Amidst the panic caused by the COVID-19 outbreak while many industries are hit drastically, the tech ecosystem in Europe hasn’t stopped making headlines. Several tech startups across Europe have made interesting updates such as the next-generation delivery drones from the German drone maker, big funding rounds for UK’s leading refurbished device marketplace and others as detailed here.
Monzo bolstering its leadership team
Monzo, one of the leading challenger banks in the UK is bolstering its leadership team. The company has roped in Sujata Bhatia, a former American Express executive in Europe as its new Chief Operating Officer. She will replace Monzo’s previous COO Tom Foster-Carter, who resigned the bank back in November last year. Prior to roping in Bhatia, the challenger bank hired Mike Hudack, the former CTO of Deliveroo. He joined Monzo in March as the new Chief Product Officer.
The new COO with almost 16 years of experience at American Express will take up the role in late June. It will be a turbulent time for Monzo along with other fintech companies as it attempts to insulate from the COVID-19 crisis and the related economic turmoil.
North Wales fintech startup exceeds crowdfunding target
North Wales-based fintech startup monva announced that it has exceeded the initial crowdfunding target of £250,000 (nearly €285,000). Despite the uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic, the AI-powered comparison service is all set to enter a period of overfunding in the next two weeks. Notably, the startup backed by the Development Bank of Wales has secured significant private investment, which exceeds its initial goal.
Detailing on monva, it is a smart comparison service, which uses its cutting-edge technology and virtual money saving assistant Mo to lead the industry by providing customers access to better deals customised for them. Furthermore, it announced the appointment of Simon Dawson with experience at MoneysuperMarket, IBM and Paybreak as its new CTO.
Paris startup raises €111.3M for refurbished device marketplace
Paris-based premier global refurbished electronics marketplace, Back Market has secured $120 million (nearly €111.3 million) funding from Goldman Sachs, Aglaé Ventures (the venture arm of Groupe Arnault), and Eurazeo Growth. These investors will join Daphni as the backers of the company. It continues to tap into the refurbished electronics market by selling such devices and appliances such as tablets, laptops, smartphones, and other products directly to its customers.
Back Market leads the refurbished electronics industry by selling products from certified sellers that refurbish, verify, and offer a minimum warranty of 12 months for all products. The company intends to use the fresh investment in quality control, to grow quality team by up to three times and to solidify its leadership in the industry.
€27M for German automated bookkeeping startup
Zeitgold, a German-Israeli intelligent software platform for small business accounting automation secured €27 million Series B funding in a round led by Vintage Investment Partners, which is a leading global venture firm. The round involves funding from existing investors such as Battery Ventures, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, Saban Ventures, and btov Partners, as well as insurance company AXA Germany and Deutsche Bank.
Zeitgold will use the fund to further develop its proprietary AI-powered software and continue focusing on the growth of the business to become the leading accounting automation platform in Europe. Already, over 80% of the booking scenarios are automated by Zeitgold software’s Artificial Intelligence. Using Zeitgold, business owners can significantly reduce the amount of work required to prepare their books and can therefore devote more resources to their core business.
New subscription service for unlimited and affordable rides
Italian micro-mobility startup Helbiz has launched its latest offering, Helbiz Unlimited, which is a subscription service that lets users worldwide take unlimited and affordable 30-minute trips on e-scooters and e-bikes every month. Helbiz Unlimited costs less than $1 per day and lets users to ride the company’s fleet of e-scooters or e-bikes for 30 minutes at a time. Currently, the company operates a fleet of 6,000 e-scooters and e-bikes in Milan, Verona, Rome, and Turin. It aims to expand the fleet to over 8,000 vehicles.
As governments are looking for micro-mobility solutions such as environment-friendly and socially conscious travel options, Helbiz is providing support and mobility assistance to let the world move. The micro-mobility startup has teamed up with the COVID-19 Task Force of the Italian government to provide guidance and support as the country plans to lift the stay-at-home order gradually.
German drone startups wins big
German drone manufacturer Wingcopter has won two prizes at the renowned Lake Kivu Challenge in Rwanda recently. Well, the organising committee of the Lake Kivu Challenge announced the Flying Competition backed by the World Bank. Wingcopter was awarded the winner of the Emergency Delivery category and received a special award for its safety procedures. It received GBP 65,000 as the prize money.
Notably, the Lake Kivu Challenge received 92 applications from 35 countries and only 10 drone companies were invited to put their drones and operators to the test at the competition. And, during the three weeks of flights, Wingcopter was able to impress the panel.of judges with its performance. This includes a fully automated delivery of an emergency package from a droneport on the mainland to Bugarura Island and a secure return landing.
Swedish audio startup appoints new CSO
Swedish sound pioneer Dirac that supplies audio tech to Taylor Swift just announced that it has roped in Agilent veteran Mats Oberg as its global Chief Sales Officer. Oberg joins Dirac from Waystream AB, which provides advanced digital infrastructure compliments and services. At Agilent Technologies, Oberg was the global market leader in analytical solutions for the biotech, chemical, and pharma industries.
Dirac offers a suite of audio optimisation solutions that are used by leading blue chip tech companies In automotive, mobile, headphone and home theatre markets including Bentley, Rolls-Royce, OnePlus, Oppo, Xiaomi, Volvo, Harman, RHA, StormAudio, Datasat, NAD Electronics and more. For the uninitiated, Dirac showcased its breakthrough headphone tech at the CES 2020.
Nordic fintechs team up to enable neobank
Rocker, Swedish neobanking pioneer has selected Finland’s largest fintech startup Enfuce as a partner for card issuing and payment processing. With this collaboration, Rocker will be able to issue Visa prepaid cards securely and easily. Formerly known as Bynk, Rocker collaborated with Enfuce’s team of experts in order to fast-track an otherwise complex
card issuing process.
Besides supporting licensing, compliance and payment processing, Enfuce’s one-stop-shop service will help Rocker to process card transactions according to the highest security and compliance standards. By integrating Enfuce’s web-based API, Rocker can seamlessly control features like dynamic spending limits, push notifications and geo blocking.
Peak Capital leads funding in German startup
A German startup GraphCMS GmbH, which provides a Headless CMS that offers digital marketers and web developers a way to collect and distribute content for apps, websites, and other web applications from a single source has secured a seed extension round of €2.5 million led by Peak Capital along with a slew of existing investors.
GraphCMS works with the mission to build the most cutting-edge content management system on the market. The investment comes soon after a major update and rebranding of the GraphCMS product of last month. It will use this investment to further develop the product and strengthen its growth in the mid-to-large scale enterprise segment in North America and Europe.
Main image picture credits: Wingcopter
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