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Tag Archives: europe

Global Hybrid Cloud Industry

NEW YORK, Oct. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- This report analyzes the worldwide markets for Hybrid Cloud in US$ Million. The report provides separate comprehensive analytics for the US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Rest of World. Read the full report:...

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Vinli launches mobility data platform, signs partnership with ALD Automotive

Connected car startup Vinli aims to connect vehicles to the cloud and is today announcing a change in its business model as it partners with the largest fleet operator in Europe, ALD Automotive. Vinli launched in 2014 as a direct consumer company that allowed owners to add cloud services to automobiles. It was a clever concept, and when it launched four years ago, it was ahead of the curve. The company went on to raise to $6.5M through four rounds of funding, slowly evolving the product to meet the changing needs of the market. Today, the company is announcing a change in focus and will no longer sell products directly to consumers. The company founder and CEO Mark Haidar tells TechCrunch this is in response to the product’s evolution, which can now offer enterprises a platform for them to launch their own mobility applications directly to their users. Vinli is discontinuing the production of its hardware and will work with partners to offer the same services to consumers. To go along with this new business strategy, Vinli is launching a data platform that Haidar tells me can ingest data from any source and correlate it with machine learning and AI, allowing customers to develop predictive services for their products. Called Era, Vinli believes this will enable its customers to mine trends from data without the need of data scientists. Vinli signed a deal with ALD Automotive to add its connected services to its fleets of 1.6 million vehicles. In a press release, ALD Automotive says Vinli will enrich ALD’s “overall service offering and develop new value-added solutions to improve both driver experience and optimize overall Total Cost of Ownership for efficient fleet management.” “We believe that the automotive industry is evolving to become a service-based and subscription-driven industry,” said Mark Haidar, CEO of Vinli. “Connected cars and data are at the epicenter of this change. Collecting, analyzing, and discovering trends from ALD’s fleets will not only be transformative to the driver but to the industry as a whole” Terms of the partnership were not released. Connecting vehicles to the cloud has significant implications as car makers, insurers and consumers alike can gain deep insights into the habits of the driver and mechanics of the car throughout its life. Vinli seems well positioned to offer a platform to provide this data and today’s moves should help the company into the future

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Penta, the German challenger bank account for SMEs, raises €7M Series A

Penta , the German fintech startup that offers a digital bank account targeting SMEs , has raised €7 million in Series A funding. Backing the company once again is Inception Capital, with total funding now at €10 million since Penta was founded in May 2016. Launched in Germany in December , and powered by Banking-as-a-Platform solarisBank (rather than holding a banking license of its own), Penta is designed to meet the banking needs of small to medium-sized businesses, including startups. The premise is that SMEs are currently underserved by incumbent banks, including account opening being cumbersome and much more difficult than it should be and exorbitant fees charged for making payments or international money exchange. Penta is also bringing some much-need innovation and features to the German business banking market. One of those is multi-card support to make it easier to manage company expenses. Dubbed ‘Team Access,’ the recently launched feature lets business owners issue multiple MasterCards to employees who need to make purchases on a company’s behalf. Each card is linked to a business’ Penta account but can have custom rules and permissions per card/employee, in terms of how much money can be spent and where. More broadly, the feature is designed to cut down the time and cost of expense management for SMEs. Notably, I’m told that the Berlin-based challenger bank, which has already grown to a team of 40 and plans to get to 100 over the next year, is seeing 68 percent of new customers switching from their existing business bank account, with the remaining 40 percent newly incorporated businesses. That suggest many German businesses aren’t satisfied with the banking status quo, even if they’ve already crossed the account opening hurdle. Specifically, I understand that multi-card support has been one of the main draw, the kind of feature that older banks with legacy software often struggle to deliver

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Avoid the price hike on tickets to Disrupt Berlin 2018

If you’re as serious about saving money as you are about startups, it’s time to handeln sie — take action! TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin 2018 takes place on 29-30 November, and you definitely want to attend this conference at the best possible price. That means you need to buy your pass now before the price increase goes into effect on 24 October. We’re serious about rewarding action, and you’ll save up to €500 simply by breaking free from procrastination’s expensive grip. Speaking of action, you’ll enjoy an inordinate amount of it packed into your two days at Disrupt Berlin. Let’s start with a sample of just some of the incredible speakers we have on tap: You’ll hear Denys Zhadanov, VP at Readdle , talk about the mobile app company’s bootstrapped success —100 million downloads and counting. Mike Collett, founder and managing partner of Promus Ventures , will talk about why there’s a lot more to space tech than just SpaceX. Taxify’s Markus Villig and Via Transportation’s Daniel Ramot will take the stage to talk about the challenges of challenging Uber. Then there’s Startup Battlefield , the thrilling pitch competition where 15 of the best early-stage startups across Europe will go head-to-head for glory and a $50,000 cash prize while they launch their startups on a global stage. You’ll find even more outstanding startups in Startup Alley . Our expo floor will be home to more than 400 early-stage startups showcasing their tech products, services, platforms and talent. Whether you’re searching for funding, recruiting technologists, looking for your next job or to invest in the next big thing, Startup Alley is a breeding ground of opportunity. If the thought of wading through a crowd of thousands looking for the right people to meet sounds daunting, you’ll want to check out CrunchMatch , our free business match-making service. Last year, investors and founders used it to connect and discuss potential funding opportunities based on similar goals and interests.

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Readdle’s Denys Zhadanov to talk about bootstrapping at Disrupt Berlin

Readdle might not be a familiar name, but chances are you’ve been using some of their mobile apps. The Ukrainian company is a bootstrapped success story with 100 million downloads, 135 employees and a profitable business. That’s why I’m excited to announce that Readdle Vice President Denys Zhadanov is coming to TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin to talk about this remarkable journey. Readdle is behind some of the most popular productivity apps on iOS, such as Spark, PDF Expert, Calendars 5, Scanner Pro and Documents. When you browse the top charts in the App Store, there’s always a Readdle app here and there. The App Store has been around for ten years and has created a major shift in the tech industry. Many companies wouldn’t be around without the App Store and the Play Store, such as Uber, Snap, Facebook’s WhatsApp and Instagram. But the App Store isn’t just about social apps and big venture capital funding rounds. Readdle was there from day one and launched its first app back in 2008. They’ve been growing steadily, launched dozens of paid productivity apps, shut down some of them and iterated on the most successful ones. Readdle’s biggest bet right now is Spark

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G2 crowd, a business software marketplace, raises another $55M at just under a $500M valuation

G2 Crowd, a platform that lets businesses search for, compare reviews and pricing for, and then buy software and other IT services — it likes to refer to itself as the “Amazon of business software” — has raised $55 million in growth funding to continue expanding its business. This round was led by IVP, with participation from enterprise VC Emergence Capital and Accel (which led its previous round , which also included LinkedIn as an investor), and brings the company “close to half a billion dollar valuation,” according to a source close to the company. This is a big leap: in May 2017, when it last raised money, G2 Crowd was valued at $130 million post-money, according to PitchBook . The rise of that valuation underscores just how fragmented and competitive the market is for business software today, and how a company that provides a useful way to navigate through that has a very good shot at building a lucrative business. More generally, a vertical search engine filling a gap in the market and that actually works remains a killer app, despite the dominance of Google in so many areas of search, and of Amazon in so many areas of online commerce. G2 Crowd has seen a big leap in its growth in the last 16 months. Software reviews is a core part of what it offers to people who come to the site looking for software — the company likes to compare itself to Amazon, but I’ve previously described it as the Glassdoor of software reviews — and today it has 500,000 verified-user reviews free to browse on its site. That’s up from 225,000 in May 2017. It has traffic of 2 million “business professionals” monthly, who go to G2 Crowd to browse 58,500 products across 1,200 categories. G2 Crowd also happens to have a very strong SEO game at the moment, with a top slot when you input searches like “LinkedIn competitor.” While SEO and software comparisons are what might bring in users, what makes money for G2 is that many of them stay to shop for software, and that is what the company will continue building out with this funding. “We started as a way to help companies make better buying decisions

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Pro-privacy search engine DuckDuckGo hits 30M daily searches, up 50% in a year

Some nice momentum for privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo which has just announced it’s hit 30 million daily searches a year after reaching 20M — a year-on-year increase of 50%. Hitting the first 10M daily searches took the search engine a full seven years, and then it was another two to get to 20M. So as growth curves go  it must have required patience and a little faith in the run up. A strength of conviction that’s paying off now, though, as usage continues to take off… DuckDuckGo fun fact: it took us seven years to reach 10 million private searches in one day, then another two years to hit 20 million, and now less than a year later we're at 30 million! Thank you all #ComeToTheDuckSide https://t.co/qlSaz4j9ZH — DuckDuckGo (@DuckDuckGo) October 11, 2018 Albeit 30M daily searches is still a drop in the ocean vs the at least 3BN+ daily searches that Google handles daily (at least because that metric dates back to 2015 ). DDG’s search engine offers a pro-privacy alternative to Google search that does not track and profile users in order to target them with ads. Instead it displays ads based on the keyword being searched for at the point of each search — dispensing with the need to follow people around the web, harvesting data on everything they do to feed an sophisticated adtech business, as Google does. DDG says it has been profitable using its non-tracking business model since 2014, also making money from affiliate revenue. It does not break out active user metrics but earlier this year cited third party estimates which peg its user-base at around 25M. This year it expanded from its core search product to  launch a tracker blocker  to address wider privacy concerns consumers have by helping web users keep more of their online activity away from companies trying to spy on them for profit. It also recently emerged that DDG had quietly picked up $10M in VC funding , which is only its second tranche of external investment. The company told us this financing would be used to respond to an expanding opportunity for pro-privacy business models, including by tuning its search engine for more local markets and expanding its marketing channels to “have more of a global focus”. Privacy regulations such as Europe’s General Data Protection Act are likely also helping to put wind in DDG’s sails

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New Relic acquires Belgium’s CoScale to expand its monitoring of Kubernetes containers and microservices

New Relic , a provider of analytics and monitoring around a company’s internal and external facing apps and services to help optimise their performance, is making an acquisition today as it continues to expand a newer area of its business, containers and microservices. The company has announced that it has purchased CoScale , a provider of monitoring for containers and microservices, with a specific focus on Kubernetes. Terms of the deal — which will include the team and technology — are not being disclosed, as it will not have a material impact on New Relic’s earnings. The larger company is traded on the NYSE (ticker: NEWR) and has been a strong upswing in the last two years, and its current market cap its around $4.6 billion. Originally founded in Belgium, CoScale had raised $6.4 million and was last valued at $7.9 million, according to PitchBook . Investors included Microsoft (via its ScaleUp accelerator), PMV and the Qbic Fund, two Belgian investors. “ We are thrilled to bring CoScale’s knowledge and deeply technical team into the New Relic fold,” noted Ramon Guiu, senior director of product management at New Relic. “The CoScale team members joining New Relic will focus on incorporating CoScale’s capabilities and experience into continuing innovations for the New Relic platform.” The deal underscores how New Relic has had to shift in the last couple of years: when the company was founded years ago, application monitoring was a relatively easy task, with the web and a specified number of services the limit of what needed attention. But services, apps and functions have become increasingly complex and now tap data stored across a range of locations and devices, and processing everything generates a lot of computing demand. New Relic first added container and microservices monitoring to its stack in 2016 .

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Tandem’s new credit card targets people who have non-existent credit histories

With its regulatory woes behind it — and the acqui-hire of fintech startup Pariti — Tandem ‘s product roadmap appears to be picking up pace. The challenger bank founded by Ricky Knox has launched its second credit card today, this time targeting people in the U.K. who have yet to build up a credit history at all. Credit cards are already one of the most effective ways of improving your credit score (presuming you are approved for one and always repay on time, of course) and it seems that Tandem wants a piece of that action. Dubbed the “Journey Card,” Tandem says the new credit card is “a way for those who haven’t had credit before to build up a strong credit profile”. The upstart bank says it is tapping into a climate where people are realising the importance of credit scores for building a better future and how essential a decent credit score is when taking out further credit such as a car loan, mortgage and other longer-term financial products. However, although the new Journey Card shares the same low FX fees when spending abroad, there are some key differences compared to the original Tandem Cashback Card . These include no cash back, for starters, and what appears to be a higher APR in recognition of the higher risk Tandem is taking on. With that said, both cards integrate with the Tandem mobile banking app, which acts as a Personal Finance Manager (PFM), including letting you aggregate your non-Tandem bank account data from other bank accounts or credit cards you might have. Very recently the app has released a plethora of updates (including digital statements, at last!), and these include some useful budgeting tools, which sits well alongside a credit card designed to help you build your credit score. Meanwhile, it is becoming clearer that Tandem sees consumer credit as its “attack vector” in the consumer banking space, as opposed to offering a current account or pre-paid/debit card, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see the challenger bank go there eventually

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