Portfolio May 27 2020
Berlin-based fintech scale-up Smava secures €57 million in financing to maintain growth through economic downturn
Berlin-based Smava, a credit comparison platform that offers cheaper loan options to consumers, has raised €57 million from Kreos Capital, along with existing investors Earlybird, Verdane, Vitruvian Partners and Runa Capital. The round includes a mix of capital and growth debt. The fintech platform offers an overview of 70 loans between €1,000 and €120,000 from over 20 banks and lending partners. Consumers select the loan that suits them and take it out directly. On average, smava borrowers pay about 35 percent less interest than the German national average. Founded in 2007, the company has raised several rounds of funding, most recently a €65 million Series D over two years ago. After that investment, business growth accelerated: from 2018 to 2019, smava’s brokered loan volume grew by 35 percent from around €2 billion to around €2.7 billion. In a press release, the fintech scale-up says that growth rate is increasing in the first quarter of 2020. Maintaining this trajectory through an uncertain post-pandemic economy is exactly why the company sought new financing. The package includes €35 million in growth debt from Kreos, who’s been working with the startup since 2014, and €22 million in capital from the other investors. “This enables us to continue our investments in digitalization and other product innovations and to maintain our growth course despite the worst economic crisis of the past decades caused by the corona pandemic,” said Alexander Artopé, CEO and co-founder.
Portfolio May 27 2020
Aircall raises $65m Series C
Aircall, a cloud-based phone system and voice platform helping companies across the globe manage millions of customer support and sales calls every day, today announced it has raised $65 million (€60 million) in Series C funding. The round was led by DTCP, with participation from new investors Swisscom and Adam Street, as well as existing UK investors including Balderton Capital and Draper Esprit, alongside eFounders and NextWorld. This latest round brings the company’s total funding to over $100 million. The European-headquartered scale-up has experienced tremendous growth in the last years. With the explosion of remote work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Aircall’s mission to seamlessly connect even the most distributed teams with their customers and prospects, has become essential. The company will use this injection of funding to broaden its global expansion, and aims to end the year with 100 new hires, notably with top engineering talent, in new and current markets, including the UK. Aircall will accelerate this expansion by adding to its growing list of integrations and revamping its API capabilities, as it continues to disrupt the telecoms industry. The company currently supports more than 5,000 businesses worldwide, 3,000 of which are based in Europe, including Natwest, Spareroom, Mindful Chef, Glovo or Soldo. Aircall’s goal is to double its European customer base over the next twelve months, as it continues its mission to become the world’s leading voice platform, taking on the $80 billion market. Jonathan Anguelov, Co-Founder and COO, Aircall commented: “More than ever, Aircall is proving how important voice is within the business ecosystem: in employee-client relationships, when approaching prospects, and when interacting with other team members. “The accelerating digital transition of companies around the world, the rapid increase in cloud usage and the new working methods that these imply are very promising for our development.” Thomas Preuss, Partner, DTCP said: “We’ve yet to see another company like Aircall that’s bringing such ease of use, flexibility, and seamless integration into the traditionally complex world of telephony. “They’ve done a brilliant job helping companies modernise their tech stacks, and we’re excited to collaborate with Olivier and the team as they usher in a new, modern era for today’s businesses.” Bernard Liautaud, Managing Partner, Balderton Capital said: “Since our initial investment five years ago, Aircall has consistently delivered on its commitment to providing a world-class voice solution and app ecosystem.” “In our current climate, it has never been more important to be connected, so we are proud to be supporting Aircall’s expansion plans as they lead the charge in transforming business communications.” Stuart Chapman, Chief Operating Officer, Draper Esprit, commented: “The challenges of recent months have highlighted the existing trend towards remote and distributed working. “Aircall has redefined the customer experience through its flexible and open platform. As it accelerates its growth, we’re excited to see businesses all over the world discover the incredible value of Aircall.”
Portfolio May 26 2020
Scandit raises $80m as Covid-19 drives demand for contactless deliveries
Enterprise barcode scanner company Scandit has closed an $80 million Series C round, led by Silicon Valley VC firm G2VP. Atomico, GV, Kreos Capital, NGP Capital, Salesforce Ventures and Swisscom Ventures also participated in the round — which brings its total raised to date to $123M. The Zurich-based firm offers a platform that combines computer vision and machine learning tech with barcode scanning, text recognition (OCR), object recognition and augmented reality which is designed for any camera-equipped smart device — from smartphones to drones, wearables (e.g. AR glasses for warehouse workers) and even robots. Use-cases include mobile apps or websites for mobile shopping; self-checkout; inventory management; proof of delivery; asset tracking and maintenance — including in healthcare where its tech can be used to power the scanning of patient IDs, samples, medication and supplies. It bills its software as “unmatched” in terms of speed and accuracy, as well as the ability to scan in bad light; at any angle; and with damaged labels. Target industries include retail, healthcare, industrial/manufacturing, travel, transport & logistics and more. The latest funding injection follows a $30M Series B round back in 2018. Since then Scandit says it’s tripled recurring revenues, more than doubling the number of blue-chip enterprise customers, and doubling the size of its global team. Global customers for its tech include the likes of 7-Eleven, Alaska Airlines, Carrefour, DPD, FedEx, Instacart, Johns Hopkins Hospital, La Poste, Levi Strauss & Co, Mount Sinai Hospital and Toyota — with the company touting “tens of billions of scans” per year on 100+ million active devices at this stage of its business. It says the new funding will go on further pressing on the gas to grow in new markets, including APAC and Latin America, as well as building out its footprint and ops in North America and Europe. Also on the slate: Funding more R&D to devise new ways for enterprises to transform their core business processes using computer vision and AR. The need for social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic has also accelerated demand for mobile computer vision on personal smart devices, according to Scandit, which says customers are looking for ways to enable more contactless interactions. Another demand spike it’s seeing is coming from the pandemic-related boom in ‘Click & Collect’ retail and “millions” of extra home deliveries — something its tech is well positioned to cater to because its scanning apps support BYOD (bring your own device), rather than requiring proprietary hardware. “COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on the need for rapid digital transformation in these uncertain times, and the need to blend the physical and digital plays a crucial role,” said CEO Samuel Mueller in a statement. “Our new funding makes it possible for us to help even more enterprises to quickly adapt to the new demand for ‘contactless business’, and be better positioned to succeed, whatever the new normal is.” Also commenting on the funding in a supporting statement, Ben Kortlang, general partner at G2VP, added: “Scandit’s platform puts an enterprise-grade scanning solution in the pocket of every employee and customer without requiring legacy hardware. This bridge between the physical and digital worlds will be increasingly critical as the world accelerates its shift to online purchasing and delivery, distributed supply chains and cashierless retail.”
Portfolio May 20 2020
8×8 selects GoCardless to manage recurring payments
UK-based fintech GoCardless has announced teaming with integrated cloud communications platform provider 8x8 to provide direct debit to its customers. 8x8 was looking to transition its direct debit offering to an online solution that would manage payments across multiple bank debit schemes and countries, to increase their visibility within the business and minimise payment failure rates. The company initially turned to GoCardless to collect its payments from customers in the Bacs and SEPA direct debit schemes and quickly extended the relationship to include payments from Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand. 8x8 is using the GoCardless API to integrate its payments with Salesforce.com and its billing engine, Gotransverse, to provide a seamless ‘quote to cash’ process to increase efficiency and provide a 360 degree view of payments within the business.
Portfolio May 19 2020
Contentsquare, the digital experience analytics platform scores $190m Series D
Contentsquare, the cloud-based platform that helps businesses understand how and why users are interacting with their app, mobile and web sites, has closed $190m in Series D funding. The round is led by BlackRock's Private Equity Partners team, with participation from previous investors. In addition, as part of this round, Sapiance Capital Limited is providing credit to the company. It brings total funding for Contentsquare to $310m. Previous backers include Canaan, Eurazeo Growth, GPE Hermes, Highland Euope, H14 and KKR, most of whom we're told participated in this round. The company's $60m Series C round took place in January 2019. Founded in 2012, Contentsquare wants to empower brands to create “better experiences”. Its SaaS analyses customer behaviour through billions of anonymous web, mobile and app interactions. It then provides recommendations, with the goal of helping companies increase revenue, engagement and growth. In other words, Contentsquare claims it can tell a company why conversion rates are low and, most importantly, what can be done to improve them. This can include making changes to specific page or content elements, or a combination of the two. To enable this, the software integrates a broad set of data including content, UX, product, pricing, acquisition channel and technical performance — spanning the entire digital customer journey. To date, Contentsquare says its platform is used by more than 700 enterprise customers including 30% of the Global Fortune 100. This includes large companies such as American Express, Best Buy, Dell, Ikea, LVMH, T-Mobile, Salesforce, Sephora and Toyota. “This investment during these uncertain times is a proof of the fantastic job done by our teams”, said Jonathan Cherki, founder and CEO of Contentsquare, in a statement. “It validates the strength of our vision for the next 5 years to further extend our global leadership in experience analytics at a time when these capabilities are critical to all businesses. Meanwhile, Contentsquare says the new capital will help it continue to invest in innovation, including “AI-based and predictive analytics”. It is also planning further expansion across the Americas, Europe, Asia and Middle East.
Portfolio May 19 2020
EGYM presents Corona gym solution, a solution package for the successful re-opening of fitness studios
Finally, the time has come: fitness and health facilities around the globe are gradually resuming operations. However, the world has changed fundamentally in recent weeks in the wake of the Corona pandemic: gyms need to adapt their processes and routines in order to remain successful in the "new normality". EGYM has therefore developed Corona Gym Solution within a very short time, a package of many intelligent solutions that meet both the new regulations and the increased safety and hygiene needs of members, and of course the business interests of operators. The aim of Corona Gym Solution is to quickly restore the studios to full functionality. The package contains a wealth of innovative components - from the brand new Immunity Boost training program to strengthen the immune system, to mobile training slot booking and hygiene checks. The Corona Gym Solution also takes local regulations into account, such as the disinfection of all equipment after each use, where the intervals in circuit training are automatically increased by ten seconds to allow sufficient time for this. The Corona Gym Solution from EGYM contains: Mobile Training Slot Booking - the EGYM Branded Member App allows operators to efficiently manage capacity with booking of time slots to ensure that members train safely while complying with all applicable guidelines and social distance measures. Members can view or book available training slots from anywhere via the app. It couldn't be more convenient and safe! Special training programs to strengthen immunity - especially strength training - are the key to reducing underlying diseases and strengthening the immune system. EGYM has developed the new Immunity Boost training program specifically for this purpose. Its granular intensity control ensures growth stimulation and effectiveness of the training, while avoiding over- and underloading. An easy-to-use mobile platform that enhances the gym with a free digital offer during the reopening phase. With the Member App, operators can also support their members outside the studio and provide access to virtual workouts to further promote involvement within the fitness studio community. The displays of the EGYM machines as well as the Branded Member App automatically and regularly remind the members to comply with the hygiene regulations; via App, the members in turn immediately give their personal hygiene feedback to their studio. Corona Gym Solution Marketing Kit - operators will find everything they need to ensure safe training for all members: from floor stickers that help members navigate and show them the correct running routes and starting and waiting points, to equipment stickers that draw attention to correct equipment (e.g. "No shoes", "No water bottles", "Only with towel, etc.), to posters and flyers for the new Immunity Boost training program. EGYM is offering the new features as well as EGYM+ (formerly EGYM Premium) free of charge to all fitness studios during the reopening phase to enable operators to make a successful restart under the current particularly challenging circumstances.