As a part of a weekly roundup, we have listed some of the most important stories which grabbed attention in Europe technology news ecosystem this week.
Twitter Fleets, Stories-like feature expands to the Netherlands
Some Twitter users in the Netherlands have reported that they have received a feature that will let them post content that will vanish automatically after 24 hours. Called Twitter Fleets, this feature is similar to Instagram Stories, which is also available for Facebook and WhatsApp users. Notably, Fleets are public but won’t appear in Moments and Search. It can be accessed only via the user profile and tapping on the avatar. There will be a carousel of Fleets from all those you follow at the top of the Twitter app.
Back in March this year, the micro-blogging site revealed that it will try the idea of bringing the ephemeral content after minor tests in Brazil. Later, the same feature was experimented with users in India before entering new markets. As of now, Twitter Fleets is available only for select users in the Netherlands and a wider rollout of the same is yet to be revealed.
Just Eat Takeaway partners with Starbucks, Burger King, Pizza Hut & KFC
Just Eat Takeaway, which is the parent company of Thuisbezorgd.nl signed a partnership agreement with AmRest, which is behind franchise restaurant chains such as Pizza Hut, Starbucks, and Burger King. This agreement is the first pan-European agreement made by Just Eat Takeaway and will let it leverage its strong presence across Europe. This partnership underlines the significance of a long-term commitment between both companies and has a duration of three years.
Talking about AmRest, it is a leading European multi-brand franchise restaurant operator that comprises all leading brands across 26 countries. It operates over 2,300 restaurants under brands such as Starbucks, Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFC, and proprietary brands such as Sushi Shop, La Tagliatella, Bacoa, Blue Frog, and KABB.
Bringly expands to Eindhoven, Tilburg, Helmond, Maastricht and Venlo
The sustainable Amsterdam-based same-day delivery platform Bringly has expanded its service to several Dutch cities including Eindhoven, Tilburg, Maastricht, Helmong, and Venlo. The company ensures its last-mile delivery service via bicycles for both local and large retailers. Notably, this service is already active in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, and Amersfoort. The retailers can connect via either the Bringly Dashboard or API.
Founded in 2019 by Rajiv Laigsingh, Bringly is a ship-from-store solution, which uses partners with sustainable delivery companies. The software used by this startup lets retailers with physical stores provide same-day delivery to their customers. Earlier this year, this startup secured a pre-seed round to expand its sustainable delivery service to different cities and countries and to improve its software and integrations for retailers.
VC firm raises second fund to back digital health startups
In a recent development, APEX Ventures announced the launch of its second fund, which focuses on digital health startups. This investment will back seed stage deep tech startups. The VC invests in exceptional talented teams that intend to improve patient outcomes and their lives. The second fund of €50 raised by APEX Ventures will be headed by Gordon Euller, a radiologist who worked previously at AKH, Vienna’s General Hospital and at McKinsey in London.
Established in 2017, APEX Ventures’ investments have been made in the DACH region via its Autrian base. The focus area expands from DACH-based companies to those based in other parts of Europe, US and Israel. Also, the VC firm will issue a call with Herman Hauser Investment Group for the best startups in Europe in the area of AI-powered healthcare data marketplaces.
Amazon gets green signal to invest in UK’s largest food delivery service
Amazon has been waiting for a long time to become a major investor in the UK’s largest food delivery service Deliveroo. Now, the deal is over and the UK competition regulator has confirmed that Amazon gets a 16% stake of the local on-demand food delivery app Deliveroo. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating the plan since early last year since Amazon invested $575 million (nearly €486 million) in Deliveroo’s Series G funding round.
As per CMA, the food delivery market has rebounded since April this year and rapidly improved Deliveroo’s finances. The regulator couldn’t approve Amazon’s funding as Deliveroo could not sans it. With this stake that Amazon owns, it could affect its incentives to compete with Deliveroo in both online convenience grocery delivery and restaurant delivery in the coming years.
Soundcloud founders launch e-bike subscription service
The founders of SoundCloud, which is a music streaming service – Eric Quidenus-Wahlforss and Alexander Ljung have launched a new electric bike subscription service called Dance along with Christian Springub. Notably, this startup is the latest market entrant that wants to capitalise on the e-bike market that has garnered popularity during the pandemic crisis as people are looking for effective alternatives to public transport.
Rather than selling e-bikes, Dance wants to create a global community of subscribers. As e-bikes are quite expensive, the founders of this startup people that a monthly subscription fee via an app could attract more users. Dance customers can get an urban e-bike for €59 a month and it can reach up to 15mph. Also, the company provides free repairs and replace the lost or stolen bikes immediately for free.
Amazon Prime Air drone delivery team expanded
Amazon’s Prime Air drone delivery team based in Cambridge, UK has ramped up the expansion of its project and has nearly doubled the number of staff in this team. Now, Prime Air has close to 60 staff with the intention to make Amazon deliveries via a drone a reality. This ambitious project debuted in 2016 with the intention to use drones that can travel up to 15 miles and deliver packages under five pounds in less than 30 minutes.
The recent hires to the Amazon Prime Air team include several flight operators who will hold the responsibility of flying the drones. The company revealed its plans to hire over 2,000 people across the UK last year and this covers 170 significant roles at its tech hubs in London, Edinburgh, and Cambridge.
Polish healthcare startup secures funding for international expansion
Infermedica, a Polish digital health platform provides healthcare specialists with the necessary tools required to pre-diagnose and connect with a patient remotely. This startup has developed a free COVID-19 Risk Assessment Tool right at the time when the coronavirus pandemic is spreading quickly across the world. This tool developed by Infermedica is free to use and is updated continuously as per the latest WHO and CDC reports and findings. Currently, this tool is available in more than 20 languages and a slew of healthcare and insurance organisations from over 15 countries to stop the spread of COVID-19.
In a recent development, Infermedica that was founded by Piotr Orzechowski in 2012 has secured nearly €8.4 million Series A funding led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Heal Capital. The company will use this investment for platform R&D to improve patient triage, symptom checking features, and clinical decision support analysis. Also, Infermedica will focus on expanding globally in Germany and the US.
Main image picture credits: Dance