Celebrating CloudGenix’s $420M Acquisition By Palo Alto Networks

BainCapital

Today, Palo Alto Networks closed its $420M acquisition of CloudGenix, an industry leader in software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN).

I have had the privilege of knowing CloudGenix’s co-founder and CEO Kumar Ramachandran since November 2013.

We initially met on a Saturday morning at the DoubleTree in Pleasanton to discuss his new company. And while the location might have been less memorable, the meeting was not. We spent the next two hours sitting in the hotel lobby discussing the massive opportunity at hand: the myriad of reasons why customers might choose to move away from traditional MPLS routing to software-defined edge networking. We could see then what we know now to be true…

Software-defined edge networking not only offers increased functionality to MPLS routing, but is also easier to manage, more secure, and allows network administrators unprecedented visibility into their networks.

Couple this discussion on the advantages of software-defined networking with Kumar’s incredible passion on the topic. Within the first few minutes of our conversation, it was clear that Kumar felt strongly about networking being overcomplicated. There had to be a way to eliminate the need to have intimate knowledge of underlying protocols, while also simplifying the overall process of delivering applications to remote offices. He believed that he and the team at CloudGenix could deliver on these needs.

Shortly thereafter, in early 2014, I made my first investment in the company, and was invited to join the board. I was confident then in Kumar’s experience, leadership, incredible drive, and the team he and his co-founder Venkataraman Anand had assembled, and knew I wanted to be a part of the journey.

In April 2015, Bain Capital Ventures had the chance to invest as CloudGenix readied their product for initial shipment. We could see the demand for large enterprises to implement SD-WAN in order to effectively manage a complex, multi-cloud strategy, and how the CloudGenix team had capitalized on it; creating a best-in-class solution that autonomously tailors to each enterprise’s specific security and networking needs.

In the years following, I had the privilege of working with the leadership team on a number of key initiatives. Many of my fondest memories with the startup, however, are of the days I spent working alongside the field organization, engaging with prospects and customers to share the CloudGenix vision, and express Bain Capital Ventures’ support for the company.

Recognizing CloudGenix sales achievers in August 2019

Fast forward several years, and my confidence in Kumar, the team he’s built, and the award-winning product, has never been stronger. Just last year, CloudGenix announced a 300% year-over-year growth, as large enterprises made the switch from legacy incumbents, due in part to our work in the field, helping to win many highly competitive engagements against intense competition. This significant progress and growth is what spurred us to become CloudGenix’s largest investor in their latest funding round.

Today, as we all navigate through this period of uncertainty, and millions have been forced to work remotely, the need for an effective WAN to supply a secure network across a largely distributed workforce, has never been greater.

Palo Alto Networks, a leader in next generation firewalls, plans to extend its network reach further and consolidate the edge technology stack. They announced their intent to acquire CloudGenix for $420M on March 31st, 2019. It couldn’t be a better match.

Congratulations again to Kumar and the entire team at CloudGenix. We could not be prouder to have been a part of your journey since the early days, and cannot wait to see how you continue to revolutionize the networking industry.

Kumar Ramachandran and members of the CloudGenix team

Truffle Capital successfully raises nearly €400 million for new Venture Capital funds. Funds backed by top-tier French and international institutional investors

Truffle Capital

Paris, France, December 18th, 2019 – Truffle Capital, a major European Venture Capital fund, announces the closing of its new BioMedTech and Fintech-InsurTech institutional funds, after having successfully raised close to €400 million from French and international institutional investors.

Truffle Capital has received €250 million in commitments for its BioMedTech funds and €140 million for its new Fintech-Insurtech funds. The closing of these new funds marks a milestone for Truffle Capital, demonstrating a strong acceleration in its development (compared to the €750 million raised in the past 15 years) and the success of sector-specific funds with institutional investors, as previous Truffle funds were non sector-specific and mostly retail funds. The new BioMedTech fund will create and fund a dozen companies, mainly in France, developing medical devices and medications aiming to revolutionize mini-invasive medicine and health based on disruptive technologies sourced by Truffle from the top 50 US and European universities. The new Fintech-Insurtech fund will create and fund between 12 to 15 companies designing and building disruptive services and products for the banking and insurance industries, which will be developed around AI and blockchain technologies.

Created in 2001, Truffle Capital sets itself apart from other Venture Capital funds thanks to its unique business model of Business Builders. Truffle Capital is systematically the main investor in its participations, often the founder and majority shareholder during several years, and supports its companies until an advanced stage of their development. During the last 15 years, Truffle Capital has supported more than 70 companies, of which 80% were created by or with the support of Truffle Capital’s teams. Truffle Capital has successfully undertaken 13 IPOs and 17 divestitures for its portfolio companies, generating attractive returns on investment and supporting international growth of the companies.

About 60% of the amount raised for the new Truffle Capital funds comes from French investors and 40% from international investors. Obratori (l’Occitane Group), Guerbet Group, Agrica Group, la Cipav, BPCE, Caisse Centrale de Réassurances (CCR), ProBTP, Sopra Steria and many French and international family offices have invested in the BioMedTech or Truffle Financial Innovation funds. In 2017, the French pension fund Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (FRR) had notably given a mandate, one of the first dedicated to French Venture Capital, to Truffle Capital. Investments have already been made to create and support a dozen of promising companies:

• In BioMedTech, Truffle Capital has already created five startups, that rely on exclusive and global licensing agreements negotiated with prestigious international research centers and universities, with its new funds: HoliStick Medical, aiming to treat cardiac pathologies (PFO) without open-heart surgery, relying on technologies from Harvard and the MIT; Skinosive, which develops dermo-cosmetics technologies to prevent skin cancers based on a Yale University Technology; Artedrone, whose autonomous microrobots could prevent and treat cerebrovascular pathologies or treat tumors; PKMed, which develops smart bioactive implants; and finally, Bariatek, which works on non-invasive medical devices to treat obesity and diabetes.

• In FinTech-InsurTech, Truffle Capital is supporting the development of five startups with its new funds: MoneyTrack, which revolutionizes directed payment (especially in insurance reimbursement) by using blockchain technologies developed in partnership with INRIA (Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique) and ENS (Ecole Normale Supérieure); RollingFunds, which develops an automated scoring technology allowing SMEs to benefit from instant cash advance; IPaidThat, which automates SMEs’ invoice processing; Monisnap, which simplifies and digitalizes money transfer in underbanked countries; and finally, Sharegroop, which has invented group payment systems on websites.

The three managing partners of Truffle Capital, Patrick Kron, Philippe Pouletty, and Bernard-Louis Roques, comment:

Patrick Kron, Chairman of Truffle Capital states: “The success of this ambitious fundraising is a great source of pride for Truffle Capital and its teams. The confidence of these top-tier investors is further proof of the relevance and the efficiency of our unique model. Our position as entrepreneur-investors has enabled us to create genuine global leaders, able to use disruptive technologies to propose new offers and address unmet needs. Thanks to the unique experience we have acquired, we are convinced that we will be able to structure and grow particularly promising investments.”

Philippe Pouletty, M.D., Co-founder, CEO of Truffle Capital, head of the BioMedTech Team adds: “With €250 million new funds, we are now among the top BioMedTech players in Europe, especially in the interventional medical devices segment. Our investment strategy is designed to allow clinicians to treat patients more effectively and in a less traumatic way with revolutionary products, allowing patients to enjoy better and longer lives, and payers to reduce health costs. Disruptive innovations sourced by Truffle Capital will combine smart implants, mini-invasive surgery, interventional radiology, AI, micro-robotics and the harnessing of human physiology. Medical needs and market potential are very important, especially in cardiology, neurology, dermo-cosmetics, oncology, gastroenterology, and orthopedics. We are working hand in hand with the top 50 universities and research centers based in Europe and the US. Following a stringent selection process, we aim to in-license and transform their disruptive inventions into major technological innovations and medical products. Our proven experience as entrepreneur-investors and our investment fire power allow us to build future world leaders within the excellent French ecosystem, from creation to clinical and commercial stage.”

Bernard-Louis Roques, Co-founder, CEO of Truffle Capital, head the FinTech-InsurTech team says: “In 2014, we felt that the combination between deregulation and rise of ‘deep techs’, mainly with AI and blockchain, would deeply and sustainably transform the world of finance. While FinTechs accounted for only 2% in Venture Capital, we decided to focus on this segment by creating the first French FinTech incubator, thus giving birth to seven companies, of which three were rapidly sold successfully. As we were encouraged by the success of this first phase, during which we invested €30 million and realized good exit multiples, we built an ecosystem around our network of entrepreneurs, scientists, and financial institutions, created by our major institutional fundraisings. FinTechs now represent 20% of Venture Capital, and we plan to deploy €140 million over the next six years to create future leaders who will help transform the financial industry.”

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Rabo Frontier Ventures partners with Northzone’s Fund IX

Rabo Frontier Ventures

Rabo Frontier Ventures (“RFV”) has committed to Northzone’s brand new venture fund (Northzone IX). Northzone Ventures (“Northzone” or the “Firm”) is a leading European technology investment firm and has been investing in technology companies for 23 years. Northzone has a pan-European focus and operates from its bases in the UK and the Nordics.

Northzone’s investment team is widely regarded as being highly experienced with privileged access to some of the world’s best entrepreneurs. Northzone has a history of strong performance with many successful deals and exits such as Spotify, iZettle and Avito.

Northzone

Northzone is an early stage venture capital fund, founded in 1996. It is one of the most experienced venture capital funds in Europe, and operates from its offices in Stockholm, London and Oslo. The firm also has a New York presence, and makes investments in select verticals in the US.

Northzone has raised 9 funds to date, and including the latest fund, the firm has raised a total of €1.5 billion. Over the past 2 decades, Northzone has invested in over 150 companies, including seminal names in European tech such as Spotify, iZettle, Klarna, Avito, Trustpilot, lastminute.com, Stepstone, Zopa and others.

Northzone’s focus is on disruptive technology companies and the fund makes investments across Europe and the US East Coast. The latest fund, Norhthzone IX, will back strong-minded entrepreneurs building category leading businesses in both the consumer and enterprise segments. The fund will invest at Series A and B stage, with selective seed bets also a part of the strategy.

“Northzone is a great partner and our commitment to their fund will give a good first indication of the fund of funds (FoF) strategy that we follow. This year we started with our early stage FoF strategy in order to generate relevant deal flow for our direct fund and to institutionalise existing relations with top performing VC funds. Our commitment in Northzone’s brand new venture fund marks the start of the execution of this strategy. Part of our strategy is also to leverage knowledge of Rabobank and to make it accessible for Northzone and its portfolio companies. Herewith creating a platform in order to add value to our VC partners and their portfolio companies”

Jeroen van Doornik, Partner RFV

Rabo Frontier Ventures

RFV is a €150 million investment fund of Rabobank, focusing globally on innovative Fintech and Agtech companies. RFV aims to invest directly in the early growth stage (series B) of companies that are disrupting or influencing the current business of Rabobank and invest indirect in leading general tech funds.

 

 

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EQT closes second Ventures fund, securing commitments totaling EUR 660 million

  • One of Europe’s largest VC funds, bringing EQT Ventures’ total capital raised to just over EUR 1.2 billion
  • Data-driven approach with Motherbrain continues to transform VC investment process
  • Team of founders and operators ensures hands-on support for bold, ambitious European and US founders

EQT today announced the successful closing of EQT Ventures II (or the “Fund”), securing commitments totaling EUR 660 million, of which approximately EUR 620 million are fee paying, just 3.5 years after EQT Ventures I launched. The Fund is one of the largest European venture capital (“VC”) funds and demand from both existing and new investors was strong.

EQT Ventures II will build on the multi-stage strategy of its predecessor fund EQT Ventures I, which secured commitments totaling EUR 566 million in 2016, investing in the next generation of ambitious founders and building global winners out of Europe. In addition to partnering early on with bold European founders (typically at Series A and B funding rounds), the Fund will continue to bridge the US and Europe, providing support and capital for US founders (typically at Series B and C rounds) keen to scale into Europe. Motherbrain, EQT’s proprietary in-house developed artificial intelligence system that helps source attractive investments, will also remain central to the Fund’s strategy.

Born inside the EQT Ventures advisory team and spun out to its own dedicated team in 2016, Motherbrain is managed as a start-up inside EQT. Keeping track of millions of companies every day, Motherbrain enables the EQT Ventures advisory team to assess companies faster, improve assessment accuracy and spend more time on the right companies earlier. The self-learning platform is involved in prioritizing and evaluating all potential investments and deeply integrated throughout the sourcing process. Five EQT Ventures’ portfolio companies have been sourced by Motherbrain so far – Peakon, Handshake, AnyDesk, Warducks and Standard Cognition.

The EQT Ventures advisory team, consisting of former founders and entrepreneurs from companies such as Spotify, King, Booking.com, Lithium, Huddle and Hotels.com, supports portfolio companies in a wide range of disciplines. These include product, marketing and communications, engineering, analytics, user experience, international expansion, sales, partnerships and finance.

With advisory teams in Stockholm, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam and Berlin, EQT Ventures’ “local-with-locals” approach and hands-on support for founders started to produce strong results early on. Just 2.5 years after its launch, the EQT Ventures I fund had its first exit when it sold its stake in mobile games company Small Giant Games to leading social games developer Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA) in a deal valued at USD 700 million.

Hjalmar Winbladh, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to the EQT Ventures funds, commented: “Building a global success story requires more than just capital. It requires grit, ambition, teamwork and support from people who have experienced the start-up journey firsthand. Being a large multi-stage investor, the EQT Ventures advisory team supports and coaches entrepreneurs on their journeys so they can scale and deliver long-term sustainable growth. Europe has never lacked ambition, talent or innovation but compared with the US, European start-ups have often struggled to access the capital they needed to grow from bright ideas into proven businesses. With this fund, EQT Ventures wants to continue to close this funding gap and its size is clear evidence of the growing confidence in European tech, which is punching above its weight. The team is looking forward to partnering with more of the boldest founders in Europe and the US.”

Christian Sinding, CEO and Managing Partner of EQT Partners, added: “Digital innovation is reshaping industries by disrupting existing business and operating models. This presents an opportunity for businesses and entrepreneurs keen to transform every sector imaginable. With the EQT Ventures advisory team’s deep experience of founding and supporting start-ups, they are ideally positioned to support the next wave of founders and this is evident in the superb performance of the first fund. We are proud of what the team has achieved so far and looking forward to the next stage of EQT Ventures’ journey.”

EQT Ventures II is backed by a global blue-chip investor base consisting of, among others, pension funds, insurance companies, financial institutions, foundations and family offices. Backing from new and existing investors from Europe, the US and Asia, highlights the growing confidence in European tech start-ups and talent.

Recent additions to EQT Ventures’ portfolio include Einride (USD 25 million Series A), BEAT81 (EUR 6.4 million Series A) and Standard Cognition (USD 35 million Series B).

EQT Ventures’ dedicated investment advisory team will continue to leverage the global network of EQT’s advisors and global platform, as well as the proven governance model and growth-focused approach to drive performance.

The fundraising for the Fund has now closed. Accordingly, the foregoing should in no way be treated as any form of offer or solicitation to subscribe for or make any commitments for or in respect of any securities or other interests or to engage in any other transaction.

Contact
Lucy Wimmer, Communications Partner, EQT Ventures, lucy@eqtventures.com, +44 7551 289 177
EQT Press Office, press@eqtpartners.com, +46 8 506 55 334

About EQT Ventures
EQT Ventures is a multi-stage VC fund that partners with the most ambitious and boldest founders in Europe and the US. The fund is based in Luxembourg and has investment advisors stationed in Stockholm, Amsterdam, London, San Francisco and Berlin. Fuelled by some of Europe’s most experienced company builders and scalers, EQT Ventures helps the next generation of entrepreneurs with the capital and hands on support needed to build global winners.

More info: www.eqtventures.com
Follow EQT Ventures on Twitter and LinkedIn

About EQT
EQT is a differentiated global investment organization with more than EUR 62 billion in raised capital and around EUR 41 billion in assets under management across 20 active funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 21 billion and approximately 127,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtgroup.com
Follow EQT on Twitter and LinkedIn

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Swarm64 raises fresh capital to accelerate growth from FPGA inventor Xilinx

Alliance Venture

Swarm64 and Xilinx teaming to meet growing demand for FPGA-accelerated database management solutions.

Berlin, October 8, 2019 – Swarm64 (swarm64.com), a leader in FPGA-accelerated database management solutions, today announced Xilinx, Inc. has invested in Swarm64 and will work together to deliver high-performance analytic databases that are easy to deploy and scale at a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than existing solutions in the market.

“Swarm64 has demonstrated impressive analytic database price-performance gains on Alveo accelerator cards,” said Donna Yasay, vice president of marketing, Data Center Group at Xilinx. “We are excited to work with Swarm64 to address growing enterprise demand for database solutions that enable new analytic and digital business innovations.”

Swarm64 Data Accelerator for Analytics runs on servers equipped with Xilinx Alveo cards to deliver up to 50x faster analytic query and data insertion performance for PostgreSQL open source database users. PostgreSQL is one of the most widely used databases in the world and Swarm64 DA running on the Xilinx platform enables a powerful SQL solution for customers looking to replace their legacy data warehouse with a seamless integration of hardware accelerators and popular open source software.

“We are very happy to be working with Xilinx to bring new FPGA-accelerated database solutions to market,” said Thomas Richter, CEO of Swarm64. “Swarm64 FPGA-based software delivers a new database user experience, including better price-performance, easier scaling, and even the ability to reconfigure the FPGA hardware to enable advanced features like text processing.”

Swarm64 will use the investment to develop new solutions that leverage the reconfigurability of FPGA hardware to accelerate specific workloads on PostgreSQL such as time series, full-text search, geospatial and others.

About Swarm64

Swarm64 is the developer of hardware accelerator solutions for analytics based on PostgreSQL, one of the most widely used databases in the world. By leveraging FPGA hardware accelerators, Swarm64 provides the easiest way for businesses to scale performance for analytics systems. The company works in close partnership with both leading FPGA suppliers, Intel and Xilinx. Founded in 2013, Swarm64 has built a world-class team developing hardware accelerator images and database software extensions. It is backed by leading venture investors from the US, Norway, and Germany, and has offices in Berlin, Seattle, and Boston.

Greycroft and LiveOak Venture Partners Lead $3M Seed Funding Round for CyberFortress

LiveOak

Chief executive Huw Edwards announced Wednesday CyberFortress had closed a $3 million seed funding round co-led by New York-based private equity firm Greycroft and Austin-based LiveOak Venture Partners.

Monte Tulum Capital, which had invested in CyberFortress’s pre-seed round, is also participating in the latest funding. Porthcawl Holdings, Jungle Disk’s parent company, provided pre-seed financing in 2018.

The San Antonio-based insurtech (insurance technology) startup will use the $3 million investment to accelerate its product launch in Texas in early 2020, Edwards said.

Launched in 2018 by former Rackspace employees Huw Edwards and Michael DeFelice, the San Antonio-based startup offers tailored insurance policies to protect small- to medium-sized e-commerce companies from cyber threats. Most insurance providers tend to tailor their cyber insurance policies for large-scale enterprises, requiring upfront payment of large annual premiums. They also lack historical data to quantify cybersecurity risks.

CyberFortress is building a deep machine learning-based approach to quantify all risks of online revenue interruption for e-commerce companies, whether from cyberattacks, internal server errors, or third-party e-vendor failure.

That differentiation is coupled with its customer-centric approach: Easy-to-understand policies, a straightforward application process, fast payouts in the event of a claim, and the ability to pay for annual premiums in monthly installments rather than in a lump sum.

Given that most small business owners lack the robust reserves of larger companies, they may face bankruptcy in the aftermath of prolonged online interruption in their e-commerce. CyberFortress’ business interruption policy features make this new type of insurance uniquely small business-friendly.

“A small e-commerce company can’t afford to spend months engaging with their insurance company waiting for a payout,” Edwards said “If they can’t collect revenue, they may not be able to make their next payroll. Our policy is laser-focused on solving this critical problem for small businesses.”

CyberFortress launched its Downtime Risk Assessment at the conclusion of its participation in the Plug and Play insurtech accelerator program earlier in 2019. The free assessment helps e-commerce companies reduce their risk of events that could lead to downtime.

The assessment’s continuous collection of data from thousands of features and technology choices evaluated over time provide a fact-based, probabilistic assessment of a company’s exposure to suffering e-commerce downtime.

Will Szcerbiak is leading the investment for Greycroft, a seed-to-growth venture capital firm that has over 300 investments across the tech sector.

“Their underwriting is efficient, and the rapid, automated payment of claims will make for a delightful customer experience,” Szcerbiak stated. “These characteristics are unusual in the commercial insurance universe, and we believe they will set CyberFortress on a path to scale.”

Joining the startup’s board of advisers is Katie Wade, the former Connecticut Insurance Department commissioner with more than 20 years of industry experience in public policy and regulatory compliance. Venu Shamapant, a founding LiveOak Venture partner, also joins the CyberFortress board of directors with this financing.

Based in Austin, LiveOak is a venture capital fund specializing in full-cycle investing in Texas-based startups. They invested in San Antonio before, notably in the cybersecurity company Infocyte four years ago. Shamapant continues to believe “San Antonio has interesting depth in pockets of advanced tech.”

“What caught our attention about CyberFortress is the experience of their team with small- and medium-sized businesses and e-commerce businesses — they have a deep understanding of the pain points in that market segment,” Shamapant said. “That, coupled with an innovative solution, got us excited about the opportunity to back this team in their efforts to revolutionize the cyber insurance industry.”

Others recognize the groundbreaking nature of what CyberFortress is developing. The startup has been working with a team of Milliman consultants to develop and validate its risk model. The consulting firm is the largest independent provider of actuarial and risk management services to the insurance industry.

“The insurance product we are helping CyberFortress develop is a revolutionary approach to identify and insure risk to e-commerce revenue streams,” said Sheri Scott, principal actuary and the CyberFortress consulting team lead at Milliman.

Insurance industry stakeholders are also taking notice of the San Antonio startup, Edwards said, as he attended Insure Tech Connect, the largest insurtech conference, this week.

“We’re finding that it’s [insurance] carriers and brokers that are now showing interest in insurtech solutions — they recognize the need to partner with insurtech startups,” Edwards said. “We need to work with these partners because very few startups can become major carriers overnight.”

The $3 million funding round will be put to work to expand the team and fuel its growth in the Texas market. While the CyberFortress team of eight employees has deep expertise in cybersecurity, data science, risk management, they are looking to hire developers and business development staff.

“The capital will be used to secure partnerships with e-commerce and other providers, and to scale, not to sit in a bank account,” Edwards said.

Grotech Ventures Join $11M Seed Funding for Drum

GrotecGrotech

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Drum launched today with nearly $11 million in seed funding, unveiling the first instantly available, massively scalable and completely flexible sales force platform. Investors participating in the round include Propel Venture Partners, Felicis Ventures, BlueRun Ventures, American Express Ventures, GroTech Ventures, Wildcat Venture Partners, BoxGroup and SV Angel.

“Now, standing up a sales force is easier than launching a Google AdWords campaign,” said Rob Frohwein, co-founder and CEO of Drum. “With Drum, businesses of all types, from digital brands to local small businesses, can launch sales efforts in any geography, in real time, giving them a sales boost where, when and how they want.”

The Drum platform leverages the power of the gig economy to give companies a new channel for customer acquisition to help them scale and compete. Businesses now have a compelling alternative to traditional advertising and digital marketing, through which they can more easily measure success and pay for conversions rather than clicks. Through Drum, businesses have access to gig contractors, known as Drummers, who can promote their products and services in and out of their personal network and generate income while doing so.

Drum has an experienced leadership team including co-founders Rob Frohwein, Kathryn Petralia and Troy Deus. Frohwein and Petralia are also the co-founders of Kabbage, Inc. where they continue to steer the leading data and technology company offering automated cash flow solutions to small businesses. To-date, Kabbage has provided more than 200,000 small businesses with access to nearly $8 billion in working capital.

“Drum unlocks a three-sided marketplace connecting any business to the customers they want through an on-demand network of salespeople,” said Harshul Sanghi, Managing Partner at American Express Ventures. “This has the potential to dramatically accelerate new product introduction and customer acquisition for businesses. Amex Ventures is pleased to support Drum in its future growth.”

Drum recently launched its optimized browser experience for businesses (to promote products and services) at www.drum.io and its iOS and Android apps for Drummers (the gig economy participants who sell on behalf of the businesses). During the first month, Drum will focus on filling the ecosystem with Drummers and offers from businesses in its first two cities of Atlanta and New York. The Buyer application launches in mid-October, enabling the three-sided market to fully function in these geographies.

About Drum

Drum, headquartered in Atlanta, has created the first and only on-demand network sales force platform. Drummers can earn by directly selling and when (a) a business they recruit sells through the platform, (b) a buyer they activate purchases through Drum, and (c) a Drummer they sign up successfully sells. Drum is backed by Propel Venture Partners, Felicis Ventures, BlueRun Ventures, American Express Ventures, GroTech Ventures, Wildcat Venture Partners, BoxGroup and SV Angel among others. To learn more visit http://www.drum.io.

KPN Ventures provides growth capital to smart home alarm developer Minut

Kpn Ventures

Rotterdam, July 1, 2019 – KPN Ventures, the venture capital investment arm of KPN, announced today it has participated in the $8M Series A financing round in Minut, a Swedish tech startup that makes the Point smart home alarm. The round was led by KPN Ventures, with participation from previous backers Karma Ventures, SOSV and Nordic Makers, joined by strategic partner Centrica, bringing the total amount of funding over $10 million.

Minut has created the first complete smart alarm to keep your home safe and sound through a single device. The company has already sold devices in more than 60 countries with a growing team and new office based in London. The new capital will be used to accelerate growth across markets and to strengthen the product portfolio.

Minut has made protecting homes more accessible than ever before. Installation takes seconds with no drilling or cables to run and the app is easy to use for the whole family. The Minut smart home alarm analyses the environment and any motion or sound will be identified and alerts houseowners to threats through instant notifications. Through the use of machine-learning the sound recognition is continuously improved by the Minut community, making the system even better over time.

Nils Mattisson, CEO/co-founder of Minute: “Feeling safe shouldn’t be a luxury, or come at the cost of privacy. Until recently the most affordable solution for home security and monitoring has been Wi-Fi connected cameras, but people don’t want or trust them in their homes. Our aim is to make home security and monitoring accessible to everyone and we are excited to have KPN Ventures on board in this journey.”

Herman Kienhuis, Director of KPN Ventures said: “With their innovative ‘Point’ device, The Minut team has executed on the vision to make home security smart, simple and accessible for everybody. KPN powers the connected home and we see great opportunities to partner with Minut to help people protect their homes.”

KPN Ventures joins Cambridge deeptech investment fund IQ Capital

Kpn Ventures

Rotterdam, 17-07-2019 – KPN Ventures, the venture capital investment arm of KPN, has invested in the final close of the third early-stage investment fund of Cambridge, UK based IQ Capital, an independent fund manager focused on investments into UK technology companies with unique knowhow or strong IP and primarily originating from the Cambridge innovation ecosystem.

Today, there are some 5,900 technologies companies in Cambridge, including 12 companies valued over a billion dollars (i.e. ARM, Autonomy and Aveva), and circa 63,000 people working in technology firms. Through twenty years of investing, IQ Capital has built very strong connections with all key components of the Cambridge ecosystem, from professors, research labs, successful entrepreneurs and investors to young scientists and key opinion leaders within the tech industry. The fund size amounts to $175 million from which they aim to invest across six domains: Data Analytics, FinTech, Human Machine Interface, Internet of Things (IoT), Cyber Security and High Performance Engineering.

Since its inception in June 2018, the fund has made already 12 investments in for example Concirrus, Wluper, Iotic Labs and CCS.

This is KPN Ventures’ fifth investment in a European early-stage fund, focusing on innovative technology companies spinning out of university research and innovation hubs. Previously, KPN Ventures invested in Enschede-based Cottonwood Technology Fund, Paris-based PSL Innovation Fund, Leuven-based imec.xpand and Lisbon-based Armilar TechTransfer Fund. Through these investments, KPN Ventures aims to create early access to new technology partners, and build partnerships to experiment, improve and expand its offerings to customers.

The full press release on IQ Capital’s closing of the new fund can be accessed here.

About IQ Capital

IQ Capital is a venture capital firm, based between Cambridge and London, that invests in ‘deep-tech’ across sectors including machine learning, AI, robotics, and advanced engineering and materials, and data-focused propositions based on disruptive algorithms. All of the firm’s portfolio companies are capable of dominating their respective markets on a global scale. Initial investments range from £300k to £5m, with capacity for follow-on investment up to £10-15m. The IQ Capital team has achieved over 20 exits to date, to companies including Oracle, Google, Apple, Huawei, and Facebook, and several IPOs. IQ Capital has led 28 investments over the last three years. The firm is currently investing at seed and Series A stage from its third venture fund. In July 2019, IQ Capital launched its Growth Opportunities Fund, providing the capital to scale companies through to exit. For more information, please visit www.iqcapital.vc.

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Wirepas raises 14.4 million euros to capitalize the market momentum for Massive IoT

Tesi

Investments in companies14.5.2019

Tesi and KPN Ventures join existing investors in supporting Wirepas on its growth trajectory

TAMPERE, Finland, — May 14th, 2019 — ETF Partners, Inventure, KPN Ventures, TESI (Finnish Industry Investment) and Vito Ventures have invested €14.4 million in Wirepas, a Finnish software company that has built a wireless connectivity platform solving the major challenges of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and enabling broad adoption of Massive IoT. The additional funding, including the participation of existing investors, takes the total investment in Wirepas to €22 million.

“I am delighted to have Tesi and KPN Ventures joining as Wirepas investors and board observers. It is now clear that massive IoT networks are at the breakout phase and mesh networking from Wirepas is uniquely enabling that to happen. I am grateful that Tesi and KPN Ventures have joined our existing shareholders and share our vision.” welcomes Andrew Gilbert, Chairman of the board at Wirepas.

Wirepas will focus its investments on further strengthening and increasing the reach of the global Wirepas ecosystem as well as on continuous product development. During the last three years the company has built an ecosystem of semiconductor, module partners, OEMs and System Integrators to serve end users around the globe resulting in millions of Wirepas enabled devices shipped. Today Wirepas Mesh is being used to connect smart meters, lights and other assets in supply chain and logistics to reliably deliver the data needed by enterprises to boost their competitiveness and sustainability.

Recently signed customer agreements with industry leaders such as Prologis, Maersk and Fujitsu will provide the backbone of its future growth, adding to Wirepas’ existing customer base of over 100 companies and offering further proof of the competitive advantage of Wirepas Mesh.
“We are clearly seeing that the Massive IoT market is maturing as evidenced by our customers and partners: no longer is it about testing and piloting. We believe in the power of ecosystems where specialized vendors combine their competencies and passion to serve the customer. Together we are delivering concrete and tangible benefits to enterprises wishing to boost their efficiency and sustainability through the adoption of massive IoT. Our connectivity platform is field proven and meets the needs of a plethora of market needs ranging from asset tracking to smart cities and lighting. Wirepas increases end user return on assets significantly and aims to become the most pervasive connectivity system for massive IoT.”, summarizes Teppo Hemiä, CEO at Wirepas.

Sjoerd Spanjer, investment director of KPN Ventures: “As a leading connectivity provider, KPN acknowledges the growing momentum for IoT solutions with an increasing amount of connected devices throughout the value chain. IoT networks that can facilitate large scale deployments with flexible capabilities are becoming increasingly important for successful roll-out. The Wirepas team has developed unique best-in-class software for this purpose and is already working with leading international partners and customers. Through our investment, we aim to support Wirepas in their global expansion and see opportunities to leverage Wirepas’ technology to enhance and complement KPN’s IoT network technologies: M2M, LoRa, LTE-M and in the future also 5G”.

“We were convinced that Wirepas technology is a key enabler for Industrial IoT adoption especially in use cases where massive, cost efficient scaling is required. A number of global blue-chip customers are currently adopting the Wirepas mesh technology, which alongside economic benefits also drives positive environmental impact and resource efficiency and thereby supports our responsible investment principles. As a European company with global ambitions, Wirepas is also a natural fit with the EFSI programme”, comments Juha Lehtola, Tesi´s Director, Venture Capital.

EU enabling exceptionally significant financing rounds

Tesi’s investment in Wirepas is the first to take advantage of the new financial mechanism between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Tesi, paving the way for large investments in growth companies. Tesi is the EIB’s first partner in the Nordics that channels financing guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) to SMEs and innovative midcap companies as equity investments.

”When we formed this co-investment platform with Tesi, this is the kind of investment we had in mind.” added EIB vice-president Alexander Stubb. “Although already quite competitive, in the Finnish equity investment landscape especially larger equity investment rounds were seen to be lacking investor support. This is a clear example of what Europe, and in particular the EIB, should be doing; to support innovation and improve peoples’ lives by strategic investments. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing more of these investments.”

Wirepas was founded in 2010 as a spinoff from Tampere University, where it was part of a research program to connect an unlimited amount of environmental sensors wirelessly. Since 2014, the company has provided a hardware-independent radio communications protocol based on a de-centralized network topology, using a software licensing model. Wirepas shareholders include founders, Inventure Investment Fund from Finland, Vito Ventures from Germany, ETF Partners from the UK, management shareholders and private investors. The company employs approximately 50 people in 9 countries.

Further information

Teppo Hemiä, CEO – Wirepas, +358 50 561 0198, teppo.hemia(at)wirepas.com

Patrick Sheehan, Managing Partner – ETF Partners, +44 20 7318 0700, patrick(at)etfpartners.capital

Sami Lampinen, CEO – Inventure, +358 40 520 5295, sami(at)inventure.fi

Stijn Wesselink, Press Officer – KPN, +31 6-25074971, stijn.wesselink(at)kpn.com

Juha Lehtola, Director Venture Capital – Tesi, +358 400 647 671, juha.lehtola(at)tesi.fi

Benedikt von Schoeler, Managing Partner – Vito Ventures, +49 173 8669952, bene(at)vito.vc

 

Wirepas Mesh enables wireless IoT networking at massive scale. It is a de-centralized IoT network protocol that can be used to connect, locate and identify lights, sensors, beacons, assets, machines and meters in cities, buildings, industry, logistics and energy – with unprecedented scale, density, flexibility and reliability. It can be used on any radio hardware and on any frequency band. Wirepas has its headquarters in Tampere, Finland and offices in Australia, France, Germany, India, South Korea, Taiwan, the UK and the United States. Things connected – Naturally.
www.wirepas.com

ETF Partners supports talented entrepreneurs and management teams with investment capital and experience. Our funds come from institutional investors, global corporations and family offices. We create value by investing in technology companies that make a difference. We call it ‘sustainability through innovation’. Environmental Technologies Fund and Environmental Technologies Fund 2 L.P. is supported by the European Union through the ‘Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme’ (CIP).
Sustainability through innovation – www.etfpartners.capital

Inventure is a Nordic technology fund backing early-stage entrepreneurs. Having the roots in Finland, the team enjoys domains many don’t feel comfortable with, and makes big bets on deep tech. The strong capital base of €250M allows Inventure to lead investments starting from initial seed-stage all the way through expansion. The team operates from offices in Helsinki and Stockholm.
inventure.fi

KPN Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of KPN, The Netherlands’ leading telecom & ICT company. KPN Ventures aims to build value-creating partnership with innovative technology companies, providing access to capital, industry expertise, technical infrastructure, professional network and channels to customers. It focuses on direct and indirect (fund-in-fund) early-stage investments in the segments: Networking Technology, Cyber Security, Internet of Things, Smart Home, Digital Healthcare, Video/OTT, Cloud and Data/AI. KPN Ventures has its main office in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
www.kpnventures.com

Tesi is a state-owned investment company that invests profitably and responsibly, creating value from day one. Tesi’s investments under management total EUR 1.2 billion and it has altogether more than 700 companies in portfolio, either directly or through funds. Tesi helps Finland to the next level of growth and internationalisation.
www.tesi.fi / www.dtg.tesi.fi / @TesiFII

Vito Ventures is one of Europe’s leading deep-tech investors. The early-phase investor is rooted in the German SME markets and boasts a unique network within European industry. The team has a comprehensive understanding of the deep-reaching technological change as well as the dynamics and requirements for both, established companies as well as start-ups.
www.vito.vc