[Sight Diagnostics in Crowdfund Insider] Koch Disruptive Technologies Invests in Sight Diagnostics Alongside OurCrowd in $71 Million Series D

Koch Disruptive Technologies has announced an investment in Sight Diagnostics alongside global crowdfunding platform OurCrowdSight Diagnostics is a long time portfolio company of OurCrowd. The Series D funding raised a solid $ 71 million. Total funding now tops $ 124 million. A valuation of the Medtech firm was not provided.

Read more here.

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[Sight Diagnostics in Tech Crunch] Sight Diagnostics raises $71M Series D for its blood analyzer

Sight Diagnostics, the Israel-based health-tech company behind the FDA-cleared OLO blood analyzer, today announced that it has raised a $ 71 million Series D round with participation from Koch Disruptive Technologies, Longliv Ventures (which led its Series C round) and crowd-funding platform OurCrowd. With this, the company has now raised a total of $ 124 million, though the company declined to share its current valuation.

Read more here.

The post [Sight Diagnostics in Tech Crunch] Sight Diagnostics raises $ 71M Series D for its blood analyzer appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

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Censys, a search engine for internet devices, raises $15.5M Series A

Internet device search engine Censys is one of the biggest search engines you’ve probably never heard of.

If Google is the search engine for finding information sitting on the web, Censys is the search engine for finding internet devices, like computers, servers, and smart devices, that hosts the data to begin with. By continually mapping the internet looking for connected devices, it’s possible to identify devices that are accessible outside a company’s firewall. The aim is to help companies keep track of which systems can be accessed from the web and know which devices have exploitable security vulnerabilities.

Now, Censys has raised $ 15.5 million in a Series A fundraise, led by GV and Decibel with participation from Greylock Partners.

David Corcoran, chief executive and co-founder of the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based internet security startup, said the company plans to “aggressively” invest in top security talent and plans to double its headcount from about 50 to 100 in the next year, including expanding its sales, engineering, and leadership teams.

“We’re thrilled to have the support of world-class investors as we keep the momentum building and continue to revolutionize how businesses manage their security posture in an ever-changing environment,” said Corcoran.

The fundraise couldn’t come at a more critical time for the company. Censys is not the only internet device search engine, rivaling Binary Edge and Shodan. But Censys says it has spent two years on bettering its internet mapping technology, helping it see more of the internet than it did before.

The new scan engine, built by the same team that developed and maintains its original open-source ZMap scanner, claims to see 44% more devices on the internet than other security companies. That helps companies see new vulnerable systems as soon as the come online, said Censys’ chief scientist Zakir Durumeric.

Censys is one of a number of growing security companies in the Ann Arbor area, alongside NextHop Technologies, Interlink Networks, and Duo Security, co-founded by Dug Song, who also sits on Censys’ board.

“You can’t protect what you can’t see — but in today’s dynamic IT environment, many organizations struggle to find, much less keep track of, every system and application at risk before the attackers do,” said Song. “Censys empowers defenders with the automated visibility they need to truly understand and to get ahead of these risks, enabling even small security teams to have an outsized impact.”

Startups – TechCrunch

Jakarta-based Wahyoo gets $5 million Series A to help small eateries digitize their operations

Wahyoo’s team, including CEO Peter Shearer (third from left)

While growing up, Peter Shearer watched his mother get up every day at 2AM or 3AM to prepare for her catering business. For many people who own small food businesses in Indonesia, “everything is handled on their own, so I really, really wanted to create a system so they can have better operations and get more quality of life,” Shearer told TechCrunch.

His startup, Wahyoo, was founded in 2017 to help small eateries, called warung makan, digitize and automate more tasks, from ordering supplies to managing finances. Today, Wahyoo announced that it has raised $ 5 million in Series A funding led by Intudo Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on Indonesia.

Other investors in the round included Kinesys Group, Amatil X (the corporate venture program of Coca-Cola Amatil, one of the world’ five largest Coca-Cola bottlers), Arkblu Capital, Indogen Capital, Selera Kapital, Gratyo Universal Indonesia and Isenta Hioe. The capital will be used on hiring, developing Wahyoo’s tech platform and expanding beyond the Greater Jakarta area.

In a press statement about the investment, Intudo Ventures founding partner Patrick Yip said, “Small-and medium enterprises represent one of the major engines of economic growth in Indonesia and are being transformed through new innovative businesses like Wahyoo, bringing greater economic prosperity to small business owners throughout the country. Through the company’s digitization efforts, Wahyoo’s highly targeted support for warung makan businesses is creating positive economic and social impact for Indonesia’s working class.”

Wahyoo launched its app almost exactly a year ago and has onboarded about 13,800 warung makan so far. The company’s co-founders are Shearer, the chief executive officer; chief operating officer Daniel Cahyadi; and chief technology officer Michael Dihardja.

With about 268 million people, Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s largest markets, and there are already startups, like Warung Pintar and BakuWarung, that focus on helping warung, or small corner stores, digitize more of their operations.

Shearer said he wanted to focus on Indonesian eateries in particular because “my background is in the food industry and I love anything related to food. Second, the potential is very big because no one has tapped into this type of warung before. Everyone focuses on retail, but no one taps into the culinary business.”

Wahyoo currently employs about 170 people, including on-the-ground teams who meet with warung makan owners. The eateries are “usually run by a family, from generation to generation,” with almost all tasks performed manually, including bookkeeping and going to markets early in the morning to buy ingredients, Shearer said.

A warung makan owner on Wahyoo’s platform

Wahyoo’s features include a next-day grocery delivery service from its own warehouses and integration with Go Food, a popular delivery app. The startup also runs an education program called Wahyoo Academy, with financial courses to help warung makan owners increase customer traffic and revenue, and offers advertising and brand partnerships.

For example, a restaurant on Wahyoo’s platform can earn money by placing ad banners or brochures in their stores. That is one of the way Wahyoo monetizes. It is free to use for restaurant owners, and makes revenue by taking a percentage of brand commissions.

Another revenue stream is Wahyoo’s fried chicken franchise, which gives warung makan owners the option of opening a small stall in front of their stores. It currently has about 350 stalls and keeps costs low by partnering with one of Indonesia’s largest poultry suppliers. Shearer said the company’s goal is to increase the number of stalls to 1,000 by the end of this year.

While eateries on Wahyoo saw a drop in their business in April and May because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Shearer said that it began to recover in June and July, and is now back to normal, partly because of the platform’s Go Food integration.

In the future, Wahyoo may face competition from other warung-focused startups if they decided to expand their services to restaurants as well, and new startups that want to tap into the business opportunity offered by the 59.3 million small- to medium-sized businesses in Indonesia, many of which haven’t digitized their operations yet.

Shearer said Wahyoo’s value proposition is its portfolio of complementary services. “We are basically creating an ecosystem,” he added. “We are not only focusing on the supply chain, but also our own brand. We have the fried chicken brand and in the future we will tap into financial technology and the catering business as well.”

Startups – TechCrunch

[RealView Imaging in BioWorld] Realview nabs $10M series C for holographs in minimally invasive procedures

Virtual reality headsets offered a lot of hype around five years ago, but not much in results when it came to medical applications. Medical holograph company Realview Imaging Ltd. has raised a $ 10 million series C round to enable it to market its first product, Holoscope-i, which offers real-time, 3D holographic images based on any volumetric imaging data during minimally invasive procedures.

Read more here.

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TaxScouts raises £5M Series A to expand to Europe, first stop Spain

TaxScouts, the U.K. tax preparation startup founded by TransferWise and MarketInvoice alumni, has raised £5 million in Series A funding for European expansion.

Leading the round is Octopus Ventures, with previous investors SpeedInvest, Seedcamp and Finch Capital following on. Also participating is Clocktower Technology Ventures, the U.S. venture capital firm specialising in financial technology.

Aiming to build a “pan-European” tax filing service, first stop outside the U.K. is Spain, with TaxScouts having already appointed a Madrid-based country manager. It says it has chosen Spain based on the size of the market and the complexity of the local tax system, and will expand to further European markets in the near future.

Image Credits: TaxScouts

Combining “automation” with a network of human accountants, TaxScouts’ service is designed to support you through your annual tax filing preparation and submission. The company charges a simple flat fee — currently £119 in the U.K. — and promises a quick turnaround, typically just 1-2 days.

To achieve this, the web app walks you through your tax status, income and expenses without assuming too much prior knowledge. This includes asking you to upload or take a photo of any required documents, such as invoices or dividend certificates. The idea is that all of the admin is captured digitally and packaged up ready for an assigned accountant to check.

TaxScouts says the new Series A investment will be used to develop the company’s Spanish service and make key hires across its engineering, product and marketing teams.

Mart Abramov, co-founder and CEO of TaxScouts, comments: “We see a huge amount of potential in launching TaxScouts into Spain. Naturally, the weather and the wine were considered when picking the market, but having successfully built a solution for one of the trickiest tax systems in Europe, we are confident that we can deliver another great product for Spain’s complex tax structure. The market is double that of the U.K., and this is the first step to us building a pan-European tax service.”

Startups – TechCrunch

Paris-based DNA Script expands Series B to €75.5 million to launch world’s first DNA printer

French startup DNA Script has announced an approximate €42.4 million extension to its Series B financing, bringing the total investment of this round to around €75.5 million. This oversubscribed round was led by Casdin CapitalCasdin Capital and joined by Danaher Life Sciences, Agilent Technologies, Merck KgaA, Darmstadt, Germany, through its corporate venture arm, M Ventures – three of the world’s leaders in oligo synthesis – LSP, the Bpifrance Large Venture Fund and Illumina Ventures. 

Founded in 2014, this French biotech startup is working on revolutionizing DNA write with enzymes, in order to accelerate breakthroughs in personalised human health and the life sciences. Their flagship and first product is a world-first DNA printer, which can be used in many industries and applications, including developing new drugs and tests for cancer, as well as new foods like artificial meat.

The fresh funds will enable DNA Script to accelerate the development of its suite of enzymatic DNA synthesis technologies, and in particular support the commercial launch of their unique SYNTAX DNA benchtop printer.

Thomas Ybert, CEO and co-founder of DNA Script explains more about the DNA printer: “This first-of-its-kind DNA printer makes writing DNA as simple and straightforward as reading DNA is currently, meaning that research and clinical labs will be able to do same-day synthesis of oligonucleotides, saving precious time when it comes to iterating experiments or developing diagnostic or confirmatory tools.”

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for quick research iteration without relying on centralized distributors, which can be hampered by capacity and shipping bottlenecks, has been made even more clear. It’s no wonder that laboratories have had their attention turned to the value of in-lab tools, like the SYNTAX DNA benchtop printer.

The startup will soon begin testing the SYNTAX system with a select group of partners, with plans to launch a beta testing programme later this year and to take orders for the DNA printer by next year. In addition, the funds raised will be put towards a second project, which also received around €19.5 million from Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity’s Molecular Information Storage programme. This project aims to develop deployable DNA data storage and retrieval technology as part of the Molecular Encoding Consortium, along with partners at the Broad Institute and Harvard University.


[BriefCam in Business Wire] BriefCam Takes Innovation to the Edge with Analytics for AXIS Deep Learning Camera Series

BriefCam, the industry’s leading provider of Video Content Analytics and VIDEO SYNOPSIS® solutions, today announced significant new capabilities to its product portfolio with v5.6.1 of its innovative and extensible video content analytics platform. The new capabilities will help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and support the safe and responsible re-opening across the globe.

Read more here.

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London-based TaxScouts closes €5.5 million Series A to expand to Spain and the rest of Europe

British startup TaxScouts, the team on a mission to make tax preparation effortless for the UK market, has announced a Series A round of approximately €5.5 million to further its mission to build a pan-European tax service. The startup is expanding into its first market outside the UK and is establishing a team in Spain, following the appointment of a Country Manager. 

The latest investment round brings its total funding to date to around €7.2 million. The recent €5.5 million Series A was led by Octopus Ventures, with previous investors SpeedInvest, Seedcamp and Finch Capital, also returning for the round. They have been joined by Clocktower Technology Ventures, a Californian headquartered VC specialising in financial technology, TaxScout’s first American investor. 

Having been successful with its service to navigate the UK tax system, Spain has been chosen as the first market for the business due to the size of the market and the complexity of the tax system. TaxScouts will expand to further markets soon after. 

Mart Abramov, co-founder and CEO of TaxScouts, commented:  “We see a huge amount of potential in launching TaxScouts into Spain. Naturally, the weather and the wine were considered when picking the market, but having successfully built a solution for one of the trickiest tax systems in Europe, we are confident that we can deliver another great product for Spain’s complex tax structure. The market is double that of the UK, and this is the first step to us building a Pan-European tax service. We will build the go-to solution for anyone across Europe to easily file their tax return regardless of its complexity. This investment will enable us to quickly scale up a team to support our new Country Manager in Madrid, and launch other new products in the UK.”

Since launching in January 2018, TaxScouts has grown 5X year-on-year. The company expects to file tens of thousands of tax returns over the next year and is scaling up its partner network with even more accountants around the UK.

Compared to previous years, TaxScouts saw an additional 30% increase this April in the overall number of people looking for help with their self-assessment returns for the 2019/2020 tax year. The increased interest in early submissions has been driven by Covid19.

CEO Abramov added: “With the current Covid19 crisis and the pause on work for millions of self-employed people, many have been eager to get their taxes sorted as soon as possible in order to apply for any financial support from the UK Government. Social distancing enforced by the government means that people are now much more open to adopt fully online services where they can get all the support they need leaving their homes.”

In just a few clicks, customers provide enough information for a certified TaxScouts accountant to quickly prepare their tax return. This is submitted to HMRC via an integration, often in less than 24 hours, for the flat fee of £119 (around €131). Where possible the service pulls information from online sources.

Nick Sando, Investment Manager at Octopus Ventures, added: “We all know tax can be a nightmare, and for many, it can fill us with a sense of dread. It’s one of those things we know we have to do, but we don’t rush to do. TaxScouts changes this. What seems like a difficult task for an individual, becomes quick and easy. Having seen the success of TaxScouts and the potential for this to be replicated in other markets with complex tax systems, we see a huge potential for one service that works for everyone.”

Anthony Danon, Associate Partner at Speedinvest, said: “Having worked with TaxScouts and followed the team since 2018, we are delighted to continue to support the company. Co-Founders Mart, Dan, and Kaupo have great experience under their belts having come from Transferwise, MarketInvoice, and Skype. They have built a great team and a strong product, and we look forward to watching them expand into Europe.”


Register for Disrupt to take part in our content series for Digital Startup Alley exhibitors

There’s no better way to expose your early-stage startup to global opportunities — we’re talking thousands of potential investors, customers, tech journalists and other mighty influencers — than by exhibiting in Digital Startup Alley at Disrupt 2020. The Alley may be virtual this year, but the benefits of exhibiting are very real. More on those in a minute.

And, because supporting early-stage startup founders is our main jam, we’re offering an exclusive series of webinars in August to help exhibitors make the most of their time in Startup Alley. Want in? Simply purchase your Disrupt Digital Startup Alley Package now, mark your calendar and get ready to expand your empire.

Here’s some more details about our content series and the experts we’ve tapped to give advice and answer questions.

The Dos and Don’ts of Working with the Press

Date: August 12

Communicating effectively with the media is an elusive skill that every early-stage startup founder needs to master. And who better to provide pro tips than our very own TechCrunch writers and editors? Greg Kumparak, Anthony Ha and Ingrid Lunden will share their expertise and coach you on how to present your startup in the best possible light — and how to avoid sticking your foot in your mouth.

COVID-19’s Impact on the Startup World

Date: August 19

How can startups survive and thrive both during and after Covid-19? Panelists Nicola Corzine, executive director of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurship Center, and Cameron Stanfill, a VC analyst at PitchBook, will address that gnarly topic and offer tips you can take and adapt to fit your specific circumstances.

Fundraising and Hiring Best Practices

Date: August 26

In this interactive discussion — moderated by TC’s Natasha Lomas — panelists Sarah Kunst of Cleo Capital and Brett Berson of First Round Capital outline essential strategies for effective fundraising and for hiring the right people — right out of the gate.

Remember those very real benefits we mentioned earlier? Here’s how Felicia Jackson, inventor and founder of CPRWrap, described her Startup Alley exhibitor experience.

The connections I made offer long-term benefits. Investors willing to put forth capital, engineers offering tech expertise and manufacturers to help me streamline. Fostering these relationships will help me grow my company and my bottom line.

Digital Startup Alley offers an incomparable opportunity to showcase your tech and talent to the global startup community. Buy a Disrupt Digital Startup Alley Package, then join us for three exclusive webinars designed to help you build your business and tell your story. Opportunity — it’s there and yours for the taking.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt 2020? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

Startups – TechCrunch