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Programming no-code robots, AI in fintech and CRM systems, digital verification  -  an overview of new rounds of successful startups

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Startup Jedi

We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.

Last week was really rich in bulk deals: Payfone, a service for user identification, raised $ 100 million of H round. A tool for automatic programming of robots Wandelbots raised $ 30 million Series B. Outreach — an AI startup to automate sales raised $ 20 million in F round, and the fintech startup Pagaya raised D round at the rate of $ 102 million. What is remarkable about these deals? Will talk about it in today’s review.


1. The Dresden-based startup Wandelbots for programming no-code robots raised $ 30 million of Series B round (Source)


Wandelbots startup from Germany, founded in 2017, creates a solution that transforms the industry: with the help of their TracePen device, the user can train robots to work on the necessary tasks without programming skills — based on examples and using smart input devices. During the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, interest in startups has grown significantly, as many large suppliers and manufacturers have faced a real collapse in their production chains: the processes that were previously given to intermediaries abroad, now need to be performed independently.

In early summer, the startup raised $ 30 million for global expansion in round B, the deal was led by a large venture fund with offices in Europe and Israel named 83North. In total, 8 investors participated in the round, among other funds that joined the transaction were M12, Next47 as well as Paua Ventures, EQT Venture and Atlantic Labs, who funded the startup in previous rounds. The total investment in a startup today amounts to $ 38.2 million, according to the Crunchbase project data.

What does it mean? Do you think programming robots is a difficult process? Another project proved that programmers for programming robots are not needed at all, now anyone can do it. What started in schools as a lite option for learning will now become standard. This is not the first project with visual programming, and we see that the future of programming is not coding. Demand for robotics is demonstrated, for example, by one of the Wandelbots’ competitors — Vocarious, which has already raised more than $ 130 million, among its investors are such famous names of the Valley as Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and Jeff Bezos.


2. US-Israeli based fintech AI startup Pagaya raises $ 102 million investments of Series D round (Source)


Pagaya startup, with headquarters in New York and Tel Aviv, uses artificial intelligence to select investments for clients and manage credit risks. There are more than $ 1.6 billion in startup management — banks, insurance companies, pension funds, asset managers and national welfare funds. The total volume of ABS (asset-backed securities) issued by the company for one and a half years exceeded $ 1 billion.

The startup’s D round, which amounted to $ 102 million, was sponsored by Singapore Sovereign Fund GIS (lead investor), Aflac Global Ventures, Poalim Capital Markets, Viola, Oak HC / FT, Harvey Golub (former CEO of American Express), Clal Insurance and Siam Commercial Bank. Since its founding in 2016, the startup has already raised $ 147 million in investments. Thanks to the new round, the company plans to educate the startup’s team, strengthen the team of data Scientists and introduce new asset classes: consumer credit, real estate, car loans and mortgages.

What does it mean? Giving money to the management of artificial intelligence is not the future, but the present. Institutional investors, banks, pension funds and private assets are ready to use any tool that will increase profitability and are happy to welcome the emergence of new solutions on the market. The real-time artificial intelligence of a startup is looking for the most profitable and at the same time safe options for placing money.


3. Outreach AI toolkit for sales raises $ 50 million investments of Round F at $ 1.33 Billion (Source)


Outreach, a startup from Seattle, founded in 2011, is a whole set of tools for sales managers to help find and contact customer representatives, build communications with them in order to successfully close deals. The company’s latest product is Kaia (from knowledge AI assistant). More than 400,000 businesses already use startup tools, including major players such as Adobe, Tableau, DoorDash, Splunk, DocuSign and SAP. This makes Outreach one of the leaders in its market.

Strong market positions allowed the startup to successfully raise a $ 50 million F round investment from Sands Capital (the lead investor in the transaction), Salesforce Ventures, OPerator Collective, Lone Pine Capital, Spark Capital, Meritech Capital Partners, Trinity Ventures, Mayfield and Sapphire Ventures. The startup will direct a new round of financing to expand its geographical focus. It will open new offices in Europe, in Asia as well as to more actively introduce artificial intelligence technologies into its products. Currently, the total amount of startup financing is $ 289 million.

What does it mean?: Now, when another project that is designed to increase sales comes to me, but the startup itself has few sales, this causes a lot of questions. Tools, assistants, RPAs boldly enter CRM and increase the percentage of sales. We are moving towards a time when anyone involved in sales will have very strong tools that will allow them to quickly find customers, automate correspondence with them and contribute to the speedy closing of the transaction.


4. Payfone digital verification and identification platform raises $ 100 million of H Round (Source)


Founded in 2008, Payfone is a B2B2C platform that integrates with mobile operators and, based on their data, provides an API for verifying user information for verification. In 2019, the startup analyzed 20 billion authentications (mainly in banking and medical companies).

Apax Digital leads the new $ 100 million deal with Sandbox Insurtech Ventures, Ralph de la Vega, former vice president of AT & T, MassMutual Ventures, Synchrony, Blue Venture Fund, Wellington Management LLP, and former LexisNexis CEO Andrew Prosez. Investments will be directed to include more machine learning in the algorithms, strategic acquisitions to expand the company’s technological stack and expand to 35 geographical regions.

What does it mean? Imagine a world where you use your phone with hundreds of programs and completely forget what a login and password are, because it is an atavism to share your data so that the service identifies you. The future is clear for smart systems, where they immediately understand who at the other end of the connection and the modern quality of recognition will give a better result than the old authentication methods. This niche is actively developing today, in 2019, experts estimated the size of the authentication and verification services market at $ 6 billion with a forecast of growth by 2024 to $ 12.8 billion.

23 Jun 2020


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