Thriva raises £4M from Target in an era when at-home blood testing is more crucial than ever

Thriva emerged in 2016 as an at-home blood-testing startup allowing people to check, for instance, cholesterol levels. In the era of a pandemic, however, at-home blood testing is about to become quite a big deal, alongside the general trend toward people proactively taking control of their health.

It has secured a £4 million extension to its Series A funding round from Berlin-based VC Target Global . The investment takes Thriva’s total funding to £11 million. The investment comes from Target Global’s new Early Stage Fund II and will top up the £6 million Series A raised in 2019. Existing investors include Guinness Asset Management and Pembroke VCT.

Thriva has processed more than 115,000 at-home blood tests since 2016. Interestingly, these customers actually use the information to improve their health, with 76% of Thriva users achieving an improvement in at least one of their biomarkers between tests.

The startup has also launched personalized health plans and high-quality supplements, scaling up its partnerships with hospitals and other healthcare providers.

Founded by Hamish Grierson, Eliot Brooks and Tom Livesey, it claims to be growing 100% year-on-year and has expanded its team to 50 members in the company’s London headquarters.

In a statement Grierson 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.”

Speaking to TechCrunch he added: “While there are other at-home testing companies, we don’t see them as directly competitive. Thriva isn’t a testing company. Our at-home blood tests are an important data point but they’re just the beginning of the long-term relationships we’re creating with our customers. To deliver on our mission of putting better health in your hands, we not only help people to keep track of what’s really happening inside their bodies, we actually help them to make positive changes that they can see the effects of over time.”

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.”

Startups – TechCrunch

UK challenger stockbroker Freetrade exceeds crowdfunding target yet again, raises €7.8M on Crowdcube

Based out of London, Freetrade is a challenger stockbroker that brought mobile-first, commission-free investing to the UK and Europe. Recently, the UK company has raised £7 million (approx €7.8 million) from more than 8,000 people amid COVID-19 lockdown

Freetrade Founder and CEO Adam Dodds:

“We’d always planned on crowdfunding in 2020 and the meteoric growth we’ve seen this year made us think that was still the right thing to do.“Still, it’s been incredible to see so many people invest in Freetrade despite the precarious situation the world is in. I think that says a lot about the belief people have in us to provide the best, most affordable, and accessible investment service on the market.”

Exceeded £1 million in 4:33 minutes!

Working with Crowdcube, the company exceeded its £1 million (approx €1.1 million) target in just 4:33 minutes from existing shareholders before going on to raise £7 million (approx €7.8 million) in five days. It’s worth mentioning that, Freetrade’s fundraise is the largest equity crowdfunding campaign to be completed in the UK this year.

Luke Lang, Co-founder of Crowdcube added: 

“Freetrade has proven the power of its community to fuel its growth once again. To defy the Covid-19 lockdown and raise £7 million from 8,559 people are astonishing and a testament to their vision, team, and product. Their record-breaking raise, at a time of deep uncertainty, will undoubtedly provide inspiration to fellow entrepreneurs during these challenging times.”

Growth increased 500%!

According to the company, the fund will be used to accelerate Freetrade’s growth, which has increased 500% in the past year to 150,000 customers, and the trading volumes doubled through February and March when the financial markets were in turmoil. With over 70,000 new customers since the start of the year, Freetrade’s burgeoning community is at the heart of its success.

Freetrade now has over 10,000 shareholders following six crowdfunding campaigns with Crowdcube, who have been pivotal in the company’s growth so far.

One of the newest members of London Stock Exchange!

Notably, the app allows people to buy stocks like Amazon, Greggs, Tesla, Fevertree, and Apple and can use an ISA to invest up to £20,000/year in a tax-efficient account. In 2019 they raised $ 15 million, including Series A with VC Draper Esprit.

Started in 2016, by Adam Dodds, Andre Mohamed, Davide Fioranelli, Ian Fuller, Viktor Nebehaj, Freetrade is FCA-regulated, FSCS-secured, and one of the newest members of the London Stock Exchange (LSE). With over 150,000 customers and 60 employees, Freetrade is on a mission to enable people to invest and grow their savings by benefitting from the global economic growth driven by public companies. 

Main image credits: Freetrade

Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more European technology news

The post UK challenger stockbroker Freetrade exceeds crowdfunding target yet again, raises €7.8M on Crowdcube appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals

How should I approach an equity negotiation (as the recipient) when there is not a clear valuation and the company is likely to be a fast acquisition target?

I'm in discussions to take on a CIO role in a very early stage startup that is thriving due to the pandemic environment. It's been running for about a month and is already profitable, gaining substantial coverage in the media, and there are some big name investors expressing interest. I've been working as a consultant but the need for my involvement on an ongoing basis has become pretty clear to all.

So we're starting to talk what a package would look like and we're all scratching our heads on best way to approach it. Founders are working on putting together some sort of pool for early stage employees to earn some equity, but there will probably be some special carve out for me. The problem is I have no idea how to approach that discussion.

It looks like 4 year vesting with 1 year cliff is very standard for equity grants. However, I think it's highly likely the company could be acquired within its first year, or gain a significant proportion of its value during that time due to its relationship to COVID-19. It seems like 1 year cliff offers me very little if in 10 months there's a buyout.

In these circumstances, what's the best way to negotiate that protects me in the event of this faster growth? Is it common to do some sort of outright grant when I join, or to have equity vest immediately in the event of an acquisition?

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

How do I target the domain name buyer/seller/enthusiasts demographic?

Hi. I have launched a domain name service, for people buying and selling domains. How would I go about targeting this demographic of users? Most forums don't like to approve self promotion posts. Facebook ads when it comes to targeting this demographic, startup sites are not too effective either and is not an ongoing process. Most domain marketplaces don't have advertising programs. Does anyone have any ideas as how to attract people with domain name interests? Thanks

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

I am a… “1 man founder with an mvp, no marketing capital, no target niche, very little experience, no way to monetize until critical mass is reached”… should I just quit now or try & pray for a viral miracle??

Maybe I should go into this project thinking of it as a learning experience and go in with the expectation that it won’t make money and that it won’t ever blow up.

I can learn marketing and learn through trial and error how to get users on future projects… sort of like a crawl before I walk sort of deal.

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

Target to acquire same-day delivery tech from Deliv

Target, which already owns on-demand delivery service Shipt, is in the process of acquiring technology assets from same-day delivery service Deliv. The retailer is characterizing the deal as more of an R&D type of acquisition and not one that will have an immediate consumer-facing impact. Deal terms were not disclosed, but we understand the deal price is nowhere near Shipt’s $ 550 million ballpark, as it’s not an outright acquisition of Deliv’s business. 

Deliv had raised more than $ 80 million in venture capital funding, according to Crunchbase. The acquisition price is said to be immaterial to Target, which isn’t issuing a press release or an 8-K filing to note.

NBC News first reported the news about Target’s plans to acquire Deliv’s technology.

“Deliv is in the process of completing a deal to sell technology assets to Target and Deliv’s CEO along with a subset of the team will be moving over to Target,” a Deliv spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Target is not involved in the wind-down. We are working with our retail partners to transition delivery services to other providers during the next 90 days.”

The deal is expected to close in around a month. As a part of the acquisition, Target is also making offers to some of Deliv’s staff, including founder and CEO Daphne Carmeli, who is expected to accept.

Deliv, meanwhile, tells TechCrunch that employees are being given two months of pay and options to sustain their healthcare. Operations will wind down over a 90-day period, meaning that some team members will remain employed over the next couple of months while they look for their next job. Drivers will also continue deliveries during this time, but will have time to pursue other opportunities, Deliv says.

Target already had some exposure to Deliv’s technology, as it had been working with the delivery service provider in small tests in 2019 and early 2020. The retailer believes there’s long-term potential with regard to Deliv’s technology, which smartly batches orders together that are going to the same area — something its prior acquisitions of Shipt and Grand Junction in 2017 didn’t offer.

However, Target isn’t planning to integrate Deliv technology immediately into any of operations. Instead, it will research and test how the tech could aid its supply chain at scale. Target isn’t talking about what sort of orders or tests it may run following the deal’s closure, but believes the tech could be used in many ways to make its deliveries more efficient.

The news of Target’s acquisition comes just one day after The Wall Street Journal reported Deliv would be ceasing its on-demand delivery operations on or before August 4.

Founded in 2012, Deliv had been operating a same-day delivery service for things like groceries and prescriptions in 35 markets. It had partnerships in place with companies like Best Buy, Walgreens and Macy’s, but those will not remain intact.

Deliv previously had a partnership with Walmart, but that ended in February 2019. At the time, Deliv said the Walmart partnership did not make up a large chunk of its operations.

The deal marks Target’s second acquisition in the delivery space. In December 2017, Target bought same-day delivery service Shipt for $ 550 million. Since then, Target has launched a dedicated shopping site for same-delivery service, powered by Shipt. But as of late, Target has been under fire for its practices toward Shipt workers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. In early April, Shipt shoppers walked off work to demand an extended sick pay policy, hazard pay and personal protective equipment.

Assuming Target is able to maximize Deliv’s potential, as it expects, it could help Target to better compete with Amazon and Walmart, both which have invested in and acquired smart delivery logistics technology over the years. This area of Target’s business may become increasingly important to its bottom line as the long-term impact on consumer behavior caused by the coronavirus pandemic may shift more shopping away from brick-and-mortar to online retail.

Startups – TechCrunch

How to Add Value to Your Target Audience Through Emotional Branding

The following is excerpted from “Style & Substance: How to Create a Compelling Brand: A Guide to Women Who Want to Build Their Confidence, Their Brands and Their Bank Accounts” © Liz Dennery Sanders 2018 

StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here

Why do I need a brand?

In today’s overcrowded and noisy marketplace filled with 24/7 news feeds, emails, messages and social channels, it takes a lot more than a pretty logo to stand out.

Whether you’re selling a product, service, workshop, or anything else for that matter, the best way to get your target audience’s attention is to develop a relationship with them. And in order to establish a relationship, you first have to make a connection.

The best way to make an emotional connection with your target audience is to add value to their lives – consistently.

Brands that add value to their target audience through creative content, communication, experiences and overall generosity are positioning themselves for long-term success.

Emotional branding is the connection people feel with brands that add value to their lives in some way.

There are many ways that brands connect powerfully with their consumers, but some of the most effective are to inspire, empower, entertain and educate. Every brand is different, but the most compelling brands usually incorporate one or more of these powerful actions into all of their brand touch points.

A great example of this is Drybar. The company has exploded from just one location to nearly 100 locations in less than 10 years and have a raving fan base filled with loyal, repeat customers.

Related: Achieving Personal Branding Success Starts with Authenticity

Aside from providing excellent service, Drybar inspires, empowers, entertains and educates their fans every single day. The company’s Instagram feed, for example, is filled with inspiring hairstyle and lifestyle ideas, empowering quotes, cute and entertaining photos (who doesn’t love dogs wearing shower caps!), and more.


Drybar state that they’re “making the world a happier place, one blowout at a time” and their “happiness” mission is reflected in everything they do, from their sunny yellow color palette, to their product names, to their social media feed. They know exactly what type of emotion they want people to experience, and they’re consistent in creating that emotion.

In other words, Drybar is doing an excellent job of weaving their main brand attribute and brand personality (“happy”) into all of their brand touch points.

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If you want to stand out, attract the right clients, get your products and services out into the world in a powerful way, make an impactful difference or reach millions of people, then it’s imperative that you create a strong connection with your audience.

With a compelling brand, consumers will flock to you, sing your praises to anyone who will listen and purchase your products and services.

“Style & Substance: How to Create a Compelling Brand: A Guide to Women Who Want to Build Their Confidence, Their Brands and Their Bank Accounts” is available now at fine booksellers and can be purchased via

The post How to Add Value to Your Target Audience Through Emotional Branding appeared first on StartupNation.


Buy data bases of specific target audience/ leads lists?

I'm trying to find ways of growing my marketing data base/leads – do you know if there's anywhere where I can buy data bases/ leads list that have good and large filtering/targeting? I've never worked with anything like this but someone mentioned this to me over the weekend and thought I would give it a try. Any advice appreciated.

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

Validating a business idea when certain channels may not target the correct audience

What are some ways you validated your idea when you thought the correct market was difficult to reach?

I’ve been trying to validate my business idea which is a tool for investors to use to manage their risk more effectively, but I’m having some issues with making sure I’m targeting the right sample of the population.

I thought about making a survey but I can’t see my target audience filling out paid surveys for 2 bucks when they would be investing large amounts of money, and trying to get people to fill it out on r/SampleSize or asking mods on subreddits has been a bust.

So what I am doing is trying to SEO optimize my landing page to try and get organic traffic to register their interest on the product release, also try to reach out to bloggers to get some interest going.

On top of this, I have spoken to connections in the industry, and feedback has been good but since I will be releasing a product that has a large and varied user base I would like to get more general feedback from the masses.

Any pointers would be great, even if it doesn’t apply to my post it would be cool to hear different ways in validating your assumptions for other users on this sub.

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

[MigVax and OurCrowd in The Jerusalem Post] Israeli coronavirus vaccine developers target summer human trials

Vaccine researchers at MigVax secured a $ 12 million funding boost on Wednesday, led by investment platform OurCrowd

Read more here.

The post [MigVax and OurCrowd in The Jerusalem Post] Israeli coronavirus vaccine developers target summer human trials appeared first on OurCrowd.