Tech startups weekly: Tech tackling growing waste crisis, cloud-based phone system, the rise of fintech

Europe is bouncing back to normalcy as the lockdown imposed due to COVID-19 is gradually easing a bit. In an attempt to revive the lost economy, the tech startups and other businesses are kicking back to normal and are striving hard to go back to the pre-COVID era. As a result, several tech startups in Europe have made headlines in recent times. Some have launched new products and services and some others have received funding to expand their business and take the same to the next level. Here is a roundup of what happened this week in the European tech startup arena brought to you by Silicon Canals, your most authentic source of European tech news with an edge.

Picture credits: Floryn

Dutch leading fintech gets funding from prominent Dutch VC

Dutch fintech startup Floryn, formerly known as InvoiceFinance, got €9 million from Endeit Capital recently, also supported by existing shareholders Peak Capital. The Dutch startup, based in Den Bosch, finances loans of up to €2 million for small and medium-sized companies. Floryn will use part of the investment to recruit additional staff for product development. The rest of the amount will be used to fuel its national, and international expansion as demand for business loans in Europe has witnessed a surge of 98%.

Founded in 2016 by Sven van der Biezen (CEO), Marijn van Aerle (CTO) and Gion van den Bogaert (CFRO), the Netherlands-based company has raised €6 million in equity in 2017 from Peak Capital (known for Catawiki and OneFit) and Kalo Bagijn, co-founder of BinckBank and Brand New Day. In 2019, €60 million in financing was provided by NIBC and private investors, and currently, the company employs around 50 people.

Picture credits: Greyparrot

London-based AI startup secures funding to tackle growing waste crisis

London-based Greyparrot that uses computer vision AI to scale efficient processing of recycling has secured £1.825 million (nearly €2.03 million) seed funding led by early-stage industrial tech investor Speedinvest along with participation from UK-based early-stage B2B investor, Force Over Mass.

The UK startup has trained a slew of machine learning models to identify various types of waste including glass, paper, newspaper, cardboard, cans and several types of plastic. This makes sorting recycling process more efficient and it applies automation and digitisation to the waste management industry. Greyparrot will use the fresh investment to further develop its product and expand into the global markets.

Picture credits: Claris

Claris launches its first open platform for developers

Claris, an Apple subsidiary announced the launch of FileMaker 19, its first open platform for developers to rapidly build sophisticated custom apps that leverage direct JavaScript integrations, AI via Apple’s Core ML, drag-and-drop add-ons, and more. With FileMaker 19, developers can be more productive and businesses can leverage its global community of developer resources to solve complex digital issues. FileMaker 19 is fast, smart and extensible. It lets developers create in a snap with plug-and-play add-ons, use readily available JavaScript libraries, build smarter apps and more. Its additional features include the ability to create apps directly in the cloud and host where you want including both Windows and Mac.

Picture credits: SumUp

SumUp expands e-commerce product lineup to support businesses

UK-based payments service SumUp has launched an online payment tool to help businesses adapt to the social distancing norms. The latest solution of SumUp is a part of the company’s ongoing push into the online retail industry as a part of its drive to provide a complete toolkit for merchants. With this new addition lets merchants showcase their products remotely enabling the making of taking of all payments for their businesses. The SumUp online store is a SaaS product and comes with a subscription pricing and multi-tiered model. It also lets SMEs quickly set up and design their own online stores sans any previous knowledge of web design or technology.

Picture credits: Aircall

Cloud-based voice platform gets funded

Paris-based Aircall, a cloud-based voice platform that helps businesses and teams to connect globally recently secured $ 65 million (nearly €58.6 million) Series C funding led by DTCP along with participation from new investors Adam Street and Swisscom along with existing UK-based existing investors Draper Esprit, Balderton Capital, eFounders, and NextWorld. This is the largest funding round secured by the French company till date taking its overall funding amount to $ 100 million (nearly €90.1 million). Aircall will use this investment to expand into new markets across the world, double its customer base in Europe, enhance its leading tech capabilities and hire 100 new staff by the end of this year.

Picture credits: Voi

Former Bird UK chief joins Voi

The UK government is all set to accelerate trials of e-scooter rentals to reduce crowding on public modes of transportation and adhere to social distancing norms. In this attempt, Sweden-based Voi Technology has hired Richard Corbett, the former head of e-scooter giant Bird UK to head its Ireland, Benelux, and UK operations. Corbett has helped the rival brand launch e-scooter rentals in the Netherlands. At Voi, Corbett will be responsible for leading the push into the UK market, where it expects to witness at least 50,000 rides per day in 2020 in London.

Picture credits: Stripe

Stripe expands to five European countries

Europe has some of the largest and fastest-growing online economies in the world. This growth has been driven further by the accelerated shift towards online during the COVID-19 crisis. Adyen’s arch rival lets more European entrepreneurs and businesses accept payments online from anywhere in the world within a few minutes. Already, Stripe exists in 39 countries, of which 29 are in Europe. Now, the US fintech is coming to more European countries to make payment acceptance and money movement faster and simpler for everyone. With this expansion, online companies in Czech Republic, Romania, Cyprus, Malta, and Bulgaria can gain access to Stripe’s product stack to launch, operate and scale their business globally.

Picture credits: Notion

SaaS/enterprise tech VC firm increases investment

European SaaS/enterprise tech VC firm, Notion VC, has increased investment in new companies by 89% in the last 12 months. This way, it increases assets under management to $ 0.5 billion. Besides this, the VC firm also promoted Itxaso del Palacio to Partner. And, she will be responsible for B2B SaaS investments across Europe. Palacio is a part of Notion since 2018 and has led investments into Yulife, Mya, and Forest Admin. This promotion comes at a time when Notion secured £125 million fourth venture fund in October last year and its recent hires roping in industry veteran Andy Leaver joining the firm. Notion has invested in more than 60 B2B tech startups since its debut in 2009 including companies such as GoCardless, Dixa, Paddle, Mews, CurrencyCloud, Unbabel, and Tradeshift.

Picture credits: PlusDental

Digital dentistry platform from Berlin secures funding

PlusDental, a Berlin-based digital dentistry platform has secured €32 million Series C funding from international investors. The investment was led by Hong Kong-based Ping An Global Voyager Fund, which joins it as a new investor. The others that have invested in the healthtech company include Christian Wegner, the founder of Re-commerce platform Momox, Lakestar, and HV Holtzbrinck.

Specialising in digital dentistry and aesthetic orthodontic treatments with clear aligners,. PlusDental will use this fresh Investment to develop its proprietary digital dentistry platform and continue expansion of business in Germany and Europe.

Picture credits: MaaS

MaaS Global teams up with Finnish fintech startup

Maas Global, a leading Mobility as a Service provider has teamed up with Enfuce, the largest fintech startup in Finland to launch a card payment offering in the former’s all-inclusive mobility app, Whim. This partnership lets MaaS Global issue Mastercard prepaid cards securely and expand its offering to new markets. Notably, MaaS Global revolutionises urban mobility by gathering all public and private transport services in convenient, travelling subscriptions. In partnership with Enfuce, MaaS Global accessed a flexible and fully scalable payment infrastructure solution. Enfuce’s close guidance will let MaaS Global offer Whim customers a reliable, efficient and most of all easy payment experience.

Picture credits: EZ Factory

EZ Factory secures growth boost

EZ Factory, a supplier of mobile apps used in production environments has secured €720k growth boost. With this investment, the company is expected to break even by the end of this year. Notably, the Eindhoven-based tech startup, develops innovative and user-friendly apps to support operational teams in factories. These tools let them work more efficiently and improve the process continuously. They developed EZ-GO, a digital application that facilitates autonomous maintenance, work instructions, inspections, and audits. This makes factories safer and more
efficient, allows operators to suggest improvements, and makes results available in a real time
dashboard.

Main image picture credits: Floryn

Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more European technology news.

The post Tech startups weekly: Tech tackling growing waste crisis, cloud-based phone system, the rise of fintech appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals

Meniga, the digital banking tech provider, raises €8.5M led by French bank Groupe BPCE

Meniga, the London-headquartered fintech that provides digital banking technology to some of the world’s largest banks, has closed a €8.5 million in additional funding.

Described primarily as a “strategic investment,” the round is led by Groupe BPCE, the second-largest banking group in France, alongside Portugal’s Grupo Crédito Agrícola and long-standing strategic partner UniCredit. All three are customers of Meniga.

The funding will be used for continued investment in Meniga’s R&D activities, as well as to strengthen the fintech’s sales and service teams to meet what it says is growing demand. Other participants in the round include current institutional investors Velocity Capital, Industrifonden, and Frumtak Ventures.

“We are very pleased to welcome Groupe BPCE and Crédito Agrícola to our growing group of strategic investors,” says Georg Ludviksson, CEO and co-founder of Meniga, in a statement. “Partnering closely with our customers is a key part of our strategy to be the preferred digital innovation partner to our clients. An equity relationship is an excellent way to strengthen such partnerships”.

Meniga’s digital banking platform helps banks and fintechs use personal finance data to innovate in their online and mobile offerings. Its various products include a software layer that bridges the gap between a bank’s legacy tech infrastructure and a modern API, making it easier to build consumer-friendly digital banking experiences.

Meniga‘s product suite spans data aggregation technologies, personal and business finance management solutions, cashback rewards and transaction-based carbon insights.

The company’s tech has also been designed to support and benefit from Open Banking, and helped by this, its products and services are already used by more than 90 million banking customers across 30 countries.

This saw it open new office locations in Barcelona and Singapore in 2019, adding to its existing presence in London, where the company is headquartered, and Reykjavi, where much of its R&D is located, alongside offices in Stockholm, Helsinki and Warsaw.

Meanwhile, lead investor Groupe BPCE first partnered with Meniga back in 2018. Cue statement from Groupe BPCE’s Yves Tyrode, chief digital and data officer, and member of the management board of Groupe BPCE: “Our partnership with Meniga has been extremely positive to date. Together, we have laid the groundwork for continued digital innovation at Groupe BPCE to better serve our customers in a very dynamic banking market. We look forward to continue transforming our digital customer experience and contribute to building the future of digital banking together with Meniga”.

Startups – TechCrunch

Hi everyone! We’re a music tech startup – Jammy Instruments, and we’d love to hear some feedback on our new product’s Kickstarter campaign launch 🙏

I'm sure that a lot of you guys have some crowdfunding experience.

We've just launched a Kickstarter campaign for our new product called Jammy EVO. It's a portable MIDI guitar with a detachable neck that fits into your backpack.

The start of the campaign was pretty decent – we gathered $ 50k within the first hour and got the "projects we love" badge from Kickstarter, but now we're looking for ways to boost the campaign a little bit by optimizing our Kickstarter page and attracting new traffic sources.

You can check out the page here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1591722511/jammy-evo-play-any-instrument-using-your-guitar-skills

Any feedback will be highly appreciated 🙏

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

Has anyone exhibited at a tech conference? Are they worth it?

I saw this on LinkedIn .

We had a call pre-quarantine with Slush conference in Finland but decided not to attend.

Has anyone on this sub had a good experience, like make any meaningful connections that helped them?

I’ve seen some horror stories but surely there’s more people like Defined Crowd too?

We figured we were at too early a stage to go and exhibit, but it’s something we’d think about doing if quarantine ever ends and we’re still going strong.

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

[TechSee in Monroe Times] TDS launches virtual tech visit tool

Utilizing a video software tool created by TechSee, TDS technicians can connect to a customer’s mobile device remotely to share images and video.

Read more here.

The post [TechSee in Monroe Times] TDS launches virtual tech visit tool appeared first on OurCrowd.

OurCrowd

[OurCrowd in Arab News] How innovation and tech can power the region to a brighter future

OurCrowd, the equity crowdfunding platform in Jerusalem in which I am a partner, held a meeting in February with participants from every nation in the Arab League.

Read more here.

The post [OurCrowd in Arab News] How innovation and tech can power the region to a brighter future appeared first on OurCrowd.

OurCrowd

Should my tech startup have a blog page?

While working on my startup, I recently put time aside to create a blog page (can be seen here: https://sigmetic.io/blog).

I've been writing a lot on Medium, so creating articles and written content comes fairly easy to me, however, I still wonder why it is that every tech startup seems to have a blog page.

What are the benefits?
Do you think it's worth putting time aside to write blogs while starting up?
Is it beneficial to reach out to other bloggers and have them write content for your page?

Generally speaking, would you say that having a blog page is a must-have, a delighter, or it doesn't really matter?

I'll be happy to hear your takes on this, and any experiences – good or bad – are very welcomed!
Thanks 😁

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

[OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved in Cleaveland Jewish News] Tech giants tell Jerusalem Day narrative of the capital’s thriving startup ecosystem

OurCrowd founder and CEO Jon Medved related that Jerusalem is so much “in the trend” of global innovation that it has “moved into its rightful slot as a major part of Israel’s, and onto the world’s, tech scene.”

Read more here.

The post [OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved in Cleaveland Jewish News] Tech giants tell Jerusalem Day narrative of the capital’s thriving startup ecosystem appeared first on OurCrowd.

OurCrowd

The Rise of Privacy Tech

The Rise of Privacy Tech is for founders, entrepreneurs, technologists, investors, experts, and evangelists of privacy innovation. https://www.riseofprivacytech.com/

The inaugural TROPT virtual summit is in 1 month! Join us in fueling the rise of privacy tech. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-rise-of-privacy-tech-virtual-summit-2020-tickets-102817999404

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

This Week in Apps: Facebook takes on Shopify, Tinder considers its future, contact-tracing tech goes live

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $ 120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $ 544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this Extra Crunch series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

This week we’re continuing to look at how the coronavirus outbreak is impacting the world of mobile applications. Notably, we saw the launch of the Apple/Google exposure-notification API with the latest version of iOS out this week. The pandemic is also inspiring other new apps and features, including upcoming additions to Apple’s Schoolwork, which focus on distance learning, as well as Facebook’s new Shops feature designed to help small business shift their operations online in the wake of physical retail closures.

Tinder, meanwhile, seems to be toying with the idea of pivoting to a global friend finder and online hangout in the wake of social distancing, with its test of a feature that allows users to match with others worldwide — meaning, with no intention of in-person dating.

Headlines

COVID-19 apps in the news

  • Fitbit app: The fitness tracker app launched a COVID-19 early detection study aimed at determining whether wearables can help detect COVID-19 or the flu. The study will ask volunteers questions about their health, including whether they had COVID-19, then pair that with activity data to see if there are any clues that could be used to build an early warning algorithm of sorts.
  • U.K. contact-tracing app: The app won’t be ready in mid-May as promised, as the government mulls the use of the Apple/Google API. In testing, the existing app drains the phone battery too quickly. In addition, researchers have recently identified seven security flaws in the app, which is currently being trialed on the Isle of Wight.

Apple launches iOS/iPadOS 13.5 with Face ID tweak and contact-tracing API

Apple this week released the latest version of iOS/iPadOS with two new features related to the pandemic. The first is an update to Face ID which will now be able to tell when the user is wearing a mask. In those cases, Face ID will instead switch to the Passcode field so you can type in your code to unlock your phone, or authenticate with apps like the App Store, Apple Books, Apple Pay, iTunes and others.

The other new feature is the launch of the exposure-notification API jointly developed by Apple and Google. The API allows for the development of apps from public health organizations and governments that can help determine if someone has been exposed by COVID-19. The apps that support the API have yet to launch, but some 22 countries have requested API access.

Startups – TechCrunch