The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many businesses across the world but there is no denying that there is some level of activity going on in the tech startup ecosystem. To combat the pandemic outbreak, numerous tech startups have come forward with effective solutions that can be of great help. And also several startups announced mergers, acquisitions, new products, and funding rounds. Here’s a compiled news list of all important events in the tech corporate world which you should know about.
European fintech Curve has just invented a new way to help customers free up more cash during the COVID-19 lockdown. The app will now allow customers to move past payments onto a different card for up to 90 days after the payment has been made.
The feature, known as Go-Back-In-Time, was already available with a two-week window to switch between cards but with now more improved feature, Curve is extending the ability to switch payments made up to three months ago. This enables people to transfer any payments made on Curve long before the pandemic hit Europe to a different card.
The company has recently announced that it is one of the first companies in Europe to provision numberless cards to its crowdfund investors. Curve also announced the appointment of former Payment Systems Regulator CEO Hannah Nixon as Advisor last week.
Free Now to restructure, merges with French app Kapten
Chauffeur-Privé, a French rival to the car-hailing app Uber was rebranded Kapten in early 2019. This move was meant to expand to other markets soon. Now, Kapten has merged with Free Now and revealed that there will be a restructuring plan. Free Now is the parent company of mytaxi, Clever Taxi, Kapten, and Beat. The Free Now app lets you hail a taxi and pay for a ride directly from your phone. The merger could be completed sometime this year and there will be a single brand, a single team, and a single app with Marc Berg leading the organisation.
From babysitting to grocery shopping
Sitly, an international babysitting platform with over 3 million families and babysitters registered in Europe and Latin America has launched a new service. Basically the Dutch babysitting marketplace has entered into the new grocery delivery market targeted at the elderly and people in the high-risk group who wish not to go to stores themselves. During the COVID-19 lockdown, families no more need babysitters as they are at home but they need to go out for grocery shopping. For this reason, the Amsterdam-based startup has asked its babysitters to help with grocery shopping. The service has been welcomed in several European markets such as Italy, the Netherlands, and other countries.
Norwegian startup on acquiring spree
Norwegian startup Mohawk Analytics announced the acquisition of successful Dutch tech startup Brightmaven. Both companies are leaders in the field of theft and fraud-related claim reduction in the insurance industry. On acquiring Brightmaven, Mohawk will be able to provide a more comprehensive and better service to existing customers in over 15 countries. Eventually, both companies will be able to come up with new and better products targeted at the insurance industry. In addition to this, Ron Vermeulen, the co-founder and COO will become a shareholder of Mohawk.
A smart desk for healthy work from home, all the way from Budapest!
To curb the spread of COVID-19, many companies across the world are urging their employees to work from home. But this new work from home trend could result in a serious health problem due to the lack of ergonomic office furniture. To resolve this, gadgets and furniture are getting smarter and Ait Desks has come up with a desk that ensures users are healthier, less stressed, and more productive. These smart desks monitor the time you spend sitting and tell you when to get up from the chair. You will also get personalised exercise programs to help you stay fit without interrupting your urgent tasks. Furthermore, the Ait Smart Desks notify you of theyou the deterioration of air quality in the room and when it should be ventilated, features an adjustable tabletop to maintain a healthier posture and more.
Bó is witnessing more departures
Bó, a digital bank developed by RBS-owned Natwest. Recently, this fintech has been witnessing many departures. Back in January this year, Mark Bailie, the CEO of Bó departed the company. Now, Ollie Purdue, the chief product officer of the startup is seeking a new opportunity. Well, Purdue is all set to join Antler, an early-stage venture capital firm in the coming weeks. Before Bó, Purdue founded millennial bank account Loot in 2014.
Voice tech startup secures funding
rish startup SoapBox Labs that develops speech recognition technology capable of modelling distinctive voice and speech behaviours of kids has secured $6.5 million (nearly €6 million) series A funding from Adria, Elkstone Capital, and a slew of unnamed private investors. SoapBox Labs’ tech is referred to as ‘Siri for kids’ and is used in many edtech applications, robotics, games, and smart toys. The startup will use the investment to capitalise on its strengths while global market opportunities are opening up in the industry.
French fintech bags funding
Libeo, a French fintech startup just announced that it secured $4 million (nearly €3.7 million) in a funding round led by LocalGlobe, its existing investor Breega, and some angels. Libeo’s SaaS platform lets business owners, chartered accountants, and CFOs to automate their accounts payable process. It includes features such as cash flow monitoring, one-click IBAN-less payments, and digitised invoices. The fresh funding will help Libeo focus on its ambitious growth plan.
Funding to expand market presence
Vienna-based marketing analysis platform Adverity secured $30 million (nearly €27.7 million) in Series C funding round led by Sapphire Ventures along with other existing investors and others including Felix Capital, Gründerfonds, SAP.iO, and Mangrove Capital. This startup has built a cloud-based marketing analysis platform incorporating data from new and traditional channels including print marketing, social media platforms, radio and TV advertising. With the fresh investment, Adverity will focus on its international expansion and develop its product.
Funding for on-the-go meal replacements startup
Munich-based YFood that develops on-the-go nutrition products has raised €15 million Series B funding from London-based Felix Capital, Fonterra and existing investors such as New Ground Ventures, Five Seasons Ventures, and others. The German foodtech startup provides complete food in the form of bars, drinks, and powders suitable for people living busy lifestyles. With the fresh round of funding, YFood will be able to expand into seven other European markets including the UK.
Main image picture credits: Adverity
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