Danish startup Layerise has raised €1.1 million from German VC E.ventures, Falcon.io founder Ulrik Bo Larsen and Danish VC Heartcore. Founded in 2019, Layerise fills the gap that exists between the end user and the manufacturer of physical products. It acts as a digital assistant for physical products, allowing the buyer to find deeper information…
I work as an operations manager at an SF based startup, where I oversee the daily actions of +20 ops staff and dozens of partner/client accounts.
Every minute in the day counts, so I’m looking for productivity tool recommendations that could help me save time, keep my sanity, and still kick butt on the daily.
What I’m using right now:
RescueTime – rescuetime(.)com
- Cuz procrastination. Been using it for years
Scribe – cursive(.)io/scribe
- This tool has saved me HOURS in staff training and technical comms with contractors.
Grammarly – grammarly(.)com
- English is my second language
Roam Research – roamresearch(.)com
- My favorite tool to document todo’s, thoughts, and notes.
Would love to hear your recommendations!
Although the pandemic situation hasn’t completely eased all over the world, the European tech startups are gradually picking up pace. After being initially hit by this global health crisis, several tech startups all over Europe have started securing investments that will help them grow further.
European tech startups weekly
As a part of a weekly roundup, here is a list of some of the most important tech startups that have hit the headlines in Europe this week.
Sennder acquires Uber’s European freight business
Berlin-based Sennder, a digital freight forwarder has acquired the European freight business of Uber in an all-stock deal. This way, Uber becomes a minority shareholder in this company. The agreement includes a shipper referral program, wherein Sennder will refer shippers looking for freight brokerage or other similar services.
Sennder was founded in 2016 by David Nothacker, Julius Koehler, and Nicolaus Schefenacker. It is a logistics platform and marketplace connecting commercial shippers and smaller freight carriers. The digital trucking company digitalises the truck-loading-shipping ecosystem by providing mobile apps to drivers, fleet management tools to carrier managers and logistics management solutions to shippers.
3D and VR tool product design
London-based Gravity Sketch, a product design and collaboration platform recently announced that it secured nearly €3.1M seed funding led by Kindred Capital. Others to take part in the funding round include Point Nine Capital and previous investors Forward Partners. Gravity Sketch will use this investment to scale up its platform and become entirely hardware-agnostic. This way, it will be able to make its complete suite of tools available to creative professionals and businesses alike.
Established in 2014 by Oluwaseyi Sosanya, Daniela Paredes and Daniel Thomas, Gravity Sketch works with the objective to revolutionise how physical products are designed, developed and made available. It is one of the leaders in the digital design industry providing intuitive 3D design software to create, collaborate and review in a new way.
On-device cybersecurity solution
Israeli IoT cybersecurity company Sternum bagged $ 6.5M (nearly €5.5M) Series A funding led by Square Peg, along with existing investors such as Merle Hinrich, btov Partners. A slew of private investors including Eyal Shavit, a Boston-based entrepreneur and Udi Mokady, CyberArk founder and CEO, also participated in this round. The investment will be used to expand the company’s R&D team and develop its go-to-market strategy.
Based out of Tel Aviv, Sternum was founded by Natali Tshuva in 2018. The company’s security solution can be put directly into the binary code of the device and integrated into a range of devices including high-end, low-end, old, new, Linux and RTOS-based devices without any major changes to the existing code.
Smart city operator
London-based smart city operator Connexin pocketed £80M (nearly €87.6M) funding in an attempt to keep up with the demand in the UK. An Australian independent infrastructure manager, Whitehelm Capital bought a minority stake in the company. It has also been announced that it has earmarked further capital for investment via the partnership.
Connexin founded by Furqan Alamgir and Alex Yeung in 2006 develops IoT and smart city solutions for a wide range of urban issues including water and electricity usage, flood prevention, waste management, mobility and parking. Last year, the smart city operator delivered UK’s first purpose-built Smart City OS for Hull City Council.
Any company can become a fintech
Paris-based banking platform Swan has bagged €5M seed funding in a round led by Creandum and Bpifrance. The company will use the investment to meet strict financial regulations and acquire its first clients. Furthermore, Swan expects to witness specialised banking for vertical markets especially for e-commerce, dentists, etc.
The French banking platform Swan debuted in 2019 by Nicolas Benady, Mathieu Breton, and Nicolas Saison. The company has built a product that makes it possible for any company to become a fintech. Any business can use the API of this French startup to handle their own payments and provide branded bank IBANs, accounts, and cards.
Healthtech startup to expand NHS virtual outpatient services
UK healthcare startup Medefer has secured £10M (nearly €11M) funding led by Nickleby Capital. The company will use the investment to scale its presence and make it perfectly positioned to tackle the potential 10 million patient backlog, which has grown during the COVID-19 era.
Founded by NHS consultants Dr. Bahman Nedjat-Shokouhi and Dr. Andrew Millar, Medefer is a CQC regulated healthcare provider. The digital platform connects general physicians, consultants, and patients. Its outpatient operating system manages the entire patient pathway ranging from referral to triage to diagnosis, investigation, and discharge sans the necessity for physical outpatient appointments.
Upcoming big data platform for esports
Berlin-based Bayes – formerly DOJO Madness – an esports startup that makes use of big data to build various tools and services has secured $ 6M (nearly €5.1M) from Pohlad Family investment group, Sony Innovation Fund, Fertitta Capital, and other sports as well as media investors. The investment will be used to expand its platform further.
Bayes was established in 2015 by Jens Hilgers, Markus Fuhrmann, and Christian Gruber. The German holding company owns two business units – Bayes Esports Solutions, a co-venture with Sportradar that distributes esports data to customers, and Shadow, which develops analytical tools for tournaments and esports teams.
Fort Ross’ third venture capital fund
Fort Ross Ventures, a Russia-connected VC firm has announced its third fund called Fort Ross Seed Fund. This new venture capital firm has already received support from Sberbank. The fund intends to invest in nearly 200 startups at the seed and Series A stages. And, it will also support the international expansion of these companies.
Fort Ross Investment Director Egor Abramov confirmed that the VC fund will be more focused on Russia and the neighbouring CIS countries than the other previous Fort Ross Funds. He believes that the investor composition of the VC fund could be quite close to that of SBT Ventures II fund.
Platform for public affairs
Danish startup Ulobby, which offers a platform for public affairs and stakeholder management has secured €1M funding that will be used to expand into the Nordics and accelerate its presence in Brussels as it is a key market for the company. With expansion plans in the Nordics, this startup intends to become a market leader in Northern Europe in two years.
Founded in 2016 by Bertel Torp and Anders Kopp Jensen, Ulobby is a SaaS platform for public affairs and stakeholder management. Currently, the company employs 18 staff with offices in Brussels and Copenhagen. It aims to make the lobbying process more accessible and transparent for companies and organisations that want to comprehend and influence the political agenda.
London-based money-saving app
London-based Chip has secured a total of £10M (nearly €11M) Series A funding from the crowd and government-backed Future Fund. This crowd amount was secured in less than 48 hours from 6,420 investors via Crowdcube. Chip will use the investment to accelerate growth and improve the capacity and infrastructure to provide access to more deposits, evolve to investment funds, and launch their premium account dubbed ChipX.
Founded by Simon Rabin in 2016, Chip is a clever app, which automatically lets you save for your goals. The free app is available on both Android and iOS platforms and uses Artificial Intelligence to decide what to save. The app sends you a notification indicating how much money you want to put aside for savings along with an option to cancel it any time.
Main image picture credits: Ulobby
The post Tech startups weekly: 3D, VR tool product design, on-device cybersecurity solution and more appeared first on Silicon Canals .
Does anyone know a site / tools that offer this in-one.
A messaging feature between clients and freelancers similar to Upwork
Job / gig creating (client side)
Applying for jobs (freelancer side)
PS. I’m not looking for competitors to Fivrr, Upwork etc but a SAAS / tools with those 3-4 basic features that I can customise or have a bit of control with in terms of adding users, deleting, design etc.
When it comes to pop culture, a company executive or history questions, most of us use Google as a memory crutch to recall information we can’t always keep in our heads, but Google can’t help you remember the name of your client’s spouse or the great idea you came up with at a meeting the other day.
Enter Luther.AI, which purports to be Google for your memory by capturing and transcribing audio recordings, while using AI to deliver the right information from your virtual memory bank in the moment of another online conversation or via search.
The company is releasing an initial browser-based version of their product this week at TechCrunch Disrupt where it’s competing for the $ 100,000 prize at TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield.
Luther.AI’s founders say the company is built on the premise that human memory is fallible, and that weakness limits our individual intelligence. The idea behind Luther.AI is to provide a tool to retain, recall and even augment our own brains.
It’s a tall order, but the company’s founders believe it’s possible through the growing power of artificial intelligence and other technologies.
“It’s made possible through a convergence of neuroscience, NLP and blockchain to deliver seamless in-the-moment recall. GPT-3 is built on the memories of the public internet, while Luther is built on the memories of your private self,” company founder and CEO Suman Kanuganti told TechCrunch.
It starts by recording your interactions throughout the day. For starters, that will be online meetings in a browser, as we find ourselves in a time where that is the way we interact most often. Over time though, they envision a high-quality 5G recording device you wear throughout your day at work and capture your interactions.
If that is worrisome to you from a privacy perspective, Luther is building in a few safeguards starting with high-end encryption. Further, you can only save other parties’ parts of a conversation with their explicit permission. “Technologically, we make users the owner of what they are speaking. So for example, if you and I are having a conversation in the physical world unless you provide explicit permission, your memories are not shared from this particular conversation with me,” Kanuganti explained.
Finally, each person owns their own data in Luther and nobody else can access or use these conversations either from Luther or any other individual. They will eventually enforce this ownership using blockchain technology, although Kanuganti says that will be added in a future version of the product.
Kanuganti says the true power of the product won’t be realized with a few individuals using the product inside a company, but in the network effect of having dozens or hundreds of people using it, even though it will have utility even for an individual to help with memory recall, he said.
While they are releasing the browser-based product this week, they will eventually have a stand-alone app, and can also envision other applications taking advantage of the technology in the future via an API where developers can build Luther functionality into other apps.
The company was founded at the beginning of this year by Kanuganti and three co-founders including CTO Sharon Zhang, design director Kristie Kaiser and scientist Marc Ettlinger. It has raised $ 500,000 and currently has 14 employees including the founders.
British startup Gravity Sketch, a product design and collaboration platform, today announces an approx. €3.1 million seed investment led by Kindred Capital with participation from Point Nine Capital and previous investors Forward Partners. The round brings the total amount raised by Gravity Sketch to €4.5 million, in addition to the initial grant funding from InnovationRCA…
The New York-based startup HowGood, which provides a sustainability database for consumer product ingredients, is publicly launching its product Latis and has already signed an initial customer with Danone North America, the company said.
The company said that its Latis tool can be used to determine the impact of any ingredient or product against environmental and social metrics, like biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, labor risk and animal welfare.
“Consumers no longer just want the best product at the best price,” said Alexander Gillett, CEO and founder of HowGood, in a statement. “Today’s shoppers place value on protecting the environment and ensuring that the brands they support align with their personal values.”
Aggregating information from academic papers, industry findings, research from non-governmental organizations and other sources, Latis can be used by product development groups inside corporations to assess the implications of using certain ingredients.
Because the information is only used by the company to inform product development, there are no guarantees that product developers won’t use toxic or environmentally damaging products — they’ll just have the opportunity to be aware of how those products effect biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, labor risk, and animal welfare.
The company currently has data on more than 33,000 ingredients, chemicals and materials, according to a statement. HowGood is backed by investors including FirstMark, Great Oaks Venture Capital, High Line Venture Partners, Joanne Wilson and Contour Venture Partners.
“Having an impact assessment tool for our product portfolio is raising the sustainability awareness of our product developers and brand teams,” said Takoua Debeche, SVP of Research and Innovation at Danone, in a statement. “This holistic tool is critical to improving the sustainability impact of our brands.”
As medical providers across the world turn to digital delivery of consultations and services, OnCall Health, a Toronto-based provider of back-end services for telemedicine, is having a moment.
The company, which competes with services like Truepill to offer physicians, pharmacies and other potential point of care services a way to consult online, has grown exceptionally quickly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
OnCall Health’s services include the ability to schedule a video or text appointment with a physician, hosting those video consultations on its secured servers, and the integration of back-end billing systems so physicians can get paid.
Services like OnCall and Truepill’s have increased exponentially since the advent of lockdown orders put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In a sign of how hungry investors are for these kinds of deals, Truepill just raised $ 75 million to expand its own health services offerings.
“Since COVID-19, telemedicine has shifted from a nice-to-have revenue source for primary care, mental health and home care and chronic conditions to a need-to-have,” said Base10 Partners principal Chris Zeoli, who led the investment into OnCall.
Joining Base10 in its $ 6 million investment into OnCall were several existing investors from the company’s $ 2 million seed round, including Ripple Ventures, Panache Ventures and Stout Street Capital.
The bulk of the company’s customers come from small and medium-sized physician’s practices, according to Zeoli. Roughly 500 of the company’s existing customers consist of offices with fewer than 10 practicing doctors.
Capturing this long tail is important because it actually represents a huge proportion of healthcare providers.
“OnCall provides everything that healthcare brands like pharmaceutical companies, insurers and direct to consumer digital health startups need to get into the space and launch their own virtual care programs, often for the first time,” said Nicholas Chepesiuk, founder and CEO of OnCall Health. “Meanwhile, we are well-positioned to help conventional healthcare clinics and systems adopt virtual care technology in the context of their operational processes. In the past year we have been able to roll out our technology with two global insurance companies, several leading pharmaceutical brands, and many rapidly growing digital health startups.”
OnCall now has over 30 employees and supports 7,000 primary care, mental health and paramedical service providers across North America.
Diffblue, a spin-out from Oxford University, uses machine learning to help developers automatically create unit tests for their Java code. Since few developers enjoy writing unit tests to ensure that their code works as expected, increased automation doesn’t just help developers focus on writing the code that actually makes a difference but also lead to code with fewer bugs. Current Diffblue customers include the likes of Goldman Sachs and AWS.
So far, Diffblue only offered its service through a paid — and pricey — subscription. Today, however, the company also launched its free community edition, Diffblue Cover: Community Edition, which doesn’t feature all of the enterprise features in its paid versions, but still offers an IntelliJ plugin and the same AI-generated unit tests as the paid editions.
The company also plans to launch a new lower cost ‘individual’ plan for Diffblue Cover soon, starting at $ 120 per month. This plan will offer access to support and other advanced features as well.
At its core, Diffblue uses unsupervised learning to build these unit tests. “What we’re doing is unique in the sense that there have been tools before that use what’s called static analysis,” Diffblue CEO Mathew Loge, who joined the company about a year ago, explained. “They look at the program and they basically understand the path through the program and try and work backwards from the path. So if the path gets to this point, what inputs do we need to put into the program in order to get here?” That approach has its limitations, though, which Diffblue’s reinforcement learning method aims to get around.
Once the process has run its course, Diffblue provides developers with readable tests. That’s important, Loge stressed, because if a test fails and a developer can’t figure out what happened, it’s virtually impossible for the developer to fix the issue. That’s something the team learning the hard way, as early version so Diffblue used a very aggressive algorithm that provided great test coverage (the key metric for unit tests), but made it very hard for developers to figure out what was happening.
With the community edition, which doesn’t offer the command-line interface (CLI) of Diffblue’s paid editions, developers can write their code in IntelliJ as before and then simply click a button to have Diffblue write the tests for that code.
“The Community Edition is designed to be very accessible. It is literally one click in the IDE and you get your tests. The CLI version is more sophisticated and it covers more cases and solves for teams and large deployments inside of an organization,” Loge explained.
Diffblue has actually been around for a bit. The company raised a $ 22 million Series A round led by Goldman Sachs and with participation from Oxford Sciences Innovation and the Oxford Technology and Innovations Fund in 2017. You obviously don’t raise that kind of money to focus only on unit tests for Java code. Besides support for more language, unit tests are just the first step in the company’s overall goal of automating more of the programming process with the help of AI.
“We started with testing because it’s an important and urgent problem, especially with the impact that it has on DevOps and the adoption of more rapid software cycles,” Loge said. The next obvious step is to then take a similar approach to automatically fixing bugs — and especially security bugs — in code as well.
“The idea is that there are these steppingstones to machines writing more and more code,” he said. “And also, frankly, it’s a way of getting developers used to that. Because developer acceptance is a crucial part of making this successful.”