Author: Steve OHear

SimplyCook dishes up £4.5M Series A for its subscription-based flavourings and recipe service

TECHCRUNCH SimplyCook, the recipe kit service that focuses on flavour ingredients, has closed £4.5 million in Series A funding. The round is led by Octopus Investments. Unlike other recipe or meal kits, such as HelloFresh, Gousto and Marley Spoon, U.K.-based SimplyCook doesn’t send all of the fresh ingredients required to turn its recipes into food on your table. Instead, the subscription service consists of recipe cards and what SimplyCook calls “ingredients kits,” which are herbs, spices, sauces and other extras needed to cook each meal. It’s not only a product that potentially has better margins than fresh food recipe...

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Flash, the stealthy e-scooter and ‘micro-mobility’ startup from Delivery Hero founder, raises €55M Series A

TECHCRUNCH Flash, the stealthy mobility startup from Delivery Hero and Team Europe founder Lukasz Gadowski, is de-cloaking today, with news that the Berlin-based company has raised a whopping €55 million in Series A funding. Despite rumours that multiple VC firms would be involved, the bulk of the new funding comes from Target Global via its mobility fund, which led this round and was already an existing backer of Flash. Others participating in Flash’s Series A include Idinvest Partners, Signals Venture Capital and a number of unnamed angel investors. Notably, Gadowski is listed as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Target...

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Index has backed Immersive Games Lab, a new startup from founder of Tough Mudder

TECHCRUNCH Immersive Games Lab, a new venture from Tough Mudder co-founder and Chairman Will Dean, has picked up around £2.5 million in seed funding, TechCrunch has learned. According to sources, London-based Index Ventures has led the round. In a call confirming the close, Dean told me Sweet Capital, and JamJar Investments (the VC fund set up by the 3 Innocent Drinks founders) also participated. Developing the “next generation” of immersive group gaming, Immersive Games Lab describes itself as “part indoor theme park, part video game, part escape room” and says it will launch a new breed of “captivating group experiences” in London in early 2019. Little else is known regarding what Immersive Games Lab’s first experience will be, although Dean told me it will be sold in retail spaces, in ticket form, and will be a blend of technology and in-person group activity. It is currently being prototyped and tested in a warehouse in North London. More broadly, he said the idea of creating a new kind of immersive gaming experience is partly based on the sentiment that we spend too much screen time on our devices, consuming social media in a way that isn’t always good for our mental health. His previous and hugely successful venture Tough Mudder was all about creating a new, fun experience around exercise — and ultimately helping people become more physically active. Dean...

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German HR and recruiting platform Personio raises $40M Series B led by Index

TECHCRUNCH Personio, the German HR and recruiting platform, has raised $40 million in a Series B funding. Leading the round is London-based Index Ventures, with participation from existing investors Northzone and Rocket Internet’s Global Founders. Founded in 2015, Munich-based Personio has set out to build a “HR operating system” for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) ranging from 10 and 2,000 employees. The cloud-based software is designed to power all of a company’s HR and recruiting processes, either via the product’s own core functionality or through its ability to integrate with third-party software. “We believe in the benefit of a holistic HR solution that covers the entire employee life-cycle, while its functionalities need to adapt to individual customer requirements and processes,” Personio co-founder and CEO Hanno Renner tells me. “That being said, we distinguish between the bread-and-butter HR activities which every company needs to do (e.g. recruiting, on boarding, time off management, payroll etc.) and those that are either industry-specific or rather nice-to-haves”. Examples of the latter include hardware-based time tracking, and employee engagement, respectively. “We focus our efforts on providing a best-in-class experience for what we consider bread-and-butter HR,” adds Renner. “For more specific requirements, we let our customers choose from a growing number of integrated vertical solutions based on their needs. Data will be synced so Personio acts as the system of record for all HR information and...

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Email security company Tessian is closing in on a $40M round led by Sequoia Capital

TECHCRUNCH Continuing a trend that VCs here in London tell me is seeing an increasing amount of deal-flow in Europe attract the interest of top-tier Silicon Valley venture capital firms, TechCrunch has learned that email security provider Tessian is the latest to raise from across the pond. According to multiple sources, the London-based company has closed a Series B round led by Sequoia Capital. I understand that the deal could be announced within a matter of weeks, and that the round size is in the region of $40 million. Tessian declined to comment. Founded in 2013 by three engineering...

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BeMyEye acquires Streetbee, a Russian crowdsourcing and image recognition provider

TECHCRUNCH London-headquartered BeMyEye has made another acquisition, its third in a little over three years. This time the retail execution monitoring service is purchasing Russian crowdsourcing and image recognition provider Streetbee. The acquisition will see BeMyEye launch “Perfect Shelf,” which will use image recognition technology to lower the cost for consumer goods companies wanting to get “objective and actionable” in-store insights. These will typically include share of shelf and planogram compliance (the specific placement of products on a store shelf). More broadly, BeMyEye offers a platform to enable companies and brands to crowdsource various in-store data. This can include...

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Workforce management solution Quinyx raises further $25M

TECHCRUNCH Quinyx, the cloud-based workforce management solution, has raised a further $25 million in funding. The investment was led by the startup’s existing investors Alfvén & Didrikson, Battery Ventures, and Zobito. Founded in 2005 by Erik Fjellborg, Quinyx’s CEO, after he spent the summer working at McDonald’s, the company’s workforce management software helps businesses of all sizes manage employee scheduling, communication, task-management and payroll integration. Quinyx’s core focus is shift-based or ‘flexible’ workers, including but not limited to those operating in the fast-food industry. Clients include McDonald’s, London City Airport, Burger King, Rituals, Swarovski, IHG, and Boots. I’m told...

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Manual raises £5M to build its ‘wellbeing guide’ for men

TECHCRUNCH Manual, a ‘wellbeing platform’ for men, has closed £5 million in seed funding. Backing the round is the U.K.’s Felix Capital, Germany’s Cherry Ventures, and U.S.-based Cassius Capital. The first iteration of the startup’s offering is being launched today: a new website that aims to arm men with the knowledge and tools they need “to proactively solve their wellbeing and look after their health”. “At Manual we want men to take control of their health and happiness by helping guide them to the choices that work best for them. We believe this starts with promoting a change in...

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