova Capital, and TT Venture. This latest funding will enable D-Orbit to carry on with its expansion plans, with the goal of “redefining the standards of the orbital transportation industry.”

Recent launch of in house satellite platform

D-Orbit is one of the few companies in the space sector that has created a proprietary satellite platform called ION Satellite Carrier. This platform is capable of hosting several satellites and deploying them in their precise operational slot in one or more orbits. It is currently completing the ground testing campaign of a new satellite carrier for a second ION mission.

The new space company offers solutions to cover the complete lifecycle of a space mission. This includes mission analysis and design, engineering, manufacturing, integration, testing, launch, and end-of-life decommissioning. D-Orbit says that its capability to offer tailored launch and deployment services sets it apart from the competition. 

The company was founded back in 2011 by Luca Rossettini and Renato Panesi. It currently employs about 80 people, and alongside the Italy HQ, its subsidiaries are present in Lisbon, Portugal, Washington DC, and Harwell, UK. 

Back in March this year, the company secured a funding of over €8.46M. This round was led by Italian Neva F.I.R.S.T., along with some new and existing investors. Amongst the new investors were 808 Ventures, View Different, Savim, and two Italian private investment vehicles Geostazionaria and ClubDealOnline. 

Startups – Silicon Canals

This AI-powered translation platform aims to minimise the linguistic barrier to localisation; raises €1.2M

translation

In order to grow your business globally, focusing on localisation is imperative. Linguistics is a key aspect to attain true localisation so that your products/services can adapt to the local market and be accepted by the local population. This is where professional translation services can help.

According to a report, the Translation Services Market was valued at $ 39.61B (approx €33.48B) in 2019 and is projected to reach $ 46.21B (approx €39.05B) by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 2.1% from 2020 to 2027.

Recently, a Slovenia-based online translation platform TAIA has raised €1.2M in a fresh round of funding from Fil Rouge Capital, a European VC fund.

According to the company, this is one of the biggest investments in tech companies in Slovenia this year.

The raised capital will be used to boost TAIA’s presence on foreign markets and further development of the deep learning algorithms.

About TAIA

TAIA’s story started in 2015 when Marko Hozjan and Matija Kovac – founders of the ‘Language Academy’ with ten branches in Slovenia – realised that existing translation agencies were not fulfilling the needs of the business market.

The founders looked at it as an opportunity and after two years of research and development founded TAIA Translations in 2017. TAIA is a modern translation platform that helps companies translate their documents, websites, and other content with AI-assisted translations.

According to the company, the platform adapts the efficiency of neural language networks (NLN) and combines it with an expert team of translators, ensuring the translation to be accurate and of high quality. Hozjan, TAIA co-founder and director, says that this interface method speeds up translation and makes it cheaper by up to 50%.

TAIA is marketed as a bridge between translation agencies and free web translators. It claims that clients can obtain a quote for a translation job within seconds and then use one click to have the machine translation edited by a human translator.

Part of the TAIA platform is TAIAcat, a tool that’s currently still in development and will, later on, help translators. The company is in the process to release a closed beta version of the same.

According to the company, TAIAcat is a cloud-based tool with Neural machine translation (NMT) pre-translations, translation memory management, and a few other features that will be available to the public in the near future.

In a blog post, the company says, “We believe that introducing a new SaaS product to the market will definitely open countless new opportunities. For now, we’ve estimated to dedicate 30% of the startup investment into further software development of the platform. The other 70% are specifically intended for the growth of TAIA. A startup investment like the one we’ve received can really move the needle for our company.”

Since its inception, TAIA has translated over 15 million words and has been used by over 1,800 users, including major companies like Red Bull, Hervis, and 3M among others. The company currently has 16 employees and is planning to hire five more, primarily developers and digital marketing experts.

Image credit: TAIA

Startups – Silicon Canals

After 20 Failed Startups, Here’s What Turned This Engineer’s Next Venture Into A $17.7 Billion App

At 33 years old, Instacart’s CEO just became a billionaire

Entrepreneur's Handbook – Medium

This startup wants to fix the broken structure of internships

Internships are an opportunity for students to experiment with new career paths and land a full-time offer ahead of graduation. For companies, the weeks-long programs help recruit and train job-ready hires.

While the stakes are high, the coronavirus-spurred office closures and market volatility made a number of tech companies slim down or cancel their internship programs. Similar to remote schooling, the startups that kept their programs had a huge hurdle to face: How do you teach and train students across the world about your company?

That’s where Symba, a Techstars alum, comes in. The 12-person startup created a white-label software tool to help companies, including Robinhood and Genentech, create an online space to communicate and collaborate with their now-distributed interns.

“Every year, organizations are reinventing the wheel and starting their internship program from scratch,” Ahva Sadeghi, CEO of Symba, said. “It’s like, you’re spending so much money, this is a core part of your recruitment, but you’re not invested in an infrastructure to make sure it’s sustainable.”

Symba sells a plug-and-play workspace for both interns and managers. Interns sign into Symba through a branded landing page and are brought into a workspace. They can then toggle between feedback, community, profiles and projects. There’s also an entire area for onboarding tutorials and company history.

Interns are brought to a workspace upon login. Image via Symba.

Sadeghi is joined by co-founder and CTO Nikita Gupta, who built the entire site from scratch.

Symba was built with a big focus on creating channels for feedback between interns and managers. There is a tab dedicated solely to feedback, where managers can consistently rank their direct reports on a five-star rating scale across various skills. Interns are also able to request feedback.

Each user is invited to create a profile so other interns can reach out and learn about their cohort. While Symba wants to be where interns live during their internship, there’s no direct messaging mechanisms within the web-based platform. Instead, Symba has embedded a Slack integration for users who want to talk directly.

The community board allows interns to meet other interns and chat. Image via Symba.

Managers, on the other hand, are able to log in, assign tasks and check on progress for their direct reports. Feedback is also tracked during the entirety of the internship, to help see who has made progress and deserves a potential return offer.

Because interns come in for only eight to 12 weeks, she says the traditional internship onboarding process — which includes bringing them all onto a company’s full-time tech stack — could create chaos for the organization. Symba wants to be a low-lift alternative.

Sadeghi says that customers have been attracted to the alumni features in their platform, which allow managers to engage interns after the program is complete. The applicant-tracking system works to keep potential hires in the fold of the company.

So far, Symba is optimistic that the tool is working. Users log into the product an average of six to nine times per day, and there have been more than 15,000 intern-projects created on Symba.

The company declined to disclose revenue, citing the stage of its business, but said that it charges companies $ 30 to $ 50 per user per month for the product. The average size of a Symba cohort is 80, but they have had customers who bring more than 2,000 interns onto the product. It only works with companies who pay their interns.

A hurdle of Symba will be the seasonality of its revenue. Because most internships are in the summer, Symba will likely find most growth opportunities during that three-month period.

Symba’s early growth is directly related to the pandemic, as the fear of the virus closed offices, and, in turn, shuttered internship programs. Symba’s success will hinge on if the team can convince companies that an online workspace for interns is a necessary product even when offices reopen.

Beyond translating into a post-pandemic world, Symba wants to be a solution for clients such as bootcamps, accelerators or fellowships. If it’s able to land year-round clients, it will be able to balance the seasonality of its current revenue of summer internships.

The success so far is promising: Early momentum has helped Symba raise $ 750,000 from a number of investors, including 1517 Fund, January Ventures and Hustle Fund.

Startups – TechCrunch

[TytoCare in Pop Sugar] This Remote Exam Kit Makes Virtual Doctor Visits Incredibly Easy

When your kid starts complaining of a painfully sore throat, you need a doctor’s appointment ASAP — not tomorrow or the next day when the office can squeeze you in. That’s when virtual visits really come in handy.

Read more here.

The post [TytoCare in Pop Sugar] This Remote Exam Kit Makes Virtual Doctor Visits Incredibly Easy appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

Do you get that sinking feeling when you see another startup doing what you’re doing – this is normal right?

The industry I'm building in is becoming quite trendy, and I've seen a bunch of early stage competitors researching on reddit lately. I'm wondering if it's common to get a sinking feeling/minor anxiety when you see others doing what you're doing? Is it fair argument to say… the ones who build the best product, the fastest will win out? I try to use this feeling to just keep pushing me on

submitted by /u/mambono5555
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Weekly VC Overview: All 65 European funding rounds we tracked this week (Oct. 19-23, 2020)

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The post Weekly VC Overview: All 65 European funding rounds we tracked this week (Oct. 19-23, 2020) first appeared on EU-Startups.

EU-Startups

This ‘Emotional’ AI startup caught the attention of music legend Quincy Jones; invests in it

AI

Legendary 28-time Grammy winner Quincy Jones has made an undisclosed strategic investment in the “Emotional” Artificial Intelligence company Musimap. In addition to being an investor, he will act as a special adviser to Musimap, utilising his industry standing to foster relationships and help the business grow.

The investment is being made through Jones media and artist management company Quincy Jones Productions. The board of directors also includes the CEO and founder of Silicon Castles and former President of Dolby International, Andreas Spechtler.

Investment fund & startup accelerator LeanSquare is also investing in Musimap as part of its commitment to supporting the music technology sector in Belgium and beyond.

The company has developed a technology that it describes as a “psycho-emotional profiling engine” called MusiMe. The technology builds emotional profiles for listeners, detailing their mood, feelings, and values based on their listening history.

87-year-old record producer Jones was fascinated by Musimap’s technology after it captured his imagination and said, “I’m incredibly impressed by Musimap’s technology and am delighted to be able to help them grow with this investment. I was pleasantly surprised by how accurate my personality profile was when testing MusiMe, and it’s apparent that the product has a tremendous amount of potential.”

Emotional AI

Founded in 2015 by Frederic Notet and Vincent Favrat, Musimap is an Emotional Artificial Intelligence (A.E.I.) company that leverages 20 years of human research, audio-processing, and AI. It claims to own one of the largest manually annotated music databases in the world.

According to the company, its set of APIs utilises the proprietary database in a fraction of a second to provide clients with unique emotional intelligence. Apart from MusiMe, the company has two other technologies: MusiMatch – it leverages AI to match and find musically similar tracks, and MusiMotion – this leverages AI to enrich metadata, tagging tracks with weighted moods, emotions, and musical attributes such as genre, key, and BPM.

Music icon, Jones, has long been regarded as a pioneer in the music technology space, investing in Spotify in its early days, as well as piano-learning software, Playground Sessions, alongside Jammcard. 

Jones’ career spans seven decades, with notable achievements including becoming the first African American Vice President of a major record label, as well as producing Michael Jackson’s all-time best-selling album, Thriller. 

In 2017 he launched Qwest TV, a service offering high-definition streams of concerts and music documentaries.

Image credit: ShutterStock

Startups – Silicon Canals

This Irish startup offers revenue-based financing for ecommerce brands; bags €6.8M to grow globally

Although the e-commerce industry is booming, there are still some roadblocks on the path of its success and growth. This is where several solutions come to the rescue by helping companies grow their e-commerce sales. One such firm is Dublin-based Wayflyer, which provides brands with revenue-based funds and free analytics.

Bags €8.6M seed funding

Wayflyer, an Irish e-commerce revenue-based financing and marketing analytics platform bagged $ 10.2M (nearly €8.6M) seed capital funding. This investment round was led by QED Investors including ClearScore, Credit Karma, Nubank and SoFi along with Middlegame Ventures and co-investors Speedinvest and Fintech Investment Vehicle FGFE.

The fresh investment will support the global growth ambitions of the company, its ability to continue providing funding for e-commerce platforms and develop its proprietary technology further. This investment comes as Wayflyer scales to meet the heavy demand in the e-commerce industry for its funding and analytics products and services that are ideal for small businesses. Also, the company intends to reach profitability in 2021.

Aidan Corbett, Wayflyer’s CEO and co-founder says that this funding will let them expand their global footprint.

Notably, Wayflyer aims to expand their customer base in the US, the U.K. and Ireland. Also, it aims to strengthen their presence in fast-growing e-commerce markets such as Australia and Canada. A portion of this new capital will be dedicated to improving Wayflyer’s analytics and marketing insights software to be even more responsive and customisable, allowing clients to capitalise upon unseen marketing opportunities.

Pumps funds to growing e-commerce brands

Founded in 2019 by Aidan Corbett and Jack Pierse, Wayflyer helps e-commerce brands meet their potential by providing them with unsecured and affordable capital of up to $ 5M (nearly €3.3M) for advertising and inventory.

According to the company, each Wayflyer advance has a simple one-off fixed fee (typically from 4-12%). This fee helps recover the costs associated with funding the advance and processing your application. It claims there are no origination fees, annual fees, monthly maintenance fees, documentation fees, or hidden fees.

In order to qualify for the advance, as per the company, ecommerce companies must fit into the below criteria:

  • At least 6 months operating history
  • At least $ 250,000 ( nearly €211K)in annual online revenue in the past year
  • Headquartered in USA, UK, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand
  • Can easily spend $ 5,000 – $ 500,000 (€4223 – €422,307)per month in online marketing

Wayflyer claims that it offers a mix of funding and AI-driven marketing insights enabling founders to take control of their businesses and succeed in the infancy stages of their brands.

Main image picture credits: Wayflyer

Startups – Silicon Canals

This Danish startup believes co-living can help fight housing and climate crisis, intolerance & loneliness; raises €6M

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has impacted many industries including aviation, hospitality and much more. Despite the hardship, a Danish proptech startup LifeX, which already operates in six European cities secured fresh funding to expand its presence. This makes its co-living model successful during extremely tough times.

Secures €6M funding

LifeX has secured €6M funding from a Copenhagen-based startup studio, Founders alongside Berlin-based VC fund, Cherry Ventures. Previously, LifeX announced a seed funding round of €7.5M from the same investors along with participation from a few others. With the current funding round, LifeX has now received nearly €15M funding on the whole and is gearing up to raise a Series A round in the near future.

LifeX: A sneak peak!

The fresh investment will.be used to strengthen the presence of LifeX in both the existing and new markets, fuel product development, and accelerate its vision to make anyone feel at home across the world.

Founded in 2017 by Sune Theodorsen and Ritu Jain, LifeX claims to help young professionals overcome the many challenges of finding housing and growing a social network. The company offers a family-style approach to co-living, featuring shared living spaces filled with designer furniture. It also removes common points of conflict such as chores, house maintenance and bills.

LifeX also claims to help young professionals grow their social networks through community fostering initiatives such as events, networking opportunities and more with its embedded members from over 50 different countries.

According to the company, the monthly rent depends on the city, the apartment and the room size. Deposits vary from city-to-city in the range of €1 – €1.5k. The startup asks its customers to prepay the last month’s rent when they join LifeX. This means that as soon as they give their one-month move out notice, LifeX knows what your last month will be and this month will already be paid for.

According to the company, its prices are all-inclusive and includes, rent, utilities, Wi-Fi and Netflix membership, cleaning service (twice a week) for both the shared space and private room, shared supplies (household items that are generally shared among housemates like toilet paper, laundry detergent, salt, pepper, cooking oil etc.)

Success amidst COVID-19 crisis

While the hospitality industry is extremely hit by the COVID-19 crisis, LifeX claims to have continued to find success and has earned the attention of investors. “We have been focusing on our community of members, which is the essence of LifeX. It was really important for us to remain approachable and reactive during these unprecedented times. We were due to release a new feature in our LifeX app, which aimed to enhance communication with our members. We identified the need to accelerate development of this feature and released it during the lockdown period, allowing us to maintain a closer line of communication with our members,” says Theodorsen, who is the CEO of LifeX.

According to the company, it has also been focusing on fighting loneliness brought about by the pandemic-driven lockdown and isolation. “What we noticed during the crisis was that our members were very appreciative of not having to face this alone. They enjoyed spending time together, bonding and having their housemates as a support system to rely on,” says Theodorsen.

Currently, LifeX operates co-living homes in Copenhagen, Berlin, London, Paris, Munich and Vienna. There are 30 employees with offices in these cities mentioned here.

Main image picture credits: LifeX

Startups – Silicon Canals