Funding for vlot, SugarCap, Automata etc. Two weeks to 12th FinTech Forum: Q&As with Daniel Andemeskel Universal Investment and more…

Early stage European FinTech deals include vlot, SugarCap, Automata, Keyrock etc. We feature Q&As with Morgan Deane of Spherium Labs, Daniel Andemeskel of Universal-Investment and other investors who will be sharing their insights at the 12th FinTech Forum’s digital edition on 19th Nov. 2020. Check out the near-final line-up and agenda, and register here: If you have any questions, reach out to Frank Schwab or Samarth Shekhar.

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7 Questions with Daniel Andemeskel of Universal-Investment

1.  Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.

Hello, I am Daniel Andemeskel, Director and Head of Innovation Management at Universal-Investment. I am currently responsible for the Group’s innovation agenda while at the same time developing the next generation investment platform for digital assets, leveraging on Blockchain and AI. Prior to joining Universal-Investment, I gained over 20 years’ experience in investment management in several functions. My motto is to envision new innovations instead of building faster horses (just like the famous quote of Henry Ford) which is why I enjoy speaking at international conferences and panels on innovation and digital transformation. Besides, I am a member of several Blockchain consortiums and forums and like to initiate collaborations on Blockchain.

Daniel is among the investors and innovators sharing their insights at the 12th FinTech Forum- check out our Q&As with the other investors who will be “on stage”:

7 Questions with Morgan Deane, Board Member & Strategic Advisor at Spherium Labs

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.

I’m a lawyer by profession but have spent my career working in investment banking across Europe, Asia and the US. Currently I am the CEO of a Swiss based international investment bank.
I have always had a disruptive & inquisitive mindset, and in 16 years of working in investment banking, I have frequently seen things that have been ripe for change.
This led me to be a keen supporter of Blockchain from the early days and I remain convinced it will be a catalyst for major change in the global financial system…

Morgan is among the startups presenting at the 12th FinTech Forum digital event on 19th Nov. 2020

vlot raises CHF 1M to drive digital transformation in the life insurance and pensions landscape

The Swiss-based enterprise SaaS company vlot AG creates awareness of personal income and saving gaps and provides seamless workflows to plug in tailored product solutions. To further accelerate market traction and expansion, vlot has closed a CHF 1M pre-Series A financing round, led by Spicehaus Partners (Switzerland) and co-led by SixThirty Ventures (USA).

vlot was founded with the mission to enable families and individuals to make financially responsible decisions. Through B2B partner organizations (primarily insurers, but also brokers, banks and pension funds), vlot helps people to intuitively navigate the jungle of state and employer related social security benefits, and rapidly understand the financial impact of death, disability as well as the lack of adequate retirement funds.

UK fintech startup Sugar snags £1.5 million to help scale gaming and app studios

Sugar Cap, a UK platform that provides flexible loans to gaming and app studios, has raised £1.5 million in pre-seed financing. Passion Capital led the round, which also includes Velo Partners as co-investor and some business angels, such as Victoria van Lennep of Lendable.

Sugar, which stands for “Scale Up your Games and Apps Revenue”, aims to help game and app studios grow without giving away equity. Based on live data analysis, Sugar provides financing to a studio, which is then re-paid over time by the revenues of the game or app in question.

UK-France-based fintech raises €2m

Automata, the UK-France-based fintech on a mission to transform retail digital banking and wealth management, has announced €1.5m in private investments as part of its ongoing Series A funding round and €2M in total investments since the company was founded.

The funding is raised through an equity token offering, enabling the public to acquire real equity in the company – creating a decentralized IPO. When the mobile app launches users will be able to buy equity tokens directly in the app, allowing them to become shareholders in their own bank.

Brussels-based Keyrock raises over €4 million to make room for digital assets in capital markets

Brussels-based fintech startup Keyrock has raised €4.3 million to accelerate its efforts to build efficient markets for digital assets. SIX Fintech Ventures and MiddleGame Ventures co-led the round, and existing backers Volta Ventures, Seeder Fund and TNN Patrimony also took part.

With the rise of digital assets, capital markets worldwide are on the verge of tremendous innovation, says the startup, but there’s an obstacle.

Andreas Iten of SIX explains: “The world of cryptos and digital assets has huge potential. Yet the segment is very fragmented with several digital exchanges, a lot of issuers and no regulated infrastructure, resulting in low liquidity. This is a huge obstacle for the adoption of digital assets – especially by institutional players.”

UK startup Knoma launches its lifelong learning payment solution with £21 million+ in funding

Knoma, a London, UK-based startup that helps lifelong learners finance their tech courses by spreading the cost via loans, has launched after raising more than £21 million in debt and equity funding from Global Founders Capital, Rocket Internet, Fasanara Capital and Seedrs, along with angel investors such as LendInvest chairman Christian Faes.

The startup says it offers users access to up to £10,000 (at zero fees, and zero interest) in mere minutes, paid directly to the schools offering the courses, and those loans can then be repaid by the student over 12 months. In a way, it’s a ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ scheme, but for education.

French scale-up Odaseva raises $25 million to continue global expansion

French SaaS company Odaseva has raised $25 million in Series B funding to continue growing its data governance platform for enterprise. The round was led by Eight Roads Ventures with new investor F-Prime Capital and included previous backers Partech, Salesforce Ventures and Serena.

“The Odaseva team started their journey focused on a major problem for large-scale Salesforce customers, helping them through their move to the cloud,” explains Reza Malekzadeh of Partech.

UK’s Marshmallow raises $30M on a $310M valuation for more ‘inclusive’ car insurance

When it comes to using algorithms and other formulae to determine what kinds of services you might offer to specific customers and at what price, the insurance industry is one of the oldest in the book. But that legacy position masks the fact that some of its determinations might leave a lot to be desired, with customers who don’t fit typical profiles unable to get competitive rates.

Now, a U.K. startup called Marshmallow that’s aiming to take on those larger legacy insurance giants with a new approach to determining risk is announcing a $30 million round of funding. Starting first with car insurance, Marshmallow uses a wider set of analytics and a simple mobile and web-native interface to target underserved segments of the market, and it plans to use the Series A funding to continue expanding its business with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion, with the plan being to launch in further countries, and more types of insurance, in the next 18 months.
“Meet” us at:

12th FinTech Forum, Frankfurt, 19th Nov. 2020

FinTech Junction, Tel Aviv, 24 Nov. 2020

MoneyConf / WebSummit, Online, 2-4 Dec. 2020

Meet Our Partners:
Money2020 Europe
InsurTech Insights
Finovate Europe 
FN FinTech 40