Northspyre Raises $7.5M to Automate Workflows and Unlock Data for Real Estate Development

While working as a commercial real estate developer, William Sankey was convinced there was a better way to manage complex, multi-million-dollar projects that didn’t involve paper-based workflows, data entry, filing cabinets, and “gut feelings”. He cofounded Northspyre, a cloud intelligence platform that automates workflow and reveals data insights for the CRE industry. AlleyWatch caught up with Sankey to learn more about the company’s product, traction, and recent funding round.
AlleyWatch

Industrial Virtual Assistant Startup Datch Raises $3.2M for “Voice-Visual” AI – Voicebot.ai

Industrial Virtual Assistant Startup Datch Raises $ 3.2M for “Voice-Visual” AI  Voicebot.ai
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Bonusly, the platform for employee recognition, raises $9 million Series A

Bonusly, a platform that involves the entire organization in recognizing employees and rewarding them, closed on a $ 9 million Series A financing round led by Access Venture Partners. Next Frontier Capital, Operator Partners, and existing investor FirstMark Capital also participated in the round.

Bonusly launched in 2013 when cofounder and CEO Raphael Crawford-Marks saw the opportunity to reinvent the way employers and colleagues recognize and reward their employees/coworkers.

“I knew that, in order to be successful, companies would be shifting their approach to employee experience and I thought software could enable that shift,” said Crawford-Marks. “Bonusly was this elegant idea of empowering employees to give each other timely frequent and meaningful recognition that would not only benefit employees because they would feel recognized but also surface previously hidden information to the entire company about who was working with whom and on what and what strengths they were bringing to the workplace.”

Most employers use year-end bonuses and performance reviews to motivate workers, with some employers providing some physical rewards.

Bonusly thinks recognition should happen year round. The platform works with the employers on their overall budget for recognition and rewards, and breaks that down into ‘points’ that are allotted to all employees at the organization.

These employees can give out points to other coworkers, whether they’re direct reports or managers or peers, at any time throughout the year. Those points translate to a monetary value that can be redeemed by the employee at any time, whether it’s through PayPal as a cash reward or with one of Bonusly’s vendor partners, including Amazon, Tango Card, and Cadooz. Bonusly also partners with nonprofit organizations to let employees redeem their points via charitable donation.

In fact, Crawford-Marks noted that Bonusly users just crossed the $ 500K mark for total donations, and have donated more than $ 100k to the WHO in six weeks.

Bonusly integrates with several collaboration platforms including Gmail and Slack to give users the flexibility to give points in whatever venue they choose. Bonusly also has a feed, not unlike social media sites like Twitter, that show employees who has received recognition in real time.

The company has also built in some technical features to help with usability. For example, Bonusly understands the social organization of a company, surfacing the most relevant folks in the point feed based on who employees have given or received points to/from in the past. In a company with tens of thousands of employees, this keeps Bonusly relevant.

Bonusly has also incorporated tools for employers, including an auto-scale button for employers with workers in multiple jurisdictions or companies. The button allows employers to scale up or down the point allotments in different geographies based on cost of living.

There are also privacy controls on Bonusly that allow high-level employees and leadership to give each other recognition for projects that may not be widely known about at the company yet, like say for an acquisition that was completed.

Bonusly says that peer-to-peer recognition is more powerful than manager-only recognition, saying its nearly 36 percent more likely to have better financial outcomes.

The company also cites research that says that a happy workforce raises business productivity by more than 30 percent.

Bonusly competes with Kazoo and Motivocity, and Crawford-Marks says that the biggest differentiation factor is participation.

“We set a very high bar for how we measure participation and engagement in the platform,” he said. “You’ll see other companies claiming really high participation rates but typically if you dig into that they’re talking about getting recognition every six months or every year or just logging in, rather than giving recognition every single month, month over month.”

He noted that 75 percent of employees on average give recognition in the first month of deployment with an organization, and that number gradually increases over time. By the two-year mark, 80 percent of employees are giving recognition every month.

Bonusly has raised a total of nearly $ 14 million in funding since inception.

Startups – TechCrunch

AWS-focused consulting firm CirrusHQ raises €446k to continue its expansion across the UK

CirrusHQ, a leading Amazon Web Services (AWS) consulting firm, today announced it has secured a €446k growth capital funding plus the appointment of Alastair Mills as the company’s new Chairman. The UK-based company will use the fresh capital to further expand its presence in the UK, most notably in the education sector where it is the first and only UK Consulting Partner to hold the ‘AWS Education Competency’ and the ‘Well Architected Framework’ certification. CirrusHQ also specialises in public sector and enterprise deployments.

The investment round was led by Alastair Mills and Ronnie Smith. The pair have worked together previously, having co-founded managed services provider Six Degrees Group in 2011, which was acquired by Charlesbank Capital Partners in 2015. Both investors have now joined CirrusHQ’s board of directors, with Mills taking on the role of Chairman and Smith adding his 25 plus years of financial expertise to the firm’s leadership. CirrusHQ also appointed Daemonn Brody, who has previously held senior roles in the cloud and managed services industry, as its Managing Director.

Founded in 2011 and with offices in Edinburgh, Oxford and London, CirrusHQ focuses exclusively on the AWS platform and its experience and comprehensive levels of certification mean it is uniquely positioned to help its customers maximise the performance, security and cost-effectiveness of their AWS workloads. Within the education sector, in particular, as schools and universities are temporarily closed, many are relying on cloud technology and tools to help students continue to learn online.

James Lucas, CEO and founder of CirrusHQ commented: “Our expertise and deep insights into the AWS cloud has enabled our clients to innovate and exploit the potential of the public cloud. The UK edtech sector in particular is thriving as organisations put in place strategies to scale without compromising cybersecurity. We are delighted that Alastair and Ronnie are joining the Board to help CirrusHQ in the next phase of our ambitious growth plans.”

Alastair Mills, the company’s new chairman, added: “We are witnessing an unprecedented demand for cloud computing and AWS is the undisputed global leader in the market. With its deep understanding of the vertical markets it serves, together with an unrivalled technical expertise, CirrusHQ is perfectly positioned to take full advantage of the business opportunity afforded by the cloud. I’m very excited to be joining the team on this journey.”

EU-Startups

Valencia-based Zeleros raises €7 million to lead the development of hyperloop in Europe

The Spanish startup Zeleros Hyperloop has just completed a financing round worth more than €7 million. Founded in 2016, the young company starts a new and important phase in the development of its unique version of hyperloop, the “fifth mode of transport”, the best alternative for the future to connect efficiently and sustainably long-distance routes for passenger and cargo transportation. Connections like Paris to Berlin could be reduced to less than an hour.

The fresh capital comes from Altran, Grupo Red Eléctrica and also strategic investors at national and international level, including among others Goldacre Ventures (UK), Road Ventures (Switzerland), Plug and Play (USA), and the Spanish Angels Capital and MBHA. The new funds will be used to impulse further development of Zeleros’ hyperloop vehicle and its core technologies, which place them as the best alternative to cover efficiently routes between 400 and 1,500 kilometers in distance, with special benefits such as the reduction of the overall infrastructure costs and the operation at safer pressures for passengers.

Earlier this year, we mentioned Zeleros as one of 10 promising cleantech startups to watch in 2020 and beyond. In 2019, Zeleros was one of the winners of the EIT Awards.

Commenting on the announcement, David Pistoni, CEO at Zeleros, said: “For Zeleros it is key to have partners of this relevance and expertise onboard. Their support will accelerate the development of our technologies, unlocking the path towards hyperloop-based routes and corridors in Europe and worldwide. These new funds will boost a major milestone of developing and demonstrating our technologies in a real environment of operation, bringing Zeleros closer to a multibillion market opportunity to be captured in the next decades.”

Pilar Rodríguez, Strategy, Innovation and R&D Director at Altran Spain, participating as lead investor, added: “As a world-leading engineering company, Altran acts as a technological catalyst in various strategic sectors. By supporting Zeleros, Altran is accelerating disruptive innovation in a sector, such as mobility, that is reinventing itself. With technologies like hyperloop we are changing the future of mobility. Altran has been collaborating with Zeleros since 2017 and will now contribute all of its experience and multidisciplinary talent to help the company accelerate the development of hyperloop technology.”

The next step will be the deployment of the European Hyperloop Development Centre in Spain, including a 3-km test-track to demonstrate the effectiveness of its technologies at high speed. The aim of this project is to accelerate the development of the hyperloop industry in Europe, by creating an ecosystem of international industrial, technological and institutional partners.

“Hyperloop is a great development that requires the participation of first-class players and that is why from the beginning we decided to approach our project by creating a collaborative ecosystem. We combine Zeleros’ talented team and technology with the global experience provided by leading organizations in sectors such as railways, aeronautics, infrastructure and electrification” says Zeleros CEO David Pistoni.

EU-Startups

Africa Roundup: DHL invests in MallforAfrica, Zipline launches in US, Novastar raises $200M – TechCrunch

Africa Roundup: DHL invests in MallforAfrica, Zipline launches in US, Novastar raises $ 200M  TechCrunch
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Israeli Agtech Startup Saturas Raises $3M For Its Precision Irrigation Management System | Environment News – NoCamels – Israeli Innovation News

Israeli Agtech Startup Saturas Raises $ 3M For Its Precision Irrigation Management System | Environment News  NoCamels – Israeli Innovation News
“startups when:1d” – Google News