France fines Google USD $57 million for data breach
Paris, France: Google has become the first US big-tech firm to be fined under Europe’s latest data protection regulations, after France’s data protection watchdog, CNIL, issued Google with a Euro €50 million (USD $57 million) fine.
Under the EU’s GPDR (General Data Protection Regulation), the French regulator found Google guilty of 2 violations affecting Android users,
Firstly, the company failed in its obligation to provide end-users with essential information and transparent descriptions of the company’s data processing practices.
Secondly, Google was was found to be in breach of its duty to obtain valid consent from end-users, to process their data for ad personalisation purposes.
In the latter case, the watchdog said that user consent was not legitimately obtained and that relevant information was spread over several pages and documents.
Additionally, user consent was found to be neither “specific” nor “unambiguous”.
Commenting on the first major sanction imposed under GDPR, the Cnil said, rather than one-off, time-limited failings, it had found “continuous breaches”.
The watchdog said these breaches deprived end-users of essential guarantees, thereby posing a risk of revealing important aspects of a user’s private life.
U.S co-working space provider continues its Euro expansion
Paris, France: Knotel, the U.S based co-working and flexible office space provider has acquired a Parisian co-working office provider, Deskeo.
The acquisition now gives Knotel a footprint that is 10-fold greater than its main rival, WeWork, in France’s capital city.
In addition, the takeover will more than double its number of locations in Europe and it positions the company for continued growth across the continent.
In June 2018, Knotel acquired Ahoy!Berlin, a German co-working provider which also had 6 locations in London.
Deskeo founders, Frank Zorn and Benjamin Teboul will head Knotel operations in France.
London Fintech platform raises USD $33.5 million
London, England: Marketinvoice, a fintech company that provides invoice and business financing loans to UK start-ups, has raised GBP £26 million (USD 33.5 million), in a Series B funding round.
The funding will be used to deepen strategic partnerships in the UK, grow its team and increase awareness of its business finance solutions.
The company, founded in 2011, has to date funded over 170,000 invoices and business loans worth more than £2 billion.
The round was led by Barclays and InnoVentures with participation from European venture fund Northzone, an existing investor in the company.
Technology credit fund Viola Credit, who also participated in the equity round, will provide a debt facility of up to GBP £30 million to help scale the MarketInvoice business loans solution that sits alongside their core invoice finance solutions.
German recruitment start-up secures Euro €35 million)
Munich, Germany: German HR and recruitment start-up Personio, has secured €35 million (USD $40 million) in a Series B funding.
The company provides a HR and recruitment platform that assists small and medium-sized companies in their talent acquisition and management, in the 10 to 1,000 employee range.
Founded in 2015, its core management team come from the Centre for Digital Technology Management (CDTM) in Munich, an incubator for emerging start-ups.
The funding round was led by Index Ventures, with participation from existing investors Northzone and Global Founders Capital.
In 2016, Personio raised €2.1 million in seed funding and in 2017, it secured a further €10.5 million in Series A round.
Berlin e-scooter start-up raises USD $58 million
Berlin, Germany: Investor interest in the consumer mobility sector continues into 2019 with the news that German start-up, Flash, has raised Euro €55 million (USD $63.5 million) in a Series A round.
The company is currently developing and deploying a smart and environmentally-friendly transportation system, featuring a fleet of next-generation electric kick-scooters.
The firm currently has 50 full-time employees and is about to launch in Switzerland and Portugal and also plans to enter French, Italian and Spanish markets this year.
The e-scooter rental sector was buoyant in 2018, with Wind Mobility receiving USD $22 million, VOI USD $50 million and Tier Euro €25 million.
French parking platform raises Euro €15 million
Paris, France: French start-up, Onepark, an online car parking booking platform, has closed a Euro €15 million funding round, led by hotel chain, Accorhotels with participation from ADP and Keolis.
Onepark was founded in 2014, with the key feature of enabling drivers to compare and then reserve parking options.
It already had parking partnership agreements with some cities, airports, railway stations and hotels, including 250 AccorHotel establishments and 40,000 parking spaces in Paris airports via Groupe ADP.
The firm currently offers spaces in over 1,500 parking lots throughout Europe including France (1,000), Spain (100), Belgium (50) as well as Switzerland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
The company says it sells more than 100,000 hours of parking each day despite stiff competition from French and Spanish providers Zenpark, Yespark, OpnGO and Parclick respectively.
U.K. email security start-up lands USD $40 million
London, England: A U.K. tech start-up, Tessian which deploys machine learning to enhance email security, has raised USD $40 million in a Series B round led by Sequoia Capital.
Tessian had already raised USD $13 million in a Series A round last year.
Founded in 2013 by three engineering graduates from London’s Imperial College, Tessian is built on the premise that humans are the weak link in company email and data security.
This can either be through human error in the form of a wrongly intended recipient, or nefariously, through deliberate employee action.
Once installed on a company’s email system, Tessian’s machine learning technology analyses the enterprise’s email network to understand normal versus abnormal email send patterns and behaviours.