UK biotech startup Mogrify injects $16M to get novel cell therapies to market soon

Cambridge, UK-based biotech startup Mogrify, which is working on systematizing the development of novel cell therapies in areas such as regenerative medicine, has closed an initial $16 million Series A. The raise follows a $4M seed in February — taking its total raised to date to $20M. Put simply, Mogrify’s approach entails analysis of vast amounts of genomic data in …

Amid security concerns, the European Union puts 5G — and Huawei — under the microscope

The European Union is putting under the microscope the rollout of new, high-speed mobile networking technologies known as 5G in a move that could affect the technology’s dominant company — Huawei. Regulators focused on specific security threats linked to technology providers headquartered in countries with “no democratic and legal restrictions in place,” according to a report in The Wall Street …

Rahko raises £1.3M seed from Balderton for quantum machine learning tech

There remains a problem with the race to create a quantum computer, which is that experiments in this area can be extremely error-prone. Rahko is a new UK startup that thinks is can address this problem with what’s known as ‘Quantum machine learning’. It’s now raised a £1.3M ($1.6M) in a seed round led by Balderton Capital, a rare move …

Sources: Lilium is looking to raise up to $500M for its electric flying taxis

“Flying cars” — airborne vehicles designed for urban and other short-distance commutes to replace conventional private automobiles — are (at best) still years away from being a reality, with significant safety, technology and business model hurdles to clear before they ever hit the sky. Now, sources tell us that one of more promising startups in the field, the German startup …

GoCardless CEO Hiroki Takeuchi is coming to Disrupt Berlin

GoCardless has been around for 8 years. But the company has experienced tremendous growth over the past couple of years. It now has a shot at becoming a global leader when it comes to payments via direct debit. Its co-founder and CEO Hiroki Takeuchi has become a fintech expert, and that’s why I’m excited to announce that Hiroki Takeuchi will …

Europe’s recharged antitrust chief makes her five year pitch to be digital EVP

Europe’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, set for a dual role in the next Commission, faced three hours of questions from members of four committees in the European Parliament this afternoon, as MEPs got their chance to interrogate her priorities for a broader legislative role that will shape pan-EU digital strategy for the next five years. As we reported last month …

Startup studio eFounders has a portfolio valuation of $1 billion

European startup studio eFounders has shared some metrics about its portfolio companies. The startup studio has launched 23 companies with a focus on software-as-a-service enterprise products. While eFounders might not be a familiar name, some of the companies in its portfolio have become promising startups with impressive growth, such as Front, Aircall, Forest, Spendesk, Mailjet and others. Front is also …

German tech investor leads Series A for Germany’s first medical Cannabis startup

German just hit a new milestone in the space where venture capital and the burgeoning Cannabis industry meet. Berlin startup Demecan has completed a Series A financing round of 7 million euros to expand its production facility for medical cannabis and the wholesale trade in Germany. It’s become the only German company allowed to produce medical cannabis in Germany. This …

Laurel Bowden of VC firm 83North on the European deep tech and startup ecosystems

London and Tel Aviv based VC firm 83North has closed out its fifth fund at $300 million, as we reported earlier. It last raised a $250 million fund in 2017 and expects to continue the same investment mix, while tracking developments in emerging areas like healthcare AI and autonomous vehicles. In a conversation with general partner Laurel Bowden, the veteran …

83North closes $300M fifth fund focused on Europe, Israel

83North has closed its fifth fund, completing an oversubscribed $300 million raise and bringing its total capital under management to $1.1BN+. The VC firm, which spun out from Silicon Valley giant Greylock Partners in 2015 — and invests in startups in Europe and Israel, out of offices in London and Tel Aviv — last closed a $250M fourth fund back …

Tourlane cofounder Julian Stiefel to speak at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin this December

Back in May, Tourlane raised $47 million in its ongoing mission to address the complex problems that still exist today around booking group travel. Tourlane has become a major player in this sector. We’re excited to announce that co-founder/co-CEO Julian Stiefel will be speaking at Disrupt Berlin in December! Tourlane works directly with service providers and offers customers flights, accommodations, …

Facebook is being leaned on by US, UK, Australia to ditch its end-to-end encryption expansion plan

Here we go again. Western governments are once again dialling up their attack on end-to-end encryption — calling for either no e2e encryption or backdoored e2e encryption so platforms can be commanded to serve state agents with messaging data in “a readable and usable format”. US attorney general William Barr, acting US homeland security secretary Kevin McAleenan, UK home secretary Priti …

Uber launches a shift-work finder app, Uber Works, starting in Chicago

What do you do when your current business model is so staggeringly loss-making you’re having to warn investors it may never turn a profit, at the same time as it’s under increasing legal and regulatory attack? One answer might be to pivot. Uber isn’t doing that, exactly. Not yet anyway. But it has just officially announced the launch of a …

UK privacy ‘class action’ complaint against Google gets unblocked

The UK Court of Appeal has unanimously overturned a block on a class-action style lawsuit brought on behalf of four million iPhone users against Google — meaning the case can now proceed to be heard. The High Court tossed the suit a year ago on legal grounds. However the claimants sought permission to appeal — and today that’s been granted. The …

Impala builds a single API for the entire hotel industry

Meet Impala, a London-based startup that wants to make it easier to interact with hotel data. The startup is building a layer on top of legacy hotel systems to standardize everything with a modern REST API. And Impala has just raised an $11 million Series A funding round from Stride.VC, Xavier Niel/Kima Ventures, Jerry Murdock, the partners of DST Global …

Europe’s top court says active consent is needed for tracking cookies

Europe’s top court has ruled that pre-checked consent boxes for dropping cookies are not legally valid. Consent must be obtained prior to storing or accessing non-essential cookies, such as tracking cookies for targeted advertising. Consent cannot be implied or assumed. It’s a decision that — at stroke — plunges websites into legal hot water in Europe if their cookie notices …

Tencent leads $10M A funding round in SenSat, which digitises real-world locations

If you could digitize whole, real-world locations you’d automatically improve the planning for big infrastructure projects that require buildings, bridges tunnels and the like. Some $94 trillion in infrastructure investment is required by 2040 globally to sustain global growth predictions, yet infrastructure is one of the least digitized sectors in the global economy. SenSat is a UK company using AI …

Tencent to take 29% stake in multiplayer games maker Funcom

Chinese social media and gaming giant Tencent is taking a 29% stake to become the largest shareholder in Oslo-based Funcom. The indie games developer is responsible for multiple adaptations involving the Conan the Barbarian franchise, such as Age of Conan and Conan Exiles, as well as a number of other multiplayer titles — including a forthcoming open world sandbox game …

Meet the makers of modular

When Dieter Döpfer, the founder of music instrument manufacturer Doepfer, decided to launch a brand new modular synthesiser system in 1995, no one could have predicted what would follow. Today, his “Eurorack” format supports an ecosystem of hundreds of manufacturers that have collectively produced thousands of compatible modules used by famous musicians, such as Radiohead, Chemical Brothers and Aphex Twin, …

Last year’s Gatwick drone attack involved at least two drones, say police

A major drone incident at the UK’s second business airport last year continues to baffle police. Last December a series of drone sightings near Gatwick Airport caused chaos as scores of flights were grounded and thousands of travellers had their holiday plans disrupted. The incident, which took place during a peak travel period ahead of Christmas, led to the airport …

Worried about a ‘no deal’ brexit? UK startups should check this guide

UK startups concerned the country is about to leave the European Union in just a little over a month’s time with nothing agreed to ensure a smooth transition should point their eyes at this guide — put together by startup policy advocacy group, Coadec. While a ‘no deal’ brexit is still not inevitable the chances of it happening have stepped …

Voter manipulation on social media now a global problem, report finds

New research by the Oxford Internet Institute has found that social media manipulation is getting worse, with rising numbers of governments and political parties making cynical use of social media algorithms, automation and big data to manipulate public opinion at scale — with hugely worrying implications for democracy. The report found that computational propaganda and social media manipulation have proliferated …

YouTuber Caspar Lee co-founds Influencer marketing platform, raises £3M Series A

Despite the inexorable rise of social media influencers, several problems remain when it comes to brands trying to use these stars to push their products. The marketing tools and processes are fragmented (read: chaotic). Attaining some level of authenticity, quality and creativity in influencer-driven campaigns is tough, to say the least. And the whole thing has to look like the …

Luminance CEO Emily Foges joins us at Disrupt Berlin

Law firms have to parse thousands of pages a week to figure out if everything makes sense and there’s no anomaly. And Luminance wants to make that work much less tedious by using artificial intelligence to review documents and minutes instead of hours. That’s why I’m excited to announce that Luminance CEO Emily Foges will join us at TechCrunch Disrupt …

Spanish startup Elma gets $3.2M for a digital-first health insurance play

Insurtech startup Elma has closed a €3 million (~$3.2M) Series A funding round led by Mangrove Capital partners to build out a digital-first health insurance business starting with Spain, its domestic market. Also investing in the Series A are a number of unnamed local investors focused on the healthcare space, along with Barcelona-based investor and company builder Antai Venture Builder …