ABN AMRO and Motive Partners form strategic partnership

Motive Partners

ABN AMRO Bank NV today announced its strategic partnership with Motive Partners, a leading international specialist private equity firm focusing on venture, growth equity and buyout investments in technology-enabled financial and business services.

AMSTERDAM–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The move demonstrates a joint commitment from two sizable financial technology investors to support continued innovation and growth in the evolving fintech landscape. Motive Ventures, the early-stage venture arm of Motive Partners, will manage the ABN AMRO Ventures Fund (AAV), consisting of 15 early-stage companies. In addition, ABN AMRO will become a significant investor in Motive-managed vehicles.

“Banking for better, for generations to come”

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With funding in the financial services industry declining by 70% between 2021 and 2022, and numerous venture capitalists reducing their investment programmes, Motive Partners and ABN AMRO are charting a new course. Their partnership unites two leading venture platforms, each with decades of fintech expertise and a dedication to innovation in both financial services and venture capital. Their goal is to strengthen the fintech sector and boost innovation by bringing Motive Partners’ ecosystem and experts to the AAV portfolio and ABN AMRO’s broader network. Motive Ventures’ portfolio consists of 21 investments in seed and series A stage companies, spanning the United States and Europe. The combined AAV-Motive Ventures portfolio will thus number 36 companies.

The new partnership has been formed on two pillars. First, Motive Ventures will assume the management of AAV with €150 million in assets under management, leveraging Motive Partners’ breadth and depth of expertise. To ensure seamless continuity of AAV’s operations and to strengthen the capabilities at Motive Ventures, Hugo Bongers, Managing Director and Head of ABN AMRO Ventures, and Tim Wanders, Executive Director at ABN AMRO, are joining Motive Ventures as Partner and Principal, respectively.

Second, ABN AMRO will become a significant investor in Motive-managed vehicles. This investment underscores ABN AMRO’s appetite and continued commitment to exploring new frontiers in fintech innovation in partnership with Motive Partners.

Edwin van Bommel, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer at ABN AMRO commented: “Our collaboration with Motive Ventures is a major milestone for ABN AMRO. We believe that joining forces with a definitive leader in the rapidly evolving fintech landscape will not only drive innovation but also enhance our competitive edge. This partnership will strongly support our strategic ambition of being a personal bank in the digital age for our customers.”

Ramin Niroumand, Partner at Motive Partners and Head of Motive Ventures commented: “ABN AMRO has long been a leader among financial institutions in European fintech investing. With portfolio companies like Tink and Penta, they have already demonstrated great investments and exits, and a deep understanding of how to deliver strategic value to the global ecosystem. We have already worked together on several co-investments, which is why we are so happy that Hugo and Tim are joining the Motive Ventures team.”

The strategic partnership is expected to close in Q4 2023, with Hugo Bongers and Tim Wanders joining the Motive team before the end of the year.


ABN AMRO is a Northwest European bank for retail, corporate and private banking clients, headquartered in Amsterdam. For our clients, we aim to be a personal bank in the digital age. A bank that shapes and enables the transition to a sustainable society, together with our clients and partners. Our efforts are based on our purpose: “Banking for better, for generations to come”. Our focus is on Northwest Europe. With more than 20,000 colleagues, of which approximately 5,000 work outside the Netherlands, we serve more than 5 million clients.

About Motive Partners

Motive Partners is a specialist private equity firm with offices in New York City, London and Berlin, focusing on venture, growth equity and buyout investments in technology-enabled financial and business services companies based in North America and Europe, and serving five primary subsectors: Banking & Payments, Capital Markets, Data & Analytics, Investment Management and Insurance. Motive Partners brings differentiated expertise, connectivity and capabilities to create long-term value in financial technology companies. For more information, please visit www.motivepartners.com.

About Motive Ventures

Motive Ventures is the early-stage investment arm of Motive Partners, focused on pre-seed through to Series A financial technology investments in North America and Europe. Motive Ventures is backed by globally recognized tech entrepreneurs, industry veterans as well as leading institutions and venture investors. Today the team consists of 13 employees across Berlin, London and New York.


ABN Amro Press Office

Motive Partners
Sam Tidswell-Norrish, Managing Director

Categories: News


Oyster Heaven creates the first scalable solution to regenerate lost oyster reefs

Orange Wings Investments

Rotterdam-based startup raises €800,000 from Orange Wings Investments

27 June 2023|Press Release|OWI|Oyster Heaven

Shawn Harris and George Birch

Oyster Heaven, a Rotterdam-based startup founded by George Birch, has raised €800,000 in funding from Orange Wings Investments to facilitate the next stage in their growth. The investment will support the startup’s goals toward marine restoration, offering the first cost-effective solution to sustainably restore native oyster reefs around the world.

Oyster reefs play an important role in the marine ecosystem. They form a habitat for hundreds of species, filter water, and are one of the most natural and cost-effective ways to manage excess nitrogen from the ocean and help fight climate change.

20-30% of the North Sea used to be covered by oyster reefs, but 150 years ago they were considered cheap food and were overharvested to near extinction without realising the damage that would cause. Now, 95% of these reefs are gone, and much of the ocean floor is a marine desert not suitable for oysters to grow on.

The first scalable solution to regrow lost oyster reefs: The Mother Reef

Founded in 2021 by George Birch, 32, Oyster Heaven is turning the tide by regenerating oyster reefs at a large scale. With extensive scientific research, the startup is able to unlock the biggest bottleneck for oyster restoration by creating a low-cost and efficient substrate for oysters: the Mother Reef. This natural reef system made of clay is scaffolding pre-loaded with baby oysters essential for repopulating the deserted sea floor.

After successful lab and field testing to prove the efficiency of the Mother Reef over the last two years, on-land tests continue at Stichting Zeeschelp in Zeeland in order to prove beyond a doubt the effectiveness of the technology. So far, 10,000s of baby oysters (spats) have attached to the Mother Reefs and are thriving.

Ocean conservation meets financial scalability

Oyster Heaven was born out of a desire to combine ocean conservation with financially scalable models that are independent of philanthropy. With his unusual background, a mix of both marine and terrestrial conservation and financial management, Birch is well-prepared to lead the startup to success.

“Sustainability has been the sole ambition of my career. I have been obsessed with finding a way to get mainstream finance to invest in the health of our oceans. Oyster Heaven is the opportunity to make this happen. Today, countries are in various stages of recognizing the value of ecosystem services. Oyster Heaven is leading the way, preparing for a society willing to pay for the services oyster reefs can provide.” says George.

By partnering with local fishing communities to plant the Mother Reefs into the ocean and protect the new marine oases, the startup anticipates a boon to the new circular economy.

Support from Orange Wings Investments

The €800,000 investment in Oyster Heaven is backed by Orange Wings Investments, an early-stage VC supporting changemakers with brilliant ideas and giving wings to future champions. “Our operations should bring back millions of oysters and other marine life to the seas,” according to Orange Wings Investments founder Shawn Harris. “We are really excited about investing in a cost-effective solution that can reverse the losses we are having in the seas globally.”

The most impactful oyster restoration project in Europe

The startup is positioned to deploy 5 million oysters in Europe and the US in 2024, and aims to have regenerated 100 million oysters by 2027, anticipating significant improvement in marine biodiversity, water quality and waste management in various industries.

Their success will be the first financially sustainable solution to help our oceans by restoring marine life, making them the most scalable and impactful oyster restoration force in Europe.

About Oyster Heaven

The Rotterdam startup and nature conservation organisation Oyster Heaven – founded in 2021 by George Birch – is a regeneration first organisation whose central mission is to regenerate oyster reefs on a large scale. Birch obtained his MBA from Erasmus in Rotterdam and has worked at Blue Marine Foundation and Janus Henderson, among others. Oyster Heaven’s vision is a society where people can continue to live comfortably by helping the environment and vital industries, such as housing and food suppliers, continue to exist in the future. The company is supported by Blue Oyster Environmental, DTU Aqua, Newcastle University, Mantis Consulting, Metabolic, Rewilding Britain, Stichting Zeeschelp, WWF, and a scientific advisory board.

Categories: News


Baird Capital Invests in Parallax

Baird Capital

Baird Capital’s Venture Capital team today announced it led a Series B funding round in Parallax, a leading provider of predictive forecasting and capacity planning software for digital services and organizations. Parallax plans to utilize the new capital to fuel its product innovation initiatives, expand its market presence, and further scale its operations to meet the growing demand for solutions.

“Through our own investments in professional services businesses across the Baird Capital portfolio, we’ve witnessed firsthand the importance of effective resource management and its impact on workforce utilization and profitability,” said Jim Pavlik, Partner with Baird Capital’s Venture team and newly appointed Board member at Parallax. “We’ve been extremely impressed with Parallax’s cloud-based platform and its ability to optimize resource planning and forecasting for its clients and are very excited to partner with the Parallax team and support their continued investments in growing the business.”

Categories: News


Supercharging Sales Teams Why we’re investing in Kush and Ahmed of Vartana

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Activant Capital

Activant is excited to announce that we have led Vartana’s $20M Series B, with participation from existing investors Mayfield Fund and Audacious Ventures. We’re proud to partner with co-founders Kush & Ahmed and the entire Vartana team on their mission to streamline the sales closing process.

This partnership has been three years in the making. We began researching B2B commerce and checkout years ago, publishing our perspectives in TechCrunch in 2021 and three research reports on the topic last year. We were subsequently introduced to Kush and Ahmed through those reports, and when we saw what they were building at Vartana, we realized it was special.

The Delicate Dance of Sales

Pretend for a moment you’re an enterprise sales rep. It’s the last week of the quarter, and you’re just $50k away from meeting your quota. Your last prospect is nearing the dotted line, but before you know it, the close date gets pushed out by two weeks. Why? Your potential customer needs to finance their purchase (it’s a $200K ACV, 3-year deal), but they’re stuck in a back-and-forth PDF battle between your financing team, a lender, and the sales deal desk – there’s barely an end in sight.

But wait. In a world where software is eating the world – where you can sign up and buy anything with just a few clicks – why are sales teams still so critical? If product is good enough, why doesn’t it just sell itself?

Take a look at Slack – one the darlings of the B2B “bottoms-up SaaS” movement of the 2010’s. The experience was consumer-grade, the signup was easy and self-serve, and the product spread virally through organizations. In 2015, Co-founder & CEO Stuart Butterfield said, “I believe we can have no commissions forever…we can have no outbound sales forever.”

Today, sales makes up nearly a quarter of Slack’s team – 900 people. Why? Because as technology companies move upmarket, their customers need to work with sales teams to build alignment across the organization, no matter how great the product is. Separate studies by Salesforce and Gartner found that approximately 75% of B2B buyers expect to interact with a salesperson during their buying journey.

Larger customers are more complex – with existing tech stacks, multiple geographies and languages, and complicated org structures. This, coupled with the woes associated with financing large purchases (think $100K+/year, 3-5 year deals) so that vendors receive payment up front and buyers can pay over time, makes a long list before the customer can sign on the dotted line. In the end, the best enterprise sales reps are skillful guides to their customers through the dreaded gauntlet of “stakeholder alignment.”

No More PDF Battles

The current climate is all about being resourceful and efficient, and sales teams are no exception. While we’ve seen some strides in sales automation, one of the biggest friction points for buyers and sellers remains the financing process.

Remember the PDF battle? This incumbent process of offering flexible payments is full of paperwork and intentionally opaque, making it slow and difficult to scale. It bogs down sales teams when speed and customer service matter most – during the deal-closing process. B2B sales teams need to build alignment within their own organization (namely finance and sales orgs), and within their customer’s (namely procurement and legal).

Vartana is an end-to-end sales closing platform that embeds financing and payment options at the point of purchase for enterprise technology. It enables:

  • Sales teams to increase efficiency and velocity. Vartana lives in the CRM, the home for sales teams. It underwrites every potential deal, and provides a closing, payments, and financing toolkit that helps qualify, win, and execute more deals. The result is more sales closed, faster, and more commissions.
  • Finance teams to drive higher revenue and cash today. Vartana eliminates manual workflows, allowing finance teams to support sales while also ensuring high-quality customers. It even fits into existing captive financing processes and can free up liquidity for many vendors who today, reluctantly offer financing off their balance sheets to win and retain important customers.
  • End customers to purchase business critical technology like cybersecurity, cloud, and IoT solutions today without massive cash outlays upfront, all while streamlining the entire sales process.

Vartana’s Approach

Vartana’s go-to-market targets adoption at the sales level – those who are actually selling in the trenches. When we talked to reps who had closed deals using Vartana, they said that the thought of having it removed from their toolbox would put them at a severe disadvantage.

And Vartana is already live with blue-chip enterprise vendors including Samsara, Verkada, and Domo, which provides exposure to high-quality, lower-risk end-customers who are purchasing mission-critical software.

In addition to building out more products to simplify the life of sales teams, Vartana will be able to extend their reach into other digital form factors like B2B marketplace checkout.

Co-founders Kush and Ahmed embarked on their journey in 2020. Prior, they worked at Motive (formerly KeepTrucking), a fleet management platform, where they encountered inefficient contract management and inflexible payment systems. Their years of hands-on experience gave them an understanding of how deals could be prolonged due to inadequate payment flexibility. This eventually led them to leave Motive with a vision to build Vartana.

When we met Kush and Ahmed, we were deeply impressed with the clarity of their vision. They see Vartana as business that can streamline sales closing today while building over time into a full-fledged platform, and back it up with a relentless focus on execution.

Want to hear more?

Categories: News


Sustainable Use of Electric Vehicle Batteries – Voltfang Secures €5 Million Financing

Helen Ventures

Voltfang, the clean-tech startup for energy storage from second-life electric vehicle batteries, has secured €5 million in new capital to scale its production. The consortium is led by the lead investor PT1 – PropTech1 Ventures. Other investors include Helen Ventures, Aurum Impact, Eviny, and the existing investor AENU.

Helen Ventures has been following the fast-growing trend of batteries closely over the past years. “We are excited about our investment in Voltfang. It is evident that a huge uptake of batteries is underway in the electricity system, and it is also evident that second-life batteries will be an important part of this in solving sustainability and cost hurdles,” says Mikael Myllymäki, Vice President and Head of Helen Ventures. “We are very impressed by the agility and customer-focus of the Voltfang team as they have brought their solution to market. It is a privilege to join supporting the team together with such a quality group of investors.”

Voltfang provides a solution to both the battery recycling problem and the energy transition with its high-quality energy storage systems made from used electric vehicle batteries. The Aachen-based startup enables the reuse of EV batteries through a specially developed AI-based software that evaluates battery longevity. “We give the battery a second life in stationary operations. With the help of our operating systems and continuous monitoring, we can make our batteries just as durable as new batteries. We guarantee this with our 10-year Batteryflat,” says David Oudsandji, Co-CEO of Voltfang. The company has already conducted several successful pilot projects in Germany and has won major customers such as ALDI Nord and Schaltbau.

“In ten years, there will be no new batteries in the commercial sector,” says Roman Alberti, Co-CEO of Voltfang. This is not only about the sustainable recycling of batteries but also about saving on material imports and, above all, costs. “With the help of our energy management system, our storage systems can be intelligently deployed, allowing the battery to be amortized as quickly as possible,” explains Roman Alberti.

“We can connect urgently needed capacities to the grid in the coming years to ensure grid stability. This is not only an advantage for our customers but for anyone who wants to avoid blackouts,” explains Afshin Doostdar, CTO of Voltfang. “The grids are not designed for the energy transition. Electric mobility, heat pumps, and fluctuating renewable energies require cost-effective and sustainable intermediate storage solutions that can be deployed in the short term. With our energy storage systems, we achieve this and reach a milestone in addressing the fundamental challenges of the energy transition.”

Voltfang was founded in 2021 and has already brought a certified and market-ready product to market. As a spin-off from RWTH Aachen, the startup now employs 50 people and operates a production site in Aachen. Voltfang aims to deliver more than 40 MWh of storage capacity in its products by the end of 2024.

Fabian Heilemann (AENU): “Stationary battery storage systems will play a central role in the energy system of the future by aligning electricity generation and consumption over time. Since Voltfang’s energy storage systems are made from reused electric vehicle batteries, they not only contribute to the energy transition but also reduce dependence on and consumption of resources compared to the production of new batteries. With their academic and practical expertise, the Voltfang team has the optimal DNA to build a European champion in the field of second-life batteries.”

Niko Samios (PT1): “There is no question that the market opportunity for energy storage will be enormous in the coming years. Sustainable energy production is becoming increasingly affordable, but it needs to be stored somewhere due to the grid structure, and decentralization is the best approach. Future regulatory requirements will further emphasize this process. Voltfang offers the most interesting product in this field that we have seen because they combine a cost advantage with a sustainability bonus.”

Categories: News


Beyond Ventures’ Portfolio Company Mapxus Raised US$5M in its Series B’s 1st closing Led by Kawasaki Heavy Industries

Beyond Ventures

ommitted to innovating and developing technology solutions for the future of indoor mapping and location-based services

(HONG KONG – March 8, 2023) – Hong Kong-based venture capital firm Beyond Ventures is pleased to announce that its portfolio company Mapxus, the leading indoor Geographic Information System (GIS) platform that provides global indoor mapping and navigation services, has successfully completed the 1st closing of its Series B funding round, raising over US$5 million despite the economic doldrums. The funding round was led by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, a leading Japanese corporation with a diverse business portfolio spanning various industries centered around technology.

Starting in August 2021, Mapxus collaborated exclusively with Kawasaki Heavy Industries to provide indoor technology such as digital maps, Wi-Fi fingerprint positioning and SDK for indoor map data infrastructure service in Japan, which is named iPNT-K. According to market research and consulting company Seed Planning, Japan’s indoor location-based services market size is expected to grow to JPY 1,170 billion by 2035. With the iPNT-K solution, businesses can apply indoor navigation in commercial facilities such as shopping centres, train stations, and airports to perform location-based marketing, traffic analysis, barrier-free navigation, manage and track operations, facilitate the management, and improve the work efficiency of employees in offices and warehouses.

With the new investment, Mapxus is well-positioned to continue to innovate and develop technology solutions for the future of indoor mapping and location-based services. The potential applications of Mapxus’s technology are wide-ranging, with opportunities for both government and factory use.

Lap Man, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Beyond Ventures said: “We are so proud to be the first equity investor to support Mapxus since its early stages in 2019, and have witnessed its growth journey despite the social movement in Hong Kong in 2019-2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic over 3 years, driven by the management team’s unwavering passion to offer the best-in-class indoor mapping and location-based services. We are also amazed at the courage and execution capability of John and Ocean when we proposed them entering the Japanese market in 2019 with the support of our mentor, which helped them overcome significant challenges in Hong Kong. Since then, they have successfully gained a strong foothold in Japan and expanded to other Asian markets such as Singapore and Taiwan. We strongly believe that the support of the global conglomerate Kawasaki will undoubtedly propel Mapxus to the next level.”

“We are grateful to have had the investment and advice of Hong Kong-based venture capital firm Beyond Ventures, supporting Mapxus’ growth journey since 2019. At Mapxus, we are dedicated to making indoor mapping more accessible and user-friendly and creating a truly inclusive city experience. Our innovative indoor map data infrastructure is designed to empower businesses and individuals, enabling them to improve work efficiency and enhance daily experiences. With the support of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, we are excited to continue innovating and developing technology solutions that will shape the future of indoor mapping and location-based services.” said Ocean Ng, Founder and Chief Operation Officer of Mapxus.

“We are thrilled to have Kawasaki Heavy Industries lead this round of investment in Mapxus,” said Dr John Chan, Founder and CEO of Mapxus. “With this new funding, we will accelerate our indoor map data infrastructure development in Japan (iPNT-K) with Kawasaki and expand our service coverage in Southeast Asia. We aim to enable businesses to revolutionise their interactions with physical spaces and deliver a comfortable, intuitive, and seamless indoor-outdoor experience for everyone.”

Furthermore, Mapxus has recently joined hands with NOIZChain to co-create Honio, the world’s first indoor location-based Game-Fi metaverse. Honio aims to connect the virtual and physical worlds through a mobile app that rewards users for spending time in physical stores. It is expected to launch in Japan by 2023 and in other Southeast Asian markets by 2024.

Opsys Tech tops up latest venture effort with additional $36.5M

83North logo

Israeli developer of automotive lidar eyes production ramp after closing $51.5M series C round.


Opsys Tech, one of several startups developing automotive lidar technology out of Israel, says it has raised an additional $36.5 million in its latest venture funding round.


The additional cash, which brought total series C funding to $51.5 million, will be used to ramp production of commercial devices built around its solid-state platform.

Last year the company agreed deals with major auto part suppliers including China’s Hasco and SL Corporation in South Korea.

A recent update to the Hasco collaboration is expected to see the Chinese firm manufacture the Opsys lidar units domestically, with mass production slated to start in 2024.

VCSEL array
Taking part in Opsys’ latest round of financing round were the likes of 83North, Osage University Partners, Translink Capital, and Saban Ventures.

“The series C financing will support the ramp of commercial automotive production quantities of Opsys Tech’s lidar sensor solutions,” announced the Israeli startup.

The firm claims to have developed a lidar sensor that is uniquely capable of high performance and reliability coupled with low cost that is able to meet all user requirements and requires no moving parts.

Opsys also claims a detection range of 300 meters at 10 per cent object reflectivity with its sensors, which are based around an array of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) operating at 850-980 nm and single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) detectors.

Gertel, the former CEO of major VCSEL manufacturer Finisar (now part of the giant Coherent photonics company), co-founded the startup and is now its executive chairman.

Commenting on the latest funding round, he said: “We are gratified by the validation of our unique technology and our demonstrated commercialization progress.

“Customer feedback on the best-in-class overall performance of our sensor has been incredible and our customer engagement levels have never been higher.

“Based on customer feedback, we believe we have developed the only lidar sensor available on the market that can meet all customer requirements at all times to enable a complete automotive lidar solution.”

Mass production in Asia
Gertel believes that the solid-state sensor is capable of meeting all automotive reliability requirements and performance specifications required for every level of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomy, adding:

“With the closing of this financing round, we can complete the full production ramp of our True Solid-State Scanning lidar product line, and we are looking forward to supplying our customers with production quantities of our lidar sensors.”

Opsys is also exhibiting at this week’s CES 2023 in Las Vegas – now a key event for automotive lidar companies – and used the occasion to announce the update to its agreement with Hasco.

Company CEO Rafi Harel, who was the general manager of Finisar Israel for several years, said of that deal:

“This major milestone…marks our entrance into the market for mass production quantities of automotive lidar systems in Asia.

“The use of Opsys lidar technology will increase the safety of vehicles on the road while enabling the evolution of autonomous functionality at all levels, including L5.”

Categories: News


Strata Identity Partners With HYPR to Accelerate Elimination of Passwords

.406 Venture

BOULDER, CO and New YORK, NY – December 15, 2022 — Strata Identity, the Identity Orchestration Company, and HYPR, the Passwordless CompanyTM, today announced a partnership that enables phishing-resistant MFA to be added to any modern, legacy, or custom application without rewriting the source code. This unique capability is made possible via an abstraction layer that decouples identity and authentication from the identity system and applications to deliver the strongest levels of authentication security.

According to a 2022 Forrester survey, 67 percent of respondents are in the process of adopting passwordless security in their organizations. Passwordless protection is needed across all access points, including legacy applications that may have been neglected or overlooked in the past. Now, through this integration with HYPR and Strata, organizations with older, outdated systems will be able to get the benefits of passwordless authentication security assurance and a frictionless, password-free user experience. This agreement brings together Strata’s specialization in Identity and Policy Orchestration with HYPR’s proven True Passwordless™ authentication expertise. Together, Strata and Hypr customers can overcome the traditionally challenging hurdle of adding MFA to legacy applications — even those tied to directory-based passwords.

Passwordless authentication has been identified as the gold standard for authentication. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a new “Phishing Resistant MFA Fact Sheet” that calls out the immediate need for fully passwordless protection of every app in critical risk sector organizations, regardless of app type. It also recommended this level of authentication security for organizations in every sector and every application in their organization’s environment, regardless of whether it speaks modern authentication protocols.

“Legacy MFA technologies are failing, at scale, and leaving serious security gaps due to insecure authentication methods costing organizations an average of $2.19M per year as detailed in the latest State of Authentication report, ” said Bojan Simic, CEO and CTO at HYPR. “To get the highest levels of authentication security, organizations need to adopt passwordless MFA. HYPR’s integration with Strata technology is exciting because it now enables customers to extend HYPR’s passwordless authentication solution to legacy applications without coding, radically simplifying and accelerating an organization’s passwordless deployment.”

As part of the joint integration, Strata’s Maverics identity orchestration platform enables HYPR’s True Passwordless security platform to function as the passwordless authenticator with any combination of IdPs and support both on-premises and cloud identity systems. In addition, HYPR can be used with any app, including modern, legacy, and custom-developed programs, without making any modifications to its source code. Maverics also provides transparent journey-time orchestration that allows HYPR registration and user onboarding to be inserted within existing application access workflows.

“Forward-looking organizations are moving to passwordless authentication to protect their web applications in the cloud, but what about their legacy and custom applications? They must be modernized first, which traditionally means manually re-coding each app one by one,” said Eric Olden, CEO of Strata Identity. “This partnership with HYPR removes the need to rewrite legacy applications and systems to support passwordless simplifying the process for deploying modern authentication across a company’s entire environment.”


The integrated Strata Identity and HYPR passwordless solution is available immediately from both Strata and HYPR.

About Strata

Strata Identity is the leader in Identity Orchestration for hybrid and multi-cloud environments. The orchestration recipe-powered Maverics platform enables organizations to connect and control incompatible identity systems without changing the user access experience. By decoupling applications from identity, Maverics makes it possible to implement modern authentication like passwordless and enforce consistent access policies without refactoring source code. The company’s founders created the IDQL (Identity Query Language) standard and Hexa open-source software for multi-cloud policy orchestration and are co-authors of the SAML standard for SSO federation. For more information, visit us on the Web and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About HYPR

HYPR fixes the way the world logs in. HYPR’s True Passwordless™ MFA platform decouples authentication from the organization’s identity providers and eliminates the traditional trade-off between security and user experience by providing uncompromising assurance and consumer-grade experience. By eliminating the password and deployments taking hours rather than weeks or months, organizations decrease the risk of a cyber attack, increase positive user experience, and lower operational costs.

Welcome to The Passwordless Company®. Additional information is available at https://www.hypr.com


Marc Gendron
Marc Gendron PR for Strata

Carol Dullmeyer
Vice President, Brand and Corporate Communications

retrain.ai Named to Globes’ Most Promising Israeli Startups and Reaches Total Funding of $34M

.406 Venture

NYC / December 14, 2022 – retrain.ai, a leading AI-driven Talent Intelligence Platform, has been honored as one of the top 10 most promising startups for 2022 by Globes, as designated by Israel’s premier venture capital firms. The company is also reporting today it has closed an additional $14 million investment round led by AI-focused Radical Ventures, bringing their total funding raised to $34M.

“We are incredibly honored to be recognized by Globes as a standout among the thousands of other tech companies surveyed. Our position as a startup primed for global impact is the reason we’re able to attract forward-thinking investors like Radical Ventures,” said retrain.ai Co-founder and CEO Dr. Shay David. “Radical’s investment will help accelerate immediate value, with proceeds fueling retrain.ai’s growth into international markets where we will continue to pursue our vision of helping millions of people find their place in the job market by gaining 21st century skills.”

Radical Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in entrepreneurs applying deep technology to transform massive industries. They focus their investments on people who are using Artificial Intelligence to disrupt different market segments.

“retrain.ai is helping businesses navigate an economy and workforce in the midst of a generational transition,” said Jordan Jacobs, Managing Partner of Radical Ventures who also joins the retrain.ai board. “By leveraging powerful AI models, retrain.ai is reducing both the time-to-hire and increasing employee performance and retention.”

Radical Ventures joins other retrain.ai investors including Square Peg, Hetz Ventures, TechAviv, .406 Ventures, Schusterman Family Investments and Splunk Ventures.

“AI has the potential to dramatically improve how businesses manage their most essential resource, their talent,” says retrain.ai Co-founder and COO Isabelle Bichler-Eliasaf.  “Our Talent Acquisition and Talent Management modules are powered by Responsible AI helping unveil skills and capabilities for job candidates and employees alike, revealing maximum potential and new career opportunities so HR leaders can make data-driven decisions. Being named to the Globes Top Ten list is further recognition of the impact our technology is having on the future of work.”

Globes, Israel’s number one economic newspaper, publishes a list of the ten most promising start-ups annually based on selection by leading global investment funds in the Israeli high-tech market. VC participants were asked to name startups that have demonstrated proven impact and who may be the next unicorns. Past awardees included companies like Monday.com and Fivver, who have gone on to do multi-billion dollar IPOs.

Out of the 4,000 tech firms analyzed by Globes, retrain.ai was recognized for its cutting-edge AI and its potential impact in helping millions of people gain in-demand, emerging skills for a more productive, fulfilling and lasting career.


About retrain.ai

retrain.ai is a leading Talent Intelligence Platform designed to help enterprises hire, retain, and develop their workforce, intelligently. Leveraging Responsible AI and the industry’s largest skills architecture, enterprises unlock talent insights and optimize their workforce effectively with retrain.ai’s Talent Acquisition and Talent Management modules in order to lower attrition, win the war for talent and the great resignation in one, data-driven solution. To learn more, visit www.retrain.ai


About Radical Ventures

Radical Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in people applying artificial intelligence to shape the future of how we live, work and play. From healthcare and financial services to infrastructure and manufacturing, Radical partners with entrepreneurs who understand the transformational power of AI. Learn more at www.radical.vc.

Press Contact:
Karen Sackowitz
E: karen.sackowitz@retrain.ai
P: +1 978.697.3845

Oyster Raises $3.6 Million Seed Funding to Modernize Personal Insurance

New Stack Ventures

New Stack Ventures leads round alongside Conversion Capital, GFC

Today, we’re excited to announce that Oyster has raised $3.6 million in Seed funding to launch a modern personal insurance platform for seamless point-of-sale and post-purchase experiences.

We’re grateful to be supported by an incredible group of angels and investors, led by New Stack Ventures alongside Global Founders Capital, Conversion Capital, Cambrian Ventures, Kearny Jackson, Valia Ventures, Interlace Ventures, V1 VC, Polymath Capital, Position Ventures, Kevin Mahaffey (Founder of Lookout), Garrett Koehn (President of CRC Insurance), Gokul Rajaram (executive at DoorDash), Eugene Marinelli (Founder of Blend), Joe Schmidt (Partner at a16z), and Tanay Jaipuria (Partner at Wing).

Together, we’re working to build a better customer experience from the ground-up in the world of personal insurance, anchored by a strong belief in the potential of technology.

Insurance doesn’t work for consumers

Over the last two decades, the world has seen a boom in the investment of technology that powers finance. The development and success of entirely new capabilities, like instant stock trading, to new purchasing paradigms, like buy-now-pay-later, teaches us two lessons: (1) across industries, consumer expectations are rising when it comes to the way they interact with everyday facets of their lives; and (2) the successful application of technology can have a transformational impact on both an entire industry and the way consumers interact with that industry.

Today, insurance is one of the remaining financial sectors that has yet to see the same kind of impact from all of the technological advances of the last two decades. Understanding of insurance remains low amongst consumers, every process from discovery to application to claims remains arduously manual and opaque, and incumbents in an inherently risk-averse industry have been unsuccessful in changing the status quo.

For many of our most valuable possessions, a service that protects against theft, damage, and loss is invaluable. However, the decoupling of the insurance-buying journey from the actual purchase of the item drives issues of discoverability, unclear coverages and processes, pricing and underwriting inefficiencies, and higher loss ratios, which all ultimately lead to a poor customer experience and widespread coverage gaps.


Introducing Oyster

Oyster was founded to solve these problems from first principles, bringing innovation to the P&C insurance industry through technology and underwriting.

Oyster’s omni-channel platform allows merchants to offer insurance to their customers at the point-of-sale. With a focus on point-of-sale underwriting, technology, and partnerships with retailers, we’re solving each of these issues while simultaneously helping customer-centric merchants offer better protection to their customers, open new revenue streams, and most importantly, provide a differentiated customer experience in an increasingly competitive market.

The new investment will propel the launch of our point-of-sale insurance platform and expand our merchant partnership network to make personal insurance accessible to more consumers at the point-of-sale. At the same time, we’re ensuring that personal property in any category can be covered by rolling out a comprehensive suite of insurance products that cover bikes, eBikes, jewelry, collectibles, phones, electronics and more.

Retailers such as Bulls Bikes, Jewels by Grace, Zooz Bikes, Bario Neal, Area 13 Ebikes, The New Wheel, and more rely on Oyster to provide a seamless insurance experience both online and in-store for their customers. But the journey for Oyster has just begun. We have a lot of challenging problems to solve, and if we can do so, an immense opportunity to change the way people interact with insurance.

The insurance industry is still in the early innings of digital transformation. As such, we’re accelerating the speed of innovation in order to provide the best-in-class products and services to our customers and partners. If you’re interested in building a future of insurance that is powered by technology and data, reach out to us and share your big ideas.

Categories: News