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.
James Stranko is a writer and independent advisor to American tech companies expanding abroad. He was on the founding team of Fuel, McKinsey’s practice serving VC firms and pre-IPO tech leaders.
Daire Hickey is managing partner of 150Bond, a strategic advisory firm based between New York and Dublin, and co-founder of Web Summit.
Last month, American tech companies were dealt two of the most consequential legal decisions they have ever faced. Both of these decisions came from thousands of miles away, in Europe. While companies are spending time and money scrambling to understand how to comply with a single decision, they shouldn’t miss the broader ramification: Europe has different operating principles from the U.S., and is no longer passively accepting American rules of engagement on tech.
In the first decision, Apple objected to and was spared a $ 15 billion tax bill the EU said was due to Ireland, while the European Commission’s most vocal anti-tech crusader Margrethe Vestager was dealt a stinging defeat. In the second, and much more far-reaching decision, Europe’s courts struck a blow at a central tenet of American tech’s business model: data storage and flows.
On the surface, this decision appears to be about data protection. But there is a choppier undertow of sentiment swirling in legislative and regulatory circles across Europe. Namely that American companies have amassed significant fortunes from Europeans and their data, and governments want their share of the revenue.
What’s more, the fact that European courts handed victory to an individual citizen while also handing defeat to one of the commission’s senior leaders shows European institutions are even more interested in protecting individual rights than they are in propping up commission positions. This particular dynamic bodes poorly for the lobbying and influence strategies that many American companies have pursued in their European expansion.
After the Schrems ruling, companies will scramble to build legal teams and data centers that can comply with the court’s decision. They will spend large sums of money on pre-built solutions or cloud providers that can deliver a quick and seamless transition to the new legal reality. What companies should be doing, however, is building a comprehensive understanding of the political, judicial and social realities of the European countries where they do business — because this is just the tip of the iceberg.
American companies need to show Europeans — regularly and seriously — that they do not take their business for granted.
Europe is an afterthought no more
For many years, American tech companies have treated Europe as a market that required minimal, if any, meaningful adaptations for success. If an early-stage company wanted to gain market share in Germany, it would translate its website, add a notice about cookies and find a convenient way to transact in euros. Larger companies wouldn’t add many more layers of complexity to this strategy; perhaps it would establish a local sales office with a European from HQ, hire a German with experience in U.S. companies or sign a local partnership that could help it distribute or deliver its product. Europe, for many small and medium-sized tech firms, was little more than a bigger Canada in a tougher time zone.
Only the largest companies would go to the effort of setting up public policy offices in Brussels, or meaningfully try to understand the noncommercial issues that could affect their license to operate in Europe. The Schrems ruling shows how this strategy isn’t feasible anymore.
American tech must invest in understanding European political realities the same way they do in emerging markets like India, Russia or China, where U.S. tech companies go to great lengths to adapt products to local laws or pull out where they cannot comply. Europe is not just the European Commission, but rather 27 different countries that vote and act on different interests at home and in Brussels.
Governments in Beijing or Moscow refused to accept a reality of U.S. companies setting conditions for them from the outset. After underestimating Europe for years, American companies now need to dedicate headspace to considering how business is materially affected by Europe’s different views on data protection, commerce, taxation and other issues.
This is not to say that American and European values on the internet differ as dramatically as they do with China’s values, for instance. But Europe, from national governments to the EU and to courts, is making it clear that it will not accept a reality where U.S. companies assume that they have license to operate the same way they do at home. Where U.S. companies expect light taxation, European governments expect revenue for economic activity. Where U.S. companies expect a clear line between state and federal legislation, Europe offers a messy patchwork of national and international regulation. Where U.S. companies expect that their popularity alone is proof that consumers consent to looser privacy or data protection, Europe reminds them that (across the pond) the state has the last word on the matter.
Many American tech companies understand their commercial risks inside and out but are not prepared for managing the risks that are out of their control. From reputation risk to regulatory risk, they can no longer treat Europe as a like-for-like market with the U.S., and the winners will be those companies that can navigate the legal and political changes afoot. Having a Brussels strategy isn’t enough. Instead American companies will need to build deeper influence in the member states where they operate. Specifically, they will need to communicate their side of the argument early and often to a wider range of potential allies, from local and national governments in markets where they operate, to civil society activists like Max Schrems .
The world’s offline differences are obvious, and the time when we could pretend that the internet erased them rather than magnified them is quickly ending.
If you have a technological innovation, cosmetics (while not necessarily your chosen field) can be an opportunity to diversify your market.
The e-Open Innovation service allows startup founders and project leaders to present their project to major players in the sector. Whatever your level of progress is (idea, prototype, marketing), whatever your field is (health, agrifood, biology, logistics, IT, circular economy), you can connect to this exciting sector.
For two days on October 12 and 13, international innovations in the perfume / cosmetics sector meet in the digital version on e-Cosmetic 360.
For 6 years, large companies have offered 30-minute meetings there to discuss the innovations presented and establish collaborations. In 2019, project leaders had the chance to meet 6 international decision-makers of the cosmetics world: Chanel, Nuxe Group, IFF, L’Oréal Research & Innovation, LMMH Research and Rodan + Fields.
How to apply?
Your innovation should fulfill these challenges: naturalness, traceability, compliance, quality of raw materials and finished products, continuous improvement of manufacturing and logistic processes, a new product or a new device in order to be as close as possible to consumer expectations. Your startup can use diverse technologies (biotech, cleantech, IoT, AI, blockchain, connected objects, etc.).
Submit a brief application free of charge on the dedicated platform until August 31. If accepted, in September you will be offered meetings with experts from the cosmetics industry. You have 5 days to confirm your appointment and get organized. On October 12 and 13, during the show, log in and meet in a virtual private room.
Become a player in the future of cosmetics.
For more information and to apply, check out the website. Applications should be sent before 31 August, 2020
Summer and holidays are synonymous. During this season, it is common for all to get distracted with a lot of celebrations and get-togethers. But it is quite common to keep your job search on the back burner during summer. One reason for the same is the misconception that hiring managers will not be available during this time of the year. However, this isn’t true and it can be a good time of the year to carry out your job search.
Reasons to keep up with your job search during the summer
When it comes to the tech job search, employers will be focused on meeting their business goals irrespective of the time of the year. So, there are some reasons that you shouldn’t put a halt to your tech job search during the summer. And, here we have listed some of these reasons as suggested by experts.
#1 Competition is low
A majority of job seekers could decide to give a break to their job search during the summer for various reasons such as busy schedules or the misconception that companies will not hire during the holidays. Eventually, there will be a plunge in the competition in the number of candidates looking for a job. And, there are increased chances for you to be among the few candidates reaching an employer during the summer, which will increase your possibility to be hired by the employer.
#2 Companies are still hiring
Many job seekers believe that companies give a break to their hiring process during this time of the year. But this is a major misconception. Businesses do not change their halt hiring schedules throughout the year but intensify the same at some point in time. Tech companies that are ambitious to achieve their business goals and reach new heights will not slow down their hiring process. And, these companies could be looking for fresh talent to help them boost their business.
#3 Employee perks during holidays
During summer, when the sun is shining bright, it could be challenging for employees to be productive. To motivate them, employers might provide some attractive employee perks as a token of appreciation of their hard work throughout the year. These include flexible working hours, extended long weekends, weekly refreshment cart, team outings, a relaxation in the dress code, and more.
#4 More networking opportunities
While there are holiday parties, community events, open houses, etc. hosted by employers, there will be a lot of networking opportunities. If you are looking forward to a new job, then you can use these events to network with others and get new contacts. You will be able to exchange business cards and ensure that your name is marked in a subsequent hiring process during the holidays. Given that not many people will be a part of the job during the pandemic season, it will be a great opportunity for aspiring job seekers.
#5 Opportunity to serve seasonal jobs
Seasonal jobs are temporary jobs that recur around the same time each year. Businesses with more customers hire seasonal employees during specific seasons for extra help during the busiest times. During the summer, you can look out for such seasonal jobs by networking, applying early, and considering a slew of options available for you. Having said that, the summertime is ideal to get such seasonal jobs. And, during the same, you will also get chances to make it your permanent job and save for your additional requirements.
Take note of the above, and you’ll be sure to nail the interview, and hopefully land the tech job of your dreams. Oh, and be sure to keep and eye on Silicon Canals’ Jobs, for loads of exciting opportunities.
Mobile banking startup Varo is becoming its own bank. The company announced on Friday it has been granted a national bank charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and secured regulatory approvals from the FDIC and Federal Reserve to open Varo Bank, N.A. The news follows Varo’s recent close on an additional $ 241 million in Series D funding aimed at helping Varo transition its service to its own bank, as well as expand into new banking products and hire new staff across operations, marketing, risk, engineering and communications.
Israeli startup Taranis is ready to bring drones and AI to Asia’s agritech scene after raising US$ 30 million in a series C round led by Vertex Growth and Orion Fund, a fund backed by Southeast Asian conglomerate Kuok Group and managed by K3 Ventures.
Based out of London, TaxScouts is a tax preparation platform that makes tax planning easier. Recently, the UK startup secured £5 million (approx €5.5 million) funding in Series A round for European expansion. This brings the total amount raised to €7.2 million to date.
The funding round was led by Octopus Ventures along with previous investors including SpeedInvest, Seedcamp, and Finch Capital. Also, Clocktower Technology Ventures, the US venture capital firm specialising in financial technology participated in the round.
Expands to Spain
Founded by Mart Abramov, Kaupo Kõrv, and Daniel Karger in 2017, TaxScouts is planning to expand its operation in Spain due to the size of the market and the complexity of the Spanish tax system.
TaxScouts combines automation and accountants to offer personalised online tax preparation at an affordable price. It helps in preventing last-minute hurry for taxpayers by automating personal income tax preparation.
Grown 5 times YoY
Since its inception, the company has grown over 5 times year-on-year, with the company expects to file tens of thousands of tax returns over the next year.
By paying a reasonable amount of €113, taxpayers can have an online simplified tax assessment that would further help them in understanding their personal income tax situation and thus, suggesting methods to decrease their tax bill and guiding the taxpayers on how to proceed forward.
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.”
“As digital transformation intensifies globally, enterprises today are increasingly international in scale, and they will require a network infrastructure like EMQ with greater speed, more certainty, increased flexibility and transparency to expand their business in Asia and beyond,” he said, according to the release.
The Q2 2020 has witnessed unprecedented growth despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. Though there has been a major economic downturn all over the world, the venture industry appears to be strongly resilient. The deal activity in the second quarter of this year shows that the US-based VC investors are focused on a variety of industries such as healthtech, game tech, software startups and much more.
Top deals in Dublin in Q2 2020
It’s no secret that Dublin, the Irish capital is home to some of the leading tech startups in the world. There has been a boost in the tech startup ecosystem in Ireland of late, thanks to the support from the government, aspirational entrepreneurs, and a flourishing environment. Having said that, here are the top US VC deals in Dublin in Q2 2020 as reported by Pitchbook.
Founder/s: Peter Foley Founded year: 2014 Total funding: €104 million
Irish startup LetsGetChecked is a leading direct-to-consumer at-home health testing and insights company. Back in May, the company closed €65.21 million in a Series C funding round led by HLM Venture Partners and Illumina Ventures along with participation from new investors such as CommonFund Capital, Deerfield, and Angeles Investments and existing investors such as Optum Ventures, Transformation Capital, and Qiming Venture Partners USA.
The Irish medtech startup will use the investment to scaleup activity at the CLIA certified high complexity lab in California and increase its manufacturing, supply and testing capacity for COVID-19. The company will expand supply and business operations as well as support personnel across the US and Europe with this investment.
Founder/s: Anthony Kelly, Conor O’Loughlin, Finn Hegarty Founded year: 2014 Total funding: €20.8 million
Gym management software Glofox has announced additional funding of €9.2 million, which takes its Series A funding to €18.4 million. The round was led by Octopus Ventures along with participation from Notion Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, Partech, and Tribal VC. This new investment will be used to let fitness businesses operate remotely and fulfil their customer fitness requirements online during the pandemic crisis. Also, Glofox will be able to thrive in the fitness industry with a strong digital presence.
Besides the investment, Glofox launched a new platform that lets gyms and fitness studios deliver both live streaming as well as premium on-demand content. The gym management software helps entrepreneurs in the fitness industry build successful businesses and enhance the health of people all over the world. The platform enables gym and studio owners deliver content and manage memberships, bookings, scheduling, payments, etc.
Founder/s: Dmitry Vysotski, Konstantin Chernysh, Vol Pigrukh Founded year: 2010 Total funding: €35.4 million
Profitero is a leading global enterprise e-commerce SaaS analytics platform based in Ireland. The company secured €18.33 million Series B funding round led by Scaleworks along with participation from Conviction Capital. The company will use the fresh funds to expand its business reach. This platform is used by Adidas, General Mills, L’Oreal and 4,000 other brands to accelerate their e-commerce sales.
Profitero’s proprietary technology estimates daily sales for products that are sold on Amazon and lets brands measure market share growth as well as opportunities for future investment. It is the first such platform in the industry to integrate Amazon sales and share metrics along with digital shelf analytics s that brands can quickly know the factors that will result in more sales.
Founder/s: Shane Curran Founded year: 2018 Total funding: €17.5 million
evervault, a Dublin-based internet infrastructure startup closed a Series A funding round of €14.72 million led by Index Ventures along with existing partners such as Sequoia Capital, Frontline Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins. The other participants of the investment round include angel investors such as Dylan Field (Figma CEO), Kevin Hartz (Eventbrite co-founder), Olivier Pomel (Datadog CEO), and Alex Stamos (Facebook CSO).
The new funding will let evervault expand its team and empower developers to solve data privacy with ease. It believes that data privacy is a fundamental human right and operates with the mission to provide data privacy for everyone. Evervault is building the API for data privacy and its empowers developers to process highly sensitive data in a better and new way that is simple, scalable, and privacy-centric.
Founder/s: Ben Harris, Jack Phelan, Jonny McCauley, Tim Redfern Founded year: 2012 Total funding: €22.7 million
Drop, a smart kitchen platform, which operates with the objective to unify the fragmented cooking experience has raised €12 million in a Series A funding round. This investment comes from Alpha Edison, Richmond Global Ventures, Alsop Louie Partners, Morpheus Ventures, ACT Venture Capital, and Digital Irish Angels.
Drop provides a platform to connect appliance manufacturers, gorcers, and recipe publishers to home cooks. The company focused on hardware develops a connected kitchen scale sold via Apple Stores. Drop teams up with several appliance makers such as GE Appliances, Electrolux, Kenwood, and Bosch to integrate recipes with kitchen equipment.
Founder/s: Fionn Lahart, Christoph Hennersperger Founded year: 2017 Total funding: €11 million
Irish medical device startup OneProjects specialises in cardiac imaging innovations. In a recent move, the Irish medtech startup has raised €11 million Series A funding led by LSP, an investment from LSP Health Economics Fund 2 along with participation from Atlantic Bridge University Fund, Enterprise Ireland, and a slew of medtech entrepreneurs. This investment will help OneProjects expand its team in Dublin and Munich and advance its product development.
The innovative medtech company develops next-generation connected intra-vascular medical devices. The AI-powered devices are touted to treat cardiac arrhythmia. While this company is headquartered in Dublin, a majority of its R&D activities happen in Munich.
Founder/s: Jason Keogh Founded year: 2002 Total funding: €9.1 million
Irish software start iQuate bagged €9.18 million to fund a merger with Hypergrid, a Silicon Valley cloud management expert. These tech companies have joined to form CloudSphere that will focus on helping businesses to operate in the cloud environment. The investment round was led by Atlantic Bridge Capital along with private investors that backed iQuate earlier.
Iquate offers users with enterprise software analysis and discovery services. The platform lets users see through data centre complexity and helps them manage and optimise their IT assets to drive cost efficiencies and savings.
Founder/s: Artavazd Sokhikyan, Devan Hughes Founded year: 2015 Total funding: €10.7 million
Buymie, an Irish online grocery delivery startup provides same-day grocery delivery. In June this year, the company announced that it has bagged €8 million funding led by Wheatsheaf Group along with existing investors including Act Venture Capital, Haatch Ventures, HBAN, and Sure Valley Ventures and other notable investors. The same-day grocery delivery startup will use this investment to accelerate its expansion in Ireland and the UK.
Buymie works with the mission to minimise the environmental impact caused by grocery shopping. Buymie has signed a deal with Lidl Ireland in an attempt to rollout its services across all major cities in Ireland.
Founder/s: Patricia Scanlon Founded year: 2013 Total funding: €12.1 million
Irish startup SoapBox Labs that develops speech recognition technology capable of modelling distinctive voice and speech behaviours of kids has secured €5.8 million series A funding from Adria, Elkstone Capital, and a slew of unnamed private investors. The startup will use the investment to capitalise on its strengths while global market opportunities are opening up in the industry.
SoapBox Labs’ tech is referred to as ‘Siri for kids’ and is used in many tech applications, robotics, games, and smart toys. The company has developed a child-specific speech tech that creates age-appropriate, accurate, and safe voice-enabled experiences for children.
Founder/s: Brian Kaiser, Lisa Newon George, Travis George Founded year: 2017 Total funding: €6.3 million
Vela Games is an Irish game development studio that strives to create service-based games for gaming enthusiasts and delivers genre-defining experiences. In a recent move, the company secured a seed funding round of €2.82 million from a new investor Lvp along with existing partners IIU. The fund will be used to continue the development of MOCO, which will let multiplayer games to reach new heights.
The independent game development studio creates engaging and cooperative games that keeps players first. The team comprises industry veterans and works with the mission to reinvent multiplayer games with cooperative experiences.