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”

Southeast Asian cloud communications platform Wavecell acquired by 8×8 in deal worth $125 million


This post is by Catherine Shu from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Wavecell, a cloud-communications platform for companies in Southeast Asia, announced today that it has been acquired by 8×8 in a deal worth about $125 million. The acquisition will help San Jose, California-based 8×8 expand in Asia, where Wavecell already has offices in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong.

Wavecell’s cloud API platform, which includes SMS, chat, video and voice messaging, is used by companies such as Paidy, Lalamove and Tokopedia. It has relationships with 192 network operators and partners like WhatsApp and claims its infrastructure is used to share more than two billion messages each year.

The terms of the deal includes $69 million in cash and about $56 million in 8×8 common shares. Founded in 2010, Wavecell’s investors included Qualgro VC, Wavemaker Partners and MDI Ventures.

In a prepared statement, 8×8 CEO Vik Verma said “8×8 is now the only cloud provider that owns the full,

Continue reading “Southeast Asian cloud communications platform Wavecell acquired by 8×8 in deal worth $125 million”

Southeast Asian cloud communications platform Wavecell acquired by 8×8 in deal worth $125 million


This post is by Catherine Shu from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Wavecell, a cloud-communications platform for companies in Southeast Asia, announced today that it has been acquired by 8×8 in a deal worth about $125 million. The acquisition will help San Jose, California-based 8×8 expand in Asia, where Wavecell already has offices in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong.

Wavecell’s cloud API platform, which includes SMS, chat, video and voice messaging, is used by companies such as Paidy, Lalamove and Tokopedia. It has relationships with 192 network operators and partners like WhatsApp and claims its infrastructure is used to share more than two billion messages each year.

The terms of the deal includes $69 million in cash and about $56 million in 8×8 common shares. Founded in 2010, Wavecell’s investors included Qualgro VC, Wavemaker Partners and MDI Ventures.

In a prepared statement, 8×8 CEO Vik Verma said “8×8 is now the only cloud provider that owns the full,

Continue reading “Southeast Asian cloud communications platform Wavecell acquired by 8×8 in deal worth $125 million”

Ebix to acquire Indian travel company Yatra for $337.8M


This post is by Manish Singh from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Atlanta-based software firm Ebix said today it is acquiring online travel booking company Yatra through a merger deal at an enterprise value of $337.8 million as they look to strengthen their position in India and footprints worldwide. Once the acquisition has completed, Yatra will become part of Ebix’s EbixCash travel portfolio — which also includes Via and Mercury — and will continue to serve customers under the Yatra brand, the two companies said.

Yatra, which went public in 2016 following a reverse-merger with a listed company, Terrapin 3 Acquisition Corporation, counts Reliance Industries-owned Network18 and Reliance Capital, Macquarie Group and Rotation Capital among its shareholders. Yatra posted a revenue of $31.7 million in Q4 2018. It had about 800 corporate clients as of earlier this year.

The combined entity will leverage Yatra’s large and loyal existing customer base, comprehensive service offering and multi-channel platform to take advantage of the dynamic and growing

Continue reading “Ebix to acquire Indian travel company Yatra for $337.8M”

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”

What seed-stage dilution tells us about changing investor expectations


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Round sizes are up. Valuations are up. There are more investors than ever hunting unicorns around the globe. But for all the talk about the abundance of venture funding, there is a lot less being said about what it all means for entrepreneurs raising their early funding rounds.

Take for instance Seed-stage dilution. Since 2014, enterprise-focused tech companies have given up significantly more ownership during Seed rounds. What gives?

Scale is an investor in early-in-revenue enterprise technology companies, so we wanted to better understand how this trend in Seed-stage dilution impacts companies raising Series A and Series B rounds.

Using our

Continue reading “What seed-stage dilution tells us about changing investor expectations”

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”

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”

Blackstone is acquiring mobile ad company Vungle


This post is by Anthony Ha from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Private equity firm Blackstone just announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire mobile advertising company Vungle.

The companies aren’t disclosing the financial terms, but as part of the transaction, Vungle has also reached a settlement with founder Zain Jaffer, who filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the company earlier this year.

“As a best-in-class performance marketing platform, Vungle represents a key growth engine for the mobile app ecosystem,” said Blackstone principal Sachin Bavishi in a statement. “Our investment will help deliver on the company’s tremendous growth potential and we look forward to partnering with management to extend Vungle’s strength across mobile gaming and other performance brands.”

Meanwhile, CEO Rick Tallman said the deal will allow the company to “further accelerate Vungle’s mission to be the trusted guide for growth and engagement, transforming how users discover and experience mobile apps.”

Vungle was founded back in 2011,

Continue reading “Blackstone is acquiring mobile ad company Vungle”

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”

Hero Labs raises £2.5M for its ultrasonic device to monitor a property’s water use and prevent leaks


This post is by Steve O'Hear from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Hero Labs, a London-based startup that is developing “smart” technology to help prevent water leaks in U.K. properties, has raised £2.5 million in seed funding. The round is led by Earthworm Group, an environmental fund manager, with further support via a £300,000 EU innovation grant and a number of unnamed private investors.

The new capital will be used by Hero Labs to accelerate development of its first product: a smart device dubbed “Sonic” that uses ultrasonic technology to monitor water use within a property, including the early detection of water leaks.

Founded in 2018 by Krystian Zajac after he exited Neos, a smart home insurer that was acquired by Aviva, Hero Labs was born out of the realisation that a lot of smart home technology either wasn’t very smart or didn’t solve mass problems (Zajac had also previously ran a smart home company focusing on ultra high

KZ Event

Continue reading “Hero Labs raises £2.5M for its ultrasonic device to monitor a property’s water use and prevent leaks”

Hero Labs raises £2.5M for its ultrasonic device to monitor a property’s water use and prevent leaks


This post is by Steve O'Hear from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Hero Labs, a London-based startup that is developing “smart” technology to help prevent water leaks in U.K. properties, has raised £2.5 million in seed funding. The round is led by Earthworm Group, an environmental fund manager, with further support via a £300,000 EU innovation grant and a number of unnamed private investors.

The new capital will be used by Hero Labs to accelerate development of its first product: a smart device dubbed “Sonic” that uses ultrasonic technology to monitor water use within a property, including the early detection of water leaks.

Founded in 2018 by Krystian Zajac after he exited Neos, a smart home insurer that was acquired by Aviva, Hero Labs was born out of the realisation that a lot of smart home technology either wasn’t very smart or didn’t solve mass problems (Zajac had also previously ran a smart home company focusing on ultra high

KZ Event

Continue reading “Hero Labs raises £2.5M for its ultrasonic device to monitor a property’s water use and prevent leaks”

Digging into the Roblox growth strategy


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Could Roblox create a new entertainment and communication category, something it calls “social co-experience”?

When it was a small startup, few observers would have believed in that future. But after 15 years — as told in the origin story of our Roblox EC-1 — the company has accumulated 90 million users and a new $150 million venture funding war chest. It has captured the imagination of America’s youth, and become a startup darling in the entertainment space.

But what, exactly, is social co-experience? Well, it can’t be described precisely — because it’s still an emerging category. “It’s almost like that fable where the nine blind men are touching and describing an elephant.

Everyone has a slightly different view,” says co-founder and CEO Dave Baszucki. In Roblox’s view, co-experience means immersive environments where users play, explore, talk, hang out, and create an identity that’s as thoroughly fleshed out (if not as

Lineup All 1

Continue reading “Digging into the Roblox growth strategy”

Digging into the Roblox growth strategy


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Could Roblox create a new entertainment and communication category, something it calls “social co-experience”?

When it was a small startup, few observers would have believed in that future. But after 15 years — as told in the origin story of our Roblox EC-1 — the company has accumulated 90 million users and a new $150 million venture funding war chest. It has captured the imagination of America’s youth, and become a startup darling in the entertainment space.

But what, exactly, is social co-experience? Well, it can’t be described precisely — because it’s still an emerging category. “It’s almost like that fable where the nine blind men are touching and describing an elephant.

Everyone has a slightly different view,” says co-founder and CEO Dave Baszucki. In Roblox’s view, co-experience means immersive environments where users play, explore, talk, hang out, and create an identity that’s as thoroughly fleshed out (if not as

Lineup All 1

Continue reading “Digging into the Roblox growth strategy”

City Pantry, the UK corporate catering marketplace, has been acquired by Just Eat for £16M


This post is by Steve O'Hear from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




City Pantry, the office catering marketplace that lets you order in food for staff, company events and meetings, has been acquired by takeout marketplace and delivery giant Just Eat.

The price is described as an initial cash offering of £16 million, with a possible further payout due if City Pantry achieves agreed operational and financial targets over the next three years.

The premise of the acquisition is to enable consumer-focused Just Eat to further expand into the U.K. corporate catering market by leveraging City Pantry’s brand, technology and sector knowledge. City Pantry claims over 1,000 monthly corporate customers.

Founded by Stuart Sunderland in 2013, City Pantry set out to improve the catering options available to companies in London. Its marketplace connects local caterers to businesses who need quality food delivered to their offices or to cover events, meetings and regular team meals.

When the startup first launched, Sunderland

Continue reading “City Pantry, the UK corporate catering marketplace, has been acquired by Just Eat for £16M”

How Roblox avoided the gaming graveyard and grew into a $2.5B company


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




There are successful companies that grow fast and garner tons of press. Then there’s Roblox, a company which took at least a decade to hit its stride and has, relative to its current level of success, barely gotten any recognition or attention.

Why has Roblox’s story gone mostly untold? One reason is that it emerged from a whole generation of gaming portals and platforms. Some, like King.com, got lucky or pivoted their business. Others by and large failed.

Once companies like Facebook, Apple and Google got to the gaming scene, it just looked like a bad idea to try to build your own platform — and thus not worth talking about. Added to that, founder and CEO Dave Baszucki seems uninterested in press.

But overall, the problem has been that Roblox just seemed like an insignificant story for many, many years. The company had millions of users, sure. So

GettyImages 1027412388

Continue reading “How Roblox avoided the gaming graveyard and grew into a $2.5B company”

SEC approves 1st consumer RegA+ token Props for cross-app rewards


This post is by Josh Constine from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




After cracking down on ICOs, the SEC just okayed the first two RegA+ tokens that offer an alternative way for anyone to gain a financial stake in a company, even unaccredited investors. Blockstack got approved for a $28 million digital token sale to raise money, while influencer live streaming app YouNow’s spin-off Props received a formal green light for a consumer utility ‘Howey’ token users can earn to get loyalty perks in multiple apps.

Props has already raised $21 million by pre-selling tokens to Union Square Ventures, Comcast, Venrock, Andreessen Horowitz’s Chris Dixon, and YouTuber Casey Neistat, so it isn’t raising any money with the RegA+ by selling its tokens like Blockstack. Instead, users earn or ‘mine’ Props by engaging with apps like YouNow, which will award the tokens for creating broadcasts, watching videos, and tipping creators. Having more Props entitles YouNow’s 47 million registered users bonus features, VIP status,

How Props Work
Props YouNow

Continue reading “SEC approves 1st consumer RegA+ token Props for cross-app rewards”

Runa Capital closes $70M for its third fund aimed at early-stage DeepTech


This post is by Mike Butcher from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Runa Capital, an international VC firm HQ’d in Silicon Valley says it has now closed $70 million for its third fund aimed at backing early-stage startups in so-called ‘DeepTech’. Runa says it is aiming for a $135 million final target for Runa Fund III. Last year, its total funding in the U.S. increased by 30 percent, tallying just shy of $100 billion across more than 5,500 deals, according to PwC and CB Insights.

Runa already has $270 million under management from its first two funds and is best known for backing mobile banking startup Final (acquired by Goldman Sachs), web server NGINX (acquired by F5 Networks), the mobile app analytics French Capptain (acquired by Microsoft), and the cloud banking platform Mambu. Its most recent investment was Acumatica acquired by private equity fund EQT Partners.

Founders Serguei Beloussov, Ilya Zubarev and Dmitry Chikhachev launched Runa Capital

Continue reading “Runa Capital closes $70M for its third fund aimed at early-stage DeepTech”

Swit, a collaboration suite that offers “freedom from integrations,” raises $6 million in seed funding


This post is by Catherine Shu from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




A marketplace dominated by Slack and Microsoft Teams, along with a host of other smaller workplace communication apps, might seem to leave little room for a new entrant, but Swit wants to prove that wrong. The app combines messaging with a roster of productivity tools, like task management, calendars and Gantt charts, to give teams “freedom from integrations.” Originally founded in Seoul and now based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Swit announced today that it has raised a $6 million seed round led by Korea Investment Partners, with participation from Hyunadi Venture Investment Corporation and Mirae Asset Venture Investment.

Along with an investment from Kakao Ventures last year, this brings Swit’s total seed funding so far to about $7 million. Swit’s desktop and mobile apps were released in March and since then more than 450 companies have adopted it, with 40,000 individual registered users. The startup was launched

Continue reading “Swit, a collaboration suite that offers “freedom from integrations,” raises $6 million in seed funding”

Swit, a collaboration suite that offers “freedom from integrations,” raises $6 million in seed funding


This post is by Catherine Shu from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




A marketplace dominated by Slack and Microsoft Teams, along with a host of other smaller workplace communication apps, might seem to leave little room for a new entrant, but Swit wants to prove that wrong. The app combines messaging with a roster of productivity tools, like task management, calendars and Gantt charts, to give teams “freedom from integrations.” Originally founded in Seoul and now based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Swit announced today that it has raised a $6 million seed round led by Korea Investment Partners, with participation from Hyunadi Venture Investment Corporation and Mirae Asset Venture Investment.

Along with an investment from Kakao Ventures last year, this brings Swit’s total seed funding so far to about $7 million. Swit’s desktop and mobile apps were released in March and since then more than 450 companies have adopted it, with 40,000 individual registered users. The startup was launched

Continue reading “Swit, a collaboration suite that offers “freedom from integrations,” raises $6 million in seed funding”