Innovation Nest invests €1.6 million!

Innovation Nest invests in Infraspeak, the third Portuguese startup of its portfolio

The fund has lead an investment round in the total amount of 1.6 million euros. After Climber and Prodsmart, Infraspeak is the third portuguese SaaS company to be invested in by the Polish fund.

After having invested in Climber and Prodsmart, two companies from Lisbon, Innovation Nest, focused on investments in European SaaS early stage companies, keeps finding value in Portugal’s B2B technology startups, as it has now leading an investment round in Infraspeak.

Infraspeak, founded by Felipe Ávila da Costa and Luís Martins in 2015, develops a fully customisable, modular platform designed to make facility management smarter by using innovative technologies such as NFC, APIs, apps and sensors, making the work and lives of both managers and technicians significantly easier and more efficient, with less stress, less paper and lower costs. The startup, which has grown over 200% last year, will focus on entering new markets and reinforcing its team.
Within the next few months, Infraspeak will expand its operations in the United Kingdom, Spain, and France, which will have a positive impact on the company’s growth. To support this, the startup currently has 10 open job positions and plans to open more until the end of 2018.

“After three years focusing on product development, acquisition of renowned customers and putting together a team which we are proud of, it is now the time to aim for new heights. We reached the right partners to get Infraspeak into new international markets and we couldn’t be prouder of having some of the world’s biggest investors supporting us in this project”, says Felipe Ávila da Costa, co-founder and CEO of Infraspeak.

For Innovation Nest, with a portfolio of over 30 tech companies invested in Poland and all over Europe, the value was obvious.

“Innovation Nest is a thesis driven fund. We believe that we are in a software mega-trend that is transforming everything from how we work to how we do business. One of the key objectives of this software trend is to bring as many processes and assets online. Even today, Maintenance Management is mostly a pen and paper process. When we met Felipe and Luis, we knew instantly that Infraspeak is well positioned to digitise this market and help thousands of maintenance technicians make their work easier.” says Marcin Szelag, partner at Innovation Nest.

This investment, in the total amount of 1.6 million euros, was shared with top investors Firstminute Capital (United Kingdom), Construtech Ventures (Brazil), 500 Startups (USA) and Caixa Capital (Portugal).

About Innovation Nest

Innovation Nest is an early stage VC Firm focused on B2B Software investments all around Europe. Started in 2011, out of Krakow, Poland currently holds 30+ companies in its portfolio including: UXPin, Picodi, Growbots, and Estimote. The firm mission is to fund great teams based in Europe and help them to grow and scale globally.

Fintech startup Nordigen secures $1 million in total funding

Finance is among the traditional industries that have seen a groundbreaking change in the last few years. Due to regulation, the financial crisis and, more recently, ambitious new startups, legacy traditions are being replaced with more customer friendly solutions. Credit bureaus are next in line for disruption.

Banks across the world reject up to 90% of all loan applications daily. This is because banks base their decisions on credit history reports from credit bureaus, but not many people have a formal credit history. According to World Bank Group private credit bureau coverage report*, only 30% of the global population have any record at a credit bureau. In addition, credit bureaus have been working with the same old tools for decades and their insights are often incomplete and outdated. Bank account data is a good alternative to credit reports. It is full of risk-critical information that provides a transparent and more objective way to evaluate one’s ability to repay a loan in the future. That is where Nordigen comes in the picture.

Nordigen’s core product allows a lender to instantly verify a customer’s real income and spending habits to make the first assessment of their creditworthiness. The solution is based on open banking and the company’s “secret sauce” is the ability to identify risk-critical behaviours in customer account data with unparalleled accuracy.

“It’s hard to love credit bureaus at the moment. What they do was necessary, but with the rise of Open Banking, we’re now able to build technologies that are much faster, more reliable and more customer-friendly than traditional credit checks. This is a great time to build a global alternative to credit bureaus,” says Rolands Mesters, co-founder of Nordigen.

With a growing client base and recognition in the industry, Nordigen has been able to find support from powerhouse investors like Finland’s largest venture capital fund, Inventure, and Europe’s leading seed investor, Seedcamp to join pre-seed investor Change Ventures. Seedcamp, in particular, has extensive experience in the fintech sector from previous investments in two very successful European companies that are now worth over $1 billion – Revolut and Transferwise.

“Credit and debt are two major foundations of our financial system. The evaluation of creditworthiness has been much slower to progress, prohibiting many potential customers’ access to financial services. We’re excited to back the excellent founders of Nordigen and strongly believe in their desire to provide a more clear and transparent process making it easier for financial institutions to engage with more creditworthy customers and, in turn, for more customers to engage with financial services,” comments Carlos Espinal, Managing Partner at Seedcamp.

“The credit scoring industry has long been dominated by credit bureaus and other legacy software. This means that a lot of people who should not receive loans are getting loans and a lot of people who would be creditworthy, do not get their loans accepted or the loan is over-priced. Nordigen has a proprietary software solution that already today can outperform major credit bureaus in certain markets,” says Lauri Kokkila, Investment Manager at Inventure.

With the new funds, Nordigen will be hiring across the board with a focus on sales and business development. A big part of the investment will also be directed towards entering new markets, such as Brazil, South Africa, USA and UK.

Fintech startup Nordigen was established in 2016 in Riga, Latvia by a two Google Demo Day graduates, Rolands Mesters and Roberts Bernans. Today the company works with banks and alternative lenders in 12 countries across the world, including the Baltic states, Spain, Finland, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic, Australia and New Zealand.

Tron enters Poland as it gets listed on Bitpay

Tron’s mass adoption intensifies as the most significant Poland crypto exchange, Bitpay, lists TRX on its platform.

The listing is to foster and create a wider audience for both Tron and Bitpay. The collaboration between Tron and Bitpay was done to create a better and safer means to purchase and trade TRX tokens.Tron listing on Bitpay serves as good news for Tron’s community because TRX can now be traded to Bitcoin, Polish Zloty, US Dollars, and Euro. Bitpay is one of the biggest exchanges in the world, and the founder of Tron (TRX) didn’t fail to acknowledge that. Sun further emphasized that the listing is another achievement for Tron and its community.
Read more at http://globalcoinreport.com/tron-trx-bitpay/

KPMG buys stake in a startup it lauded as a top 50 FinTech globally

Accounting and consulting firm KPMG has taken a minority stake in AdviceRobo, a FinTech startup which its acquirer last year lauded as one of the globe’s 50 most promising FinTechs. AdviceRobo, which is based in the Netherlands, provides a technology which helps banks and retail lenders with better predicting financial risk of people and companies taking out loans.



Best Romanian tech startups awarded at Central European Startup Awards

The Romanian event of the Central European Startup Awards (CESA) 2018 announced its winners on September 19. The event awarded the best technology-based startups and the most active entrepreneurs in this industry, in 13 categories.

Thus, Spherik Accelerator was the big winner of the Best Accelerator or Incubator category. Spherik brings together technology, education and investment opportunities, with the mission of improving the local startup ecosystem and the growth of startups that are growing internationally.

Meanwhile, Dalia’s Book (Cartea Daliei), an NGO that aims to promote education among all children through technology, won the Best Social Impact Startup award. Also, BittWatt, a solution for the optimization of transactions involving energy and its use as a currency, got the big prize in the Best Blockchain Startup category.

The Best Coworking Space award went to Nod Makerspace – the coworking space endowed with production workshops for creative industries, while Nutritio, an app that makes the activity of dieticians and nutritionists more efficient so they can help more patients reach their objectives in a shorter amount of time, won the Best Biotech Startup award.

Polish fintech bank set to enter Lithuania

A Polish digital bank led by former executives of PKO, one of the largest commercial banks in Poland, plans to enter the Lithuanian market. The blockchain-based bank plans to apply for a license from the Bank of Lithuania shortly.

Michal Turalski, one of the founders of Horum Bank and its head of marketing and strategy, confirmed it to BNS Lithuania that the bank plans to start operations in Lithuania.

“We are a team of experienced former managers of leading international banks and blockchain-age experts, who gathered together to set up a completely new bank. It will be a pan-european, a fully digital bank for the most financially undiscovered segments of clients, including SMEs & affluents,” Turalski told BNS Lithuania.

“As the Lithuanian banking authority supports financial solutions based on blockchain and there are some other favorable circumstances, we are planning to apply for a banking license in your country. After a successful licensing process, we want to start operating for Lithuanian companies and begin thinking about other European countries,” he added without disclosing any specific plans due to confidentiality agreements with business partners.

Representatives of the Bank of Lithuania have refused to comment on Horum Bank’s plans when approached by BNS Lithuania.

“We really feel the interest from Poland to set up financial market participants in Lithuania. And it’s very strong. We are holding regular conversations but I could not disclose specific names,” Giedrius Simonavicius, director of the Communication Department at the Bank of Lithuania, told BNS Lithuania.

Polish business daily Puls Biznesu reported in late July that the Horum Bank project was being led by Jacek Oblekowski, a former PKO vice president, and Malgorzata Siatkowska, who also used to work for PKO in the past, was also named as one of the founders of the new bank and its technology executive.

It was reported then that Horum Bank had 400-500 million zloty (93–116 millon euros) accumulated for the start of its activity.

Revolut to bid for fresh European licence as it reveals losses

Fintech powerhouse Revolut has revealed its post-Brexit strategy amid the publication of its 2017 financial accounts, which put a heavy spotlight on the banking app’s operational losses.

Primarily, a spokesperson for the London startup confirmed to City A.M. it had applied for a second e-money licence in Luxembourg, in addition to its 2017 application for a full banking licence in Lithuania.

The fintech currently operates under an e-money licence in the UK, through which it passports its services to other European countries.

In its financial year ending in December 2017, operational costs weighed heavily on Revolut as it incurred £14.8m in total losses after tax at a 52 per cent increase from the previous year, largely attributed to costs associated with its card scheme, acquiring and user acquisition as the app saw its user numbers treble.


11 Bit Studios wins the Best Transition To Main Market Award !


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