Germany moves against Data Harvesting
Bonn, Germany: Germany’s anti-trust watchdog confirmed this week, that it is planning to take action against Facebook to stop the company from gathering certain user data, in the Germany.
The German Federal Cartel Office is preparing to ban Facebook from harvesting the data from other apps and websites such as Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram. The office said that most users were unaware of the scale of Facebook’s surveillance of their online activity.
The Federal Cartel Office, which has been investigating Facebook since 2015, has already found that the social media giant abused its market dominance to gather data on persons without their knowledge or consent. The German newspaper, Bild am Sonntag said the watchdog will present the U.S. company with its ruling on what action it needs to take this month.
It is expected that they will give Facebook a deadline to delete its tracking software from other websites immediately.
Any ban would only apply in Germany.
Austria to levy a Digital Tax
Vienna, Austria: This week, Austria announced its intention to move forward with a digital tax on big-tech, following France’s new levy on the so-called GAFA companies: Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced an intention to impose a tax on large internet and technology companies. The basic framework of the Austrian scheme is expected to be announced during a government summit this month.
Kutz’s proposal, which comes as the EU failed to finalize its own planned digital tax in 2018, would most probably come into force in 2020.
U.K. Fintech firm AccessPay raises USD $11.5 million
Manchester, England: Manchester-based start-up, AccessPay which provides back-end payment and treasury technology for the corporate banking sector, has raised GBP 9 million (USD11.5 million).
AccessPay was founded in Manchester, England and currently has 50 staff based there. However, the company says it now plans to more than double its headcount to 120 on the back of its fundraising.
The round was led by Beringea, with support from True Ventures and Route 66.
As well as increasing headcount, AccessPay will also expand its sales, marketing and engineering teams and further enhance its platform.
The investment marks the expansion of Beringea’s footprint in the North of England, with the firm having recently opened its first dedicated office in the region.
UK enterprise analytics firm raises USD $6.5 million
London, England: Enterprise business analytics firm Avora, has raised USD $6.5 million in a Series A round.
The U.K. start-up uses the power of machine learning and augmented intelligence to enable a new method of analysing data.
Founded in London in 2014, the company currently has 30 employees. However, it plans to use the funds to expand its leadership and sales teams, launch in the US market and continue to evolve its technology it’s platform.
The round was led by Albion VC, Crane VC, and angel investors including Dr Steve Garnett and Stephen Kelly.
French HR platform raises USD $50 million
Paris, France: French HR Platform company Talentsoft has raised USD $50 million in a funding round.
Talentsoft will use the investment to accelerate the company’s technological growth through and to also expand into other international markets.
Talentsoft was co-founded in 2007 by three entrepreneurs, Jean-Stéphane Arcis, Alexandre Pachulski et Joël Bentolila. The company has 600 employees and over 9 million users across 130 countries.
The round was led by Francisco Partners who were joined by other contributors, including previous investors Bpifrance and Goldman Sachs.
Swedish workforce platform raises USD $25 million
Stockholm, Sweden: Quinyx, a cloud provider of workforce management solutions has raised USD $25 million.
The company’s software helps businesses of all sizes manage employee scheduling, communication, task-management and payroll integration.
The investment was led by the existing investors, Swedish VC firms Alfvén & Didrikson and Zobito, together with U.S VC Battery Ventures.
The new funding will be used to further accelerate the roll-out of AI technologies that will automate and streamline workforce management processes. This will include developing and embedding new technologies within its platform.
Quinyx was founded in 2005 by Erik Fjellborg after a summer spent working at McDonald’s. After witnessing how difficult it was be for managers to sort shifts manually, he created a cloud native mobile software solution to address the problem. In turn, McDonald’s was Quinyx’s first customer.
Norwegian biometrics firm raises USD $5.5 million
Oslo, Norway: Biometric technology company Zwipe has raised USD $5.5 million in a private placement.
Founded in 2009, Zwipe is a biometric tech firm focused on developing and commercializing secure, fast and easy-to-use biometric authentication solutions in three key areas; payments, access control and ID.
USD $4.3 million was raised via private placement and the remainder through other funding.
Italian work talent platform raises USD $7 million
Milan, Italy: ProntoPro, a freelance market platform that enables searchers to find artisans and professionals as well as compare proposal pricings, has raised has raised €6 million in funding.
The start-up recently launched in Austria and Switzerland, and this new round will support further international expansion.
Founded in Milan in 2015, ProntoPro has over 1 million users in Italy, and 350,000 registered professionals. The company currently has over 100 employees.