The Garage is a new blockchain-focused incubator based in Paris

Meet The Garage, a new incubator in Paris that is all about blockchain projects. Co-founded by Cyril Paglino from Starchain Capital, Fabrice Le Fessant from Dune Network and Oussama Ammar from The Family, the company will support blockchain startups, help big companies launch blockchain projects and educate engineers about blockchain development. The Garage is a sort of puzzle made out …

Dutch court orders Facebook to ban celebrity crypto scam ads after another lawsuit

A Dutch court has ruled that Facebook can be required to use filter technologies to identify and pre-emptively take down fake ads linked to crypto currency scams that carry the image of a media personality, John de Mol, and other well known celebrities. The Dutch celerity filed a lawsuit against Facebook in April over the misappropriation of his and other …

PacketAI predicts IT incidents by parsing large event data sets

Meet PacketAI, a French startup that wants to alert you when there’s something wrong with your app or service. The company uses machine learning to parse raw event data and find out if there’s anything wrong. PacketAI can intercept incidents at many different levels. For instance, the service can tell you if your users can’t write something on your database …

Angular Ventures outs $41M seed fund for European and Israeli enterprise and ‘deep tech’ startups

Angular Ventures, the early-stage enterprise and “deep tech”-focused VC firm founded by former DFJ Esprit partner Gil Dibner, is announcing the closing of its debut fund at $41 million. Targeting startups in Europe and Israel, Angular Ventures has been operating in so-called “stealth mode” for almost two years, seeing its portfolio grow to 12 companies. The VC typically invests between …

Balderton Capital raises new $400M fund to back European tech startups at Series A

Balderton Capital, one of the so-called “big four” early-stage VC firms in London (the others being Accel, Atomico and Index), has raised a new $400 million fund to continue backing European tech startups at Series A. Dealroom recently released a report that pegged Balderton as the most active Series A investor in Europe (between 2014-2018), and in many ways this …

OLX Group invests up to $400M in used car marketplace Frontier Car Group at $700M valuation

Frontier Car Group, the Berlin-based startup building used-car marketplaces targeting high-growth, emerging markets, has picked up another significant round of funding from a strategic backer also focusing on the same geographical opportunity. Today, OLX, the online classifieds division Prosus (the digital division of Naspers that listed earlier this year in Europe) announced that it would invest up to $400 million …

A chat about UK deep tech and spin-out success with Octopus Ventures

New research commissioned by UK VC firm Octopus Ventures has put a spotlight on which of the country’s higher education institutions are doing the most to support spin outs. The report compiles a ranking of universities, foregrounding those with a record of producing what partner Simon King dubs “quality spin outs”. The research combines and weights five data points — …

Voi raises another $85M for its European e-scooter service

Voi Technology, the “micro-mobility” startup that operates an e-scooter service in a 38 cities across 10 European countries, has raised an $85 million in Series B funding. Backing the round is a mixture of existing and new investors. They include Balderton Capital, Creandum, Project A, JME Ventures, Raine Ventures, Kreos Capital, Inbox Capital, Rider Global, and Black Ice Capital. The …

Legislators from ten parliaments put the squeeze on Facebook

The third session of the International Grand Committee on Disinformation, a multi-nation body comprised of global legislators with concerns about the societal impacts of social media giants, has been taking place in Dublin this week — once again without any senior Facebook management in attendance. The committee was formed last year after Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly refused to give …

Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk to talk about late-stage bets at Disrupt Berlin

South African internet company Naspers isn’t a particularly well-known name in the startup community. And yet, the company made an early investment in a small Chinese company called… Tencent. Naspers still retains a 31% stake in Tencent that is valued at around $100 billion (with a B). That’s why I’m excited to announce that Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk is …

An early look at eFounders’ next batch of enterprise SaaS startups

European startup studio eFounders recently reached a portfolio valuation of $1 billion across 23 companies. And the company doesn’t want to stop there as it is currently launching three new companies and products. While software-as-a-service companies are trendy, eFounders has been exploring this space for a few years now. The company regularly comes up with ideas for new companies that …

Investment platform eToro acquires crypto portfolio tracker app Delta

eToro, the multi-asset investment platform that spans “social” stock trading to cryptocurrency, has acquired Delta, the crypto portfolio tracker app. Terms of the deal remain undisclosed, although one source tells me the deal was worth $5 million. It is not clear if it is stock only or cash (or a mixture of both) and if it is contingent on any …

GoCardless partners with TransferWise to bring low-cost currency conversion to recurring payments

GoCardless, the London fintech that makes it easy for businesses to offer recurring bank payments, has partnered with TransferWise for its currency exchange. The move sees GoCardless utilise the TransferWise API and the money transfer company’s “TransferWise for Business” product and in turn provide TransferWise’s FX rates to its own customers. More broadly, the partnership furthers GoCardless’ mission to become …

Subscription service for Mac apps Setapp extends to teams

Setapp, the Spotify of Mac apps, is launching a new subscription plan specifically designed for teams. It is currently available as a public beta. As a reminder, Setapp lets you download and use 160 apps for a flat subscription fee. You don’t need to pay for major updates and there’s no in-app purchase. Anybody can sign up to a Setapp …

Medopad raises $25M led by Bayer to develop biomarkers tracked via apps and wearables

Medopad, the UK startup that has been working with Tencent to develop AI-based methods for building and tracking “digital” biomarkers — measurable indicators of the progression of illnesses and diseases that are picked up not with blood samples or in-doctor visits but using apps and wearables, has announced another round of funding to expand the scope of its developments. It …

An interview with economist Thomas Philippon, author of ‘The Great Reversal’

Economist Thomas Philippon’s new book, “The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up on Free Markets,” went on sale this past week, highlighting the United States’ failure to block the country’s largest companies from inhibiting fair competition. Alongside my review of the book, I spoke with Philippon to dig deeper into why entrepreneurs and venture investors should be concerned by his …

Founder of language learning platform Babbel steps down as co-CEO to focus on board role

Babbel, the popular Berlin-based language learning service, today announced that its founder and current co-CEO Markus Witte is stepping down from his CEO role but that he will remain the executive chairman of the company’s board. The company’s current co-CEO Arne Schepker will become Babbel’s sole CEO. In addition to these leadership changes, the company also today announced that it …

Reaction Engines’ Mach 5 engine is just the tip of the new aerospace boom

Imagine a hypersonic passenger aircraft that would cut the journey time between London and New York to around two hours. At Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, the aircraft would complete a trip across the Atlantic in around 120 minutes. Mach 5 is more than twice as fast as the cruising speed of Concorde and over 50% faster than …

Cervest raises £3.7M for Earth Science AI platform to predict climate effects

Climate risk, including extreme events and the related pressures our environment, are fundamentally affecting the way businesses and governments operate — both tactically and strategically. Increasing climate volatility is causing food supply disruptions and increasing pressure on Enterprises (including financial institutions, insurers and producers) to disclose what’s going on. The trouble is, while there is a lot of data about …

Forecast raises $5.5M for its ‘AI-powered’ project management software

Forecast, a Denmark-based startup that has developed “AI-powered” project management software, has raised $5.5 million in new funding. The round is led by Crave Venture Partners, with participation from existing backers SEED Capital and Heartcore. Forecast has raised $10 million in total funding to date. Founded in late 2016, Forecast describes itself as an AI-powered project management solution that automates …

Omio buys Rome2rio to build out its global travel aggregator business

Omio (née GoEuro) has acquired multimodal travel veteran Rome2rio as it works on building out a global travel aggregator business, having taken the decision to zoom out from its home market of Europe earlier this year. Financial details of the transaction are not being disclosed. But Omio raised a $150M funding round a year ago so it’s presumably splashing a …

What Berlin’s top VCs want to invest in right now

Berlin rose as one of Europe’s leading startup hubs over the last decade, featuring unicorns N26, Delivery Hero, HelloFresh, and Auto1 Group. Berlin attracts developers from Eastern Europe and elsewhere into an international hub where English is the linga franca among startups and costs are noticeably lower than in London or Paris. Rocket Internet, while criticized for launching copycats of …

Namogoo raises $40M to stop unauthorized ad injections and ‘customer journey hijacking’

Namogoo, the Herzliya, Israel-based company that has developed a solution for e-commerce and other online enterprises to prevent “customer journey hijacking,” has raised $40 million in Series C funding. The round is led by Oak HC/FT, with participation from existing backers GreatPoint Ventures, Blumberg Capital, and Hanaco Ventures. It brings total raised by Namogoo to $69 million, and sees Matt …

US search market needs a ‘choice screen’ remedy now, says DuckDuckGo

US regulators shouldn’t be sitting on their hands while the 50+ state, federal and congressional antitrust investigations of Google to grind along, search rival DuckDuckGo argues. It’s put out a piece of research today that suggests choice screens which let smartphone users choose from a number of search engines to be their device default — aka “preference menus” as DuckDuckGo …