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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."

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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.

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

 

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.

Portfolio Update - 14.06.2018

Darktrace have become Cambridge's youngest surviving Unicorn after achieving a $1.25bn valuation only five years after launch, and were recently named as one of the top global startups on CNBC'S Disruptor 50 list alongside Uber and Airbnb.

 

Luminance were interviewed by the BBC as a legal AI market leader after securing over 80 customers, including ten of The Global 100 law firms, and continue to perform well after winning "Startup Tech Company of the Year" at the National Technology Awards.

 

Onfido's COO was ranked 4th in Business Insider's "UK FinTech 35 under 35" after overseeing Onfido's growth from inception to an ID Verification market leader with over 1,500 clients and $60m raised from world-class investors including Salesforce and Microsoft Ventures.

 

Homelyfe have joined Startups 100, a list highlighting the top 100 UK startups launched in the last three years, for their impressive platform which allows customers to find and buy home insurance in 85 seconds.

 

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.

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/

 

Pass the Keys active in 8 cities

Pass the Keys, a fast-growing property tech start-up, completed their second round of funding led by London-based VC, Talis Capital. The funding will support further platform improvements and expand the service offering to more cities in the UK and internationally. The company closed its seed round back in October 2016, also led by Talis Capital.

Founders, Alexander Lyakhotskiy and Zoe Vu, developed Pass the Keys in London Business School’s incubator program and focused on leveraging technology to provide a unique service to Airbnb hosts and help them with hassle-free rentals. Pass the Keys currently operates in eight cities across the UK – London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Brighton, Bath, Bristol, Cambridge, and Oxford – expanding at a pace of one new city a month and is the fastest growing Airbnb Management Company in the world and now covers more UK cities than any other provider.

CEO Alexander Lyakhotskiy commented: “Property is one of the biggest assets for any family and, through our technology solution, we give property owners the ability to maximise their investments hassle-free. Our key differentiators are our revenue management system, but also our focus on security via rigorous guest vetting and photo checks.”

Vasile Foca, co-founder and Managing Partner of Talis Capital, said: “It has been great to see Pass the Keys capitalise on what continues to be a growing sector in property tech. The company has already become the largest Airbnb property manager in the UK as it offers its services in 8 cities. The focus on strategy and automation of various processes, particularly the onboarding of clients, cleaners, and vendors, have allowed the Pass the Keys to become a leading multi-city, multi-platform property manager in the UK. We very much look forward to working with them in their growth to attain this traction internationally.”

Alexander Lyakhotskiy added: “ We are very confident about the future of the sharing economy in the UK and worldwide, and we are grateful for the continued support from Talis Capital. This new funding will allow us to improve our service further, as well as continue our ambitious growth plans. By the end of 2017, we aim to offer our service in all major cities in the UK and start our global expansion from 2018.”

 

Source: https://www.property118.com/airbnb-management-company-active-8-cities/ 

Cybersecurity Startup Darktrace Worth $825 Million After New Funding

Darktrace, a hot cybersecurity startup that touts using artificial intelligence to identify and block digital attacks, was privately valued at $825 million after raising a new round of funding worth $75 million.

Darktrace uses machine learning technology and analyzes patterns of network traffic to track threats lurking on corporate networks. The company was founded by University of Cambridge mathematicians and British intelligence agency alumni.

The latest round is Darktrace's fourth, or "series D," and is led by Insight Venture Partners, a New York-based venture capital firm that has also invested in cybersecurity startups such as Cylance and Tenable Network Security. Existing backers that also participated in the round include Summit Partners, KKR, and TenEleven Ventures.

Darktrace has raised a total of $180.5 million to date.

Among Darktrace's investors is Invoke Capital, the U.K.-based venture capital fund created by tech veteran Mike Lynch, who sold the business software firm Autonomy to HP for $11 billion in 2011. HP later marked down the price of its acquisition by $8.8 billion, and Lynch and HP have been embroiled in heated legal battles ever since.

Although Darktrace would not disclose its revenues, the company said the value of its customer contracts has reached $200 million, increasing 140% between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. A big chunk of that growth is attributable to Darktrace's expansion within the United States where, the company says, sales tripled in the past year.

"We saw sales for autonomous response"—a feature that takes automatic action to slow or stop the spread of digital attacks—"take off since WannaCry and NotPetya," said Nicole Eagan, Darktrace cofounder and CEO, on a call with Fortune, referring to two destructive ransomware attacks that have recently infected business networks worldwide. The automatic response feature, which Eagan referenced and which Darktrace debuted earlier this year, is called "Antigena."

"Orders started coming in quite rapidly when those attacks happened," Eagan said.

Darktrace has 1,000 customers for its cybersecurity product, called Enterprise Immune System, with a quarter of them in financial services, about 15% in telecom and technology, and 12% in industrial systems. The rest are in sectors such as retail, travel, and government. Competitors include Vectra Networks, Palo Alto Networks' Light Cyber, and Deep Instinct as well as Hewlett Packard Enterprise's ArcSight and RSA's Security Analytics.

Darktrace is one among many cybersecurity startups now vying, alongside more established tech companies, to protect businesses from an onslaught of escalating computer threats. In order to succeed, the company must stay a step ahead of attackers and continue to gain adoption while displacing incumbents.

Cybercrime cost the global economy an estimated $450 billion in 2016, as Fortune noted in its July cover story on hacking.

Darktrace's headcount has doubled to 500 people in the past year. Eagan said she planned to put the new round of funding primarily toward hiring sales and marketing staff to continue the company's growth in the Americas and Asia.

Given the uptick in global cyber attacks—WannaCry and NotPetya among them—one can expect the threats to keep on coming.

 

Original Source:  http://fortune.com/2017/07/10/cyber-darktrace-fund-raise/ 

The Selfie as Mobile Banking's Fraud Fighter

The Selfie as Mobile Banking's Fraud Fighter

"Financial institutions have reported to have taken weeks to onboard new clients and expect it go up in the future," Celent analysts Arin Ray and Neil Katkov wrote in a recent report. "Some are concerned that a prolonged and cumbersome onboarding process could become a competitive disadvantage."

UK cyber security company Darktrace embarks on funding round to secure $400m valuation

UK cyber security company Darktrace has turned to Silicon Valley in a bid to secure funding which would see the company valued at $400m (£283.2m)

The company, which is headquartered in both Cambridge, UK, and San Francisco, USA, was founded in 2013 by mathematics and computer specialists from the University of Cambridge and intelligence experts from MI5 and GCHQ.