Banking startup N26 raises another $170 million at $3.5 billion valuation


This post is by Romain Dillet from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Fintech startup N26 is raising $170 million a few months after raising $300 million. While it’s technically structured as a new round, the company considers today’s new funding as an extension of the Series D round.

N26 has only reached out to existing investors. All the investors in the Series D round are investing again, as well as a few investors that have been around for a while. So that’s Insight Venture Partners, GIC (Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund), Tencent, Allianz X, Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Earlybird Venture Capital and Greyhound Capital.

“It’s a raise in valuation of about 30%. It’s only existing investors that participated. We didn’t go external as it is also quite quickly after the round that we did earlier this year,” co-founder and CEO Valentin Stalf told me. “But I think it’s a good testament of the development of the company over the last couple of months.

Continue reading “Banking startup N26 raises another $170 million at $3.5 billion valuation”

Altitude Angel launches an API for safer drone flights


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Altitude Angel, a U.K. startup that provides safety, data and traffic management systems for drones, is launching a de-confliction service for drone flights — available via its developer API platform.

“The dynamic system will continuously monitor the airspace around an aircraft for the ‘unexpected’ such as other aerial vehicles or changes to airspace (such as a Temporary Flight Restriction/Dynamic Geofence around a police incident),” it writes of the new service.

“After identifying a potential conflict, CRS will make the necessary routing adjustments, allowing the drone to maintain an appropriate separation standard between other airspace users or fly around restricted airspace so it can continue safely (and efficiently) to its destination.”

The global Conflict Resolution Service (CRS) has two components: Strategic de-confliction, which will launch first, on July 23, letting drone operators submit flight plans to the startup to determine whether there are any conflicts with other previously

Continue reading “Altitude Angel launches an API for safer drone flights”

FaceApp responds to privacy concerns 


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




FaceApp, the AI-powered selfie-editing app that’s been having another viral moment of late, has now responded to a privacy controversy that we covered earlier here.

We’ve pasted the company’s full statement at the bottom of this post.

The tl;dr here is that concerns had been raised that FaceApp, a Russian startup, uploads users’ photos to the cloud — without making it clear to them that processing is not going on locally on their device.

Another issue raised by FaceApp users was that the iOS app appears to be overriding settings if a user had denied access to their camera roll, after people reported they could still select and upload a photo — i.e. despite the app not having permission to access their photos.

As we reported earlier, the latter is actually allowed behavior in iOS — which gives users the power to choose to block an app from full

Continue reading “FaceApp responds to privacy concerns “

Amazon amends seller terms worldwide after German antitrust action


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Amazon has agreed to make a raft of changes to the business terms it offers sellers on its marketplaces following an intervention by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (FCO).

The regulator instigated an investigation in November last year after receiving a large number of complaints from sellers pertaining to Amazon’s German marketplace, amazon.de: The largest of the company’s five European marketplaces.

Among the changes the ecommerce giant has agreed to make are amendments to its liability provisions towards sellers to bring it into line with European standards for b2b relations, and changes to account termination and blocking to remove its unlimited right to do so without justification — meaning ordinary account terminations will in future require 30 days notice.

In a statement, Amazon said:

We are making several changes to the Amazon Services Business Solutions Agreement to clarify selling partner rights and responsibilities. The changes will become effective August 16th.

Continue reading “Amazon amends seller terms worldwide after German antitrust action”

Atomico founding partner Mattias Ljungman is leaving to start his own seed fund


This post is by Steve O'Hear from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Changes are afoot at European VC Atomico, with news breaking that founding partner Mattias Ljungman is leaving to raise his own seed fund.

TechCrunch understands that staff at the London-headquartered firm, which he co-founded in 2006 with Skype founder Niklas Zennström, were informed of his decision to part ways earlier today, although he won’t be leaving immediately. Instead, I’m told Ljungman will be transitioning out over the next six months to ensure as little disruption as possible.

Atomico is also thought to be on the verge of closing a new fund, so arguably the timing is well-aligned, too. ‘In between’ funds is the best time for a founding partner to leave a VC firm, if there ever is one.

In the meantime, Ljungman will be carrying on with existing portfolio responsibilities and gradually handing over his board seats to other Atomico team members. He currently sits on the boards

Continue reading “Atomico founding partner Mattias Ljungman is leaving to start his own seed fund”

Atomico founding partner Mattias Ljungman is leaving to start his own seed fund


This post is by Steve O'Hear from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Changes are afoot at European VC Atomico, with news breaking that founding partner Mattias Ljungman is leaving to raise his own seed fund.

TechCrunch understands that staff at the London-headquartered firm, which he co-founded in 2006 with Skype founder Niklas Zennström, were informed of his decision to part ways earlier today, although he won’t be leaving immediately. Instead, I’m told Ljungman will be transitioning out over the next six months to ensure as little disruption as possible.

Atomico is also thought to be on the verge of closing a new fund, so arguably the timing is well-aligned, too. ‘In between’ funds is the best time for a founding partner to leave a VC firm, if there ever is one.

In the meantime, Ljungman will be carrying on with existing portfolio responsibilities and gradually handing over his board seats to other Atomico team members. He currently sits on the boards

Continue reading “Atomico founding partner Mattias Ljungman is leaving to start his own seed fund”

Stonly lets you create interactive step-by-step guides to improve support


This post is by Romain Dillet from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




French startup Stonly wants to empower users so that they can solve their issues by themselves. Instead of relying on customer support agents, Stonly wants to surface relevant content so that you can understand and solve issues.

“I’m trying to take the opposite stance of chatbots," founder and CEO Alexis Fogel told me. “The issue [with chatbots] is that technology is not good enough and you often end up searching through the help center.”

If you’re in charge of support for a big enough service, chances are your customers often face the same issues. Many companies have built help centers with lengthy articles. But most customers won’t scroll through those pages when they face an issue.

That’s why Stonly thinks you need to make this experience more interactive. The service lets you create scripted guides with multiple questions to make this process less intimidating. Some big companies have built

Editor 01

Continue reading “Stonly lets you create interactive step-by-step guides to improve support”

Europe is now formally investigating Amazon’s use of merchant data


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




European regulators have announced a formal antitrust investigation of Amazon’s use of data from third parties selling on its ecommerce platform.

Commenting in a statement, competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager said: European consumers are increasingly shopping online. Ecommerce has boosted retail competition and brought more choice and better prices. We need to ensure that large online platforms don’t eliminate these benefits through anti-competitive behaviour. I have therefore decided to take a very close look at Amazon’s business practices and its dual role as marketplace and retailer, to assess its compliance with EU competition rules.

The move is not a surprise as Amazon was already on the radar of Vestager’s department.

Last fall it emerged the regulator was making preliminary enquiries about Amazon’s use of third party sellers’ data — to try to determine whether or not merchants selling on its platform are being placed at a competitive disadvantage vs

Screenshot 2019 07 17 at 12.25.32

Continue reading “Europe is now formally investigating Amazon’s use of merchant data”

ContractPodAi scores $55M for its ‘AI-powered’ contract management software


This post is by Steve O'Hear from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




ContractPodAi, a London-based startup that has developed what it describes as AI-powered contract lifecycle management software, is disclosing $55 million in Series B funding. The round is led by U.S.-based Insight Partners, with participation from earlier backer Eagle Investment.

Founded in 2012, ContractPodAi offers an “end-to-end” solution spanning the three main aspects of contract management: contract generation, contract repository, and third-party review. Its AI offering, which uses IBM’s Watson, claims to streamline the contract management process and reduce the burden on corporate in-house legal teams.

“The legal profession has been historically behind the curve in technology adoption and our objective here is to support to digital transformation of legal departments via our contract management platform,” ContractPodAi co-founder and CEO Sarvarth Misra tells TechCrunch.

“Our business focusses on providing in-house counsel of corporations across the world with an easy to use, out of the box and scalable end

Continue reading “ContractPodAi scores $55M for its ‘AI-powered’ contract management software”

Billie raises €30M for its B2B invoicing and payments platform


This post is by Steve O'Hear from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Billie, the Berlin-based fintech startup that offers a B2B invoicing and payments platform, has raised €30 million in Series B funding. Leading the round is Creandum, alongside SpeedInvest, Rocket Internet’s GFC and Picus.

Founded in 2017 by the same team behind SME online lending platform Zencap, which exited to Funding Circle in 2015, Billie wants to bring the same level of convenience seen in B2C payments and e-commerce to B2B invoicing and payments.

Claiming to be Germany’s leading “one-stop shop” for handling all outgoing invoices of B2B sellers, including sending invoices, collecting payments and invoice financing, Billie’s customers range from SMEs, large e-commerce players, and transnational marketplaces.

“As B2B transactions are more than twice the volume of B2C transactions, the potential to help our customers is enormous. And, up to now, this market is unserved,” Billie co-founder Dr. Matthias Knecht tells me.

“We’re able to place ourselves in the

Continue reading “Billie raises €30M for its B2B invoicing and payments platform”

UK DeepTech VC IQ Capital launches new $125M growth fund, closes third VC fund at $175M


This post is by Mike Butcher from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




IQ Capital, a UK-based deep tech fund which has invested in startups such as Paragraf, Senseye and Funderbeam, has launched a new $125 million ‘Growth Opportunities Fund’ and closed its third venture fund, IQ Capital Fund III, at $175 million. This brings the total new capital to be invested to over $300 million. National Grid Partners have joined British Patient Capital and a number of other global institutions, as an investor in IQ Capital Fund III.

The move is part of a wider shift in VC investing across Europe towards so-called deep tech (AI, BioTech, Blockchain etc).For instance, Adara Ventures, a spanish VC firm recently closed its third fund with commitments in excess of €65 million to back European early-stage deep tech startups.

IQ says the $125 million fund will provide later-stage capital to the best-performing companies in their existing portfolio. The first to benefit from this is

Continue reading “UK DeepTech VC IQ Capital launches new $125M growth fund, closes third VC fund at $175M”

UK Facebook users now have a tool to report scam ads


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Facebook has launched a tool for UK users to report ads they suspect of being scams.

The feature can be accessed by clicking the three dots in the top right corner of each ad on Facebook, then selecting ‘Report ad’, then ‘Misleading or scam ad’ and finally: ‘Send a detailed scam report’.

So if you want to think of it as a reporting ‘button’ it’s a button that actually requires four presses to function as intended…

Flow of reporting mock up.png.rendition.992.992

Once a scam ad report has been filed, the feature will alert a dedicated internal ops team at Facebook that is tasked with handling reports — so will be reviewing reports and removing violating ads.

The new consumer safety feature follows a defamation lawsuit filed in April last year by consumer advice personality, Martin Lewis, who had become exasperated by the volume of scam ads misappropriating his image

Continue reading “UK Facebook users now have a tool to report scam ads”

N26 announces N26 You, a revamped premium account


This post is by Romain Dillet from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Challenger bank N26 has unveiled a new premium plan called N26 You. This plan replaces N26 Black with the same benefits and a few tweaks.

N26 is keeping its three-tier system with a free basic bank account, a premium account (N26 You) and a super premium account (N26 Metal). With N26’s free plan, you can pay anywhere in the world without any foreign transaction fee, but there’s a 1.7% markup on ATM withdrawals in a foreign currency.

N26 You costs the same price as the previous premium plan N26 Black, €9.90 in the Eurozone and £4.90 in the U.K. In addition to a travel and purchase insurance package, you can withdraw money without any foreign transaction fee. €9.90 is roughly what you’d pay in fees if you withdraw the equivalent of €580 with a free N26 account.

You can also create up to 10 Spaces to

ocean

Continue reading “N26 announces N26 You, a revamped premium account”

Raisin picks up $28M backing from Goldman Sachs for its savings and investment marketplace


This post is by Steve O'Hear from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Raisin, the fintech startup that offers a pan-European marketplace for savings and investment products, has picked up additional funding. Goldman Sachs has invested $28 million (€25m), following the company’s $114 million in Series D in February.

The new capital will be used by Raisin to build out its U.S. presence ahead of a 2020 launch across the pond. The startup announced its U.S. plans in May, saying that it wanted to enable U.S. savers to more easily shop around for a better interest rate and remove the friction associated with switching savings and deposit accounts. The deposits market in the U.S. is said to be $12.7 trillion.

Raisin also plans to enter two new European markets by the end of this year. The Raisin marketplace currently has six country specific savings platforms: Germany, U.K., France, The Netherlands, Spain, and Austria, in

Continue reading “Raisin picks up $28M backing from Goldman Sachs for its savings and investment marketplace”

Curve, the ‘over-the-top’ banking platform, raises $55M at a $250M valuation


This post is by Steve O'Hear from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Curve, the London-based “over-the-top banking platform,” has raised $55 million in new funding. The startup lets you consolidate all of your bank cards into a single Curve card and app to make it easier to manage your spending and access other benefits.

Curve’s Series B round is led by Gauss Ventures, the U.S.-based fintech investor, alongside Creditease, IDC Ventures, and previous backer Outward VC (formerly Investec’s INVC fund). A number of other early investors, including Santander InnoVentures, Breega, Seedcamp and Speedinvest, also followed on.

The new round of funding values Curve at $250 million (or one quarter unicorn, so to speak), and will be used by the company to continue adding more features to its platform and for further European expansion. The company claims 500,000 users and says it is on track to reach 1 million by the end of the year.

Curve is currently available in

Curve Cash in App 1

Continue reading “Curve, the ‘over-the-top’ banking platform, raises $55M at a $250M valuation”

Computing pioneer and LGBT icon Alan Turing will grace the £50 note in 2021


This post is by Devin Coldewey from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Alan Turing, one of the pioneering figures in modern computing, and also a tragic one in LGBT history, will soon appear on the U.K.’s £50 note. He was selected from a shortlist of scientists and bright minds so distinguished that it must have made the decision rather difficult.

The nomination process for who would appear on the new note was open to the public, with the limitation this time that those nominated were British scientists of some form or another. Hundreds of thousands of votes and nearly a thousand names were submitted, and ultimately the list was winnowed down to the following dozen (well, 14, with two pairs; descriptions taken from the Bank of England’s summary):

No technical reason to exclude Huawei as 5G supplier, says UK committee


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




A UK parliamentary committee has concluded there are no technical grounds for excluding Chinese network kit vendor Huawei from the country’s 5G networks.

In a letter from the chair of the Science & Technology Committee to the UK’s digital minister Jeremy Wright, the committee says: “We have found no evidence from our work to suggest that the complete exclusion of Huawei from the UK’s telecommunications networks would, from a technical point of view, constitute a proportionate response to the potential security threat posed by foreign suppliers.”

Though the committee does go on to recommend the government mandate the exclusion of Huawei from the core of 5G networks, noting that UK mobile network operators have “mostly” done so already — but on a voluntary basis.

If it places a formal requirement on operators not to use Huawei for core supply the committee urges the government to provide “clear criteria” for

Continue reading “No technical reason to exclude Huawei as 5G supplier, says UK committee”

Cambridge Uni graphene spin-out bags $16M to get its first product to market


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Cambridge, UK based graphene startup, Paragraf, has closed a £12.8 million (~$16M) Series A round of funding led by early stage VC  Parkwalk. Also investing this round: IQ Capital Partners, Amadeus Capital Partners and Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialisation arm of the University of Cambridge, plus several unnamed angel investors. 

The funding will be used to bring the 2015-founded Cambridge University spin out’s first graphene-based electronics products to market — transitioning the startup into a commercial, revenue-generating phase.

When we covered Paragraf’s $3.9M seed raise just over a year ago CEO and co-founder Dr Simon Thomas told us it was looking to raise a Series A ahead of Q3 2019 so the business looks to be right on track at this stage.

During the seed phase Paragraf says it was able to deliver a manufacturing facility, graphene layer production and first device prototypes “significantly” ahead of

Continue reading “Cambridge Uni graphene spin-out bags $16M to get its first product to market”

Yandex-Uber JV MLU acquires regional rival Vezet for shares and $71.5M in cash


This post is by Ingrid Lunden from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




On-demand transportation giant Uber made its name in part by aggressively entering new markets on a path of organic growth, but in recent times, it has shown itself more amenable to the concept of expansion through acquisition. Today, MLU, Uber’s ride-sharing and food delivery JV with Yandex (by way of Yandex .taxi) covering cities in Russia and surrounding regions, announced that it has acquired Vezet, a smaller rival that operates in 123 markets in the same region, for a price that’s estimated to be in the region of $204 million.

Alongside that MLU said that it would be investing an further 8 billion rubles ($127 million) in the Russian regions over the next three years, with half towards safety and security — including driver training — and half for “supporting regional drivers and taxi fleet companies.” (The latter could be in the form of special incentives to continue encouraging them

Continue reading “Yandex-Uber JV MLU acquires regional rival Vezet for shares and $71.5M in cash”

Yandex-Uber JV MLU acquires regional rival Vezet for shares and $71.5M in cash


This post is by Ingrid Lunden from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




On-demand transportation giant Uber made its name in part by aggressively entering new markets on a path of organic growth, but in recent times, it has shown itself more amenable to the concept of expansion through acquisition. Today, MLU, Uber’s ride-sharing and food delivery JV with Yandex (by way of Yandex .taxi) covering cities in Russia and surrounding regions, announced that it has acquired Vezet, a smaller rival that operates in 123 markets in the same region, for a price that’s estimated to be in the region of $204 million.

Alongside that MLU said that it would be investing an further 8 billion rubles ($127 million) in the Russian regions over the next three years, with half towards safety and security — including driver training — and half for “supporting regional drivers and taxi fleet companies.” (The latter could be in the form of special incentives to continue encouraging them

Continue reading “Yandex-Uber JV MLU acquires regional rival Vezet for shares and $71.5M in cash”