Category Archives: Europe

Openbook is the latest dream of a digital life beyond Facebook

As tech’s social giants wrestle with antisocial demons that appear to be both an emergent property of their platform power, and a consequence of specific leadership and values failures (evident as they publicly fail to enforce even the standards they claim to have), there are still people dreaming of a better way. Of social networking beyond outrage-fuelled adtech giants like Facebook and Twitter. There have been many such attempts to build a ‘better’ social network of course. Most have ended in the deadpool. A few are still around with […]

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SenSat, a UK startup that uses visual and spatial data to ‘simulate reality’, picks up $4.5M seed

SenSat, a U.K. startup aiming to use visual and spatial data to “simulate reality” and help computers better understand the physical world, has raised $4.5 million in seed funding — cash it will use to further develop the technology, and invest in its San Francisco office. The round was backed by Force Over Mass, Round Hill Venture Partners, and Zag (the venture arm of global creative agency BBH). Launched in 2017 by founders James Dean (CEO) and Harry Atkinson (Head of Product), SenSat turns complex visual and […]

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Lyvly scores $4.6M for its members-based shared living and rental platform

Lyvly, a London-based startup that offers what might best be described as a members-based shared living and rental service, has raised $4.6 million in Series A funding. Leading the round is Mosaic Ventures, while Greg Marsh, who co-founded Onefinestay, has joined the burgeoning company as chairman and investor. The latest take on how to improve the experience for “generation rent” in sprawling cities like London, Lyvly is at its most basic a two-sided marketplace that helps renters find high-quality shared living accommodations and landlords find good tenants. […]

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Berlin’s Taxfix, a mobile assistant for filing your taxes, picks up $13M led by Valar Ventures

Taxfix, the Berlin-based startup that has developed a mobile assistant to help you file your tax return, has closed $13 million in Series A funding. The round is led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, with participation from existing investors Creandum and Redalpine. Launched in 2017, Taxfix is built on the premise that filing taxes remains a daunting task in most countries, involving a lot of archaic form filling, often carried out incorrectly and without the proper advice, and rarely optimised for tax refunds. As a result, the […]

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Hinge Health raises $26M Series B to tackle musculoskeletal pain

Hinge Health, the San Francisco-based startup that offers a tech-enabled platform to treat musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders — things like knee pain, shoulder pain, or back pain — has raised $26 million in Series B funding. Leading the round is Insight Venture Partners, with participation from the company’s Series A backer Atomico. In fact, I understand that the London VC firm has doubled down on its investment and has actually increased its stake in Hinge. The new round of funding brings total raised by the company to $36 […]

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Handiscover, the startup that helps you find accessible travel accommodation, raises $700K

Handiscover, a startup that lets you find and book accessible travel accommodation, has raised $700,000 in new funding. The round is backed by Howzat Partners, which has previously invested in a number of successful travel companies, such as publicly-listed Trivago and more recently Lodgify. Tranquility Capital, a Swedish family fund with a background in accessibility, also participated. Originally launched in June 2015 to enable hosts to list accommodation and have Handiscover’s algorithm classify the accessibility of their properties or rooms, the startup has since evolved into a […]

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MessageBird offers single API for customer comms across WhatsApp, WeChat, Messenger and more

MessageBird, the Amsterdam-based cloud communications platform backed by Accel in the U.S. and Europe’s Atomico, is unveiling a new product today that aims to make it easier for enterprises to communicate with customers across various channels of their choosing. Dubbed “Programmable Conversations” (yes, really!), the product takes the form of a single API that unifies customer interactions across multiple channels into a single conversation thread. Out of the box these include WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Line, Telegram, SMS and voice interactions. The idea is that by providing […]

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Lumen raises $7M and passes $1M on Indiegogo for its breath-measuring device for weight loss

Our body is continuously storing and consuming energy to keep us alive — but understanding which fuels are being used and why is the Holy Grail of things like weight loss and body hacking. Today’s weight-loss market is saturated with generic products because — guess what — trying to tailor-make a solution for an individual is usually hard and expensive. For a while now there’s been a technology around which can measure the metabolic gases found in your breath. The theory goes that if you can do that, […]

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Chilling effects

The removal of conspiracy enthusiast content by InfoWars brings us to an interesting and important point in the history of online discourse. The current form of Internet content distribution has made it a broadcast medium akin to television or radio. Apps distribute our cat pics, our workouts, and our YouTube rants to specific audiences of followers, audiences that were nearly impossible to monetize in the early days of the Internet but, thanks to gullible marketing managers, can be sold as influencer media. The source of all of this […]

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Challenger bank Monzo launches accounts for 16-18 year olds

When weighing up the likely success of challenger banks in the U.K., two predominant schools of thought emerge. Those who are bullish say that incumbent banks provide a lousy user experience, rip off customers, and innovate incredibly slowly — and therefore are ripe for the taking. Challenger banks just need to focus on what they do best and word of mouth-led switching will follow. And then there are people who are less convinced who say that most consumers are happy enough with their current bank account and […]

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