Berlin-based APX gets additional funding from Axel Springer, Porsche; here’s why it’s dropping its accelerator

APX raises significant new funds from investors Axel Springer and Porsche and announces an ambitious new investment strategy. Based out of Berlin, APX is a very-early-stage startup investor, backed by Axel Springer and Porsche. It supports and partners with the most ambitious European founding teams and their pre-seed startups and beyond, mostly as their first investor. Since its debut in 2018, APX has invested in over 70 startups across more than 20 industries.

Raises significant funding

APX has secured additional funding from media and tech company Axel Springer and sports car manufacturer Porsche. This funding increased its overall investment amount for both new and existing portfolio companies to €55M. This lets APX invest up to €500k in portfolio startups before the Series A round.

“The significantly increased funding allows APX to expand its investment model. The new capital will increase the number of yearly initial investments in ambitious pre-seed startups with digital business models. APX will also increase its follow-on commitment. While the total investment amount per startup remains uncapped, APX will focus particularly on the earliest stages, deploying up to €500,000 portfolio startups even before a Series A,” says APX in the press release.

No more accelerator program

With its new investment strategy, APX moves from having an accelerator program to being a very-early-stage investor. It operates with the ambition to leave an even stronger footprint in the venture capital ecosystem and support the most ambitious European pre-seed startups.

The startup investor mentions, “APX launched in 2018 as a tailor-made accelerator program. It succeeded the Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator, which from 2013 to 2017 was the first investor in more than 100 startups, including fintech unicorn N26. With its new investment strategy, APX moves away from having an accelerator program to being a very-early-stage investor with an ambition of leaving an even stronger footprint in the venture capital ecosystem.”

To date, APX has invested in over 70 startups and aims to create a portfolio of nearly 200 companies by 2022. Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman of the Executive Board and member of the Executive Board responsible for Finance and IT at Porsche AG, comments: “We are convinced that, despite Corona and precisely because of the fast transformation of our and other industries, it is important to invest massively in innovative technologies. The increase in our engagement in APX is a testament to the confidence we have in its mission to support the most promising startups.”

Julian Deutz, Chief Financial Officer at Axel Springer SE says: “It is an integral part of Axel Springer’s strategy as a tech company to support early-stage startups to promote innovative digital ideas. Our additional investment in APX ensures that they are able to identify and invest in the best digital startups to an even greater extent and actively support the founders on their way to success.”

Long-term commitment to startups

APX’s existing 100-day program will be replaced with unlimited venture development for its portfolio. This reflects APX’s long-term commitment to startups with the pledge to join future financing rounds with external investors.

“We have always been working closely with our portfolio companies even after 100 days. Therefore, having a fixed-term program made less and less sense to us. We are already a long-term partner in action with a strong network of hundreds of mentors, experts, portfolio companies, and co-investors,” says Jörg Rheinboldt, Managing Director of APX.

In order to better address the challenges by startups across industries, APX will leverage its entire staff’s diversity and expertise, thereby ensuring even closer support for each founding team. The investor will offer its portfolio companies the opportunity to work at its brand new Berlin office once the situation permits it. It is a carbon-neutral office space with areas dedicated to the various challenges of every-day work including collaboration, experience exchange, learning, focus, events and meetups, and it will be a community hub for the APX startups.

Startups – Silicon Canals

Berlin-based edtech startup Tomorrow’s Education raises €1.1 million to educate the changemakers of the future – EU-Startups

Berlin-based edtech startup Tomorrow’s Education raises €1.1 million to educate the changemakers of the future  EU-Startups
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Berlin-based Sennder crosses €820M in valuation after securing €131.64M in series D funding: Here is all you need to know

Sennder

There are few companies that can continue a growth streak, especially after last year. However, the Berlin-based digital road freight forwarder Sennder is a company that has shown remarkable growth over the years. It is now continuing its growth streak as it raises €131.64M in its series D funding round. With the latest funding, the company’s valuation surpassed €820M.

Funding details

In its latest series D funding round, Sennder raised a notable €131.64M. Participants in the round included all of the company’s existing investors such as Accel, Lakestar, HV Capital, Project A and Scania, among others. With this funding round, the total amount raised by the company till date stands above €214M. The company plans to invest €82.3M from fresh funds into growing and developing its technologies.

The latest investment will also help Sennder expand its 200-people technology team and accelerate its research and development into automation, digitalisation, optimisation and decarbonisation of road freight. It will also channel funds towards expanding its business into new European markets and replicating the success it witnessed with Poste Italiane. Through the Italian joint venture, Sennder is said to have helped the business save 6% of its €100m annual spending and it aims to replicate the same with its other partners. 

David Nothacker, CEO and Co-Founder of sennder, says, “As a data-driven company, we contribute to making the logistics industry fit for a sustainable future; ensuring transparency, flexibility and efficiency in the distribution of goods. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of a digitalised logistics industry. Throughout 2020, we helped our carriers increase their profitability by enhancing operating margins by up to 80% during a challenging time.“

Enabling transparency and efficiency

Sennder is a road freight forwarder that banks on digitisation of the sector to provide its services. The company directly connects enterprise shippers with trucking companies via its proprietary technology, which is said to provide greater transparency and efficiency to both carriers and shippers. It also uses data to optimise route efficiency, which not only decreases the cost of transportation but also helps in reducing the environmental impact of road freight.

Sennder predicts that it will move over 1M truckloads this year, making it Europe’s leading digital road freight forwarder. Founded in 2015 by David Nothacker, Julius Köhler and Nicolaus Schefenacker, the company now has over 800 employees, which work across its seven international offices. It enables transport services for over 10 organisations listed in the German DAX 30, and 11 companies from the Euro Stoxx 50. 

The year 2020 was notable for Sennder as the company merged with French competitor Everoad in June and  acquired Uber Freight’s European business in September.

Startups – Silicon Canals

Berlin-based SaaS tool aims to let teams to debug faster; bags €1.5M funding

Bird Eats Bug

As per the University of Cambridge research, developers spend a lot of time debugging rather than developing new features. This is what the Berlin-based SaaS tool Bird Eats Bug wants to address. The tool helps companies save time on technical issues with its no-code solution and integrations with popular issue trackers. Now, the company has raised funding to make it easier for companies to debug.

Investment from Nauta Capital

To make the debugging faster, the company has raised €1.5M funding in a round led by Nauta Capital. It has announced that the investment will be used to help teams report and fix bugs faster.

Dan Makarov, co-founder and CEO of Bird Eats Bug said: “Having tested demand for the tool, we now want to focus on technology that will provide engineers with new ways to debug and allow testers or product managers to report issues without the need to reproduce them first. We will also integrate the product with more issue trackers in addition to Jira, Linear, and Trello to further reduce manual work.”

Guillem Sague, Partner at Nauta Capital commented: “We were impressed by the quality of the product and the design at such an early stage. We love the fact that we are the first partner of these product-focused entrepreneurs.”

What does Bird Eats Bug do?

Bird Eats Bug’s SaaS tool allows even non-technical people to create data-rich bug reports that can save companies expensive engineering time. The users can capture a screen recording of the issue and the browser extension automatically augments it with valuable technical data such as console logs, network errors, browser information, etc.

These reports let software engineers find the cause of the problem faster and avoid unnecessary back-and-forth communications. With these data-rich bug reports, the Berlin company intends to save companies $ 312B a year.

Over 25,000 bugs reported!

Before this investment, Bird Eats Bug that was established in 2020 was self-funded by its co-founders – Francisco Lourenço, Jacky Chung and Dan Makarov. They have previously worked with Google, BCG Digital Ventures, and Rocket Internet.

Since its debut, the Bird Eats Bug browser extension has seen more than 25,000 bugs reported by over 500 companies, especially in the U.S. and Europe.

Startups – Silicon Canals

Berlin-based Bird Eats Bug raises €1.5 million to help teams report and fix bugs faster 

Bird Eats Bug, the SaaS tool that helps companies save time on fixing technical issues has raised a €1.5 million seed round, led by Nauta Capital.  Founded in 2020, Bird Eats Bug has built a SaaS tool that allows even non-technical people to create data-rich bug reports that can save companies expensive engineering time. While…

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Berlin-based sennder raises €131.2 million to accelerate the digitalization of European trucking and drive expansion

German company sennder, one of Europe’s leading digital road freight forwarders, has today announced that it has raised around €131.2 million in Series D financing, surpassing a $ 1 billion (approx. €822 million)  valuation. New investors led the round, which also involved all of sennder’s existing investors, overall including Accel, Lakestar, HV Capital, Project A and…

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Berlin-based Delivery Hero launches its own VC fund; plans to deploy €50M initial capital in these sectors

Delivery Hero

A few days after raising €1.2B with a capital increase, Delivery Hero, a Berlin-based food delivery platform, has launched an independently managed early-stage venture capital fund – DX Ventures. With the fund, the German company is planning to invest in disruptive founder-led companies.

Duncan McIntyre, Managing Director of DX Ventures, says: “Being a family of founders, investing in entrepreneurship is an integral part of Delivery Hero’s journey. We understand the opportunities and challenges these startups are facing because we have gone through them ourselves. Delivery Hero has built a strong track record of investing in leading technology companies and gained a deep understanding of the global delivery and food industries. We pride ourselves on being able to offer support to founders and the companies we invest in and guide them on their path to lasting success.”

Plans to deploy €50M initial capital

At present, DX Ventures has an initial capital of €50M to invest in startups across various industries including, on-demand services, food technology, sustainable innovation, artificial intelligence, fintech, and logistics.

Duncan McIntyre, who joined Delivery Hero in 2014, heads DX Ventures. Notably, he has helped the company with its listing on the Frankfurt stock exchange in 2017, and expansion into the different markets as well through over 30 M&A transactions. 

Centred on building long term partnerships

The DX Ventures team is responsible for over €500M of minority investments across a wide range of industries, including global success stories such as Rappi, Glovo, and Impossible Foods. 

DX Venture says that the fund’s approach is centred on building long-term partnerships with founders to provide support throughout the lifecycle and actively create value.

Fundraising, deal approval and more

A few days back, the German food delivery company raised €1.25B by issuing 9.44 million new shares to institutional investors at €132/share, increasing its current share capital by around 4.7 per cent. 

Notably, the Berlin food delivery company also received regulatory approval of its $ 4B (approx €3.6B) Woowa Brothers takeover deal as well. The company expects to receive the final written approval and closing to occur in the first quarter of 2021.

Currently, Delivery Hero operates in 50 countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North Africa. It is valued at €24.5B and raised $ 6.6B (approx €5.4B) in funding to date. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, the company has more than 27,000 employees.

Startups – Silicon Canals

Berlin-based Spryker raises €106.09M in Series C round led by TVC; find out its current valuation, future plans

Spryker

In this day and age of digital living, most companies are shifting their services online. This year, due to the pandemic, accelerated this shift to digital. Berlin-based Spryker, which provides a full suite of e-commerce tools for businesses, witnessed notable growth. The company has raised a whopping €106.09M in its latest financing round. 

Funding details and expansion plans

The latest funding of €106.09M for Spryker was led by TVC, which is a well-known investor that has previously backed notable companies such as Airbnb, Netflix, Facebook, Spotify, among others. Gopi Vaddi, general partner at TCV will be joining Spryker´s board of directors. 

Previous backers of the startup, One Peak and Project A Ventures, also participated in the financing round. After the new funding round, the startup’s valuation exceeds €407.85M. 

The company aims to use the fresh funds to expand its B2B and Enterprise Marketplace products, and create a 3rd party technology AppStore. Spryker also intends to grow its international footprint while keeping its focus on the U.S., which apparently already accounts for 10% of its annual software revenue. 

With annual spending in digital commerce software pushing €5B, it is one of the most lucrative sectors to work in and Spryker aims to expand its market share in the segment. The company will also hire new team members. 

Spryker: The modern platform-as-a-service solution 

Spryker offers e-commerce PaaS solutions for its clients and it claims its offering to be the most advanced one with over 800 API-based modules. Founded in 2014 by Boris Lokschin and Alexander Graf, the company has over 150 global customers, employs over 190 people and has offices in three regions. 

The startup says it can accelerate the deployment, time-to-value, and transformation period of transactional business models. This is possible thanks to the company’s headless and API-based architecture, which works in tandem with a modular packaged business capabilities (PBC) design. The cloud-native PaaS delivery model opens up further growth avenues for businesses that have outgrown SaaS and on-premise single-tenant models. 

Spryker has also shown notable growth as its recurring revenue is claimed to have grown over 100% YoY. Its global team count is over 250 employees with over 35 nationalities, which work out of offices in Germany, USA, U.K., Netherlands, and Ukraine. Due to the pandemic, Spryker has offered remote-first options for its workforce. The company will expand its operations in the U.S. in early 2021.

Startups – Silicon Canals

Berlin-based cargo.one, a real-time booking engine for air cargo, raises €34.3 million as demand soars globally

cargo.one, the digital booking platform for air cargo, has raised around €34.3 million in Series B funding following a year of remarkable growth. The news comes just six months after an approx. €14.7 million Series A funding round and is fueled by growing demand for digital distribution as cost pressures and a capacity crunch hit…

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Berlin-based AUCTA lands €510K to revolutionize knowledge transfer in industries with 3D visualizations

AUCTA, a provider of digital industrial solutions in the field of 3D visualizations, closes 2020 with a six-figure financing round. The tech startup, founded by the trio Elías Alonso, Daniel Seiler and Henri Huselstein, develops software for immersive employee training and 3D instructions for industrial companies.  AUCTA is already active in the DACH region and…

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