With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous tech startups have come forward to help millions of Europeans facing the heat due to the global crisis. Despite this scenario that has left a dent across businesses all over the globe, the European tech startup ecosystem seems to have been sizzling with many companies having made it to the headlines over the last week.
Notably, several tech startups across the EU have received investment to grow their business. Besides this, a few have launched useful products for their users and some have entered into partnerships that could help them take their business to the next level. And, here is a slew of tech headlines under our tech startups weekly.
Meniga-built banking app now in Czech Republic
London-based Meniga is a leading provider of digital banking technology. This fintech startup has partnered with UniCredit, a global banking and financial services company to launch an enhanced version of its smart banking app in the Czech Republic. This development follows the launch of Mbanking app in Serbia last year. The new app is said to have a slew of notable features such as detailed overviews of the users’ accounts, loans, cards, and mortgage, incoming and outgoing payments detailed through easy-to-read graphs, and categorisation of transactions for better budgeting and a detailed overview of spending. Notably, the Smart Banking app is free to download and is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
PayPal-backed accelerator extends deadline to startups working on COVID-19
Village Capital, a PayPal-backed accelerator has announced the deadline for applications for Finance Forward Europe 2020. This is an investment-readiness program targeted at the early-stage fintech startups from the EU and neighbouring countries. It has been extended to accommodate startups that are providing COVID-19 solutions as these companies are helping millions of Europeans who are locked down sans basic financial services and small businesses with their tech solutions. Startups that participate in the program by Village Capital will benefit from eight days of training that will be focused on improving investment readiness and growing their businesses. Notably, the applications will be closed on April 25, 2020.
Order cards for your kids
Swedish fintech startup P.F.C. is one of the fast-growing fintech apps. It has launched a new money management feature targeted at children and youngsters under 18 years and their parents. The P.F.C Family is a subscription-based feature that lets parents and guardians keep track of their children’s spending habits easily. Now, the startup has launched a Children’s Spending card along with Mastercard. After ordering the card, parents or guardians can use the P.F.C. app to transfer money instantly and receive notifications whenever children spend using it. It also shows how much and where they have spent. Furthermore, the card can be frozen and unfrozen at any given time from the app.
UK VC invests in automated content publishing startup
ContentCal, a UK-based marketing tech startup has bagged €2.8 million funding from Fuel Ventures, an early and growth-stage investor along with existing shareholders. The startup will use this investment to drive customer growth, product innovation, and expansion of its team. The products from ContentCal will let businesses to centralise and automate processes such as content ideation, creation, publishing, and reporting across social media channels, internal communications, blogs, and advertising platforms. And, it helps them balance the requirement to publish more content with the quality of content.
Spanish app for sports reservations bags funding
Spanish startup Playtomic has secured €1.7 million funding led by GP Bullhound and Optimizer Invest. This investment comes after the €6 million investment it raised in 2019 focused on international expansion. Founded in 2017, Playtomic is a booking app for paddle football and tennis courts. It intends to enable people to practice sports in a convenient way and lets them reserve a sports facility in just three clicks using its app. Apart from booking, the Spanish startup can be used to find other players with the same level of skills and to join a social sports community.
Swiss fintech startup secures fresh funding
Crypto Finance based in Switzerland secured €13.3 million Series B funding in a round led by Swiss investor Rainer-Marc Frey and Beijing-based Lingfeng Capital among others. The company will use the investment to continue expanding into the global markets where a majority of its clients live in. Crypto Finance offers fintech services such as asset management, tokenisation, trading, and storage solutions for institutional investors. With the latest funding round, the startup intends to create new connections between fintech sectors of Europe and the Asia Pacific.
Mobile tax filing app secures huge funding
Berlin-based automated tax software Taxfix recently secured $65 million (nearly €59.7 million) Series C funding from Index Ventures along with existing investors. With the latest funding, the startup will help grow the teams in Madrid and Berlin and fuel expansion into new countries. Taxfix, the mobile tax app automates the process of filing tax returns by simulating a conversation with tax accountants. The algorithm asks around 70 questions from over 3,000 questions as per the user’s circumstances. It is said that it will help file a tax return in 22 minutes on average.
More funding for sustainable reusable packaging
LivingPackets, a Franco-German logistics startup bagged €5 million funding via a crowdfunding campaign. This crowding campaign is meant to develop its intelligent packaging system, THE BOX. Notably, this product is designed to minimise shipping waste and enhance the last-mile delivery service. As it is focused on sustainable solutions, THE BOX can be reused up to 1000 times. In addition to reuse, it is made of eco-friendly packaging and is fitted with numerous sensors that can help in tracking the parcel, changing the delivery address, etc. THE BOX is still in the pre-production phase but LivingPackets claims that hundreds and thousands of companies have shown interest or requested to use this product as soon as it’s available.
UK meal-kit service to use AI to personalise customer service
While the COVID-19 pandemic and the related lockdown has impacted numerous businesses across industries, the food delivery industry is witnessing a surge in activity as people are locked down in their home. One notable startup in this industry in the UK is Gousto and it has secured £33 million (nearly €37.8 million) funding. This fresh round of investment will be used in its AI engine so that customers can get personalise recommendations of what to cook and eat. Also, it will be used in the backend tech to optimise logistics and other operations.
Also applying AI to insurance claims
London-based insurtech startup Sprout.ai uses Artificial Intelligence for insurance claims. In a recent move, the startup that incubated at London’s Imperial College secured $2.5 million (nearly €2.3 million) seed funding led by Amadeus Capital Partners along with participation from Playfair Capital and Techstars. Sprout.ai has developed AI-based software that lets insurance claims to be settled within 24 hours. The company deploys optical character recognition and natural language processing to understand unstructured insurance claim data and merges the same with real-time external data such as business, geolocation, weather, and medication information to automate claims.
Main image picture credits: Taxfix
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