Fashion Tech / e-Retail
The Fashion Tech /e-tailer sector has been especially active in Q1 this year. In particular, the online luxury digital market has seen notable funding.
McKinsey divides the digital fashion market into three primary segments;
- Platform based tech companies (e.g. Stitchfix, Rent the Runway, Lyst),
- Asset light marketplaces (e.g. Farfetch, Drexcode, Asos)
- Multibrand E-retailer platforms (e.g. Boohoo, Yoox Net-a-Porter, MyTheresa)
The trend towards digital and online is having an increasing impact on how luxury shoppers make their purchase choices and McKinsey forecasts that online luxury sales will triple to ~ USD 91 bn by 2025, equating to twenty percent of total personal luxury sales.
Fashion Tech Highlights: Q1 2018
British Fashion Furniture e-tailer Made.com raises $56 million
London: British fashion furniture e-tailer, Made.com has raised $56 million. The company says “a new tier 1 global institutional investor” has made the investment commitment with existing investors Partech Ventures, Level Equity and Eight Roads Ventures also participating.
The showroom and digital retail brand has also revealed its profitability status, showing 2017 profitability in the U.K., France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg and is currently cashflow positive.
In 2017, the company has generated a net revenue of $178 million, a 40 percent increase compared on 2016.
The funding will be used to accelerate its growth and establish digital design brand leadership across Europe.
Rent the Runway Raises USD 20M
New York: Rent the Runway raised USD 20 million from Hong Kong-based Blue Pool Capital. Set up in 2009 by two Harvard graduates, Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, Rent the Runway rents designer dresses and accessories for special events such as weddings and parties. It has raised USD 190m since 2009 and has an annual revenue of over USD 100m.
Blue Pool Capital is the investment fund connected to Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Joe Tsai. Their last round of funding a $60-million Series E investment led by Fidelity was in late 2016. The Blue Pool investment followed the same terms as the Series E deal.
Social shopping platform Depop raises $20m for global expansion
Milan / London: Social shopping platform Depop raised $20m in a Series B funding round, which it will invest in global expansion. Depop was founded in Italy but is now headquartered in London, and has more than 8m registered users. It provides a platform for young entrepreneurs to sell fashion items, with some users generating revenues monthly of over $10,000. Users can like, share and see what others are buy and sell, thereby creating influencing factors on trends and purchasing decisions.
The funding round was led by UK based Octopus Ventures with additional funding from TempoCap, which joins a list of existing investors including Balderton, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, H-FARM, Creandum, Lumar as well as Italian entrepreneurs Luca Marzotto and Renzo Rosso from OTB/Diesel Group.
Swedish fashion e-commerce firm NA-KD raises $45 million in Series B round
Gothenburg: Fashion ecommerce company NA-KD announced a $45 million Series B round led by Partech Ventures. Other participants in the investment include Northzone, eEquity, FJ Labs, and the founders of classifieds site Avito. According to the Swedish company, it grew more than 150% in 2017 with a revenue run rate of nearly $75 million and also relaunched its website and moved its main distribution centre to the Netherlands.
The company will continue to invest in growth in 2018 in the US, UK, and major European markets by launching nine new localised sites.
Farfetch prepares for NYC IPO
London UK: Farfetch, the luxury boutique e-tailer is preparing for an IPO on the New York Stock exchange. The company was founded in 2008 by Jose Neves with the aim of creating a single online marketplace for luxury fashion boutique brands with styles that ‘won’t be found anywhere else’. The expected valuation is $5.6bn.
Current investors include Singapore’s Temasek, Vogue publisher Condé Nast International and Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com
Since the Federal Aviation Administration announced the first operational rules for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles back in June 2016, there has been considerable coverage and opinion on the technology’s potential.
In the UK, The National Air Traffic Control Service (NATS) intends to amend its ‘beyond-visual-line-of-sight’ (BVLOS) regulations which could theoretically pave the way for unmanned aerial deliveries in the U.K. as early 2019.
In the US, investment interest in the drone sector is intensifying, not least due to a White House push for greater cooperation between Government and the private sector. There is now renewed confidence that delivery-by-drone could be operational by summer 2018.
According to a WSJ article on March 11th, at least 10 FAA-approved pilot programs for various drone initiatives are marked to start by May.
A 2016 Goldman Sachs report forecasted that between 2016 and 2020, the commercial drone market could be worth $100bn.
Research firm Tractica, in their research paper last year, estimated that worldwide revenue of commercial drones from hardware and services reached an estimated $587 million in 2016 and it expected that the market will continue to grow rapidly over the next few years, reaching a market value of $12.6 billion by the end of 2025.
This quarter saw a number of fund raising activities in the drone technology sector, summarised below.
Drone Market Highlights: Q1 2018
Edgybees raises $5.5M
Santa Clara: Edgybees which develops augmented reality (AR) on high speed platforms including drones and cars, raised $5.5m in March. Having first applied AR for racing drones, last year they released First Response, a drone-flying app to be used by emergency first responders for orientation in difficult environments. Edgybees will use the funding to bring its AR technology to new verticals, including defence, smart cities, automotive, and broadcast media.
The funding was led by Verizon Ventures and Motorola Solutions Ventures.
PrecisionHawk Secures $75 Million
Raleigh: PrecisionHawk, a leading provider of drone technology for the enterprise – announced it raised a $75 million round of funding from a group of venture and strategic investors. The investment brings PrecisionHawk’s total funding to more than $100 million since it was founded in 2010, making it the world’s most well-capitalized commercial drone company.
The round was led by Third Point Ventures. Additional new investors include Comcast Ventures, Senator Investor Group, Constellation Technology Ventures and Syngenta Ventures, amongst others, with participation from existing investors Intel Capital, Millennium Technology Value Partners, DuPont, Verizon Ventures, a subsidiary of USAA, and Indiana University’s Innovate Indiana Fund.
DroneBase raises $12m in Series B funding
Santa Monica: Dronebase, the drone operations company has raised $12m in a Series B funding to expand its drone operations services for enterprises. Founded in Santa Monica in 2014, the company recently completed over 100,000 commercial drone missions for enterprise clients across various industries such as real estate, insurance, telecommunications, construction, and media. The company works with businesses to provide them with drones that capture aerial photos and videos for specific industrial work, including analyzing construction sites and inspecting cell phone towers.
The funding round was co-led by Upfront Ventures and Union Square Ventures. DJI, Hearst Ventures and Pritzker Group also participated in the round.
Software / SaaS
LightStep Inc releases plugin following Q4 fund raising
San Francisco: LightStep Inc. which designs, develops, monitors anomalies across web, mobile, monoliths and micro services has followed its Q4 2017 fundraising with the release of a LightStep plugin for Grafana. Grafana, a popular open source analytics platform, consolidates metrics from different applications and databases into a single dashboard, so teams can more easily collaborate on cross-functional projects.
The Series A round of $7.5 million was led by Redpoint; the Series B round of $20 million was led by Sequoia. Seed investors, Cowboy Ventures and Harrison Metal participated in both rounds. LightStep will use the funding to accelerate product development and meet growing market demand.
Icertis Secures $50 Million in Series D Funding
Bellevue: Icertis, the provider of enterprise contract management in the cloud, announced a $50 million Series D funding. The company intends to use the funds to accelerate investment in the Icertis Contract Management (ICM) platform’s risk management, compliance, and revenue optimization capabilities, driven by artificial intelligence and to expand its geographical presence in North America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific and to opportunistically acquire technologies that address emerging needs.
This latest round was led by Meritech Capital Partners with participation from PSP Growth and Cross Creek Advisors and existing investors B Capital Group, Ignition Partners, Greycroft and Eight Roads Ventures. The company’s total funding to date stands at $96m
Shiftboard raises $11.5M for employee schedule management platform
Seattle: In January, Shiftboard, a provider of scheduling and hourly workforce management solutions, completed an $11.5m Series A funding. Previously, it had raised $4m in March 2016.
Founded in 2002, Shiftboard initially built employee shift management software for the healthcare sector. However, it has since expanded across several vertical and use cases. Shiftboard creates cloud-based worker management schedules for more than 1,000 organizations including Mayo Clinic and Disney. Its software enables businesses to integrate payroll information and utilize data to create optimal workforce operations, among other solutions.
The latest round was led by NewRoad Capital Partners, via its Kayne NewRoad Ventures Fund II, and included participation from Voyager Capital.
Zylo Raises $9.3M Series A Funding
Indianapolis: Zylo Inc, the enterprise SaaS optimization platform, raised $9.3 million in Series A funding round in January. The Zylo platform provides a one system of record for all SaaS and cloud-based software used across a company, giving an organization visibility into what software is used, how much is spent and how to optimize their SaaS and cloud-based software investments. The platform is managing over 1 million unique SaaS user licenses and more than $1 billion of annual SaaS subscription spend on behalf of its customers.
The funding round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners with participation from Salesforce Ventures and the Slack Fund. Repeat investors included High Alpha Capital, GGV, SV Angel, and Hyde Park Venture Partners.
MATRIXX Software raises USD40 Million in Series C round
Saratoga: MATRIXX Software announced a USD40 million Series C funding led by Silicon Valley VC, Sutter Hill Ventures. Additional new investors include Spring Lake Equity Partners and strategic partner, Hong Kong based CK Hutchison, whose 3 brand group of telecommunications operators serve over 130 million customers globally. The round also includes existing investors and strategic partners Greylock Partners, Adams Street Partners, Telstra Ventures and Swisscom Ventures.
Matrixx has now raised $100m from investors but has declined to say at what level the new funding round valued the company. The new funds will be used to grow its sales and engineering teams as it adds more telecos as customers.
SpeachMe raises €10 million to fund international growth
Nantes: SpeachMe, a French startup making video tutorial solutions, has raised €10 million in funding from Groupe Artémis’ Red River West, an initiative that funds French companies’ growth in the US.
SpeachMe develops video-based communication and learning tools for corporate including Airbus and Blablacar. It competes with the likes of US startup Grovo, which makes SaaS-based learning platforms raising $70 million to date. SpeachMe opened a US office in Austin in 2015 and plans to continue its international growth. It will now also open a base in Los Angeles and employ 70 new people across the company this year.
Workflow and CRM software company Forest Admin raises €3 million
Paris: Forest Admin, an admin-as-a-service interface for businesses, has announced a €3 million funding round for the development of its first product. Founded in 2017 and backed by Connect Ventures and French billionaire entrepreneur Xavier Niel, the funding will be used to accelerate product development of its SaaS CRM product and to prepare for launching internationally. Transferwise CEO Taavet Hinrikus also participated in the round.
Forest Admin is currently used by around 350 companies. In a statement, the company said it would consider relocating to San Francisco as part of its growth strategy
French sales management software firm Sellsy raises €7 million to expand internationally
LaRochelle: French enterprise sales management software company Sellsy, has raised €7 million from services firm SofiOuest to facilitate international expansion but the new funds will first be used to bolster the company’s position in France, where it currently has around 3,200 customers using its SaaS product. The company says it is considering opening its first office outside of France, possibly in the UK.
While other countries will have different sales and billing regulations, the product will not need to be adapted significantly to meet these rules, the company said. The new funds will also be invested in building out its R&D functions
FastSpring Receives Majority Equity Investment from Accel-KKR
Santa Barbara: FastSpring, an innovative subscription-based platform for powering digital commerce, announced it received a majority equity investment from Accel-KKR, a leading technology-focused private equity firm. The new partnership will provide capital and resources to make continued investments in technology and go-to-market initiatives to better serve existing customers and drive continued growth in the digital commerce market.
Founded in 2005, FastSpring provides a subscription-based platform for powering digital commerce, connecting buyers and sellers across the globe and offers payment processing, recurring billing and other value-added modules. CA.
TurboPatent raises $3.25M
Seattle: TurboPatent has raised $3.25 million to bolster its growing suite of automation tools for patents and intellectual property. TurboPatent focuses on corporations and law firms, automating tasks like formatting or document preparation, thereby increasing productivity. The service is designed to cut costs, save time and lead to more accurate patent documentation.
Investors in the round include Voyager Capital, IP management software company Anaqua, former president of Paul Allen’s Vulcan Bill Savoy and John Amster and Geof Barker, co-founders of patent risk management company RPX. Savoy and Bob Romeo, CEO of Anaqua, have joined TurboPatent’s board of directors.
Security & Data Management
Amazon acquires Ring home security tech firm
Santa Monica: Amazon has acquired the Santa Monica based video doorbell and home security camera maker, Ring, in a deal reportedly worth more than $1.1bn. The deal is seen as further evidence of Amazon’s interest and push into the IoT (internet of things) and intelligent home delivery space.
A month earlier, Ring announced it had agreed to buy Mr. Beams, a Cleveland-based LED lighting technology company. At the time, the Los Angeles Times valued Ring at $460 million
One Identity acquires Hungarian cybersecurity company Balabit
Aliso Viejo: Balabit, the Hungarian cybersecurity firm, has been acquired by US firm, One Identity. No terms have been disclosed. Balabit was founded in 2000 in Budapest and had raised $8 million from investors including London VC C5 Capital. This is One Identity’s first acquisition, which it said in a statement is intended to bolster its portfolio. Balabit develops solutions for privilege access management (PAM) and through this deal, it will merge its tech with One Identity’s identity and access management (IAM) solutions to further develop new product offerings.
Security Automation DFLabs raises $9m
Boston / Milan: DFLabs, the security automation and orchestration platform, has increased its total funding to $9M from existing investor Evolution Equity Partners. The company also announced that it doubled its revenues in 2017 whilst expanding its operations in the US and Europe to capitalize on accelerating demand among Fortune 500 and Global 2000 enterprises, government agencies, law enforcement and intelligence agencies that want to contain and limit cyber breaches using its IncMan security automation and orchestration platform.
Start-up Stealth Security raises $8M in Series A
Mountain View: Stealth Security Inc., a cybersecurity start-up, announced in February that it had raised an $8-million Series A round led by Shasta Ventures. Created and managed by a team of former PayPal, Cisco and Symantec senior executives, Stealth Security will use the $8-million funding round to address the growing challenge of detecting and mitigating today’s increasingly sophisticated bots, which current defence solutions fail to address.
Carbonite purchase Mozy Inc., a subsidiary of Dell Technologies for $145.8 million
Boston: Carbonite Inc. has agreed to buy Mozy Inc., a subsidiary of Dell Technologies Inc., for $145.8 million in cash. Mozy makes data protection software similar to Carbonite’s own products, and the deal will help Carbonite capture more of its market, which ranges from individuals backing up their home computers to businesses migrating to the cloud.
The acquisition is financed by a combination of Carbonite’s cash on hand and a new $120 million revolving credit facility.
Kidtech pioneer SuperAwesome is now valued at USD100m
London: Kidtech company, SuperAwesome, which was an early adaptor into the growing need for child-friendly technology, including child-safe advertising, social engagement tools, authentication and parental controls has turned it first profit.
Set up five years ago, its clients include some of the biggest names in the children’s market, including Activision, Hasbro, Mattel, Cartoon Network, Spin Master, Nintendo, Bandai, WB, Shopkins maker Moose Toys and hundreds of others.
Media reports say it hit profitability for the first time in Q4 2017, and has reached a booked revenue run-rate of $28 million, after seeing 70 percent growth year-over-year.
This year, it expects to grow 100 percent, with a revenue run rate of $50 million.
The company’s valuation is estimated to be upwards of $100 million. The company says the shift to digital is driving its growth, as TV viewing is dropping at 10 to 20 percent per year, while kids’ digital budgets are growing at 25 percent year-on-year. At the same time, children’s brands and content owners are realizing that safety and privacy have to be a part of their web and mobile experiences.
Redux is acquired by Alphabet
Cambridge: Alphabet has acquired Redux, a Cambridge UK based start-up that develops technology to convert phone displays into speakers.
A UK regulatory filing showed that Google’s subsidiary Google Ireland Holdings Unlimited Company, acquired all the shares of NVF Tech, the parent company of Redux Laboratories in Dec 2017. The company develops haptic feedback technology for smartphones, tablets, and PC.
No details on the acquisition have not been released. According to its LinkedIn profile, the company had 178 granted patents, over 50 pending patent applications, and global engagement with leaders in multiple vertical markets.
Redwood Technologies secures £25 million
Bracknell, UK: Redwood Technologies Group, a cloud communications firm, has received a £25 million investment from Scottish Equity Partners (SEP).
Founded in 1993 in the UK, this is Redwood’s first round of outside investment and will be used to growth its position in the APAC market. It will open a Tokyo office in the coming months.
The company develops the cloud communications provider Content Guru and the storm platforms for mission critical communications in the public and private sector. According to the company, its revenue increased by 30% in 2016 and 2017.
XebiaLabs Closes $100M+ Series B
Boston: XebiaLabs, the Boston-based software enterprise that helps companies automate DevOps functions, announced a $100 million Series B investment led by Susquehanna Growth Equity and Accel. This investment brings the total raised to $121.5 million.
As part of the investment, Martin Angert, director at Susquehanna Growth Equity, and Arun Mathew, partner at Accel, will join XebiaLabs’ board of directors.
Subscription Economy® Zuora files for IPO
San Mateo: Subscription Economy® pioneers, Zuora Inc. has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of its Class A common stock.
The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. Zuora intends to list its Class A common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “ZUO.”
The company had nearly $50 million in overall revenue in the fourth quarter last year, up from $30 million in Q4 2016. The IPO is anticipated to raise $100 M. Its last funding round raised $115 million in 2015 and which point it the company was valued at nearly $740 million according to PitchBook Data.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC are acting as the joint lead bookrunners for the proposed offering. Allen & Company LLC and Jefferies LLC are acting as bookrunners. Canaccord Genuity LLC and Needham & Company, LLC are acting as co-managers.
Danish fintech startup Cardlay raises €4 million in Series A funding
Odense: Cardlay, a fintech startup in Denmark, has announced a new funding round of 30 million DKK (about €4 million) from SEED Capital and SEB Venture Capital alongside investors Thorleif Krarup, Klaus Holse, Jørgen Bardenfleth, and Herbert Nathan.
The company has developed a management platform for payment cards and expenses targeted at commercial banks. The Series A funding will be used to for international expansion through broadening the company’s partnerships with banks in Europe and North America and to further develop its features in machine learning and automation.
BABB raises a $20 million funding round to build its blockchain banking platform
London: BABB (Bank Account Based Blockchain) has successfully raised its target $20 million in a sold-out token sale and is poised to open its first regulated blockchain-based bank accounts before the end the year.
BABB is an FCA Authorised Payment Institution headquartered London’s Canary Wharf. It is developing a decentralised banking platform to provide anyone in the world with a bank account, payment card, and access to its global peer-to-peer network, designed for people who are excluded from or dissatisfied with existing banks.
The funds raised will be used to jumpstart development of BABB’s blockchain-based banking platform, mobile banking app and decentralised payment card, the Black Card. BABB will launch its mobile app in Q4 2018, on the back of its 2017 prototype.
FX Platform TigerWit raises USD 5 million
London: UK-based fintech firm TigerWit, which recently acquired Mercor Index – the exclusive provider of the TimeToTrade platform in the UK – has announced that it has secured a US$ 5 million investment from Susquehanna International Group (SIG), a US-based technology investment firm. The capital will allow further advancement in its mobile-focused trading technology.
MedTech / MaaS
Digital Health Zipongo Raises $18M in Series B1 Funding
San Francisco: Digital health company Zipongo has raised $18m in Series B1 funding. The round was led by Seventure Partners and by Zaffre Investments, the investment fund of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Jason Robart, chief strategy officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and president and CEO of Zaffre Investments, joined Zipongo’s board of directors.
Zipongo intends to use funding to expand its nutrition platform beyond wellness to use food as first-line therapy in treating chronic disease.
Launched in 2014 by CEO Jason Langheier, MD, Zipongo provides a Food Benefits Management (FBM) platform that delivers sustained engagement to allow people to assess and improve their nutrition via tools including Health (Digital Dietitian), Cooking (recipes, meal planning, grocery delivery, and discounts) and Restaurants (menus, restaurant ordering, and workplace cafes).
Bio-Optronics Receives $30M Growth Investment
Rochester: Bio-Optronics, a provider of software to healthcare organizations has received a $30m investment from Mainsail Partners.
Mainsail will partner with the Chief Executive Officer, Dan Kerpelman, and the existing management team to scale the business. In conjunction with the investment, Michael Anderson, Partner at Mainsail Partners, Taylor McKinley, Operating Partner at Mainsail, and David Farsai, Vice President at Mainsail, will join Bio-Optronics’ Board of Directors.
The company will use the capital to accelerate product development, enhance customer service, and grow sales and marketing.
Bio-Optronics creates user-focused applications for healthcare organizations with applications focused on clinical research, automated resource utilization and patient safety.
Ultivue Inc. Announces Completes $20 M Series B
Cambridge: Ultivue, a venture-backed company developing reagent-driven solutions for high-performance biological imaging has closed a $20 million Series B funding round. Ultivue intends to use the new round of capital to productize and commercialize its InSituPlex™ technology for unbiased biomarker analysis in tissue. The initial commercial focus will be in translational and clinical research markets, with a rapid transition into regulated in vitro diagnostic markets.
The funding round was led by existing Chicago investor ARCH Venture Partners. New participating investors accounted for approximately half of the investment and included 6 Dimensions Capital, a recent merger of WuXi Healthcare Ventures and Frontline BioVentures, Yonghua Capital, Sangel Capital, and Applied Ventures.
Owlstone Medical Raises $15M in Funding
Cambridge UK: Owlstone, a company developing the commercialization of breath-based diagnostic technology has raised $15m (£11 million) in funding. The investment will be utilized to drive the global commercialization of its Breath Biopsy® platform. The funds will enable the company to bring its lung cancer Breath Biopsy test to market, deepen the early detection pipeline with ongoing trials across multiple cancers, and further grow its existing precision medicine services to the pharmaceutical industry.
The funding round was co-led by Horizons Ventures, the private investment arm of Mr. Li Ka-shing, a leading investor in some of the world’s most innovative companies and disruptive technologies, and current investor Aviva Ventures, the venture capital arm of Aviva plc, a global leader in insurance. The financing also includes follow on investment from Owlstone Medical’s other existing backers including Medtekwiz.
US Firms Announce E.U. Expansion Plans
SentryOne to Open International Office
Charlotte / Ireland: SentryOne has announced that it will expand internationally by opening an office in Dublin City Centre, Ireland, in Q1 2018. The Company plans to manage its European, Middle Eastern and African (EMEA) operations through the new Irish subsidiary and will add sales, channel and customer support staff immediately. The Irish entity, SentryOne Ltd., will be wholly owned by SentryOne.
Tech company, SentryOne solutions enable Microsoft data professionals to achieve breakthrough performance across physical, virtual and cloud environments.
TreasuryXpress Accelerates Growth with new offices in Dallas and London
New York: TreasuryXpress, an on-demand treasury management solutions company has announced it will open new offices in Dallas, Texas and London to accommodate growth and to leverage the diverse treasury and Fintech talent pool of each region.
In addition to the new offices, TreasuryXpress has expanded their corporate headquarters in Paris, France as the company has recently added 20 new local clients in the region. The company says its expansion will enable the firm to continue to maintain the high-quality level of service to support to its growing community of clients.
Evergage Expands Operations to Europe
Somerville / Stuttgart: Evergage, the real-time personalization platform company, has announced the setup of Evergage GmbH in Stuttgart, Germany, with an additional office in Berlin. The business will focus on selling and delivering Evergage’s personalization solutions to companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH) – helping them increase conversions, loyalty and revenue.
Search Discovery announces European Expansion
London: Search Discovery a leading provider of enterprise business intelligence and analytics solutions and services has announced its European expansion with the opening of an office in the UK.
In a statement, the company said, “ most companies are not leveraging their data to drive informed business decisions. Search Discovery has built a world class business intelligence team of analysts and data scientists and has a track record of delivering solutions for the world’s most trusted and respected brands”.
According to Statista, by 2020, UK companies will benefit from gains of £62bn as a result of data analytics and data science with the manufacturing industry expected to see the largest gains (£13bn), followed by professional services (£10bn) and retail (£5bn).