#DealMonitor – Compredict sammelt 5,5 Millionen ein – Seatti bekommt 3 Millionen – Equivia Partners übernimmt Mycs


Im #DealMonitor für den 4. Juli werfen wir 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.

INVESTMENTS

Compredict
+++ Vektor Partners und BlackBerry investieren 5,5 Millionen Euro in Compredict. Hinter Compredict, 2016 von Rafael Fietzek und Stéphane Foulard in Darmstadt gergründet, verbirgt sich eine Softwarelösung, die die Belastung von Fahrzeugteile misst. Zuvor -im Frühjahr 2018 – investierten bereits die Flixbus-Gründer und THI Investments, das Family Office der Familie Hagenmeyer (Getrag), in das Unternehmen. Mehr über Compredict

Seatti 
+++ Acton Capital, Partech und die Altinvestoren Peak und HPI Seed Fund investieren 3 Millionen Euro in Seatti. Das Startup aus München, das 2020 von Christopher Bieri, Johannes Eppler und Dmytro Savin gegründet wurde, positioniert sich als “Shared-Desk-Management- und Kollaborations-Software, die hybriden Unternehmen ermöglicht, Büro- und Verwaltungskosten zu minimieren sowie gleichzeitig die Zusammenarbeit von remote Teams zu maximieren”. Mehr über Seatti

Brighter AI
+++ Armilar Venture Partners sowie die Altinvestoren eCapital und Giesecke+Devrient Ventures investieren in Brighter AI. Das DeepTech-Startup aus Berlin, 2017 von Marian Gläser, Patrick Kern und Asaf Birnhack gegründet, entwickelt ein Verfahren, das DSGVO-konforme personenbezogene Merkmale wie Gesichter zwar anonymisiert, die Kameradaten allerdings für Analytics-und Machine-Learning-Ansätze erhalten bleiben. Mehr über Brighter AI

Boomerang
+++ Five Investments sowie Business Angels wie Nikolaus Bayer, Mark Miller, Alf Arnold, Beate Rosenthal und Gregor Heinrich investieren eine sechsstellige Summe in Boomerang. Das Startup aus Hamburg, von Marc Engelmann, Christian Putz und Katharina Kreutzer gegründet, setzt auf Mehrweg-Versandtaschen mit Pfandsystem. Das Motto dabei lautet: “Nie wieder Einwegverpackungen aus Plastik, Pappe oder Papier: Das ist unsere Mission für einen grüneren Planeten.” Mehr über Boomerang

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Mycs 
+++ Die Kölner Private-Equity-Firma Equivia Partners übernimmt das Berliner Unternehmen Mycs, dass Ess-, Schreib und Couchtische sowie Kleiderschränke, Regale, Sideboards und Kommoden anbietet, – siehe Exciting Commerce. Zu Equivia Partners gehört bereits das Unternehmen deinSchrank.de, 2010 in Frechen gegründet. Das gemeinsame Ziel sind weitere Übernahmen im Segment konfigurierbarer Möbel. Global Founders Capital (GFC), Beringea, Zimmerman Investments und Co. investierten in den vergangenen Jahren rund 30 Millionen Euro in Mycs. “Mycs lag zuletzt bei Umsätzen von 50 Mio. Euro. DeinSchrank ist in etwa halb so groß und ist zuletzt von 17,5 Mio. Euro (2019) auf 24,5 Mio. Euro (2020) gewachsen”, schreibt Exciting Commerce zur Übernahme. Mehr über Mycs

Conda
+++ Im Rahmen eines Management-Buyout übernehmen Gründer Daniel Horak, Conda-Deutschland-Chef Dirk Littig, CMO Karin Turki, CTO Michael Gartner und CFO Harald Weiss die Crowdinvesting-Plattform Conda – siehe Der Brutkasten. Zuletzt war das Unternehmen in Besitz von Startup300, das Conda 2018 und 2019 in mehreren Schritten übernommen hatte.

VENTURE CAPITAL

ROI Ventures
+++  Julian Sachs, Patrick Funke, Laura Egg und Marco Raggl starten die Wiener Angel Investor Group ROI Ventures. In der Selbstbeschreibung heißt es: “We are an angel investor group and provide hands-on support with our network and expertise. We invest in pre-seed and seed startups and focus on the areas FinTech & Crypto, EduTech, Lifestyle & Wellness and HrTech” . ROI investiert zwischen 50.000 und 100.000 Euro. ROI Ventures investierte bereits in das Berliner FinTech Tokenstreet.

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

Foto (oben): azrael74

#acton-capital, #aktuell, #armilar-venture-partners, #berlin, #blackberry, #boomerang, #brighter-ai, #compredict, #conda, #darmstadt, #deeptech, #deinschrank-de, #ecapital, #equivia-partners, #fintech, #five-investments, #gieseckedevrient-ventures, #greentech, #hamburg, #munchen, #mycs, #partech, #roi-ventures, #seatti, #startup300, #tokenstreet, #vektor-partners, #venture-capital, #wien

#DealMonitor – Upvest sammelt 42 Millionen ein – Next Matter bekommt 16 Millionen – Choco übernimmt Refill


Im #DealMonitor für den 16. Juni werfen wir 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.

INVESTMENTS

Upvest
+++ Der amerikanische Geldgeber Bessemer Venture Partners, Earlybird, ABN AMRO Ventures, Notion Capital, Partech, 10x Group und Speedinvest investieren 42 Millionen US-Dollar (40 Millionen Euro) in Upvest. Das Berliner FinTech, 2017 von Martin Kassing gegründet, bietet eine Schnittstelle an, mit der Unternehmen digitale Investment-Produkte anbieten können. Das Schlagwort dabei lautet: Investment-as-a-Service. “Das Kapital aus der Series-B soll dafür genutzt werden, die API-Technologie weiterzuentwickeln, die Internationalisierung vorzubereiten und das Team weiter auszubauen”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. 90 Mitarbeiter:innen arbeiten derzeit für Upvest. Insgesamt flossen nun schon rund 58 Millionen US-Dollar (56 Millionen Euro) in das FinTech. Mehr über Upvest

Next Matter
+++ Omers Ventures, BlueYard Capital und Crane Venture Partners sowie Business Angels wie Frank Freund, Tamaz Georgadze,, Marius Luther und Charles Songhurst investieren 16 Millionen US-Dollar in Next Matter. Das Berliner Startup, 2018 von Jan Hugenroth gegründet, positioniert sich als “End-to-End-Plattform zur Automatisierung im Bereich Operations”. Das frische Kapital soll in den Ausbau des Team von 15 auf 75 Mitarbeiter:innen fließen. “Besonderer Schwerpunkt liegt dabei auf den USA, wo ein Drittel der Kunden des Unternehmens ansässig sind”, heißt es in der Presseaussendung. Mehr über Next Matter

tl;dv
+++ K Fund, Seedcamp, Mustard Seed Maze, another.vc, Shilling.vc und Angel-Investor:innen wie Oscar Pierre investieren 4,3 Millionen Euro in tl;dv – siehe tech.eu. Das Startup aus Aachen, das von Raphael Allstadt, Carlo Thissen und Allan Bettarel gegründet wurde, kümmert sich über eine Chrome Extension unter anderem um das Aufzeichnen und Transkribieren von virtuellen Meetings. Auch Timestamps sind tl;dv möglich. “Highlight important moments as they happen. Your team can catch up on meetings in minutes”, schreibt das Team zum Konzept.

eCovery 
+++ 1750 ventures und adesso ventures und mehrere Angel-Investor:innen investieren eine siebenstellige Summe in eCovery. Mit eCovery, das von Marcus Rehwald, Benedict Rehbein und Alexander Georgi gegründet wurde, kommt der “Physiotherapeute für die Hosentasche” um die Ecke. Das Leipziger Startup tritt an, um die Reha komplett zu digitalisieren und auch zu modernisieren. eCovery will “mittels KI, mitlernendem System und bald auch Bewegungssensoren den Patienten bei seiner Reha begleiten und anleiten”.

Filu
+++ Business Angels wie Anna Alex, Michael Hurnaus, Matthias Koch, Friedhelm Filler und die Bond Vet-Gründer investieren eine sechsstellige Summe in Filu. Das Berliner Startup, das von Anna Magdalena Naderer, Christian Köhler und Justus Buchen gegründet wurde, setzt auf Tierarztpraxen Millenials und GenZ. Das Motto dabei lautet: “Tierversorgung, wann und wie immer du es brauchst – in der Praxis, Zuhause und unterwegs”.

entire stories
+++ Business Angels wie Arnd von Wedemeyer, Myriam Kirschner, Lasse Krüger, Anna Gussner und Sebastian Gronewold investieren eine sechsstellige Summe in entire stories. Das Startup aus Wildeshausen, das 2020 von Elena Gerdes, Jacqueline Taborsky und Cedric Michael gegründet wurde, setzt auf einen kuratierten Marktplatz für nachhaltige Mode. Alle Marken werden von entire stories dabei “auf ganzheitliche Nachhaltigkeit geprüft und transparent auf dem Marktplatz dargestellt”. 

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Refill
++ Das Berliner Unicorn Choco, ein Bestelldienst für Gastronom:innen und deren Lieferant:innen, übernimmt die Getränkebranche-Bestell-App Refill. “Durch die Integration profitieren alle Kunden ab sofort von Chocos vielseitigen Features und dem umfangreichen Service-Angebot”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Das Hamburger Unternehmen Refill, das sich derzeit in Liquidation befindet, wurde 2021 von Adam Glodek, Bijan Mashagh und Marco Tijanic gegründet. Mehr über Choco

Autengo 
+++ Das Unternehmen Saltow aus Kaiserslautern, zu dem der B2B-Händler Tyre24 gehört, übernimmt die Jungfirma Autengo (Frankfurt am Main), die Softwareprodukte für Autohändler entwickelt. “Im Zuge des Kaufs wird das Team um Gründer und Geschäftsführer Sebastian Fischer weiterhin an Bord bleiben und die SAITOW AG mit einem weiteren Standort aus Frankfurt ergänzen”, teilt das Unternehmen mit.

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, #1750-ventures, #aachen, #abn-amro-ventures, #aktuell, #another-vc, #autengo, #berlin, #bessemer-venture-partners, #choco, #earlybird-venture-capital, #ecovery, #entire-stories, #filu, #fintech, #frankfurt-am-main, #hamburg, #k-fund, #kaiserslautern, #leipzig, #mustard-seed-maze, #next-matter, #notion-capital, #partech, #refill, #seedcamp, #shilling-vc, #speedinvest, #tldv, #upvest, #venture-capital

#DealMonitor – Zolar sammelt 100 Millionen ein – Aaron.ai bekommt 3,5 Millionen – Aumio sammelt 3 Millionen ein


Im #DealMonitor für den 19. Mai werfen wir 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.

INVESTMENTS

Zolar
+++ Der amerikanische Investor Energy Impact Partners (EIP), GIC, der Staatsfond von Singapur, und Altinvestoren wie Inven Capital, Heartcore Capital, Statkraft Ventures und Pirate Impact Capital investieren 100 Millionen Euro in Zolar. Mit dem frischen Kapital möchte “das Unternehmen den Zugang zu grüner Energie für Hausbesitzende fundamental vereinfachen, den Fachkräftemangel im Handwerk reduzieren und die deutsche Unabhängigkeit von Öl und Gas vorantreiben”. Das Berliner Startup, das 2016 von Gregor Loukidis und Alex Melzer gegründet wurde, bietet Photovoltaikanlagen zum Festpreis an, die Eigenheimbesitzer maßgeschneidert online planen, vergleichen und beauftragen können. Zuletzt wanderten 35 Millionen Euro in Zolar – unter anderem von Energy Impact Partners. Rund 370 Mitarbeiter:innen arbeiten derzeit für das Unternehmen. Mehr über Zolar

Aaron.ai
+++ Der Münchener Impact-Investor BonVenture, IBB Ventures und Futury Capital investieren 3,5 Millionen Euro in Aaron.ai. Das Berliner Unternehmen, das  2015 von Tobias Wagenführer, Richard von Schaewen und Iwan Lappo-Danilewski gegründet wurde, setzt auf einen “KI-basierten Praxismitarbeiter, der Arztpraxen entlastet und Patient:innen rund um die Uhr am Telefon hilft, ihr Anliegen zu bearbeiten”. Das frische Kapital soll “neben dem Produkt selbst vor allem in Mitarbeiter:innen investiert werden”.

Aumio
+++ Partech, byFounders sowie die Gründer von Urban Sports Club, Amboss, Vivino und Researchgate investieren 3 Millionen Euro in Aumio. Das Leipziger Startup, das 2020 von Jean Ochel und Tilman Wiewinner gegründet wurde, bringt sich als “Meditations und Achtsamkeits App für die mentale Gesundheit von Kindern” in Stellung. In den Kursen des Startups sollen Kinder, die mit Aufmerksamkeitsproblemen, Wutausbrüchen oder Hyperaktivität zu kämpfen haben, die Chance haben “Herausforderungen im Alltag” zu bewältigen. Im April 2021 war das Startup in der VOX-Show “Die Höhle der Löwen” zu Gast, einen Deal gab es damals nicht.

Predium
+++ btov Partners, 2bX sowie Angel-Investoren wie Maximilian Viessmann (Viessmann), Kristofer Fichtner (Thermondo, ecoworks), Lisa Gradow (Usercentrics), Christoph Zöller (instaffo) und Michael Wax (forto) investieren 1,6 Millionen Euro in Predium. Das PropTech aus München, 2021 von Jens Thumm, Mohamed Ali Razouane und Maximilian Körner gegründet, entwickelt eine “All-in-One Softwarelösung, die ESG-Bilanzen von Gebäuden ermittelt, Maßnahmen zur CO2-Reduktion vorschlägt und diese mit einer Investitionsrechnung hinterlegt”. Das frische Kapital soll insbesondere in “Markterschließung und den weiteren Aufbau des Teams” fließen.

VENTURE CAPITAL

Ananda Impact Ventures
+++ Der Impact-Investor Ananda Impact Ventures verkündet das Final Closing seines vierten Fonds. Im Topf sind nun 108 Millionen Euro – und damit 33 Millionen mehr, als ursprünglich geplant. “Der Erfolg unterstreicht das Interesse des Marktes, Start-ups zu unterstützen, die nicht nur über Impact sprechen, sondern diesen fest in ihre Geschäftsmodelle integriert haben”, teilt der Geldgeber mit. Ananda, 2009 von Johannes Weber und Florian Erber gegründet, investierte in den vergangenen Jahren in Unternehmen wie Arbor, Careship, Klim, Mika, OroraTech und voiio.

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

Foto (oben): azrael74

#aaron-ai, #aktuell, #ananda-impact-ventures, #aumio, #berlin, #bonventure, #byfounders, #climatetech, #energy-impact-partners, #futury-capital, #gic, #heartcore-capital, #ibb-ventures, #inven-capital, #leipzig, #partech, #pirate-impact-capital, #predium, #proptech, #statkraft-ventures, #venture-capital, #zolar

#DealMonitor – CoachHub bekommt 80 Millionen – Oviva sammelt 80 Millionen ein – Frank Thelen startet 10XDNA


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 1. September 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.

INVESTMENTS

CoachHub
+++ Die Altinvestoren Draper Esprit, RTP Global, HV Capital, Signals Venture Capital, Partech und Speedinvest investieren weitere 80 Millionen US-Dollar in die Berliner Coaching-Plattform CoachHub. Das Startup wurde 2018 von den Seriengründern Yannis und Matti Niebelschütz (MyParfüm) ins Leben gerufen. Führungskräfte und Mitarbeiter von Unternehmen können über die Coachhub-App mit Coaches sprechen, der Algorithmus schlägt jeweils passende vor. Insgesamt flossen nun schon 130 Millionen in die Jungfirma. “The money will continue to fund CoachHub’s meteoric expansion which started just three years ago. In just the first half of 2021, CoachHub has exceeded 2020’s new business generation, tripled its number of employees, and added some of the biggest, foremost global brands to its stable of clients including Fujitsu, Electrolux, Babbel, ViacomCBS and KPMG”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. 300 Mitarbeiter:innen arbeiten derzeit für CoachHub. Mehr über CoachHub

Oviva 
+++ Sofina, Temasek und die Altinvestoren AlbionVC, Earlybird, Eight Roads Ventures, F-Prime Capital, MTIP und mehrere Angel-Investoren investieren 80 Millionen US-Dollar in Oviva. Das Potsdamer Unternehmen, 2014 von Kai Eberhardt, Manuel Baumann und Mark Jenkins gegründet, positioniert sich als Anbieter von digitalen Typ-2-Diabetes-Therapien. “Die Runde folgt auf ein Jahr, in dem Oviva sowohl die Zahl der behandelten Patienten als auch den Umsatz mehr als verdoppelt hat”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. MTIP, Earlybird, AlbionVC, F-Prime Capital, Eight Roads Ventures und Partech investierten Anfang 2020 rund 21 Millionen US-Dollar in E-Health-Startup. Insgesamt flossen bereits 115 Millionen in die Jungfirma. Mehr zu Oviva

Merantix
+++ Der bekannte Technologieinvestor Softbank investiert eine ungenannte Summe in das Berliner Unternehmen Merantix – siehe Gründerszene. Der junge Company Buider, der 2016 von Rasmus Rothe und Adrian Locher gegründet wurde, kümmert sich konkret um den Transfer von KI-Forschung in die Wirtschaft. “Die Partnerschaft umfasst die Zusammenarbeit in den Bereichen KI-Forschung, Talent- und Ökosystem-Entwicklung”, heißt es im Artikel. Merantix baute bereits Unternehmen wie SiaSearch, Kausa und Vara auf.

Planetics
+++ Bernd Geilen (früher ING Bank), Andrea Lederer (Ex-Amazon, DOUGLAS), Arno Gerken (McKinsey) sowie zwei weitere nicht genannte Kapitalgeber investieren eine sechsstellige Summe in Planetics. Beim Startup aus München, das 2020 von Fabian Hörst, Raphael Breitner und Alexandros Taflanidis gegründet wurde, dreht sich alles um “nachhaltige und faire Sportartikel”. Gemeint sind damit Bekleidung, Equipment und Nutrition. Planetics war bereits im Januar dieses Jahres in unserem Pitch-Podcast zu Gast.

Tradelite
+++ Seriengründer und Investor Heiko Hubertz (Bigpoint, Whow Games) investiert in Tradelite. Das Münchner Startup, das 2020 von Tracy Chang, Matthias Kröner und Uwe Franke gegründet wurde, möchte “komplexes Finanzwissen für Milliarden von Menschen leicht zugänglich machen”. Gelingen soll dies, “indem reale Finanzdaten und Interaktionen in Videospiele integriert werden. Das Schlagwort für dieses Konzept lautet Financial Entertainment.

Immomio
+++ W&W brandpool, der Digitalableger der W&W-Gruppe, investiert in Immomio. W&W brandpool übernimmt dabei auch Anteile vom Mainzer Immobiliensoftwareanbieter Aareon und hält nun 16 % an Immomio. Das Hamburger Startup veröffentlicht die Anzeigen seiner Kunden auf Immobilienportalen. Anschließend bewertet das Team um Nicolas Jacobi die Bewerber und sorgt für eine Auswahl. Aus diesen sucht der Vermieter seine Favoriten und lädt sie mithilfe der Terminplanung zu einem Besichtigungstermin ein.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Usercentrics / Cookiebot
+++ Das Münchner Startup Usercentrics fusioniert mit seinem Wettbewerber Cookiebot (gehört zu Cybot). Usercentrics, das andere Unternehmen dabei unterstützt, ihre Webseiten DSGVO-konform zu machen, wurde 2017 von Mischa Rürup, Vinzent Ellissen und Lisa Gradow gegründet. “Das 2012 gegründete Unternehmen Cybot betreibt mit der Cookiebot Consent-Management-Plattform ein Selfservice-Angebot, das es Websites ermöglicht, transparent über die Cookie-Nutzung auf der jeweiligen Domain zu informieren und entsprechende Einwilligungen einzuholen”, teilen die Unternehmen mit. Der amerikanische Geldgeber Full In Partners sowie die Altinvestoren Alstin Capital, Reimann Investors und Cavalry Ventures investierten zuletzt 17 Millionen Euro in Usercentrics. Mehr über Usercentrics

Playbrush
+++ Die Sunstar Group, die im Segment Mundgesundheit unetrwegs ist, übernimmt die Mehrheit an Playbrush. Das Wiener Startup, das 2015 von Matthäus Ittner, Tolulope Ogunsina und Paul Varga gegründet wurde, setzt im Zahnpflegesegment auf Künstliche Intelligenz, Connectivity und Gamification. “Gemeinsam mit Playbrush plant Sunstar umfangreiche smarte Innovationen, welche die Gesundheit im Sinne ihrer Mouth-and-Body-Strategy ergänzen und auch weiterhin neue Standards für die Zukunft der Mundpflege setzen”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Speedinvest, Uniqa Ventures, SevenVentures, der bekannte Business Angel Hansi Hansmann und der ehemalige Rennfahrer Harold Primat investierten in den vergangenen Jahren mehrere Millionen in das Unternehmen. “Die Altgesellschafter verlassen das Unternehmen”, teilt der neue Mehrheitsgesellschafter mit. Mehr über Playbrush

STOCK MARKET

10XDNA
+++ Startup-Investor und Ex-Vox-Löwe Frank Thelen legt mit 10XDNA seinen Aktienfonds auf, mit dem er in börsennotierte Firmen investieren möchte – siehe FinanceFWD. “Der 10xDNA-Fonds soll vor allem auf Zukunftsthemen wie Blockchain oder Künstliche Intelligenz setzen”, heißt es im Artikel. Hinter dem Aktienfonds steckt 10xDNA Capital Partners, das von Jens Giersberg, zuletzt Partner bei McKinsey, geführt wird. “Durch unseren VC-Background heben wir uns von anderen Aktienfonds ab und genau das ist die Idee. Die meisten Fonds treffen Investmententscheidungen entlang fest definierter Value-Investing-Kriterien wie Umsatzprognosen und Bilanzen”, sagt Thelen im Interview mit CAPinside zum neuen Aktienfonds.

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

#10xdna, #10xdna-capital-partners, #aareon, #aktuell, #berlin, #coachhub, #cookiebot, #draper-esprit, #e-health, #fintech, #frank-thelen, #hv-capital, #immomio, #merantix, #munchen, #oviva, #partech, #planetics, #playbrush, #rtp-global, #signals-venture-capital, #sofina, #softbank, #speedinvest, #temasek, #tradelite, #usercentrics, #venture-capital, #ww-brandpool, #wien, #zurich

Venture capital investment in Africa predicted to reach a record high this year

Investments in African startups keep growing at a healthy pace ever since reports started keeping count in 2015. That year, publications Disrupt Africa and Partech released independently researched and contrasting figures showing that venture capital investments hit $186 million and $277 million, respectively. Those are ridiculously low figures for a continent when you consider that four-year-old Snapchat raised more than $500 million in one round that same year. However, while the disparity in funding between Africa and a single high-growth U.S. startup continues, the good news is that more money is coming into the continent.

In 2019, Africa’s venture capital investments rose to an all-time high, per Partech’s report. According to Partech, 234 African tech companies raised $2.02 billion in 250 equity rounds. This indicated a 74% increase from 2018’s figure of $1.163 billion raised by 146 startups in 164 rounds.  

There was shared optimism that 2020 would record a new high, but that was before the pandemic struck. For that reason, African tech ecosystem accelerator AfricArena predicted that venture capital funding in the continent’s startups would fall between $1.2 billion and $1.8 billion. In what may be described as an educated guess or a calculated prediction by the publication, year-end reports by Partech and Briter Bridges pegged total investment raised at $1.4 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively.

This year, AfricArena, in a new report, is predicting that VC funding in the continent’s startups would increase between $2.25 billion and $2.8 billion, which, if met, will surpass 2019 figures for a record high on the continent.

Here’s the rationale behind the prediction from an excerpt in the report:

We foresee that the first two quarters of 2021 will be similar Q4 2020 with the mix of factors. Vaccine campaigns will likely take longer than hoped to have a meaningful impact. However, this rollout – regardless of how long they will actually take – will eliminate the major uncertainty about the end of the pandemic, which is only a question of time.

As a result, we expect an extremely strong acceleration of deals from seed to Series B as well as major growth deals, together with some IPOs (Nigeria’s Interswitch, for example), that will propel deal activity to never seen before levels of activity. As of April 2020, our forecast for 2021 ranged from under $1.6 billion to over $3 billion. The worst-case scenario was based on a prolonged and fragmented impact on the African economies and the best-case scenario factoring in a full recovery Q1 2021. Based on the above observations, our views are now that 2021 will range between $2.25 and $2.8 billion.

As of April 30, the total disclosed venture capital funding stood a little over $800 million, according to Maxime Bayen, deal tracker and senior venture builder at BFA Global. If that pace is kept throughout the year, African startups might raise more than $2 billion.

AfricArena

Image Credits: AfricArena

In 2020, the number of early-stage deals increased, but there was a drop in growth deals and overall ticket sizes, constituting the drop in funding activities. Per Partech, seed rounds grew 80% year-on-year and accounted for 64% of all deals made. In total, African startups raised $220 million in seed funding, which was a 47% increase year on year. Series A and B rounds grew likewise. Series A deals went up 9% (86 rounds), and Series B deals, 16% (29 rounds), yet their investment sizes dropped 5% ($447 million) and 8% ($449 million), respectively.

Growth deals also dropped by 16%, and only two deals closed above $50 million compared to the 10 that took place in 2019, some of which include Interswitch, OPay, Branch and Andela.

The driving force to exceed the $2 billion mark in 2021 lies on VCs to make more deals and startups to replicate the large growth rounds of 2019. The former appears to be in place as African startups continue to raise money week in and week out. However, there’s still work to be done for the latter, as only two African startups have raised more than $100 million in a single round so far — fintech startups Flutterwave and TymeBank.

#africa, #finance, #flutterwave, #investment, #nigeria, #partech, #tc, #tymebank, #venture-capital, #venture-capital-investments

After its first $54M fund, Algebra Ventures launches $90M fund for startups in Egypt

The venture capital scene in the North African tech ecosystem will be absolutely buzzing right now with the announcement of two large VC funds in the space of two days. Today, Algebra Ventures, an Egyptian VC firm, announced that it has launched its $90 million second fund.

Four years ago, Algebra Ventures closed its first fund of $54 million, and with this announcement, the firm hopes to have raised a total of $144 million when the second fund closes (with first close by Q3 2021). If achieved, Algebra will most likely have the largest indigenous fund from North Africa and arguably in Africa.

According to the managing partners — Tarek Assaad and Karim Hussein, the first fund was an Egyptian-focused fund. Still, the firm made some selective investments in a few companies outside the country. The second fund will be similar — Egypt first, Egypt focused, but allocating investments in East and West Africa, North Africa and the Middle East.

Assaad and Hussein launched the firm in 2016 as one of Egypt’s first independent venture capital funds. It wasn’t easy to start one at the time, and it took the partners two years to close the first fund.

“Raising a venture capital fund in Egypt in 2016, in all honesty, was a pain. There was no venture capital to speak of back then,” Assaad told TechCrunch. “The high-flying startups back then were raising between $1 million and $2 million. We decided to take the bull by the horn and raise from very established LPs.”

These LPs include Cisco, the European Commission, Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund (EAEF), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and private family offices. From the first fund, Algebra backed 21 startups in Egypt and MENA, and according to the firm, six of its most established companies are valued at over $350 million and collectively generate more than $150 million in annual revenue. It hopes to back 31 startups from the second fund.

Algebra says it’s sector-agnostic but has a focus on fintech, logistics, health tech and agritech. Although the firm has invested in startups in seed and Series B stages, Algebra is known to be an investor in startups looking to raise Series A investments.

Another appealing proposition from Algebra lies in the fact that it owns an in-house team focused on talent acquisition — in operations, marketing, finance, engineering, etc., for portfolio companies

The firm’s ticket size remains unchanged from the first fund and will continue to cut checks ranging from $500,000 to $2 million. However, some aspects as to how the firm handles operations might change according to the partners.

“One of the lessons learned in our first fund is that we see that there are more interesting opportunities and great entrepreneurs in the seed stage. And given that we’re more on the ground in Egypt, sometimes we wait for them to mature to Series A. But going forward, we might need to build relationships with those we find exceptional at the seed level and also expand our participation on the Series B level, too,” Hussein said on how the firm will act going forward.  

Algebra Ventures

Karim Hussein (Managing partner, Algebra Ventures)

Hussein adds that the company will also be doubling down on its talent acquisition network. Typically, Algebra helps portfolio companies hire C-level executives, and while it plans to continue doing so, the firm might adopt a startup studio model — pairing some professionals to start a company that eventually gets Algebra’s backing and support.

The reason behind this stems from the next set of companies Algebra will be looking to invest in. According to Hussein, the partners at Algebra have studied successful businesses in other emerging markets for some time and want to identify parallels in North Africa where the firm can invest.

“In cases where the firm can’t find those opportunities, we may spur some of those in the network to start building those businesses and capture those opportunities,” he remarked.  

Before Algebra, Hussein has been involved with building some successful tech companies in the U.S. Primarily an engineer after bagging both bachelors and doctorate degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and MIT, respectively, he ventured into the world of startup investing and crazy valuations after working for a consulting company in the dot-com era.

He would go on to start Riskclick, a software company known for its commercial insurance applications. The founders sold the company to Skywire before Oracle acquired the company to become part of its suite of insurance services. After some time at WebMD, Hussein returned to Egypt and began mentoring startups as an angel investor. Alongside other angel investors, he started Cairo Angels, an angel investor network in Egypt, in 2013

“There was a massive gap in the market. We were putting in a bit of small angel money to these businesses but there were no VCs to take them to the next level. So I met up with Tarek and the rest is Algebra,” he said. 

Assaad is also an engineer. He obtained his bachelors in Egypt before switching careers by going to Stanford Graduate School of Business. He continued on that path working for some Bay Area companies before his return to Egypt. On his return, he became a managing partner at Ideavelopers, a VC firm operating a $50 million fund since 2009. The firm has had a couple of good success stories, the most notable being fintech startup Fawry. Fawry is now a publicly traded billion-dollar company and Assaad was responsible for the investment which realized a $100 million exit for Ideavelopers in 2015.

Algebra Ventures

Tarek Assaad (Managing partner, Algebra Ventures)

With Algebra, both partners are pioneering local investments in the region. Some of its portfolio companies are the most well-known companies on the continent — health tech startup Vezeeta; social commerce platform Brimore; logistics startup Trella; ride-hailing and super app Halan; food discovery and ordering platform Elmenus; fintech startup, Khazna; and others.

The firm’s latest raise and $144 million capital amount is one of the largest funds dedicated to African startups. Other large Africa-focused funds include the $71 million fund recently closed by another Egyptian firm, Sawari Ventures; Partech’s $143 million fund; Novastar Ventures’ $200 million fund; and the $71 million Tide Africa Fund by TLcom Capital.

These funds have been very pivotal to the growth of the African tech ecosystem in terms of funding. Last year, African startups raised almost $1.5 billion from both local and international investors, according to varying reports. This number was just half a billion dollars six years ago.

However, regardless of the period — 2015 or 2021 — African VC investments have always been largely dominated by foreign investors. But VC firms like Algebra Ventures are showing that local investors can cumulatively raise nine-figure funds or attempt to do so. Obviously, this will provide more startups with more funds and pave the way for indigenous and local VCs to at least increase their participation to nearly equal levels when compared to international investors.

#africa, #algebra-ventures, #egypt, #funding, #north-africa, #novastar-ventures, #partech, #tc, #tlcom-capital, #venture-capital

Uganda’s Tugende closes $3.6M Series A extension to meet the demand for its asset finance products

Ugandan technology-enabled asset finance company Tugende today announced that it has closed $3.6 million in a Series A extension round.

The investment, which, according to the company, was agreed on and structured in 2020, follows the $6.3 million raised in November 2020 and led by Toyota Tsusho investment fund Mobility 54. This brings Tugende’s total Series A financing to $9.9 million.

San Francisco and Paris-based VC firm, Partech led the round. Enza Capital participated, alongside some unnamed angel investors.

Michael Wilkerson founded Tugende in 2012. The company uses asset finance, technology and a customer support model to help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises own income-generating assets.

While primarily based in East Africa, the company wants to tackle the $331 billion credit gap facing these businesses across Africa. Its core product is for motorcycle riders in Kenya and Uganda, with a lease-to-own or hire-purchase package. These riders get some training, medical and life insurance, safety equipment and hands-on support from their first use of the motorcycle to owning it

Between 2006 and 2010, CEO Wilkerson, then a journalist and researcher, spent a great deal of time using motorcycles (Boda bodas) for quick and flexible transport. It was such an effective means for transport for him that he built a large contact list of “go-to” boda boda riders he would call for rides when need be. This was long before ride-hailing made its way to East Africa.

Michael Wilkerson (Tugende CEO). Image Credits: Tugende

These boda boda riders earned enough to pay motorcycle rent and survive, but not enough to build significant savings. While the little amounts they paid for rent could actually service a loan, traditional banks either required significant collateral or very high down payments.

So in 2010, Wilkerson launched Own Your Own Boda, a for-profit enterprise to put these riders on a path toward owning their motorcycles. They began informally with handwritten contracts, but progressed into using technology to scale the solution from 2013 when it rebranded to Tugende

Once boda boda riders get on board, they can double their take-home profit from $5 per day to $10 per day after becoming owners, the CEO claims.

“With an average household of five people, this can really transform the lives of our client and their families. Besides just increased daily profit, ownership of an asset is also wealth in itself,” Wilkerson told TechCrunch. “Some clients sell the fully owned motorcycle and use that lump sum of capital to make other investments while coming back to Tugende for a new lease, which is affordable from their daily cash flow.”

In addition to motorcycle taxis, Tugende has broadened the productive assets it finances to boat engines, cars, equipment for retail shops, refrigerators and other income-generating equipment. The company is also currently piloting financing for e-mobility assets. 

Image Credits: Tugende

The pivot to using technology in 2013 allowed Tugende to move fully to digital payments, build its own interoperable payment gateway in 2017 and launch an in-house credit score in 2019 to allow clients to see how they are performing

Talking about clients, Tugende currently has more than 43,000 across Kenya and Uganda. Out of that number, 16,000 have achieved full ownership of at least one asset.

Last year was a challenging one for the company, as the pandemic disrupted some of its activities; excluding 2020, Tugende has doubled in team size year-on-year. The company currently has more than 520 employees, with 20 branches in Uganda and four in Kenya.

While the pandemic presented challenges that the company has since maneuvered, it also brought a new investor in Partech. “Last year, in the middle of the pandemic, we decided to invest in Tugende”, said Tidjane Deme, partner at the firm that invested in 82 startups across 24 countries in 2020. “Tugende combines technology and strong operations to aid millions of professionals to grow their businesses and drive economies forward. We will support Michael and his team to build up the tech platform, fine-tune the model and expand in new markets.”

Over the years, Tugende’s demand has come mainly via word of mouth, a strategy Wilkerson says the company has struggled to keep up with. That’s the purpose of the new investment — to provide supply for growing demand. Also, the investment will support the closure of new debt capital to fuel Tugende’s strong portfolio growth in Uganda and Kenya.

Because of the nature of its business, Tugende needs a steady influx of debt capital. Since its inception, it has raised more than $20 million from debt partners like Partners Group Impact Investments and the U.S. Development Finance Corporation.

So why opt for equity financing this time when it mostly thrives on debt capital? Wilkerson says with the company’s long waiting list of new clients, Tugende has been trying to close new capital fast enough to keep up with this demand.

You see, most lenders require a minimum equity cushion, and even though Tugende has been net income positive for most of the last five years through 2019, its internally generated equity couldn’t anchor enough debt to meet its word of mouth client demand. Now, when you add the company’s goals to grow in new geographies and new asset products, the reason for this equity financing is apparently clear.

“Debt is Tugende’s fuel for growth. But good equity financing is like upgrading the engine, getting a top-notch mechanic and driving coach thrown in on top to help you handle the speed,” the CEO added

There is also the need for balance sheet strength, leading to more capital runway with larger and better-priced debt deals. Besides, there is the multiplier effect of having hands-on equity support.

Unlike many digital or digitally-enabled lenders, Wilkerson says Tugende’s prime focus on long-term value, not today’s credit transaction alone, is what will keep customers in the Tugende ecosystem in the coming years.

“We are particularly enthused by the team’s innovative application of technology, which incorporates a range of social considerations to build a new type of credit score, and which will increase access to capital across a range of African markets where entrepreneurs currently have a limited credit history or access to collateral,” added Mike Mompi, partner at Enza Capital of the investment.

#africa, #east-africa, #finance, #funding, #partech, #recent-funding, #startups, #tc, #tugende, #uganda

Digitail, an app for vets and their customers, raises $2.5M Seed round led by byFounders

Digitail, a cloud service for veterinary surgeries and customers, has raised $2.5M in a Seed round led by byFounders and Gradient Ventures (Google’s AI fund), joined by Partech and a series of angels including as Dr. Ivan Zakharenkov (Smartflow). The startup was already backed (pre-seed round in 2019) by Fast Track Malmo. Digitail is currently used by 2,000 veterinarians in 16 countries.

Digitail says its “all-in-one” practice management system for animal hospitals and veterinary practices “helps vets simplify their workflow, drive automation, and engage with pet parents, even when they are not at the practice.”

For pet owners Digital had a Health Card for pets, a customer app that is directly connected to the PIMS and acts as a digital ID for the pets. This holds the pet’s medical history, and allows the owner to communicate with the vet through the in-app chat, book their next appointment, and store any other important information about their pet.

The founders are Sebastian Gabor (CEO and co-founder), Ruxandra Pui (CPO and co-founder). They are joined by Alexandru Gheorghita, DVM, in-house veterinarian specialist.

Gabor said in a statement: “Pet care is still being run like in the 90s. Because of the lack of a holistic vision and approach, there is no data unification and no collaboration between the key players of the industry. As a result, vets still need to rely on outdated tools while collaboration and innovation is stopped.”

Competitors include Rhapsody.vet which has raised an $8M Series A, Ezyvet, and Hippo Manager, among others. But Digitail says its all-in-one approach has an edge on the others.

According to some estimates, some 39% of pet owners in the United States are millennials. Digitail is thus finding business among veterinarians surfing a new generation of customers who expect to be able to make bookings and arrangements with their vet via an app. Just as with apps aimed at doctor’s surgeries, Digitail’s platform handles that incoming customer data and also allows the surgery to run. The pet care industry is predicted to reach a value of $200 billion by 2025.

#byfounders, #co-founder, #europe, #gradient-ventures, #partech, #tc, #united-states, #veterinarian, #veterinary-medicine

How African startups raised investments in 2020

The venture capital scene in Africa has consistently grown, with an influx of capital from local and international investors reaching unprecedented heights in recent years. To understand how much growth has occurred, African startups raised a meagre $400 million in 2015 compared to the $2 billion that came into the continent in 2019, according to Africa-focused fund Partech Africa.

However, that figure isn’t the only yardstick. With other outlets like media publications WeeTracker and Disrupt Africa disclosing different results for the African venture capital market, we compared and contrasted their results last year. The result of that investigation detailed differences in methodology, as well as similarities.

In comparison to Partech’s $2 billion figure for 2019, WeeTracker estimated that African startups raised $1.3 billion while Disrupt Africa, $496 million for the same year.

It was expected that these figures would increase in 2020. But with the pandemic bringing in utter confusion and panic, companies downsized as investors re-strategized, and due diligence slowed during the first few months of the year. Also, new predictions came into light in May with some pegging expected deals to close between $1.2 billion and $1.8 billion by the end of the year.

Investments did pick up, and from July, VC funding on the continent had a bullish run until December. Although 2020 didn’t witness the series of mammoth deals in 2019 and didn’t reach the $2 billion mark, it proved to be a good year for acquisitions. Sendwave’s $500 million purchase by WorldRemit; Network International buying DPO Group for $288 million; and Stripe’s larger than $200 million acquisition of Paystack were high-profile examples.

To better understand how VCs invested in Africa during 2020, we’ll look into data from Partech Africa, Briter Bridges and Disrupt Africa.

Behind the numbers

In 2019, Partech Africa reported that a total of $2 billion went into African startups. For 2020, the number dropped to $1.43 billion. Briter Bridges pegged total 2020 VC for African startups at $1.31 billion (for disclosed and undisclosed amounts), up from $1.27 billion in 2019.  Disrupt Africa noted an increase in its figures moving from $496 million in 2019 to $700 million in 2020. 

Just as last year, contrasting methodologies from the type of deals reviewed, to the definition of an African startup contributed to the numbers’ disparity. 

Cyril Collon, general partner at Partech says the firm’s numbers are based on equity deals greater than $200,000. Also, it defines African startups “as companies with their primary market, in terms of operations or revenues, in Africa not based on HQ or incorporation,” he said. “When these companies evolve to go global, we still count them as African companies.”

Briter Bridges has a similar methodology. According to Dario Giuliani, the firm’s director, the research organisation avoided using geography to define an African startup due to factors contributing to business identities like taxation, customers, IP, and management team.

For Disrupt Africa, the startups featured in its report are seven years or less in operation, still scaling, and a potential to achieve profitability. It excluded “companies that are spin-offs of corporates or any other large entity, or that have developed past the point of being a startup, by our definition of one.”

The continued dominance of fintech and the Big Four

Despite the drop in total funding, Partech says African startups closed more total deals in 2020 than previous years. According to the firm, 347 startups completed 359 deals compared in 2020 compared to 250 deals in 2019. This can be attributed to an increase in seed rounds (up 88% from 2019) and bridge rounds due to shortage of cash amidst a pandemic-induced lockdown.

A common theme in the three reports shows fintech, healthtech, and cleantech in the top five sectors. But, as expected, fintech retained the lion’s share of African VC funding.  

According to Partech, fintech represented 25% of total African funding raised last year, with agritech, logistics & mobility, off-grid tech, and healthtech sectors following behind.

Briter Bridges reported that fintech companies accounted for 31% of the total VC funding over the same time period. Cleantech came second; healthtech, third; agritech and data analytics, in fourth and fifth.

Fintech startups raised 24.9% of the total African VC funding counted by Disrupt Africa. E-commerce, healthtech, logistics, and energy startups followed respectively.

2020 also showed the Big Four countries’ preponderance in terms of investment destination, at least in two out of the three reports.

The countries remained unchanged on Partech’s top five as Nigeria remained the VC’s top destination with $307 million. At a close second was Kenya accounting for $304 million of the total investments in the continent. Egypt came third with its startups raising $269 million, while $259 million flowed into South African startups. Rounding up the top five was Ghana with $111 million, displacing Rwanda which was fifth in Partech’s 2019 list.

The sequence remained unchanged from Disrupt Africa’s 2019 list as well. Funding raised by Kenyan startups reached $191.4 million; Nigeria followed with $150.4 million; South Africa, third at $142.5 million; Egypt came a close fourth with $141.4 million; while Ghanaian startups raised $19.9 million.

Briter Bridges took a different approach. Whereas Partech and Disrupt Africa highlighted funding activities per country of origin and operations, Briter Bridges chose to attribute funding to the startups’ place of incorporation or headquarters. This premise slightly altered the Big Four’s positions. Startups headquartered in the US received $471.8 million of the total funding, according to Briter Bridges. Those in South Africa claimed $119.7 million. Mauritius-headquartered companies received $110 million while African startups headquartered in the U.K. and Kenya raised $107.6 million and $77.1 million respectively.

On why Briter Bridges went with this narrative, Giuliani said the company wants its data to be an impartial conversation starter which can be used to investigate more complex dynamics such as the need for better policies, regulation, or financial availability.

This speaks particularly to the absence of Nigeria as a primary location for incorporation. Due to unfriendly regulations, business and tax conditions, Nigerian startups are increasingly incorporating their startups abroad and other African countries like Seychelles and Mauritius. It’s a trend that may well continue as most foreign VCs prefer African startups to be incorporated in countries with business-friendly investment laws.

Regional and gender diversity check

With an increase in startup activity in Francophone Africa, one would’ve expected an uptick in VC funding in the region. Well, that’s not exactly the case. Senegal, the region’s top destination for VC funding dropped from $16 million in 2019 to $8.8 million in 2020 according to Partech. The country was 9th on the list while Ivory Coast, placed 10th, raised a meagre sum of $6.5 million.

However, the good news is that 22 other countries received investments outside this Big Four this year, according to Partech data. Will we see this continue? And if yes, which countries will likely join the nine-figure club?

Tidjane Deme, a general partner of Partech Africa, believes Ghana might be next. He references how it previously used to be a Big 3 of Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa before Egypt became a dominant force, and says a similar event might happen with the West African country.

“We see a clear diversification happening as investors are going into more markets. Ghana, for instance, is already attracting above $100 million. Of course, we all wish it would happen faster, but we also recognize that this is a learning process for both investors entering new markets and for founders learning about this game.”

Ghana also emerged in Giuliani’s forecast. He adds the likes of Tunisia, Morocco, Rwanda as second-tier countries quickly entering global investors’ radar and building more sophisticated ecosystems.

Tom Jackson, co-founder of Disrupt Africa, doesn’t mention any names. But he thinks that while there are some positives from other markets, the Big Four dominance will continue.

“Funding will filter down to other markets more and more, and there are already positive signs in that regard. But the space is still relatively early-stage and those four big markets have a big head start and will remain far ahead for years to come,” he said.

Another diversity check that cannot be overlooked is that of gender. Despite all the talk of inclusion, Briter Bridges reported that 15% of the funded startups in 2020 had women as founders, co-founders, or C-level executives. Partech, on the other hand, places this number at 14%. There’s still a lot of work to be done to increase this figure, and we might see more early-stage firms looking to plug that gap.

#africa, #egypt, #funding, #ghana, #kenya, #nigeria, #partech, #south-africa, #startups, #tc

#DealMonitor – wefox bekommt 100 Millionen – CoachHub sammelt 30 Millionen ein – Berlin Brands Group kauft Sleepwise


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 18. Dezember 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

wefox
+++ Harbert Management Corporation und weitere Investoren investierten bereits im September rund 100 Millionen Euro in das InsurTech wefox – siehe FinanceFWD. “Der Deal ist in Form eines Kredites in Höhe von etwa 25 Millionen Euro strukturiert, weitere 75 Millionen Euro sollen über ein Wandeldarlehen fließen”, heißt es im Artikel. Omers Ventures, Merian Chrysalis und Samsung Catalyst sowie die Altinvestoren investierten zuletzt 110 Millionen US-Dollar in das Unternehmen, das 2014 in der Schweiz an den Start ging. Zu wefox gehört auch der Versicherer One.

CoachHub
+++ Draper Esprit, HV Capital, Partech, Speedinvest, signals Venture Capital und RTP Global investieren 30 Millionen US-Dollar in die Berliner Coaching-Plattform CoachHub. Das Startup wurde 2018 von den Seriengründern Yannis und Matti Niebelschütz (MyParfüm) ins Leben gerufen. CoachHub positioniert sich als “digitale Coaching Plattform”. Führungskräfte und Mitarbeiter von Unternehmen können über die Coachhub-App mit Coaches sprechen, der Algorithmus schlägt jeweils passende vor. Insgesamt flossen bereits 50 Millionen Dollar in das junge Unternehmen. “Das zwei Jahre junge Start-up plant bis Ende 2021 mit insgesamt 300 Mitarbeitern in den USA, Asien und Europa das Team stark zu vergrößern”, heißt es in der Presseaussendung.

SkillYoga
+++ Joyance Partners, Digital Invest, IBB Ventures und leAD Sports & Health Tech Partners investieren eine siebenstellige Summe in die Berliner Yogaplattform SkillYoga, ein digitales Yoga-Coachingsystem für Männer. Gegründet wurde das Startup 2018 von Benno Mielke, Timko Linssen und Gerjet Efken. “The investment is being used to launch new app features, add sport-specific yoga training programs with pro athletes and expand within the US and UK market”, teilt das Startup mit.

Influnate 
+++  bm|t, MBG Thüringen und NT Neue Technologie investieren eine siebenstellige Summe in das Erfurter FinTech-Startup Influnate. Das junge Unternehmen ermöglicht Nutzern in sozialen Netzwerken das “einfache, sichere und schnelle Senden und Empfangen von Geld”. Dies kann mit einem Kommentar, einem Link oder direkt über die Webapplikation von Influnate erfolgen. “Umleitungen zu separaten Bezahl-Websites und die Weitergabe von sensiblen Zahlungsdaten gehören somit der Vergangenheit an”, teilt das Startup mit.

limbiq.com
+++ Mehrere Business Angels und die NRW.BANK investieren 500.000 Euro in limbiq.com. “Das Kapital wird primär für die Markteinführung und den Aufbau von Vertriebs- und Marketingstrukturen sowie die Entwicklung weiterer Produktfeatures verwendet”, teilt das Unternehmen aus Duisburg mit. limbiq.com, das von Hima Bindu Challa, Jan Massenberg und Arne Paul Oltmann gegründet wurde,  entwickelt eine KI-gestützte Supply Chain-Lösungen für Industrie, Handel und Logistikdienstleister.

Probando
+++ Alfred Luger, Mitgründer von Runtastic, Business-Angel Georg Zenker und die Steirische Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft SFG investieren in Probando, einen Marktplatz für Studien. “Grundlage ist eine intelligente, Machine-Learning-basierte Plattform, die mit der smarten Anwendung von Algorithmen effiziente Lösungen erzielt. Forschungseinrichtungen stellen ihre Studie bei Probando ein und finden schnell und einfach ihre Probanden – Gesunde wie Kranke. Dabei stehen Transparenz und Öffentlichkeits-wirksamkeit besonders im Fokus”, teilt die Jungfirma aus Graz mit.

EXITS

Sleepwise
+++ Die Berlin Brands Group, früher als Chal-Tec bekannt, übernimmt Sleepwise, einen Online-Shop für “Extra-Kuschelige Bettwäsche”. Das Startup aus Hamburg wurde 2017 von Fabian Gluschke und seiner Frau gegründet. Die Berlin Brands Group bekannt für Marken wie Klarstein, auna und blumfeldt tätigt mit dem Zukauf erstmals eine Shop-Übernahme. Damit wandelt das millionenschwere Unternehmen auf den Spuren von Thrasio und seinen vielen Klonen. Die Berlin Brands Group peilt für dieses Jahr einen Umsatz in Höhe von rund 300 Millionen Euro an. Gründer Peter Chaljawski und sein Team planen weitere Zukäufe. Die Hauptstädter suchen derzeit verkaufswillige Online-Händler mit einem Jahresumsatz zwischen 500.000 und 30 Millionen Euro. Insbesondere Shops aus den Berlin Brands Group-Kategorien Haushaltsgeräte, Audio und Gartenmöbel stehen dabei im Fokus.

BitterLiebe
+++ Die Münchner Beteiligungsgesellschaft Arcus Capital übernimmt die Mehrheit an BitterLiebe, einem Unternehmen aus Mannheim, das auf Tropfen aus Naturkräutern setzt. Bundesweit bekannt wurde die Jungfirma, die 2018 von Andre Sierek und Jan Stratmann gegründet wurde, 2019 durch die Teilnahme an der Gründer-Show “Die Höhle der Löwen”. TV-Löwin Judith Williams investiert damals 200.000 Euro in Bitterliebe. Die BitterLiebe-Gründer und auch Löwin Williams bleiben weiter am Unternehmen beteiligt.

VENTURE CAPITAL

SCE Freiraum Ventures
+++ Das Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE) legt mit SCE Freiraum Ventures einen Early-Stage Fund auf. “Der Fund schließt die Lücke zwischen Ausbildung und Finanzierung von Teams und wird von Prof. Dr. Falk. F. Strascheg, der als Venture Capitalist auf jahrzehntelange Erfahrung zurückblickt, mit unterstützt. Neben Zugang zu Kapital werden finanzierte Start-ups auf ihrem Weg begleitet und können auf die gesamte Kompetenz des SCE zugreifen”, teilt der neue Geldgeber mit. SCE Freiraum Ventures strebt an, der erste Investor eines Startups zu sein. Die Ticketgtöße liegt bei 30.000 Euro für Teams, die noch nicht gegründet haben und 50.000 für bereits gegründete Unternehmen.

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, #arcus-capital, #berlin, #berlin-brands-group, #bitterliebe, #coachhub, #digital-invest, #draper-esprit, #duisburg, #erfurt, #fintech, #graz, #hamburg, #hv-capital, #ibb-ventures, #influnate, #insurtech, #joyance-partners, #judith-williams, #lead-sports-health-tech-partners, #limbiq-com, #mannheim, #partech, #probando, #rtp-global, #ruhrgebiet, #sce-freiraum-ventures, #signals-venture-capital, #skillyoga, #sleepwise, #speedinvest, #venture-capital, #wefox

#DealMonitor – #EXKLUSIV Cherry Ventures investiert in Wunderlist-Nachfolger Superlist


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 10. 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

Superlist
+++ Der Berliner Kapitalgeber Cherry Ventures steht vor einem Investment in Superlist, den offiziellen Nachfolger der beliebten Wunderlist-App. Wunderlist-Macher und Pitch-Gründer Christian Reber zieht das Berliner Startup derzeit gemeinsam mit Steffen Kiedel (derzeit CFO bei eyo und früher CFO bei Wunderlist), Marcel Käding (zuletzt Senior Program Manager bei GitHub und früher Marketing bei Wunderlist), Brandon Arnold (Design Director at MetaLab) und dem Moviepilot-Macher Ben Kubota hoch. Wobei Kubota, auch Venture Partner von Cherry Ventures, gemeinsam mit den weiteren Moviepilot-Gründern Jon Handschin und Tobias Bauckhage an Superlist beteiligt ist. Als Geschäftsführer von Superlist wirken Kiedel und Kubota. Reber hat somit eine Spitzen-Mannschaft mit viel Wunderlist-Erfahrung für Superlist zusammengetrommelt. Er selbst wird sich schließlich weiter um Pitch kümmern müssen. Das Superlist-Team haben wir bereits im Insider-Podcast #84 ausführlich vorstellt. #EXKLUSIV

Zolar
+++ Der tschechische Venture Capital-Geber Inven Capital, Heartcore Capital, Statkraft Ventures, BayWa r.e. Energy Ventures und Partech investieren weitere 15 Millionen Euro in Zolar. Das Berliner Startup, das sich selbstbewusst GreenTech nennt, bietet Photovoltaikanlagen zum Festpreis an, die Eigenheimbesitzer maßgeschneidert online planen, vergleichen und beauftragen können. In den vergangenen Jahren flossen bereits 25 Millionen in Zolar. Gegründet wurde Zolar 2016 von Gregor Loukidis und Alex Melzer.

Seniovo
+++ PropTech1 Ventures, die IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft und weitere nicht genannte Geldgeber investieren 2,5 Millionen Euro in das Berliner PropTech-Startup Seniovo, das pflegebedürftigen Personen durch barrierefreien Umbau ermöglicht, weiter zuhause wohnen zu bleiben. Bei der Finanzierungsrunde handelt es sich um einen der ersten erfolgreichen Einsätze der “Coronahilfen für Startups”, die die IBB Ende Juli verkündet hat.

Finexity
+++ Die Blockchain-Beteiligungsgesellschaft CoinIX und mehrere Business Angels investieren 1,25 Millionen Euro in die Blockchain-Plattform Finexity. Das Hamburger Startup tritt an, um “den Immobilienmarkt liberalisieren”. Das FinTech setzt dabei auf eine “Blockchain-basierte Immobilien-Investitionsplattform für Privatanleger”. Refinanzieren soll sich Finexity, das 2018 gegründet wurde, über eine Vermittlungsprovision. Ins Leben gerufen wurde das Startup von Paul Hülsmann, Tim Janssen und Henning Wagner.

Natif.ai
+++ Der High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) investiert eine siebenstellige Summe in Natif.ai. Das Startup, ein Spin-off des Deutschen Forschungsinstituts für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI), ist im Segment der intelligenten Dokumenten Prozessautomation (IDP) unterwegs. “Dank einer selbst entwickelten Deep-OCR können verschiedenste Dokumente extrem schnell und genau analysiert sowie relevante Daten extrahiert werden”, teilt das Startup mit. Natif.ai wurde 2019 von Christophe Hocquet, Johannes Korves und Manuel Zapp gegründet.

EXITS

scondoo
+++ Der Couponing-Anbieter acardo übernimmt über die acardo activation die Cashback-App scondoo. “Mit diesem Schritt möchten die Dortmunder ihren Führungsanspruch im Bereich Kassenbon-basierter Promotions unterstreichen und ihren Full-Service-Leistungen für Kunden aus dem FMCG- und Handelsumfeld zusätzlichen Aufschwung geben”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. scondoo, 2012 von Nikolaus Hilgenfeldt, David Keuler und Sebastian Kurt in Berlin gegründet und bietet Marken “eine digitale Plattform für handelsunabhängige und händlerübergreifende Cashback-Promotions”. Zu den Geldgebern von scondoo zählen die früheren DailyDeal-Macher Heilemann, Point Nine Capital, die CRES Columbus Internet Group, Business Angel Rouven Dresselhaus und Fußballstar Robert Lewandowski. Zuletzt hatte acardo Coupies, eine Mobile-Couponing-Plattform, übernommen.

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

#acardo-group, #aktuell, #baywa-r-e-energy-ventures, #berlin, #cherry-ventures, #coinix, #dortmund, #finexity, #hamburg, #heartcore-capital, #high-tech-grunderfonds, #ibb-beteiligungsgesellschaft, #inven-capital, #natif-ai, #partech, #proptech1-ventures, #ruhrgebiet, #saarbrucken, #scondoo, #seniovo, #statkraft-ventures, #superlist, #venture-capital, #zolar

TradeDepot adds $10 million to add financial services to its supply chain services for African SMBs

Nigeria’s e-commerce startup TradeDepot, which connects international brands to small businesses in Africa, has raised $10 million in a new round of funding to expand its business into financial services and credit offerings for retailers.

First launched in 2016, TradeDepot has built up a network of 40,000 small businesses in Nigeria and connects them to local distributors of global consumer brands like Nestlé, Unilever, GB Foods and Danone, according to a statement.

The initial business model managed to attract a $3 million investment led by Partech back in 2018. And now, as the firm invests from its largest African fund, Partech returned to co-lead TradeDepot’s latest round with the International Finance Corp., Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative and MSA Capital.

TradeDepot’s business depends on making a range of household supplies like milk, soap, and detergent more accessible and affordable for the street-side vendors and small shops that provide goods and services for hundreds of communities in cities like Lagos — where the company is headquartered.

Using the company’s mobile apps on Android or Whatsapp, USSD short code messaging or a toll-free phone number, retailers can place orders and have goods and services delivered through TradeDepot’s fleet of vans and tricycles. They can make payments, order stock, and manage inventory online or through the app as well.

For consumer brands, they have a central hub through which to distribute directly to vendors on the continent, along with data that can help them manage their relationship with these small vendors.

Image Credit: TradeDepot

Africa’s offline retail market is estimated at $1 trillion, and this new investment allows us to capture an even greater segment of that market,” said Onyekachi Izukanne, in a statement. “We will continue to use data to drive efficiencies and provide an easier stock acquisition service for our [over] 40,000 retailers, driving down costs for them by negotiating even better deals with our global manufacturing partners, whilst simultaneously providing a better, faster route to market for our suppliers.”

The company said that a new store comes online to use its services every three minutes and that the company receives an order from retailers every four seconds, on average.

Now, with the new capital, TradeDepot will expand into a suite of financial services and lending products for its retailers. Many of the company’s customers lack a credit rating, but TradeDepot has alternative ways to score credit based on the data it has from its existing trading relationships.

“The founders’ vision to build a digital platform that improves the unit economics of serving the mass market is one we feel privileged to support,” said Wale Ayeni, the head of Africa Venture Capital investment at the IFC.

That support disproportionately goes to helping women entrepreneurs, according to the company. Women account for over 75% of the retailers on the company’s platform. Now, with the help of its new investor We-Fi, TradeDepot will look to offer mentorship opportunities and link these business owners to global markets.

“Women play a pivotal role in driving economies across Africa, but lack of access to capital, limited market linkages, cultural norms and other challenges often prevent them from achieving the success they want,” saiid Hanh Nam Nguyen, who represents the We-Fi initiative with the IFC. “We-Fi financing will incentivize TradeDepot to build stronger women-led small and medium enterprises (SME) retailer and distributor networks, which will support them to become drivers of economic growth in their communities.”  

#africa, #android, #articles, #business, #economy, #financial-services, #head, #inventory, #lagos, #merchandising, #nestle, #nigeria, #online-shopping, #partech, #retail, #tc, #unilever

Africa’s top angel Tomi Davies eyes startups and co-investors

When Nigerian angel investor Tomi Davies backed his first company — Strika Entertainment in 2001 — he admits he wasn’t aware of his future role.

“I was just helping out friends. I didn’t know it was angel investing. I didn’t know there was a structure to it,” he said.

Seven years later, Davies received a 20x return on his first exit and a decade after that he’s recognized as an architect of early-stage investing across Africa.

Davies is President of The African Business Angel Network and continues to fund and mentor young tech entrepreneurs in multiple countries.

On a call with TechCrunch, he shared advice for startups on fundraising, surviving COVID-19 and suggestions for global investors on entering Africa.

VC in Africa

Davies’ ascendance in fundraising runs parallel to the boom in startup formation and VC on the continent over the last decade.

When he began In 2001, there wasn’t much measurable venture or digital entrepreneurial activity in Sub-Saharan Africa, outside South Africa. In fact, there was limited data on VC investing on the continent until around five years ago.

An early Crunchbase assisted study estimated VC to African startups annually grew from $40 million in 2012 to $500 million by 2015. A recent assessment by investment firm Partech tallied $2 billion going to the continent’s digital entrepreneurs in 2019, across top markets Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya.

Africa Top VC Markets 2019

Image Credits: TechCrunch

There are now thousands of VC backed startup entrepreneurs across the continent descending on every conceivable use-case — from fintech to on demand electric motorcycle mobility.

Increasingly, Davies’ home country of Nigeria has become the continent’s unofficial capital for venture investment and startup formation, given its market thesis of having Africa’s largest economy and population of 200 million people.

Even with the boom in VC to the continent’s startups — which has drawn investors such as Goldman Sachs and Steve Case — for years panels at African tech conferences have echoed the need for more early-stage funding options.

Davies has worked to meet that. He came to investing at the friends and family level after receiving an MBA at the University of Miami and an earlier career that spanned roles in management consulting, telecoms and IT.

After emerging as one of the early angels to Africa’s startups, supporting the continent’s innovation ecosystem became a mission for the Nigerian investor.

“My raison d’etre became, and will remain until the day I die, tech in African,” Davies said on a call from Lagos.

How to pitch

In his role as President of The African Angel Business Network, or ABAN, Davies has worked with a team to build out a local investor web across the continent.

“ABAN is very simply a network of networks…we have 49 networks in 33 African countries,” he explained.

Those include Lagos Angel Network, which Davies co-founded, Cairo Angels and Angel Investor Ethiopia, announced in Addis Ababa in 2019.

Tomi Davies (L) judges pitches with Cellulant CEO Ken Njoroge at Startup Ethiopia 2019, Image Credits: Jake Bright

ABAN establishes certain guidelines and criteria for how member networks operate, but each chapter sets its own investment terms, according to Davies.

For example, ABAN affiliated Dakar Angel Network — founded in 2018 to support startups in French speaking Africa — offers seed investments of between $25,000 to $100,000 to early-stage ventures.

Where and how startups seek funds from ABAN’s family of networks depends on where they operate. “One thing I say to everybody, from presidents to business people to investors, is Africa is about cities,” Davies said.

“When you know which city your looking to invest in or seek investment in, automatically we’ll be in a position to say, ‘here’s your network.’”

For the Lagos Angel Network in Nigeria, the team has a pitch night the third Thursday of each month with a 30 day rule. “Before you leave, you’ll hear if we’re interested or not. If we’re interested, we’ve got 30 days to make you an offer,” explained Davies.

Advice to startups

In addition to his work with ABAN, Davies continues to invest in his own portfolio of startups — now at 32 ventures — and is a regular judge on Africa’s tech competition circuit.

He’s developed a framework to assess companies and shared parts of it with TechCrunch.

Tomi Davies (center) at Startup Battlefield Africa 2017

“What I say to any startup raising is the first thing any investor is listening to is how do I get my money back. That’s question number one, ‘How do I get my exit?,’” he said.

Davies stressed three things to satisfy that question: “The product service offering that you have, the customers who see value in that product service offering and the nature of the relationship in terms of channel and price offering,” he said.

“That’s what you’re always tinkering with after you start with some kind of value proposition.”

Weathering recession

Davies referenced the increased significance of referrals, given the coronavirus has cancelled a number of events and limited mobility to pitch in person in Africa’s top VC markets.

“Because of COVID-19, networks have become critically important. Because investors can’t touch, can’t feel, can’t see [founders] people are looking now for referential integrity, ‘Who sent me this deck?,’” Davies said.

On how a coronavirus induced Nigerian recession may impact startups, Davies flagged the country’s non-stop informal commercial activity — and the adaptability of Nigerian entrepreneurs — as factors that could carry ventures through.

“There’s a significant chunk of the economy that’s in the informal market. So even if you look back at the recessions we’ve had…it hasn’t been felt on the streets,” he said.

Davies is also collaborating with partners on creating working capital solutions for startups whose revenues have been impacted by slowdown.

Co-investors

Tomi Davies is direct about his desire to draw new partners from tech centers such as Silicon Valley, into early-stage investing in Africa.

“We are always looking for co-investors and I speak on behalf of all 49 networks in ABAN,” he said. Davies highlighted the local expertise each network brings to their market as a benefit to VCs looking to invest on the continent through an African Business Angel Network affiliate.

#africa, #angel-investors, #business-incubators, #cellulant, #ceo, #entrepreneurship, #finance, #goldman-sachs, #investment, #ken-njoroge, #kenya, #lagos, #marieme-diop, #money, #nigeria, #partech, #president, #private-equity, #south-africa, #startup-company, #steve-case, #tc, #united-states

Novastar Ventures becomes $200M African VC fund after $108M raise

African startups have another $100 million in VC to pitch for after Novastar Ventures’ latest raise.

The Nairobi and Lagos based investment group announced it has closed $108 million in new commitments to launch its Africa Fund II, which brings Novastar’s total capital to $200 million.

With the additional resources, the firm plans to make 12 to 14 investments across the continent, according to Managing Director Steve Beck. He spoke to TechCrunch on Novastar Ventures’ plans for the new fund.

A notable update to Novastar’s VC focus is geographic scope. The firm was originally co-founded in Kenya by Beck and British investor Andrew Carruthers and built its first portfolio largely around companies based in East Africa. Novastar Ventures made 15 investments with its first fund, including companies such as Uganda and Kenya focused energy startup SolarNow and agtech venture M-Farm.

“The second fund is basically the same strategy as the first, but…the biggest difference is that we opened up a second front in West Africa — more particularly to be in and around the entrepreneurial system in Lagos,” Beck told TechCrunch on a call.

Before closing its Africa Fund II, Novastar Ventures had already made several investments in West Africa, including leading a round in Nigerian on demand motorcycle transit startup Max.ng and backing Ghanaian health company, MPharma. Novastar opened an office Lagos in 2019.

On the types of startups Novastar will target with its new fund, the focus is more on mission than industry silos, according to co-founder Steve Beck. “We’re sector agnostic. I would describe us more as a segment fund than a sector fund,” he said.

“We really try to look for businesses called breakthrough businesses, [those] that are addressing the biggest problems in the largest markets.”

That has led Novastar Ventures to invest in digital companies in education, information access, agtech, mobility and off-grid energy.

“Essentially what we’re doing is looking for those businesses that are addressing the basic needs, basic goods and services across the true mass markets of the continent,” said Beck.

On whether the firm is a dedicated impact fund, Beck said, “The way we characterize ourselves is we’re a commercial venture fund with an impact screen.”

On investment amounts and types, Novastar Ventures is fairly flexible on ticket size, from seed to later stage.

“We’re gonna…have some portfolio companies where we put to work a million dollars or less or were going to have some where we put $8 or $9 million dollars in through capital rounds. That’s…the deployment strategy,” Beck said.

Novastar Ventures works closely with its portfolio companies, according to its co-founder.

“We’re very active investors and always take a board seat to be close to the entrepreneurs. We often are the first institutional investor that they have.”

Africa Top VC Markets 2019

Image Credits: TechCrunch

Startups who want to pitch to the company can reach out to the fund’s founders and directors via the website or LinkedIn, according to Beck. He added that Novastar Ventures is recruiting to add another member to its investor team in 2020.

The firm’s latest raise and $200 million capital amount creates another high value fund focused on African startups.

On the high end of estimates, the continent’s tech ecosystem reached $2 billion in VC to startups in 2019, compared to less than half a billion dollar five years ago.

Other large Africa focused VC shops include TLcom Capital — which closed a $71 million fund in February —  and Partech, which doubled its Africa fund to $143 million in 2019. The venture arms of major global companies have also become more active in African tech recently, including that of Goldman Sachs and Visa.

#africa, #articles, #co-founder, #companies, #east-africa, #economy, #entrepreneurship, #goldman-sachs, #investment, #kenya, #lagos, #max-ng, #nairobi, #nigeria, #novastar-ventures, #partech, #private-equity, #startup-company, #tc, #techcrunch, #tlcom-capital, #uganda, #visa, #west-africa

Nigeria’s Helium Health raises $10M Series A for Africa expansion

Nigerian startup Helium Health sits in a good position during a difficult period, according to its co-founder.

The Lagos based healthtech venture is in the black, has batted away acquisition offers, and just raised a $10 million Series A round, CEO Adegoke Olubusi told TechCrunch.

The startup offers a product suit that digitizes data, formalizes monetization and enables telemedicine for health care systems in Nigeria, Liberia, and Ghana.

Helium plans to use the latest funding round to hire and expand to North and East Africa, including Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Morocco, Olubusi confirmed on a call.

He co-founded the startup in 2016 — with Dimeji Sofowora and Tito Ovia — to bring better delivery of medical services in Nigeria and broader Africa.

“It’s really about tackling three core problems that we see in the healthcare sector in Africa: inefficiency, fragmentation and a lack of data,” said Olubusi.

When he and co-founders Sofowora and Oviato set out doing research for Helium, they noted a data desert on medical info across the continent’s healthcare infrastructure.

“We figured out very quickly that that is a long term problem to solve. And the best way to get the data and access to it is to give simple technology to the providers and let them use it to make their lives more efficient.”

Helium Health has since developed several core product areas for healthcare entities with application for providers, payment, patients, and partners.

It offers tech solutions and developer resources for administration, medical records and financial management. Helium Health has digital payment and credit products for hospitals and insurance providers.

As part of the latest financing, the startup is launching several new products — such as the MyHelium Patient app to facilitate appointments and information sharing between healthcare providers and citizens.

Images Credits: Helium Health

Helium also accelerated deployment of a telemedicine platform in response to the coronavirus hitting Nigeria and the lockdowns that ensued.

“In the last three weeks since we launched we’ve had roughly 360 hospitals sign up, and they’ve had thousands of [online] visits already,” Olubusi said.

Helium Health generates revenues by charging percentages and fees on its products, services and accompanying transactions. Current clients include several hospitals in the West Africa region, such as Paelon Memorial in Lagos.

Helium Health’s model got the attention of the startup’s $10 million Series A backers and Silicon Valley accelerator Y-Combinator — which accepted the startup into its spring 2017 batch.

Global Ventures and Africa Healthcare Masterfund co-led the investment with participation that included Tencent and additional Y-Combinator support.

Global Ventures General Partner Noor Sweid confirmed the Dubai based fund’s co-lead of the round and that the firm will take a Helium Health board seat.

The path of the startup’s CEO —  Adegoke Olubusi — to tech founder passed through the U.S. and traditional corporate roles. He went to Maryland in 2014 to complete an advanced degree in engineering at Johns Hopkins University, then did a stint at Goldman Sachs before landing positions in big tech with eBay and PayPal.

Olubusi found work with big corporates less than stimulating and gravitated to forming his own company and returning to Nigeria.

“When I was at eBay and Goldman I was really bored and I wanted to do something more challenging,” he said. “We thought, ‘why don’t we pick a problem that is a long-term problem in Africa,’” Olubusi explained.

Helium Health founders (L to R) Dimeji Sofowora, Tito Ovia, and Adegoke Olubusi: Image Credits: Helium Health

The founder believes the products Helium Health creates can improve the poor health care stats in countries such as Nigeria — which stands as Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation.

Nigeria also ranked 142nd out of 195 countries on health performance indicators in The Lancet’s 2018 Healthcare Access and Quality Index.

On the dismal stats, “We need more properly run hospitals, and we need more profitable hospitals, health systems and health care providers,” said Olubusi.

Better monetization and organization of hospitals could lure more doctors back to African countries, he believes.

“Half my family are doctors but none of them practice in Nigeria. Everyone’s practicing all over the place, but Nigeria,” Olubusi said.

The founder also sees a more digitized and data driven health care sector as something that can draw more entrepreneurs to African healthtech. Compared to dominant sectors, such as fintech, health related startups in Africa gain a small percentage of the continent’s annual VC haul — only 9.3% by Partech’s 2019 stats.

“There are people who want to invest in the market but they can’t…and founders can’t really tackle a healthcare problem because they don’t know what’s going on,” he said.

As for his venture, Olubusi expects growth even given the precarious economic outlook COVID-19 is creating for countries, such as Nigeria — which is expected to enter recession this year.

The coronavirus and lockdowns are shining a light on the country’s healthcare inadequacies (according to Helium Health’s CEO) that people can’t ignore, including the elite.

“This is the first time they can’t get on their jet and leave so they have to go to the hospitals we have. The system was neglected for the last few decades because people had that [previous] option,” said Olubusi.

“I’m hoping this coronavirus crisis will be a period that forces everyone to rethink what we’re doing [on healthcare].”

That could lead to more business for Helium Health.

The startup doesn’t release financial information but has positive net income. “We do generate revenues in millions of dollars and are profitable,” Olubusi said.

Helium Health has received acquisition offers, but declined them, according to its CEO. Olubusi and team intend to grow the venture to the point where it can list on a major global exchange.

“We know this is the kind of business we can take public, without having to sell,” he said.

#africa, #african-business, #african-tech, #ceo, #chemistry, #co-founder, #covid-19, #dubai, #east-africa, #ebay, #economy, #finance, #financial-management, #ghana, #goldman, #goldman-sachs, #health-systems, #healthcare, #helium, #kenya, #lagos, #maryland, #morocco, #nigeria, #north-africa, #partech, #paypal, #rwanda, #series-a, #startup-company, #tc, #tech-in-africa, #techcrunch, #telemedicine, #tencent, #uganda, #united-states, #y-combinator

How this startup built and exited to Twitter in 1,219 days

By the summer of 2016, Marie Outtier had spent eight years as a consultant advising media agencies and martech companies on marketing growth strategy.

Pierre-Jean “PJ” Camillieri started as a music software engineer before joining one of Apple’s consumer electronics divisions. Inspired by Siri, he left to start Timista, a smart lifestyle assistant.

When the two joined forces to co-found Aiden.ai, the combination was potent — one was a consummate marketer, the other, a specialist in machine learning. Their goal: create an AI-driven marketing analyst that offered actionable advice in real time.

Humans who manage ad campaigns must analyze vast amounts of numbers, but Outtier and Camillieri envisioned a tool that could make optimization recommendations in real time. Analytics are vast and unwieldy, so theirs was a no-brainer proposition with a market crying out for solutions.

The company’s first office was at Bloom Space in Gower Street, London. It was just a handful of hot desks and a nearby sofa shared with four other startups. That summer, they began in earnest to build the company. A few months later, they had a huge opportunity when the still 100% bootstrapped company was selected for Techcrunch Disrupt’s Startup Battlefield competition.

Interviewed by TechCrunch, they explained their proposition: Marketers wanted to know where a digital marketing campaign was getting the most traction: Twitter or Facebook. You might need to check several dashboards across multiple accounts, plus Google analytics to compile the data — and even if you conclude that one platform is outperforming the other, that might change next week as users shift attention to Instagram, potentially wasting 60% of ad spend.

Aiden was intended to feel like just another co-worker, relying on natural language processing to make the exchange feel chatty and comfortable. It queried data from multiple dashboards and quickly compiled it into flash charts, making it easy to find and digest.

Eventually, instead of managing 10 clients, marketing analysts would be able to manage 50 using dynamic predictions as well as visualizations. Aiden incorporated Outtier’s expertise into its algorithms so it could suggest how to tweak a Facebook campaign and anticipate what was going to happen.

Was appearing at Disrupt a significant moment? “It was a big deal for us,” says Outtier. “The exposure gave us ammunition to raise our first round. And being part of the Disrupt Battlefield alumni gave us many meaningful networking and PR opportunities.”

A few weeks later the company had raised a seed round of $750,000. But not without difficulty. By this time Outtier was in the latter stages of pregnancy. Raising money under these circumstances was difficult, but, she says, “it can be done. It’s tougher than ‘normal circumstances.’ It’s a bit like running a marathon, but with a fridge on your back.”

#aiden-ai, #artificial-intelligence, #bruce-falck, #europe, #events, #exits, #extra-crunch, #fundings-exits, #growth-and-monetization, #machine-learning, #national-basketball-association, #natural-language-processing, #nhs, #partech, #perceptio, #private-equity, #social, #sophia-bendz, #startups, #tc, #timista, #twitter, #work

Partech raises $100 million seed fund

VC firm Partech has raised a new fund focused on seed investments. Named Partech Entrepreneur III, it is the third seed fund from the VC firm. Partech announced the final closing of its previous seed fund in December 2016.

The firm is looking for companies at the very early stage, from pre-seed to pre-Series A. Partech can invest as little as a few hundred thousands dollars and up to several million dollars depending on the stage of the startup. If the startup is doing well, Partech wants to be able to invest again in follow-on Series A and B rounds.

Partech is focused on six verticals in particular — health, work, commerce, finance, mobility and computing. While it is quite broad, the firm now has a team of 10 investors dedicated to the seed funds. They’re based in Paris, San Francisco and Berlin.

Over the years, Partech has closed 160 investments in 22 countries through its three seed funds. The VC firm manages a community of 400 founders who can give some feedback, make some introductions and help portfolio companies in general. A third of those founders are limited partners in Partech’s seed funds.

Out of those 160 seed investments, 17% of those startups have at least one female co-founder. Over the past two years alone, 29% of Partech-backed startups had a female co-founder at the seed level.

Partech has been raising this fund for a while, which means that it has already invested some of its fund. The firm has invested in 40 startups through the new fund, including 10 startups since the beginning of the coronavirus-related economic crisis.

Previous Partech seed investments include Aiden.ai, Dejbox, Frontier Car Group, Pricematch, Streamroot, Alan, etc.

#europe, #partech, #partech-ventures, #venture-capital

Did African startups raise $496M, $1B or $2B in 2019?

Five years ago, it was hard to come by any formal numbers for annual VC investment in Africa. These days the challenge is choosing which number to follow.

That’s the case with three venture funding studies for Africa that turned up varied results.

The numbers and variance

Investment stats released by media outlet Disrupt Africa, data-base WeeTracker and Africa focused fund Partech have left some people scratching their heads.

From high to low, Partech pegged total 2019 VC for African startups at $2 billion, compared to WeeTracker’s $1.3 billion estimate and Disrupt Africa’s $496 million.

That’s a fairly substantial spread of $1.5 billion between the assessments. The variance filtered down to country VC valuations, though it was a little less sharp.

Africa VC markets 2019Partech and WeeTracker shared the same top-three countries for 2019 VC investment in Africa — Nigeria, Kenya, and Egypt — but with hundred-million dollar differences.

Disrupt Africa came up with a different lead market for startup investment on the continent — Kenya — though its $149 million estimate for the East African country was some $500 million lower than Partech and WeeTracker’s VC leader, Nigeria.

So what accounts for the big deviations? TechCrunch spoke to each organization (and reviewed the reports) and found the contrasting stats derive from different methodologies — namely defining what constitutes a startup and an African startup.

Partech’s larger overall VC valuation for the continent comes from broader parameters for companies and quantifying investment.

“We do not limit the definition of startups by age of the incorporation or size of funds raised,” Partech General Partner Tidjane Deme told TechCrunch.

This led the fund, for example, to include Visa’s $200 million investment in Nigerian financial-services company Interswitch . The corporate round was certainly tech-related, though few would classify Interswitch — which launched in 2002, acquires companies, and has a venture fund — as a startup.

Partech’s higher annual VC value for Africa’s startups could also connect to tallying confidential investment data.

“We…collect and analyze undisclosed deals, accessing more detailed information thanks to our relationships within the ecosystem,” the fund’s report disclosed.

WeeTracker’s methodology also included data on undisclosed startup investments and opened up the count to funding sources beyond VC.

“Debt/loans, grants/awards/prizes/non-equity assistance, crowdfunding, [and] ICOs are included,” WeeTracker clarified in a methodology note.

Disrupt Africa used a more conservative approach across companies and investment. “We are a bit more narrow on what we consider a startup to be,” the site’s co-founder Tom Jackson told TechCrunch.

“In the clearest scenario, an African startup would be headquartered in Africa, founded by an African, and have Africa as its primary market,” Disrupt Africa’s report stated  — though Jackson noted all these factors don’t always align.

“Disrupt Africa tackles this issue on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

Partech was more liberal in its definition of an African startup, including investment for tech-companies that count Africa as their primary market, but not insisting they be incorporated or operate HQs on the continent.

Andela FoundersThat opened up inclusion of large 2019 rounds to Africa focused, New York headquartered tech-talent accelerator Andela and investment to Opera’s verticals, such as OPay in Nigeria.

In addition to following a more conservative definition of African startup, Disrupt Africa’s report was more particular to early-stage ventures. The site’s report primarily counted investment for companies founded within the last five years and excluded “spin-offs of corporates or any other large entity…that [has]…developed past the point of being a startup.”

Commonalities across reports

For all the differences on annual VC counts for Africa, there were some common threads across WeeTracker, Partech, and Disrupt Africa’s investment reports.

The first was the rise of Nigeria — which has Africa’s largest population and economy — as the top destination for startup investment on the continent.

The second was the prominence of fintech as the most funded startup sector across Africa, gaining 54% of all VC in Partech’s report and $678 million of the $1.3 billion to startups in WeeTracker’s study.

VC inequality

An unfortunate commonality in each report was the preponderance of startup investment going to English speaking Africa. No francophone country made it into the the top five in any of the three reports. Only Senegal registered on Partech’s country-list, with a small $16 million in VC in 2019.

The Dakar Angel Network launched last year to bridge the resource gap for startups in French-speaking African countries.

Final sum

There may not be a right or wrong stat for annual investment to African startups, just three reports with different methodologies that capture unique snapshots.

Partech and WeeTracker offer a broader view of multiple types of financial support flowing to tech companies operating in Africa. Disrupt Africa’s assessment is more specific to a standard definition of VC going to startups founded and operating in Africa.

Three reports with varying numbers on the continent’s startup investment is an upgrade to what was available not so long ago: little to no formal data on VC in Africa.

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