Full Speed Ahead for E-Bike/E-Scooter Funding
Berlin, Germany: Europe’s e-scooter rental market continues to excite investors this quarter.
Following last week’s $50 million Series A Funding Round by Swedish e-scooter start-up Voi Technology, this week, German e-scooter rental company Wind Mobility has raised $22 million in seed funding.
As well as dockless e-scooter and e-bike rental, Wind Mobility has developed IoT technology and a communication module that deliver better location accuracy of its scooters.
Wind Mobility’s funding was provided by China’s Source Code Capital and Germany’s HB Holtzbrinck – the VC arm of the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group.
Both deals follow October’s announcement by Berlin-firm, Tier, that it had secured €25 million in a Series A round to fund its e-scooter expansion plans.
Uber fined USD 1.2 million in European Data Breach
The U.K. and Netherlands: British and Dutch data protection regulators have fined Uber for a data breach that compromised customer and driver personal data.
Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office said it would fine Uber, UK£ 385,000 (USD 492,800) for failing to protect customers’ personal information including full names, email addresses and phone numbers.
The U.K. regulator said that a series of avoidable data security flaws allowed the personal details of around 2.7 million UK customers to be hacked from a cloud-based storage system operated by Uber’s US parent company.
Meanwhile, the Dutch Data Protection Authority slapped Uber with a €600,000 ($685,000) fine for violating Dutch regulations, by not reporting the breach to the Dutch DPA and the data subjects, within 72 hours.
The UK and Netherlands breaches represents only an element of a broader data breach affecting some 57 million passengers. In December 2016, though Uber realised that it had been hacked, instead of notifying regulators or those affected, the company later admitted that it paid USD $100,000 to the hackers to destroy the stolen data.
However, its latest European fines are dwarfed by the USD $148m that Uber agreed to pay U.S regulators over the major breach which involved the data-hacking of 57 million Uber customer and 600,000 drivers worldwide.
Lime Bikes Launches in the U.K.
Milton Keynes, England: Lime mobility has launched its electric-assisted bikes in the U.K.
It has chosen the tech-friendly, ‘new-city’ of Milton Keynes, 40 miles north of Central London, possibly to avoid “the most highly regulated and restrictive market for this kind of product, globally” which is how its fellow scooter start-up, Bird, labelled London.
From this week, via Lime’s mobile app, the citizens of Milton Keynes can hire an electric Lime bike, equipped with a 250-watt motor and a rechargeable lithium battery, for a £1 rental fee ($1.30) plus an additional 15 pence (19 cents) thereafter, per hour of use.
New York Majesco acquires Irish Insurance Tech Company
Dublin, Ireland: Exaxe, an Irish company that provides cloud-based insurance technology solutions, has been acquired by US-based Majesco, in a deal valued at up to €11.6 million.
Founded in 1997, the software-as-a-services (Saas) company is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Its clients include Acorn Life, Aviva, AXA Life Invest, Capita, Police Mutual, Retirement Advantage and the Eureko Group.
New Jersey based Majesco – formerly a subsidiary of Indian technology group Mastek – was founded in 1992 and specialises in providing insurance technology and core system software solutions to over 120 insurance carriers globally.
Workforce App Raises USD 22.8 Million Series B
London, England: Workforce application company, EKO has raised €17.6 million (USD 22.8 million) in a Series B funding round.
EKO was founded in 2012 by the then teenager and now Thai entrepreneur, Korawad Chearavanont.
Though based in Bangkok, the company has opened a commercial HQ in London to expand their European business plans.
The funding, led by SMD Ventures, with participation from AirAsia’s digital investment arm Redbeat Ventures, Gobi Partners, East Ventures and returning investors, brings the total raised to date by EKO to USD $28.7 million.
Med Sea Boat Booking Platform raises €6.5m
Berlin, Germany: This week saw another Berlin-based platform technology company conclude a successful funding round, following Zenjob’s raising of €15 million ($17.1 million) and WorkGenius raising $9.6 million.
Zizoo, a travel platform that connects boat charters with holidayers seeking bespoke yacht and boat holidays, has raised €6.5 million (USD 7.5 million) in a Series A round.
Founded in Vienna in 2015 by Anna Banicevic, the Zizoo platform allows users to find and select up to 21,000 customer-reviewed vessels, across 500 destinations, mainly in southern Mediterranean regions of Greece, Croatia, and Spain.
The company intends to use the funds to accelerate global expansion and to hire 40 people over the next year, as well as continuing to develop its product portfolio to include river cruises, mini-cruises and nautically-themed experiences.
The round was led by Revo Capital, with participation from new investors including Coparion, Check24 Ventures and PUSH Ventures.
The company had previously raised €6.5 million in July 2016.
French Holiday Property Rental App Raises €6 million
Paris, France: Paris based holiday property rental platform Homerez, has raised €6 million (USD 6.85 million) in a Series A round.
Launched in 2014, the company advertises on rental platforms such as Booking.com, Airbnb and TripAdvisor.
To date, over 6,000 home owners have signed up with the platform, mainly in France. However the company’s target is to manage more than 50,000 properties within 5 years.
With the new investment, Homerez plans to strengthen its position in the European market before it eyes wider international markets.