Commerce platform ShopUp raises $75 million led by Valar in Bangladesh’s largest funding

ShopUp, a startup that is digitizing neighborhood stores in Bangladesh, has raised $75 million in a new financing round that is also the largest in the South Asian market.

Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures led ShopUp’s $75 million Series B financing round. Prosus Ventures as well as existing investors Flourish Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, and VEON Ventures also invested in the round. The new investment, which brings the startup’s all-time raise to over $100 million, is also Prosus’ first deal in Bangladesh, home to over 100 million internet users.

Like its neighboring nation, India, more than 95% of all retail in Bangladesh goes through neighborhood stores in the country. There are about 4.5 million such mom-and-pop stores in the country and the vast majority of them have no digital presence.

As is the case in India, Pakistan and several other Asian countries, these small shops face a number of challenges in Bangladesh. They don’t have access to a large catalog for inventory selection and they can’t negotiate good pricing and faster delivery. And for these small retailers, more than two-thirds of all their sales are still processed on credit instead of cash or digital payments, creating a massive liquidity crunch. So most of these businesses are in dire need of working capital.

ShopUp is attempting to address these challenges. It has built what it calls a full-stack business-to-business commerce platform. The startup provides a number of core services to these stores including a wholesale marketplace to secure inventory, logistics (including last-mile delivery to customers) and working capital. (Like many startups in India, ShopUp has banking and other partners to provide working capital.)

In the past one year, the startup has expanded its offerings and deepened its footprints within Bangladesh, said Afeef Zaman, co-founder and chief executive of ShopUp​, in an interview with TechCrunch. For instance, it has partnered with country’s largest manufacturers, producers and distributors to secure and supply inventories to small shops, he said.

The startup, like several others, was hit by the pandemic, but as the country begins to open up, ShopUp is beginning to see recovery, he said. Overall, business has grown over 13 times in the past one year, he said.

“The leadership team at ShopUp has shown strong execution capabilities over the last twelve months. They became clear market leaders with double digit growth across three products built for the underserved small businesses in Bangladesh. In fast-growing frontier economies like Bangladesh, small businesses are the primary driver of the economy. We are excited to partner with Afeef’s vision of building a connected ecosystem of products to fast-track their transition to the online economy,” said James Fitzgerald, founding partner of Valar Ventures, in a statement.

Zaman said the past one year has accelerated the adoption of technology among these small shops. “They are using several internet-based services now. Not just ShopUp, but also messaging, and virtual payments,” he said. “We expect this to continue going forward.”

The Dhaka-headquartered startup, which has an office in Bangalore, where the large portion of its tech and engineering talent is based, plans to deploy the fresh funds in part to expand its team. As part of the new round, Zaman said the startup has expanded its employee stock option pool by three times.

“This investment marks our entry into Bangladesh – among the fastest-growing economies in the past decade. ShopUp has demonstrated strong execution focus in solving for a cross-section of needs for small businesses in a fragmented market. We are thrilled to support their efforts to empower millions of retailers and enable them to participate in the country’s economic growth,” said Ashutosh Sharma, Head of Investments for India at Prosus Ventures, in a statement.

This is a developing story. More to follow…

#asia, #bangladesh, #ecommerce, #funding, #prosus-ventures, #shopup, #valar-ventures

#DealMonitor – Bitpanda bekommt 263 Millionen – Adverity sammelt 120 Millionen in – Tiger Global investiert 75 Millionen in xentral


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 17. August 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

Bitpanda
+++ Valar Ventures (Peter Thiel), LeadBlock Partners, Jump Capital, Alan Howard und Redo Ventures investieren 263 Millionen US-Dollar in Bitpanda. Die Bewertung steigt auf 4,1 Milliarden Dollar. Im März dieses Jahres wurde Bitpanda noch mit 1,2 Milliarden bewertet. Über die Plattform des Wiener Startups können Nutzer insbesondere Bitcoins und Gold handeln. Das FinTech wurde 2014 von Eric Demuth, Paul Klanschek und Christian Trummer gegründet und zählt nach eigenen Angaben mehr als 3 Millionen Nutzer. Rund 500 Mitarbeiter:innen arbeiten derzeit für das FinTech. Zuletzt investierten Valar Ventures, DST Global und Co. 170 Millionen US-Dollar in Bitpanda. Davor pumpten Valar Ventures, Speedinvest und Hedosophia 52 Millionen Dollar in das junge Unternehmen. “The company will use the proceeds to strengthen its team and design the organisation for scale, while doubling down on state-of-the-art technology, international expansion and growth”, heißt es in der Presseaussendung. Mehr über Bitpanda

Adverity 
+++ SoftBank und der Altinvestor Sapphire Ventures investieren 120 Millionen US-Dollar in Adverity. Der amerikanische Geldgeber Sapphire Venturess, aws Gründerfonds, Felix Capital, Mangrove Capital Partners und SAP.iO investierten zuletzt 30 Millionen US-Dollar in die Jungfirma. Insgesamt flossen nun schon 165 Millionen US-Dollar in Adverity. Das Wiener Startup, das 2015 von Alexander Igelsböck, Martin Brunthaler und Andreas Glänzer gegründet wurde positioniert sich als Marketing-Analyseplattform. “Adverity erzielte zuletzt das beste Quartal seiner Unternehmensgeschichte und in den letzten vier Jahren eine durchschnittliche jährliche Wachstumsrate von 105 %. Das weltweit wachsende Team wurde seit 2019 um 300 % vergrößert”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Das frische Kapital soll insbesondere in die “Weiterentwicklung der Plattform, vor allem in den Ausbau und die Erweiterung der verfügbaren Konnektoren sowie in die künstliche Intelligenz, die proaktiv Antworten und Insights rund um Trends, Budgetverteilung und Marketingeffizienz” fließen. Mehr über Adverity

xentral
+++ Tiger Global und Meritech sowie die Altinvestoren Sequoia Capital, Visionaries Club und Freigeist (Frank Thelen) investieren – wie bereits im Insider-Podcast angedeutet – 75 Millionen US- Dollar in xentral. Der amerikanische Geldgeber Sequoia Capital und Visionaries Club investierten erst Anfang dieses Jahres 20 Millionen US-Dollar in das Unternehmen. Das von Benedikt und Claudia Sauter in Augsburg gegründete Unternehmen ist ein flexibles ERP-/CRM-System mit eigenem App-Store und bietet Schnittstellen zu allen gängigen Online-Shop-Systemen, Marktplätzen und Zahlungsanbietern. “Mit der Investition wird xentral seine Produktentwicklung vorantreiben und das Team erweitern”, heißt es in der Presseaussendung. 120 Mitarbeiter:innen wirken derzeit für xentral. Im Januar waren es gerade einmal 65. Mehr über xentral

Penta 
+++ Die Altinvestoren investieren weiter 15 Millionen Euro in Penta – siehe Finanz-Szene.de. “Der Unternehmenswert liege jetzt bei weit über 100 Millionen Euro, sagt ein Kenner der Vorgänge. Ein Sprecher bestätigte auf Anfrage die Höhe des Fundings”, heißt es im Artikel. ABN AMRO Ventures, finleap, HV Capital, RTP Global, Presight Capital, S7V und VR Ventures investierten zuletzt 7,5 Millionen in das Berliner FinTech. Über das Startup, das 2014 von Luka Ivicevic und Lav Odorovic gegründet wurde, können  Unternehmen über Penta ein Geschäftskonto beantragen. Insgesamt flossen nun schon rund 60 Millionen Euro in Penta. Mehr über Penta

FarmInsect
+++ Der High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) und Bayern Kapital, 5x Ventures, Genea Invest, die Initiative für Industrial Innovators und einige Business Angels investieren eine siebenstellige Summe in FarmInsect. Das junge AgriTech-Startup aus Bergkirchen, das 2020 von Thomas Kuehn, Wolfgang Westermeier und Andre Klöckner gegründet wurde, bietet eine Lösung für Landwirte an, um Insektenlarven aus Ernteresten herzustellen – samt lückenloser Rückverfolgung der Erntereste über eine IT-Plattform. Mehrere Business Angels investierten zuvor bereits eine sechsstellige Summe in FarmInsect. Mehr über FarmInsect

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

#5x-ventures, #adverity, #agritech, #aktuell, #augsburg, #bayern-kapital, #bergkirchen, #berlin, #bitpanda, #farminsect, #fintech, #frank-thelen, #freigeist, #genea-inves, #high-tech-grunderfonds, #initiative-for-industrial-innovators, #jump-capital, #leadblock-partners, #martech, #meritech, #penta, #redo-ventures, #sapphire-ventures, #sequoia-capital, #softbank, #tiger-global, #valar-ventures, #venture-capital, #visionaries-club, #wien, #xentral

Trading platform Bitpanda raises $263M at a $4.1BN valuation

It’s not even half a year since crypto exchange Bitpanda announced a $170M Series B — when, back in March, Austria’s first unicorn was being valued at $1.2 billion. Today it’s topping that: Announcing a $263M Series C, led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, with the fintech startup now valued at a whopping $4.1BN — more than 3x its earlier valuation as crypto trading continues cooking on gas.

The round was signed earlier this month, just four months after the business gained unicorn status. Other participating investors include Alan Howard and REDO Ventures, with existing investors LeadBlock Partners and Jump Capital also joining the Series C.

There are a number of exchanges and trading platforms targeted at retail investors, of course, including some big US-based players. But Bitpanda has been making its mark by being Europe-focused, with offices and physical tech hubs located in eight cities across the region, including Vienna, Barcelona, Berlin, Krakow, London, Madrid, Milan, and Paris.

The platform has a further twist in that it lets its ~3 million users easily invest (commission-free) in precious metals (like gold) or in any established stock they fancy — in addition to encouraging individuals to hop aboard the crypto rollercoaster, which was its first focus. (The minimum investment amount set by the platform is €1.)

Despite diversification beyond crypto, a spokeswoman confirmed to us that crypto trading remains “the preferred choice” for Bitpanda’s current users, noting the Stocks trading product is still in beta. “With Bitpanda Stocks, we introduced a new way of investing in stocks and ETFs; it enables investing 24/7, any time, day or night. This is still in a beta phase, we’re adding constantly new assets. That said, stock trading is slowly picking up and increasing its share in overall trading,” she added.

More recently (in June) Bitpanda expanded into the b2b market — with a white label platform offering that lets other fintechs and banks offer trading to their own clients.

This combination of products and regional focus has helped the platform pile on new users in short order: Bitpanda says it’s “on track” to achieve 6x customer growth year over year, with revenues projected to increase sevenfold in 2021 vs the previous year.

The Series C funding will be used for international expansion and growth, per a press release, as well as going on further beefing up headcount (500+ strong at this stage), as well as on gearing up for further scaling of the business.

Tech and product are also set to get juiced with Series C funds.

Commenting in a statement, Eric Demuth, co-founder and CEO, said: “We started Bitpanda in 2014 with a clear vision: To bring investing closer to everyone, everywhere. We wouldn’t be here today without the efforts of our talented team members who are constantly ‘rolling up their sleeves’ to make things happen. We’re grateful to share our journey with these incredible people — and that’s why a key area of focus for us is to keep strengthening our team by bringing onboard world-class talent.We’re also grateful for the vote of confidence received from our investors, old and new, in this investment round. We look forward to working together as we shape the future of finance and grow Bitpanda into the #1 investment platform in Europe
and beyond”.

Bitpanda’s spokeswoman also told us that international expansion and growth are “key priorities”, adding: “We’ll keep building the team, opening new offices, and launching new products as we design for scale and optimise for growth. This also means strengthening Bitpanda’s position in existing markets — such as in the DACH region, Spain, France, Italy, and Poland, and also enter new markets, such as the UK or the markets in Central and Eastern Europe.”

In another supporting statement, Andrew McCormack, founding partner of Valar Ventures, said: “We believed in Bitpanda’s potential from the beginning and we are impressed by the results that Eric, Paul, Christian and the Bitpanda team have achieved. With more than 1.2 million users acquired in the first half of 2021, impressive net revenue growth and world-class executive hires, Bitpanda stands as the living proof that hypergrowth can be achieved in a sustainable way. We’re excited to further work together to bring the world of investing at the fingertips of everyone, anywhere.”

#austria, #bitpanda, #cryptocurrencies, #cryptocurrency, #europe, #finance, #fintech-startup, #fundings-exits, #jump-capital, #peter-thiel, #retail-investors, #startup-company, #tc, #valar-ventures

This Week in Apps: In-app events hit the App Store, TikTok tries Stories, Apple reveals new child safety plan

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and the overall app economy.

The app industry continues to grow, with a record 218 billion downloads and $143 billion in global consumer spend in 2020. Consumers last year also spent 3.5 trillion minutes using apps on Android devices alone. And in the U.S., app usage surged ahead of the time spent watching live TV. Currently, the average American watches 3.7 hours of live TV per day, but now spends four hours per day on their mobile devices.

Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re also a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus. In 2020, investors poured $73 billion in capital into mobile companies — a figure that’s up 27% year-over-year.

This Week in Apps offers a way to keep up with this fast-moving industry in one place, with the latest from the world of apps, including news, updates, startup fundings, mergers and acquisitions, and suggestions about new apps and games to try, too.

Do you want This Week in Apps in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here: techcrunch.com/newsletters

Top Stories

Apple to scan for CSAM imagery

Apple announced a major initiative to scan devices for CSAM imagery. The company on Thursday announced a new set of features, arriving later this year, that will detect child sexual abuse material (CSAM) in its cloud and report it to law enforcement. Companies like Dropbox, Google and Microsoft already scan for CSAM in their cloud services, but Apple had allowed users to encrypt their data before it reached iCloud. Now, Apple’s new technology, NeuralHash, will run on users’ devices, tatformso detect when a users upload known CSAM imagery — without having to first decrypt the images. It even can detect the imagery if it’s been cropped or edited in an attempt to avoid detection.

Meanwhile, on iPhone and iPad, the company will roll out protections to Messages app users that will filter images and alert children and parents if sexually explicit photos are sent to or from a child’s account. Children will not be shown the images but will instead see a grayed-out image instead. If they try to view the image anyway through the link, they’ll be shown interruptive screens that explain why the material may be harmful and are warned that their parents will be notified.

Some privacy advocates pushed back at the idea of such a system, believing it could expand to end-to-end encrypted photos, lead to false positives, or set the stage for more on-device government surveillance in the future. But many cryptology experts believe the system Apple developed provides a good balance between privacy and utility, and have offered their endorsement of the technology. In addition, Apple said reports are manually reviewed before being sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

The changes may also benefit iOS developers who deal in user photos and uploads, as predators will no longer store CSAM imagery on iOS devices in the first place, given the new risk of detection.

In-App Events appear on the App Store

Image Credits: Apple

Though not yet publicly available to all users, those testing the new iOS 15 mobile operating system got their first glimpse of a new App Store discovery feature this week: “in-app events.” First announced at this year’s WWDC, the feature will allow developers and Apple editors alike to showcase directly on the App Store upcoming events taking place inside apps.

The events can appear on the App Store homepage, on the app’s product pages or can be discovered through personalized recommendations and search. In some cases, editors will curate events to feature on the App Store. But developers will also be provided tools to submit their own in-app events. TikTok’s “Summer Camp” for creators was one of the first in-app events to be featured, where it received a top spot on the iPadOS 15 App Store.

Weekly News

Platforms: Apple

Apple expands support for student IDs on iPhone and Apple Watch ahead of the fall semester. Tens of thousands more U.S. and Canadian colleges will now support mobile student IDs in the Apple Wallet app, including Auburn University, Northern Arizona University, University of Maine, New Mexico State University and others.

Apple was accused of promoting scam apps in the App Store’s featured section. The company’s failure to properly police its store is one thing, but to curate an editorial list that actually includes the scams is quite another. One of the games rounded up under “Slime Relaxations,” an already iffy category to say the least, was a subscription-based slime simulator that locked users into a $13 AUD per week subscription for its slime simulator. One of the apps on the curated list didn’t even function, implying that Apple’s editors hadn’t even tested the apps they recommend.

Tax changes hit the App Store. Apple announced tax and price changes for apps and IAPs in South Africa, the U.K. and all territories using the Euro currency, all of which will see decreases. Increases will occur in Georgia and Tajikistan, due to new tax changes. Proceeds on the App Store in Italy will be increased to reflect a change to the Digital Services Tax effective rate.

Game Center changes, too. Apple said that on August 4, a new certificate for server-based Game Center verification will be available via the publicKeyUrl.

Fintech

Robinhood stock jumped more than 24% to $46.80 on Tuesday after initially falling 8% on its first day of trading last week, after which it had continued to trade below its opening price of $38.

Square’s Cash app nearly doubled its gross profit to $546 million in Q2, but also reported a $45 million impairment loss on its bitcoin holdings.

Coinbase’s app now lets you buy your cryptocurrency using Apple Pay. The company previously made its Coinbase Card compatible with Apple Pay in June.

Social

An anonymous app called Sendit, which relies on Snap Kit to function, is climbing the charts of the U.S. App Store after Snap suspended similar apps, YOLO and LMK. Snap was sued by the parent of child who was bullied through those apps, which led to his suicide. Sendit also allows for anonymity, and reviews compare it to YOLO. But some reviews also complained about bullying. This isn’t the first time Snap has been involved in a lawsuit related to a young person’s death related to its app. The company was also sued for its irresponsible “speed filter” that critics said encouraged unsafe driving. Three young men died using the filter, which captured them doing 123 mph.

TikTok is testing Stories. As Twitter’s own Stories integrations, Fleets, shuts down, TikTok confirmed it’s testing its own Stories product. The TikTok Stories appear in a left-hand sidebar and allow users to post ephemeral images or video that disappear in 24 hours. Users can also comment on Stories, which are public to their mutual friends and the creator. Stories on TikTok may make more sense than they did on Twitter, as TikTok is already known as a creative platform and it gives the app a more familiar place to integrate its effects toolset and, eventually, advertisements.

Facebook has again re-arranged its privacy settings. The company continually moves around where its privacy features are located, ostensibly to make them easier to find. But users then have to re-learn where to go to find the tools they need, after they had finally memorized the location. This time, the settings have been grouped into six top-level categories, but “privacy” settings have been unbundled from one location to be scattered among the other categories.

A VICE report details ban-as-a-service operations that allow anyone to harass or censor online creators on Instagram. Assuming you can find it, one operation charged $60 per ban, the listing says.

TikTok merged personal accounts with creator accounts. The change means now all non-business accounts on TikTok will have access to the creator tools under Settings, including Analytics, Creator Portal, Promote and Q&A. TikTok shared the news directly with subscribers of its TikTok Creators newsletter in August, and all users will get a push notification alerting them to the change, the company told us.

Discord now lets users customize their profile on its apps. The company added new features to its iOS and Android apps that let you add a description, links and emojis and select a profile color. Paid subscribers can also choose an image or GIF as their banner.

Twitter Spaces added a co-hosting option that allows up to two co-hosts to be added to the live audio chat rooms. Now Spaces can have one main host, two co-hosts and up to 10 speakers. Co-hosts have all the moderation abilities as hosts, but can’t add or remove others as co-hosts.

Messaging

Tencent reopened new user sign-ups for its WeChat messaging app, after having suspended registrations last week for unspecified “technical upgrades.” The company, like many other Chinese tech giants, had to address new regulations from Beijing impacting the tech industry. New rules address how companies handle user data collection and storage, antitrust behavior and other checks on capitalist “excess.” The gaming industry is now worried it’s next to be impacted, with regulations that would restrict gaming for minors to fight addiction.

WhatsApp is adding a new feature that will allow users to send photos and videos that disappear after a single viewing. The Snapchat-inspired feature, however, doesn’t alert you if the other person takes a screenshot — as Snap’s app does. So it may not be ideal for sharing your most sensitive content.

Telegram’s update expands group video calls to support up to 1,000 viewers. It also announced video messages can be recorded in higher quality and can be expanded, regular videos can be watched at 0.5 or 2x speed, screen sharing with sound is available for all video calls, including 1-on-1 calls, and more.

Streaming & Entertainment

American Airlines added free access to TikTok aboard its Viasat-equipped aircraft. Passengers will be able to watch the app’s videos for up to 30 minutes for free and can even download the app if it’s not already installed. After the free time, they can opt to pay for Wi-Fi to keep watching. Considering how easy it is to fall into multi-hour TikTok viewing sessions without knowing it, the addition of the addictive app could make long plane rides feel shorter. Or at least less painful.

Chinese TikTok rival Kuaishou saw stocks fall by more than 15% in Hong Kong, the most since its February IPO. The company is another victim of an ongoing market selloff triggered by increasing investor uncertainty related to China’s recent crackdown on tech companies. Beijing’s campaign to rein in tech has also impacted Tencent, Alibaba, Jack Ma’s Ant Group, food delivery company Meituan and ride-hailing company Didi. Also related, Kuaishou shut down its controversial app Zynn, which had been paying users to watch its short-form videos, including those stolen from other apps.

Twitch overtook YouTube in consumer spending per user in April 2021, and now sees $6.20 per download as of June compared with YouTube’s $5.60, Sensor Tower found.

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

Spotify confirmed tests of a new ad-supported tier called Spotify Plus, which is only $0.99 per month and offers unlimited skips (like free users get on the desktop) and the ability to play the songs you want, instead of only being forced to use shuffle mode.

The company also noted in a forum posting that it’s no longer working on AirPlay2 support, due to “audio driver compatibility” issues.

Mark Cuban-backed audio app Fireside asked its users to invest in the company via an email sent to creators which didn’t share deal terms. The app has yet to launch.

YouTube kicks off its $100 million Shorts Fund aimed at taking on TikTok by providing creators with cash incentives for top videos. Creators will get bonuses of $100 to $10,000 based on their videos’ performance.

Dating

Match Group announced during its Q2 earnings it plans to add to several of the company’s brands over the next 12 to 24 months audio and video chat, including group live video, and other livestreaming technologies. The developments will be powered by innovations from Hyperconnect, the social networking company that this year became Match’s biggest acquisition to date when it bought the Korean app maker for a sizable $1.73 billion. Since then, Match was spotted testing group live video on Tinder, but says that particular product is not launching in the near-term. At least two brands will see Hyperconnect-powered integrations in 2021.

Photos

The Photo & Video category on U.S. app stores saw strong growth in the first half of the year, a Sensor Tower report found. Consumer spend among the top 100 apps grew 34% YoY to $457 million in Q2 2021, with the majority of the revenue (83%) taking place on iOS.

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

Gaming

Epic Games revealed the host of its in-app Rift Tour event is Ariana Grande, in the event that runs August 6-8.

Pokémon GO influencers threatened to boycott the game after Niantic removed the COVID safety measures that had allowed people to more easily play while social distancing. Niantic’s move seemed ill-timed, given the Delta variant is causing a new wave of COVID cases globally.

Health & Fitness

Apple kicked out an app called Unjected from the App Store. The new social app billed itself as a community for the unvaccinated, allowing like-minded users to connect for dating and friendships. Apple said the app violated its policies for COVID-19 content.

Google Pay expanded support for vaccine cards. In Australia, Google’s payments app now allows users to add their COVID-19 digital certification to their device for easy access. The option is available through Google’s newly updated Passes API which lets government agencies distribute digital versions of vaccine cards.

COVID Tech Connect, a U.S. nonprofit initially dedicated to collecting devices like phones and tablets for COVID ICU patients, has now launched its own app. The app, TeleHome, is a device-agnostic, HIPAA-compliant way for patients to place a video call for free at a time when the Delta variant is again filling ICU wards, this time with the unvaccinated — a condition that sometimes overlaps with being low-income. Some among the working poor have been hesitant to get the shot because they can’t miss a day of work, and are worried about side effects. Which is why the Biden administration offered a tax credit to SMBs who offered paid time off to staff to get vaccinated and recover.

Popular journaling app Day One, which was recently acquired by WordPress.com owner Automattic, rolled out a new “Concealed Journals” feature that lets users hide content from others’ viewing. By tapping the eye icon, the content can be easily concealed on a journal by journal basis, which can be useful for those who write to their journal in public, like coffee shops or public transportation.

Edtech

Recently IPO’d language learning app Duolingo is developing a math app for kids. The company says it’s still “very early” in the development process, but will announce more details at its annual conference, Duocon, later this month.

Educational publisher Pearson launched an app that offers U.S. students access to its 1,500 titles for a monthly subscription of $14.99. the Pearson+ mobile app (ack, another +), also offers the option of paying $9.99 per month for access to a single textbook for a minimum of four months.

News & Reading

Quora jumps into the subscription economy. Still not profitable from ads alone, Quora announced two new products that allow its expert creators to monetize their content on its service. With Quora+ ($5/mo or $50/yr), subscribers can pay for any content that a creator paywalls. Creators can choose to enable a adaptive paywall that will use an algorithm to determine when to show the paywall. Another product, Spaces, lets creators write paywalled publications on Quora, similar to Substack. But only a 5% cut goes to Quora, instead of 10% on Substack.

Utilities

Google Maps on iOS added a new live location-sharing feature for iMessage users, allowing them to more easily show your ETA with friends and even how much battery life you have left. The feature competes with iMessage’s built-in location-sharing feature, and offers location sharing of 1 hour up to 3 days. The app also gained a dark mode.

Security & Privacy

Controversial crime app Citizen launched a $20 per month “Protect” service that includes live agent support (who can refer calls to 911 if need be). The agents can gather your precise location, alert your designated emergency contacts, help you navigate to a safe location and monitor the situation until you feel safe. The system of live agent support is similar to in-car or in-home security and safety systems, like those from ADT or OnStar, but works with users out in the real world. The controversial part, however, is the company behind the product: Citizen has been making headlines for launching private security fleets outside law enforcement, and recently offered a reward in a manhunt for an innocent person based on unsubstantiated tips.

Funding and M&A

🤝 Square announced its acquisition of the “buy now, pay later” giant AfterPay in a $29 billion deal that values the Australian firm at more than 30% higher than the stock’s last closing price of AUS$96.66. AfterPay has served over 16 million customers and nearly 100,000 merchants globally, to date, and comes at a time when the BNPL space is heating up. Apple has also gotten into the market recently with an Affirm partnership in Canada.

🤝 Gaming giant Zynga acquired Chinese game developer StarLark, the team behind the mobile golf game Golf Rival, from Betta Games for $525 million in both cash and stock. Golf Rival is the second-largest mobile golf game behind Playdemic’s Golf Clash, and EA is in the process of buying that studio for $1.4 billion.

💰  U.K.-based Humanity raised an additional $2.5 million for its app that claims to help slow down aging, bringing the total raise to date to $5 million. Backers include Calm’s co-founders, MyFitness Pal’s co-founder and others in the health space. The app works by benchmarking health advice against real-world data, to help users put better health practices into action.

💰 YELA, a Cameo-like app for the Middle East and South Asia, raised $2 million led by U.S. investors that include Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen and Sean Rad, general partner of RAD Fund. The app is focusing on signing celebrities in the regions it serves, where smartphone penetration is high and over 6% of the population is under 35.

💰 London-based health and wellness app maker Palta raised a $100 million Series B led by VNV Global. The company’s products include Flo.Health, Simple Fasting, Zing Fitness Coach and others, which reach a combined 2.4 million active, paid subscribers. The funds will be used to create more mobile subscription products.

🤝 Emoji database and Wikipedia-like site Emojipedia was acquired by Zedge, the makers of a phone personalization app offering wallpapers, ringtones and more to 35 million MAUs. Deal terms weren’t disclosed. Emojipedia says the deal provides it with more stability and the opportunity for future growth. For Zedge, the deal provides🤨….um, a popular web resource it thinks it can better monetize, we suspect.

💰 Mental health app Revery raised $2 million led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge program for its app that combines cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia with mobile gaming concepts. The company will focus on other mental health issues in the future.

💰 London-based Nigerian-operating fintech startup Kuda raised a $55 million Series B, valuing its mobile-first challenger bank at $500 million. The inside round was co-led by Valar Ventures and Target Global.

💰 Vietnamese payments provider VNLife raised $250 million in a round led by U.S.-based General Atlantic and Dragoneer Investment Group. PayPal Ventures and others also participated. The round values the business at over $1 billion.

Downloads

Mastodon for iPhone

Fans of decentralized social media efforts now have a new app. The nonprofit behind the open source decentralized social network Mastodon released an official iPhone app, aimed at making the network more accessible to newcomers. The app allows you to find and follow people and topics; post text, images, GIFs, polls, and videos; and get notified of new replies and reblogs, much like Twitter.

Xingtu

@_666eveITS SO COOL FRFR do u guys want a tutorial? #fypシ #醒图 #醒图app♬ original sound – Ian Asher

TikTok users are teaching each other how to switch over to the Chinese App Store in order to get ahold of the Xingtu app for iOS. (An Android version is also available.) The app offers advanced editing tools that let users edit their face and body, like FaceTune, apply makeup, add filters and more. While image-editing apps can be controversial for how they can impact body acceptance, Xingtu offers a variety of artistic filters which is what’s primarily driving the demand. It’s interesting to see the lengths people will go to just to get a few new filters for their photos — perhaps making a case for Instagram to finally update its Post filters instead of pretending no one cares about their static photos anymore.

Tweets

Facebook still dominating top charts, but not the No. 1 spot:  

Not cool, Apple: 

This user acquisition strategy: 

Maybe Stories don’t work everywhere: 

#adt, #afterpay, #alibaba, #android, #ant-group, #api, #app-maker, #app-store, #apple, #apps, #australia, #automattic, #beijing, #biden-administration, #canada, #china, #cloud-services, #coinbase, #coinbase-card, #computing, #day-one, #dragoneer-investment-group, #driver, #dropbox, #duolingo, #emojipedia, #eta, #facebook, #fintech-startup, #food-delivery, #game-center, #game-developer, #general-atlantic, #general-partner, #georgia, #gif, #google, #hyperconnect, #instagram, #ios, #ios-devices, #ipad, #iphone, #italy, #itunes, #jam-fund, #justin-mateen, #kuaishou, #kuda, #law-enforcement, #london, #ma, #maine, #meituan, #microsoft, #middle-east, #mobile, #mobile-app, #mobile-applications, #mobile-devices, #online-creators, #onstar, #operating-system, #palta, #playdemic, #quora, #sean-rad, #sensor-tower, #sequoia-capital, #smartphone, #snap, #snapchat, #social-network, #social-networking, #software, #south-africa, #south-asia, #spotify, #stories, #target-global, #tc, #this-week-in-apps, #tiktok, #twitch, #united-kingdom, #united-states, #valar-ventures, #viasat, #vnv-global, #wi-fi, #wordpress-com, #zedge, #zynga

Octane raises $52M at a $900M+ valuation to help people finance large recreational purchases

Most of the time when people get loans, it’s for big life purchases such as a house or a car.

But not every big purchase is a necessity. Some are more for fun, and the financing options for those types of buys — such as motorcycles and ATVs — are more limited. Today, Octane Lending, a company that embarked seven years ago on remedying that, announced it has raised $52 million in a Series D round of funding that values the company at over $900 million.

The company, which offers “instant” financing for large recreational purchases, boasts impressive financials in a startup world whose inhabitants are mostly unprofitable. For one, Octane is both net income and operating cash flow positive, and expects to originate more than $1 billion in the next 12 months. It has been doubling revenue annually, and CEO and co-founder Jason Guss projects that the company will see “over $100 million in revenue” this year. Its valuation is now “more than double” what it was at the time of its July 2020 $25 million raise, according to Guss.

Progressive Investment Company Inc., a member of the Progressive Insurance group, led its latest financing, which included participation from existing backers Valar Ventures, Upper90, Contour Venture Partners, Citi Ventures, Third Prime and Parkwood, as well as new investors Gaingels and ALIVE. 

With the latest round, New York-based Octane has now raised more than $192 million in total equity funding since its 2014 inception.

Octane launched with the goal of “making lending better in overlooked markets,” according to Guss. Specifically, Octane initially set out to build a lender marketplace to streamline retail financing in the powersports category. Put more simply, it wanted to help people who want to buy things like motorcycles, snowmobiles, jet skis and ATVs get the financing they need to do so.

“We quickly learned that the buying journey in powersports markets was broken beyond just financing,” Guss told TechCrunch. “We elevated our goal to build an end-to-end buying solution including editorial content, consumer pre-qualification tools, instant full-spectrum financing and digital deal closing.”

Image Credits: Octane

Because lending is involved in about 80% of powersports purchases and about 80% of lending happens in the dealership, Octane focused first on building a lending platform for dealerships and consumers. Then in 2016, it launched Roadrunner Financial, a wholly owned-and-operated lender, so that it could offer full spectrum lending, “expand access to credit and speed up transactions through digitization and automation.” Today, the company is partnered with 3,800 dealers.

With an anchor in dealerships, Octane then expanded its scope. Last year, it acquired Cycle World and UTV Driver, along with five other brands from Bonnier with a goal “to inspire and inform powersports enthusiasts across the nation.” Also last year, it launched Octane Pre-qual, which enables consumers to instantly prequalify for financing on OEM and dealership websites with a soft credit pull. With that offering, Octane aims to help direct consumers to a dealership, close their loan and complete their purchase in one place.

“We are growing dramatically because we make transactions faster and simpler to close for consumers and dealerships,” Guss said. “We are the only platform to offer end-to-end purchasing benefits in the markets we play in.”

Looking ahead, Octane plans to use its new capital to expand to adjacent “other passion purchase” markets and continue to launch customer engagement tools as well as buying solutions for consumers shopping for powersports vehicles online. It also wants to continue to add dealership, OEM and brand partners, which today include BRP, Suzuki and Triumph Motorcycles.

“We define a passion purchase as a major discretionary purchase that brings people joy,” Guss said.Most innovation and investment is focused on large, marquee markets such as small business, auto and homes.” As people spent less toward travel and eating out once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the powersports market got a boost, growing double digits last year, noted Guss.

“Our core customer base was not significantly impacted by COVID economically so consumer demand and loan performance remained strong,” he said.

Andrew Quigg, chief strategy officer at Progressive Insurance, believes that technology and consumers’ needs continue to evolve.

Octane’s point-of-sale loan origination platform provides benefits to consumers and dealerships in a specialty segment of the lending market,” he said. “We like to partner with innovative, forward-thinking companies and believe that our investment in Octane aligns very well with this strategy.” 

Octane describes itself as a remote-first workplace that has offices in New York and Dallas. It has grown its team by 50% in the last year, from 213 to 336 employees.

#citi-ventures, #contour-venture-partners, #dallas, #finance, #fintech, #funding, #fundings-exits, #lending, #loans, #new-york, #octane, #progressive-investment-company-inc, #recent-funding, #startups, #suzuki, #valar-ventures, #venture-capital

MAJORITY raises $19 million for its mobile banking service for migrants

More than a million people migrate to the U.S. each year. Upon their arrival, they face challenges in opening a local bank account and accessing financial services at regular rates.

These challenges for migrants, a significant portion of whom also need to send money home, have persisted globally for decades, despite large government support programs.

Now an entrepreneur, who in his previous venture fought exorbitant phone tariff charges to help people make phone calls at low-cost, believes he has found the solution — and definitely a vote of confidence from investors.

MAJORITY said on Tuesday it has raised $19 million in its seed funding. The financial round was led by Valar Ventures while Avid Ventures, Heartcore Capital and several prominent Nordic fintech unicorn founders participated in it.

The two-year-old startup operates an eponymous mobile banking service. MAJORITY, whose name is a play on bringing financial inclusion to more people, runs a subscription service where it charges $5 a month to individuals and provides them with a range of financial services including an FDIC-insured bank account with early direct deposit at no overdraft fee, a debit card, mobile credit, and at-cost international phone calls.

Credit: Majority

Another reason why so many migrant communities are apprehensive of opening accounts with traditional banks, said Magnus Larsson (pictured above), founder and chief executive of MAJORITY, is that they don’t feel welcome there.

“You might not speak the language, or understand the cultural differences,” he said. To tackle this, MAJORITY has hired customer and sales relation representatives from various communities to work with customers to understand their needs.

Houston and Stockholm-headquartered MAJORITY also runs a community on its app to help individuals who have moved to the U.S. find familiar people and a “home” environment, he said. “Customers there find how to get a VISA as well as things like information about places to do local shopping,” he said.

“As veterans within the migrant tech sector, the team behind MAJORITY has already established themselves as builders of disruptive solutions for the world’s immigrants,” said James Fitzgerald, Founding Partner at Valar Ventures. “By supporting them for continued growth, we are confident that they will bring better and well-needed banking services to immigrants in the U.S.”

Starting today, the service is available in all 50 U.S. states and complies with local regulations, said Larsson, who previously served as the chief executive of Swedish technology firm Rebtel. Sutton Bank is MAJORITY’s banking partner.

The startup plans to deploy the new funding to expand its product offerings and broaden its team of about 80 people currently. “Since we are a company of immigrants for immigrants, we also look forward to hiring diverse talent that exists within the different immigrant communities we serve. This is more important now than ever given that many have been hit hard by the pandemic,” he said.

#apps, #avid-ventures, #finance, #funding, #heartcore-capital, #valar-ventures

#DealMonitor – Bitpanda sammelt 170 Millionen ein (und wird zum Unicorn) –  SumUp bekommt 750 Millionen – Rebike sackt 10 Millionen ein


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 16. März werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages in der DACH-Region. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.

INVESTMENTS

Bitpanda
+++ Valar Ventures, also Peter Thiel, DST Global und Co. investieren 170 Millionen US-Dollar in Bitpanda – siehe TechCrunch. Die Bewertung liegt dem Bericht zufolge bei 1,2 Milliarden Dollar. Damit steigt Bitpanda als erstes österreichisches Startup zum Unicorn auf. Über die Plattform des Wiener Startups können Nutzer insbesondere Bitcoins und Gold handeln. Das FinTech wurde 2014 von Eric Demuth, Paul Klanschek und Christian Trummer gegründet und zählt nach eigenen Angaben mehr als 2 Millionen Nutzer. Valar Ventures, Speedinvest und Hedosophia investierten zuletzt 52 Millionen US-Dollar in Bitpanda. Das Unternehmen ist derzeit in Österreich, Frankreich, Spanien, der Türkei , Italien und Polen aktiv.

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

SumUp
+++ Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital und der Singapurer Staatsfonds Temasek gewähren dem deutsch-britischen Payment-Unternehmen SumUp, das Kartenterminals, mit denen man mit Kreditkarte bezahlen kann, vertreibt, einen Kredit in Höhe von 750 Millionen Euro – siehe FinanceFWD.  SumUp, das 2011 von Daniel Klein, Marc-Alexander Christ, Stefan Jeschonnek und Jan Deepen gegründet wurde, ist derzeit in 33 Ländern unterwegs und beschäftigt über 2.000 Mitarbeiter. 2016 fusionierte das FinTech mit seinem Wettbewerber payleven. Bereits im Sommer 2020 gewährten die SumUp-Investoren dem Unternehmen einen Kredit in Höhe von 50 Millionen. 2019 erhielt das Unternehmen 330 Millionen. SumUp erwirtschaftet im Jahr wohl rund 200 Millionen Euro Umsatz. SumUp gilt schon längst als Unicorn, ohne dass dies bisher offiziell bestätigt wurde.

Rebike Mobility 
+++ Die BayBG Bayerische Beteiligungsgesellschaft investiert gemeinsam mit den Altinvestoren Vorwerk Ventures und STS Ventures 10 Millionen Euro in Rebike Mobility. Das Unternehmen aus Krailling bei München, das 2018 von Thomas Bernik und Sven Erger gegründet wurde, betreibt mit rebike1 einen Marktplatz für den Verkauf von gebrauchten E-Bikes und mit eBike Abo einen Abodienst für angesagte E-Bikes. Vorwerk Ventures und STS Ventures investierten bereits 2019 eine “mittlere einstellige Millionensumme” in das junge Unternehmen. 50 Mitarbeiter wirken derzeit für das Unternehmen. Im vergangenen Jahr erwirtschaftete Rebike Mobility nach eigenen Angaben einen Umsatz in höhe von 7 Millionen Euro. 2021 sind 15 Millionen geplant.

Zolar 
+++ Energy Impact Partners investiert 10 Millionen Euro in Zolar.  “Das Gesamtvolumen dieser Series steigt damit auf 35 Millionen Euro”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Das Berliner Startup, das sich selbstbewusst GreenTech nennt, bietet Photovoltaikanlagen zum Festpreis an, die Eigenheimbesitzer maßgeschneidert online planen, vergleichen und beauftragen können. Der tschechische Venture Capital-Geber Inven Capital, Heartcore Capital, Statkraft Ventures, BayWa r.e. Energy Ventures und Partech investierten zuletzt 15 Millionen Euro in Zolar, das 2016 von Gregor Loukidis und Alex Melzer gegründet wurde.

SolarWorX
+++ Canadian Solar, EIT InnoEnergy und die Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) investieren eine siebenstellige Summe in SolarWorX. Das Berliner Startup entwickelt Systeme, um Menschen ohne Strom mit Solarenergie zu versorgen. SolarWorX bietet dazu eine modulare, netzunabhängige Solarlösung namens Solego an. “Die aktuellen Kernmärkte von SolarWorX sind Kamerun, Sambia und Nigeria”, teilt die Jungfirma, die 2017 von Felix Boldt und Jakob Schily gegründet wurde, mit.

EXITS

Otto Wilde
+++ Der bekannte Hausgerätehersteller Miele übernimmt die Mehrheit (75,1 %) der Spezialgrill-Firma Otto Wilde. Das Düsseldorfer Unternehmen, das 2015 von Ulrich Otto Wilde, Nils Wilde, Julia Wilde und Alexander Luik gegründet wurde, beschäftigt derzeit 30 Mitarbeiter. “Neben dem Ausbau des Portfolios steht die weitere Internationalisierung auf der gemeinsamen Agenda”, teilt das Unternehmen, das 2017 in der Vox-Show “Die Höhle der Löwen” auf Investorensuche war, mit. Miele hatte zuletzt auch die Mehrheit an der Berliner Rezepte-App KptnCook übernommen.

perform IT
+++ Das EPR-Unternehmen Asolvi übernimmt den Nürnberger Software-Anbieter perform IT. Für Asolvi ist es die siebte Akquisition seit 2016 und die zweite in Deutschland innerhalb der letzten vier Monate. perform IT, 2003 gegründet, betreibt mit mysalesdrive.com eine Optimierungssoftware für die Bereiche Managed Print Services (MPS) und Büroausstattung.

PODCAST

Insider #97
+++ Schon die neue Insider-Ausgabe mit Sven Schmidt gehört? In der aktuellen Folge geht es um Ralf Wenzel, Gorillas, Elmar Broscheit, Flink, Grovy, Project A Ventures, MeetButter, Finway, mim Technologies, Lottie und den Spac-Boom.

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

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

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

Foto (oben): azrael74

#aktuell, #asolvi, #bayerische-beteiligungsgesellschaft, #bitpanda, #dusseldorf, #energy-impact-partners, #fintech, #miele, #mobility, #munchen, #mysalesdrive, #otto-wilde, #otto-wilde-grillers, #perform-it, #rebike-mobility, #sts-ventures, #unicorn, #valar-ventures, #venture-capital, #vorwerk-ventures, #wien, #zolar

BlockFi lands a $350M Series D at a $3B valuation for its fast-growing crypto-lending platform

If there were any doubt about a cryptocurrency boom, we need look no further than at the explosion of growth of certain companies in the space.

One such company is BlockFi, which today announced it has closed on a massive $350 million Series D funding that values it at $3 billion. While this news in and of itself is certainly attention-getting, it’s even more impressive when you consider the startup just raised a $50 million Series C last August at a $450 million valuation. The latest financing brings its total equity raised since inception to about $450 million, with the company raising $100 million across its seed and Series C rounds.

Zac Prince — who comes from a background in consumer lending —  founded BlockFi with Flori Marquez in 2017. The Jersey City, New Jersey-based startup raised $1.6 million in a seed round of funding that closed in 2018 and was led by ConsenSys Ventures and included participation from SoFi.  

Prince describes BlockFi as a financial services company for crypto market investors that offers a retail and institutional-facing suite of products. On the retail side of its platform, people can use its mobile app to earn a yield on their crypto holdings (6% on Bitcoin, 8.6% on stablecoins), buy and sell crypto and get low-cost loans secured by the value of their crypto portfolio “so they can get liquidity without selling,” he said. Specifically, clients can buy and sell digital assets (from Bitcoin, Ethereum and Link to Litecoin, PaxG and multiple stablecoins) directly on BlockFi.

The startup is also a lender and provider of trade execution services to institutions participating in digital asset markets. 

It’s a model that seems to be working in a big way. Since the end of 2019, BlockFi has seen its client base grow from 10,000 to more than 225,000. Today, BlockFi has 265,000 funded retail clients and over 200 institutional clients.

And it’s lent over $10 billion to its retail, corporate and institutional clients.

Over the past year, BlockFi has also accomplished the following:

  • Increased the number of assets on its platform to $15 billion, compared to $1 billion last March — with a 0% loss rate across its lending portfolio since inception.
  • Bumped its monthly revenue to over $50 million, up from $1.5 million a year prior.
  • Boosted its headcount to about 530 people, compared to 100 last March.

“In less than six months since we completed our Series C, Bitcoin and other digital assets have assumed a central role in many investors’ portfolios and in broader financial markets,” Prince said. “Our conviction that digital assets are the future of finance has been vindicated by our client base, which grew 10 times year over year in 2020 and has more than doubled since the end of 2020.”

New investor Bain Capital Ventures, partners of DST Global, Pomp Investments and Tiger Global co-led the Series D, which included participation from a slew of other firms including existing backer Valar Ventures, Breyer Capital, Susquehanna Government Products, Jump Capital and Paradigm, among many others. BlockFi employees who have been employed for more than one year have the opportunity to receive liquidity on a portion of their equity via a secondary tender offer as part of the financing round.  

BlockFi believes that investor enthusiasm for the Series D round reflects both the company’s strong business growth, as well as “broader conviction in cryptocurrencies as an asset class.” 

“Individual investors, institutional asset managers and corporate treasury departments are all exploring avenues to invest in cryptocurrencies,” the company said.

“Our goal for BlockFi has always been for it to facilitate cryptocurrencies going mainstream – and each day provides more evidence that is exactly what is occurring,” said Marquez, who serves as the company’s SVP of operations.

Bain Capital Ventures Partner Stefan Cohen agrees. He believes there are currently limited banking services available for crypto holders, which puts BlockFi in an opportune position.

“Bitcoin has already eclipsed $1 trillion in market cap and is likely headed higher to fulfill its store of value promise. As wealth accumulates to BTC holders, most will look for ways to earn yield or borrow against their holdings for more traditional asset purchases such as homes, cars and education,” he wrote via email. “BlockFi stands alone as the leader in bringing simple, secure, everyday financial services to cryptocurrency holders.”

The startup’s exponential growth over the past year proves “there was clearly a huge need for BlockFi’s services,” Cohen said.

“Their vision was to build an easy-to-use, trusted platform to bring cryptocurrency to the mainstream, and they’ve truly succeeded,” he added.

Meanwhile, Cohen said Bain Capital has had a long-term thesis on Bitcoin becoming a store of value and has actively invested in “picks-and-shovels businesses” that enable what is now a $1 trillion-plus market. 

“Trusted financial services are a critical pillar of the space, and we view it as a highly strategic component of the market,” he added.

Looking ahead, the startup has plans to launch in the second quarter a Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card, which will give BlockFi clients the ability to earn Bitcoin cash back on every transaction. It plans to use the new capital to continue growing its product suite, expand into new global markets and for strategic acquisitions. The company also plans to double its headcount by year’s end, according to Prince.

BlockFi already has a global presence and retail clients in over 100 countries. Last year, it opened institutional client service offices in London and Singapore.  This year, the startup is looking to add regional support in Europe, APAC and LatAm for its retail clients. 

Over the past week, BlockFi was making headlines for other reasons. The company was the victim of an “unusual assault” on March 7 when an attacker spammed the platform with fake sign-ups and abusive language.

To that end, the company acknowledges that it became aware that an unauthorized third party began attempting bulk sign-ups on its platform on March 7.

“We do not know the origin of the email addresses used for these ‘sign-ups’  but they did not come from us and they were not the emails of BlockFi clients,” the company told TechCrunch. “In general, we would characterize the event as vulgar spam’ and the total number of valid emails affected was less than 1,000.”

The company maintains that no data from BlockFi was accessed and its data was not compromised.  

“Our clients’ funds and data were safeguarded throughout the incident,” the company added. “Since then, our engineering and security teams have taken steps to prevent events like this from happening in the future. In addition, we reached out directly to all of the valid email recipients to apologize for the incident.”

#bain-capital-ventures, #bitcoin, #blockfi, #breyer-capital, #consensys, #consensys-ventures, #cryptocurrencies, #cryptocurrency, #cryptography, #currency, #digital-currencies, #dst-global, #finance, #financial-services, #funding, #fundings-exits, #jump-capital, #new-jersey, #paradigm, #recent-funding, #stablecoin, #startups, #tc, #tiger-global, #valar-ventures, #venture-capital

#DealMonitor – sennder bekommt 160 Millionen (und wird zum Unicorn) – Moss sammelt 21 Millionen ein – Sequoia investiert 20 Millionen in Xentral


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 14. Januar 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

sennder
+++ Die Alt-Investoren Accel, Lakestar, HV Capital, Project A und Scania investieren weitere 160 Millionen US-Dollar in sennder. Das Berliner Logistik-Startup, das 2015 von Julius Köhler, Nicolaus Schefenacker und David Nothacker gegründet wurde, steigt mit der erneuten Finanzierungsrunde – wie erwartet – zum Unicorn (Bewertung: 1 Milliarde Dollar) auf. Zuletzt wanderten rund 100 Millionen US-Dollar in das Logistik-Startup. Insgesamt flossen somit bereits 260 Millionen in sennder. Das junge Unternehmen kümmert sich in der großen und wilden Logistikwelt um sogenannte Komplettladungen. Konkret verbindet das Logistikstartup aus Berlin über seine Softwareplattform Händler und Transportunternehmen.  In den vergangenen Monaten sorgte das Grownup mit zwei Übernahmen für Schlagzeilen: Im Juni des vergangenen Jahres fusionierte sennder mit seinen französischen Wettbewerber Everoad. Im September übernahm sennder dann das europäische Frachtgeschäft von Uber Freight. 800 Mitarbeiter wirken derzeit für sennder. Im Insider-Podcast haben wir bereits Mitte Dezember über den Aufstieg von sennder gesprochen. Zuletzt stieg Mambu in Deutschland zum Unicorn auf.

Moss
+++ Der US-Investor Valar Ventures, also Peter Thiel, sowie die Alt-Investoren Cherry Ventures und Global Founders Capital (GFC), der Investmentarm von Rocket Internet, investieren 21 Millionen Euro in Moss. Die Bewertung des jungen FinTech, die zuletzt als Vanta bekannt war, steigt dabei auf 100 Millionen Euro – siehe FinanceFWD. Das junge Unternehmen, hinter dem die Move24-Macher Ante Spittler und Anton Rummel stecken, ging erst vor einigen Monaten offiziell an den Start. Über Moss können Kunden sich Firmenkreditkarten zulegen – und zwar insbesondere virtuelle Kreditkarten. So sind etwa Kreditkarten für einzelne Personen, Teams oder Abteilungen bzw. Kostenstellen möglich. Zum Start war Moss vor allem in der Startup-Szene auf Kundenfang. Inzwischen möchte das Fintech auch im KMU-Segment Kunden (Unternehmen zwischen 20/30 bis 500 Mitabeiter) gewinnen.  Valar Ventures investierte bisher unter anderem in FinTechs wie N26, Bitpanda und Taxfix. 40 Mitarbeiter wirken derzeit bei Moss.

Xentral
+++ Der amerikanische Geldgeber Sequoia Capital und Visionaires Club aus Berlin investieren 20 Millionen US-Dollar in Xentral. Das von Benedikt und Claudia Sauter in Augsburg gegründete Unternehmen ist ein flexibles ERP-/CRM-System mit eigenem App-Store und bietet Schnittstellen zu allen gängigen Online-Shop-Systemen, Marktplätzen und Zahlungsanbietern. Nach Frank Thelen investierte zuletzt auch Pitch-Gründer Christian Reber in Xentral. Das Unternehmen wird die millionenschwere neue Finanzspritze nutzen, um “die Produktentwicklung, den Ausbau des Teams sowie die Expansion voranzutreiben – zunächst auf paneuropäischer Basis und längerfristig auch in Großbritannien und den USA”. 65 Mitarbeiter wirken derzeit für das Unternehmen. Zu den Kunden von Xentral gehören Unternehmen wie YFood, The Nu Company und Flyeralarm.

quirion
+++ Die Berliner Effektengesellschaft und  “erfahrene Privatinvestoren” investieren 13 Millionen Euro in den Robo-Advisor quirion. “Mit diesem Invest wird quirion sein Wachstum weiter beschleunigen. Die Bewertung des Unternehmens liegt nach dem Kapitalzufluss bei 73 Millionen Euro”, heißt es in der Presseaussendung.

Der Robo-Advisor quirion erhält 13 Millionen Euro von externen Investoren. Neben erfahrenen Privatinvestoren beteiligt sich auch die Berliner Effektengesellschaft. Mit diesem Invest wird quirion sein Wachstum weiter beschleunigen. Die Bewertung des Unternehmens liegt nach dem Kapitalzufluss bei 73 Millionen Euro.

Achtung! Wir freuen uns über Tipps, was wir im #DealMonitor aufgreifen sollten. Schreibt uns eure Vorschläge per E-Mail oder nutzt unsere “Stille Post“, unseren anonymen Briefkasten.

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

Foto (oben): azrael74

#accel, #aktuell, #augsburg, #berlin, #berliner-effektengesellschaft, #cherry-ventures, #fintech, #global-founders-capital, #hv-capital, #lakestar, #logistik, #moss, #project-a-ventures, #quirion, #scania, #sennder, #sequoia-capital, #unicorn, #valar-ventures, #venture-capital, #visionaires-club, #xentral

Mexican challenger bank, albo raises $45 million to expand

With nearly half a million customers across Mexico already and a network of 30,000 retail locations where representatives can take deposits, the challenger bank albo is already on its way to becoming a dominant player in Mexico’s emerging fintech industry.

And the company has recently raised another $45 million to consolidate its position.

“When your mission is to build the biggest bank in Mexico, you will need a ton of money,” said albo founder Angel Sahagún.

The company received its license to operate as a full depository bank in Mexico, and is slowly working toward being the premiere internet-based financial services provider for Mexico’s large and growing middle class, Sahagún said.

“We are targeting a similar target market to Chime,” the albo founder and chief executive said. “We are targeting people who are underbanked and don’t have access to all the financial products in the market.”

Sahagún said the money will be used to expand the range of services albo offers into lending and insurance products. That’s a path which has already produced one multi-billion dollar business in Nubank, Brazil’s wildly successful fintech company, which planted a flag for a new generation of Latin American startups.

While many challenger banks in the region pursued a strategy targeting upper class and upper middle class consumers, Sahagún said his service had chosen a different path.

The company is trying to bring the middle and low income Mexican consumers into the banking system by making it easy for them to move from a cash-based world to a digital one. “Where 90% of transactions are cash-based you need a value proposition that fits very well on that cash-based society,” Sahagún said.

It’s why the company set up a network of 30,000 locations including convenience stores and drug stores so that it can accept deposits at the places where its customers frequent.

That growth, and the company’s 40% share of the digital banking market in Mexico, according to data from Apptopia cited by the company, is why investors like Valar Ventures, Greyhound Capital, Mountain Nazca and Flourish Ventures were willing to invest as part of the $45 million round.

“albo has proven its ability to drive sustainable growth and is leading the market. This is the team that is going to transform banking in the region and we are proud to be supporting them in that”, said James Fitzgerald of Valar Ventures, in a statement. 

 

#angel, #bank, #banking, #brazil, #chime, #economy, #finance, #financial-services, #financial-technology, #flourish-ventures, #greyhound-capital, #ing-group, #mexico, #mountain-nazca, #nubank, #tc, #valar-ventures

#DealMonitor – Bitpanda bekommt 52 Millionen – Zoovu kauft Semknox


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 29. 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

Bitpanda
+++ Valar Ventures, also Peter Thiel, und Altinevstoren wie Speedinvest investieren 52 Millionen US-Dollar in Bitpanda. Über die Plattform des Wiener Startups können Nutzer insbesondere Bitcoins und Gold handeln. Das FinTech wurde 2014 von Eric Demuth, Paul Klanschek und Christian Trummer gegründet und zählt nach eigenen Angaben mehr als 1,3 Millionen Nutzer. “Most importantly, this funding round will help us to bring the Bitpanda platform and all our services to a new level. We are going to launch new, industry-leading products, including a completely new and innovative way of stock trading early next year”, teilt das Unternehmen mit.

Tiegoo
+++ Die GHV VERSICHERUNG investiert in Tiegoo. Das Startup, das von Andreas Becker gegründet wurde, setzt auf eine Tiergesundheitskarte. Die TiegooCard bündelt alle Gesundheits- und Versicherungsdaten – analog zur menschlichen Gesundheitskarte. Die Karte soll unter anderem “die Kommunikation zwischen Tierbesitzern, Tierärzten, und Versicherungen” vereinfachen. Auch im Notfall kann man über Tiegoo an den entsprechenden Tierarzt übermittelt werden.

EXITS

Semknox
+++ Das amerikanische Unternehmen Zoovu, das Conversational Search und digitale Kaufberatung anbietet, übernimmt das Dresdner Startup  Semknox. Das Unternehmen entwickelt seit mehreren Jahren eine “neuartige, semantische Produktsuche, die Anfragen in Umgangssprache versteht”. Semknox wurde von David Urbansky, Sebastian Sprenger und Simon Schabel gegründet. Der High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), WestTech Ventures, LeROI Online Marketing, seto und Philipp Katz investierten 2015 in die Jungfirma.#

VENTURE CAPITAL

SwissHealth Ventures
+++ Der Schweizer Krankenversicherer CSS legt mit SwissHealth Ventures einen Fonds für “digitale Gesundheits-Startups” auf. Im Topf sind 50 Millionen Franken. Der Fonds wurde mit Überschüssen aus dem Zusatzversicherungsgeschäft des Versicherers aufgebaut. “Gezielt investiert werden soll in Startups, die das Gesundheitswesen durch neue und digitale Techno-
logien im Bereich der Prävention, Genesung, Betreuung und Spezialversorgung weiterbringen”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Ein Investment wurde bereits getätigt: CSS unterstützt das ETH Spin-Off Pregnolia. Das Startup hat ein Messverfahren entwickelt zur besseren Abschätzung des Frühgeburtsrisikos. Um die Umsetzung des Investitionsaktivitäten kümmert sich Redstone Schweiz.

DIE HÖHLE DER LÖWEN

Vytal
+++ In der fünften Folge der achten Staffel investierte Social-Media-Löwe Georg Kofler 450.000 Euro in Vytal (12,5 %), ein digitales Mehrwegsystem mit eigenen Leihschalen für Take-Away- und Lieferessen. Das Team – Sven Witthöft und Tim Breker – kam in die Vox-Show um 450.000 Euro für 10 % der Firmenanteile einzusammeln.

Yammbits
+++ In der fünften Folge der achten Staffel investierte Regal-Löwe Ralf Dümmel 100.000 Euro in Yammbits (20 %), sogenannte Fruitballs, kleine Kugeln aus getrockneten Biofrüchten. Die Yammbits-Macher wollten ursprünglich 100.000 Euro für 15 % der Firmenanteile einsammeln.

Solmove
+++ In der fünften Folge der achten Staffel investierten GreenTech-Löwe Nico Rosberg, Familien-Löwin Dagmar Wöhrl und Sales-Löwe Carsten Maschmeyer 500.000 Euro in Solmove (25 %). Hinter Solmove steckt ein smarter Straßenbelag: ein flexibles Glasmodul mit Solarzellen, die Strom erzeugen, der sodann eingespeist werden kann. Solmove-Macher Donald Müller-Judex wollte ursprünglich 500.000 Euro für 10 % der Firmenanteile einsammeln. Der Deal platzte nach der Show.

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, #bitpanda, #dresden, #e-health, #fintech, #ghv-versicherung, #redstone-digital, #semknox, #solmove, #swisshealth-ventures, #tiegoo, #valar-ventures, #venture-capital, #vytal, #yammbits, #zoovu

Crypto exchange Bitpanda closes $52M Series A from Valar Ventures, backed by Peter Thiel

Bitpanda, a crypto assets platform, has closed a $52 million Series A funding round form Valar Ventures, a venture capital firm backed by Peter Thiel. Vienna-based VC Speedinvest also participated, alongside other unnamed investors. Claiming 1.3 million users, Bitpanda has previously been trading digital assets and tokenizing precious metals.

The Vienna-based company will use the cash to expand internationally. It expanded to France, Spain and Turkey in 2020 and plans to enter additional European markets this year and next. It has 300 employees.

Essentially, Bitpanda is a crypto exchange which can support other kinds of assets in a tokenized form. To date, it’s not very well known or used in the Crypto world.

What this represents is an interesting move by a crypto exchange, effectively expanding into real-world assets. At the other end of the spectrum, platforms like eToro, Robinhood and Revolut, which came from traditional assets world, and are now adding Crypto world assets. Eventually, the two will meet, in some shape or form.

Bitpanda is a centralized exchange with its own infrastructure, and is not running on a public blockchain. Other centralized exchanges include Coinbase, Kraken, Binance, Kucoin and Huobi.

As part of the investment, Valar Ventures founding partner, Andrew McCormack, will also join Bitpanda’s board. McCormack was previously with PayPal in its early years and supported Peter Thiel during its IPO and eventual sale to eBay in 2002. Valar has previously invested in European fintechs including Transferwise and the Germany-based digital bank, N26.

#binance, #coinbase, #ebay, #etoro, #europe, #finance, #france, #kraken, #mobile-payments, #money, #n26, #online-payments, #paypal, #peter-thiel, #revolut, #spain, #tc, #transferwise, #turkey, #valar-ventures, #venture-capital, #vienna

Valar triples down on Petal, leading $55M Series C round into the credit card disruptor

Sometimes raising venture capital can be as simple as talking to your existing investor and having them wire over another check.

When we last caught up with Petal in January 2019, the startup was hot off its $30 million Series B round and was accelerating its mission to take on the world of credit cards. Petal’s core differentiation is that it looks at the cash flow of potential borrowers rather than traditional credit scores to assess creditworthiness, helping to identify underbanked users who have the ability to be trusted with a credit card, but lack the formal statistics to prove it.

Well, a lot has happened since then. COVID-19 hit, and along the way, the traditional credit score has been rent asunder as millions lost their jobs, had their hours cut back, and changed life circumstances. At the same time, federal stimulus relief in the form of direct payments to taxpayers actually led some credit scores to increase during the pandemic. All of this is to say that underwriting based on prospective cash flow has been a bit more attuned to reality rather than credit scores based on retrospective history.

Now, the New York City-headquartered startup is expanding, and netted a $55 million dollar Series C round led by Valar again, who not only led the company’s Series B, but also its $13 million Series A round back in 2018. This Series C round closed in April just after the COVID-19 pandemic got fully underway and is officially being announced today.

Valar, one of the many vehicles in the Peter Thiel capital universe, has staked its claim in the fintech world, backing companies like Even, Stash, N26, BlockFi, Point Card, and Taxfix. I asked Petal CEO Jason Gross his thoughts on why he took capital from his existing investors two more times, and his line was “if you’ve heard the expression, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.’” He continued, “Our view has been that if we already have a really great working relationship, and a lot of support and a dynamic that’s been successful in the boardroom, there’s no reason to necessarily change that.”

Gross said that the company’s model has allowed it to handle the storm of changes that have been underway this year. “It’s allowing us to make credit accessible at a period of time when legacy institutions — traditional banks and so on — are being forced to to pull back,” he said. “We’ve been able to continue to accurately understand what’s going on with the financial circumstances of our customers and applicants” allowing the company to “lean in” this year.

He noted the company has brought on “tens of thousands of customers” since the last time TechCrunch chatted with the company.

Petal has slightly tweaked the cosmetic design of the card. Photo via Petal.

Outside of fundraising and customer growth, the company has been busy. It launched a second office in Richmond, Virginia last year. It “has a really strong, kind of vibrant and emerging technology scene. It is the largest concentration of colleges in Virginia, and it also is a financial-services-heavy location,” Gross explained. Conveniently, it also shares the same time zone as NYC.

Back last September, the company raised $300 million from Jeffries as a debt facility to finance its credit card, and in February, it recruited Kaustav Das as its new chief risk officer. Das came from small business loan platform Kabbage, which was sold to American Express earlier this year following the heavy economic blow from the pandemic to small businesses across the country.

Petal is now about 100 employees, and the company has been operating entirely remotely since March. Gross says his goal for the next two years is to onboard “hundred of thousands of new customers.”

In addition to Valar, a huge miscellany of funds participated in the round, including “Rosecliff Ventures, Afore Capital, RiverPark Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, GR Capital, Nelstone Ventures, Abstract Ventures, Ride Ventures, Gramercy Fund, Adventure Collective, Starta Ventures, and NFL star Kelvin Beachum, Jr.” The company has now raised about $100 million of equity capital all together.

#credit-cards, #finance, #fintech, #funding, #fundings-exits, #new-york-city, #petal, #startups, #valar-ventures

#DealMonitor – Numbrs sammelt 17 Millionen ein – Cluno bekommt weitere Millionen


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 11. 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

Cluno
+++ Acton Capital, Atlantic Labs und Valar Ventures, also Paypal-Gründer Peter Thiel, investieren weitere 12,4 Millionen Euro in das Münchner Auto-Startup Cluno – siehe Gründerszene. “Bei dem Investment handelt es sich um eine Erweiterung der Series-B-Runde aus dem vergangenen Jahr (25 Millionen Euro)”, berichten die Kollegen. Cluno, ein sehr umtriebiger Flatrate-Anbieter für Fahrzeuge, sammelte in den vergangenen Monaten bereits mehr als 32 Millionen Euro ein. Zudem sicherte sich das Auto-Startup, das von Nico und Christina Poletti sowie Andreas Schuierer gegründet wurde, 140 Millionen Euro in Form von Krediten.

Numbrs
+++ Saidler & Co. Finance, also Firmengründer Martin Saidler, und weitere Geldgeber investieren 17 Millionen Schweizer Franken in die Konto-App Numbrs. “The lead investor is the Swiss investment firm Saidler & Co. Finance AG, which contributed CHF 11 million to the round”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. In der Presseaussendung heißt es weiter: “The new capital will enable Numbrs to accelerate its growth in Germany, the UK and beyond. Key initiatives for 2020 include the market entry into the UK and the development of new key functionalities of Numbrs’ cutting-edge technology”. In das 2014 gegründet Unternehmen flossen nun schon mehr als 200 Millionen Franken.

EXITS

nFrames
+++ Das Unternehmen Esri, ein Anbieter für Standortintelligenz-Lösungen, übernimmt die Stuttgarter Firma nFrames. Mit SURE bietet das Unternehmen eine Software, die aus Luftbildern und Lidar-Daten Oberflächen rekonstruiert und in 3D Modelle übersetzt. “Durch die Akquisition werden Anwender künftig befähigt, Bilder mit detaillierten Geoinformationen anzureichen, so dass 3D-Daten von luft-, drohnen- und bodengestützten Sensoren in einem automatisierten, nahtlosen Prozess erfasst und analysiert werden können”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. nFrames wurde 2014 als Spin-Off der Universität Stuttgart von Konrad Wenzel und Mathias Rothermel gegründet.

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): azarel74

#acton-capital, #aktuell, #atlantic-labs, #cluno, #esri, #munchen, #nframes, #numbrs, #valar-ventures, #venture-capital, #zurich

#DealMonitor – Taxfix sammelt 65 Millionen ein – HTGF investiert in Storybox


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 16. April 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

Taxfix
+++ Index Ventures sowie die Altinvestoren Valar Ventures, Creandum und Redalpine investieren 65 Millionen US Dollar, derzeit 59 Millionen Euro, in Taxfix. Das Startup, das sich als mobiler Assistent für die Steuererklärung positioniert, wurde 2016 von Mathis Büchi und Lino Teuteberg gegründet. N26-Investor Valar Ventures, Creandum und Redalpine investierten zuletzt 20 Millionen in das Berliner Steuer-Startup. Mit dem Investment wird Taxfix seine Produktinnovation weiter entwickeln, um die App noch schneller und benutzerfreundlicher zu gestalten, weitere Services anbieten sowie seine 200 Mitarbeiter um 100 erweitern”, teilt das TaxTech-Startup mit. Auch die internationale Expansion ist geplant.

Storybox 
+++ High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), die BayBG Bayerische Beteiligungsgesellschaft und CK Venture Capital investieren einen unbekannten Betrag in Storybox. Das Münchner Startup, das von Ben Rodrian geführt wird, positioniert sich als die “neue Art Video Content zu erstellen”. Auf der Website heißt es: “Egal ob Ihr Unternehmen Produkte vorstellen, Abläufe dokumentieren, Events festhalten, Social Media Content generieren, Recruiting betreiben, oder eine von vielen Möglichkeiten nutzen möchte die Videoerstellung effizient und einfach zu machen, dann ist StoyBox genau richtig für Sie”. #EXKLUSIV – entdeckt über Startupdetector

her1
+++ Der Berliner Geldgeber Rheingau Venture Club und Schober Ventures investieren einen unbekannten Betrag in her1. Das Berliner Startup, das früher unter dem Namen Ono Labs unterwegs war,  vertreibt “Wellcare-Produkte in den Bereichen Health, Beauty und Food. Entwickelt von Frauen für Frauen mit dem Ziel, die Gesundheit auf natürliche Weise zu stärken”. Das Unternehmen wurde 2017 von Seriengründerin Chanyu Xu und Rheingau angeschoben. #EXKLUSIV – entdeckt über Startupdetector

Crypto Finance 
Der Schweizer Investor Rainer-Marc Frey und der Private Equity Fund Lingfeng Capital sowie “mehrere bereits bestehende sowie neue Investoren aus Europa und Asien, wie auch die asiatische QBN Capital” investieren 14 Millionen Schweizer Franken in das Unternehmen Crypto Finance. “Die Crypto Finance Gruppe bietet institutionellen und professionellen Investoren Produkte und Dienstleistungen, welche im Crypto-Bereich weltweit führend sind”, teilt die Jungfirma mit.

Scompler
+++ main incubator, der Frühphaseninvestor der Commerzbank-Gruppe, und Bayern Kapital, investieren eine siebenstellige Summe in Scompler. Die Software-as-a-Service(SaaS)-Lösung des Münchner Startups “deckt sämtliche Prozesse des strategischen Content Managements (SCOM) ab und bringt alle Inhalte von Unternehmenskommunikation und Marketing auf einer Plattform zusammen”. Die Jungfirma wurde von Mirko Lange gegründet.

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): Taxfix

#aktuell, #bayern-kapital, #berlin, #creandum, #crypto-finance, #her1, #index-ventures, #main-incubator, #munchen, #redalpine, #rheingau-venture-club, #schober-ventures, #schweiz, #scompler, #taxfix, #taxtech, #valar-ventures, #venture-capital, #zurich