Today Streetbees, a ‘next gen’ market research startup, has announced closing an approx. €34 million Series B round to accelerate the development of the world’s first human intelligence platform. The round, which was led by Lakestar with participation from LocalGlobe, Atomico, GMG Ventures and Octopus, recognises the potential of this fast-growing startup to leverage its…
Over the past few decades, the business paradigm has evolved tremendously, but unfortunately, so has the nature of threats faced by the businesses. Cyberattack is one of the major threats that loom large over businesses, with each attack incurring millions in damages to organizations. According to an Accenture report, the total cost of cybercrime for each company increased by 12 percent – from US$ 11.7M (approx €9.9M) in 2017 to US$ 13M (approx €11M) in 2018. Between 2013 and 2018, the average cost increased by 72 percent, and the average number of security breaches increased by 67 percent.
There has also been a surge in cyberattacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and businesses feel the need to protect their valuable data, now more than ever. This is where companies like BioCatch come into play; offering a more secure solution for safeguarding data.
The Israeli-based behavioural biometrics company, BioCatch, announced that four major global banks–Barclays, Citi, HSBC, and National Australia Bank (NAB) – have invested $ 20M (approx €17M) in the company, extending the company’s recent Series C fundraising round to a total of $ 168M (nearly €143.2M) raised.
Getting on board
BioCatch was founded in 2011 by Avi Turgeman, and the late Benny Rosenbaum. They were later joined by Uri Rivner (as Chief Cyber Officer). The company’s chairman and CEO is Howard Edelstein, a fintech pioneer, who has been advising BioCatch since 2015 on behalf of OurCrowd – an investment platform built for accredited investors and institutions to invest in startups and venture funds.
In conjunction with the funding, BioCatch has established the BioCatch Client Innovation Board. The invitation-only Innovation Board will be a collaborative forum where members will meet regularly to develop new, creative, and cutting-edge ways to leverage and scale the unique attributes of behavior. The four investing banks and longtime BioCatch investor American Express Ventures will each be allocated two seats on the Client Innovation Board.
Innovation Board members will offer insights on the latest industry trends and ideas for new BioCatch offerings and technology.
One of the board’s key focus areas will be on the development of advanced solutions that stay ahead of online fraud, which has multiplied since the advent of the COVID-19.
BioCatch chairman and CEO Howard Edelstein says, “We have already seen the power of collaboration in solving difficult problems in other areas of the financial services industry, such as clearing corps, transaction networks, post-trade processing, margin calculation, and collateral management, when banks work together and share knowledge, workflow, and data in the common interest.”
Behavioral biometrics is the catch
BioCatch claims to have pioneered behavioural biometrics, which analyses an online user’s physical and cognitive digital behaviour to protect users and their assets, all the while protecting user privacy.
Unlike traditional security methods such as usernames and passwords, which are easily compromised, behavioural biometrics monitor user behavior throughout each online session, providing continuous protection and ensuring a secure and seamless online experience.
According to the company, its data set has grown to more than 150 million behaviour profiles and tens of billions of transactions. This has enabled it to come up with new products, including detecting stolen or synthetic identities being used at the onboarding stage, recognising account takeovers, and flagging increasingly sophisticated social engineering scams, among other industry-wide security challenges.
BioCatch’s behavioural biometrics technology protects some of the world’s largest financial institutions, and their clients’ assets from fraud and other types of criminal activity, including sophisticated social engineering voice scams. The company has offices in Tel Aviv, London, and the US.
The company grew annual recurring revenues by 150% in 2019 and now counts more than 40 of the world’s largest global financial institutions as customers.
Image credit: BioCatch
Advertima, a 3D computer vision platform provider founded in 2016, has secured €15 million Series A investment round led by existing shareholder Swiss real estate company, Fortimo Group.
According to the company, this investment will enable the startup to further develop its platform on a global scale and strengthen its position as a critical player in the wider ecosystem of smart space environments.
“We’ll be investing €25 million in the further development of our smart retail solutions over the next two years. €10 million of this investment will be financed by our revenues so this €15 million round is a crucial milestone to help us achieve our vision for how the world will look by 2030,” says Advertima Co-Founder and CEO Iman Nahvi. “We see a world where the physical and digital layers are merged to enhance our daily professional and private lives. Advertima’s Human Data Layer will be one of the irreplaceable components in this whole ecosystem of applications and technologies that will build the foundation of our future lives.”
Human Data Layer
Advertima has created the ‘Human Data Layer’, which visually interprets human behaviour in physical spaces, through computer vision, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI).
By providing a real-time and easily accessible data stream, the platform gives the ability for the smart spaces of the future to interact with people in a seamless and meaningful way.
Eyes on grocery retail amid COVID-19
Headquartered in St.Gallen, Switzerland, the first sector that Advertima has set its sights on is grocery retail. The company offers smart inventory management and autonomous checkout while also providing engaging and relevant content on smart digital screens throughout the in-store shopping journey of every customer.
By making retail spaces smart, grocers maximise the efficiency of their stores, increase their revenues, and generate greater returns per square meter.
Advertima’s smart retail portfolio has been developed with Switzerland’s largest retailer, Migros, and the international grocer SPAR. The technology is already being used by 14 companies across eight different countries.
“It is clear that the rapid digitalisation of our society is going to have an impact on consumer habits, especially in the retail sector,” says Fortimo Group Founder Remo Bienz. “Advertima is at the cutting-edge of technology in the retail space. As a long-standing shareholder, we know how visionary their technology is, but also how it has been successfully adopted by major, global organisations and already generated significant revenues. We’re excited to be part of Advertima’s journey.”
“Since its founding in 2016, our Swiss start-up has had a global technology vision. This funding round brings our vision nearer to reality,” says Damir Bogdan, Advertima Seed Investor and President of the Board.
Main image credits: Advertima
UK-based NumberEight, a contextual intelligence platform for mobile devices that predicts consumer context to deliver the right content at the right time, has closed a €2 million seed round led by Nauta Capital.
NumberEight leverages advanced context recognition, artificial intelligence, and signal processing techniques to produce over 100 contextual insights such as “travelling to work on a bicycle” to provide mobile apps with real-time behavioural and situational consumer insights.
Their online dashboard takes these real-time events, anonymises and correlates them with in-app activity to empower its customers to deliver context-driven, real-time personalised experiences to the user.
Founded in 2016, the UK-based company was founded on the back of co-founder and CEO Abhishek Sen’s research into signal processing and recommender systems at TU Delft and after working in mobile companies including Apple, Palm, and BlackBerry.
CEO Abhishek said: ”The idea of NumberEight started by asking a simple question: why can’t my sophisticated smartphone automatically recommend music to me based on my current mood and activity?
For technology to truly be transformative, machines need to become more like humans, and not vice-versa. As we interact with more devices around us, empowering devices with the cognitive ability to think for themselves, without compromising our privacy, is paramount. This is what contextual intelligence is. It unlocks the ability for companies to deliver hyper-personalised and relevant experiences across all devices.”
“User privacy was at the heart of our decisions from day one. The common approach of collecting bulk user data for analysis in the cloud introduces difficult consent issues, so instead, we researched new algorithms that allow this advanced technology to work on humble consumer phone hardware. The hard-earned result is a platform where sensor data never leaves the user’s device, and privacy is preserved,” explains Chris Watts, NumberEight’s CTO and co-founder.
Context-based personalisation is an emerging concept within mobile computing – driven by the need to have frictionless and tailored interactions with mobile devices on one hand, while on the other anticipating user actions and behaviour when delivering content at an individual level.
NumberEight’s technology can power the entire mobile app ecosystem across various sectors, however, the company is currently focused on the €132 billion Media and Entertainment market– from music streaming and online radio to mobile gaming and advertising. Furthermore, the cash injection comes as the global COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in media consumption across all generations as revealed by Global Web Report.
The round will support NumberEight’s enhancement of its patent-pending technology, hire new engineering and commercial talent, and accelerate their business growth.
As part of the round, Nauta Capital’s General Partner, Carles Ferrer, will join NumberEight’s board. Commenting on the investment, Carles said: “NumberEight’s ability to apply edge AI and mobile sensor data to truly power real-time user context is a highly compelling proposition. Abhishek and Chris have built a best-in-class solution providing powerful consumer insights while putting privacy first. We are thrilled to join the team as they go on to scale their context-as-a service offering.”