BlaBlaCar and startup Voi Technology join forces to offer e-scooters in France

Today Swedish e-scooter company Voi Technology has announced a new collaboration with mobility giant BlaBlaCar. Thanks to this strategic partnership, BlaBla Ride scooters will help French cities and their citizens have access to safe and sustainable mobility at a time when it is more crucial than ever. Both companies remain separate legal entities.

Voi Technology, founded in 2018, is a Swedish e-scooter company that has so far built up a community of +4 million scooter uses across Europe, and a team of 500+ people. This fast-growth startup has in just 2 years risen to be a strong competitor in its field.

And their new partnership has come at an opportune time. As cities emerge from lockdown across France, the need for access to safe and sustainable transport is critical. Together BlaBlaCar and Voi Technology aim to help the situation with their offer of BlaBla Ride Scooters.

In the coming months, BlaBlaCar and Voi Technology will build a seamless integrated experience. BlaBlaCar’s 18 million members in France will be able to connect through their BlaBlaCar account on the BlaBla Ride app. Members will also be able to select a scooter to ride on the last mile of a longer carpool or bus trip, powering a convenient and environmentally efficient door-to-door journey. Together, through their complementary expertise and user bases, BlaBlaCar and Voi can help make scooters available and reliable across large French cities and provide a responsible service respectful of local regulations.

The first step of the partnership will consist in co-branding Voi’s app and scooters as BlaBla Ride, starting on June 5th. Current Voi users in France won’t face any significant changes other than Voi app and scooters progressively including the new BlaBla Ride brand identity.

“I am very pleased with this partnership. We are both leaders in our field and share the passion of reducing car emissions and fostering shared mobility. By working together, we will create the best of both worlds and at the same time both companies can focus on their respective strengths – so it’s a win-win all around”, says Fredrik Hjelm, co-founder and CEO of Voi Technology.

“Voi and BlaBlaCar have a common enemy: inefficient car usage and CO2 emissions. By joining forces, we can go one step further in making mobility smarter and more efficient in cities. This cooperation has been a long time in the making, but now it seems more than ever relevant to our members in the wake of Covid-19, and as regulation creates a clearer playing field for micro-mobility”, said Nicolas Brusson, co-founder and CEO of BlaBlaCar.


Amid pandemic, London-based Thriva secures €4.5M funding to offer at-home health service

Once you get to know what’s going on inside your body, you can understand the impact of your lifestyle on your health and start to make small changes that add up to a healthier you. While there was no simple and convenient method to track it, Thriva, a London-based startup changed it through personalised home-kit. 

Raised €4.5 million!

In the latest development, the UK company has secured a £4 million (approx €4.5 million) extension to its Series A funding round from Berlin-based VC Target Global. The investment comes from Target Global’s new Early Stage Fund II. 

To date, the company has raised £11 million (approx €12.2 million). Existing investors include Guinness Asset Management and Pembroke VCT.

With this funding, the company intends to expand its at-home health service designed to help people stay on the front foot with their health and to continue putting better health in your hands. 

Hamish Grierson, co-founder, and CEO of Thriva said: 

“As the world faces unprecedented challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis, we have all been forced to view our health, and our mortality, in a new light.”

Processed over 115,000 tests! 

Thriva has processed over 115,000 test at-home blood tests since 2016 which have helped people keep track of what’s happening inside their bodies with 76% of Thriva users achieving an improvement in at least one of their biomarkers between tests.

Its at-home testing kits are processed by UKAS accredited laboratories and can analyse anything from indicators of heart disease and diabetes to vitamins and minerals and hormone function.

Hamish Grierson added: 

“We believe that now and in the near future, people will be taking a more proactive approach to their own health and wellbeing. Whilst we cannot protect ourselves entirely from the tragic effects of a global pandemic like COVID-19, this period may inspire people to invest in their general health for the long-term.”

100% year-on-year growth!

The company has now launched personalised health plans and high-quality supplements as well. As per the company claims, the business is scaling up its partnerships with hospitals and other healthcare provider looking to provide at-home testing to their patients and clients.

Notably, the company, which was founded by Hamish Grierson, Eliot Brooks, and Tom Livesey sees 100% year-on-year growth and has expanded its team significantly to 50 team members in the company’s London Headquarters.

Dr. Ricardo Schäfer – Partner at Target Global said: 

“When we first met the team behind Thriva, we were immediately hooked by their mission to allow people to take health into their own hands. Thriva has all the right ingredients to become one of those transforming category leaders we are seeking to back at Target Global.”

“We are witnessing a shift in consumer behavior towards an increasingly a proactive approach to health: people want to know what’s going on inside their bodies. Covid-19 is further accelerating this trend, which requires remote blood testing. Thriva is playing an essential role in providing a solution for increasing the test volume. We are excited to partner with Hamish, Eliot, and Tom at this pivotal point in time for the company.”

Main image credits: Thriva

Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more European technology news

The post Amid pandemic, London-based Thriva secures €4.5M funding to offer at-home health service appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals

Just an offer to help those just getting started!

Hey all! This is a pretty cool free offer to help you get up and running quickly. There is no catch and no sales pitch. Just a offer to help fellow startup folks for free.

We have always helped our friends and family to get their business up and running for free as a "pay it forward" kind of thing. When we were starting our first business almost 8 years ago now we had some amazing people that were there for us. It's time for us to repay it to others!

Feel free to check it and/ or PM me with any questions!

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Offer $250 : Owner of crap #domains blames the #Coronavirus for string of bad sales “The Coronvirus is to blame,” says domainer Samuel Al Bakiri, as his domain sales have dwindled. The Lebanese domain investor from Texas is upset with the local government’s decision to close down businesses, as lack of investor capital has affected his domain sales. “Obviously, it’s not my fault, as my …

[DailyPay in Employee Benefit News] Is it time to offer all employees same-day pay?

Getting paid after every workday could help ease financial strain brought on during coronavirus, and benefit provider DailyPay is advocating that more employers implement this practice.

Read more here.

The post [DailyPay in Employee Benefit News] Is it time to offer all employees same-day pay? appeared first on OurCrowd.


Should I negotiate equity offer?

Hi All,

Recently left a tech job to join a friend and his partner who have a great idea that could very well take off in the future. My friend worked at a couple VCs before starting the company, I trust his knowledge of the space and I’m coming on as employee #4 in a function critical to the growth and development of the business.

I was offered equity upon accepting the job but we haven’t finalized anything, and today we started talking about a comp package with a salary I consider to be a fair starting amount, as well as 8% equity… is this a good deal, and is it worth bringing up to the other individuals that I want more?

This thing has legs, and I don’t want to strain the business relationships cause we have a good thing going. I don’t want to be selfish and hold out (I’m joining the business regardless) but ideally I’d like 12-14% equity stake. I’ve considered negotiating vested add-ons from 8 to 10-12% based on performance over time but I don’t know how these conversations are supposed to go.

What should I do here?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

RenovAI helps retailers offer automated interior design advice to their customers

Alon Gilady, CEO of RenovAI, told me his startup is trying to solve the problem that many of us face when we’re moving into a new home — we aren’t interior designers, but we can’t afford to hire real designers, either.

Apparently Gilady’s co-founder and vice president of products Alon Chelben had this issue himself when he moved into a new apartment and tried to use DIY design applications, only to be disappointed by the “very ugly” results.

“He thought to himself, ‘I cannot design,’” Gilady said. “From that idea, we realized that there’s an opportunity here.”

While there are other online design services, Gilady said most of them are focused on creating 3D visualizations, or on connecting customers with a human designers.

RenovAI (which is part of the current class of startups at Alchemist Accelerator) can also create visualizations, but its focus is on building AI tools that understand the principles of good design. And while the team started out by thinking of the consumer problem, they decided that the best path to market was by working with retailers.

RenovAI’s products can design an entire space based on a customer’s specifications and taste. There’s also RenovAI Scout, which recommends a specific product based on your taste and current room design; and Complete the Look, which recommends items that complement what you’re already buying.

But what does it mean for an AI to understand good design? Gilady said the team has trained its algorithms on “thousands of different floor plans” to understand the rules of how a room should be laid out, and also broken down design into 16 different “substyles.”

“Our picture recommendation engine goes through the images to understand the relations between the items, the color, the palette, the texture and material,” he said. “It does a statistical analysis to understand how things are matching each other, how to create the design rules of every substyle.”

RenovAI already has pilots with online furniture retailers like and Mobly. And Gilady said that there’s plenty of opportunity for growth, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, since plenty of people are stuck at home and wanting to make improvements.

“I think more and more retailers and mom-and-pop shops paying more attention to online,” he said. “[They know] that if they offer a more fun and seamless experience online, in the long run, it’s a bigger opportunity and we can reach more customers.”

Startups – TechCrunch

Clyde Raises Another $14M to Enable E-Commerce Merchants to Offer Extended Warranties

As online shopping takes a larger share of retail, the traditional opportunities for retailers to upsell extended protection plans are slowly disappearing. Clyde is an online extended warranty platform that integrates with the checkout process of e-commerce merchants, offering a seamless and integrated experience while adding a bit of margin for the retailer. This is especially important in e-commerce where margins are highly competitive. CEO and Founder Brandon Gell walks us through the business, its future plans, and recent round of funding led by Spark Capital.

how much equity to offer to a co-founder with unknown potential?

I have been building a web platform for the past 1.5 years as a solo full-stack developer.

I want to bring a front-end developer/designer on board to help me take the project to launch. I already presented the project to him, and he is eager to begin working with me. The current agreement is: he will wireframe some new functionality and present it to me. If I like it, I will draft up his equity agreement and an NDA, and then I'll give him access to my code base.

I don't have the ability to pay him, so I want to offer him equity. I want to give him a share that would make him excited to be part of the effort. That being said, I am worried about giving him more equity than his involvement would be worth. I realize that the equity is worthless at this point, but let's pretend that the product will be valuable.

At this point, all I know is that he has the skills I need in the moment. I gathered this by looking at his portfolio. The unknown variables are:

  • his ability to stick to a schedule
  • his ability to deliver an assignment according to spec
  • his problem-solving ability
  • his ability to bring new ideas to the table

Any advice? How should I determine the amount of equity to give him? Is there a common paradigm in which a potential collaborator first has to establish a track record before the equity share is determined? And if the collaborator proves to be capable, how should the equity percentage be determined?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Clyde raises $14 million Series A to help e-commerce businesses offer extended warranty plans

Four years ago, Brandon Gell was an architecture student who spent most of his time working on 3D printing modular housing. Now, he’s the founder of Clyde, an extended warranty startup that wants to help small e-commerce businesses offer product protection.

Today, the company announced it has raised a $ 14 million Series A led by Spark Capital with participation from Crosslink, RRE, Rea Sea Ventures and others. 

How do you go from being a product person to the founder of an insurance startup? According to Gell: a stint at a four-person 3D scanner startup in Columbus, Ohio.

Because the team and resources were small, Gell was put in charge of finding an insurance company to work with to protect their expensive end product of scanners.  

“I spent six months trying to find a company,” he said. After seeing how seamless it was to work with fintech customer support tools from companies like Stripe, Shopify, Affirm and others, he said it was clear that insurance, and especially the extended warranty space, wasn’t as mature. So he set up an office in his grandma’s New York apartment. 

Clyde is a platform that connects small retailers to insurance companies to launch and manage product protection programs. 

Using Clyde, customers can access a dashboard and e-commerce apps to manage their protection programs. For example, a user can see how many contracts were sold, how much revenue total those bring  and gross profit in real time. It also can see which products are most often purchased with an extended warranty contract. 

“It’s a similar type of offering as Affirm or Stripe,” he said. “We give you access to large insurance companies and we enable you to launch the program live on your website or physical point of sale and store wherever you sell.” It has plugins with Shopify, BigCommerce, Salesforce, Magento, Woocommerce, and more so store owners on the site can add Clyde to their small businesses. 

Clyde’s most critical metric is that it has an 18% attachment rate on average, which means that 18% of people that go through a Clyde-powered purchasing path end up purchasing extended warranties or protection plans. 

The reason businesses care about extended warranty is two-fold. First, insurance benefits the customer experience. Second, insurance purchases are often the highest-margin product that companies sell to their customers. Product protection alone is a $ 50 billion market. Gell said that Best Buy drives about 2% of its annual revenue from the sale of extended warranties, but that generates more than half of its profit. 

Clyde helps small businesses, like a four-person startup in Columbus Ohio, get a bite of this profitable pie. Most e-commerce businesses have to work with Amazon, thus giving a lot of that cash to the big company versus putting it in their own pocket, per Gell. He says that when Amazon sells an extended warranty on a seller’s product, it doesn’t share any revenue with the seller on how the product performs, which prevents a seller from both a stream of revenue and data analytics.

“Our sort of mantra is that the retailers that we work with are basically everybody that’s not Amazon and Walmart,” he said.  

Clyde’s goal is different from Upsie, another venture-backed startup focusing on warranties. Upsie is looking to be a direct-to-consumer warranty replacement, while Clyde works on behalf of the retailer and insurance company to connect the two parties.  

Closer competitors to the startup include Mulberry and Extend, which were both founded after Clyde and have raised less in venture capital funding. Gell thinks his competitive advantage is partnerships with top insurance companies, and a strong product-focused platform. Clyde’s entire founding team is made up of product people. 

Startups right now need to prove that they are viable in both a pre-coronavirus and post-coronavirus world. And Clyde might be exactly in that sweet spot, as it focuses on e-commerce businesses. 

The Series A round closed a few weeks ago, before the COVID-19 craziness began, but he said that the pandemic has led to more inbounds and interest than ever before. Gell says it’s a mix of e-commerce being more important than ever, and customer behavior. 

“It’s a shift of customers that want to buy online more, but also protect their purchases more than ever,” he said. “Companies are realizing how important it is.”

New cash in hand, Clyde’s growing while its customer-base is looking for new ways to bring in revenue and take care of customers. If the startup can handle the influx of attention and importance right, sticky harmony will follow. 

Startups – TechCrunch