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SOGEA will Provide Fresh Wave of <b>VoIP</b> Sales

Google News - VoIP - 3 hours 29 min ago
“SOGEA is going to accelerate VoIP adoption and be a key mechanism in terms of supporting UC applications. Clearly, with that 2025 date in mind, ...
Categories: VoIP News

Digital.com Announces Best Business Phone Services of 2020

Google News - VoIP - 3 hours 52 min ago
Leading review guide helps small businesses discover reliable VoIP phone systems with standard and advance features. SEATTLE (PRWEB) ...
Categories: VoIP News

N26 launches mid-tier subscription plan for €4.90 per month

Startup News - 3 hours 55 min ago

Challenger bank N26 is adding a third subscription product called N26 Smart. N26 Smart is designed to be a mid-tier subscription plan with advanced banking features but without a travel insurance package.

In Europe, in addition to the free plan, N26 already provides two subscription tiers called N26 You and N26 Metal. N26 You costs €9.90 per month and comes with higher limits, such as five free ATM withdrawals instead of three and free withdrawals in foreign currencies.

With an N26 You account, you can create sub-accounts (N26 Spaces), share them with other N26 users or use them to save money. As an N26 You subscriber, you also get a travel insurance package with medical travel insurance, trip and flight insurance and more. You can also access some partner offers.

N26 Metal is the most expensive plan and costs €16.90 per month. In addition to everything in N26 You, you get car rental insurance when you’re abroad and phone insurance. As the name suggests, you also get a metal card.

The new N26 Smart subscription costs €4.90 and works well for people who don’t need travel insurance. With an N26 Smart subscription, you can create up to ten sub-accounts. You get five free ATM withdrawals per month. You can also call N26 support directly in addition to in-app support chat.

N26 is launching a new round-up feature for N26 Smart users. It lets you round each purchase up to the nearest Europe and save it in a separate sub-account. N26 Smart account also access colorful debit cards — the same colors as N26 You.

This is just a first step as N26 plans to revamp its subscription products altogether. In the near future, N26 You will become N26 International. There will be more features focused on borderless banking. N26 Metal will become N26 Unlimited.

As for the free N26 Standard account, the company wants to focus on digital cards. Some users are going to switch to the N26 Smart plan to keep some of the features that they’ve been using with a free account. That move should help the company’s bottom line.

Image Credits: N26

Categories: Business News

Global Voice over Internet Protocol (<b>VoIP</b>) Services Market Report 2027, Share, Product Type ...

Google News - VoIP - 5 hours 10 min ago
The report is a systematic compilation of crucial information defining various elements of Global Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Services Market ...
Categories: VoIP News

YC-backed Cashfree raises $35.3 million for its payments platform

Startup News - 6 hours 24 min ago

Cashfree, an Indian startup that offers a wide-range of payments services to businesses, has raised $35.3 million in a new financing round as the profitable firm looks to broaden its offering.

The Bangalore-based startup’s Series B was led by London-headquartered private equity firm Apis Partners (which invested through its Growth Fund II), with participation from existing investors Y Combinator and Smilegate Investments. The new round brings the startup’s to-date raise to $42 million.

Cashfree kickstarted its journey in 2015 as a solution for restaurants in Bangalore that needed an efficient way for their delivery personnel to collect cash from customers.

Akash Sinha and Reeju Datta, the founders of Cashfree, did not have any prior experience with payments. When their merchants asked if they could build a service to accept payments online, the founders quickly realized that Cashfree could serve a wider purpose.

In the early days, Cashfree also struggled to court investors, many of whom did not think a payments processing firm could grow big — and do so fast enough. But the startup’s fate changed after Y Combinator accepted its application, even though the founders had missed the deadline and couldn’t arrive to join the batch on time. Y Combinator later financed Cashfree’s seed round.

Setu raises $15M to help developers connect with banks to offer Indians ‘sachet-sized’ financial products

Fast-forward five years, Cashfree today offers more than a dozen products and services and helps over 55,000 businesses disburse salary to employees, accept payments online, set up recurring payments and settle marketplace commissions.

Some of its customers include financial services startup Cred, online grocer BigBasket, food delivery platform Zomato, insurers HDFC Ergo and Acko and travel ticketing service provider Ixigo. The startup works with several banks and also offers integrations with platforms such as Shopify, PayPal and Amazon Pay.

Based on its offerings, Cashfree today competes with scores of startups, but it has an edge — if not many. Cashfree has been profitable for the past three years, Sinha, who serves as the startup’s chief executive, told TechCrunch in an interview.

“Cashfree has maintained a leadership position in this space and is now going through a period of rapid growth fuelled by the development of unique and innovative products that serve the needs of its customers,” Udayan Goyal, co-founder and a managing partner at Apis, said in a statement.

The startup processed over $12 billion in payments volumes in the financial year that ended in March. Sinha said part of the fresh fund will be deployed in R&D so that Cashfree can scale its technology stack and build more services, including those that can digitize more offline payments for its clients.

India’s Razorpay becomes unicorn after new $100 million funding round

Cashfree is also working on building cross-border payments solutions to explore opportunities in emerging markets, he said.

“We still see payments as an evolving industry with its own challenges and we would be investing in next-gen payments as well as banking tech to make payments processing easier and more reliable. With the solid foundation of in-house technologies, tech-driven processes and in-depth industry knowledge, we are confident of growing Cashfree to be the leader in the payments space in India and internationally,” he said.

Categories: Business News

Business <b>VoIP</b> Services Market Survey Report 2020 – Stats and Forecasts to 2026

Google News - VoIP - 8 hours 55 min ago
Latest Report Available at Advance Market Analytics, “Business VoIP Services Market” provides pin-point analysis for changing competitive dynamics ...
Categories: VoIP News

Will Brazil’s Roaring 20s see the rise of early-stage startups?

Startup News - 11 hours 3 min ago
Matheus Tavares Dos Santos Contributor Share on Twitter Matheus is a hedge funds investment analyst for a major global investment manager and technology provider. In prior roles, he was an associate at a LatAm-focused venture capital firm and worked in corporate venture with regional banks and the Brazilian stock exchange.

Since 2007, the number of publicly listed companies in Brazil has decreased from 400 to just a little over 300.

In the past six years there were only 21 IPOs — an average of just 3.5 public exits per year; by 2019, even Iran had more listed companies than Brazil. Global capital markets are heated given pandemic stimulus packages and low interest rates worldwide, but in Brazil the boom comes with a special feature: in Q3 2020, there were 25 primary and secondary equity offerings, and this year is on track to be the most active in history both in number of deals and dollar volume.

The most important event, however, is not necessarily the reversal of a shrinking public market but the fact that startups are issuing stocks for the first time, a dramatic change for a market previously dominated by industries like commodities and utilities.

Growth versus value: Revert the shrinking market and internet companies

Not only is Brazil’s IPO market roaring, the waitlist is even more impressive: More than 47 companies have filed at CVM (equivalent to the the Securities and Exchange Commission) to issue equity and are waiting for approval. In other words, the IPO is equivalent to more than 15% of the number of publicly listed companies. In the first half of October, six companies were approved to issue equity. Obviously construction and retail names are still predominant as they take advantage of the lower rates, but the main novelty are new entrants in internet and technology.

In the past decade, there were 56 IPOs in Brazil and only two were in the software space, both in 2013. That is a reflection of the profile of the investors who dominate local markets, which are used to allocating assets to companies in sectors like oil, paper and cellulose, mining or utilities. Historically, publicly listed companies in the country were value plays, as few of them had significant exposure to the domestic market and derived a significant share of revenue from commodities and exports.

As a result, companies that focused on the domestic market or on growth were never quite embraced by local investors. Many investors deploying capital in Brazil were mostly foreign and very risk-averse to the dynamics of the domestic market; in 2007, when Brazil went through a similar IPO boom, 70 percent of the demand for equity offerings came from foreign investors.

Along with an undervalued currency, growth companies struggled to find attractive valuations on the local exchange. As a result, growth companies such as Stone Payments, Netshoes, PagSeguro, Arco Educação and XP Investimentos did their IPOs in New York where they attained higher valuations. It’s ironic that there were three times more IPOs of Brazilian growth companies in the U.S. in the past five years than there were in the domestic market in the last decade.

Roaring 20s: New investors and massive portfolio relocations
Categories: Business News

New to Intent Based Networks?

Google News - VoIP - 12 hours 59 min ago
by Gary Audin VoIP phones, VoIP headsets, and other VoIP related products are still popular. You need a value added distributor that is better than ...
Categories: VoIP News

7 things we just learned about Sequoia’s European expansion plans

Startup News - 13 hours 1 min ago

Sequoia Capital, the renowned Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has backed companies like Apple, Google, Dropbox, Airbnb and Stripe, recently disclosed that it had opened its first office in Europe. To staff up, it hired partner Luciana Lixandru away from rival Accel Partners.

Even without an official European presence, Sequoia has quietly operated in the region for more than a decade, first investing in Klarna in 2010. Other Europe-founded companies in its portfolio include Baaima, CEGX, Charlotte Tilbury, Dashlane, Evervault, FON Wireless, Front, Graphcore, Mapillary, Metaswitch Networks, n8n, Remote, Skyscanner, Songkick, Tessian, Tourlane, UiPath, Unity and 6Winderkinder (Wunderlist).

Yet, it is only now that the VC firm is putting people on the ground here in Europe, starting with an office in London that has a remit to invest across the continent.

Working alongside Lixandru is junior investor George Robson, who joined from Revolut. Most recently, Sequoia recruited Zoe Jervier Hewitt from EQT as head of talent in Europe. And finally, Matt Miller, a Sequoia U.S. veteran, is also part of the European efforts and plans to relocate next year, while I also understand that Sequoia’s Doug Leone will be spending a lot of his time in Europe.

Last week at the virtual “Node by Slush” event, I interviewed Lixandru and Miller and teased out some important details about Sequoia’s plans.

1. Sequoia now believes Europe is producing market leaders ahead of Silicon Valley

“There has been this evolution and maturity of the tech ecosystem that has been really meaningful, that has attracted us to want to put down boots on the ground and be more invested in Europe than ever before,” said Sequoia partner Matt Miller.

“One change is in the attitudes of young people. Europe has always been this place where there’s been incredible talent coming out of the computer science programs, across the universities across the continent and the U.K., and these young people previously, were going into careers in investment banking and consulting are bigger conglomerates. And now that those young people are interested in startups and technology careers, that’s fueling a lot of great ideas and a lot of great talent.

“There was a long time this question of, when will there be a $10 billion plus startup, and now there’s multiple of them across the continent. And now the question has really changed: When will there be the next hundred billion dollar startup in Europe, and I think it’s just an evolution over time.

“We find ourselves getting pulled more and more. So when … we want to invest in the best AI semiconductor company in the world, we looked at them in China, Israel and Europe. And the one we wanted to invest in was Graphcore, in Bristol [in the U.K.]. And when we looked … [to] invest in the best process automation company in the world, we looked at automation anywhere in California … and we looked at companies all over the world, and the one we wanted to invest in was UiPath in Romania. And that is increasingly becoming the case.”

“To some extent, success breeds success, too,” said Lixandru. “I think role models are really powerful. And the fact that there have been these category-leading companies created out of Europe, but that are winning on a global scale, like Spotify, Adyen and UiPath … I think that’s really inspirational to the next generation of founders. And I think that has helped a lot.”

2. The firm will make investments out of the same fund as the U.S. and Canada

“We work as one partnership across two geographies, and we invest from the same pool of capital across both geographies,” explained Lixandru. “And the rationale behind that is exactly what Max talked about. We want to be able to partner with category leading companies, and if they start in Paris, or in Stockholm, or in San Francisco, for us, it does not make a difference. We want to partner with them early. And we want to be able to help them on the ground early … whether they start here in Europe or in the U.S.”

Related to this, Sequoia will share carry — the fund’s profits — with partners across the U.S. and Europe, regardless of where partners reside or where the deal was sourced.

“One of the things that I love the most about Sequoia having been here close to nine years now is the way that we operate is very, very team centric, and that everybody is compensated the same amount in a fund, whether or not it is the investment that they lead or the investment that their partner led,” said Miller. “So when we make an investment, we lock arms together as a team, and we work collectively to help that company be successful.”

Miller said portfolio companies in Europe also get to work with Sequoia’s operational supporting partners in the U.S., too. “And the economic model is one that supports that,” he said.

3. Sequoia will continue building out a team on the ground in Europe
Categories: Business News

Business <b>VoIP</b> Services Market Demand, Booming Worldwide and Strategic Outlook to 2025 ...

Google News - VoIP - 13 hours 7 min ago
The Business VoIP Services Market report profiles the following companies, which includes: – AT&T, RingCentral, 8×8, Vonage Business, Intermedia, ...
Categories: VoIP News

Phone Card Market Major Manufacturers, Trends, Sales, Supply, Demand, Share Analysis to 2026

Google News - VoIP - 13 hours 59 min ago
... the global like – UNIVERSAL CALLING INC., SpeedyPin.com, Birch Communications, VoIP Softswitch, Matrix Cellular (International) Services Ltd., ...
Categories: VoIP News

Founders seeking their first check need a fundraising sales funnel

Startup News - 14 hours 42 min ago
Nathan Beckord Contributor Share on Twitter Nathan Beckord is CEO of Foundersuite.com, a software platform for raising capital and managing investors that has helped entrepreneurs raise over $2 billion since 2016. He is also the host of Foundersuite’s How I Raised It podcast. More posts by this contributor

Milana Lewis, CEO and co-founder of music tech startup Stem, started the fundraising process long before she actually asked any investors for money (dig the well before you’re thirsty — it’s the best way). She recommends that other founders do the same.

Ten years ago, Milana started working at United Talent Agency (UTA), one of the world’s leading talent agencies. When tasked with finding the best tools and technologies that UTA’s clients could use to self-distribute their work, she discovered a glaring gap.

“There were all these tools built for the distribution of content, monetization of content and audience development,” she says. “The last piece missing was the financial aspect.” The entertainment industry desperately needed a platform that would help artists manage the financial side of their business — and that’s how the idea for Stem was born.

Because UTA had its own investment branch, called UTA Ventures, Milana’s job also introduced her to some brilliant investors. Years later, when it was time to fundraise for Stem, those connections played a pretty big role.

In an episode of How I Raised It, Milana shared how Stem has landed some superstar investors and raised a little under $22 million.

1. Bring investors along for the ride — from the very start

Milana’s involvement with UTA Ventures exposed her to the investor experience and put her in the same room as people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Jonathon Triest from Ludlow Ventures, Anthony Saleh from Wndrco and Scooter Braun.

After meeting them the first time, she made sure to nurture those relationships, and she was “honest and vulnerable” about the fact that she wanted to be an entrepreneur one day.

“It’s amazing how much people will help and support you along in that journey,” Milana says. Investors “get excited about making early-stage investments because they want to identify that person before anyone else does.”

As her idea for Stem came together, she shared that with them, too. Over the course of a year, she provided regular updates on her vision, like how she was building out her team, and she also called them for occasional advice.

By the time she approached some of them for funding, she didn’t even need to present a full pitch. By then, they already knew enough about Stem, and about Milana as a businesswoman. Her pitch meeting with Gary Vaynerchuk — the first person to invest — ended up being just 15 minutes long.

“I brought people on my entrepreneurial journey in the beginning,” Milana says. “The biggest piece of advice I could give is to start raising a year before you start raising. Start building relationships and data points.”

Image Credits: Nathan Beckord (opens in a new window)

2. Become best friends with systems and deadlines

For each round, Milana put together a lead list — a list of potential investors who she either met socially or through business. Each time, she wanted to have at least 100 names on this list.

Categories: Business News

Intellicom supercharges online collaboration by bringing direct call routing and integrated ...

Google News - VoIP - 15 hours 18 min ago
... call routing and breakout to VoIP and traditional PSTN, benefitting from significant reductions in outbound and high volume inbound call rates to and ...
Categories: VoIP News

Mental health startups are raising spirits and venture capital

Startup News - 16 hours 7 min ago

A spate of startups focused on mental health recently made enough noise as a group that they caught the eye of the Equity podcast crew. Sadly, the segment we’d planned to discuss this topic was swept away by a blizzard of IPO filings that piled up like fresh snow.

But in preparation, I reached out to CB Insights for new data on the mental health startup space that they were kind enough to supply. So this morning we’re going to dig into it.

Regular readers of The Exchange will recall that we last dug into overall wellness venture capital investment in August, noting that it was mental health startups inside the vertical that were seeing the most impressive results.

The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. Read it every morning on Extra Crunch, or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.

I wanted to know what had happened even more recently.

After all, Spring Health recently raised $76 million for its service that helps companies offer their workers mental health benefits, Mantra Health disclosed that it has raised $3.2 million to help with college-age mental health issues and Joon Care announced $3.5 million in new capital to “grow its remote therapy service for teens and young adults,” per GeekWire.

Sticking to theme, Headway just raised $32 million to build a platform that “helps people search for and engage therapists who accept insurance for payments,” according to our own reporting, and online therapy provider Talkspace is pursuing a sale — it looks like an active time in the mental health startup realm.

So, let’s shovel into the latest data and see if the signals that we are seeing really do reflect more total investment into mental health startups, or if we’re overindexing off a few news items.

The state of mental health venture investing

To prepare the ground, let’s talk about the general state of healthcare investing in the venture capital world. Per CB Insights’ Q3 healthcare VC report, venture capital deal volume and venture capital dollar volume reached new record highs in the sector during Q3 2020.

The quarter’s 1,539 rounds and $21.8 billion in invested capital were each comfortably ahead of prior records set in Q2 2018 for round volume (1,431) and Q2 2020 for dollar volume ($18.4 billion) for healthcare startups.

Categories: Business News

Global <b>VoIP</b> Desktop Phone Market 2020 : Industry Share, Size, Price, Segmentation, Upcoming ...

Google News - VoIP - 16 hours 10 min ago
VoIP Desktop Phone Market report evaluates key factors that affected market growth and with the help of previous figures this report elaborates current ...
Categories: VoIP News

Video mentoring platform Superpeer raises $8M and launches paid channels

Startup News - 16 hours 12 min ago

Superpeer, a startup that helps experts share and monetize their knowledge online, is announcing that it has raised $8 million in additional funding.

As I wrote in March, the Superpeer platform allows experts to promote, schedule and charge for one-on-one video calls with anyone who might want to ask for their advice.

In addition to announcing funding, the startup is also moving beyond one-on-one sessions by launching paid channels, where experts can charge a subscription fee for access to larger group sessions with video and chat. Co-founder and CEO Devrim Yasar suggested that channels allow Superpeer experts to be more accessible, reaching a larger audience by hosting sessions that cost less money to watch.

“It can be hard to say, ‘Hi, I’m Anthony Ha, if you want to talk to me, my hourly rate is $500,’ ” Yasar said. (To be clear: I would never say that.) “But if you have a channel where anyone can subscribe for $1 or $5, that makes you feel better that you are accessible.”

Plus, you can still offer (and charge more for) one-on-one meetings, say for subscribers who still have “burning questions” after a channel session.

Superpeer raises $2M to help influencers and experts make money with one-on-one video calls

In the midst of the pandemic, we’re seeing a widespread embrace of online mentoring and content as a new source of revenue. Last week, for example, Squarespace launched a new paywall feature called Member Areas, and I’ve also written about another video mentoring platform called Prox.

Yasar acknowledged that things are getting pretty competitive, but he said that Superpeer is trying to build the most attractive brand for public intellectuals and thought leaders — he described the vision (half-jokingly, half-proudly) as “OnlyFans for brains.”

“If you are an intellectual, if you have an audience, if you are a TED speaker with 30 million views on your video, you’ve never had a platform to really monetize that audience,” Yasar said. “All you could do is maybe write a book and sell that, you could be a guest at someone else’s event [but not much else]. Those people don’t want to go to YouTube or Instagram, that’s not the brand that they associate themselves with.”

Beyond branding, Yasar said that Superpeer has also worked hard on the technology side to create a lightweight video experience in the browser.

The new round comes from Acrew Capital, Audacious Ventures, Homebrew, Moxxie Ventures, Brianne Kimmel, Scott Belsky and OnDeck, and it brings Superpeer’s total funding to $10 million.

Yasar said the startup will be expanding its growth, partnership and revenue teams. It also will be offering financial support for experts through a brand ambassador program, though the company is still working out the details.

And if you’d like to see the platform in action, I’ll also be talking to Yasar and his investors at Eniac Ventures tomorrow in a free session at noon Eastern.

Prox helps influencers and experts make money by connecting with fans

Categories: Business News

Gatik’s self-driving box trucks to shuttle groceries for Loblaw in Canada

Startup News - 16 hours 14 min ago

Gatik, the autonomous vehicle startup focused on the “middle mile,” is already using its self-driving box trucks to deliver customer online grocery orders for Walmart. Now, the company — freshly stocked with $25 million in Series A funding — is expanding up into Canada with a partnership with retail giant Loblaw.

Gatik said Monday that five autonomous box trucks in Toronto will be used to deliver goods for Loblaw starting in January 2021. The fleet will be used seven days a week on five routes along public roads. All vehicles will have a safety driver as a co-pilot. This deployment, which follows a 10-month pilot in the Toronto area, marks the first autonomous delivery fleet in Canada.

“As more Canadians turn to online grocery shopping, we’ve looked at ways to make our supply chain more efficient. Middle-mile autonomous delivery is a great example,” Loblaw Digital senior vice president Lauren Steinberg said in a statement. “With this initial rollout in Toronto, we are able to move goods from our automated picking facility multiple times a day to keep pace with PC Express online grocery orders in stores around the city.”

Unlike other autonomous delivery companies, Gatik isn’t targeting consumers. Instead, the startup is using its autonomous trucks to shuttle groceries and other goods from large distribution centers to retail locations. For Loblaw, the company will equip Ford Transit 350 box trucks with refrigeration units, lift gates and its autonomous self-driving software.

Gatik adds autonomous box trucks to its ‘middle mile’ game plan

“Retailers know the biggest inefficiencies in their logistics operations often exist in the middle-mile, typically between automated picking facilities and retail locations,” Gatik CEO and co-founder Gautam Narang said in a statement. “This is where Gatik lives and succeeds, and is the reason we’re able to offer immediate value to our customers. We are delighted to partner with Loblaw in addressing this critical piece of their supply chain.”

Gatik’s “middle mile” B2B focus has attracted customers like Walmart, as well as investors, including Wittington Ventures and Innovation Endeavors, which co-led the company’s Series A round. FM Capital and Intact Ventures, along with existing investors Dynamo Ventures, Fontinalis Partners and AngelPad also participated in the round that was announced alongside the Loblaw partnership. Gatik has raised $29.5 million to date.

The company said it plans to use the funding to build out operations across North America and hire more employees at its Palo Alto, California and Toronto facilities. Narang said Gatik is also pushing to expand its retail partnerships and fleet deployments.

Quarantine drives interest in autonomous delivery, but it’s still miles from mainstream

“Throughout the year we saw an increase of 30% to 35% in orders from our customer base, and we expect this trend to continue,” Narang said. “We will continue to bring autonomous delivery into the mainstream, driving substantial efficiencies in supply chain logistics for retailers across North America and beyond.”

Gatik said it has completed more than 30,000 revenue-generating autonomous orders for multiple customers across North America.

Categories: Business News

TC Sessions: Space Black Friday ticket sale starts today

Startup News - 16 hours 42 min ago

Nothing signals the start of the holiday shopping season like a Black Friday sale. It’s been an incredibly challenging year for everyone on every level. We can’t change that, but we can make attending TC Sessions: Space 2020 more affordable a bit longer.

Starting today, we’re offering a BOGO deal. Buy one Late Registration ticket for $175 and get one free. You and a colleague pay just $87.50 each — that’s less than the early-bird price. Booyah! We’re here all week folks…and this deal ends on Sunday, November 29, at 11:59 p.m. PST. Buy your pass before the deadline and put your savings to good use. And then get ready for two days of learning, networking and discovering opportunities to move your business forward.

TechCrunch attracts the top experts, and you’ll hear from and engage with leading founders, investors, technologists and government and military officials across private, public and defense sectors. Our agenda is packed with panel discussions, interviews, breakout sessions and interactive Q&As.

Topics include 3D-printed rockets, earth observation data, orbital operations, ground station networks, launch services, broadband communications, defense operations and manufacturing in space, sources of access to grant money and info on space accelerator programs. Read the event agenda and start planning your schedule now.

But wait, there’s more: Buy a pass and receive a free annual membership to Extra Crunch, our membership program focused on startups, founders and investors with more than 100 exclusive articles published per month (learn about the benefits).

More ways to save: We offer discounts for groups of four or more, students and current government, military and nonprofit employees. Extra Crunch subscribers get a 20% discount.

We’ve hosted many TC Sessions events over the years, and this is the first one dedicated to space technology. If you’ve never attended any TC Sessions event, listen to what these founders say about the experience:

People want to be around what’s interesting and learn which trends and issues they need to pay attention to. They want to learn from the experts, and TC Sessions has all the experts. — Melika Jahangiri, vice president at Wunder Mobility

TC Sessions is definitely worth your time, especially if you’re an early-stage founder. You get to connect to people in your field and learn from founders who are literally a year into your same journey. Plus, you can meet and talk to the movers and shakers — the people who are making it happen. — Jens Lehmann, technical lead and product manager, SAP

“TC Sessions offers several big benefits. First, networking opportunities that result in concrete partnerships. Second, the chance to learn the latest trends and how technology will evolve. Third, the opportunity for unknown startups to connect with other companies and build brand awareness.” — Karin Maake, senior director of communications at FlashParking

Take advantage of our week-long Black Friday sale. Buy a Late Registration pass for $175 by Sunday, November 29, at 11:59 p.m. (PST), and you get a second one f-r-e-e. Now, take that money you saved and do some good with it.

Is your company interested in sponsoring TC Sessions: Space 2020? Click here to talk with us about available opportunities.

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Categories: Business News

AvePoint to go public via SPAC valued at $2B

Startup News - 16 hours 48 min ago

AvePoint, a company that gives enterprises using Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint and Teams a control layer on top of these tools, announced today that it would be going public via a SPAC merger with Apex Technology Acquisition Corporation in a deal that values AvePoint at around $2 billion.

The acquisition brings together some powerful technology executives, with Apex run by former Oracle CFO Jeff Epstein and former Goldman Sachs head of technology investment banking Brad Koenig, who will now be working closely with AvePoint’s CEO Tianyi Jiang. Apex filed for a $305 million SPAC in September 2019.

Under the terms of the transaction, Apex’s balance of $352 million plus a $140 million additional private investment will be handed over to AvePoint. Once transaction fees and other considerations are paid for, AvePoint is expected to have $252 million on its balance sheet. Existing AvePoint shareholders will own approximately 72% of the combined entity, with the balance held by the Apex SPAC and the private investment owners.

Jiang sees this as a way to keep growing the company. “Going public now gives us the ability to meet this demand and scale up faster across product innovation, channel marketing, international markets and customer success initiatives,” he said in a statement.

AvePoint was founded in 2001 as a company to help ease the complexity of SharePoint installations, which at the time were all on-premise. Today, it has adapted to the shift to the cloud as a SaaS tool and primarily acts as a policy layer enabling companies to make sure employees are using these tools in a compliant way.

AvePoint lands $200M investment to expand market for Microsoft cloud governance tools

The company raised $200 million in January this year led by Sixth Street Partners (formerly TPG Sixth Street Partners), with additional participation from prior investor Goldman Sachs, meaning that Koenig was probably familiar with the company based on his previous role.

The company has raised a total of $294 million in capital before today’s announcement. It expects to generate almost $150 million in revenue by the end of this year, with ARR growing at over 30%. It’s worth noting that the company’s ARR and revenue has been growing steadily since Q12019. The company is projecting significant growth for the next two years with revenue estimates of $257 million and ARR of $220 million by the end of 2022.

Image Credits: AvePoint

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year. Upon close the company will continue to be known as AvePoint and be publicly traded on Nasdaq under the new ticker symbol AVPT.

Categories: Business News

Cure Hydration raises $2.6M for its healthy sports drink alternative

Startup News - 16 hours 54 min ago

Cure Hydration is announcing that it has raised $2.6 million in seed funding as it brings a healthier approach to the sports beverage market.

Founder and CEO Lauren Picasso, whose past roles include serving as director of marketing at Jet.com, told me that she became interested in the market after training for a triathlon; she’d often feel dehydrated even after drinking lots of water. (This is something I also struggled with while training for a marathon last year — yes, I’m only mentioning this because I really want you to know that I ran a marathon.)

The obvious solution was to drink Gatorade or something similar to replenish her electrolytes, but Picasso said, “When I started looking for electrolyte products that were healthy and effective, I realized everything on the market still uses a base of sugar.” For example, 20 ounces of Gatorade’s Thirst Quencher contains 36 grams of sugar.

So Picasso and the Cure team developed a new beverage based on the World Health Organization’s Oral Rehydration Solution, which Picasso said is “primarily used to help people suffering from diseases like cholera,” and which has saved “millions of lives and is proven to hydrate as effectively as an IV drip.”

Cure uses the ORS as a foundation to create a range of flavored beverages (it’s adding the new flavors Ruby Riot Grapefruit and Laser Focus Matcha). The core ingredients include coconut water and pink Himalayan salt, while everything is organic and vegan, with no added sugars.

Image Credits: Cure Hydration

The startup sells these drinks in the form of powders that you mix with water. On its website, they cost $20.99 for a pack of 14, or $16.79 if you subscribe. (The company donates 1% of proceeds to the women’s sports nonprofit SheIS.) Picasso said early customers have tended to be amateur athletes and people who need help staying hydrated due to chronic illnesses and other health conditions.

The product is also available in stores like CVS, Walmart and Whole Foods. Picasso said that one of her goals with the funding is to continue expanding Cure’s retail footprint beyond its current 4,200 locations across the United States.

She also plans to develop new products beyond hydration, though she said they will stay true to the company’s “guiding principles” that all its products are “backed by science” and “taste delicious.” The company has a medical advisory board that includes Dr. Roshini Rajapaksa, a gastroenterologist; Dr. Dana Cohen, the author of “Quench”; and nutritionist Brooke Alpert, author of “The Sugar Detox.”

The round was led by Lerer Hippeau, with participation from M3 Ventures, Litani Ventures, Andy Roddick, Nas, Matthew Dellavedova, Casper CEO Philip Krim, mParticle CEO Michael Katz, Thrive Market CEO Nick Green and others.

“Now, more than ever, consumers are prioritizing health in their daily lives and looking for products that are not only effective, but better-for-you,” said Lerer Hippeau principal Caitlin Strandberg in a statement. “Lauren is an exceptional operator and we’ve been impressed with her ability to bring a WHO-approved formulation to market without compromising on product quality or efficacy. With this cash infusion and retail expansion, we’re excited to see Cure get into even more hands.”

The joke is on consumers as Liquid Death raises $23 million more

Categories: Business News

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