If you read through this week’s newsletter, things don’t seem that bad – startup funding rounds seem to continue trickling in, new funds still getting announced, and there is some hope that parts of Europe will reopen in the coming weeks.
Call for startups: apply to pitch at the 12th FinTech Forum, 19th Nov. 2020 in Frankfurt – email contact (at) fintechforum.de or reach out via LinkedIn. Investors & corporates: register here directly http://ftf12.eventbrite.com
7 Questions with Wladimir Huber of Klickown
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.
My name is Wladimir Huber. I am a Tech-Entrepreneur with focus on FinTech, Real Estate, Blockchain and data driven companies with an extensive knowledge in founding and scaling companies.
I have a M.A. in finance & information technology from Leuphana University. I’m currently living in Hamburg, Germany. I am a big fan of technology, investing, innovation, reading and personal development.
Norwegian AI startup Strise raises €1.4 million to expand enterprise data platform
Strise, a Norwegian AI startup that has built a data platform for enterprise financial institutions, has raised €1.4 million in seed funding to expand across Norway and into international markets. Led by Maki.vc, the round also included German investor Tim Bolte, former SVP of SAP, and existing angel investors.
The company distinguishes its platform from competitors’ for the design, intended directly for an end user and not “for developers or data scientists”. In a press release, Strise claims the platform helps some of Scandinavia’s major banks, such as Sparebank1 SMN and BN Bank, with anti-money laundering, credit risk and sales.
“It is not about replacing people but creating a new way of working where users and new data insights go hand in hand to solve critical problems,” says CEO Marit Rødevand.
One Utility Bill Raises £1.7M in Funding
One Utility Bill, a Newcastle, UK-based platform which simplifies utility billing for tenants, landlords and letting agents, raised £1.7m in funding.
The round was led by DSW Angels, with participation from existing investors the North East Innovation Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Northstar Ventures.
The company intends to use the funds to to further improve the reach of the business, extending both the consumer and business-partner propositions, enhance its technical capability and create new and innovative features for customers.
Founded in 2014 by Chris Dawson, CEO, and Dale Knight, Chief Technical Officer, One Utility Bill consolidates household bills into a monthly payment, which can be split equally between housemates.
Precursive Raises £2.5M in Funding
Precursive, a London, UK-based provider of a software as a service (SaaS) platform which allows clients to manage a wide range of business processes, raised £2.5m in funding.
Maven Capital Partners made the investment.
The company intends to use the funds to continue for expansion into UK and US and product development efforts, and growth of its qualified sales and marketing teams.
Co-founded in 2011 by Jonathan Corrie, CEO, Andy Mahood, CTO, Precursive provides companies with a SaaS based modular platform to manage resource management, project planning, accounting, forecasting, reporting and client onboarding.
Chip Raises £2.575M in Crowd Funding
Chip, a London, UK-based fintech startup, raised £2.575m in crowd-equity funding.
The company intends to use the funds to further accelerate its growth, including the launch of an FSCS protected savings account through a partner bank, as well as to deliver new features to accommodate the changing behaviours of their savers since the beginning of the pandemic.
Led by Simon Rabin, CEO and founder, Chip provides an app that automatically saves up money for users. The free app, available on iOS and Android, uses AI to decide what to save, sends users a notification saying how much money they’re about to put aside (with an option to cancel), and then automatically transfers it into the Chip account.
London-based fintech startup Capdesk raises £3 million for equity management platform
Capdesk, a London-based platform allowing private companies to digitise their equity management, has raised £3 million in a Series A round led by Fuel Ventures.
Founded in 2015, the fintech startup allows companies to manage equity option plans, comply with regulations, and file forms to authorities in one dashboard.
Currently there are about 1,000 Capdesk customers throughout Europe, including scale-ups such as Secret Escapes, Curve, Nutmeg, Privitar and Voi.
With the new funding, the UK company wants to launch a new secondaries feature.
Paris-based fintech startup Libeo snags €4 million for B2B automated accounting software
French fintech startup Libeo has secured €4 million in a fundraising round led by LocalGlobe, existing investor Breega, and some angels. Breega led the startup’s €2 million seed round just five months ago, in November 2019.
The SaaS platform enables business owners, CFOs and chartered accountants to automate their accounts payable processes. Features include digitised invoices, one-click IBAN-less payments, and cash flow monitoring.
“Paying and communicating with a supplier should be as simple and intuitive as sending a message on a social network, that’s how we built Libeo,” say founders Pierre Dutaret, Jeremy Attuil and Pierre-Antoine Glandier.
Danish fintech startup Nordic API Gateway gets €4.6 million to kickstart European expansion
Copenhagen-based open banking platform Nordic API Gateway has raised €4.6 million in an internal funding round with its partners, Danske Bank and DNB, bringing its total investments to €13.3 million. The plan is to expand outside of the Nordics and eventually cover all of Europe.
“This initial investment is the first step in a larger strategy to become one of the leading European open banking players in 2020,” says CEO and founder Rune Mai.
Earlier this month, the fintech startup secured its PSD2 licenses to all European countries, which allows the company to act as account information and payment initiation service provider in all new markets.
Bokio Raises €7.4M in Funding; Merges With Red Flag
Bokio, a Gothenburg, Sweden fintech company providing an AI-driven accounting software platform for SMEs and self-employed, raised €7.4m in funding.
The company also announced it has merged with Stockholm-based competitor Red Flag. Backers, in the round, which brought total funding to date to €14m, included existing investors Creandum, European financial group Svea Ekonomi, Carl Manneh, co-founder of Mojang (creator of Minecraft), Red Flag’s existing investors – technology entrepreneur Anders Ström, angel investor Staffan Persson and asset management firm Öhman Group – and Red Flag co-founders Mattias Söderhielm and Mikael Pawlo.
The company intends to use the funds for further product development and expansion.
Swiss deep tech startup Terra Quantum raises €10 million to advance European quantum tech ecosystem
Swiss quantum technology company Terra Quantum has raised about €10 million, with a company valuation at around €50 million.
The investment was led by Lakestar and supported by several business angels.
Based in Rorschach, the deep tech company claims to be “the European answer to breakthrough and accessible quantum computing technology”.
As huge enterprise companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Google race to build the first quantum computer, Terra Quantum has been quietly building an incubator for quantum applications, hoping to lay the foundation for a quantum tech scene in Europe.
New Swiss fund Tomahawk.VC pledges $20 million to global-first startups prepared for remote teams
Swiss entrepreneur Cédric Waldburger is launching Tomahawk.VC, a new $20 million venture capital fund for “global-first startups”. In his view, the new normal of remote work, brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, will be best seized by businesses that prepare for global distribution from the start.
“Yes, building team culture in a remote setting may require you to be creative,” Waldburger says in a press release, “but it’s not more difficult – just different!”
Finnish VC Icebreaker launches second fund to continue backing ‘pre-founders’ and pre-seed startups
Icebreaker.vc, the Finnish venture capital firm that backs “pre-founders” and pre-seed to seed-stage startups, has launched a second fund, with a first close of €50 million.
That’s already significantly larger than Icebreaker’s first fund (which closed at €20 million) and reflects the VC’s geographical expansion. In addition to Finland, where Icebreaker claims to be the most active institutional investor by number of deals, the firm is also active in Sweden and Estonia.
In an email exchange, Icebreaker co-founder and Partner Riku Seppälä told me that despite the coronavirus crisis, most of the firm’s LPs from Fund I have invested in this second fund, along with several new LP.
Partech raises $100M seed fund
VC firm Partech has raised a new fund focused on seed investments. Named Partech Entrepreneur III, it is the third seed fund from the VC firm. Partech announced the final closing of its previous seed fund in December 2016.
The firm is looking for companies at the very early stage, from pre-seed to pre-Series A. Partech can invest as little as a few hundred thousands dollars and up to several million dollars depending on the stage of the startup. If the startup is doing well, Partech wants to be able to invest again in follow-on Series A and B rounds.
Meet us at:
NOAH Conference, Berlin, 4-5 Jun. 2020 https://www.noah-conference.com/noah-berlin-conference-2020/ (subject to decision based on COVID-19)
FinTech Junction, Tel Aviv, 1 Jul. 2020 https://www.fintechjunction.com (subject to decision based on COVID-19)
Swiss FinTech Fair, Zürich, 8 Sep. 2020 https://www.swissfintechfair.com
Money2020 Europe, Amsterdam, 22-24 Sep. 2020 https://europe.money2020.com
Bank+FinTech EFMA, Madrid, 21-23 Oct. 2020 https://www.efma.com/conference/748-bank-fintech-2020
Digital Insurance Agenda, Amsterdam, 28-29 Oct. 2020 https://next.digitalinsuranceagenda.com/dia-amsterdam-2020/want-to-attend/
MoneyConf / WebSummit, Lisbon, 2-5 Nov. 2020 https://websummit.com/moneyconf
12th FinTech Forum, Frankfurt, 19th Nov. 2020 http://www.fintechforum.de/events/