The COVID-19 pandemic effect is easing gradually and businesses are returning to their normal state. Since the debut of this pandemic, businesses across categories have been facing a plunge in demand except for telehealth and other digital services. Now, as companies are adapting to the new normal set by the pandemic, several startups have attracted funding while some others are eyeing major expansion plans.
European tech startups roundup
Without further ado, here is a list of happenings in the European tech startup arena this week.
Woman-led innovative UK insurtech startup acquired by Direct Line Group
Brolly, a London-based insurtech has been acquired by Direct Line Group for an undisclosed sum. It has attracted one of the biggest insurance companies in the UK as its buyers. And, its nine-member team is claimed to be joining Direct Line besides sharing its tech platform. The acquisition has been made as it faced competition from GetSafe, a German insurtech that entered the UK earlier this year and the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a plunge in demand in the industry.
Brolly was founded in 2016 by Phoebe Hugh, whose vision was to revolutionise insurance by designing products that make buying, managing and claiming an affordable, intuitive and straightforward experience. Last year, in August 2019, Brolly launched a pioneering insurance product – Brolly Contents – a fully-digital contents insurance app for renters and homeowners, offering flexible cover in a simple monthly subscription.
Spotify expands to 13 European markets
Swedish streaming service Spotify recently announced that it expands into 13 new European markets. With this expansion, the service is now available in 92 markets all over the world. The new European markets that have got Spotify are Albania, Bosnia, Belarus, Croatia, sHerzegovina, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, North Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine, and Slovenia. Users in these markets will be able to listen to 50 million tracks, 4 billion playlists and other features.
In addition to the expansion into new markets, the music streaming service from Sweden welcomes nearly 250 million fans to discover new music from all over the world. Newcomers from these markets will join Spotify’s existing 286 million listeners. And, they can become one among the 130 million Premium subscribers.
Fighting fraud with machine learning
London-based fraud detection company Ravelin has secured a Series C funding of £16.4 million (nearly €18.1 million). The funding round is led by Draper Esprit along with participation from existing investors including BlackFin Tech, Amadeus Capital Partners, and Passion Capital. With this investment, the company will be able to expand in the global markets and industries and it will help drive its innovations..
Founded by Leonard Austin, Mairtin O’Riada, Nick Lally, and Stephen Whitworth in 2014, Ravelin is a pioneer in the use of machine learning and graph network technologies to assist online businesses accept more payments with confidence. It has expanded into ticketing, travelling, gaming, entertainment, gambling, and retail.
Dutch healthcare startup intends to support people with diabetes
Rotterdam-based healthcare startup MiGuide has announced that it has secured €650K funding from two investment funds led by Healthy.Capital. The fresh investment will be used by the company to expand its platform. The investment will help the company grow further as the demand for digital healthcare is too high right now during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Founded by Arjen Huizinga, MiGuide sees a great opportunity to expand into other chronic diseases as well.
Well, MiGuide offers a platform, which supports people with diabetes in tweaking their lifestyle. This platform helps patients and general practitioners work together to achieve better health. Via this app, patients receive advice and coaching on exercise, nutrition, glucose, and relaxation.
Good news, there is a potential vaccine against COVID-19
Researchers and scientists all over the world are working on a vaccine against COVID-19. While reports suggest that it could take a year to come up with a vaccine, it looks like there is good news from researchers in Oxford. A potential vaccine against COVID-19 is touted to have been produced at the Oxford Vaccine Group’s facility at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital. There will be positive news on the initial trials of the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine backed by AstraZeneca.
This vaccine is claimed to generate the kind of antibody and T-cell response researchers would hope to see. Its efficacy will be known in the large phase III programme, which is under way in Brazil. If this Oxford vaccine in question turns out to be effective against COVID-19, it could go into mass production by September.
Munich software startups eyeing global expansion secures funding
Userlane, a Munich-based leading digital adoption software platform has announced that it has bagged €10 million Series B funding led by Five Elms Capital. The investors that participate in the funding round are Capnamic, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), and early-stage investor and main incubator of Commerzbank Group. The company will use this investment to fuel its expansion in the US and Europe and accelerate product development while offering optimal support to its customers across different markets.
Established in 2015 by Felix Eichler, Hartmut Hahn, and Kajetan Uhlig, Userlane has witnessed a major demand since March while the whole world is undergoing economic uncertainty. Fast-growing tech companies including Personio, Celonis, Freighthub, etc. work with Userlane to empower their employees and users. Its technology comprises step-by-step guides that layer above any browser-based software. It communicates live with software users with automatically gathered data.
UK-based fake news detection startup prepares for US elections
UK-based fake news detection startup Logically uses Artificial Intelligence to detect misinformation and provides a fast-checking service to fight fake news. This startup just announced that it bagged €2.77 million to develop its product right in time during the US elections. The fresh investment is led by NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance (managed by Mercia and XTX Ventures). Logically will curb the spread of fake information and make sure people see both sides of the story thereby keeping the elections fair and free.
Logically was founded in 2017 by Lyric Jain in Brighouse, Yorkshire. It uses Artificial Intelligence and digital forensics to analyse conspiracy theories and media stories to help public separate facts from fake misinformation. It has a free app for users and works with governments, social media platforms and new organisations to prevent misinformation.
Tink acquires Swedish fintech Instantor
Swedish open banking platform Tink has acquired a leading service provider of credit solutions, Instantor. With this acquisition, the products and services of Instantor that are used by over 150 live customers such as banks and fintech companies across 13 European markets will become a part of Tink. And, Tink’s customers will be able to use the market-leading products of Stockholm-based Instantor.
The credit solutions service provider was founded by John Grundström and Niklas Bergman in 2010. It provides banks and fintechs with products to enhance credit decision by extracting insights from consumer bank transactions to verify income and identify risk behaviours to allow for improved assessments of credit risk.
Main image picture credits: Brolly