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Agrilyst Raises $8 Million Series A Co-Led by Astanor Ventures and Talis Capital; Rebrands to Artemis

Agrilyst Raises $8 Million Series A Co-Led by Astanor Ventures and Talis Capital; Rebrands to Artemis

PRESS RELEASE

Company will accelerate vision for a more efficient, traceable, and compliant agricultural economy with investment and new board members

NEW YORK, NY – May 22 , 2019 – Artemis (formerly Agrilyst) , the leading enterprise Cultivation Management Platform (CMP), today announced it has closed a $8 million Series A funding round co-led by Astanor Ventures and Talis Capital with participation from existing investors New York State’s Empire State Development Fund and iSelect Fund . The company has raised $11.75m to date and will use the new funding to rapidly scale sales and expand its team across product, engineering, sales and marketing.
In addition to the new funding, the company announced it has changed its name to Artemis as part of its current rebranding initiative, which will include a new website and corporate branding in June. The company also appointed Dr. Kathleen Merrigan and Charlie O’Donnell to its Board of Directors. Merrigan is the former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture under President Obama and is the first Executive Director of the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State University. O’Donnell is the sole Partner and Founder at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures and led the company’s seed round of financing.
“We started Artemis with a mission to help indoor farmers and greenhouse operators better manage their operations,” said Allison Kopf, founder and CEO. “This investment coupled with the guidance and deep expertise of Kathleen and Charlie will take our vision, product, and service to the next level — accelerating our ability to enable enterprise-level horticulture businesses to profit and grow.”
Artemis’ proprietary CMP enables owners and managers of large-scale horticulture facilities to reduce risk, scale operations, ensure compliance, manage workers, and achieve greater efficiency and profitability across the entire supply chain — from cultivation to sales. Artemis’ integrated solution provides a single pane view of operations, allowing users to track workflows, detect and trace food safety issues, and manage facility production and labor costs.
“Technology innovation is rapidly transforming the agriculture sector. Artemis’ approach to using data as a catalyst for growth and risk management provides the company a significant advantage with enterprise-level horticulture operations,” said Kathleen Merrigan, venture partner at Astanor Ventures and new Artemis board member.
“The Artemis team has built an incredible solution that’s already captured the attention of some of the largest farming companies in the world. There is a clear opportunity in the agtech space with these types of innovators. We look forward to being part of Artemis’ next phase of growth as they extend their leadership position in the space,” said Matus Maar, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Talis Capital.
Artemis is a trusted partner to some of the world’s largest farming companies. Since launching in 2015, it has seen strong customer growth with companies worth a collective $5 billion using the platform daily. Artemis has attracted a wide range of users that are foremost interested in the security, compliance, profitability, and potential to expand their operations. The company has also partnered with others in the agtech ecosystem, enabling users to further reduce risk across all areas of their business.
“As someone who first met Allison and learned about Artemis when it was just a concept, it’s been exciting to watch it grow from founding to an award-winning company and product that’s well positioned to play a significant role in the future of food production and safety at a massive scale,” said Charlie O'Donnell, Founder and General Partner at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures and new Artemis board member.

About Artemis
Founded in 2015, Artemis provides a world-class Cultivation Management Platform that enables owners and managers of enterprise horticulture facilities to drive efficiency, profits, and growth while ensuring security and regulatory compliance. With Artemis, users can manage workflow and daily tasks, register crop batches, trace food safety issues, manage workers, and leverage data insights to increase workforce efficiency and crop productivity. The platform integrates easily with other software for climate control, shipping/logistics, accounting, ERP/MRP, CRM, and Point of Sale Commerce. The company is headquartered in Brooklyn, NY. For more information visit www.artemisag.com

About Astanor Ventures
Impact investor Astanor Ventures brings together capital, deep sector expertise and a long track record of leveraging disruptive technologies to bring about a future of food that is nourishing, regenerative, trusted and ultra-fresh. Founded by individuals who have backed some of Europe’s most successful startups, Astanor Ventures helps ambitious, purpose-aligned founders build global companies in the sustainable agri-food sector. For more information visit www.astanor.com

About Talis Capital
Talis Capital is a venture capital investment firm that takes smart money from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and business people and invests it strategically in early stage technology companies with global potential. Talis has invested over $500m worth of transactions since 2009 and the portfolio includes Darktrace, Onfido, iwoca, Pirate Studios, Luminance, Ynsect and Oh My Green. Focused on building long-term partnerships, Talis leverages its network to give some of the world’s most innovative startups opportunity to thrive.
www.taliscapital.com

Medbelle raises $7m (€6m) in Series A to Build World’s First Digital Hospital

Medbelle raises $7m (€6m) in Series A to Build World’s First Digital Hospital

  • Funding round led by signals Venture Capital, with other investors including Talis Capital, Mutschler Ventures, IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft and prior backer Cavalry Ventures

  • Announcement signals rapid expansion of ground-breaking, end-to-end digital patient care platform  

  • 30,000 Britons have already used new service to navigate their treatment journey, as founders on target to attract a further 144,000 users by 2020

  • Medbelle bringing greater efficiency and transparency to the previously fragmented and bureaucratic healthcare sector

London and Berlin,  April 2019 — Medbelle, the UK’s leading end-to-end platform for medical procedures, today announced $7m (€6m) in funding to accelerate the digitisation of the patient journey. The Series A funding round was led by signals Venture Capital and joined by Talis Capital, Mutschler Ventures, IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft and Cavalry Ventures.

Already covering the majority of the UK, and with its eye on international expansion, Medbelle’s three-layered ‘digital hospital’ model (Medbelle Platform, Medbelle Care, and Medbelle Operating System) places unprecedented control in the hands of patients, while giving healthcare professionals access to an integrated suite of management tools covering the entire treatment journey – from first consultation to billing, post-operative care and follow-up.

Patients book their procedure with Medbelle, which provides them with leading specialists and state-of-the-art operating facilities – with all organisation taken care of by the platform. The Medbelle service is designed to save them time, stress and money, ensuring that they benefit from the very best treatments and facilities available. Once a patient is registered, every aspect of their treatment is accessible via a single, simple web portal and app, or through their own personal Medbelle Care Adviser.

At the same time, the Medbelle Operating System ensures healthcare providers can make the most of their valuable time and resources. It allows specialists, hospitals and staff to work more productively, and liberates them from inefficient, unnecessary administrative tasks.    

Already enthusiastically backed by patients, with an outstanding Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 93 – making it the highest-rated medical provider in the UK – the cash injection will enable Medbelle to undertake the next phase of its roll-out. And with the UK private healthcare sector forecast to hit $13.8bn by 2023, it’s a market opportunity that has proven highly attractive to investors.

In its launch phase, Medbelle was focused on privately-paid (self-funded) procedures in areas such as cosmetics, bariatrics and ophthalmology and is currently expanding into orthopaedics and fertility. In the future, Medbelle will work with private medical and public insurance providers / the NHS to leverage its technology and services to help patients with all types of medical procedure.

“The new capital will accelerate the development of our platform while growing Medbelle’s operating footprint,” said Daniel Kolb, co-founder and MD of Medbelle. “It will allow us to streamline high-quality care at scale and take even more work off the hospitals’ and specialists’ shoulders. Our technology helps them to operate more efficiently, be better-utilised and fully focused on what matters most: the best care for patients.”

Clemens Koós, investment manager at signals Venture Capital, said: “Major digital platforms improve customer experience in almost all industries, however, in healthcare, the digitisation of patient journeys has been heavily lagging behind until now. Medbelle’s technology and personalised care enable much simpler and more affordable medical treatments - while allowing healthcare providers to efficiently focus on treating patients. We look forward to working with the Medbelle team and co-investors in expanding the platform to include more treatment specialities and increasing its reach."

Vasile Foca, Managing Partner at Talis Capital, said: “The digital health market is expected to reach $536bn by 2025 – so the time is right to be focusing on technologies that can transform healthcare and the patient journey as we know it today. We’re proud to be backing Leander, Daniel and their high-quality team in this latest round as they roll out their truly digital treatment solution. Medbelle is the world’s first digital hospital that creates real value for both patients and providers and offers unrivalled care from some of the country’s best specialists.”

Leander de Laporte, co-founder and MD at Medbelle, said: “The ‘digital hospital’ creates real value for patients and healthcare providers alike and, therefore, can offer care from the best specialists in the country with a truly digital and personal experience. It’s great to have new partners on board who bring such vast experience to the table. We all agree that an integrated model enables much faster deployment of technology to improve patient experience and reduce costs.”

-Ends -

Contact: antonella@burlington.cc

About Medbelle: Medbelle is the first digital hospital - an end-to-end platform for medical procedures. We strive to create a world in which patients navigate their treatment journey digitally and receive personal care at the click of a button.
We have integrated the entire patient journey to deliver a frictionless treatment experience for patients: We hire surgeons, rent operating facilities and provide a platform to streamline patient data, communication, provider selection, treatment pricing, scheduling and more. At the same time, our platform reduces workload and optimises utilisation of specialist doctors and hospitals. Our technology, patient care team and high-quality hospitals & specialists have garnered an industry-leading Net Promoter Score of 93 and have allowed us to help more than 30,000 patients all over the UK. Visit medbelle.com for details.

About Talis Capital: Talis Capital is a venture capital investment firm that takes smart money from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and business people and invests it strategically in early stage technology companies with global potential. Talis has invested over $500m worth of transactions since 2009 and the portfolio includes Darktrace, Onfido, iwoca, Pirate Studios, Luminance, Ynsect and Oh My Green. Focused on building long-term partnerships, Talis leverages its network to give some of the world’s most innovative startups opportunity to thrive. For more see www.taliscapital.com.

About signals Venture Capital: signals Venture Capital is an early stage investor backed by

a €100m venture capital fund with a focus on forward-looking, scalable technology solutions that can transform or disrupt entire industries. signals Venture Capital invests in companies active in disruptive industries such as health, mobility and financial services as well as b2b business models all over Europe and Israel, especially in the field of Data & Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things. The portfolio companies profit not only from the classic venture capital support but also from the extensive ecosystem with renowned German and European partners, industry experts and diverse distribution channels.

About IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft: IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft (www.ibb-bet.de) provides venture capital to innovative Berlin-based companies and has established itself as a market leader in the field of early-stage financing in Germany. The funds are used primarily for the development and market launch of innovative products or services, as well as for business concepts of creative industries. Currently, two of the funds managed by the IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft are in the investment phase, the VC Fonds Technologie Berlin II with a fund size of 60 million euros and the VC Fonds Kreativwirtschaft Berlin II with a fund size of 40 million euros. Both VC funds are financed by means of the Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) and the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRE) administered by the State Berlin. Since 1997 the IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, in consortia with partners, has made 1.43 billion euros available to creative and technology-orientated companies; thereof, the portion invested by IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft itself, as lead, co-lead or co-investor, was approximately 200 million euros.

About Mutschler Ventures: Mutschler Ventures is the venture arm of a Zurich based family office, actively investing in start-up companies in the digital as well as blockchain world. Over the past years, Mutschler Ventures has been invested in e.g. Betreut.de, later care.com, Adyen, McMakler, Auto1, Sygnum, Loanboox and other companies in the German-speaking region.

About Cavalry Ventures: Cavalry Ventures is an entrepreneurially driven VC fund based in Berlin with a focus on angel and seed-stage investments in Europe. The six founding Partners have repeatedly financed, founded, built and sold market-leading companies such as Delivery Hero, Tradeshift or plista. Being both, experienced investors and still active entrepreneurs, the cavalry offers hands-on support and a strong value-add to ambitious founders of fast-growing technology companies.


Insurdata raises $3m in seed funding

Insurdata raises $3m in seed funding

PRESS RELEASE

·       Funding led by Anthemis and Menlo Ventures

·       Five new VC firms participate

·       Capital will support next stage in Insurdata development

London, April 2019 – Insurdata, the award-winning insurtech firm which specialises in the augmentation of peril-specific exposure and risk data via its Exposure Engine Platform, has today announced that it has secured $3 million from a group of investors, led by Anthemis and Menlo Ventures.

Insurdata_banner.png

The group of investors is composed of both Venture Capitalists and Angels and includes: Alma Mundi Fund, Talis Capital, InsurTech Gateway, Ascend, Prototype Capital and Baloise Group. Insurdata secured an initial tranche of funding of $1 million in October 2017.

Insurdata was launched in 2017 to address the lack of property-specific data available to the re/insurance market. The firm’s platform enables re/insurers to generate high-resolution, accurate, risk-specific data globally in real-time at all points in the underwriting workflow. This includes accurate geocode information, building attributes and first-floor elevation data.

By providing access to precise data, Insurdata aims to give underwriters greater confidence in modelled loss estimates and accumulation analyses, resulting in better risk selection and improved portfolio management. This in turn supports better, more accurately priced products, more resilient balance sheets and ultimately helps reduce volatility.

Commenting on the funding, Jason Futers, CEO, Insurdata, said: “We are delighted to have secured the backing of a fantastic range of investors who fully understand the criticality of the service that Insurdata provides to the re/insurance market. Our work to date has exposed material deficiencies in the quality and scope of information which underwriters are reliant upon, which in turn have a detrimental effect on their ability to accurately price risk and manage portfolios effectively.”

“Moving forward, we aim to capitalise on the fact that our Exposure Engine can be applied to any peril by working with re/insurers to introduce more refined data sets for a broad range of exposures, including flood, windstorm, earthquake, terrorism and cyber. We are also evolving the Insurdata Customer Portal to make access to high-resolution data as straightforward and speedy as possible.”

Ruth Foxe-Blader, Managing Director, Anthemis, said: “We are delighted to continue our support of Insurdata. As the re/insurance industry undergoes a period of readjustment in the aftermath of two major loss years, the quality and granularity of data that supports their underwriting decisions will be vital to their ability to manage volatility. The data consistency that Insurdata provides I believe will become an industry standard.”

Javier Santiso, Founder & CEO, Mundi, said: “Insurdata provides an excellent opportunity to invest in a company which has the potential to refine and enhance the lifeblood of the re/insurance industry – data. Few other markets are as reliant upon such incredibly complex and comprehensive data sets. Ensuring that such information is of the highest possible resolution required to enable underwriter to make risk decisions with confidence should be a top priority for every organisation.”

Richard Chattock, CEO, InsurTech Gateway, said: “InsurTech is making major inroads into virtually every phase of the insurance process. Insurdata targets the core component of that process – exposure data. In our view, the firm brings together the right expertise, the right technology and the right capabilities at exactly the right time to make a tangible difference to the insurance market.”

Tom Williams, Principal, Talis Capital, said: “We are very excited to be partnering with Jason and his impressive team as they continue to provide a pioneering approach to risk data capture for insurers worldwide. With over 90% of modelled loss estimates for flood exposures currently underestimated by traditional methods due to a lack of accurate first-floor elevation data[1],this solution has the potential to vastly improve insurer analysis accuracy and significantly reduce their costs. We look forward to working with Insurdata as they boost their sales power and refine the technology to meet the ever-growing demand in the market”

All media enquiries, please contact

Nigel Allen                                                                    Suzanne Hirst

Director, Allen & Clapham                                              Director, Allen & Clapham

M +44 (0)7988 478824                                                  M +44 (0)7988 140357

 

About Insurdata

Insurdata is an insurtech firm which intelligently creates, enhances, scores and transfers high-resolution, peril-specific exposure and risk data globally via its proprietary Exposure Engine platform. The company provides insurers and reinsurers with building-level property data delivered at the point-of-underwriting to enable more accurate pricing, and to support underwriting and risk assessment decisions. The data is generated using Insurdata’s Exposure Engine and accessed via API or the Insurdata Customer Portal.

For more information, visit www.insurdata.io or follow @insurdata

[1] Source: Insurdata

The Plum Guide raises £14m to expand its collection of the world’s best vacation rentals and immediately announces six new cities to launch this April

  • Talis Capital leads investors in Series B round, with participation from Latitude, Hearst Ventures and existing investors Octopus Ventures.

  • Funding will enable roll out to 6 new cities this April – Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Madrid, and Tel Aviv

  • Six additional US cities are scheduled to launch in summer 2019.

  • Exclusive booking platform has achieved three times year-on-year growth for three years running.

  • New cities will be added to London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Paris and Rome.

London, 21 March 2019 - The Plum Guide has raised £14m from some of Europe’s leading early-stage investors to support its ambitious rollout to 12 new cities this year. Known as the “Michelin Guide for Homes”, The Plum Guide differs from mass market booking platforms by selecting only the top 1% of properties in any city to feature on its site. By the end of 2019 it expects to offer almost 12,000 verified homes in the most sought-after cities for holiday rentals, with 100 new hires being made to support its growth ambitions.

The latest funding round is led by Talis Capital, with participation from Latitude and Hearst Ventures, as well as Octopus Ventures – who led the Series A funding round.

The Plum Guide uses hospitality industry experts to vet every property in person and applies a scientific Plum Guide test - which covers 150 points from proximity to cafes and transport, to speed of WiFi - when selecting which homes to feature. Since launching in London in 2015, The Plum Guide has achieved year-on-year growth of three times revenues, for three years’ running. In 2018, it added homes in five new cities to the platform and saw repeat bookings jump 27% after it opened in Paris, its second location after London. The key to its success has been customer referrals, which drive a quarter of all bookings.

“We are on a mission to build a marketplace of the world’s most beautiful holiday homes. This isn’t some vague qualitative ambition. We mean it. We are taking a systematic and obsessive approach to vetting every single home on the planet and accepting only the top 1%,” Doron Meyassed, Founder and CEO of The Plum Guide, said.

The Plum Guide was founded to solve the problem of inconsistent quality, encountered by anyone booking a vacation rental online. Most open marketplaces rely on peer-to-peer review systems to judge quality, but standards vary hugely in reality. The Plum Guide instead uses a rigorous testing approach that aims to guarantee consistent quality every time.

It uses a proprietary algorithm to find the highest rated and best located homes in a city. Expert hospitality critics from The Plum Guide then visit each home to interview the host and meticulously test the property. Ultimately, only 1 out of every 100 properties in each city is invited to join the collection.

The approach has resonated with a lucrative customer segment of mature affluent individuals, who make up the majority of Plum’s 1.3 million global user base. “Most rental platforms are trying to get as many people as possible to use their site. We are clearly targeting a highly discerning group of affluent professionals that live in global megacities, love to travel and value great design, quality and locations,” says Meyassed. “Previously they have stayed away from the open marketplace booking platforms, which they consider too risky compared with the reassurance that a hotel provides.”

The Plum Guide has innovated relentlessly on meeting the needs of this customer, through a unique mix of expert property curation, impartial and trustworthy vetting processes and outstanding customer service through its team of MatchMakers. It has achieved customer satisfaction scores that outperform industry peers in a sector notorious for over-promising but under-delivering.

Matus Maar, Managing Partner and Co Founder at Talis Capital, said: "The consumer market has entered into an age of curation where data, ratings and reviews need to be carved into useful information to support buying decisions. We see huge value in businesses and teams that create a competitive advantage by being strategically data driven. The Plum Guide has something very special and customers are already showing amazing loyalty for its hand-picked and meticulously-vetted holiday rentals. In Doron, we have also found a determined, highly ambitious and creative entrepreneur with a track record of building a successful business that competes at the very highest levels.”

Megumi Ikeda, managing director Hearst Ventures, said: “The Plum Guide appeals strongly to the affluent, discriminating traveller as we have seen in its impressive growth in the last three years. Endorsement from professional critics and experts has always been worth having and holiday accommodation is no exception to this rule. As The Plum Guide adds more cities, it will become even more useful to the customer base who are already convinced by its rigorous approach to vetting properties.”

George Henry, partner at LocalGlobe, said: ““Travel and accommodation continues to be a fast-growing market but the supply has become incredibly fragmented, especially in the p2p market. As consumer travel has always suffered from a very low NPS, we believe that a differentiated brand offering a more hands-on service powered by expert curation and data is going to continue to deliver a very unique experience. We are excited to be able to follow on our seed investment in The Plum Guide, which has a keen understanding and eye for detail of what is possible as it rolls out its highly-selective, highly targeted product across new cities and countries.”

Zihao Xu, Early Stage Investor at Octopus Ventures, commented: "The more cities The Plum Guide is in the better it will be for all its customers. We're excited to continue supporting Doron and the team in taking the company truly global, and building out their vision of what an iconic hospitality brand in the 21st century should be."

- ENDS -

Contact: sayula@burlington.cc

About The Plum Guide: The Plum Guide is a curated collection of the best holiday rentals available in leading international cities. Listing in London, Los Angeles, Paris, Milan, Rome and New York. The Plum Guide rigorously tests and handpicks only the cream of the crop of rental properties so that customers need never worry about their travel accommodation. For beautiful holiday homes, see: www.plumguide.com

About Talis Capital: Talis Capital is a venture capital investment firm that takes smart money from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and business people and invests it strategically in early stage technology companies with global potential. Talis has invested over $500m worth of transactions since 2009 and the portfolio includes Darktrace, Onfido, iwoca, Pirate Studios, Luminance, Ynsect and Oh My Green. Focused on building long-term partnerships, Talis leverages its network to give some of the world’s most innovative startups opportunity to thrive. For more see www.taliscapital.com.

About Hearst Ventures: Hearst Ventures is a global investment group that makes strategic investments in fast-growing companies in the media and technology sectors. Since its initial investment in Netscape in 1995, the group has grown to become one of the most active and successful corporate venture funds, with more than $1 billion in strategic investments in companies including BuzzFeed, E Ink, Hootsuite, Pandora, Roku, Via and XM Satellite Radio. Visit http://www.hearst.com/ventures.

About LocalGlobe: LocalGlobe is a UK-based venture capital firm that focuses on seed investments. Seeding ambitious UK founders since 1999 including Transferwise, Zoopla, Improbable, Citymapper, Algolia and Robinhood. Visit https://localglobe.vc/.

About Octopus Ventures: Octopus Ventures, part of Octopus Group, is a leading European venture capital firm that helps pioneering entrepreneurs change the world by taking ideas from inception to international scale-up. Where there is change there is huge entrepreneurial opportunity, particularly in three key areas; industry, money and health. We’ve refined our focus towards these specialisms to discover the next generation of innovators. Octopus Ventures is headquartered in London and New York, with Venture Partners in San Francisco, Shanghai and Singapore who offer exclusive insight and advice to our portfolio companies looking to expand into new markets. Octopus Ventures has supported over 70 outstanding entrepreneurs that are leading the way in disrupting their industries. Companies backed in recent years include allplants, Elvie, Depop, Big Health, graze.com, Eve, Magic Pony, Secret Escapes, Sofar Sounds, Swiftkey, Swoon Editions, tails.com and Zoopla Property Group. Octopus is a group of companies that are experts in start-ups, renewable energy and healthcare infrastructure. Octopus Group currently manage more than £8.5 billion on behalf of our customers. Octopus Energy, Octopus Healthcare, Octopus Investments, Octopus Labs, Octopus Property and Octopus Ventures are all part of Octopus Group. Visit octopusgroup.com.

Ÿnsect raises $125m to become world leader in alternative protein

  • Series C round brings total raised to $175m

  • Largest-ever ag-tech investment outside the US

  • Animal feed market worth estimated $500bn globally – and growing

  • Insect protein vital to building a sustainable food system, as demand rises


Paris and London, 21st February 2019
– Ÿnsect, the ag-tech innovator that specializes in breeding insects and transforming them into premium ingredients for fish feed, pet food and organic plant fertilizers, announces today that it has raised a $125 million (€110m) Series C round to scale up production by building the world’s biggest insect farm in Amiens Metropole, Northern France and develop the company internationally, particularly in the North American market. Led by Astanor Ventures -- and backed by established international funds including Bpifrance, Talis Capital, Idinvest Partners, Finasucre and Compagnie du Bois Sauvage -- this investment is the largest-ever ag-tech funding deal outside of the United States.

With a mission to tap into the natural goodness of insects at mass-market scale to help create a sustainable food system and meet the rising demands of global protein consumption – which is predicted to surge by 52% between 2007 and 2030 – Ÿnsect was co-founded in 2011 by CEO Antoine Hubert, a 36-year-old agronomist, Jean-Gabriel Levon, Alexis Angot and Fabrice Berro, with the aim of becoming the global leader in the market for alternative protein sources.

At capacity, Ÿnsect’s largest farm to date will produce around 20,000 tons of protein annually. Alongside this new facility at Amiens, the investment will also enable Ÿnsect to step up their international expansion programme by opening a new factory in North America.

The majority of Ÿnsect’s existing investors (Bpifrance Ecotechnologies, managed on behalf of the French Strategic Investment Plan, Demeter, Quadia, and Vis Vires New Protein Ventures) are participating in this latest round, which is being led by Astanor Ventures (Belgium), alongside Bpifrance Large Venture, Talis Capital (UK), Idinvest Partners, Crédit Agricole Brie Picardie, Caisse d'Epargne Hauts-de-France and Picardie Investissement (France), Finasucre and Compagnie du Bois Sauvage (Belgium), Happiness Capital (Hong Kong) and a Singaporean family office.

Premium nutrition.

With global demand for premium proteins booming, Ÿnsect farms insects to make high-quality natural ingredients for aquaculture, pet food and plants, while developing an industrial-scale solution attuned to natural ecosystems.

Aquaculture plays a critical role in human nutrition, growing faster than any other protein source for human consumption. Around half of the fish we eat today comes from farmed sources. Yet fishmeal, the primary food source for farmed fish, is in crisis because it’s derived from fast-depleting ocean fish stocks.

As part of their natural diet, wild fish and crustaceans eat insects, which deliver an important source of high-quality protein and polyunsaturated fats. While competitors chose to farm other commodity-driven insects and microorganism species, Ÿnsect doubled-down on the Molitor; small common beetles known as mealworms.

The Molitor is indeed the only insect that can be raised at large scale and the sole species to ensure the delivery of premium unique products: ŸnMeal, extracted from Molitor larvae, which delivers sustainable, premium nutrition for animals and is the only product worldwide with superior and proven nutritional performance and health benefits for – among others -- shrimp, salmon, trout, and sea-bass; and ŸnFrass, made from Molitor larvae castings, which is a premium fertilizer that also has proven positive effects on many different plants.

“Ÿnsect is becoming the world’s largest insect producer, whatever the species, thanks to our unique highly scalable and pioneering technology,” says Antoine Hubert, Ÿnsect CEO & Chairman. “Enabled by deep tech, the entire production process – from feeding to controlling the health and welfare of our insects, and from the sensors used for quality control to harvesting mature insects – is automated. We have 25 patents covering our technology, the products themselves and their different applications, giving Ÿnsect the world's largest insect patent portfolio. But ultimately, we need scale to have a significant impact globally, which this investment will allow us to achieve.”

Against a backdrop of a rapidly expanding animal feed market worth $500bn globally (and expected to reach $600bn in 2027) and a $200bn fertilizer market, Ÿnsect now has international commercial traction with customers across Europe and, increasingly, in Asia too, allowing the company to book $70m in orders spanning the next four years.

“By offering an insect protein alternative to traditional animal and fish-based feed sources, Ÿnsect can help offset the growing competition for ocean fish stock required to feed two billion more people by 2050, while alleviating fish, water and soil depletion, as well as agriculture’s staggering 25% share of global greenhouse gas emissions,” says Antoine Hubert. “Our goal is simply to give insects back their natural place in the food chain.”

Astanor Ventures co-founder Eric Archambeau, who is joining Ÿnsect’s board, says: “We are delighted to be leading this investment and continuing our association with Ÿnsect because of the remarkable level of ambition of its founders and the inherent scalability of the company’s production process. These are key ingredients in a progressive agrifood tech company, which are propelling the team to deliver the impact and systemic change we look for in our investments. We strongly believe that Ÿnsect has what it takes to become a global leader in the alternative protein market.”

Maïlys Ferrere, head of Large Venture Investment and Gilles Schang, deputy director of Echotechnologies fund, explain: “This latest financing round will allow Ÿnsect to be the first player to reach full commercial scale in the insect-based protein industry for animal feed. We are excited to continue Bpifrance’s support, that started in 2014 with Bpifrance’s cleantech-focused fund Ecotechnologies, with Large Venture.”

Matus Maar, co-founder and managing partner at Talis Capital adds: “With the global population expected to grow to nine billion by 2050, current acquaculture and animal feeding practices are unsustainable. Ÿnsect taps into a huge, yet highly inefficient global market by offering a premium and – above all - sustainable insect-derived product through a fully automated, AI-enabled production process. Of the many things that excite us about Antoine and the Ÿnsect team, their 50+ years combined experience in insect farming, physiological entomology and biochemistry, we believe, is unmatched.”

-ENDS-

NOTES TO EDITORS

Advisors:
Bank: Jefferies (Philippe Le Sann & Joseph Benito Sanz)
Company lawyers: Baker & Mc Kenzie (Mathieu Grollemund & Helene Parent)
Investors lawyers: Orrick (Olivier Edwards), Gide (Pierre Karpik, Louis Oudot de Dainville), Luchtenberg (Jeremie Swiecznik), Bignon Lebray (Neil Robertson), Lamartine Avocats (Fabien Mauvais).

About Ÿnsect

Ÿnsect is a young French company that leads the global field in farming insects and turning them into premium, high-value ingredients. Founded in 2011, it aims to make insects a major, first-class ingredients in feed for pets, fish and plants, such as ŸnMeal proteins, that offer significant health benefits through state-of-the-art industrial facilities attuned to natural ecosystems, offering a natural, long-term solution to growing global demand for protein. The company draws on pioneering proprietary technology protected by 25 patents to develop "farm-hills" (Fermilières®), which are low-footprint vertical farms used for Molitor breeding. Since its inception, Ÿnsect has attracted investment of more than $175 million. It now employs 105 people in France, runs a demo unit in France that has been operating since 2016 where technology has been developed and is laying the foundations for international expansion. In 2019, Ÿnsect will be constructing a large commercial-scale unit in the vicinity of Amiens (northern France), with a production capacity that outstrips all existing operations.

Press Contact : antonella@burlington.cc / 07530 815 018

About Astanor Ventures

Impact investor Astanor Ventures brings together capital, deep sector expertise and a long track record of leveraging disruptive technologies to bring about a future of food that is nourishing, regenerative, trusted and ultra-fresh. Co-founded by entrepreneur-turned-investor Eric Archambeau -- who has backed some of Europe’s most successful startups including Betfair, Xing and Spotify -- Astanor Ventures helps ambitious, purpose-aligned founders build global companies in the sustainable agri-food sector. For more information visit www.astanor.com

About Bpifrance and its Ecotechnologies and Large Venture funds

Bpifrance is the French national investment bank: it finances businesses – at every stage of their development – through loans, guarantees, equity investments and export insurances. Bpifrance also provides extrafinancial services (training, consultancy..). to help entrepreneurs meet their challenges (innovation, export…). For more information, please visit: www.bpifrance.fr and presse.bpifrance.fr - Follow us on Twitter: @Bpifrance - @BpifrancePresse

The Ecotechnologies funds (225M Euros) is managed by Bpifrance on behalf of the “French Strategic Investment Program”. The fund’s main areas are carbon free renewable energies and green chemistry, smart grids, circular economy and smart mobility. Bpifrance Large Venture fund (1bnE) has invested in 37 companies since 2013, mainly in healthcare, the digital and environmental areas. Large Venture is able to invest large sums (over 10 mE) to help capital intensive companies grow faster.

Press contacts :
Annelot Huijgen, annelot.huijgen@bpifrance.fr, 00 33 1 41 79 94 48
Vincent Deshayes – 01 42 75 645 8 - vincent.deshayes@pm.gouv.fr (French Strategic Investment Program)

About Talis Capital

Talis Capital is a unique Venture Capital investment firm funded by a group of successful and strategic ultra high net worth entrepreneurs. Focused on backing emerging software technologies, Talis has invested over $500m worth of transactions since 2009 and the portfolio includes Darktrace, Onfido, iwoca, Pirate Studios, Luminance, Threads, Oh My Green to name just a few. Talis concentrates on building long term partnerships and leverages their exclusive investor network to create opportunity. The team looks for innovative high growth companies with sector defining ventures and attractive business models.

www.taliscapital.com

About Bois Sauvage

Compagnie du Bois Sauvage is an investment company, quoted on NYSE Euronext Brussels, with a stable ‘family’ principal shareholder. The Company aims to focus on a limited number of investments, whether listed on the stock exchange or not, mainly in the industrial sector. Its goal is to reserve the necessary means for the development of the companies of the Group. It aims to maintain close relations with the companies in which it invests and to be involved in their strategic development. https://www.bois-sauvage.be/

About Finasucre

Finasucre produces different types of sugar from cane and beet and markets these to industrial clients and to retail outlets. Finasucre has factories in Belgium, the Netherlands, Democratic Republic of Congo, Australia, China and the United States. Finasucre is also diversifying into different sectors and making direct or indirect investments in companies that represent significant potential for growth. https://www.finasucre.com/fr/finasucre/

About Idinvest Partners

Idinvest Partners is a leading European mid-market private equity firm. With €8bn under management, the firm has developed several areas of expertise including innovative startup venture capital transactions; mid-market corporate debt, i.e. single-tranche, senior and subordinated debt; primary and secondary investment and private equity advisory services. Founded in 1997, Idinvest Partners used to be an Allianz subsidiary until 2010, when it branched out as an independent firm. In January 2018, Idinvest Partners joined forces with Eurazeo, a leading global investment company, with a diversified portfolio of €17 billion in assets under management, including approximately €11 billion from investment partners, invested in over 300 companies. https://www.idinvest.com/fr

About Happiness capital

Happiness Capital’s mission is to empower entrepreneurs to co-create a happier world. We are a global venture capital firm based in Hong Kong with investments in Europe, US, Israel and China. Happiness Capital is stage agnostic but leans towards early stage investments. The verticals that we invest are quite open as far as the innovative products enable consumers to achieve sustainable and true happiness. Our current verticals cover food/agriculture, health/medical, education, happy aging, entertainment, and East+West. Since Happiness Capital is an evergreen fund, we encourage entrepreneurs to continue creating values without time pressure for exit. In addition to direct investments, Happiness Capital also invests in VC funds to form a global VC network to provide more “happiness” impact and support to the startup communities around the world.

www.happinesscapital.com

About Picardie Investissement Gestion

PICARDIE INVESTISSEMENT GESTION is a management company approved by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) and manages nearly €80 million spread over 3 venture capital companies (SCR). Its vocation is to support local entrepreneurs by providing them with equity capital (from €0.1 million to €5 million) in order to make their business projects possible, whether in creation, development or transfer. In total, our team of investors is supporting 50 investments. The legal form of the SCRs managed, "perpetual" SA, and the patience of their shareholders make it possible to support companies over a long period of time. While the average duration of the intervention is 5 to 7 years, SCRs regularly support companies for much longer, as they present us with constantly renewed growth projects. http://www.picardie-investissement.fr/

About Crédit Agricole Brie Picardie Expansion

A subsidiary of Crédit Agricole Brie Picardie, Brie Picardie Expansion is the entity dedicated to private equity and support for companies in the Somme, Oise and Seine-et-Marne regions.

Brie Picardie Expansion's main objective is to support SME and ETI managers in their development or transfer phases by taking a minority stake in the capital, alone or alongside co-investors. Brie Picardie Expansion invests between €2 million and €5 million per transaction and currently supports some 20 companies in all sectors of activity.

https://www.ca-briepicardie.fr/

About Caisse d’Epargne Hauts-de-France Capital

CE HDF CAPITAL is a regional investment company created at the initiative of the Caisse d'Epargne Hauts de France. It is intended to invest in transactions involving companies with real growth, profitability and valuation potential. CE HDF CAPITAL can invest alone or in co investment with unit tickets of up to €2 million in one or more rounds. With the objective of enhancing the value of the common heritage but concerned to preserve the independence of management, CE HDF Capital is a local minority partner, a source of proposals without interfering in the daily management of the business. As a minority and local shareholder, its investments are based on support for company managers or buyers, with a view to creating partnerships to promote business development. By contributing equity and quasi-equity capital, it contributes to the financing of regional companies in their growth and transmission.

About Quadia

Founded in 2010 in Geneva, Quadia specializes in direct impact investments, though equity, debt and funds. In line with its mission « we finance the solutions for a regenerative economy », Quadia targets companies which have positioned their strategic development on products and service which directly contribute to a regenerative economy, more particular in the areas of smart energy, sustainable food sustainable consumption & production. Since its creation, Quadia has financed 40 companies, projects and investment funds across Europe for the equivalent of USD 180 million. Quadia is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

For more information, visit www.quadia.ch.

About Demeter

Demeter Partners is an independent private equity firm with €650m under management. All the funds invest equity and quasi-equity in the most relevant players of the environmental and energy transition sectors, mainly in France, Spain and Germany. It covers all stages from seed to growth and LBOs, including infrastructure with a team of 21 and offices in Paris and Madrid. FPCI Demeter 3 Amorçage, shareholder of Ynsect, has been raised with the help of the European Investment fund (EIF) through the framework Program of the European Union for the Competitiveness and the Innovation (CIP) and of the Fonds National d’Amorçage (managed by BPI France Investissement in the framework of the Programme d’Investissement d’Avenir). www.demeter-partners.com

About VVNP Ventures

Based in Singapore, VVNP Ventures (VVNP) is the first Venture Fund in Asia that focuses exclusively on finding disruptive solutions for our global food and feed system. VVNP employs a disciplined investment approach built on identifying existing global problems within the value-chain through active engagements with a strong network of academia and industry experts. Unrestricted by geographical boundaries, VVNP strives to uncover game-changing solutions and technologies that can be applied globally, especially to Asia. Since its inception, VVNP has made several investments including, among others, Ynsect in France, Ireland-based Nuritas, Mitte in Germany, In Ovo in the Netherlands, and Israeli-based ViAqua.

http://visviresnewprotein.com/

About ID Capital

ID Capital is an investment company headquartered in Singapore specialized in the domain of AgriTech and FoodTech. ID Capital is a pioneer in the agrifood sector in Asia-Pacific and has contributed effort and capital in also catalyzing the ecosystem in the region through its Future Food Asia platform launched in 2016. Its thesis is built on the fact that in this growing vertical, Asia-Pacific is the nexus between high growth and high stakes. For further enquiries please write to contact@idcapital.com.sg

Luminance completes funding round at $100m valuation

  • British AI company successfully completes Series B funding round at $100m valuation. Backers including Invoke Capital, Talis Capital and Slaughter and May invested $10m.

  • Luminance’s machine learning technology is now deployed in over 130 organisations on six continents since September 2016 launch.

  • The announcement follows the business’ recent opening of a fifth office in New York to support global growth, adding to bases in London, Cambridge, Chicago and Singapore.


7 February 2019 – Luminance, the leading artificial intelligence platform for the legal profession, has raised $10m from existing investors Invoke Capital, Talis Capital and Slaughter and May, valuing the company at $100m. The funds will be used to support Luminance’s recent product expansion and global growth, with the company now having four offerings, five global offices and over 70 employees since launching in 2016.
Whether used for legal due diligence, compliance reviews or eDiscovery, Luminance’s technology operates on advanced pattern recognition and machine learning algorithms that behave much like the human brain, sorting through high-volume documentation and flagging anomalies at speed, offering lawyers greater control and insight into their documents. In just two years, the company’s technology has been deployed in over 40 countries and is used by thousands of lawyers on a daily basis. In 2018 alone, Luminance’s customer base increased by over 150%, with global employee headcount more than doubling in order to meet this demand.

“2018 was a year of significant achievement for Luminance,” commented Emily Foges, CEO of Luminance. “We have expanded from one product to four, owing to the flexibility and innovative nature of our core technology. This has enabled a remarkable rate of global customer acquisition over the last 12 months and these funds will valuably support this continued expansion.”
“Luminance remains the only true application of machine learning for legal language present in the market today,” said Vanessa Colomar, Partner at Invoke Capital. “The company’s success over the past two years is indicative of the fundamentally different solution it is providing to law firms and in-house legal teams and we are pleased to back the business through its next stage of growth.”

Vasile Foca, Managing Partner and Co-founder of Talis Capital, added: “Luminance has undoubtedly become the market leader in its field and has set the industry benchmark for truly AI-driven legal solutions both technologically and commercially. The legal profession’s adoption of technology, particularly with Luminance, is becoming ever-more present and essential in delivering greater efficiencies whilst providing best in class customer service. We are pleased to be a part of the company’s continued international growth and product expansion, and are very excited to see them further their success.”

Luminance recently announced the opening of a New York office as its US customer base continues to expand, now including Global Top 100 firms McDermott Will & Emery and Holland & Knight, among others. The company was founded by a group of mathematicians and software engineers from the University of Cambridge following years of research into pattern recognition and machine intelligence.

ENDS

For more information about Luminance, please contact:
Dani Marks, Brands2Life: luminance@brands2life.com | 0207 592 1200

About Luminance
Launched in September 2016 and already in use on six continents, Luminance’s document review platform offers lawyers greater insight at unmatched speeds. Luminance builds on groundbreaking machine learning and pattern recognition techniques developed at the University of Cambridge to read and understand legal language. The technology is used by law firms and inhouse teams in over 40 countries around the world to improve processes such as due diligence,
compliance reviews, property lease abstraction and eDiscovery. Luminance has offices in London, Cambridge, New York, Chicago and Singapore, with over 130 customers including 14 ‘the Global Top 100’ law firms and three of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms.

About Talis Capital
Talis Capital is a unique Venture Capital investment firm funded by a group of successful and strategic ultra high net worth entrepreneurs. Focused on backing emerging software technologies, Talis has invested over $500m worth of transactions since 2009 and the portfolio includes Darktrace, Onfido, iwoca, Pirate Studios, Luminance, Threads, Oh My Green to name just a few. Talis concentrates on building long term partnerships and leverages their exclusive investor network to create opportunity. The team looks for innovative high growth companies with sector defining ventures and attractive business models.

Price f(x) Raises €25 Million in Series-B Funding Round Co-Led by Digital+ Partners and Bain & Company

Price f(x) Raises €25 Million in Series-B Funding Round Co-Led by Digital+ Partners and Bain & Company

MUNICH / NEW YORK – December 19th, 2018 Price f(x), the global leader in cloud pricing software, has raised €25 million in Series B funding. Leading the round are Digital+ Partners, a leading European B2B technology growth investor, and Bain & Company, one of the world's top management consulting firms. The Series A investors, Prague-based Credo Ventures and London-based Talis Capital, also participated in the round.

Established in 2011 in Munich, Price f(x) provides a modular SaaS solution for Price Optimization, Management (PO&M) and Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) for enterprises of any size, based on the latest in native cloud architecture. The company currently serves over 80 global, blue-chip B2B and B2C customers across a variety of industries, including Robert Bosch, SchneiderElectric, Owens-Illinois, Iron Mountain and Sonoco. Price f(x) has also developed a strong partner ecosystem with leading global technology, consulting and integration providers—including Bain & Company and SAP—enabling a best-in-class service offering, which helps customers realize a fast time-to-value on their pricing projects.

“Price f(x) has become the leading SaaS pricing solution provider on the market through its customer centric approach and by offering a feature-rich, highly flexible pricing tool that is also risk free and fast to implement,” said Marcin Cichon, CEO and co-Founder of Price f(x). “Our success is based on the continued satisfaction and loyalty of our customers. This new funding will allow us to help even more businesses to thrive by further expanding our existing platform capabilities and also introducing a new product offering for the SME market segment.”

“We have been very impressed by what Marcin and his team have achieved to date and see a huge growth opportunity ahead for Price f(x). They have built a world-class product, driven by a relentless customer focus, and we believe they are set to become the global market leader in pricing software. We are proud and excited to co-lead this round with Bain & Company and support Price f(x) in this next stage of growth”, said Axel Krieger, Founding Partner at Digital+ Partners.

Earlier this year, Bain & Company and Price f(x) announced a partnership to develop the Bain Pricing Navigator, offering Bain & Company clients a powerful, industry-leading software tool. The solution enables customers to continuously assess and adjust pricing based on their company’s performance by leveraging real-time dashboards, proprietary insights and templates, as well as integration with CRM and ERP systems.

“For most companies, pricing is the single most effective lever to boost earnings,” said Ron Kermisch, Bain & Company’s global pricing leader. “Yet many companies leave money on the table because they do not set the best price or ensure customers actually pay the price they have determined. Bain & Company sees investing in Price f(x) as a great opportunity to help Price f(x) to become the de-facto standard in pricing and with that to be also the best-of-breed competitive weapon for Bain’s clients, to stay at the cutting edge of pricing.”

Over the last decade, Bain & Company has developed a deep understanding of pricing strategy and a proven track record of results, working with B2B and B2C companies globally across industries. A Bain & Company survey of more than 1,700 pricing decision-makers found that 70 percent of companies believe pricing is a top management priority. However, more than half of respondents conclude that management has insufficient visibility into pricing decisions. Furthermore, fewer than 20 percent of the companies surveyed have appropriate tools and dashboards to improve pricing decisions.

Ondrej Bartos, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Credo Ventures said, “Since investing in Price f(x) alongside Talis Capital in 2016, it’s been exciting to see the company close in on their vision to become the leader in price optimization software solutions. The energy and resilience demonstrated by Marcin and his team is what makes truly successful companies and we are grateful to be part of their journey.”

Price f(x) is a member of the Bain Alliance Ecosystem – a network of best-of-breed partnerships with complementary tool, technology, and service providers that accelerates delivery of breakthrough client results.  Through the Bain Alliance Ecosystem, Bain & Company clients have access to relevant new capabilities, enabling faster assimilation of new ideas, skills, and ways of working.

Editor's note: To arrange an interview with Mr Kermisch, contact Katie Ware at  katie.ware@bain.com or +1 646 562 8107.

###

About Price f(x)

Established in 2011 in Germany, Price f(x) AG is the provider of a full suite of price management and CPQ SaaS solution based on latest native cloud architecture, offering broad and flexible support to the entire price management closed loop cycle of Price Strategy, Controlling, Setting and Realization. The solution is suitable for B2B and B2C as well as for any industry, any size of business and geographical location. Price f(x)’s vision is to remain the leading SaaS pricing and CPQ platform provider through offering easy to use, fast to implement, flexible to adapt, risk free and inexpensive, comprehensive solutions. Price f(x)’s business model is entirely based on the satisfaction and loyalty of its customers. For more information please visit:  www.pricefx.com.

 

About Digital+ Partners

Digital+ Partners is a leading technology growth equity investor focused on European and US technology companies with €350 million assets under management. Digital+ aims to support ambitious entrepreneurs build global technology companies, providing them with strategic advice and long-term financial support to help them define and execute their growth plans. The fund focuses exclusively on B2B technology companies and leverages a deep corporate network to help portfolio companies access new markets and build new partnerships. For more information please visit: http://www.dplus.partners

 

About Bain & Company, Inc.

Bain & Company is the management consulting firm that the world's business leaders come to when they want results. Bain advises clients on strategy, operations, information technology, organization, private equity, digital transformation and strategy, and mergers and acquisition, developing practical insights that clients act on and transferring skills that make change stick. The firm aligns its incentives with clients by linking its fees to their results. Bain clients have outperformed the stock market 4 to 1. Founded in 1973, Bain has 57 offices in 36 countries, and its deep expertise and client roster cross every industry and economic sector. For more information visit: www.bain.com.

Talis Capital expands and strengthens investment team

PRESS RELEASE

  • Promotion of Matthew De Jesus to Principal

  • Emma Titmus hired from London Stock Exchange Group

  • Beatrice Aliprandi joins as Senior Analyst from Jefferies

  • Appointment of Kirill Tasilov as Analyst

London, UK, 19 December 2018 - Talis Capital is proud to announce the senior promotion of Matthew De Jesus to Principal as well as five new hires to the team recognising the strong performance of the firm and growth of the portfolio.The London based Venture Capital investment firm, backed by a group of ultra successful and strategic high net worth entrepreneurs, has invested more than $500m worth of transactions over the last 10 years. The firm counts some of the most exciting technology companies in it’s portfolio including Darktrace, iwoca, Onfido, Luminance, Pirate Studios, Oh My Green, Threads, Price f(x) & Omni:us to name just a few.

The appointments help to strengthen the firm as it continues to see growth across it’s portfolio and further pipeline opportunities. Keenly focused on diversity the new hires bring a range of experience from different backgrounds and have already brought a huge amount of energy, passion and enthusiasm into the HQ in Wimbledon. 

Matthew De Jesus has been promoted to Principal following five years with Talis Capital, he sits on the boards of Pirate Studios and Luminance and has a BSc (Hons) Economics from LSE. Emma Titmus joins Talis as Head of IR & Marketing from London Stock Exchange Group where she spent six years supporting private and public companies with their capital raising strategies. Beatrice Aliprandi & Kirill Tasilov appointed as Senior Analyst & Analyst respectively; Beatrice joins after three years with Jefferies in TMT investment banking and Kirill previously worked as an Analyst at UBS in Hong Kong.

The team has also added two Investment Executives, Scott Fransen and Davide Richardson to support the investment team. Now a 12-strong firm, Talis has more than 40 companies in it’s portfolio from the UK, Europe and USA and continues to focus on Late Seed, Series A and Series B investments.

Matus Maar, Managing Partner, Talis Capital

“We congratulate Matthew on his well-earned promotion to Principal and welcome our new strategic team members into the team. As we grow the firm, it is critical to bring with it new perspectives and a range of backgrounds to enable us to execute on the ever increasing and exciting deal flow we’re seeing - and to give the right support to our existing companies. Just this year we’ve already participated in more than 10 deals raising over $110m and are excited to see where we can go next.”

Vasile Foca, Managing Partner, Talis Capital

Originally founded in 2009 from a small family office, Talis Capital has evolved significantly over the last 10 years to become one of the leading venture capital investment firms in London today. As we approach our tenth anniversary next year, which is an important milestone, it’s only natural for us to think about the decade ahead and to onboard the right talent to take Talis to the next level.”

The team have been busy and this news follows recent deal announcements just in H2 2018 including Omni:us, Edge Intelligence, The Learning People, Oh My Green and most recently their $20m investment into Pirate Studios.

Thought leaders in an ever changing world brings an evolutionary approach to prospective investment sectors of interest which most recently include; Cyber Security, Fintech, Data, IoT, Healthcare Tech, frontier Consumer, and Food/Agritech. The firm’s connected network offers it’s portfolio and the wider ecosystem an opportunity to come together to share thoughts, idea and future trends – as an example Talis recently hosted a PropTech conference for 250 guests to share how technology is transforming the real estate sector.

Ends

 

Notes to the editors

Media Contacts

Emma Titmus

Head of IR & Marketing
emma@taliscapital.com
+44(0)20 5426259

About Talis Capital

Talis Capital is a unique Venture Capital investment firm funded by a group of ultra successful and strategic high net worth entrepreneurs. Focused on backing emerging software technologies, Talis has completed over $500m worth of transactions since 2009 and the portfolio includes Darktrace, Onfido, iwoca, Pirate Studios, Luminance, Threads, Oh My Green to name just a few. Talis concentrates on building long term partnerships and leverages their exclusive investor network to create opportunity. The team looks for innovative high growth companies with sector defining ventures and sustainable business models.
www.taliscapital.com

 

 
This communication has been prepared by Talis Capital Limited which is an Appointed Representative of Privium Fund Management (UK) Limited (“Privium”). Privium is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") in the United Kingdom. It is not intended for distribution to or use by any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation. This communication is not intended for distribution to retail clients. Past performance does not necessarily predict future results and the capital value of the investments and the income generated can fluctuate. The registered office of Privium is The Shard, 24th Floor, 32 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9SG
Copyright©2018, Talis Capital Limited. All rights reserved.

Import.io Raises Series B Funding to Expand Industry-Leading Web Data Integration Platform

Import.io Raises Series B Funding to Expand Industry-Leading Web Data Integration Platform

Next Generation Solution Fuels Growth of $5B Web Data Integration Spending

Los Gatos, Calif. – Dec. 18, 2018 – Import.io, the leading web data integration solution provider, today announced it has closed a $15.5 million Series B funding round to accelerate global growth and expand its product offerings to meet the growing needs of enterprises.

Talis Capital, a London-based venture capital firm, led the investment with participation from existing investors IP Group, OpenOcean, Oxford Capital and Wellington Partners. This capital infusion comes at a time when companies are urgently trying to become “data-driven,” as a key part of digital transformation. Alternative data sources such as the web are crucial to gaining a competitive advantage. The web is the single largest data source on the planet, but traditional solutions for gathering that data are complex, unreliable, time intensive and poor quality.

With 90 percent of the world’s data having been created in the last two years, demand for data-driven insights leveraging web data continues to escalate. Total spend on web data integration is estimated to hit $5 billion in 2019 according to Opimas Research.

“Businesses around the world are losing trillions of dollars due to lack of timely access to high-quality data. In fact, IBM estimates that poor-quality data costs businesses in the U.S. more than $3 trillion annually,” said Gary Read, CEO of Import.io. “Import.io is committed to providing timely, high-quality data with little-to-no customer resource requirements. We empower our customer base of more than 800 companies to make business-critical decisions based on the data we provide every day; and we back that up with an aggressive service-level guarantee.”

“When we saw what Import.io was doing, we immediately understood the importance and recognized the game-changing capabilities of the solution,” said Matus Maar, co-founder and managing partner, Talis Capital. “We spoke to multiple Import.io customers who explained how important Import.io had become to their business and raved about the solution, support and quality of the data provided.”

In the 2018 IDC Business Analytic Solutions survey, IDC estimated that data professionals spend approximately 75 percent of their time gathering and cleaning data and only about 25 percent finding insights from the data. Import.io’s solution empowers data professionals to prioritize securing the insights and analytics that drive business innovation and competitive advantage.

This funding announcement highlights a momentous few years for Import.io. In 2016, Import.io appointed Read as CEO to scale the business, given his accomplished career of profitably growing companies in emerging industries – highlighted by Nimsoft's $350 million acquisition by CA Technologies in 2010. Since Read has taken the helm, Import.io has experienced three years of growth. In 2018 Import.io launched hundreds of new product capabilities and attracted more than 300 new customers across the financial services, retail and consulting industries, among others.

For more information on Import.io, please visit: www.import.io.

About Import.io

Import.io delivers the world’s data directly to enterprises, fueling business insight and competitive advantage. The Import.io highly scalable Web Data Integration solution extracts, prepares and integrates high-quality comprehensive web data into customers’ analytics platforms and business applications. The company delivers data to more than 800 enterprise customers from millions of web sources. Headquartered in Los Gatos, Calif., with offices in Denver and London UK, Import.io was founded in 2012. For more information, visit www.import.io

About Talis Capital
Talis Capital is a unique Venture Capital investment firm funded by a group of ultra successful and strategic high net worth entrepreneurs. Focused on backing emerging software technologies, Talis has completed over $500m worth of transactions since 2009 and the portfolio includes Darktrace, Onfido, iwoca, Pirate Studios, Luminance, Threads, Oh My Green to name just a few. Talis concentrates on building long term partnerships and leverages their exclusive investor network to create opportunity. The team looks for innovative high growth companies with sector defining ventures and sustainable business models.

www.taliscapital.com


Pirate Studios raises $20m from Talis Capital to bring its revolutionary self-service music studios to new markets

Pirate Studios raises $20m from Talis Capital to bring its revolutionary self-service music studios to new markets

  • Investment will fund new locations across UK, US and Germany

  • Fundraising is supported by high-profile investors including Eric Archambeau, Bart Swanson, Gaw Capital

  • Pirate supports musicians with live music opportunities, Pirates Prodigy talent competition and festival stage curation

London, 15 November 2018

Pirate Studios, the fast-growing music technology company, that operates fully automated self-service 24 hour music studios, has secured a strategic investment of $20m from Talis Capital, the London-based VC family office.

The new funding will enable Pirate Studios to continue its rapid expansion across the UK, Germany and the US, where it has been building a community of musicians, DJs, producers and podcasters who need access to professional studios at rates they can afford. The pioneering company, which was created by musicians for musicians everywhere, has also raised money from a syndicate of high-profile investors including Eric Archambeau (Spotify investor and ex partner at Benchmark & Wellington Partners), Bart Swanson of Horizons Ventures, and partners of Gaw Capital, the $20bn Hong Kong-headquartered creative proptech fund.

The key to Pirate Studios success is the deployment of technology to revolutionise its studios. Pirate has built a platform that offers online booking, 24 hour keycode access, automated recording and live streaming as well as complete IoT control of their studios. In doing this Pirate has been able to increase hours of opening and decrease costs for musicians, offering its studios from as little as £4 per hour.

The company began in an abandoned police station in Bristol, UK, where co-founders David Borrie and Mikey Hammerton worked together with friend Fred Wyatt to build a rehearsal studio which they offered on a time-share basis to bands. As the success of this studio grew, David and Mikey saw the opportunity to develop the concept to hourly rental, self-service music studios and began working on a solution together with Matus Maar from Talis Capital who joined as fellow co-founder. Matus introduced the founders to venture capital investor Talis Capital, which has funded the expansion since inception. In three years Pirate has grown to 350 studios in 21 locations - including London, New York and Berlin.

David Borrie, co-founder and CEO of Pirate Studios, said: “When we founded Pirate Studios our dream was to create innovative spaces to support emerging talent. We want to see music thrive and help musicians get their music out to their fans, through whatever route they think is most appropriate. We are building both the physical space to create, as well as the technology to record and share, that puts power back into the hands of musicians in a period when the digitisation of music continues to radically upset the old order of this industry.”

“We are so excited about the next stage of our expansion, which has been made possible by Talis Capital’s big commitment to this project, with the potential to put musicians back at the heart of the music industry. It’s also exciting to see so many new investors come on board with Talis and to help us with the next stage of our journey.”

Matus Maar, managing partner ventures, Talis Capital and executive chairman of Pirate Studios, said: “The music industry has changed fundamentally. Distribution was previously controlled by the major record labels, preventing the majority of artists from sharing their content. Pirate Studios has unpicked that hegemony and is putting the power back in artists’ hands, unlocking a significant and largely untapped market opportunity. We greatly look forward to continuing to partner with David and the team to make this vision a reality.”

Inspired by fast-growing companies like Zipcar and Pure Gym, Pirate Studios is bringing an entirely new service to musicians including:

  • Fully automated studios that can be booked online 24 hours a day

  • HD live streaming, audio reactive lighting and on-demand video and sound recording

  • Artificial intelligence powered mixing and mastering, to balance audio recorded in their studios

  • Online content hosting for bands to store their videoed and recorded musical archive

The company is also dedicated to helping live music thrive, with a community of more than 40,000 musicians who regularly use its facilities. It supports these artists by:

  • Running national talent development programmes (Pirate Prodigy) offering chosen artists major industry support and free studio time.

  • Weekly livestreams showcasing artists from their community across their social channels

  • Gigs, tours and festival stages to provide opportunities for their community to play live

Pirate launched its first ever Pirate Prodigy competition in 2018, which attracted more than 2000 entries from young bands and singers. The winners were chosen by 20 industry experts and a public vote which attracted 50,000 votes, making it the largest UK music competition after The X Factor and The Voice. The winners - The Seamonsters, Alex Ohm, Red Rum Club and Yves - were showcased in gigs across London, Liverpool and Bristol this summer, before taking to the Pirate stages at Isle of Wight, Y Not and Truck festivals.

Following the fundraise, Eric Archambeau will join David Borrie, Matus Maar and Bart Swanson on the board of Pirate Studios.

Talis Capital has backed Pirate Studios since the concept was founded and will support the next phase of growth, during which the company will continue to expand in the UK, Germany and the US. The investment will also fund the development of a content creation platform, which gives musicians access to all their recordings and content.

· Ends –

Media Contacts

sayula@burlington.com

 

About Pirate Studios Pirate Studios operates the largest network of music studios in the world, serving over 50,000 musicians globally. The studios are fully automated and available 24 hours a day for self-service music rehearsal and recording. Pirate uses internet of things-enabled equipment, including online booking, automated live streaming and artificial intelligence in sound engineering. The fast-growing company is building a community of musicians which it supports with gigs, talent competitions, festival stage curation and online promotion.  piratestudios.co.uk

 

About Talis Talis Capital is a London-based venture capital firm that focuses on backing emerging technologies and early stage companies. Talis has completed over $500m worth of transactions since 2009. The VC counts some of the fastest growing tech companies in its portfolio including Darktrace, Onfido, iwoca, Luminance, OhMyGreen, Pirate Studios and Threads among many others.  

For more information, visit www.taliscapital.com

Notes to Editors:

The first Pirate Prodigy Programme to find emerging British music talent was held in April 2018 with support from music industry managers, publishers, agents and PRs team including David Bianchi and John Dawkins (Various Artists Management), Mike Bennett (UTA), Mikey Jonns (This Feeling), Mike Walsh (Radio X), Lyndsey Boggis (Great Escape) and Simon Pursehouse (Sentric).

Studios can be found in: Berlin, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, NYC, Nottingham, Plymouth, Reading, Sheffield.

Artists who have used Pirate Studios include:

 

Bands

Carl Barat and the Jackals, Kate Nash, Reverend & The Makers, Idles, Dreamwife, Rick Astley, The Correspondents, Keir, False Heads, Bang Bang Romeo, Kavin Sandhu (Happy Mondays)

 

DJs

Toddla T, Eats Everything, Shadow Child, Henry Wu, GotSome, Artwork, Oneman, Plastician, Jamz Supernova, Jus Now, Roska, T Williams, Scratcha DVA

 

MCs

Jaykae, Casisdead, Kojey Radical, Scrufizzer, Nadia Rose

 

Producers

Swindle, Despa, Star One, Interface, Forest Swords, Star One, Rapture 4D

 

AI-powered insurtech omni:us closes Series A funding

omni:us the only AI company of its kind fully focused on insurance, has today announced the closure of a Series A round, bringing its total funding to date to $22.5 million. The investment has been led by Berlin-headquartered VC firm Target Global, followed by MMC Ventures and Talis Capital. Existing investors, Unbound and Anthemis, also participated in the round, demonstrating their continued commitment to the company’s ambitions. This funding reinforces omni:us’ position as a market leader in enabling insurers to become more data-driven and adapt to today’s customer expectations.

As a key player in the major digital revolution currently taking place in the insurance industry, omni:us has developed cutting-edge AI technology that empowers all kinds of organisations within the sector: 8 of the top 10 global insurance companies - such as Allianz, Baloise and AmTrust – count on its deep digital transformation expertise in order to innovate and meet growing customer needs. At the same time, insurtech firms - such as Wefox – use omni:us to boost efficiency and focus on its core competencies.

Sofie Quidenus-Wahlforss, CEO and Founder of omni:us, said: “We know the insurance industry will move from process to data-driven over the coming years. To meet this need, omni:us is the trusted partner, supporting insurance companies along this transformational path. Our deep data based approach enables insurers to better understand their customers and launch new products and services on a more bespoke and individual level. With this round of funding, we will bring our cognitive systems to the next level and expand into the US market later this year.”

Matthew De Jesus, Talis Capital, said: “The calibre of omni:us’ customers, team and Investors are a testament to the solutions it has created, and are uniquely positioned to capitalise on the significant growth of enterprise automation and use of AI in the insurance industry. We are delighted to be partnering with Sofie and her impressive team at omni:us, and look forward to continuing to see the company scale.”

About omni:us:

omni:us is a pioneering artificial intelligence company enabling the insurance industry to transform radically and adapt to today’s customer expectations. The omni:us senior team includes CEO Sofie Quidenus-Wahlforss, along with a team of co-founders including:  Eric Pfarl, CPO; Stephan Dorfmeister, CFO; Martin Micko, COO; and Harald Gölles, CTO. omni:us now has a diverse and passionate team of almost 40 AI and industry experts hailing from four continents. The company is based in Berlin, with plans to also open an office in the US this year (2018).

 

For further information:

Please contact Laura Grant on laura@33seconds.co or +44(0)7765634119

About Talis Capital

Talis Capital is a unique family office venture capital investment fund investing on behalf of a group of ultra successful and strategic high net worth entrepreneurs. Focused on backing emerging technologies Talis has completed over $500m worth of transactions since 2009. The fund counts some of the fastest growing tech companies in its stellar portfolio including Darktrace, Onfido, iwoca, Pirate Studios, Luminance, among many others.

For more information, visit www.taliscapital.com

 

Oh My Green Closes $20M Seed Funding

Oh My Green Closes $20M Seed Funding

Provider of Healthy Food and Wellness Services for Corporations Will Expand Investment in Technology Platform, Market Growth

 

London and San Francisco, 17 October 2018 – Talis Capital,  a unique London based VC family office focused on early-stage technology companies and one of the largest investors in Oh My Green, is pleased to announce a $20 million seed funding round into Oh My Green, a concierge-style provider of healthy food and wellness services for corporations of all sizes.

 

Other investors that participated in the round included Y Combinator, Initialized Capital, Powerplant Ventures, Backed VC, ZhenFund, and Stanford-StartX Fund. The new capital will be used to further advance Oh My Green’s innovative wellness platform, which incorporates artificial intelligence and IoT technology to enhance supply chain management and improve personalization of the company’s food services. Additionally, the funds will support continued growth of Oh My Green’s supplier and customer network in North America, and eventually its international expansion.

 

Founded by Heinrich while he was in graduate school at Stanford in 2014 and backed by Y Combinator in 2016, Oh My Green creates an entirely new food experience for companies, offering a variety of services ranging from the delivery of healthy office snacks and kitchen design and stocking services, to catering, cafe management and wellness programming. The company works with a number of unique suppliers to offer a carefully curated selection of nutritious and delicious products, with the goal of helping companies easily stock their kitchens and cafeterias while amplifying the health, productivity and engagement of their employees.

 

Oh My Green’s offering is built on a technology platform that utilizes machine learning to personalize product recommendations and efficiently manage the supply chain at scale, assuring optimal quality, quantity, and variety while minimizing food waste. When choosing food and beverage suppliers, Oh My Green prioritizes organic, non-GMO and locally sourced products. The company’s customers include organizations like Mixpanel, Greenhouse, Flatiron Health, and many others.

 

According to industry watcher Grand View Research, the global healthy snack market alone is expected to reach $32.8 billion by 2025.

 

“More and more businesses are investing in wellness as a means to improve employee productivity, engagement and retention,” said Michael Heinrich, CEO & Founder of Oh My Green. “Good nutrition is an essential part of any wellness strategy, yet a recent survey by the Center for Disease Control shows that the foods people eat at work tend to contain high amounts of sodium and refined grain. Our mission is to empower companies to provide their people with healthier choices, so that they can reach their full potential, both at work and in their daily lives.”

 

Matus Maar, Managing Partner & Co Founder at Talis, one of the leads, and largest investors in Oh My Green, said: “As corporates the world over increase focus on bringing wellness to the workplace and educating the workforce around the benefits of good nutrition, Oh My Green is perfectly placed to capture the significant market opportunity that exists there. We greatly look forward to partnering with Michael and the entire team at Oh My Green, as they continue to build on the significant momentum they have achieved to date.”

 

About Oh My Green

Oh My Green is concierge-style provider of healthy food and wellness services for corporations of all sizes. Founded out of the Stanford-StartX Fund

and Y Combinator, the company offers a user-friendly wellness platform that brings nutritious snacks, meals, drinks and wellness practices to the workplace through micro-kitchens, micro-markets, catering, café management, subscription boxes and more. Combining innovative AI and IoT technologies for easy ordering, replenishment and account management with a carefully curated selection of products, Oh My Green aims to help companies and their workers Eat Healthy and Work Happy, with the goal of improving well-being, productivity and engagement. With clients ranging from tech startups to Fortune 500 companies, the company is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit www.ohmygreen.com for more information and join our community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @OhMyGreenHQ

 

About Talis Capital

Talis Capital is a unique VC family office funded by a group of successful and strategic high net worth entrepreneurs. Focused on backing emerging technologies Talis has completed over $500m worth of transactions since 2009. The fund counts some of the fastest growing tech companies in its stellar portfolio including Darktrace, Onfido, iwoca, Pirate Studios, Luminance, among many others. 

For more information, visit www.taliscapital.com

 

Media Contacts

Ed Brown

Smithfield for Talis Capital

taliscapital@smithfieldgroup.com

+44(0)20 3047 2268

This communication has been prepared by Talis Capital Limited which is an Appointed Representative of Privium Fund Management (UK) Limited (“Privium”). Privium is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") in the United Kingdom. It is not intended for distribution to or use by any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation. This communication is not intended for distribution to retail clients. Past performance does not necessarily predict future results and the capital value of the investments and the income generated can fluctuate. The registered office of Privium is The Shard, 24th Floor, 32 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9SG

Copyright©2018, Talis Capital Limited. All rights reserved.

 

Talis leads $3m seed funding round into Edge Intelligence

Talis Capital Announces Strategic Investment in Edge Intelligence

Investment Will Fund Further Product Innovation and Market Penetration in North America

London, UK and Boston September 25, 2018 – Talis Capital (Talis), a London-based venture capital firm focused on early-stage technology companies, today announced it has led a $3 million seed funding round into Edge Intelligence (Edge), developer of the first geographically distributed analytics platform built for both edge computing and hybrid cloud environments.

Existing investors in Edge Intelligence include Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo; Scott McNealy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, as well as Morado Venture Partners and Wellington Partners. In partnership with Talis and its other investors, Edge Intelligence will invest further in building out its pre-sales, sales, marketing and support functions as well as in expanding its product portfolio, with new analytics solutions required by telecommunications providers and cable multiple system operators.

Revenues for big data and business analytics are expected to grow to more than $260 billion by the end of 2022, according to IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Big Data and Analytics Spending Guide. The challenge remains for companies to gain timely access to data being generated at the edges of their networks and to gain actionable insight.  Edge Intelligence has built a unique solution for the centralized management and analysis of geographically distributed data. In doing so, it is changing the archaic way in which companies implement secure, scalable and high-performing big data architectures. Its patented technology solution supports fast, secure access to data that may reside in thousands of locations.

“Data is critical for digital transformation success, yet it is becoming increasingly difficult to gain actionable insight from data. Transferring large volumes of data across geographies takes too long, costs too much, and increases data privacy concerns,” said Kate Mitchell, co-founder and CEO of Edge Intelligence. “We've developed a new approach to analytics, making it faster and easier to analyze vast amounts and types of globally distributed data generated by devices, machines and sensors – whether the data is seconds or years old. By keeping data close to where it’s generated without ever having to move the data, organizations gain near real-time, actionable insight to improve operational efficiency, profitability and gain a competitive advantage.”

“As the growth of the Internet of Things continues, Edge Intelligence has created an innovative solution whose analytics capabilities far outstrip the outdated methods of managing and analyzing data, that are currently available in the market,” said Matus Maar, Managing Partner at Talis. “We greatly look forward to partnering with Kate and the entire team at Edge, as they embark on this next, exciting phase of growth.”

  

 

Media Contacts

Edward Brown

Smithfield for Talis Capital

taliscapital@smithfieldgroup.com

+44(0)20 047 2268

Jessica Mularczyk

JHM Public Relations for Edge Intelligence

mularczykpr@verizon.net

508-498-9300

 

About Edge Intelligence

Edge Intelligence has developed the industry’s first distributed analytics platform built for both edge computing and hybrid cloud environments. Communication providers, enterprises and government entities are able to efficiently store, analyze and process all types of data across geographies without physically moving it. Edge Intelligence directly overcomes the challenges that must be addressed to instantly realize actionable insight from big data. Customers gain near real-time intelligence from data whether it is seconds or years old which is critical to success with their digital transformation efforts. To learn more, visit us at www.edgeintelligence.com.

 

About Talis Capital
Talis Capital is a London based venture capital firm and has completed over $500m of transactions since 2009. The fund counts some of the fastest growing tech start-ups in its portfolio – Darktrace, Onfido, Iwoca, Luminance, Pirate Studios - among many others.

For more information, visit www.taliscapital.com

This communication has been prepared by Talis Capital Limited which is an Appointed Representative of Privium Fund Management (UK) Limited (“Privium”). Privium is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") in the United Kingdom. It is not intended for distribution to or use by any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation. This communication is not intended for distribution to retail clients. Past performance does not necessarily predict future results and the capital value of the investments and the income generated can fluctuate. The registered office of Privium is The Shard, 24th Floor, 32 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9SG
Copyright©2018, Talis Capital Limited. All rights reserved.

Talis Capital Announces Strategic Investment in Learning People & Appointment of Senior Adviser to the Board

PRESS RELEASE

·       Investment will fund the expansion of the firm’s B2C and B2B offerings

·       Appointment of Mr. Tony Glass to the Board as a senior adviser

London, UK, 17 September 2018 – Talis Capital (Talis), a London-based venture capital firm focused on technology companies, today announced an investment of $2.5million into Learning People, the UK’s leading online training company, and SkillsFox, its B2B arm serving corporate training and development needs. The investment comes at a time when online training courses are experiencing significant growth, with companies’ demanding specialist skill sets such as cyber-crime prevention for current and potential employees.

The Talis investment will be used to fuel the companies’ geographical expansion, developing an engaging, user-centric platform and building the range of innovative products for both individual and corporate clients.

Launched in 2010, Learning People was founded as a consumer-facing business, providing world-class training and examinations; recognised by a diverse range of exam boards in information security, project management, coding, IT and digital marketing. Over the last four years, more than 15,000 students have enrolled on to its courses. During this time, the company has significantly expanded course material to customers and has stayed at the forefront of the changing needs of the jobs market, equipping customers with the skills they need to get ahead in their careers.

With the global corporate training market alone estimated to grow at a CAGR of 9.79% over the next four years, the launch of SkillsFox aims to capture the significant opportunity here and equip businesses, from SMEs to some of the world’s largest companies, with the tools to upskill their workforce in critical areas such as cyber security, cloud, IT, project management, compliance and leadership skills.

Talis is also excited to announce that Tony Glass has joined Learning People and SkillsFox as a member of the Advisory Board. In this role, Mr. Glass will actively provide day-to-day senior counsel to both businesses, drawing on his experience from a distinguished career in the learning and development industry. Formerly the General Manager EMEA of Skillsoft, the world’s largest online training company, Mr. Glass brings in more than 25 years of leadership, management and operational experience in the sector. Prior to leading Skillsoft EMEA, he was Managing Director of General Physics UK training division (now GP Strategies) and Managing Director of Best Practice at ILX Group.

According to the UK Government’s digital skills crisis report, it is estimated that around 90% of jobs require digital skills to some degree, and that the skills gap costs the UK economy around £63 billion in lost income a year. In addition, the cybersecurity workforce continues to suffer severe work shortages, with the demand expected to rise to 6 million individuals globally by 2019.

Patrick Aylmer, CEO of the Learning People, said: “We are excited to partner with Talis, whose expertise in the tech space will be invaluable as we seek to build out our business and further develop our B2B offering. SkillsFox has seen us enter into a space in which we are convinced we can provide invaluable services to employers, allowing them to upskill and retain talent whilst increasing productivity across the workforce. The introduction of Tony will be invaluable for the team as we continue to experience rapid growth on the UK and international markets. His ability to scale businesses to serve top-level customers in both B2C and enterprise sectors will bring tremendous value

In a competitive space, Learning People has distinguished itself as a market leader, establishing a strong brand and an enviable reputation as a highly-trusted training provider,” said Vasile Foca, Managing Partner at Talis. “The speed of development in technology is disrupting the way people work, both positively and negatively. One of the results is that employees need to gain skills in which they have no experience, or which do not yet exist. Learning People are uniquely positioned to meet the existing demand for knowledge and respond to future technological shifts in demand such as the fast-evolving data security sector. We greatly look forward to partnering with Patrick, Tony, and the whole team as they embark on this next phase of growth.”

 

Ends

Media Contacts

Sam Moodie

Smithfield for Talis Capital

taliscapital@smithfieldgroup.com

+44(0)20 047 2541

 

About Talis Capital

Talis Capital is a London based venture capital firm and has completed over $500m of transactions since 2009. The fund counts some of the fastest growing tech start-ups in its portfolio – Darktrace, Onfido, Iwoca, Luminance, Pirate Studios - among many others.

For more information, visit www.taliscapital.com

 

About Learning People and SkillsFox

Learning People enables professionals to gain a footing and succeed in the fast-changing digital economy. The company provides online training across Cyber Security, Coding, Project Management, and Digital Marketing among other areas. Founded in 2010 and based in Dublin, Ireland, Brighton, UK and Sydney, Australia, Learning People has helped more than 15,000 professionals to get trained and acquire certifications to reach their career goals. The company's training is based on high-quality self-paced online courses, hands-on Practice Labs, and assessments based on the official certifications.  The company also offers career service to help new starters with their entry into IT job roles and active IT professionals to take the next career step.

SkillsFox aims to help companies to bridge the impending skills gaps in such business-critical areas as Cyber Security, Cloud, Data, IT and Project Management. SkillsFox utilises targeted skills assessments to help in focused delivery of high-quality courses and hands-on labs. Learn more at www.learningpeople.co.uk and www.skillsfox.io.

Talis Capital Limited is an Appointed Representative of Privium Fund Management (UK) Limited (“Privium”). Privium is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") in the United Kingdom. It is not intended for distribution to or use by any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation. This communication is not intended for distribution to retail clients. Past performance does not necessarily predict future results and the capital value of the investments and the income generated can fluctuate.

The registered office of Privium is The Shard, 24th Floor, 32 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9SG.

Copyright©2018, Talis Capital Limited. All rights reserved.

Regtech Company ClauseMatch Raises $5m in Series A Round Led by Index Ventures

ClauseMatch Press Release Logos.JPG

Talis Capital is pleased to announce its involvement in the $5m Series A fundraising for ClauseMatch, a RegTech start-up that aims to automate the entire regulatory lifecycle to help companies ensure compliance. ClauseMatch works with the world’s leading financial institutions, legal firms and corporates.
 
The investment round was led by Index Ventures and included participation from previous investors including SpeedInvest. The round also involves investment from high-profile angels Tom Glocer, former CEO of Thomson Reuters, and Cristobal Conde, former CEO of Sungard.
 
The funding will be used to continue to rapidly scale-up and accelerate development of the product.
 
Vasile Foca, Managing Partner at Talis Capital: "ClauseMatch has created, and are delivering, a revolutionary and efficient solution to processes that compliance and regulation have unfortunately made burdensome for large and small companies alike. ClauseMatch has achieved tremendous traction already, and we are very excited to be supporting them in this next stage.
 
"Our goal is to create a compliance platform that is fully automated, smooth and effortless, that enables people responsible for compliance to be more proactive and strategic, and that increases full transparency and the state of compliance across the board. Equally, we are aiming to bring regulators to the table so that both sides of financial services are connected,” said Evgeny Likhoded, ClauseMatch CEO and co-founder.

ClauseMatch Team Pic.jpg

LONDON, April 25, 2018 -- ClauseMatch, the RegTech startup that aims to automate the entire regulatory lifecycle to help companies ensure compliance, has announced a Series A investment of $5 million led by Index Ventures joined by Talis Capital and with participation from previous investors, including SpeedInvest. The round also involves investment from high-profile angels Tom Glocer, former CEO of Thomson Reuters, and Cristobal Conde, former CEO of Sungard. The funding will be used to continue to rapidly scale-up and accelerate development of the product.

Compliance, legal, finance, operations and risk departments use ClauseMatch to help automate impact assessments, streamline the implementation of regulatory change and to collaborate effectively on thousands of documents across the entire organisation. ClauseMatch applies deep understanding of the regulatory lifecycle and machine learning to standardise and automate processes and workflows across teams, reducing costs, speeding up implementation and demonstrating compliance to regulators. Comprehensive audit trail delivers accountability, transparency and assurance into readiness for the next review of current governance documentation, internal controls and their links to the applicable regulations.

ClauseMatch works with the world’s leading financial institutions, legal firms and corporates including Barclays following the time at Barclays Accelerator Program, and Intesa San Paolo. ClauseMatch is also being tested as part of the third cohort of companies in the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) Regulatory Sandbox supporting a top-tier bank with its technology.

"Since their graduation from the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, in 2014, our relationship with ClauseMatch has grown from strength to strength. Thanks to features such as a full audit trail, in-built governance, and centralised access, we’ve found ClauseMatch to be really useful for high-risk internal documentation, which is why they are now mandated for all global policies and standards across the Barclays Group. We’re very proud to have come on this journey with them, and look forward to growing with them in the future.”- Steven Burman, Managing Director, Compliance Operations and Controls at Barclays, commented. 

With 800 regulators globally, the regulatory burden on financial services companies is already great. Global banks currently spend 20 per cent of their operating costs on compliance and employ thousands of people dedicated to managing the processes manually. These costs are expected to double by 2022, according to some estimates. Even with all their compliance efforts, companies still get fined for non-compliance because of a lack of a centralised policy framework and poor conduc.

"Our goal is to create a compliance platform that is fully automated, smooth and effortless, that enables people responsible for compliance to be more proactive and strategic, and that increases full transparency and the state of compliance across the board. Equally, we are aiming to bring regulators to the table so that both sides of financial services are connected,” said Evgeny Likhoded, ClauseMatch CEO and co-founder.

Jan Hammer, Partner at Index Ventures added: "The regulatory system is broken. Regulators don’t have a full view of how regulation impacts the industry, over-regulating as a result, whilst companies struggle to keep up and stay compliant. We believe ClauseMatch can make the entire regulatory ecosystem function much better for both the regulated and the regulator, by providing new, simple to use tools replacing outdated document management and word processing software.”

Vasile Foca, Managing Partner at Talis Capital supported this with: "ClauseMatch has created, and are delivering, a revolutionary and efficient solution to processes that compliance and regulation have unfortunately made burdensome for large and small companies alike. ClauseMatch has achieved tremendous traction already, and we are very excited to be supporting them in this next stage.”

 

Media contact: 

ClauseMatch
Anna Antimiichuk
anna@clausematch.com  
+447408812657

Talis Capital
Charles Harrison
Charles.harrison@smithfieldgroup.com
+447884136143
 

About ClauseMatch
ClauseMatch is a collaboration platform that applies machine learning to help compliance, legal, finance, operations and risk departments automate impact assessment and collaborate effectively throughout the entire implementation process. It ensures compliance, reduces costs, demonstrates compliance to regulators and speeds up implementation.
For more information, go to www.clausematch.com.

About Index Ventures
Index Ventures is a London and San Francisco-based international venture capital firm that helps the most ambitious entrepreneurs turn bold ideas into transformative global businesses. Index supports companies across all stages, from seed to venture to growth. Index-backed companies include Adyen, Deliveroo, Dropbox, Farfetch, Funding Circle, Slack and Supercell.
To learn more about the Index, visit www.indexventures.com.

About Talis Capital
Talis Capital is a London based venture capital firm, focused on technology companies within three key areas: Security, Business Intelligence/SaaS and Financial Services. Talis Capital has completed over $380m of transactions since 2009 and has an outstanding returns track record. Talis has made over 30 venture investments and count some of the fastest growing tech start-ups in its portfolio – Darktrace, Onfido, Iwoca, Luminance, Pirate Studios - among many others.
For more information, visit www.taliscapital.com.

Interiors marketplace eporta raises $8M Series A Round

In this day and age of higher expectation in offices, sourcing your furniture from Ikea  no longer cuts the proverbial mustard. But the furniture industry is notoriously old fashioned, forcing buyers to leaf through hundreds of paper catalogues, most of which are outdated by the time you get around to ordering. The global design and furniture industry is worth $700 billion, and yet most of its processes for customers are stuck in a previous age. Wouldn’t it be better if someone digitised those manufacturer catalogues, and allowed you to order direct, cutting out the middle-men?

This is what eporta is. This London-based B2B interior marketplace startup, has now raised $8 million in a Series A funding round led by US investor Canvas Ventures. It also includes venture capitalists LocalGlobe, Oxford Capital Partners, Talis Capital, Samos Ventures, as well as angel investors Guy Hands, Ed Wray (co-founder, Betfair), Rohan Blacker (founder, sofa.com), Simon Kain (co-founder of Zoopla) and Will Cooper (founder, Achica.com).

Founded in 2015, eporta allows interior designers, architects, property developers, offices and other businesses to find and purchase furniture pieces directly from manufacturers around the world online. The Hilton Hotel Group, Accenture,  Ted Baker, and Charlotte Tilbury are included amongst its clients.

Eporta lists over 1,000 sellers in 55 countries and over 10,000 buyers in 85 countries. The idea is that companies that purchase items on eporta can expect to save up to 50% off retail pricing. eporta’s revenue model enables suppliers to pay a low commission to utilise the platform. The service is free for buyers to sign up to, with best pricing guaranteed.

The startup was founded by Manchester-born and Oxford University-educated Aneeqa Khan who previously led strategy at property marketplace Zoopla  and oversaw its £919 million IPO in June 2014. Her technical cofounder is Simon Shillaker, a friend from university.

Khan said: “Our manufacturer base is now the largest global database of manufacturers online for trade.” And she says small interior designers can use the service, as well as larger businesses. “If you are someone who has a project — it could be a commercial project or a residential project — if you’re using eporta you’re going to find the best pieces and you’re going to have more selection than you would do anywhere else in the world.”

Recent projects include a large office fit-out for Accenture (where they worked with Studio Jenny Jones interior design practise), the start-up make-up brand Charlotte Tilbury who worked with them to fit out their new space, and Ted Baker’s property development arm on a range of projects.

 

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/10/interiors-marketplace-eporta-raises-8m-led-by-canvas-ventures/

Talis Capital & Credo Ventures lead more funding for Price f(x)

Talis Capital is pleased to announce that it has co-led an additional funding round along with Credo Ventures into leading price management, optimization and CPQ SaaS provider, Price f(x).

Price f(x) has now raised a total of $8.3 million on the back of its most successful year, having doubled the number of customers it serves. Price f(x) has also successfully established a market presence in the US and Asia Pacific with new offices in Chicago, IL and Brisbane, Australia.

Managing Partner of Ventures at Talis Capital, Matus Maar, commented “Price f(x) has been a stand-out performer in Talis’ portfolio and we think there is a huge amount of potential within the team and technology to come. Price f(x) has demonstrated significant value to its clients through its innovative approach to price optimisation and CPQ. We can’t wait to see what the team achieves this year during a period of exciting international expansion."

Established in 2011 in Germany, Price f(x) AG provides a full suite price management and CPQ SaaS solution based on a native cloud architecture, offering broad and flexible support across the entire price management lifecycle, including Price Strategy, Controlling, Setting, Optimization, and Realization. The solution is suitable for B2B and B2C as well as any industry facing the classical but also particular pricing challenges of commercial organizations of any size and geographical location. Price f(x)’s vision is to become and stay the leading SaaS pricing and CPQ solution provider through offering easy to use, fast to implement, flexible to adapt, risk-free and inexpensive, comprehensive solutions. Price f(x)’s business model is entirely based on satisfaction and loyalty of their customers, not about signing long-term commitments.

Price f(x) co-founder and CEO Marcin Cichon stated: “This year’s strong performance reconfirms Price f(x)’s clear differentiation, unique value proposition, and vision to disrupt established industry players. The continuous financial and operational support of our investors makes us very proud and will allow Price f(x) to further expand our existing commercial operations in North America, Europe, and Asia, while better serving its rapidly expanding list of customers, both large and small.”

 

About Talis Capital

Talis Capital is a London based venture capital firm, focused on B2B technology companies within three key areas: Security, Business Intelligence/SaaS and Financial Services. Talis Capital has completed over $380m of transactions since 2009 and has an outstanding returns track record. Talis has made over 30 venture investments and count some of the fastest growing tech start-ups in its portfolio – Darktrace, Onfido, Iwoca, Luminance, Pirate Studios - among many others. For more information visit:  https://www.taliscapital.com/

Talis Capital leads Luminance's $10m Series A round at $50m valuation

  • Series A fundraising successfully completed at a $50m valuation. The $10m investment was led by Talis Capital, and also included Invoke Capital and Slaughter and May.

  • Luminance technology has been deployed in hundreds of M&A transactions worldwide, in over 50 leading organisations, across 15 countries in five continents since launching in September 2016.

  • North American headquarters in Chicago is a response to high demand from North American clients, including AM Law 100 firms.

29 November 2017, London and Chicago – Luminance, the leading artificial intelligence platform for the legal profession, has closed a $10m Series A funding round that values the company at $50 million. The investment was led by Talis Capital, and also included Invoke Capital and Slaughter and May. Luminance will use the funds to expand its operations to meet increasing global demand, including supporting its newly-established North American headquarters in Chicago.

Luminance, which has been deployed in over 50 leading organisations worldwide, is a self-learning AI platform for the legal profession which accelerates and enhances contract review processes such as M&A due diligence and property lease review. The technology has been used to assist with over 200 live transactions to date. In response to strong demand Luminance has seen almost fourfold employee growth within one year.

“We look forward to using this new investment round to ensure we deliver on the excitement building around Luminance, as well as continue to grow our relationship with existing top-tier customers across Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the U.S.” said Emily Foges, Luminance CEO. “Just one year after launch, Luminance has already proven its value with leading law firms globally. We’re excited to boost our operations across the Atlantic with the opening of our Chicago office, and to continue to bring legal innovation to new markets around the world.”

Sally Wokes, a partner at Slaughter and May, said: “Slaughter and May has worked closely with the Luminance team since the product’s inception. The knowledge we have gained through piloting, testing and using the software on live transactions gives us real confidence in what we consider to be a highly differentiated due diligence tool. Our decision to invest in this latest funding round reflects our belief in Luminance and our commitment to harnessing innovation for the benefit of our clients.”

Vasile Foca, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Talis Capital, added, “We have seen technology integration within the legal sector, in particular that based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, transition from a support function to an enabler and efficiency-driver, allowing lawyers to focus on real added value to clients. Since launching investment last year, we have seen Luminance truly lead the competition in this regard and we are excited to be a part of their growth and continue our support.”

Using a unique combination of supervised and unsupervised machine learning, Luminance reads and understands vast quantities of legal documents at speeds no human can match. Moving well beyond legacy contract review software, Luminance automatically sorts and classifies contracts to uncover even subtle risks at the outset of a project. Combined with in-built, sophisticated collaboration tools, lawyers can increase the efficiency of their review by over 100% without sacrificing accuracy.

U.S. Managing Director George T. Tziahanas will be responsible for meeting the needs of firms adopting Luminance’s contract-understanding technology in the region, while building out the Chicago-based team to over 10 by year end.

“My top priority is to hire an impressive team in Chicago to drive growth and serve our great clients,” said George Tziahanas. “Throughout my career, I have witnessed legal teams challenged with analysing large sets of complex information. Luminance is the only technology that can keep pace with modern legal needs, thanks to its unique ability to adapt to a firm’s specialties and expertise, with no training required. Chicago’s status as major financial, scientific, and legal hub made it the obvious choice for our first US office.”

Luminance, developed from Ph.D. research at the University of Cambridge, launched in September 2016 and has customers in 15 countries, including Slaughter and May (UK), Gilbert + Tobin (Australia), WongPartnership (Singapore) and Chapman Tripp (New Zealand). The company was recently recognised for Horizontal Innovation by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) in London, and also won ‘Best AI Product in Legal’ at the inaugural CogX AI Innovation Awards.

 

For more information about Luminance, please contact:

Brunswick Group: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959

About Luminance

Luminance is the leading artificial intelligence platform for lawyers which uses machine learning to read and analyse contracts and other documents much like a human does, thus improving the efficiency of processes such as due diligence. Deploying some of the latest breakthroughs in pattern recognition and machine intelligence from the University of Cambridge, and trained by legal experts, Luminance understands and can highlight anomalies among large groups of documents so that lawyers can prioritise their work. The company is backed by Invoke Capital, an investment fund dedicated to unlocking the potential of European technology.

About Talis Capital

Talis Capital is a London based venture capital firm, focused on B2B technology companies within three key areas: Security, Business Intelligence/SaaS and Financial Services. Talis Capital has completed over $380m of transactions since 2009 and has a strong track record of investments. Talis has made over 30 venture investments and count some of the fastest growing tech start-ups in its portfolio – Darktrace, Onfido, Iwoca, - among many others. For more information visit: https://www.taliscapital.com/

George T. Tziahanas biography:

George Tziahanas was appointed as U.S. Managing Director of Luminance in October 2017. In this role, he will be responsible for growing Luminance’s North American business and the Chicago hub’s staff and operations. A qualified lawyer and graduate of DePaul University, Tziahanas has held leadership positions across several global technology companies, including Intel, Autonomy and Hewlett Packard. His prior experience includes roles in software as a service (SaaS) strategy and implementation and consulting to the legal sector.

UK Insurtech Company Premfina Raises $36m To Make Insurance More Accessible, In An Oversubscribed Round Led By Rakuten Capital And Draper Esprit

  • UK insurance premium financing and software company PremFina raises $36M in equity and debt

  • The funds will strengthen PremFina’s expansion into new global markets and meet high demand in the UK

  • PremFina is fully regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

London, UK: PremFina Ltd, a UK-based company that increases access to insurance by providing financing options for the purchase of insurance premiums, today announced US$36 million in equity funding and a debt facility. Rakuten Capital, the investment arm of Japan’s Rakuten, a global leader in e-commerce and fintech services and the main global partner of FC Barcelona and the UK’s Draper Esprit Plc led the financing, and were joined by global investors Thomvest Ventures, Emery Capital, Rubicon Venture Capital, Talis Capital and the company’s founder.
 
PremFina is the first premium finance company in the UK to receive venture funding, with the equity portion of round more than three times oversubscribed. The investment will be used to accelerate PremFina’s UK operations to meet a high demand for its white-label premium financing solution among insurance brokers and support international expansion. Its white label offering improves brokers’ efficiency, profitability and customer relationships.
 
PremFina makes the purchase of insurance more affordable by eliminating the financial strain of lump-sum upfront payments, thereby promoting financial inclusion within the insurance industry. Its solution is simple and user-friendly: PremFina funds the upfront payment of an insurance premium to an insurer, on behalf on an insured party. PremFina then collects the same amount via monthly instalments, along with a finance fee, from the insured party. To better enable insurance brokers to offer this option, PremFina also provides a standalone, white-labelled software-as-a-service (SaaS).
 
“The participation of outstanding investors from Toronto to Tokyo in our oversubscribed round highlights the vast opportunity ahead for PremFina, ” said Bundeep Singh Rangar, CEO and founder of PremFina, who invested in 17% of the equity portion alongside the institutional investors. “Our new investors bring great strategic value and priceless global financial relationships.”
 
“Premium financing is an industry that’s been crying out for innovation. The incumbents have remained largely unchallenged due to age-old barriers to entry, such as the lack of funding for insurance start-ups, costs and time of regulatory compliance and significant investment in technological capability needed to meaningfully enter the market. Consequently, insurtech has lagged behind other areas of fintech in terms of innovation. PremFina has overcome these barriers and is now poised for growth,” Rangar added.
 
“Rakuten sees outstanding growth potential in PremFina’s business model of promoting insurance inclusion and providing access to affordable insurance,” said Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel, Managing Partner at Rakuten Capital. “We are excited to support the growth of PremFina’s innovative business in the UK and internationally.”
 
“PremFina has built a strong SaaS revenue model with excellent growth opportunities,“ said Simon Cook, CEO of Draper Esprit. “With its innovative offering increasing efficiency in the insurance industry model, PremFina ticks all the insurtech boxes. We are excited to help them dominate the market in the next few years.”
 
The equity round was led by Rakuten Capital, the investment arm of Rakuten, Inc., a global innovation company and Japan's leader in e-commerce and fintech services that has invested in ride-sharing companies Lyft, Cabify and Careem as well as app-based micro-investor Acorns and online lending companies Upstart and Kreditech.
 
The round was co-led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Draper’s UK affiliate Draper Esprit. California-based Draper was an early investor in telecoms company Skype, electric carmaker Tesla, rocket company SpaceX, Chinese search engine Baidu and email provider Hotmail.
 
Thomvest Ventures, an early investor in peer-to-peer lender LendingClub, small business lender Kabbage, and student finance provider Social Finance, Inc., joined PremFina’s equity round.  Thomvest augmented its PremFina investment with a credit facility to fund PremFina premium finance agreements.
 
Worldwide insurance penetration, measured as the percentage of gross written premiums against a country’s GDP, dropped 1.3% to 6.2% from 7.5% in the decade to 2015, according to London-based professional services firm EY. This drop occurred even as governments in many countries announced financial inclusion to be a key national policy objective. PremFina aims to reverse this trend by making personal and commercial insurance more affordable worldwide.

 
For further information please contact:
 
Karolina Komarnicka
Marketing Associate
+44 (0) 207 745 6216
Karolina.Komarnicka@PremFina.com
 
Ben Goldsmith
Goldsmith Communications Ltd
+44 (0)7788295321
ben@goldsmithcomms.com
 
About PremFina Limited
 
PremFina is a UK-based premium finance company. It supplies insurance brokers with their own branded premium financing service with a software package to manage the sale of broker-branded insurance policies to consumers and businesses, and the ability to finance insurance premiums via instalments. With PremFina, brokers receive higher profit, greater autonomy and opportunity to increase the lifetime value of their customers as well as the chance to cross-sell and up-sell additional products. For more information visit: www.premfina.com
 
About Rakuten Capital
 
Rakuten Capital is a corporate venture capital group that provides funding, sector experience and operational support to its portfolio companies across the world. Rakuten Capital is part of the Rakuten Group, one of the world’s leading internet service companies. Rakuten has built and invested in innovative internet businesses in e-commerce, financial services, digital content and advertising since 1997. Rakuten is ranked as one of “Top 30 Most Innovative Companies” by Forbes and operates in Asia, Europe and the Americas. The company is headquartered in Tokyo and is publicly traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
For more information visit: https://captial.rakuten.com
 
About Draper Esprit Plc
 
Draper Esprit was founded in 2006, and is one of the largest and most active VC firms in Europe, helping entrepreneurs to build global ground-breaking technology companies. In 2016 it moved its primary funds into a listed PLC model (LSE: GROW.L) in order to take a longer term, multi-stage, patient capital approach. In recent years, Draper Esprit’s exits have generated more than $3 billion in combined enterprise value.
For more information visit: http://www.draperesprit.com/
 
About Thomvest Ventures
 
Thomvest Ventures is a venture capital firm committed to the success of our entrepreneur partners. Thomvest makes investments in companies that leverage disruptive technologies and business models to pursue high-growth opportunities in the security, fintech, and adtech markets. The capital we invest is our own, enabling us to be more creative, flexible, strategic and patient than most investors. It takes time to build great companies and Thomvest is committed to supporting its entrepreneurs throughout their journey. To learn more about Thomvest Ventures, please visit us at www.thomvest.com.
 
About Emery Capital
 
Emery Capital is a venture capital management company that invests in global-focused early stage technological startups. The company invests in the companies that transform industries, bringing new technologies, high-tech solutions, and business models.
For more information visit: emery.capital/
 
About Rubicon Venture Capital
 
Rubicon Venture Capital combines a VC fund with a unique global community of value added investors to build lasting technology companies. Their investors are mainly successful entrepreneurs and executives located in key cities around the world. They invest in Later Stage Seed and Series A & B venture capital financing rounds of high potential early stage disruptive technology companies.
For more information visit: rubicon.vc/
 
About Talis Capital Ltd
 
Talis Capital is a London based venture capital firm, focused on B2B technology companies within three key areas: Security, Business Intelligence/SaaS and Financial Services. Talis Capital has completed over $380m of transactions since 2009 and has a strong track record of investments. Talis has made over 30 venture investments and count some of the fastest growing tech start-ups in its portfolio – Darktrace, Onfido, Iwoca, - among many others.
For more information visit: https://www.taliscapital.com/

 

Onfido raises $30M more for its AI-based identity verification technology

Malicious hackers and security breaches that have exposed personal information of millions of people have pushed the issue of online security into the spotlight, not just for individuals but for organizations that do business with them. Now a company called Onfido, which has built a way to help websites verify people’s identities using a photo-based identity document, a selfie and artificial intelligence algorithms, has raised $30 million to seize the opportunity.

This brings the total raised by Onfido, which is based out of London, to around $60 million. This latest round was led by new investor Crane Venture Partners (whose co-founder Scott Sage had already been an advisor to Onfido), with participation also from Microsoft Ventures in its first European investment, Salesforce Ventures and other unnamed but existing backers (it’s a long list).

Hussayn - Onfido CEO.jpg

Husayn Kassai, Onfido’s CEO (pictured, above) who co-founded the company with Eamon Jubbawy (now COO) and Ruhul Amin (chief architect), said Onfido is not disclosing its valuation in this round.

Onfido started life back in 2012 focusing on background checks, tapping into the surge of on-demand businesses that were rapidly scaling both their permanent staff and workforce of contractors — indeed that was the company’s bread and butter business when we covered their previous funding found in April 2016. It competed against the likes of Checkr in the U.S.

(And, it should be pointed out, among its customers was Uber, which had used Onfido in the past to run criminal background checks on drivers. Criminal checks have become one of the sticking points for the transportation giant in its current license dispute with London’s transport authority. More on that below.)

In the past year or so, Onfido has been gradually shifting its focus more to financial services and e-commerce, and specifically identity checks for businesses in these verticals. It currently has some 1,500 customers today including Square, Revolut and Zipcar.

As Kassai describes it, the challenge for banks, payment platforms and others is that they have a strong requirement to verify the identities of people with whom they do business (in part because of “Know Your Customer” regulations, but also because of the immense amount of fraud that has arisen in the last few years).

But on the other hand, running long or onerous checks when onboarding users — such as those from banks that require people to come into branches in person to prove they are who they say they are, or lengthy online verification techniques — often leads to a drop-off in interest.

“If you are a bank signing up new users, you expect a 40 percent drop-off rate because of the checks,” said Kassai. “Our solutions are geared at bringing that number down, especially in cases where a user might not have the right documents like utility bills, for example if they are new to a country.” 

Onfido does this with an interesting solution that is based on standard identity documents — it recognises some 600 formats right now, from drivers’ licenses from dozens of countries, to passports, to identity cards and so on — and a “selfie” on your phone.

As it was demonstrated to me in their offices — in a conference room called “Abagnale” (each room is named after a famous identity forger) — this isn’t a photo as such, but in fact a live picture of you. You then respond to instructions for two or three different actions, such as a blink, a smile, saying a sequence of numbers or looking over your shoulder.

Onfido takes your responses to these commands to check that you’re not using a static photo, and to compare your face in the selfie to the picture on the ID card, while also running the ID card check at the same time. Its algorithms then provide a risk report for you, noting if you come up as completely compatible, mostly so, or to flag when it appears that you are not who the document says you are. All the data is then passed on to the company requesting the checks, both “compatible” checks and those that are flagged for further checks.

This last point is key in Onfido’s business model: as Kassai explained it to me, the company runs checks but doesn’t process any more beyond that, leaving the liability of acting or not acting on the results to the company requesting the checks. (In the current situation with Uber, I’m guessing that one route Uber may choose to take in its defense is to raise questions about how the data was accurate enough in its background checks.)

Onfido currently has a strong team of AI engineers on staff, specialists in machine learning and computer vision, who are regularly tinkering with the company’s algorithms to make them more sophisticated and of course to become smarter by way of all the images the platform is processing.

“From our point of view, in Europe, Onfido is one of the leading data enterprise companies at the moment, and they are spending a lot of money right now to continue investing into tech and product, with one of the best machine learning teams that we have come across,” said Sage at Crane, pointing out that his firm normally invests at seed stage but made an exception in this case because of the strength of the startup.

Kassai notes that they are continuing to recruit but also acknowledges that it’s a tough market, with its engineers getting “at least one call a week” from a recruiter. It’s a sticky point that’s even making it hard to figure out where the company should move to next.

Currently situated in an office above the Covent Garden Underground station, London Transport wants to kick them out soon to covert the space into residential property, and Kassai is mostly worried about finding a location where his staff won’t be as poachable, but at the same time continue being located in London. 

Looking ahead, Onfido will continue to tap into the opportunity for solving ID verification in financial services. He says the startup’s revenues have grown five-fold in the last year but that he believes that 95 percent of the market is largely untapped when it comes to using newer technologies like Onfido’s. The company’s core focus is the U.K., U.S. and India and it plans to expand into Latin America, too. “There is huge fintech growth coming from Brazil and Mexico,” he said.

Beyond that, there are a number of other areas where the company hopes to apply its technology, and it’s talking to all the big names you might guess to help make it happen.

“We think the future for us is in new applications and new use cases rather than new features,” he said. “Look at voting, for making payments with your face. The main barrier in these has been really accurate facial recognition, but it won’t be in the future.”

 

Original Source: https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/27/onfido-raises-30m-more-for-its-ai-based-identity-verification-technology/amp/