Spotify CEO Daniel Ek pledges $1Bn of his wealth to back deeptech startups from Europe

At an online event today, Daniel Ek, the founder of Spotify, said he would invest 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) of his personal fortune in deeptech “moonshot projects”, spread across the next 10 years.

Ek indicated that he was referring to machine learning, biotechnology, materials sciences and energy as the sectors he’d like to invest in.

“I want to do my part; we all know that one of the greatest challenges is access to capital,” Ek said, adding he wanted to achieve a “new European dream”.

“I get really frustrated when I see European entrepreneurs giving up on their amazing visions selling early on to non-European companies, or when some of the most promising tech talent in Europe leaves because they don’t feel valued here,” Ek said. “We need more super companies that raise the bar and can act as an inspiration.”

According to Forbes, Ek is worth $3.6 billion, which would suggest he’s putting aside roughly a third of his own wealth for the investments.

And it would appear his personal cash will be deployed with the help of a close confidant of Ek’s. He retweeted a post by Shakhil Khan, one of the first investors in Spotify, who said “it’s time to come out of retirement then.”

During a fireside chat held by the Slush conference, he said: “We all know that one of the greatest challenges is access to capital. And that is why I’m sharing today that I will devote €1bn of my personal resources to enable the ecosystem of builders.” He said he would do this by “funding so-called moonshots focusing on the deep technology necessary to make a significant positive dent, and work with scientists, entrepreneurs, investors and governments to do so.”

He expressed his desire to level-up Europe against the US I terms of tech unicorns: “Europe needs more super companies, both for the ecosystem to develop and thrive. But I think more importantly if we’re going to have any chance to tackle the infinitely complex problems that our societies are dealing with at the moment, we need different stakeholders, including companies, governments, academic institutions, non-profits and investors of all kinds to work together.”

He also expressed his frustration at seeing “European entrepreneurs, giving up on their amazing visions by selling very early in the process… We need more super companies to raise the bar and can act as an inspiration… There’s lots and lots of really exciting areas where there are tons of scientists and entrepreneurs right now around Europe.”

Ek said he will work with scientists, investors, and governments to deploy his funds. A $1.2 billion fund would see him competing with other large European VCs such as Atomico, Balderton Capital, Accel, Index Ventures and Northzone.

Ek has been previously known for his interest in deeptech. He has invested in €16m in Swedish telemedicine startup Kry. He’s also put €3m into HJN Sverige, an artificial intelligence company in the health tech arena.

#articles, #artificial-intelligence, #balderton-capital, #biotechnology, #business, #daniel-ek, #economy, #energy, #entrepreneurship, #europe, #forbes, #founder, #kry, #machine-learning, #northzone, #private-equity, #spotify, #startup-company, #tc, #telemedicine, #united-states

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#DealMonitor – Point Nine legt fünften Fonds auf (99,9 Millionen) – Forto bekommt 25 Millionen


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 22. September 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.

INVESTMENTS

Authada 
++ 
InfoCert, eine Tochtergesellschaft der Tinexta-Gruppe, steigt bei Authada ein und sichert sich dabei 16,7 % der Anteile. “Unter bestimmten Bedingungen” kann  InfoCert in den kommenden Jahren die weiteren Anteile erwerben. InfoCert investiert zunächst einmal einen “mittleren siebenstelligen Betrag” in Authada. main incubator, eine Tochtergesellschaft der Commerzbank, investierte 2018 einen siebenstelligen Betrag in das Cybersecurity-Startup. Das 2015 gegründete Darmstädter Technologie-Startup bietet seinen Kunden BSI zertifizierte Produkte zur sicheren und nutzerfreundlichen Identitätsprüfung an.

Forto
+++ Der tschechische Investor Inven Capital, Cherry Ventures, Northzone, Cavalry Ventures und Maersk Growth, der Investmentarm des dänischen Logistikkonzerns, investieren in das Logistik-Startup Forto, früher als FreightHub bekannt. “Laut Insidern, die an dem Deal beteiligt waren, liegt die Höhe des Investments bei mindestens 25 Millionen Euro” – schreibt Gründerszene. Forto wurde 2016 von Ferry Heilemann, Erik Muttersbach, Michael Wax und Fabian Heilemann gegründet. Die Jungfirma vermittelt Aufträge zur Container-Beförderung an Transportunternehmen. Derzeit beschäftigt die Firma rund 300 Mitarbeiter. Knapp 50 Millionen dürften schon in Forto geflossen sein.

LawStar
+++ Der 1925 gegründete Linde Verlag investiert in das Wiener LegalTech-Startup LawStar – siehe Der Brutkasten. Die Lernplattform für Jusstudierende und Juristen in Österreich wurde von Georg Steiner und Christoph Angel gegründet.

EXITS

ioxp
+++ Das amerikanische Technologieunternehmen PTC übernimmt ioxp, ein Spin-off des Deutschen Forschungszentrums für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI). ioxp gilt als Pionier auf dem Gebiet der videobasierten Augmented Reality, Das Unternehmen bietet kognitive AR- und KI-Lösungen für Wissenstransfer, Schulung und Qualitätssicherung an. “In einem ersten Schritt plant PTC die Integration der ioxp-Technologie zur Validierung und Verifizierung von Verfahrensanweisungen in seine Enterprise AR-Lösungssuite”, teilt das Unternehmen mit.

BioCBD
+++ Die Münchner Unternehmensgruppe SynBiotic übernimmt die europäische Marke BioCBD. “Die Marke ist bereits etabliert: Stand heute erwirtschaftet BioCBD über zwei Millionen Euro profitablen Nettoumsatz pro Jahr und ist aktuell in Deutschland, Italien, Spanien, Polen und Ungarn aktiv”, heißt es in der Presseaussendung. Nach Hempamed ist BioCBD bereits die zweite Akquisition von SynBiotic in diesem Jahr.  Kaufpreis ist ein niedriger einstelliger Millionenbetrag.

Much-Net
+++ Der Treasury-Management-System-Anbieter Bellin, der zum amerikanische Softwareunternehmen Coupa gehört, übernimmt Much-Net, einen Anbieter von Software und Services für die Bewertung von Finanzinstrumenten. “Die Software von Much-Net wird entsprechend in das bestehende Treasury-Angebot integriert. Zu den Instrumenten, die analysiert und bewertet werden können, zählen u.a. sämtliche Plain-Vanilla-Instrumente, strukturierte Anleihen, Rohstoffderivate, Sicherheiten und strukturierte Derivate, Hedge Accounting (IAS39 und IFRS9)”, teilt das Unternehmen mit.

DIE HÖHLE DER LÖWEN

FlowKiss
+++ In der vierten Folge der achten Staffel investierten Regal-Löwe Ralf Dümmel und Sales-Löwe Carsten Maschmeyer 90.000 Euro in FlowKiss (25 %), früher als FH2OCUS bekannt. Das Startup, das von Sonja Wüpping und Jan Oostendorp gegründet wurde, bietet ein koffeinhaltiges Sprudelwasser an.

Klang2
In der vierten Folge der achten Staffel investierte Pharma-Löwe Nils Glagau 150.000 Euro in Klang2 (33,3 %). Das Startup von Sebastian Oberlin und Adrian Rennertz bietet lleine Holzquadrate an, die über das Smartphone Sounds abspielen, wie Klassische Musik oder Tiergeräusche. Das Gedächtnisspiel für die Ohren soll musikalische sowie Allgemeinbildung mit Spaß verbinden. Die wollten ursprünglich 150.000 Euro für 10 % einsammeln.

VENTURE CAPITAL

Point Nine Capital
+++ Der Berliner Frühphasen Geldgeber Point Nine Capital legt seinen fünften Fonds auf. Im Topf sind diesmal symbolträchtige 99.999.999 Euro. “The new fund will invest between €0.5 to €2.5 million per company initially and commits to participating in the Series As of all companies”, teilen die Hauptstädter mit. Zuletzt legte Point Nine 2019 einen Fonds auf (75 Millionen). In den vergangenen Jahren investierte der der Geldgeber, der seit 2008 unterwegs ist, in Startups wie Algolia, Brainly, Chainalysis, Contentful, Delivery Hero, DocPlanner, Loom, Mambu, Revolut und Typeform. Point Nine interessiert sich insbesondere für Themen wie B2B-SaaS and B2B-Marketplace. Im Zuge des neuen Fonds steigen Louis Coppey und Ricardo Sequerra Amram bei Point Nine zu Partnern auf.

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

#aktuell, #authada, #bellin, #berlin, #cannabis, #cavalry-ventures, #cherry-ventures, #cyber-security, #flowkiss, #forto, #hempamed, #infocert, #inven-capital, #ioxp, #kapital, #klang2, #legaltech, #logistik, #maersk-growth, #much-net, #northzone, #point-nine-capital, #ptc, #synbiotic, #venture-capital, #wien

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5 VCs agree: COVID-19 reshaped adtech and martech

We last surveyed VCs about their advertising and marketing investment strategies back in January — which is to say, in a completely different world, before the coronavirus pandemic began to wreak havoc on the global economy.

While there don’t appear to be any comprehensive numbers yet about the effect on digital advertising (which is, after all, still playing out), early data and anecdotes suggest a rapid decline, with some categories of ad spend disappearing entirely.

And as we noted in our previous survey, Crunchbase data shows that adtech had already fallen at a roughly 10% compounded annual growth rate over the last five years.

So what does the landscape look like now, and where are the remaining opportunities? To find out, we’ve compiled updated answers from two investors who participated in the previous survey and brought in three new perspectives:

For the most part, they acknowledged the landscape’s challenges — not just the pandemic, but the general maturity of the industry — while also pointing to opportunities in areas like machine learning. As Elton put it succinctly, “Marketing and advertising are not going away.”

Eric Franchi, MathCapital

How much time are you spending looking at marketing tech or adtech startups right now? Are you more focused on one or the other?

Adtech and martech are our main categories as a fund. We selectively invest in categories that might benefit from it (think DTC brands or media) or be of benefit to it (think next-generation CRM or HR tech). But 90%+ of our focus is adtech and martech.

What are you looking for in your next investment?

As always — team first. We look for founding teams with talent, vision and grit. We keep a fairly wide berth in terms of products and categories but we are spending much of our time focused on two themes: the post-privacy era in marketing (i.e. new, cookieless, compliant forms of identity and infrastructure) and future of digital media (i.e. video, OTT, audio, etc.).

How has COVID-19 impacted the adtech and martech investing landscape? Are there still opportunities?

Dealflow is down somewhat, but we are still seeing great opportunities. We have several investments in the pipeline for Q2. The challenges right now are similar to other sectors: spending time getting to know teams and calibrating expectations for growth in a Zoom-only (for now) world.

What kind of advice are you giving to your portfolio companies?

Right now, two months post-lockdown, most adjustments have been made to budgets and plans, teams (and customers) are adjusted to being fully remote and things have somewhat stabilized. Now is the time to get teams focused on sales and marketing. It’s a unique and rare time to outflank larger, slower-moving competitors and adapt to the market.

Christine Tsai, 500 Startups

#500-startups, #advertising-tech, #bowery-capital, #christine-tsai, #coronavirus, #covid-19, #eric-franchi, #extra-crunch, #greylock-partners, #investor-surveys, #mathcapital, #media, #northzone, #par-jorgen-parson, #tc, #venture-capital

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#DealMonitor – Scandit sammelt 80 Millionen ein – Medwing bekommt 28 Millionen – smava holt sich 57 Millionen


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 26. Mai 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.

INVESTMENTS

Scandit
+++ G2VP aus dem Silicon Valley, Atomico, GV, Kreos, NGP Capital, Salesforce Ventures und Swisscom Ventures investieren 80 Millionen US-Dollar in Scandit. In das Unternehmen für mobile Computer-Vision- und Augmented-Reality (AR)-Lösungen flossen zuvor bereits 43 Millionen. “Mit der neuen Finanzierung sollen das Wachstum in neuen Märkten im asiatisch-pazifischen Raum und in Lateinamerika weiter vorangetrieben sowie die Präsenz und Aktivitäten in Nordamerika und Europa ausgebaut werden”, teilt das Unternehmen aus Zürich mit.

smava
+++ Earlybird, Venture Capital, Verdane, Vitruvian Partners und Runa Capital investierten bereits Ende des vergangenen Jahres 22 Millionen Euro in smava. “Zusätzlich hat smava Growth Debt in Höhe von 35 Millionen Euro von Kreos Capital aufgenommen”, teilt das FinTech, eine Kreditplattform, mit. Im vergangen Jahr peilte smava einen Börsengang an, der dann aber abgeblasen wurde. Die Private Equity-Firma Vi­tru­vi­an investierte Anfang 2018 bereits 65 Millionen Dollar in smava. Die Bewertung soll bei rund 300 Millionen Dollar gelegen haben.

Medwing
+++ Cathay Innovation sowie die Altinvestoren Northzone, Atlantic Labs und Cherry Ventures investieren 28 Millionen Euro in Medwing. Das Berliner Startup positioniert sich als Jobdienst rund um das Gesundheitswesen. Das Startup, früher als you4med unterwegs, wurde 2017 von Johannes Roggendorf, Alana Tung und Timo Fischer ins Leben gerufen. Zuletzt wirkten mehr als 200 Mitarbeiter für die Jungfirma. Das frische Kapital soll insbesondere in den “Ausbau des technologischen Vorsprungs sowie für die Entwicklung weiterer Features” fließen.

TIS
+++ Aquiline Capital Partners investiert gemeinsam mit 83North 20 Millionen US-Dollar in TIS, auch als Treasury Intelligence Solutions bekannt. Das 2010 von Jörg Wiemer und Erol Bozak in Walldorf gegründete Unternehmen positioniert sich als SaaS-B2B-Zahlungsplattform. 83North, Target Partners und Zobito investierten zuvor bereits 12 Millionen Dollar in die Jungfirma. Mit dem frischen kapital will das Unternehmen “die Vertriebsaktivitäten in Europa und den Vereinigten Staaten ausweiten”.

VENTURE CAPITAL

Aromex Ventures
+++ Der neue Accelerator Aromex Ventures unterstützt ganz gezielt junge Getränke-Startups. “Dabei setzt Aromex Ventures auf einen partnerschaftlichen Ansatz: Die Gründer müssen keine Kontrolle abgeben, denn es werden keine Beteiligungen am Startup erworben. Stattdessen teilen sich das jeweilige Startup und Aromex Ventures das unternehmerische Risiko, indem der Accelerator eine umsatzbasierte Vergütung erhält”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Hinter dem Programm steckt das sogenannte Aromenhaus Aromex.

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

#83north, #aktuell, #aquiline-capital-partners, #aromex-ventures, #atlantic-labs, #berlin, #cathay-innovation, #cherry-ventures, #hr, #medwing, #northzone, #scandit, #smava, #treasury-intelligence-solutions, #venture-capital

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Cathay Innovation’s first investment in Germany is healthcare startup Medwing

Medwing, a German startup with an ambition to tackle Europe’s shortage of healthcare workers, said on Tuesday that it has secured €28 million ($30 million) in a Series B financing round. Global venture capital firm Cathay Innovation led the round, marking its first investment in a German company. Other participating investors include Northzone, Cherry Ventures and Atlantic Labs.

The World Bank forecasted a worldwide shortage of 15 million health professionals by 2030, with demand being highest in affluent regions like Europe with an aging labor force and an aging population in need of care.

The pressing issue inspired Johannes Roggendorf, who previously worked at Rocket Internet and Bain & Company, to launch Medwing in 2017 and later brought on his co-founder Dr. Timo Fischer. The entrepreneurs discovered that, contrary to conventional wisdom, many healthcare workers in Europe wanted to work more, not less. Part of the reason why jobs were not filled was information asymmetry that led to a mismatch between supply and demand.

“There is a group of people who are willing to work more if they can manage their schedule,” Roggendorf told TechCrunch over a phone interview. “There are many qualified workers who left the healthcare system often because of inflexible working hours.”

In a survey that Medwing conducted, 50% of those who left the healthcare system said they would return if they were given more flexible working conditions.

Medwing’s solution is an automatic job matching system connecting workers with hospitals, nursing homes and other medical institutions. Focusing on Europe, the startup has so far registered more than 200,000 workers and 2,500 partner employers — including 80% hospitals in Berlin . Employers pay Medwing a commission every time a candidate is successfully placed. Each month, the platform is adding 15,000 new applicants, placing over 100 health experts in permanent positions and filling some 2,000 individual shifts. 20% of its users are looking for non-permanent jobs, according to Roggendorf.

The platform strives to differentiate itself by “starting with the candidates,” asserted the founder. Unlike traditional staffing sites, which search for applicants based on recruiters’ criteria, Medwing does the opposite and filters recruiters according to candidates’ preferences on whether the position is flexible or permanent, part-time or full-time. It’s an approach that the founder believes can optimize worker satisfaction. In addition to matchmaking, the platform also provides career consulting services to job seekers.

To Jacky Abitbol, who oversaw the deal for Cathay Innovation, Medwing is addressing two kinds of technological innovation his fund hunts for. For one, Medwing is driving “the future of work” by giving employees more autonomy and freedom. Terminal, which lets companies build out remote engineering teams overseas, is another startup in this category that has attracted financing from Cathay Innovation.

“Medwing is also bringing digital to a more traditional sector,” Abitbol told TechCrunch on the phone. That means streamlining the recruiting process by eliminating agencies or middlemen, saving time and costs for both workers and employers.

“What sounds very logical was not done this way until today,” the investor added.

Medwing operates a team of over 200 employees from over 30 countries, many of which have been hit hard by COVID-19. The startup is providing some of its services pro bono to fight the virus, placing professionals and volunteers in hospitals, nursing homes and private households that need support. Abitbol said the impact of the health crisis on the startup’s revenue remains “slight”, as only certain facilities are designated as coronavirus hospitals and demand will return to normal as the pandemic starts to ease.

#berlin, #cathay-innovation, #cherry-ventures, #europe, #health, #medwing, #northzone, #recruitment, #rocket-internet, #workforce

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7 VCs discuss how COVID-19 is changing the media startup landscape

The world has changed dramatically since May 2019 when we last surveyed venture capitalists about the trends they were seeing in media, entertainment and gaming.

Since then, COVID-19 and the resulting physical distancing measures have created plenty of demand for companies helping to inform and entertain us as we’re stuck at home. At the same time, there’s a dramatic reduction in ad spending, making it harder to monetize that consumer attention.

So we checked in a variety of top VCs about the new landscape, where they’re investing and what kind of advice they’re giving their portfolio companies.

Not all of them invest directly in what (paraphrasing Betaworks’ Matt Hartman) we might call media media — the companies whose business models revolve around content creation and advertising — but each of these investors are backing startups looking to change the way we stay connected and entertained.

Here’s who we surveyed:

  • Kevin Zhang (Partner, Upfront Ventures)
  • Pär-Jörgen (PJ) Pärson (General Partner, Northzone)
  • Vasu Kulkarn (Partner, Courtside Ventures)
  • MG Siegler (General Partner, GV)
  • Jana Messerschmidt (Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners)
  • Matthew Hartman (Partner, Betaworks Ventures)
  • Gigi Levy-Weiss (Managing Partner, NFX)

The consensus? You can’t count on the ad business to recover in the next few months, but there are still opportunities for startups exploring new formats and new business models. And there’s still plenty of excitement about gaming and esports.

You can read their full responses, lightly edited, below.

Kevin Zhang, Upfront Ventures

What (if any) media trends are still exciting you from an investing perspective?

Live and interactive formats, especially shorter form, continue to be very exciting, made even more evident in this time of shelter-in-place. What has worked in China and broader Asia has not yet translated into explosive success in the West. As interesting as celebrity live broadcasts are from their homes, the lack of real interaction and participation features hampers long-term engagement and doesn’t make up for the lack of production quality.

Modern content production technology is needed to push both production and live ops cost down while enabling more interactive and engaging formats. Game engines are one example, there’s of course the Travis Scott concert that just happened in Fortnite built on the Unreal engine, but that 15-minute, pre-rendered show took months to create, we’re only just scratching the surface of what’s possible.

One of our investments in this space is Tellie for live-action formats, another is The Wave for rendered, live formats, and we continue to look for great combinations of tech and media talent innovating on new formats.

Speaking of gaming, multiplayer games continue to grow and grow exponentially, there is a lot to unpack in popular titles from new favorite Animal Crossing to classics like World of Warcraft to indie hits like For the King. They all have social cooperation as a core part of the game loop and design. I’d love to see more teams working on cooperative play and just overall a broader diversity in multiplayer experiences beyond purely competitive ones.

#betaworks-ventures, #coronavirus, #courtside-ventures, #covid-19, #events, #extra-crunch, #funding, #gv, #investor-surveys, #lightspeed-venture-partners, #market-analysis, #matthew-hartman, #media, #mg-siegler, #nfx, #northzone, #par-jorgen-parson, #startups, #upfront-ventures, #venture-capital

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