Portfolio December 2 2019

After the Netherlands, BUX to expand into Germany and Austria in early 2020

Amsterdam-based mobile trading app startup BUX hosted the BUX Zero Launch Party at Tolhuistuin in the city recently. At the launch party, it made interesting announcements. Being the first European broker to have built a full-fledged broker from scratch in 10 years, the company expects to add more clients to its portfolio by the end of this year. Germany and Austria launch in 2020 After launching its commission-free service BUX Zero in the Netherlands, the startup is all set to launch it in Germany and Austria in early 2020. It is also planning to introduce American stocks that will be available for both German and Dutch users. Apart from these two countries, a broader rollout is expected to begin in 2020.The expansion into new markets is one of the major pillars on the BUX Zero roadmap for the next year. This will let it integrate BUX X’s unique online community into the commission-free trading app. The community has flourished in BUX X and the company wants to duplicate the environment in BUX Zero. This way, it can create a more engaging environment for investors, who are new to the markets.Besides this, BUX will also introduce ETFs and curated lists to users in these new markets to take their overall investing experience within the app to the next level. Exists in many countries! Founded in 2014 by Nick Bortot in Amsterdam, BUX aims to make it easy and affordable for users to do more with their hard-earned money. The company has made investing accessible to over two million users across nine countries in Europe.Initially, it introduced BUX X, its short-term trading app powered by a vibrant-in-app community. Then, it came up with BUX Zero, its commission-free trading app, which lets users invest in various brads and companies via the easy-to-use app.“Our original mission when we founded BUX was to make the world of finance accessible to more people. With the changing landscape in Europe, we’re building on this mission and want to give young Europeans more ways to make their money work for them,” said Founder and CEO, Nick Bortot. “BUX Zero is the next iteration of this journey. We’re anticipating a massive shift in how Europeans will plan for their financial futures, and we want to lead the change in Europe by making it easier to invest in the brands people care about, all with the option of zero-commission investing in a smooth and seamless app.”

Portfolio November 20 2019

BioCatch Joins Microsoft Azure Marketplace

“…BioCatch is now able help Azure users secure their systems through its sophisticated behavioral analytics technology, which uses Artificial Intelligence to assess over 2,000 parameters of user interaction for aberrant behavior that can signal potential fraud.” BioCatch‘s behavioral biometrics platform is now available through the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. The latter is a curated portfolio of applications and services for use on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. Thanks to its integration into the Marketplace, BioCatch is now able help Azure users secure their systems through its sophisticated behavioral analytics technology, which uses Artificial Intelligence to assess over 2,000 parameters of user interaction for aberrant behavior that can signal potential fraud. “By joining the Azure Marketplace and enabling the ‘transact’ feature, BioCatch’s behavioral biometrics technology now becomes readily available to the vast community of Microsoft enterprise customers who are looking for innovative ways to manage risk and user experience in the digital channel,” explained BioCatch Chief Revenue Officer Bill Sytsma in a statement announcing the integration. “Via the Azure Marketplace, contracting and implementing BioCatch becomes easier, cutting the time it takes to activate the service, for which demand is rapidly growing.” For its part, Microsoft appears to be an enthusiastic proponent of BioCatch’s technology. Not only has it added the BioCatch platform to its Azure Marketplace, but the company is also supporting BioCatch’s technology through its Executive Briefing Center in Singapore, where enterprise customers are able to access tailored briefings about partners’ tech solutions. “We’re pleased to welcome BioCatch to the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, which gives our partners great exposure to cloud customers from around the globe,” said Microsoft Azure Platform Senior Director Sajan Parihar, adding that the platform is designed to offer “world-class quality experiences from trusted global partners”.

Portfolio November 19 2019

BlueVine Raises $102.5 Million To Build Next-Generation Small Businesses

REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. — November 19, 2019 — BlueVine, the leading provider of small business banking, announced it has raised a $102.5 million in Series F round of equity financing. This funding round was led by ION Crossover Partners with participation from all major existing investors, including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, 83North, SVB Capital, Nationwide, Citi Ventures, Microsoft’s venture fund, M12, and private investors. The round also included new investors MUFG Innovation Partners Co., Ltd, O.G. Tech – Eyal Ofer’s VC, Vintage Investment Partners, ION Group, Maor Investments and additional private investors. BlueVine will use the funding to further build and scale its vision for BlueVine Business Banking, an end-to-end banking platform featuring a business checking account seamlessly integrated with BlueVine’s technology-enabled suite of online financing products. The BlueVine Business Checking Account, announced in October 2019, simplifies and enhances the banking experience for today’s small businesses with an intuitive, easy-to-use dashboard and the BlueVine Business Debit Mastercard® to manage everyday finances, while features like 1.00% interest on balances and zero monthly fees will help small businesses save and grow their money. “The recent launch of BlueVine Checking demonstrates our commitment to revolutionize banking for small business owners with a full suite of services designed specifically to meet their unique needs,” said Eyal Lifshitz, CEO and co-founder of BlueVine. “This funding further validates our mission and will help democratize true business-grade banking for small businesses who have been underserved for so long.” “BlueVine has demonstrated a track record of success with their multiple financing products and set themselves apart with their vision of a complete platform of innovative banking products for small businesses,” said Jonathan Kolodny, Partner at ION Crossover Partners. “We’ve been following the company closely since its early days, and have witnessed the demand, and frankly the economic need, for BlueVine’s banking services. We believe the company is exceptionally well-positioned, thanks to its world-class management team, to change the way small businesses manage their financial needs today and in the future.” The funds will help develop future BlueVine Business Banking features, such as integrations with BlueVine’s existing working capital solutions – Line of Credit, Invoice Factoring and Term Loan – which have already provided over 20,000 small business owners with access to more than $2.5 billion in financing since the company’s inception in 2013. The funding round will also help continue to grow the BlueVine team, including hires across engineering, product and revenue organizations. FT Partners advised BlueVine on this transaction. About BlueVine BlueVine empowers small businesses with innovative banking designed for them. BlueVine’s advanced online platform is intuitive and offers a convenient solution for the banking and working capital needs of businesses. BlueVine offers a suite of products designed to meet the diverse financial needs of today’s business owners including BlueVine Business Checking , Line of Credit, Term Loan, and Invoice Factoring. Based in Redwood City, California, BlueVine has provided small and medium-sized businesses with access to more than $2.5 billion in financing and is backed by leading private and institutional investors, including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, 83 North,SVB Capital,Citi Ventures, Nationwide Insurance, and M12 (Microsoft’s Venture Arm). All lines of credit and term loan products are issued by Celtic Bank, a Utah-chartered Industrial Bank, Member FDIC. Bank account services are provided by The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC. No monthly fees on a BlueVine Business Checking Account. Card Replacement Fees and Wire Transfer Fees may apply. You may be charged out-of-network ATM fees.  You may be charged a fee by the ATM owners, even if you don’t complete the transaction. The BlueVine Business Debit Mastercard is issued by The Bancorp Bank pursuant to a license from Mastercard International Incorporated and may be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. BlueVine® is a registered trademark of BlueVine Capital Inc. 2019 BlueVine Capital Inc. All Rights Reserved. For more information, please visit www.bluevine.com SOURCE: BLUEVINE

Portfolio November 11 2019

Voi raises another $85M for its European e-scooter service

Voi Technology, the “micro-mobility” startup that operates an e-scooter service in a 38 cities across 10 European countries, has raised an $85 million in Series B funding. Backing the round is a mixture of existing and new investors. They include Balderton Capital, Creandum, Project A, JME Ventures, Raine Ventures, Kreos Capital, Inbox Capital, Rider Global, and Black Ice Capital. The new funding brings the total raised by Voi to $136 million. Eagled-eyed readers will have noticed that, based on our previous Voi coverage, the total figure is $32 million short. That’s because not all of Voi’s previous Series A commitment was cashed in after the company was offered more favourable terms for its $30 million Series A extension and therefore elected not to draw down the second tranche of its original Series A. Launched in 2018, the company is best-known for its e-scooter rentals but now pitches itself as a micro-mobility provider, offering a number of different transport devices. These include various e-scooter and e-bike models, in a bid to become a broader transport operator helping to re-shape urban transport and wean people off using cars. To date, Voi says it has 4 million registered users and has powered 14 million rides. More recently it has launched new, more robust hardware that has been designed to sustain the rigours of commercial e-bike sharing. The idea is that more suitable hardware will help e-scooter companies improve margins since more rides can be extracted from the life-span of each vehicle. On that note, Voi says it will use the new funding to develop “strong profitable businesses” in the 38 cities where it is already operating, as well as increase its R&D spend to improve its technology platform and products. Earlier this year, the company announced that it is already profitable in the cities of Stockholm and Oslo. “Clearly, we feel we are on track to achieve this in more of our cities and that is our aim,” Voi co-founder and CEO Fredrik Hjelm tells me. “At this point, a key focus for us is to ensure we continue to increase the lifetime of our e-scooters, forge key partnerships and continue to work in those cities which provide the best conditions for a profitable e-scooter business”. Hjelm says that Voi’s version 2 scooters are projected to last over 18 months, which means the company should be in profit before it needs to raise again. However, he wouldn’t be drawn on when that might be. With regards to R&D and improvements to the Voi platform, the company will continue to work on the lifetime of its e-scooters, in addition to improved repair management via integrating “predictive diagnostics”. Hjelm also says Voi is developing “AI-powered” fleet management and more generally the platform’s capability to support future product portfolio expansion. In other words, we can expect new micro-mobility device categories in the future.   SOURCE: TECHCRUNCH

Portfolio November 5 2019

Riskified Announces $165 Million Series E Funding Round Led by General Atlantic

Funding round also includes participation from Fidelity Management & Research Company, Winslow Capital Management and existing investors to support Riskified’s rapid global expansion   NEW YORK, NY – November 5, 2019 — Riskified, the payments and fraud-prevention solutions provider, announced today its Series E funding round of $165 million, led by global growth investor General Atlantic, at a valuation of more than $1 billion. The proceeds will be primarily used by Riskified to more rapidly scale its business domestically and internationally and to expand its product footprint. Riskified’s suite of solutions operates at the intersection of merchants, banks and consumers to optimize the online and omni-channel paths-to-purchase. The company’s AI-powered fraud-prevention solutions enable merchants to instantly and accurately distinguish legitimate customers from fraudulent ones and boost conversion rates. Unlike scoring-based solutions, Riskified’s pioneering chargeback-guarantee model aligns the company’s incentives with merchants. As a result of Riskified’s accuracy, merchants increase sales, reduce the cost of fraud and deliver a better customer experience. Riskified’s solutions also increase bank authorization rates, protect customer accounts from misuse, and allow merchants to offer shoppers alternate payment methods. “Riskified began as a new and unproven approach to fraud prevention and payments. Achieving success required merchants to believe in our vision and partner with us. Today’s announcement is a testament to those partnerships and the leadership position we attained in this important market,” said Eido Gal, CEO and Co-founder of Riskified. “These funds will allow us to continue to develop innovative solutions that help move commerce forward.” “Our work in the payments space has shown us that Riskified’s machine learning-based approach provides material improvements over legacy fraud and risk management solutions,” said Aaron Goldman, Managing Director and Co-Head of General Atlantic’s Financial Services sector. “We believe that the Riskified team is strategically positioned to continue capturing this substantial market opportunity.” “Riskified is the rare blend of realized performance and considerable potential. The company’s innovative model has enabled it to deliver significant ROI to its customers and partners, with a clear runway ahead for strategic expansion of its geographic footprint, product offering, and consumer base,” said Tanzeen Syed, Managing Director in General Atlantic’s Technology sector. “We are thrilled to partner with Eido and the Riskified team to reinvent the payments ecosystem and add real value for customers.” By the numbers: Riskified customers typically see increased order approval rates up to 20% Riskified customers typically reduce their fraud-related costs up to 50% Riskified has experienced hyper growth of 250% CAGR over the past five years ARR surpassed $100m in 2018 and is projected to grow by high double digits in 2019 Riskified analyzes transactions from 235 countries and territories on all 7 continents Riskified has 420+ employees in New York and Tel Aviv and will have a new office in Shanghai before the end of 2019 Riskified works with some of the largest and most innovative merchants in eCommerce, from omni-channel retailers to digital-first merchants. Riskified helps merchants grow their online businesses by enabling international sales, new product offerings and seamless omnichannel flows all while providing the safety merchants require and the flexibility consumers need. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC. served as sole placement agent in this round. Existing investors Qumra Capital, Pitango Venture Capital and Entrée Capital also participated in the round. About Riskified  Riskified helps the ecommerce industry realize its full potential by making it universally safe, accessible and economic. The world’s largest brands – from airlines to luxury fashion houses to gift card marketplaces – trust us to increase revenue, manage risk and enhance their customer experience. Merchants lose billions of dollars to legacy fraud solutions, payment failures, high-friction verification methods and more. Riskified uses powerful machine-learning algorithms to recognize legitimate customers and keep them moving toward conversion. Using Riskified, merchants can safely approve more orders, expand internationally and fulfill omnichannel flows while providing a frictionless customer experience. www.riskified.com About General Atlantic: General Atlantic is a leading global growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support for growth companies. Established in 1980, General Atlantic combines a collaborative global approach, sector specific expertise, a long-term investment horizon and a deep understanding of growth drivers to partner with great entrepreneurs and management teams to build exceptional businesses worldwide. General Atlantic has more than 150 investment professionals based in New York, Amsterdam, Beijing, Greenwich, Hong Kong, Jakarta, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Munich, Palo Alto, São Paulo, Shanghai, and Singapore. For more information on General Atlantic, please visit the website: www.generalatlantic.com. About Winslow Capital: Winslow Capital is a premier growth equity investment firm, founded in 1992 on the same driving principle that continues to guide the Firm today: to deliver successful client outcomes over the long term while carefully managing risk. Winslow Capital is focused on finding the best equity opportunities in the marketplace using repeatable, time-tested processes that are firmly rooted in the fundamental research of individual companies by experienced professionals. The Firm manages approximately $21 billion (as of 9/30/19) in equity strategies including sub-advised mutual funds, separately managed accounts and a private equity vehicle for a wide variety of clients. Winslow Capital is an independent investment affiliate of Nuveen. For more information, visit www.winslowcapital.com.   SOURCE: TECHROUND