French startup Exotec secures €77M to expand its warehouse robotics solutions globally

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ecommerce has boomed in 2020. With online merchants seeing a 42% year-on-year increase in sales last month in the U.S. alone – the data suggests, the global pandemic has led to an extra $ 107B (approx. €91B) in online sales since March. 

This surge in demand is good news for companies such as Exotec, which offers an innovative order preparation system, based on a fleet of collaborative mobile robots.

Exotec raises funds

The Lille-based warehouse robotics company Exotec has raised $ 90M (approx. €77M) in a fresh round of funding led by 83North – with participation from Dell Technologies Capital. Existing investors Iris Capital and Breega also invested in this round.

The raised capital will be utilised to further expand and deliver Exotec’s fully adjustable robotics solution to a wider range of clients in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, across numerous B2B and B2C retail sectors such as fashion, grocery, pharmaceutical, hardware, and manufacturing.

The funds will also help Exotec’s international development, especially their recently formed Atlanta and Tokyo teams, to help them meet the growing demand for warehouse automation technology in the United States and Asia. 

The company aims to become the leader in robotics solutions for logistics and looks to produce up to 4,000 robots per year by 2021.

Expansion of robotics and automation to more warehouses

Founded in 2015 by Romain Moulin and Renaud Heitz, Exotec builds an autonomous robot, called Skypod 3D, for fulfillment warehouses that automate the collection and moving of goods inside a warehouse.

This helps retailers and e-merchants to quadruple their warehouse productivity and increase up to five times their storage capacity. Their autonomous robots can move in a unique 3D pattern at a speed of 13 feet per second, creating a faster and more efficient picking and preparation process.

Warehouse robotics have a 45% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), while the global automation market’s CAGR is also constantly growing by 10 to 15%.

Exotec revenue doubled in 2020 as several new international clients, including Carrefour and Fast Retailing (Uniqlo group), adopted their technology in key warehouses. 

In North America, Exotec is expanding its footprint to meet the increasing demand for automated logistics. The company signed partnerships with experienced American integrators such as AHS, S&H Systems, and Conveyco to accelerate market penetration. 

The partnership announced at the end of 2019 between Exotec and international retail company, Fast Retailing, is now delivering its benefits to the group. The technology is under deployment in two warehouses in Japan, with 1,000 Skypods improving logistics efficiency for Uniqlo stores. 

Exotec Nihon has been created to support the operations in Japan and more than 30 employees will be hired in the coming months.

Prior to this, in 2018, the company raised $ 17.7M (approx. €14.5M), and in 2016, it raised $ 3.8M (approx. €3.3M).

Image credit: Exotec

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Startups – Silicon Canals

Vienna-based Bitpanda secures €44.5 million to expand its investment ‘for everyone’ platform across Europe

Today Bitpanda, a leading European digital investment platform making it possible for everyone to take ownership of their financial future, announces it has closed Europe’s largest Series A funding round of 2020 by securing around €44.5 million in a round led by Valar Ventures. The large-scale investment will be used to drive Bitpanda’s expansion and…

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French startup Ma Bonne Etoile secures €1.8 million to launch new zerowaste reusable products

French foodtech startup Ma Bonne Etoile has raised €1.8 million namely from One Creation investment cooperative, and the Maif Social and Solidarity Investment fund. Founded in 2014, Ma Bonne Etoile is a French ‘social enterprise’, a company that creates products to make families’​ lives easier, in an environmentally friendly way. Their flagship product, ‘SQUIZ’ are…

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British fintech Acin secures €10.3 million to spearhead operational and non-financial risk revolution

Acin, the data standards firm that is digitising operational and non-financial risk, today announces it has secured around €10.3 million in Series A funding, in a round led by leading European SaaS investor Notion Capital. Founded in 2018, Acin’s award-winning system was created for, and in collaboration with, the world’s largest financial institutions. It revolutionises…

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Tallinn-based fintech startup SPARQ secures €440K to build the personal finance platform for millennials

The Estonian fintech startup SPARQ, which promises to change how we manage personal finances, has secured financial backing of €450K from the Baltic International Bank, taking the total funding to over €500K. SPARQ was founded in 2019 and this second round of seed funding will be used to develop the startup’s “Early Access Stage”, which will feature the…

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Milan-based MotorK secures €10 million to accelerate post COVID growth of its automotive sales and marketing technology

Despite the difficult market context and an extremely uncertain scenario, MotorK, the leading automotive sales and marketing technology company in Europe, announces today a fundraising of more than €10 million (mix between equity and debt funding) to further accelerate its growth in the post-covid low touch economy. Real Web, the holding behind a number of…

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Finnish game studio Metacore secures €25 million in financing; undergoes rebranding and launches new game

The gaming industry is bigger than the music and movie industry combined and the sector is only going to grow bigger. With lockdown and social distancing in effect, people turned to gaming as an activity for unwinding and having fun at home. Additionally, game creator studios too reported significantly increased sales during this period. The Finnish mobile game company Metacore has also reinvented itself and it landed a notable €25M in fresh financing, all while launching a new gaming title.

Metacore raises €25M in equity and additional funding 

Metacore was previously known as Everywear Games. The company has rebranded itself and also raised a €15M investment and a €10M credit line from Supercell, which is another Finnish game developer with notable mobile games titles under its belt, including Clash of Clans. The latest investment will help Metacore fuel the global release of its first title, Merge Mansion. 

“Most companies will start with the core loop or gameplay mechanic. Our approach is to lead with the metagame – the core elements and experiences of a game that make a player jump back in over and over again. This was a key factor in how we designed Merge Mansion, and will continue to define our approach to game development,” says CEO and Co-Founder Mika Tammenkoski.

As per the company, its approach to game development seems to be working as Merge Mansion’s player’s 30-day retention rate is apparently around 24% among beta testers. 

“These metrics are very impressive, the kind we see when we have a hit game on our hands,” Supercell’s Developer Relations Lead Jaakko Harlas says. 

Merge Mansion for the masses

Metacore will now focus on rolling out its first title, Merge Mansion, for a wider audience. Furthermore, it will explore and develop new “metagames.” The company is also aiming at growing its existing team of 15 employees and says it will add at least 10 new hires across functions, including marketing, game design and back-end development.

“Although we’re seeking aggressive growth, our strategy is to keep our teams compact and nimble so they have the freedom to try out new things and run with what works best,” COO and Co-Founder Aki Järvilehto notes.

Image credits: Metacore

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Startups – Silicon Canals

Israeli startup Varada secures €10M funding to launch New ML-based data virtualisation platform

Varada, a Tel Aviv-based big data query acceleration company, recently announced a $ 12M (approx €10M) Series A round of funding led by MizMaa Ventures, an early-stage VC venture capital firm, with participation by Gefen Capital. 

The existing investors including Lightspeed, StageOne Ventures, and F2 Venture Capital also participated in the round. The funding comes as the Israeli startup is preparing to launch its data virtualisation platform in general availability. 

What problem does Varada solve?

Right now, the data space is driven by two emerging technologies: data lake and data virtualisation. Notably, the data lake enables organisations to avoid extensive, pre-consumption ETLs (Extract, Transform, Load) and significantly cut down on time-to-market. 

With data virtualisation, disparate data sources are unified and data consumers can now query any data from a single end-point. This eliminates the heavy IT operations burden of configuration, modeling, and movement of data. However, the current data virtualisation options are hamstrung by scaling limitations and this is the problem Varada aims to solve.

“Varada is solving the biggest headaches of data infrastructure teams while giving business units the tools to quickly and cost-effectively turn their priceless data assets into value for customers,” says Eran Vanounou, CEO of Varada. “I know this problem firsthand, as I was the CTO of LivePerson before joining Varada. When I met the founding team, I was blown away at their vision for how to solve one of the thorniest problems in big data. The platform we’re building enables revolutionary ease-of-use, fast time-to-market, and cost control. This round of Series A funding will accelerate the progress of our solution and allow us to quickly scale our plans to deliver the new standard for data virtualisation.”

 “Zero data-ops” solution

According to Varada, it is building a platform to revolutionise data virtualisation by offering an agile, “zero data-ops” solution. The company’s patented indexing technology uses machine learning to accelerate relevant and high-priority queries automatically without any overhead to query processing or any data maintenance. As per the company, the indexing works transparently for users, and indexes are managed automatically by Varada’s proprietary cost-based optimiser.

Varada was founded by David Krakov, Roman Vainbrand, and Tal Ben Moshe, veterans of the Dell EMC XtremIO core team, and is dedicated to leveraging new architecture to take on the challenge of data and business agility. The company has headquarters in Tel Aviv, with U.S. offices in San Mateo, California. 

Main image credits: Varada

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Startups – Silicon Canals

Helsinki-based HappySignals uses data to make your employees happier & more productive; secures €4.7M Series A funding

With enterprise IT forming the connective tissue that ensures companies operate efficiently, Experience Level Agreements (XLAs) have become an emerging trend, a few companies specialise in this sector. Working on this front, HappySignals, a Helsinki-based Employee Experience Management Platform for IT makes experienced data visible and understandable. This way, it enables enterprises to change their culture to be more open, data-driven, and outcome-focused.

Secures €4.7M Series A funding

Now, HappySignals has closed a €4.7M Series A funding led by Nauta Capital, along with participation from Vendep Capital. This funding takes the overall funding secured by the Finnish startup to €6.2M. The company will use this investment to strengthen its mission of helping enterprise IT lenders and scaling their presence in the US and Europe.

“We believe happiness and productivity are the keys to transforming business IT culture for the better,” says HappySignals CEO Sami Kallio. “We do this by giving enterprise IT leaders the employee experience data they need to make outcome-focused IT decisions that drive digital transformation.”

“In Nauta Capital, we’ve found the perfect partner to help us scale operations. Their strong track record of supporting B2B disruptors represents a wealth of experience that will ensure we make the right moves going forward. We are also extremely thankful for the continued support of Vendep Capital, who has been with us almost two years now,” he adds.

Focuses on employees’ happiness

HappySignals founded in 2014 Sami Aarnio, Pasi Nikkanen, and Sami Kallio makes employees happier and increases productivity by 26% on average. It measures the experience possessed by employees and gets high volumes of experience data and merges it with operational data. The experience data is shared with partners, vendors, and stakeholders in real-time and help clients reach their goals. HappySignals creates an experience-driven IT department and improves overall productivity.

Main image picture credits: HappySignals

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Startups – Silicon Canals

[ in Globe Newswire] Secures $26 Million in Venture Capital Funding, the cloud-native enterprise data catalog company, today announced it has closed a $ 26 million round of venture capital funding led by Tech Pioneers Fund. Other participants in the round include new investors Breyer Capital, Prologis Ventures, and Alumni Ventures Group. Existing investors, Shasta Ventures, OurCrowd, and Workday Ventures also participated, along with several prominent angel investors including Arthur Patterson, Lincoln Brown, and Cotter Cunningham.

Read more here.

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