Belvo, LatAm’s answer to Plaid, raises $43M to scale its API for financial services

Belvo, a Latin American startup which has built an open finance API platform, announced today it has raised $43 million in a Series A round of funding.

A mix of Silicon Valley and Latin American-based VC firms and angels participated in the financing including Future Positive, Kibo Ventures, FJ Labs, Kaszek, MAYA Capital, Venture Friends, Rappi co-founder and president Sebastián Mejía (Rappi), Harsh Sinha, CTO of Wise (formerly Transferwise) and Nubank CEO and founder David Vélez.

Citing Crunchbase data, Belvo believes the round represents the largest series A ever raised by a Latin American fintech. In May 2020, Belvo raised a $10 million seed round co-led by Silicon Valley’s Founders Fund and Argentina’s Kaszek.

Belvo aims to work with leading fintechs in Latin America, spanning across verticals like the neobanks, credit providers and personal finance products Latin Americans use every day.

The startup’s goal with its developer-first API platform that can be used to access and interpret end-user financial data is to build better, more efficient and more inclusive financial products in Latin America. Developers of popular neobank apps, credit providers and personal finance tools use Belvo’s API to connect bank accounts to their apps to unlock the power of open banking.

As TechCrunch Senior Editor Alex Wilhelm explained in this piece last year, Belvo might be considered similar to U.S.-based Plaid, but more attuned to the Latin American market so it can take in a more diverse set of data to better meet the needs of the various markets it serves. 

So while Belvo’s goals are “similar to the overarching goal[s] of Plaid,” co-founder and co-CEO Pablo Viguera told TechCrunch that Belvo is not merely building a banking API business hoping to connect apps to financial accounts. Instead, Belvo wants to build a finance API, which takes in more information than is normally collected by such systems. Latin America is massively underbanked and unbanked so the more data from more sources, the better.

“In essence, we’re pushing for similar outcomes [as Plaid] in terms of when you think about open banking or open finance,” Viguera said. “We’re working to democratize access to financial data and empower end users to port that data, and share that data with whoever they want.”

The company operates under the premise that just because a significant number of the region’s population is underbanked doesn’t mean that they aren’t still financially active. Belvo’s goal is to link all sorts of accounts together. For example, Viguera told TechCrunch that some gig-economy companies in Latin America are issuing their own cards that allow workers to cash out at small local shops. In time, all those transactions are data that could be linked up using Belvo, casting a far wider net than what we’re used to domestically.

The company’s work to connect banks and non-banks together is key to the company’s goal of allowing “any fintech or any developer to access and interpret user financial data,” according to Viguera.

Viguera and co-CEO Oriol Tintoré founded in May of 2019, and was part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2020 batch. Since launching its platform last year, the company says it has built a customer base of over 60 companies across Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, handling millions of monthly API calls. 

This is important because as Alex noted last year, similar to other players in the API-space, Belvo charges for each API call that its customers use (in this sense, it has a model similar to Twilio’s). 

Image Credits: Co-founders and co-CEOs Oriol Tintore and Pablo Viguera / Belvo

Also, over the past year, Belvo says it expanded its API coverage to over 40 financial institutions, which gives companies the ability to connect to over 90% of personal and business bank accounts in LatAm, as well as to tax authorities (such as the SAT in Mexico) and gig economy platforms.

“Essentially we take unstructured financial data , which an individual might have outside of a bank such as integrations we have with gig economy platforms such as Uber and Rappi. We can take a driver’s information from their Uber app, which is kind of built like a bank app and turn it into meaningful bank-like info which third parties can leverage to make assessments as if it’s data coming from a bank,” Viguera explained.

The startup plans to use its new capital to scale its product offering, continue expanding its geographic footprint and double its current headcount of 70. Specifically, Belvo plans to hire more than 50 engineers in Mexico and Brazil by year’s end. It currently has offices in Mexico City, São Paulo, and Barcelona. The company also aims to  launch its bank-to-bank payment initiation offering in Mexico and Brazil.

Belvo currently operates in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. 

But it’s seeing “a lot of opportunity” in other markets in Latin America, especially in Chile, Peru and Argentina, Viguera told TechCrunch. “In due course, we will look to pursue expansion there.” 

Fred Blackford, founding partner of Future Positive, believes Belvo represents a “truly transformational opportunity for the region’s financial sector.”

Nicolás Szekasy, co-founder and managing partner of Kaszek, noted that demand for financial services in Latin America is growing at an exponential rate .

“Belvo is developing the infrastructure that will enable both the larger institutions and the emerging generation of younger players to successfully deploy their solutions,” he said. “ Oriol, Pablo, and the Belvo team have been leading the development of a sophisticated platform that resolves very complex technical challenges, and the company’s exponential growth reflects how it is delivering a product that fits perfectly with the requirements of the market.” 

#alex-wilhelm, #api, #argentina, #bank, #banking, #barcelona, #belvo, #brazil, #ceo, #chile, #co-ceo, #colombia, #cto, #david-velez, #driver, #editor, #finance, #financial-services, #fj-labs, #founders-fund, #funding, #fundings-exits, #kaszek, #kibo-ventures, #latin-america, #mexico, #mexico-city, #nubank, #online-food-ordering, #open-banking, #open-finance, #peru, #rappi, #recent-funding, #sao-paulo, #startup, #startups, #tc, #technology, #twilio, #uber, #vc, #venture-capital, #wise, #y-combinator


Pomelo raises $9M to build a payments infrastructure for LatAm fintechs

Pomelo, a startup building a fintech-as-a-service platform for Latin America, has raised $9 million in a seed round of funding.

The Buenos Aires-based startup’s new infrastructure aims to allow fintechs and embedded finance players to launch virtual accounts and issue prepaid and credit cards via “compliant” onboarding processes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital payments all over the world, and Latin America is no exception. While the majority of transactions are still done in cash, there are still over a billion cards in the region.

Cards have an estimated payments volume of $900 billion per year, and yet 95% of these transactions are being processed by local incumbents, asserts Pomelo. This is a problem the company’s founders experienced firsthand in previous roles, and are eager to solve by creating a new payments infrastructure.

“We know from previous experiences…that building a fintech, and particularly issuing cards, in Latin America is a real nightmare,” said Pomelo co-founder and CEO Gaston Irigoyen. “It takes anywhere from 12 to 18 months to launch a simple prepaid card, and unfortunately companies have to go through the painful experience of repeating the process in every market where they operate.”

Pomelo’s goal is to solve the problem by creating a new generation of financial services infrastructure that allows companies to build a fintech business and launch cards “much faster” throughout Latin America. For now, the three-month-old company is in its infancy — the pre-product phase, which makes it even more notable that the company managed to raise such a large seed round.

This round caught our eye for a few other reasons. For one, the three co-founders of the Buenos Aires-based startup were former executives at Mastercard, Google LatAm, Mercado Pago and Naranja X. CEO Irigoyen was an early employee at Google LatAm. He is also a third-time founder with two exits (one to TripAdvisor) and former CEO of Naranja X, Argentina’s largest neobank, with millions of customers. Juan Fantoni was the former director of fintech at Mastercard, where he signed issuing deals with a number of large companies. And Hernan Corral was the CPO of Naranja X and previously head of digital accounts & cards at Mercado Pago.

Next, the caliber of Pomelo’s investors. U.S.-based Index Ventures and Brazil’s monashees co-led the funding round, which also included participation from QED’s Fontes, Max Levchin’s SciFi, Latitud, Biz Stone’s Future Positive, 20VC, Addition, FJ Labs and a16z’s Angela Strange, as well as the founders of Marqeta, Rappi, Auth0, Kavak, Loft and RecargaPay.

If you’re looking for comparisons to U.S.-based fintechs, Irigoyen said it’s got a little bit of Galileo, Marqeta and Stripe in what it’s building out.

Caio Bolognesi, partner at monashees, said his firm has been very bullish on the financial infrastructure space as a whole. They were drawn to Pomelo in part because its founders had been senior tech executives at leading fintech companies in the region and because many of its portfolio companies had already manifested the need for a better solution in this space.

Index Ventures’ Mark Fiorentino agrees that the company’s founder-market fit was crucial in his firm’s decision to invest.

“They have the DNA of the most well-known payments companies within the LATAM fintech ecosystem… and have lived through the pain points and keyed in on this opportunity through firsthand experience,” he said.

In general, Fiorentino believes that while the need for embedded financial products is becoming increasingly ubiquitous in the Latin American market, it’s important to note that the region “is far from a carbon copy” of the U.S. market with different dynamics.

For one, he said, existing solutions in the Latin American market are either “outdated” offerings from legacy financial institutions or “subpar” iterations from U.S. incumbents.

“It takes over 12 months for a business to spin up a plastic or digital card for itself. And because most legacy processors are owned by banks or large financial institutions that have been around for decades, pricing is inflexible and expensive,” Fiorentino told TechCrunch. “And if that wasn’t enough of a headache, stable reliability has been a huge pain point with these issuer processors. Pomelo is building the dev-first, self-serve API solution to address this clear market need.”

Looking ahead, Pomelo plans to use its new capital in part to open offices in São Paulo, Brazil and Mexico City, and hire dozens of people in those cities as well as in its home base of Argentina. The company currently has about 15 employees, 11 of which are engineers. It of course plans to continue building out its offering.

#api, #argentina, #biz-stone, #brazil, #buenos-aires, #finance, #financial-technology, #fintech, #fintech-infrastructure, #fj-labs, #google, #index-ventures, #latin-america, #marqeta, #mastercard, #max-levchin, #mexico-city, #monashees, #money, #online-payments, #payments, #payments-infrastructure, #paypal, #pomelo, #recent-funding, #sao-paulo, #startup, #startups, #stone, #tc, #tripadvisor, #united-states


Goldman Sachs leads $23M in funding for Brazilian e-commerce startup Olist

Olist, a Brazilian e-commerce marketplace integrator, has raised $23 million in a Series D round extension led by new investor Goldman Sachs Asset Management that brings its total Series D financing to $80 million.

Existing backer Redpoint Ventures, which first put money in Olist in 2015, also participated in the latest round. With this latest infusion, Olist has now raised over $126 million since its 2015 inception. This round is reportedly its last before the company plans to go public, according to Bloomberg.

SoftBank led the first tranch of Olist’s Series D in November as well as the company’s $46 million Series C in 2019. Valor Capital, Velt Partners, FJ Labs, Península and angel Kevin Efrusy had previously invested in the first tranche of the Series D.

Olist connects small businesses to larger product marketplaces to help entrepreneurs sell their products to a larger customer base. The company was founded with the mission of helping small merchants gain market share across the country through a SaaS licensing model to small brick and mortar businesses.

As of October 2019, Olist had more than 7,000 customers and used a drop-shipping model to send products directly from stores to clients around the country, allowing them to grow with a capital-light model.

Today, Olist says its platform provides tools that support “all the stages of an e-commerce operation” with the goal of helping merchants see “rapid increases in sales volume.” It currently has about 25,000 merchants on its platform.

The startup is no doubt benefiting from the pandemic-fueled e-commerce boom taking place all over the world as more people have turned to online shopping. Latin America, in general, has been home to increased e-commerce adoption. The region’s $85 billion e-commerce market is growing rapidly with projections of it reaching $116.2 billion in 2023.

As evidence of that, Olist says its revenue tripled to a record number in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the previous year, although it did not provide hard figures. It also reportedly doubled revenue in 2020, according to Bloomberg.

Olist Store, the company’s flagship product, gives merchants a way to manage product listings, logistics and store payments. It also offers “a unique sales experience” through channels such as Mercado Livre, B2W and Via Varejo. The product saw a record GMV in the first half of the year, which was up 2.5 times over the same period in the prior year, the company said.

Last year, Olist launched a new product, Olist Shops, giving users the ability to create a virtual showcase “in less than 3 minutes” that also offers payment checkout tools and integration with logistics operators. Shops has interfaces in Portuguese, English, and Spanish, and since its launch, it has attracted more than 200,000 users in 180 countries, according to Olist.

“The pandemic has accelerated digitalizing business processes around the world, thus spurring e-commerce growth in a surprising way,” said Tiago Dalvi, Olist’s founder and CEO, in a written statement. 

The company plans to use its new capital to invest in technology and products, pursuing new mergers and acquisitions and boosting its internationalization process. This is on top of two acquisitions Olist made last year — Clickspace and Pax Logistica, which gave Olist entry into the heated logistics space with more than 4,000 registered drivers.

Specifically, CFO Eduardo Ferraz said the company is in preliminary discussions with ERPs, retailers, and companies with complementary solutions to its own.

“That is why we also decided to expand the investment in our Series D and bring Goldman Sachs as another relevant investor to our cap table,” he said.

David Castelblanco, managing director and head of Latin America Corporate and Growth Equity Investing for the Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said his firm was impressed with how Olist empowers SMBs to generate more revenue.

“Tiago and the Olist team are incredibly customer oriented and have created an innovative technological solution for their e-commerce clients,” he added.

Olist is operating in an increasingly crowded space. In March, we covered São Paulo-based Nuvemshop’s $90 million raise that was led by Silicon Valley venture firm Accel. That company has developed an e-commerce platform that aims to allow SMBs and merchants to connect more directly with their consumers. 

#accel, #banks, #brazil, #ceo, #cfo, #companies, #e-commerce, #finance, #fj-labs, #goldman-sachs, #kevin-efrusy, #latin-america, #olist, #online-shopping, #opera, #redpoint-ventures, #sao-paulo, #series-d, #softbank, #tc, #valor-capital


Men’s health startup Manual raises $30M Series A from US and European investors

Men’s health and wellbeing startup Manual has raised a $30m Series A round from US-based Sonoma Brands and Waldencast, and Manual’s existing European investors Felix Capital and Cherry Ventures. FJ Labs and the GISEV Family Office also participated in the round. The cash will be used for product development and international expansion. Manual provides diagnostics, treatments and ongoing care and plans to expand across Europe, Asia and Latin America. The company has already expanded to Brazil.

Manual is competing with Numan (raised $13M), also from the UK (Manual launched a month earlier than them). In the US it is competing with Ro (raised $876.1M) and Hims (listed). All these brands tend to focus on issues like vitamins and erectile dysfunction, with the, often common refrain of, ‘normalizing’ the idea that men should look after themselves better, across a number of fronts and removing stigma’s around sexual health. It performs blood tests and other tests to analyze heart health, gut health, testosterone, sleep, energy, and immunity. They are pushing at a large market, as men historically avoid doctors.

Manual app

Manual app

George Pallis, CEO and Founder, previously led marketing at Wise and Deliveroo. In a statement he said: “We’ve been encouraged to see men of all ages increasingly turning to Manual to solve multiple health problems, with almost half of our customers seeking help for more than one issue. It’s clear that a health concern may have more than one cause, and we can provide customers with the ability to treat their health in a more holistic way. Using different treatments to understand and improve their wellbeing.”

Speaking to during an interview Pallis added: “We built our own teleconsultation product and have different applications for the blood test offering. When you get your results we will offer a clinician, we’ll walk you through all the data and the learnings. We offer tools where people can monitor their progress and have regular check-ins with our medical team.”

Antoine Nussenbaum, co-Founder and partner of Felix Capital, commented: “There is still much work to be done to remove the taboo when it comes to men looking after their wellbeing and talking openly about health concerns. But we’re starting to see a shift happen amongst consumers.”

Kevin Murphy, Managing Director of Sonoma Brands, commented: “Manual exists to empower men to take better care of themselves and to live fuller lives by doing so. George and his team have the clarity of vision and the skill to make Manual a leader in this exciting and important area.”

#antoine-nussenbaum, #articles, #asia, #brazil, #ceo, #cherry-ventures, #deliveroo, #energy, #europe, #felix-capital, #fj-labs, #health, #latin-america, #leader, #manual, #online-food-ordering, #tc, #united-kingdom, #united-states, #well-being


#DealMonitor – Gorillas bekommt 244 Millionen (und wird zum Einhorn) – PlusDental sammelt 35 Millionen ein – SellerX bekommt 26 Millionen

Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 25. März werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages in der DACH-Region. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.


+++ Tencent, Coatue, DST Global und Co. investieren stattliche 244 Millionen Euro in den sehr jungen Flash-Supermarkt Gorillas, der im März 2020 von Kagan Sümer und Jörg Kattner (nicht mehr an Bord) gegründet wurde. Wie bereits mehrmals berichtet, suchte der Online-Supermarkt Gorillas zuletzt 100 Millionen Euro. Nun ist es sogar deutlich mehr geworden. Das Startup, das Lebensmittel in wenigen Minuten liefert, erreicht bei dieser Investmentrunde zudem tatsächlich eine Bewertung von mehr als 1 Milliarde Dollar – und somit Einhorn-Status. “So schnell wie noch kein Startup in Europa zuvor”, teilt das Unternehmen stolz mit. Erst Ende 2020 sammelte Gorillas 37 Millionen Euro ein – vor allem vom New Yorker Hedgefonds Coatue. Die Bewertung soll damals nach unseren Informationen bei rund 160 Millionen (Pre-Money) gelegen haben. Neben den genannten Investoren sind auch Greenoaks, Fifth Wall und Atlantic Food Labs an der Jungfirma beteiligt. Wie das Unternehmen mitteilt sei mal seit der Series-A-Runde im Dezember, also in den vergangenen drei Monaten, “um das Zehnfache gewachsen”. In den vergangenen zehn Monaten ist Gorillas in über zwölf Städte expandiert – darunter Amsterdam, London und München – und baute mehr als 40 sogenannte “Mikro-Fulfillment-Center” auf. “Die neue Finanzierung wird genutzt, um das Wachstum weiter voranzutreiben. Gorillas will in mehr als zehn Länder mit über 50 Städten expandieren, darunter auch Paris. Zeitnah wollen sie den Schritt in die USA gehen, beginnend in New York”, teilt das Unicorn mit.

+++ Jebsen Capital investiert gemeinsam mit Fußballprofi Mario Götze und den Alt-Investoren – darunter unter anderem HV Capital, Lakestar, Cadence Growth Capital und Kreos Capital – 35 Millionen Euro in das junge Berliner Startup PlusDental. Zuletzt investierte der Münchner Private-Equity-Fonds Cadence Growth Capital rund 10 Millionen Euro in PlusDental. Das Startup, das 2017 unter dem Namen SunshineSmile von Constantin Bisanz, David Khalil, Peter Baumgart und Lukas Brosseder ins Leben gerufen wurde, positioniert sich im Bereich “digitale Zahnmedizin und ästhetische kieferorthopädische Korrekturen mit transparenten Zahnschienen”. Geführt wird das Grownup von Baumgart, Brosseder und Eva-Maria Meijnen. Insgesamt flossen nun schon knapp 100 Millionen Euro in das Unternehmen. 400 Mitarbeiter:innen wirken derzeit für PlusDental. “In 2022, I want PlusDental to become Germany’s first woman-led Unicorn”, schreibt Gründer Brosseder auf Linkedin. Wobei die Aussage ziemlich schräg ist, immerhin führen zwei Männer und eine Frau das Unternehmen. Und gegründet wurde PlusDental bekanntlich von vier Männern. Und Männer halten auch die Mehrheit an PlusDental.

+++ In unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar berichten wir einmal in der Woche über neue Startups. Alle Startups stellen wir in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter kurz und knapp vor und bringen sie so auf den Radar der Startup-Szene. Jetzt unseren Newsletter Startup-Radar abonnieren und 30 Tage kostenlos testen!

+++ 83North und Alt-Investoren wie Cherry Ventures, Felix Capital, Zalando-Gründer David Schneider und der ehemalige Amazon-UK-Chef Christopher North investieren 26 Millionen Euro in den Amazon-Shop-Aufkäufer SellerX – siehe sifted. Erst im November 2020 verkündete der Thrasio-Klon eine 100-Millionen-Investmentrunde. Das Startup, das 2020 von Malte Horeyseck (Dafiti-Gründer) und Philipp Triebel gegründet wurde, kauft – wie dutzende andere Unternehmen – amazon-Shops an und versucht diese zu noch größerem Erfolg zu bringen. “SellerX has now acquired 20 businesses, across a portfolio of evergreen direct to consumer goods. This includes: garden and household goods, art supplies, pet supplies, DIY tools, supplements, beauty products, baby products and fitness tools”, heißt es im Artikel. 120 Mitarbeiter:innen arbeiten für SellerX.

+++ Jetzt offiziell: Das österreichische Immobilien- und Handelsunternehmen Signa investiert – wie bereits Ende Januar berichtet – über seinen Ableger APIC Investments in das Hamburger PropTech Evernest. “Neben dem Bestandsinvestor Project A Ventures überzeugte das PropTech-Unternehmen mit seiner technologiegetriebenen Maklerplattform auch die beiden neuen Investoren FJ Labs und APIC”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. In der neuen Investmentrunde fließen 6 Millionen Euro in in der junge Makler-Startup, das 2019 von Christian Evers, zuletzt Chief Digital Officer bei Engel & Völkers, gegründet wurde. Salopp formuliert verkauft das Unternehmen teure Immobilien in Großstädten.

+++ Jetzt offiziell: btov Partners investiert – wie bereits berichtet – zusammen mit dem Angel-Verbund  10x Group (Andreas Etten, Felix Haas, Jan Becker und Robert Wuttke) 2,1 Millionen Euro in in das junge Münchner FinTech finway. Das Unternehmen positioniert sich irgendwo zwischen Software für Finanzbuchhaltung und Kreditkartendienst im Stil von Moss. Die Bajuwaren schreiben: “Wir unterstützen Mitarbeiter in Organisationen durch effiziente und automatisierte Finanzprozesse”. Gegründet wurde das Unternehmen 2020 von Csaba Krümmer, Jennifer Dussileck und Philipp Rieger. Die Bewertung liegt nach unseren Informationen bei rund 7,5 Millionen Euro.

+++ “Eine Gruppe von Business Angels – unter anderem aus dem Investorenverein SICTIC – und ein Kunde” investieren 2 Millionen 2 Millionen Franken in LEDCity. Das Zürcher Unternehmen kümmert sich um bedarfsgerechte Beleuchtung. KI-optimierte Algorithmen sorgen dabei , dass das Licht “lokal und effizient gesteuert wird”. Dadurch passe sich das Beleuchtungssystem automatisch an die Umgebung an und regulierr die Beleuchtungsintensität dezentral und stufenlos.

+++ seed+speed Ventures, Smart Infrastructure Ventures, die IBG Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt (IBG) sowie der Business Angel Roland Fassauer und Signavio-Gründer Torben
Schreiter investieren eine sechsstellige Summe in Paxly. Das deutsch-österreichische Startup mit Sitz in Leuna positioniert sich als  “B2B-Einkaufsplattform für Wellpappe”. “Wir sagen langen Lieferantenrecherchen, mehrseitigen E-Mail-Verläufen und endlosen Telefonaten den Kampf an”, teilt die Jungfirma, die von Thomas Auer und Torsten Beyenbach gegründet wurde, mit.


+++ Die Ideenmanagementfirma Hype Innovation, 2001 als Spin-off von DaimlerChrysler gestartet, übernimmt Innospot. Das Münchner Unternehmen, 2017 von Josef Seidl und Daniel Buschmann gegründet, entwickelt eine SaaS-gestützte Start-up-Scouting-Lösung. “Basierend auf einem KI-gesteuerten Scraping-Ansatz bietet die Plattform ein umfassendes Tool, um frühzeitig neue Partner und Technologien zu identifizieren und einen nachhaltigen Wettbewerbsvorteil zu gewinnen”, schreibt das Unternehmen in eigener Sache.  Innospot kam bisher ohne Investoren aus, Hype Innovation wird seit 2019 von Main Capital unterstützt.

+++ Das  amerikanische Anti-Money Laundering-Unternehmen AML RightSource übernimmt Passcon. Das Hamburger Unternehmen, das 2016 von Corinna Reibchen gegründet wurde, positioniert sich als “Anti-Financial-Crime (AFC) One Stop Shop”. In der Presseaussendung heißt es: “Passcon provides operational and advisory coverage worldwide, with 300 team members and more than 10 offices across EMEA, APAC, and North America.  As Managing Director of AML RightSource, Corinna will continue focusing on international sales and operations, leveraging over 20 years of experience in financial services and AFC consulting”.

Green Motion
+++ Das Energiemanagement-Unternehmen Eaton übernimmt das Schweizer Unternehmen Green Motion. “Das Ziel beider Unternehmen ist es, ihre Spitzentechnologien in den Dienst der globalen Energiewende zu stellen. Green Motion wird damit zu einer Tochtergesellschaft von Eaton. Die Geschäftsführung bleibt bestehen” – berichtet Moneycab. Green Motion, 2009 gegründet entwickelt Hard- und Software, die das Laden von Elektrofahrzeugen durch eine breite Palette von AC- und ultraschnellen DC-Ladegeräten ermöglicht.


Insider #98
+++ Schon die neue Insider-Ausgabe mit Sven Schmidt gehört? In der aktuellen Folge geht es um: Amazd, Pitch, Planet A Ventures, Dance, Blok, likeminded, GraphCMS, Klaus Hommels, Fit Analytics, Patient 21, Enpal, Babbel, Volocopter, Lampenwelt, About You und Mister Spex.

Abonnieren: Die Podcasts von könnt ihr bei Amazon Music – Apple Podcasts – Castbox – Deezer – Google Podcasts – iHeartRadio – Overcast – PlayerFM – Podimo – Spotify – SoundCloud oder per RSS-Feed abonnieren.

Achtung! Wir freuen uns über Tipps, Infos und Hinweise, was wir in unserem #DealMonitor alles so aufgreifen sollten. Schreibt uns eure Vorschläge entweder ganz klassisch per E-Mail oder nutzt unsere “Stille Post“, unseren Briefkasten für Insider-Infos.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): azrael74

#10x-group, #83north, #aktuell, #aml-rightsource, #apic-investments, #btov-partners, #cherry-ventures, #evernest, #felix-capital, #fintech, #finway, #fj-labs, #green-motion, #hamburg, #hype-innovation, #ibg-beteiligungsgesellschaft-sachsen-anhalt, #innospot, #ledcity, #leuna, #munchen, #passcon, #paxly, #proptech, #seedspeed-ventures, #sellerx, #sictic, #smart-infrastructure-ventures, #unicorn, #venture-capital, #zurich


TaxDown banks ~$3M for tech that helps people get their taxes done

Madrid-based TaxDown, which automates income tax filing by calculating regional deductions due to users so they don’t have to navigate complex tax rules themselves, has raised €2.4 million (~$3M) in seed funding.

US-based FJ Labs has joined TaxDown’s investment board as it closes the seed round. It says all its previous investors participated in the round, including James Argalas (Presidio Union); Abac Nest, Abac’s venture capital business; Baldomero Falcones, the former Chairman at Mastercard; and the founders of Jobandtalent, Juan Urdiales and Felipe Navío (another Madrid-based startup).

For the past three years TaxDown been offering a service in Spain but is now eyeing international expansion, as well as further growth in its home market.

Last year, it says it managed more than €29M in taxes for users — delivering savings of €4M+ to users.

Its target is to hit 500,000 users in Spain this year. While international expansion is planned for the second half of 2021, with TaxDown saying it’s focused on other European and Latin American markets.

“From the beginning, our ambition has been to help people fill in their taxes all over the world. That is why we developed our proprietary software/tax language that allows a tax expert with no coding capabilities to translate the tax law into calculation and logic that can be interpreted by our backend seamlessly,” says Enrique García, CEO and co-founder. “This tax language allowed us to launch in Spain in 4 months with only one tax consultant. We are confident that we can launch a new country in only 6 months.”

“The tax filing process is far from being simple,” he goes on, explaining how its tech simplifies income tax filing in Spain. “Currently, when using the Spanish Tax Agency tax-filling tool, taxpayers need to manually apply deductions on their tax forms. The problem is, with national regional deductions being different in each region in Spain, taxpayers often do not even know they’re entitled to those deductions. Thus, by not applying them to their tax form, they lose money. What TaxDown does is leverage the advanced Spanish Tax Agency technology, which offers an API to request the financial data related to a taxpayer — always with prior authorization from the user — with 2.000+ datapoints.

“Once we have that, our algorithm ‘RITA’ is capable of understanding the user’s personal and financial data, select the optimum questions that the user needs to answer — an average of 9 over a database of 3.000+ – and precisely calculate the tax return, with no errors.”

“Technology is the heart of TaxDown,” he adds. “Besides our algorithm RITA that has been trained with over 40.000+ tax returns, today we also use AI to help our ‘taxers’ with tips on how to lower future tax bills, and we have started working on live income tax simulation for our users throughout the entire year.”

García says TaxDown calculated more than 42,000 tax returns last year with a team of just two in-house tax experts — thanks to proprietary internal tools which allow them to handle this scale (by being “80x more efficient than the Spanish average”, as he puts it). He adds that further efficiency gains are expected.

“We have developed a machine-learning tool that flags the tax returns that need to be reviewed before filing based on historical data. Thus, we continuously increase the percentage of tax returns that are automatically submitted with no manual intervention,” he tells TechCrunch, adding: “Thanks to this feature, we expect to improve our efficiency at least 5x versus last year.”

According to García, TaxDown has never had any filings rejected for inaccuracies because he says its algorithms continually run tests and validate the information with the authorities. “Furthermore, our technology can flag errors in real time in case that there is a discrepancy, so our tax experts can manually check the tax return form if needed,” he adds.

Its business model — currently — is a sort of twist on freemium, in that it will only charge users if the income tax savings it calculates for them exceed €35.

García says that so far an average of three out of 10 users see financial savings from using its tool — but he suggests it’s not only savings that motivate users; he says they also want reassurance that they are taking “the best approach with their taxes: doing them effortlessly, correctly, with all the guarantees, tapping for experts’ live help at any time, ensuring the best result they can get, and of course knowing that we have their backs in case of an audit”.

Given that wider relationship it’s building with users, TaxDown sees potential to evolve its business model by expanding to offer additional fintech services, such as financial advice, in the future.

“Our vision goes far beyond income tax return preparation, we believe that tax data is becoming one of the most valuable data assets for people (take Trump’s tax returns for example), and we want to assess our ’taxers’ based on the best and more qualitative information that we can get,” says García. “Therefore, in the future we want to be a trusted financial advisor not just for taxes, but for personal finances as well. We believe we are well positioned to be an intermediary between our users and financial institutions.”


#ai, #artificial-intelligence, #europe, #finance, #fintech, #fj-labs, #fundings-exits, #madrid, #recent-funding, #startups, #taxdown


Porter Road’s sustainable, whole animal butchery raises $10 million to expand across the U.S.

In the nearly ten years since it launched as a whole animal butchery out of a storefront in East Nashville, the founders of Porter Road have wanted to herd America’s meat industry down a new path.

Now the company has $10 million in financing from investors including L37 Ventures, River Park Ventures, Middleland, FJ Labs, Kelvin Beachum along with previous investors MAX Ventures, Tribeca Venture Partners, and Slow Ventures to bring that mission to a broader swath of the country.

Since the company bought its own slaughterhouse back in 2015 and expanded to e-commerce in 2018 it has been shipping its selections of lamb, beef, pork, chicken and sausages from local farms to tables across the U.S.

The new money will be used to scale the company’s sustainable agriculture and its pasture-raised meat for the direct-to-consumer business, its shop in Nashville, and for wholesale distribution to restaurants around the country.

It’s going to expand its operations in Princeton, Ky with a new USDA processing facility that’s 4.5 times larger to meet new demand. That move will create 80 new jobs in the small town and is part of a broader agricultural renaissance in Kentucky.

“It’s easy to back founders who are as comfortable on the manufacturing line as they are in the boardroom, and who see the world differently and have the deep domain expertise to execute on that vision,” said L37 Partner Randall Ussery in a statement. “They have spent years perfecting the Porter Road way which no company nor incumbent can replicate overnight. They are a category killer in the meat industry and have built a moat around their brand.”

Porter Road delivery box of a selection of its steaks, sausages and bacon. Image Credit: Porter Road

One indication of the ways in which Porter Road differs from its larger competitors is in the way it handled the COVID-19 pandemic at its facilities.

Due to its limited production schedule and measures like staggered break times, mask requirements and social distancing rules, the company was able to avoid having any outbreaks at its facilities, according to the company’s co-founder and chief executive, Chris Carter. “We had a handful of people who got sick, but [COVID-19] didn’t spread in Princeton,” said Carter.

And despite the push for more plant-based diets, Carter says that his company’s focus on pasture-raised animals and whole animal butchery should appeal to folks who care about sustainable production. “We care about our farmers and we care about the way our animals are raised,” said Carter. “That’s the whole point of what we’re doing… Porter Road is about animal utilization. It’s about honoring the life of an animal so we find an outlet for every single piece.”

Porter Road is expanding its product line into cooking tallow and fats, and cross cut bones for bone marrow dishes, Carter said.

“The food system is broken and in need of a substantial change. Today’s consumer is demanding a deeper level of connection to their food and can see past misleading labels and buzzwords,” said  Carter, in a statement. “We are delivering trust, transparency, and flavor so no one has to compromise, all while supporting our farmers.”

#america, #e-commerce, #fj-labs, #food, #kentucky, #max-ventures, #meat, #nashville, #slow-ventures, #tc, #tribeca-venture-partners, #united-states, #usda


Minu, a Mexico City-based, pay-on-demand startup, lands a $14M Series A

Many of the startups raising capital in Mexico are focused on financial inclusion, aiming to level the playing field in a country that is largely unbanked and has a burgeoning middle class.

One such company, minu, a Mexico City-based, pay-on-demand startup, announced Wednesday that it has raised $14 million in a Series A round of funding led by FinTech Collective.

New investors VEF, XYZ Ventures, and FJ Labs, as well as DocuSign founder Tom Gonser and Gusto CFO Mike Dinsdale also participated in the financing. Existing backers QED, Next Billion Ventures, and Village Global also put more money in the company. 

The financing — which included $2.5 million in debt from Banco Sabadell Mexico — brings minu’s total raised since its 2019 inception to a total of $20 million. 

Co-founders Nima Pourshasb, Rafa Niell, and Paolo Rizzi were driven to build out a pay on demand offering in Mexico.

“We really think the lack of financial health is one of the key drivers slowing the potential and productivity of Mexican society,” Pourshasb said.

Minu aims to solve the employee liquidity gap between paychecks in an effort to help people see reduced financial stress and avoid expensive loans. The company offers 24×7 instant access to employees’ earned wages for a $2 fixed withdrawal fee.

Today, minu has over 100 large enterprise clients including TotalPlay, Telefonica, Scotiabank, OfficeMax, Rappi, Adecco, Manpower, Cap Gemini, and public sector clients such as the Electoral Institute of the State of Mexico. It saw its transaction volume and revenue grow by 18 times in 2020, albeit from a small base. The company declined to reveal hard revenue figures.

Minu operates under the premise that the liquidity gap is profound in Mexican society. An estimated 70% of workers live from paycheck to paycheck with average wages of $550/month, noted Pourshasb. And only 37% of Mexicans over 15 years old have a bank account, according to recent World Bank stats.

“Some people are continuously getting loans — at very high interest rates —  to cover recurring expenses such as food and transport,” Pourshasb said.

Minu’s first product offers instant, 24-7 access to earned wages.

“This is money that is already earned,” Pourshasb said. “Our users have an app to see how much is available and if they need those funds, they can instantly receive them.” 

The company’s distribution model is B2B so it works alongside large enterprises to offer access to the wages as a benefit for employees. Businesses are attracted to that model, Pourshasb explained, because they don’t have to pay for it or change their payroll process.

“We integrate with payroll so the process is automated and there’s no added work for them,” he added. “It also doesn’t affect cash flows. These are upfront funds so if someone withdraws money, it gets deducted from payroll.”

Some employers do subsidize the cost of the transaction fee for employees.

Looking ahead, minu says it will use its fresh capital to boost its headcount of 60 as well as expanding its offering to include financial education, savings, smart spend and insurance products. The company also plans to expand outside of Mexico.

Carlos Alonso Torras, who leads Latin America investing for New York-based FinTech Collective, believes that minu leverages “a strong combination of an exceptional founding team and auspicious macro trends.”

“We see the company’s current product as the basis for a platform that will offer an array of necessary financial products to a very underserved demographic,” he wrote via email. “Minu is already creating a moat vis a vis competitors via deep integrations, high client satisfaction and a broadening financial wellness offering. As the early mover in a market whose characteristics are conducive to the success of pay on demand, the immediate growth potential is remarkable, and Minu is uniquely positioned to excel.”

The investment marks the firm’s fifth in Mexico. Overall, FinTech Collective says it seeks and backs entrepreneurs “who are rewiring how money flows through the world.”

“Due to COVID, we are seeing a pandemic stricken world where hundreds of millions of people are facing greater financial instability, and we believe that fintech has a vital role to play in accelerating the emergence of a spending middle class underserved by traditional financial systems,” Torras added. 

Fintechs in Mexico have been busy. Last week, Stori raised a $32.5 million Series B round with the goal of “becoming Mexico’s leading credit card issuer for the rising middle class.”

Also in February, Flink raised $12 million in a Series A led by Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Accel.


#banco-sabadell, #finance, #financial-inclusion, #financial-technology, #fintech-startup, #fj-labs, #funding, #fundings-exits, #latin-america, #mexico, #mexico-city, #payroll, #recent-funding, #startups, #tc, #venture-capital, #village-global, #xyz-ventures


Storetasker revamps its Shopify developer marketplace

Storetasker is an online marketplace focused on connecting Shopify merchants with developers and other experts who can help grow their business.

The product is now owned by the startup previously known as Lorem. Co-founder and COO Charlie Fogarty explained that while Lorem originally had a broader mission of connecting small businesses and developers, “We realized that Shopify and e-commerce was by far our best customer segment … so we basically acquired our main competitor, Storetasker, and merged the two business” under the Storetasker name.

The acquisition (which included the Storetasker product and expert network, but not the team) actually took place last year, and Fogarty said, “We’ve spent the last 10 months basically rebuilding the product from the ground up. We’ve taken years of learning and combined it into a rebrand, a new product and a new end-to-end customer experience.”

The core proposition is still the same, however. A Shopify merchant should be able to visit Storetasker, describe their project in simple terms and then within a few hours, Storetasker will match them up with one of the experts in the network, who they can work with directly.

Storetasker has already been used by more than 30,000 brands on Shopify, including Boll & Branch, Chubbies, Aisle, Alpha Industries, Truff Hot Sauce and Branch Furniture. Fogarty said the average project size is just $300 and usually involves adding custom designs and unique features to a Shopify store.

Storetasker screenshot

Image Credits: Storetasker

You could use a general marketplace like Upwork or Fiverr to find a freelance developer, but where Storetasker has conducted more than 5,000 interviews to vet its talent and picks the right expert for each customer, Fogarty said that on other platforms, “You have to sift through unvetted talent … The hiring burden is placed on the brand.”

Plus, he noted that brands can use Storetasker for more than development help — they also use it to find experts on conversion and “all the different aspects of e-commerce.”

In addition to the new product, Storetasker is also announcing that it raised $3.2 million in Series A funding last year from Flybridge, Founder Collective, and FJ Labs.

Looking ahead, Fogarty said he sees plenty of room to grow while remaining focused on the Shopify ecosystem. After all, there are more than 1 million stores on the platform, with $200 billion in total sales to date.

#e-commerce, #ecommerce, #fj-labs, #lorem, #shopify, #startups, #tc


After lockdowns boost gaming marketplace Eneba, it raises $8M from Practica and InReach

Eneba, a marketplace for gamers that sells games and other products, has raised a $8M round of funding from Practica Capital and InReach Ventures. The funding is described as a ‘combination’ of a Seed and Series A round. Also participating in the funding for the Lithuanian startup was FJ Labs and a group of Angel investors including Mantas Mikuckas, COO of Vinted. The investment highlights once again the strength of the Baltics region as tech ecosystem, after Lithuania produced its first Unicorn in the shape of Vinted, and Estonia’s added Pipedrive to its unicorns list.

With the increased shift to digital entertainment during the pandemic, the startup has managed to garner much more US traffic. Launched in 2018 by two Lithuanian school friends, Vytis Uogintas and Žygimantas Mikšta, Eneba says it has attracted 26 million unique users because of its security features, ‘one-click to buy’ gamer experience and fingerprinting technology. The site also optimizes its localized gaming experiences to show locally trending gaming products. Eneba’s platform is designed to reduce risky transactions, simplifies the refunding process, and deals with fraud threats.

Co-founder and CMO, Žygimantas Mikšta said: “We had a lot of new users coming to Eneba during these uncertain times. While it was extremely satisfying to see our numbers increasing tenfold, there was a challenge to meet the demand. To better reflect our user numbers, we had to quickly expand our team to 130.”

Security has risen up the agenda in online gaming as virtual goods and services connected to games can be highly susceptible to fraud or theft. Although it competes with outlets like Amazon, eBay, and retailers like Gamestop,, Eneba think they’ve found a better, tailored online pre/post-buying experience for gamers, while addressing the risk problems for sellers and buyers in the gaming world.

Donatas Keras, partner at Practica Capital said: “We are thrilled to be backing Vytis and Žygimantas. We’ve been impressed by their ability to execute at such speed as their company quickly scales, and to drive an incredible product with a unique value proposition for gamers.”

Co-founder of InReach Ventures, Roberto Bonanzinga, said: “In Europe we have a tradition of building successful companies in the gaming space. We are very excited to have discovered Eneba thanks to our AI platform when the company was unknown and under the radar. We have been extremely impressed by what the founders have been able to build in such a short amount of time.”

#amazon, #artificial-intelligence, #co-founder, #companies, #coo, #ebay, #estonia, #europe, #fj-labs, #game-co-uk, #gamestop, #inreach-ventures, #lithuania, #online-gaming, #partner, #pipedrive, #retailers, #tc, #unicorn, #united-states, #vinted


Construction rental startup YardLink raises funding from Speedinvest Networks

YardLink allows construction companies to obtain critical equipment faster than traditional equipment rental companies. It’s now raised a £1.7m seed round, bringing the total it’s raised to date to £2.4m. The round was led by Speedinvest Network Effects, with participation from FJ Labs.

Construction sites often have to hire equipment, but the centralized nature of the traditional hire market means suppliers can be slow to deliver, leading to downtime on-site, and delayed projects. Traditional suppliers include HSS Hire, Travis Perkins, Speedy Hire, Sunbelt Rentals. But YardLink aims to speed this process up with a digital-first, marketplace approach. It has a network of 100 suppliers with over 1,400 equipment depots across the UK.

The construction industry faces new guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus, such as having to provide portable site cabins and accommodation for its workforce. This, coupled with tight availability in the market and more demand for renting equipment, rather than buying it.

The global market for construction equipment rental is around $70bn.

The team consists of Neeral Shah (Founder and CEO), Matt Bloor (CCO) and Daniel Morris (CTO) .

#ceo, #cto, #economy, #europe, #fj-labs, #money, #renting, #tc, #united-kingdom


GAIA Design has raised more capital to become the West Elm of Mexico

Designing higher end furniture for Mexico’s rising middle and upper-middle class consumers has netted the Mexico City-based GAIA $15 million in a new round of funding.

The bridge round will take the company through to a much larger capital raise planned for 2021 as the company capitalizes on the growth of e-commerce in Mexico.

A 2019 report from JP Morgan put the e-commerce market in Mexico at around $22.6 billion, and that’s with online sales only accounting for just 1.7% of the overall retail market. JP Morgan expects the market to increase at a 12.6% growth rate annually.

As with everything else, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital services as the country’s population looks to practice safe social distancing and reduce the spread of the virus. For those consumers who can afford to shop online — even for high value products like furniture — they are, according to GAIA chief executive Philippe Cahuzac.

At GAIA the new funding will be used to add new features to the company’s online service, including consultations with interior designers, the development of curated looks, and the ability for customers to create design sketches and visualizations for products in the home. The company expects to also double down on its sales and marketing efforts with the new cash.

GAIA’s funding also helps extend the company’s vision of supporting small and medium-sized Mexican furniture producers through financial products, training and revenue management tools and educational offerings.

With its investment, IDB Invest joins existing investors in the company including Rise Capital, Capital Invest, VARIV
Capital, French Partners, FJ Labs, and Warby Parker co-founder David Gilboa .

Launched by Raffaello Starace, Hassan Yassine, and Cahuzac the company started as an online retailer exclusively, but now has expanded to 15 showrooms in Monterrey, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puebla and Queretaro.

“We want to offer a branded and frictionless urban experience to the modern Mexican consumer,” said Cahuzac in a statement. “In five years we built the leading digital player in the home category in Mexico.”

#david-gilboa, #fj-labs, #gaia, #mexico, #mexico-city, #rise-capital, #tc, #warby-parker


#DealMonitor – Dance bekommt 15 Millionen – About You plant IPO – UVC Partners legt 150 Millionen-Fonds auf

Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 22. Oktober werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.


+++ Holtzbrinck Ventures investiert 15 Millionen Euro in das junge Berliner Mobility-Startup Dance, das von den Soundcloud-Gründern Alexander Ljung und Eric Quidenus sowie Jimdo-Macher Christian Springub gegründet wurde. Hinter Dance verbirgt sich ein Subscription-Service für E-Bikes. Schon vor dem Start investierte der Berliner Kapitalgeber BlueYard in Dance.  Zudem investierten auch Szeneköpfe wie Ilkka Paananen (Supercell), Jeannette zu Fürstenberg (La Famiglia), Kevin Ryan (Alleycorp, Doubleclick und MongoDB), Neil Parikh (Casper) und Bjarke Ingels (BIG Architects) in das sehr junge Unternehmen. Das Unternehmen ging im Juli mit einem Invite-only-Programm in Berlin an den Start.

+++ Holtzbrinck Ventures, Lakestar und Picus Capital investieren weitere 10 Millionen Euro in das Münchner Startup Limehome. Das junge Unternehmen, das 2018 von Lars Stäbe und Josef Vollmayr gegründet wurde, mietet Wohnungen an und richtet diese als Apartments zur kurz- und langfristigen Miete ein. Lakestar, Holtzbrinck Ventures, Picus Capital und Global Growth Capital investierten erst Anfang dieses Jahres 21 Millionen Euro in Limehome.

+++ Statkraft Ventures, der Wagniskapitalableger des norwegischen Energiekonzerns, investiert gemeinsam mit FJ Labs sowie Gisbert Rühl, Vorstandschef des Duisburger Stahlhändlers Klöckner, 2,8 Millionen Euro in Schrott24 – siehe WiWo Gründer.  Der Altmetall-Marktplatz wurde 2016 von Alexander Schlick und Jan Pannenbäcker gegründet. Das Grazer Unternehmen sicherte sich zuletzt auch eine EU-Förderung in Höhe von 1,2 Millionen Euro.

breathe ilo
+++ Der aws Gründerfonds investiert 3 Millionen Euro in das österreichische Femtech Carbomed Medical Solutions, das den Fruchtbarkeitstracker breathe ilo anbietet. Entwickelt wurde das Gerät von dem Reproduktionsmediziner Ludwig Wildt und Medizintechniker Horst Rüther. “Nur ein Jahr nach dem Marktstart liegt der Exportanteil bei bereits 80 Prozent – mit 75 Prozent davon ist Deutschland der Hauptabsatzmarkt, wo breathe ilo seit Januar diesen Jahres verfügbar ist”, teilt das Startup mit.

+++ Visionaries Club, Entrepreneur First und Business Angels wie Christian Reber (Pitch und Wunderlist) sowie Taavet Hinrikus (Transferwise) investieren 2,5 Millionen US-Dollar in das Berliner Startup Acapela. Das Berliner Unternehmen, das von Dubsmash-Gründer Roland Grenke und Heiki Riesenkampf, zuletzt Google, gegründet wurde entwickelt eine asynchrone Meeting-Plattform. Über die Plattform sollen Unternehmen flexibler als per Videobotschaft und persönlicher als per Slack kommunizieren können.

Peter Park
+++ Ein deutsches Family-Office investiert eine siebenstellige Summe in das Münchner IoT-Startup Peter Park. Das 2019 von Maximilian Schlereth, Florian Schaule, Patrick Bartler und Stefan Schenk gegründete Unternehmen entwickelt ein modulares Betriebssystem für Parkflächen. “Mit der neuen Finanzierung wird der Fokus auf das konsequente Wachstum des Teams gelegt, was als Fundament für die anstehende Internationalisierung dient”, teilt die Jungfirma mit.

Dr. Hettich Beteiligungen und der High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) investieren eine siebenstellige Summe in Novum. Das 2014 in Dresden gegründete Startup entwickelt eine Technologie, die das Großspeichermonitoring von Batterien auch offline möglich macht. “Mit dem frischen Kapital soll das Produktportfolio im Bereich Großspeicher und 2nd life Schnelltests für die Automobilindustrie erweitert werden”, teilt das Unternehmen mit.


OOTP Developments
+++ Der südkoreanische Spiele-Entwickler Com2Us, bekannt für Summoners War, übernimmt das deutsche Studio OOTP Developments. Seit 1999 setzt OOTP mit Sitz in Hollern-Twielenfleth auf PC-Sportsimulationen wie Out of the Park Baseball und Franchise Hockey Manager. OOTP stieg erst im Januar beim The Walking Dead-Studio Skybound Entertainment. Weitee Zukäufe sind geplant.

+++ Das Wiener Startup Orderlion, eine Bestell-App für Gastronomen und Lieferanten, übernimmt das Wein-Startup Grapevine. “Mit Grapevine kommt nun ein Startup dazu, dass bisher (der Name verrät es bereits) im Weinsegment unterwegs war und etwa 200 Winzer als Kunden aufgebaut hat” – berichtet Trending Topics. Orderlion wurde 2017 von Stefan Strohmer und Patrick Schubert gegründet. Die Jungfirma konkurriert mit Startups wie Choco, Rekki und Co.


About You
+++ Der Modeversender About You bereitet seinen Börsengang vor – siehe manager magazin. “About You, bei der letzten Finanzierungsrunde 2018 mit knapp einer Milliarde Euro bewertet, soll beim Börsengang einen Marktwert von mindestens drei Milliarden Euro anstreben. Wächst man weiter wie bisher, hoffen manche gar auf fünf Milliarden Euro”, heißt es im Bericht. Als Termin ist März 2021 anvisiert.


UVC Partners
+++ Der Münchner Kapitalgeber UVC Partners legt seinen dritten Fonds (150 Millionen Euro) auf. “Die Investorenbasis des neuen Fonds ist breit gestreut und reicht von erfolgreichen Startup-Unternehmern wie den FlixBus-Gründern über institutionelle Investoren und Family Offices bis zu Familienunternehmen und Corporates”, teilt der Geldgeber mit. UVC Partners investiert vorrangig in “herausragende europäische B2B-Startups”. Im zweiten UVC-Fonds waren 82 Millionen.

Achtung! Wir freuen uns über Tipps, Infos und Hinweise, was wir in unserem #DealMonitor alles so aufgreifen sollten. Schreibt uns eure Vorschläge entweder ganz klassisch per E-Mail oder nutzt unsere “Stille Post“, unseren Briefkasten für Insider-Infos.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): azrael74

#about-you, #acapela, #aktuell, #breathe-ilo, #carbomed-medical-solutions, #com2us, #dance, #dr-hettich-beteiligungen, #dresden, #entrepreneur-first, #femtech, #fj-labs, #grapevine, #graz, #hamburg, #high-tech-grunderfonds, #holtzbrinck-ventures, #ipo, #kapital, #lakestar, #limehome, #novum, #ootp-developments, #orderlion, #peter-park, #picus-capital, #schrott24, #statkraft-ventures, #uvc-partners, #venture-capital, #visionaries-club, #wein, #wien


Nuvemshop, a Latin American answer to Shopify, raises $30 million

After several failed startup attempts and nine years spent building Nuvemshop into Latin America’s answer to Shopify, the four co-founders of the company have managed to raise $30 million in venture capital funding as they look to expand their business.

The new funding came from previous investor Kaszek Ventures and new lead investor Qualcomm, with participation from FJ Labs, IGNIA, Elevar Equity and Kevin Efrusy, from the longtime Accel Partners investor’s personal wealth.

It’s been a long road since Santiago Sosa, Alejandro Vazquez, Martin Palombo, and Alejandro Alfonso first began working together in Buenos Aires The quartet started off on their entrepreneurial journey trying to develop a marketplace software product for Latin America, but when that didn’t take off, they turned their attention to a more basic problem — how to get small and medium-sized businesses selling online.

Now the company boasts 65,000 businesses that use its platform providing everything from billing and payment processing to logistics and shipping solutions transacting over $100 million per month in sales. Operating as Nuvemshop in Brazil and Tiendanube in the rest of the region, the company has offices in São Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City with plans to expand into Colombia and Peru in 2021.

Nuvemshop began as more of a consulting business and evolved into the suite of software tools that have managed to attract attention from investors like Qualcomm Ventures.

“Nuvemshop’s platform accelerates a company’s digital transformation and has enabled thousands of SMBs across Latin America to go digital by tapping into the company’s one-stop shop of seamlessly integrated solutions,” said Alexandre Villela, senior director of Qualcomm Technologies Inc. and managing director at Qualcomm Ventures Latin America. “We share their strong engineering focus and look forward to helping them scale their business with our investment.” 

Nuvemshop raised its first money in 2015 from Kaszek Ventures (a $5 million investment) and as the business picked up steam raised $7 million more from local investors.

It makes money by charging a subscription fee that begins at $3 per month and a transaction fee that decreases as customers buy more expensive subscription packages.

Now that the company has an established footprint in the region, it’s going to focus on three new areas of growth, according to chief executive, Santiago Sosa.

Nuvemshop chief executive, Santiago Sosa. Image credit: Nuvemshop

The company plans to launch a payment processing and logistics gateway of its own. That marketplace will give customers access to more robust shipping solutions thanks to the power of bundling lower demand into a single delivery and ordering system. Nuvemshop also pitches its customers an app store for connecting them to new developer tools.

Finally, the company intends to offer a broader array of financial services. It already offers payment processing, but will look to develop additional services around lending based on revenue.

Like Shopify, Nuvemshop provides a necessary ballast to the big e-commerce aggregation sites like MercadoLibre and Amazon . “Everything they do they try to optimize for the buyer,” Sosa said. That places incredible pricing pressure on retailers and Nuvemshop offers a direct sales alternative, with lower fees, according to Sosa.

The pent up demand that Sosa sees, is fairly astonishing.

“People are talking about e-commerce penetration going from [roughly] 10% over total retail sales to [roughly] 20%, as it has happened in other countries. We see it differently, as we envision a massive disruption around commerce in the next 15 years, and are pretty confident that [roughly] 90% of retail will be somehow tech-enabled,” said Sosa, in a statement. 


#amazon, #fj-labs, #kaszek-ventures, #kevin-efrusy, #mercadolibre, #qualcomm, #qualcomm-ventures, #shopify, #tc


Hoping to be LatAm’s top digital bank for SMBs, Xepelin launches a lending and revenue management service

There’s another entrant in the startup race to provide financial services to Latin America’s small and medium-sized businesses.

Financial services have been a huge opportunity for startups coming out of Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico in recent years, and now Xepelin, a new company from Chile, is looking to join the fray.

Xepelin’s founders, Sebastian Kreis and Guillermo Molina Carvallo, launched their company with the vision of creating a new kind of online bank for Latin America’s small businesses.

Sebastian Kreis, chief executive officer, Xepelin. Image Credit: Xepelin

The company’s pitch to business owners depends on a variation of the lending tool known as factoring, where small businesses can take out loans based on the income they’re expecting to receive. In Latin America, where small businesses have limited avenues to traditional loans, according to Kreis, factoring represents a novel solution.

Xepelin already has a multi-million dollar credit line on the books in addition to a small round of initial financing and the company will be using both the credit line to bring customers in and the equity infusion to continue developing revenue management and resource planning tools for its customers.

Starting in Chile and Mexico, where the two founders have a long history in the financial services world, the company expects to become a player across the continent in line with the growth of private debt services for small businesses.

Other startups, like Portal Finance and Marco Financial are also targeting the lending markets. Like Xepelin, the two companies have secured multiple lines of credit to support their businesses.

Kreis estimates that debt financing in Latin America could grow to 70 times its current size given changes to the regulatory environment and increasing demand for digital financial services over the next decade.

In the first stage we developed the new standard for SMBs’ working capital financing in LatAm, focusing on our client’s user experience, financial needs (not only transactions) and the way they manage their working capital. Xepelin gives SMBs access to capital in an easy and efficient way.

Mexico is a good indicator of the potential size of the market, according to Kreis. There only 300,000 businesses — out of more than 6 million registered companies — have sales and account executives offering revenue management and credit lines.

These money managers ahve a portfolio of 300 companies that they work with, while mid-market companies may work with as many as 1,000 to 5,000 small businesses.

So far, Xepelin has raised $3.5 million in early stage funding from investors including Oskar Hejertonsson, Manutara Ventures, Ignacio Canals, Gonzalo Rojas, FJ Labs, Diego Fleischmann, and Daniel Undurraga. The most recent capital infusion, a $2.5 million round led by Impact Ideas VC closed earlier this month.


#fj-labs, #mexico, #tc


Investors drop off $33 million for Chowbus, a delivery service for ‘mom and pop’ Asian restaurants

When big platforms have carved out large swaths of the delivery market, the best thing for an upstart company to do is to specialize.

For Chowbus, that meant building a food-delivery business that finds restaurants whose cuisines specialize in regional cuisines from Northern and Southern China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

It’s a strategy that has now netted the company $33 million in financing led by the Silicon Valley-based investment firm Altos Ventures and New York’s Left Lane Capital. Hyde Park Angels, Fika Ventures, FJ Labs and Silicon Valley Bank also participated in the round.

Founded four years ago in Chicago by Suyu Zhang and Linxin Wen, the company said that its goal was to connect people with authentic Asian food that’s not easy to find on delivery apps. Over the past year, the company touted significant growth in its business, a traction that can be reflected in its decision to bring on the former chief operating officer of Jump Bikes, Kenny Tsai, as its chief operating officer, and Jieying Zheng, a former Groupon product leader as its head of product.

“When we say we’re true partners to the restaurants we work with, we mean it. By eliminating hidden fees, helping them showcase their best dishes, and other efforts we make on their behalf, we really go the extra mile to help our restaurant partners succeed,” said Wen, Chowbus’ chief executive, in a statement. “We only succeed if they do.”

And seemingly, Chowbus is succeeding. The company raised $4 million in its first round of institutional funding just last year and its rise has been precipitous since then.

The Chicago-based company said it would use its new funding to expand to more cities across the US and add new products like a “dine-in” feature allowing diners to order and pay for their meals on their phone for a contactless experience at restaurants in cities that have flattened the curve of COVID-19 infections and are now reopening. 

Chowbus pitches its lack of hidden fees and footprint across 20 cities in North America including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Seattle, and many other cities across North America. In Los Angeles, the company offers menus in Mandarin and Cantonese and allows its users to bundle dishes from multiple restaurants in a single delivery.

Other companies are experimenting with specialization as a way to differentiate from the major delivery services that are on the market. Black and Mobile, which launched in Philadelphia but is in the process of expanding across the country, is a delivery service focused on Black-owned restaurants and food stores.

Founded by David Cabello, Black and Mobile was started in 2017 by the 22 year-old college dropout. The company launched its first operations outside of Atlanta earlier this month and is available on iOS.

“The market is experiencing a permanent shift from offline to online ordering, a trend that Chowbus is actively driving,” said Harley Miller, Managing Partner at Left Lane Capital . “Focusing on this large and loyal constituency with a vertical-approach to supporting Asian restaurants and food purveyors has allowed Chowbus to differentiate itself on both sides of the marketplace. The capital efficiency with which they have operated, relative to the scale achieved, is extraordinarily impressive, and not something we often see.”

#altos-ventures, #chicago, #china, #chowbus, #fika-ventures, #fj-labs, #food, #food-delivery, #groupon, #jump-bikes, #left-lane-capital, #los-angeles, #online-food-ordering, #philadelphia, #seattle, #silicon-valley-bank, #taiwan, #tc, #united-states


#DealMonitor – #EXKLUSIV Market One Capital, Redalpine und Co. investieren in Magaloop

Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 7. Juli werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.


+++ Market One Capital, Redalpine Capital, Atlantic Food Labs, Bestandsinvestor Piton Capital und FJ Labs investieren einen unbekannte – sicherlich aber eine siebenstellige Summe – in Magaloop. Das Berliner Startup, das von DaWanda-Gründer Michael Högemann und dem Handelsmanager Uwe Hölzer gegründet wurde, positioniert sich als “Marktplatz für unabhängige Einzelhändler”. Späti-, Büdchen- und Kioskbetreiber können über Magaloop, das man auch als transaktionalen Messengerdienst beschreiben kann, direkt bei Lieferanten bestellen. #EXKLUSIV – entdeckt über Startupdetector

+++ S7V und Presight Capital, der Geldgeber von Christian Angermayer, sowie zwei nicht genannte Family Offices investieren 4 Millionen Euro in Penta. Holtzbrinck Ventures, finleap, RTP Global, ABN Amro Ventures und VR-Ventures investierten zuletzt – im März – 18,5 Millionen in das Berliner FinTech. Unternehmen können über Penta ein Geschäftskonto beantragen. Das Startup wurde 2014 von Luka Ivicevic und Lav Odorovic gegründet.

+++ Finlab, Carsten Maschmeyer, Brandenburg Kapital und der Technologiefonds OWL (Ostwestfalen-Lippe) investieren 3 Millionen Euro in das junge Berliner Blockchain-Startup Zksystems – siehe Business Insider. Das Startup, das 2018 von den beiden Gründerinnen Diana Rees und Amine Ünal gegründet wurde, entwickelt eine Software, die es Maschinenbauern ermöglicht, zusätzlich zu ihren Anlagen auch Abo-Modelle zu verkaufen.


We Pulse
+++ Das Berliner E-Healt-Startup Humanoo übernimmt seinen französischen Konkurrenten We Pulse. Humanoo, eine App, die individuelle Coachings – Stichwort: Corporate Health –  anbietet, wurde im 2016 von Philip Pogoretschnik und Rheingau Founders ins Leben gerufen. Creathor Ventures, DvH Ventures, Rheingau Founders, Rocket Internet und investierten 2018 mehrere Millionen in die Jungfirma. Humanoo kommt nach eigenen Angaben bei der Deutschen Bank, Axel Springer und Media Saturn zum Einsatz.


Cavalry Ventures
+++ Der junge Berliner Kapitalgeber Cavalry Ventures verkündet das Closing seines zweiten Fonds. Im Topf sind 80 Millionen Euro. Zielgröße waren zum Start 75 Millionen. Im ersten Fonds von Cavalry, das sich als Seed-Fonds positioniert, waren gerade einmal 20 Millionen Euro. “The increased volume provides more opportunity to continue supporting portfolio companies with follow-on financing. This is especially relevant as Cavalry leads more than 80% of its portfolio companies from angel/seed phase to a successful Series A, which is 4x European industry average”, teilt der Geldgeber mit.

Achtung! Wir freuen uns über Tipps, Infos und Hinweise, was wir in unserem #DealMonitor alles so aufgreifen sollten. Schreibt uns eure Vorschläge entweder ganz klassisch per E-Mail oder nutzt unsere “Stille Post“, unseren Briefkasten für Insider-Infos.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#aktuell, #atlantic-food-labs, #berlin, #cavalry-ventures, #e-health, #finlab, #fintech, #fj-labs, #humanoo, #kapital, #magaloop, #market-one-capital, #penta, #piton-capital, #presight-capital, #redalpine-capital, #s7v, #venture-capital, #we-pulse, #zksystems


B2B challenger bank Finom raises $7M Seed from Target Global and General Catalyst

Just as challenger banks have appeared in the B2C space, so to have B2B startup banks aimed small businesses, among them startups like Qonto (Fr), Tide (UK), Penta (GER) and CountingUp (UK).

Today another such firm, Finom, has closed a €6.5m ($7M) seed funding round led by Target Global, with participation from General Catalyst. Further investors include FJ Labs, Raisin founders Tamaz Georgadze, Frank Freund and Michael Stephan, and Ilya Kondrashov, the founder of MarketFinance. The company will primarily use the fresh capital to develop its product, and to expand further into Italy and France in the summer of 2020.

Finom puts accounting, financial management and banking functions for early-stage businesses and SMEs into one ‘mobile-first’ product. Businesses can set up an online account, with accounts payable and account receivable from both the app and the site in fairly short order. The company was started by the team that also launched Modulbank, ‘neobank’ for SMEs in Russia.

Konstantin Stiskin, co-founder of Finom, told Techcrunch: “The EU SME banking market size is more than €100bn. But according to McKinsey research, European entrepreneurs spend 74% of their time on non-core activities and pay for expensive and inconvenient products. Our goal is to enable small businesses in Europe to become more efficient and to thrive.”

He added: “We are not just a card with an account. We aim to be a foundation for SME’s and their everyday business, covering banking, accounting and financial management within one product.

Finom is now live in France, Italy and Germany and started with e-invoicing in Italy, which allowed it to gain market knowledge and collect the data for accounting/payments and lending.

Mike Lobanov, General Partner and COO at Target Global said: “At Target Global we are great believers in the SME segment… The team of exceptional entrepreneurs standing behind Finom shares our view, and has already built a new standard for offering financial services to SMEs.”

Although Target Global is headquartered in Berlin, it has more than €700m in assets under management, with offices in London, Tel Aviv and Barcelona. Poortfolio includes companies such as Auto1, Delivery Hero, Omio (formerly GoEuro), TravelPerk, Rapyd and WeFox.

#banking, #barcelona, #berlin, #challenger-banks, #co-founder, #coo, #countingup, #delivery-hero, #europe, #european-union, #financial-management, #financial-services, #fj-labs, #founder, #france, #general-catalyst, #germany, #goeuro, #italy, #london, #omio, #penta, #qonto, #rapyd, #russia, #target-global, #tc, #techcrunch, #tel-aviv, #travelperk, #united-kingdom, #wefox