Australia’s smartbank, 86 400, has integrated a new solution from BioCatch, a behavioural biometrics company, to provide its customers with enhanced security and protection from fraud. Using machine learning and advanced behavioural biometrics to monitor elements such as device orientation, typing speed and swipe patterns, BioCatch can distinguish suspicious and potentially fraudulent activity from genuine user movements, without adding any friction to the experience.
Barcelona-based Wallapop, a hyper-local virtual marketplace for buying and selling secondhand goods, has raised €157M in its Series G round of funding. With this financing, the company now valued at €690M.
Investors in this round
The round was led by Korelya Capital, a late-stage investment fund based in Paris, with the backing of Naver, the leading Internet company in Korea.
In addition, the round also saw participation from investors including Accel, Insight Venture Partners, 14W, GP Bullhound, and Northzone.
The company was founded in 2013 by Agustin Gomez, Gerard Olive, and Miguel Vicente. Wallapop is a hyper-local virtual marketplace for buying and selling secondhand goods.
By connecting buyers and sellers, Wallapop wants to encourage more responsible consumption because it can extend the life of the products as well as avoid their overproduction. The platform is present in all categories of consumer goods and, in addition, claims to have set a benchmark in more specific categories such as the motor industry.
According to the company, its geolocation technology connects a community of 15 million users in Spain, enabling them to buy and sell objects that they no longer use. On the platform, with more than 180 million items, users can find items at more affordable prices, while extending their functional life.
New service launched during the pandemic
In 2020, Wallapop launched a home collection service called Envios, by collaborating with a logistics company SEUR, due to the COVID-19 lockdown restriction. This allowed users to sell their second-hand products without leaving home.
And with this service, despite having to pause its operations during the COVID-19 lockdown, the platform experienced a 50 per cent increase in its activity. The company witnessed revenue growth of more than 50 per cent in 2020.
Furthermore, in 2020, the company saw a 240 per cent increase in revenue from Wallapop Shipping on Black Friday and received a total of 17 million visitors during the month of November.
Use of the raised capital
This investment round will allow Wallapop to continue expanding its presence in the Spanish market. The company’s plan for 2021 is to improve its user experience (making it easier than ever to buy and sell second-hand items), evolve in its e-commerce experience through Wallapop Envíos, and continue designing products and services for small businesses and entrepreneurs on its platform.
Wallapop collaborates with NAVER
The company is also collaborating with NAVER – Korea’s leading Internet company. With this partnership, the Spanish company aims to boost its innovation capacity using NAVER’s technology.
This development for Wallapop comes at a time when the Korean tech giant is showing its interest in the European startup ecosystem.
Run The World is a one-stop shop virtual events platform with a focus on community engagement. TechCrunch has written about Run The World in the past. It launched in 2019, with backers like Andreessen Horowitz and Founders Fund, and skyrocketed in popularity when COVID canceled in-person events and created an overwhelming desire for one-on-one connection. Run The World has since grown to 45 employees and has hosted more than 10,000 events, including for TechCrunch.
At this AMA, Xiaoyin and TechCrunch will discuss:
How COVID changed the virtual event roadmap
What virtual events look like when in-person events come back
Lessons learned from managing products at Facebook and Instagram
What’s next for Run The World
1:1 networking using Run The World
Who should attend? Event organizers, event marketers, event sponsors.
SALT Talks, Feb. 24: Israel’s Vaccine Rollout Tech
Otonomo heads for SPAC
Edgybees raises $ 9.5M Series A for video augmentation
Cyabra warns on public attitudes to Texas storm
HUB Security merges with ALD
Singapore’s SpeQtral and QuantLR confront quantum attacks
Coco-Cola, Lancôme explore virtual stores Technology for global ecommerce stores developed by OurCrowd startup ByondXR offers a full-scale simulation of the physical shopping experience. Leading commercial brands including Coca-Cola, Target, Lancôme and P&G have become customers. Lancôme has launched a new range of global ecommerce stores using ByondXR’s technology. Online shoppers can interact with goods and customer service representatives. Try it for yourself: Lancôme Experience “We have been using ByondXR’s platform to create true-to-life immersive pop-up experiences for Lancôme consumers around the world,” Malik Abu-Ghazaleh, global head of digital marketing, ecommerce and CRM atLancôme tellsGlobal Cosmetic Industry. “Working with ByondXR, we have discovered a team of talented, relentless professionals with a can-do attitude who managed to execute and launch our experiences beautifully and quickly. These virtual pop-ups have shown great value in terms of audience engagement and sales. Having seen the potential, I’m positive we will do many more of these with the ByondXR platform for years to come.” Co-Founder and CEO Noam Levavi previously co-founded and led YCD Multimedia, a digital media provider helping some of the world’s biggest brands deliver personalized content to their customers. Click here to see the technology in action. We are currently raising a Seed round for the company. Click below to invest.
FDA nod for BrainQ’s breakthrough stroke therapy The FDA has awarded Breakthrough Device designation to stunning new technology from BrainQ that offers new hope for stroke victims. The decision allows the company to work with the FDA to expedite the development and clearance process of BrainQ’s groundbreaking device that treats chronic disability following a stroke using AI-powered electromagnetic field therapy. The non-invasive treatment consists of a vest and headband worn by the stroke victim. Currently approved interventions for reducing disability following a stroke are only relevant in the first few hours following the stroke and only 5% of stroke victims reach the hospital in time to benefit. BrainQ believes its breakthrough technology, applying low-intensity electromagnetic fields that can be used anywhere, will significantly extend the therapy window. “Stroke is a debilitating condition with limited recovery options, creating a huge unmet need,” BrainQ CEO and Co-founder Yotam Drechsler tells the Jerusalem Post. “FDA Breakthrough Designation is an important milestone in our mission to reduce disability for these patients and treat them in the comfort of their homes.”
No, we are not going back to the future As we ride the 2021 market roller coaster through wreckage and recovery, accompanied by a raging bull market in tech stocks, some people are wondering whether we might be re-living the dreadful dot-com boom and bust of 2000-2001. Is 2021 the new 2000? Is venture investing too risky in the current climate? Are we heading for another bottomless crash? I don’t think so. Despite valuations at nosebleed altitudes, 2021 is likely to be remembered as a very good venture vintage indeed when we break open the bottles to sample the returns in 2030. Read my new ‘Investors on the Frontlines’ column for five reasons why.
SALT Talks, Feb. 24: Israel’s Vaccine Rollout Tech Israel is far and away the global leader in vaccinations per capita, and its integrated, digitized healthcare system made it happen. Dr. Yossi Bahagon, who founded and managed the digital platform of Clalit, Israel’s largest healthcare provider and the second largest in the world, reveals how it was done and why it works. A serial entrepreneur and Managing Partner of OurCrowd Qure, Israel’s first digital health fund, Yossi will also discuss current and future investment opportunities in the MedTech space. Moderated by: David Suissa, President of Tribe Media and veteran journalist covering the Israeli tech scene.
Otonomo heads for SPAC The SPAC market is hotting up. Otonomo Technologies Ltd., a Maniv Mobility portfolio company, will become publicly listed through a SPAC with Software Acquisition Group, Inc. II. The combined company is expected to have an estimated equity value of approximately $ 1.4 billion and is expected to be listed on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol OTMO. Read more in Bloomberg, Calcalist and the company’s announcement here. At this valuation, it is expected that this exit alone will return approximately 50% of investors’ committed capital to Maniv Mobility.
Top Tech News
Edgybees raises $ 9.5M Series A for video augmentation Edgybees, an OurCrowd portfolio company that helps businesses, first responders and military users accurately geotag and augment their aerial video streams in real-time, raised a $ 9.5 million Series A round led by Seraphim Capital, which specializes in space tech investments. Co-investors included Refinery Ventures, LG Technology Ventures, Kodem Growth, 8VC, Verizon Ventures and Motorola Solutions Venture Capital. “Our mission is to ensure positive human outcomes during life-saving missions,” Edgybees co-founder and CEO Adam Kaplan tells TechCrunch.
Cyabra warns on public attitudes to Texas storm Cyabra, an OurCrowd portfolio company hailed by the US State Dept and others for its ability to inform policy by cutting through the noise on social media, says political and business leaders in Texas should take heed of disinformation about the blizzard and its effects. “The trending conversations across social media with #TexasBlackOut and #TexasSnowStorm2021 will show business leaders the sheer complexity and magnitude of these increasing social posts the local government of Texas is currently encountering,” CEO Dan Brahmy tells Forbes, noting “a growing animosity in language towards local leaders on their efforts to fix the issues at hand are all fueling criticism towards how the local government is handling the situation. When leaders truly understand the gravity of the conversation, they can more confidently address their community and make decisions on the best next course of action.” OurCrowd is currently investing in Cyabra’s Series A round. For more information, click below.
HUB Security merges with ALD HUB Security, an OurCrowd portfolio company that provides military-grade advanced security for companies and organizations aiming to prevent hostile intrusion and exposure of sensitive data, is to merge with Advanced Logistics Development Ltd. (ALD), which is traded publicly on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange. The merger includes a $ 50M cash investment from institutional investors. “This is one of those rare cases where a company merger happens naturally with complete synergy,” Eyal Moshe, CEO and founder of HUB Security tells CTech. “The merger with ALD will provide HUB with a global marketing infrastructure that would have taken us years to establish independently, connecting us with dozens of potential high-profile customers from the world’s leading brands, including governmental institutions, insurance conglomerates, commercial banks and others.”
Singapore’s SpeQtral and QuantLR confront quantum attacks SpeQtral, a Singaporean satellite-based quantum key distribution (QKD) operator, will collaborate with OurCrowd portfolio company QuantLR to connect any two points on earth – securely. QuantLR also provides QKD and specializes in fiber optics. QKD is a secure communication method that enables two parties to produce a random secret key known only to them to encrypt and decrypt messages. This collaboration will also be facilitated by a grant by the Singapore-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation, and the Israel Innovation Authority. “Quantum Cryptography and Encryption solutions are proven to be the only absolutely secured resolution to any eavesdropping and hacking attempts of communication lines – both now and in the future,” Shlomi Cohen, CEO of QuantLR tells Singapore’s The Edge. Cohen estimates that sales in the quantum cryptography market will top $ 24B by 2025.
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With the Covid-19 pandemic, social distancing has become the new norm. Although this has negatively impacted various industries around the world, the online events industry has definitely benefited from it. This has led to a number of startups in the virtual event industry raising big rounds to fuel the growth.
London-based Grip is a market engagement platform for virtual and in-person events, and it has raised funding too.
Grip raises funding
Grip has raised $ 13M (approx €10.7M) in its series A round of funding. The round was led by London-based growth equity fund Kennet Partners. And, with this round, the company has now raised a total of $ 14.5M (nearly €12M), to date.
Founded in 2016, Grip a professional networking app for events. The Grip matchmaking app connects delegates, speakers, and exhibitors in a fast and simple way.
With its AI-powered matchmaking engine, the startup claims to have established millions of connections at thousands of events. It has worked with leading event organisers globally including Reed Exhibitions, Messe Frankfurt, VentureBeat, and TechCrunch
“Our mission is to empower organisers to bring professionals together to advance industries. This funding round is going to enable us to take the experience to a new level, leveraging our extensive industry-leading platform, offering unique value for Virtual, Hybrid and In-Person events,” says Tim Groot, CEO and founder of Grip.
“We’re going to invest heavily in our product and global expansion to support organisers across the world in the continued digitisation of their business and empower them to succeed in this new reality. Now, more than ever, we must do everything possible to help professionals connect in useful and meaningful ways,” he adds.
Besides, the platform can also be used for group conversations. The platform is reportedly working on a topic-based “speed networking” functionality to hold instant 3 minute conversations.
Grip can also be integrated with streaming platforms such as Vimeo, Youtube, Zoom, and BlueJeans, among others.
How is Grip different from its competitors?
The reason why Grip is different from its competition, Groot tells TechCrunch, is because “We took a slightly different approach. We managed to work in a plug-and-play method alongside other platforms. So grip gets used as a standalone virtual event platform by lots of these organisers. So they might use Hopin – a virtual events platform, for the conference but Grip for the networking. So maybe we managed to get more traction that way, over the course of 2020.”
Due to the pandemic last year, most of the startups in the networking space had to pivot rapidly, and so did Grip. Since then, the company has hosted over 100 events a month and was used by 1.5 million people. This resulted in a 4 times revenue gain for the company last year. This year it expects to do over 10,000 events on its platform with over 5 million participants, reports TC.
Today a leading market engagement platform for virtual and in-person events, Grip, has announced around €10.7 million in Series A funding, taking its total amount raised to around €12 million. The round, led by London-based growth equity fund Kennet Partners, will further enable Grip to provide industry-leading experiences both in-person and virtually. Founded in 2016,…
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