Tech startups weekly: Funding for anti-counterfeiting tech startup; Apple acquires AI startup; new €650M fund, protein from chickpea; and more – Silicon Canals


Though the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t completely eased all over the world, several tech startups in Europe have already started focusing on their growth. Besides, many promising tech startups have also secured funding and are focused on their expansion.

European tech startups weekly

As a part of a weekly roundup, here is a list of some of the most important tech startups that have hit the headlines in Europe this week.

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Image credit: TechSee

Intelligent visual assistance for customer support

Israeli-based TechSee, an intelligent visual assistance company, has raised $30M (approx €25.6M) in its Series C round for funding co-led by OurCrowd, Salesforce Ventures, and TELUS Ventures with participation from Scale Venture Partners and Planven Entrepreneur Ventures.

TechSee was founded in 2015 by Eitan Cohen, Amir Yoffe, and Gabby Sarussi. It is a technology and technical support company that specialises in visual technology and augmented reality (AR). The company’s technology combines AI with deep machine learning, proprietary algorithms, and big data to deliver a scalable cognitive system that becomes smarter with every customer support interaction.

The company offers a smart visual interactive platform that enables its users to interact with their customers through a live virtual channel and guide them using AR and annotations.

Image credit: Authentic Vision

A startup that provides anti-counterfeiting solutions

An Austrian-based technology startup that provides anti-counterfeiting solutions, Authentic Vision, has raised $5M (approx €4.2M) in its Series B round of funding from Custos Privatstiftung (Austria), Dolby Family Ventures (USA), Gronova Vision (UAE), TAKKT AG (Germany), and business angels.

Founded in 2012 by Thomas Weiss, Authentic Vision provides anti-counterfeiting and authentication technologies to protect businesses as well as end consumers. The company’s holographic fingerprint tag, mobile authentication app, and real-time analytics capabilities protect physical assets from counterfeiting and alert brand and product owners to potential fraudulent activity.

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Image credit: Keyrock

Fintech startup raises €4.3M

Brussels-based fintech startup Keyrock has raised €4.3M in a fresh round of funding from SIX Fintech Ventures and MiddleGame Ventures. Existing investors Volta Ventures, Seeder Fund, and TNN Patrimony also participated in this round.

The company aims to accelerate its efforts to build efficient markets for digital assets.

Founded in 2917 by Jeremy De Groodt, Juan David Mendieta, and Kevin de Patoul, Keyrock develops crypto-asset financial infrastructure. It uses in-house algorithmic trading bots and high-frequency trading infrastructure to supply market making and liquidity services to the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Image credit: Pexabay

Apple acquires AI startup for €42.8M

USA-based technology company Apple has reportedly acquired an artificial intelligence startup Vilynx for approximately €42.8M, which Apple plans to use to improve Siri and other apps. Currently, the Vilynx website is inactive.

Founded in 2011, Vilynx provides APIs to develop dashboards that deliver information about how viewers consume videos, including which portions of the video have the most views and which are not getting attention. Thus Vilynx delivers a strong vertical solution for media and entertainment (digital content) that provides extremely relevant and unique information to maximize audience engagement and increase ad revenue.

According to the report, the acquisition will also deepen Apple’s AI expertise, as 50 engineers and data scientists will be joining from Vilynx, and the startup’s Barcelona office set to become one of Apple’s key AI research hub in Europe.

Image credit: EMH Partners

New €650M fund

European firm EMH Partners (EMH) has raised €650M for its Growth Fund II focused on midsize companies across the DACH region of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. 

The first Growth Fund, which was closed in 2017, was about €350M. EMH is thus expanding its successful medium-sized company strategy.

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EMH Partners is an owner-led investment firm by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. The private equity company has invested mainly in the DACH region and supports the growth of Mittelstand companies with capital, digitalisation, and expansion expertise. EMH Partners invests in market-leading, owner-managed companies to accompany them in partnership during the next growth phase. Currently, it manages more than €1B of committed capital.

Image credit: Toka

Israeli cyber defense company raises €21.4M

The Israeli-based cyber defense company, Toka, has raised $25M (approx €21.3M) in its Series B round of funding led by Eclipse Ventures. Existing investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Dell Technologies Capital, Entree Capital, and others also participated in this round.

Toka was founded in 2018 by Alon Kantor, Kfir Waldman, and Yaron Rosen. The company helps trusted government, law enforcement, and security agencies keep citizens safe and defend against terror and crime by developing cutting-edge and lawful intelligence-gathering tools.

According to the company, its software platforms are simple to use, scale quickly, and offer complete operational control to enable smarter, faster, and easier investigations and operations. 

By empowering agencies with these intelligence capabilities, Toka helps governments maintain a technological edge to enhance their operational effectiveness and save lives.

The raised capital will be used to further Toka’s efforts to develop lawful intelligence-gathering platforms and products and advise governments on building an integrated cyber defense.

Image credit: InnovoPro

Protein from chickpea

Based in Raanana, north of Tel Aviv InnovoPro, the plant-based ingredients innovator specialising in innovative chickpea proteins, has raised $18M (approx €15.3M) in a fresh round of funding.

The Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund, part of Rabobank’s investment arm Rabo Corporate Investments, joined InnovoPro’s B round funding.

The deal was led by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), Israel’s leading VC fund, and also included in its second closing ICOS Capital, collaborative VC firm, and iAngels, Israel’s influential angels investment platform.

InnovoPro was founded in 2015 by Dr. Ascher Shmulewitz. The company developed a proprietary extraction process to concentrate protein from chickpea, a functional protein that can be served as a clean label enabler for plant-based products including dairy-free yogurts, vegan ice cream, veggie burgers, and energy bars.

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The company claims to the only one in the world to develop and launch a revolutionary 70% protein concentrate from chickpeas, with exceptional properties of a neutral taste, high functionality, and high nutritional values. 

Image credit: Odaseva

Cloud Trust Platform for organisations

Odaseva, a San Francisco-based Enterprise Cloud Trust Platform for organisations with business-critical cloud deployments, has raised $25M (approx €21.3M) in its Series B round of funding. This brings the company’s total funding to $40M (approx €34.2M).

The round was led by Eight Roads Ventures with new investor F-Prime Capital as well as participation from existing investors Partech, Salesforce Ventures, and Serena.

The company will use the funds to further develop its core Enterprise Cloud Trust Platform offering, supporting platforms including Salesforce, Microsoft 365, and more. It will also accelerate hiring in its San Francisco, Sydney, and Paris offices. Besides, the company will also invest in an ecosystem of users and partners, extending the long-standing commitment to develop & teach the best practices of enterprise cloud data protection.

Launched in 2012 by Sovan Bin, Odaseva is a unified cloud data protection, compliance, and operations platform for enterprises running Salesforce. The company delivers enterprise-class data governance, providing data protection (backup and recovery, archiving, governor limits monitoring), data compliance for regulatory requirements such as GDPR and data operations (Salesforce DX data extensions).

Featured image credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

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