Steve O'Hear

With two new funds, LocalGlobe has more latitude than ever

“You wanted me to record this?” asks Saul Klein, LocalGlobe founding partner. “Just in case you say anything interesting,” I quip back. “I won’t be doing most of the talking, so maybe someone will say something interesting,” Klein replies poker-faced, before grinning. Once again, I’ve agreed to an ensemble-style interview with multiple members of the […]

Butter is building an ‘all-in-one’ platform to run virtual workshops

Butter, a startup registered in Denmark but operating fully remote, is building an “all-in-one” platform for planning and running virtual workshops. Offering video software and other features dedicated to workshopping, the idea is to pull people away from using more generic tools, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, which, arguably, aren’t well suited to workshops. […]

TrueLayer raises $70M for its open banking platform

TrueLayer, the London startup that offers a developer-friendly platform for companies, including other fintechs, to utilise open banking, is disclosing $70 million in new funding. The Series D round is led by new investor Addition. Existing investors, including Anthemis Group, Connect Ventures, Mouro Capital, Northzone and Temasek, also participated. New investors include Visionaries Club, Zack […]

Bob W, the ‘tech-driven’ hospitality provider, raises €10M in seed funding

Bob W, the self-described “tech-driven” hospitality provider that offers an alternative to traditional hotels and short-stay rentals, is disclosing €10 million in seed funding. Leading the round, which included a first tranche of €4 million last year, is byFounders VC and private equity firm Finnish Industry Investment (Tesi). Other European real estate and venture capitalist […]

Charles raises €6.4M seed to bring ‘conversational commerce’ to WhatsApp

Charles, a Berlin-based startup that offers a “conversational-commerce” SaaS for businesses that want to sell on WhatsApp and other chat apps, has raised €6.4 million in funding. Led by Accel and HV Capital, the seed funding will be used by the company to scale and meet existing demand for its conversational commerce platform. Launched in […]

Nested, the UK-based ‘modern’ estate agent, raises additional £5M to improve the home-selling experience

Nested, the London-based startup that is using technology to build a “modern” estate agency and improve the home-selling experience, has raised an additional £5 million. Backing comes from Axel Springer, alongside previous backers Balderton Capital and Northzone. Described as a “strategic investment,” Nested co-founder and CEO Matt Robinson tells TechCrunch that the round brings the […]

MessageBird acquires 24sessions to bring video to its ‘omnichannel’ platform

MessageBird, the omnichannel cloud communications platform recently valued at $3 billion, is continuing to ramp up its M&A activity. Following last year’s acquisition of Pusher, a company that provides real-time web technologies, it is announcing that it has acquired “video-first” customer engagement platform 24sessions, and customer data platform Hull. Terms of the two new deals […]

Finch Capital acquires Wirecard Turkey

Finch Capital, the early-stage fintech VC with a presence in London and Amsterdam, is acquiring Wirecard Turkey, a subsidiary of Wirecard, the disgraced fintech out of Germany. The acquisition, for which terms remain undisclosed and is still subject to regulatory approval, sees Finch create a new Ireland-registered entity called Nomu Pay. After facing a huge […]

Everli, the European marketplace for online grocery shopping, bags $100M Series C

Everli, the European marketplace for online grocery shopping that started in Italy but now also operates in Poland, Czech Republic and France, has raised a $100 million in Series C funding. The round is led by Verlinvest, with participation from new investors Luxor, DN Capital, C4 Ventures, and Convivialité Ventures. FITEC (part of Fondo Italiano […]

Ribbon wants to make it easier for product teams to interview users

Everybody says they want to build user-centric companies and products, but how exactly is that achieved? Talking and listening to users, of course — a task that is both unnecessarily time-consuming and cumbersome to organise, according to Axel Thomson, a former product manager at U.K. recipe-box subscription unicorn Gousto. His burgeoning startup, dubbed Ribbon, wants […]

Digital banking solutions provider Meniga closes additional €10M investment

Meniga, the London fintech that provides digital banking technology to leading banks, has closed €10 million in additional funding. The round is led by Velocity Capital and Frumtak Ventures. Also participating are Industrifonden, the U.K. Government’s Future Fund and existing customers UniCredit, Swedbank, Groupe BPCE and Íslandsbanki. Meniga says the funding will be used for […]

Saleor scores $2.5M seed round for its ‘headless’ e-commerce platform

Saleor, a Poland and U.S.-based startup that offers a “headless” e-commerce platform to make it easier for developers to build better online shopping experiences, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding. The round is led by Berlin’s Cherry Ventures, with participation from various angels. They include Guillermo Rauch (Vercel CEO and inventor of Next.js), Chris […]

Fulfilment startup Cubyn raises €35M to expand across Europe

Cubyn, the Paris-based logistics startup that lets e-merchants outsource fulfilment and delivery logistics, has raised another €35 million in funding. The round is led by Eurazeo and Bpifrance Large Venture, with participation from First Bridge Ventures and Fuse Venture Partners. Existing backers DN Capital, 360 Capital, Bpifrance Smart Cities fund and BNP Paribas Développement followed […]

London’s Jiffy picks up £2.6M seed to enter the grocery dark store race

Another online grocery delivery and “dark store” operator breaks cover today: London-based Jiffy, which aims to deliver fresh groceries and household essentials in around 15 minutes, has raised £2.6 million in seed funding as it readies for launch. Backing the upstart, which already faces a plethora of better funded competitors, is venture capital fund LVL1 […]

New challenger Ikigai combines digital banking and wealth management

Ikigai, a London fintech founded by former McKinsey partners, thinks there’s room in the crowded challenger market for a new premium offering that combines digital banking with wealth management. Targeting future and present high-net-worth individuals, Ikigai is iOS-only for now and consists of a current account and savings account, with adjacent wealth management features, all […]

Zego, the tech-enabled commercial motor insurer, raises $150M at $1.1B valuation

Zego, the insurtech that got its start by offering flexible motorbike insurance for gig economy workers but has since expanded with a range of tech-enabled commercial motor insurance products, has raised $150 million. Leading the London-based company’s C round — giving it a $1.1 billion valuation and a unicorn status — is DST Global. Other […]

Designing with accessibility in mind: a conversation

At TechCrunch Sessions: Justice, we examined the importance of ensuring products are designed to be accessible from the beginning. And how building the expertise of disabled technologists and advocates and into the DNA of your company from the start is vital not only to produce better products but also in the pursuit of a functioning […]

Cosi raises €20M for its ‘full-stack’ approach to short term rentals

Cosi Group, a Berlin-based startup offering an alternative to boutique hotels and managed short-stay apartments, is disclosing €20 million in new investment. Backing the round is Vienna-based Soravia, a leading real estate group in German-speaking countries. Existing investors Cherry Ventures, e.ventures, Kreos Capital and Bremke followed on, along with a number of individual investors. They […]

Countingup closes £9.1M for its business current account with built-in accounting features

Countingup, the U.K. fintech offering a business current account with built-in accounting features, has closed £9.1 million in Series A investment. Leading the round is Framework Venture Partners, with participation from Gresham House Ventures, Sage and existing investors. It’s noteworthy that Countingup has previously taken investment from ING, and the addition of Sage as a […]

Humaans raises $5M seed to make it easier for companies to on-board and manage staff

Humaans, a London-based HR startup, has raised $5 million in seed funding to accelerate the development of its employee on-boarding and management platform. Backing the round is Y Combinator, Mattias Ljungman’s Moonfire, Frontline Ventures and former head of Stripe Issuing, Lachy Groom. A number of other investors, made up of seasoned entrepreneurs and startup operators, […]

Klarna confirms new $31B valuation

Klarna, the Swedish buy now, pay later behemoth and upstart bank, has raised $1 billion in new funding at a post-money valuation of $31 billion. That sees the company retain the crown as the highest valued private fintech in Europe. Backers of this round are said to be combination of new and existing investors, while […]

TreeCard raises $5.1M seed to plant trees as you spend

TreeCard, a U.K. yet-to-launch fintech offering a spending card made out of wood and the promise to fund reforesting via the interchange fees generated, has raised $5.1 million in seed funding. The round is led by EQT Ventures, with participation from Seedcamp and Episode 1. Angel investors also backing the startup include Matt Robinson (founder […]

VCs are chasing Hopin upwards of $5-6B valuation

Virtual events platform Hopin is hopin’ for a mega valuation. According to multiple sources who spoke with TechCrunch, the company, which was founded in mid-2019, is running around the fundraise circuit and perhaps nearing the end of a fundraise in which it is looking to raise roughly $400 million at a pre-money valuation of $5 […]

Katana raises $11M Series A to be the SaaS powering ‘manufacturing entrepreneurs’

Katana, an Estonian startup that has built manufacturing-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for SMBs, has raised $11 million in Series A funding. Leading the round is European venture capital firm Atomico, with participation from angel investors Ott Kaukver (Checkout.com CTO), Sten Tamkivi (CPO Topia, formerly Skype), Sergei Anikin (CTO, Pipedrive) and Kairi Pauskar (former […]

Gophr, the U.K. last-mile delivery company, picks up £4M funding

Gophr, a U.K.-based last-mile delivery provider, has raised £4 million in funding, as it looks to invest in its product off the back of 300% revenue growth during the last 12 months. Leading the round is pan-European B2B investor Nauta Capital. The company had previously raised £1 million in two rounds, including £500,000 from publicly-listed […]

TransferWise rebrands as Wise ahead of an expected IPO

“Ten years in, TransferWise is now Wise,” screams the press release that landed in my in-box late last week. The fintech giant, most recently valued by private investors at $5 billion, is re-branding ahead of an expected IPO. Of course, the company doesn’t actually make reference to a public listing — for regulatory reasons, it […]

AccountsIQ scores €5.8M for its financial management software for multi-entity SMEs

AccountsIQ, a financial management software (FMS) startup founded by a team of chartered accountants (when accountants want to be entrepreneurs, you know startups are a thing), has raised €5.8 million in funding. Backing the Dublin-based company, which targets mid-sized businesses that operate multi-entities, is Finch Capital, the fintech focussed VC that recently outed its third […]

Certific, a health tech startup from the founder of TransferWise, aims to be the rails for certified home testing

Certific, a health tech startup co-founded by TransferWise’s Taavet Hinrikus, is breaking cover today with the launch of what it claims is the first “certified” remote COVID-19 testing service. The British-Estonian company is using techniques borrowed from the worlds of fintech and telemedicine, including asking users to film themselves while taking the at-home test, in […]

Dixa acquires Elevio, the ‘knowledge management’ platform helping brands improve customer support

Dixa, the Danish customer support platform promising more personalised customer support, has acquired Melbourne-based “knowledge management” SaaS Elevio to bolster its product and technology offerings. The deal is said to be worth around $15 million, in a combination of cash and Dixa shares. This sees Elevio’s own VC investors exit, and Elevio’s founders and employees […]

Delivery company goPuff is in talks to acquire the UK’s Fancy

GoPuff, the U.S.-based startup that operates its own “microfulfillment” network and promises to deliver items such as over-the-counter medicine, baby food and alcohol in 30 minutes or less, is in talks to acquire the U.K.’s Fancy Delivery, TechCrunch has learned. According to sources, terms of the acquisition are still being fleshed out, and the deal […]

Sweden-based digital bank Northmill raises $30M

Northmill Bank, the Sweden-based challenger that has around 200,000 customers across three European countries, has raised around $30 million in new funding. Leading the round is M2 Asset Management, the Swedish investment company controlled by Rutger Arnhult, and asset management firm Coeli. The injection of cash will be used for continued geographical expansion and to […]

‘Knowledge hacking’ app Uptime raises $16M

Uptime, the self-described “knowledge hacking” app, has raised $16 million in seed funding, after officially launching on iOS in January. Positioned as a “micro-learning” platform,” Uptime presents five-minute “knowledge hacks” from books, courses and documentaries. The idea is to let you quickly “grasp ideas and insights from trusted authors, instructors, and creative minds,” without spending […]

Hoxton Farms raises £2.7M seed to produce animal fat without animals

Hoxton Farms, a U.K. startup that wants to produce animal fat without using animals, has raised £2.7 million in seed funding. The round is led by Founders Fund, the Silicon Valley venture capital firm founded by Peter Thiel. Also participating is Backed, Presight Capital, CPT Capital and Sustainable Food Ventures. Still at the R&D stage, […]

Harry Stebbings is leaving Stride, the VC firm he founded with Fred Destin

Harry Stebbings, the podcaster-turned-VC, is stepping down as a partner of Stride, the London-based venture capital firm he co-founded with Fred Destin, formerly of Accel. In a series of tweets, Destin said that Stebbings won’t be involved in Stride’s second fund (though he’ll remain a partner in fund one), and will instead be focusing on […]

Twinco Capital scores €3M for its supply chain finance solution

Twinco Capital, a Madrid and Amsterdam-based startup making it easier to access supply chain finance, has raised €3 million in funding. Leading the round is Spanish VC fund Mundi Ventures, with participation from previous backer Finch Capital and several unnamed angels. Twinco Capital also has a debt facility with the Spanish investment bank EBN Banco […]

Embedded finance startup Banxware raises €4M seed

Embedded finance — the idea of offering financial products where customers are already congregating via white label solutions and APIs – isn’t an entirely new concept. In fact, in one form or another, such as point of sale credit, the concept has existed for years and long before Silicon Valley venture capital firm and media […]

Buy now, pay later to be regulated in the UK

Following a government review, the U.K.’s financial services regulator will instructed to regulate the buy now, pay later industry made popular by companies such as Klarna, and AfterPay (known as Clearpay in the U.K.). A further consultation with the industry is underway and then, when parliamentary time allows, new laws regulating buy now, pay later […]

5 ways Robinhood’s rushed UX changes exacerbated the GameStop crisis

The GameStop debacle has been hailed by many as a first of its kind form of digital activism, with the ‘crowd’ coming together to stick it to Wall Street, and specifically hedge funds that are in the business of short selling. However, what if you’re a startup or scale-up caught in the middle of such […]

Ben raises $2.5M seed to fix employee benefits for SMEs

Ben, a London-based employee benefits and rewards platform, has raised $2.5 million in funding. The seed round is led by Cherry Ventures, and Seedcamp. A number of angel investors with backgrounds in fintech and HR tech also participated. They include Paul Forster (founder of Indeed), Taavet Hinrikus (founder of TransferWise), Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas (previously an exec […]

Levity is a ‘no-code’ AI tool to let anyone create workflow automations

Levity, which has been operating in stealth (until now), is the latest no-code company to throw its wares into the ring, having picked up $1.7M in pre-seed funding led by Gil Dibner’s Angular Ventures. The Berlin-based startup wants to bring AI-powered workflow automation to anyone, letting knowldge workers automate tedious, repetitive and manual parts of […]

Gardin raises $1.2M pre-seed to use ‘optical phenotyping’ tech to improve food production

Gardin, a ‘deep tech’ hardware and software startup developing optical phenotyping technology and analytics to optimise food production, has raised $1.2 million in pre-seed funding. Leading the round is LDV Capital, with participation from Seedcamp, and MMC Ventures. A number of angel investors are also investing, including Pratima Aiyagari, Gilad Engel, and Abdulaziz Alrashed. Founded […]

Atomico promotes SaaS and enterprise-focussed investor Ben Blume to partner

Atomico, the European venture capital fund that typically invests at Series A and Series B, has made a number of internal promotions, including making SaaS and enterprise-focussed investor Ben Blume a partner at the firm. The step up from principal to partner comes after 8 years spent at Atomico, which Blume first joined in 2013 […]