FRIDAY NEWS ROOM #5 – Latch, Monzo, Slack & Ycombinator
– 24th of August – FRIDAY NEWS ROOM
Read on for my 4 hand picked headlines of the week!
#Social Media #memes #instagram #googlechrome #Fundraising #coinbase #grover #marketplace #influencer
News #1 Latch Connected Locks Startup Raises $ 70 Million
Founded five years ago, startup Latch reported on August 23 that it had raised $ 70 million in a Series B round of financing from Brookfield Ventures.
Other entities such as Primary Venture Partners, Balyasny Asset Management, RRE Ventures and Lux Capital participated in this recent round.
As part of this transaction, Latch is also expected to install locking systems in certain Brookfield Properties’ residential development properties.
Brookfield’s Josh Raffaelli said he was “keen to support Latch, the undisputed market leader in a nearly $ 25 billion space that is expected to grow twice as fast as traditional access in the next few years.” .
A figure actually communicated in a study conducted in May by Grand View Research. In total, the New York-based startup has raised nearly $ 100 million since its inception, an amount that values more than $ 250 million.
A partnership with UPS to compete with Amazon?
As a reminder, Latch’s connected locks are more likely to be used for residential buildings than for private homes, allowing users, for example, to create temporary access codes for guests or deliverers.
It is possible to unlock the system via its mobile, a smart card or a simple door code.
In this regard, the young company announced in July that it would collaborate with the UPS supplier.
In fact, the latter could enter the buildings to deposit parcels of the inhabitants in a room dedicated to this use.
Nevertheless, UPS would like to point out that deliverymen do not have access to private apartments, but only to the halls of the buildings concerned.
In addition, shipments are monitored by camera and tracked by Latch and the customer.
For the moment, the company collaborates only with places equipped with the locks of the young shoot.
Amazon is working on a similar concept that allows deliverers to drop a package directly into the customer’s home rather than the outside landing.
With a camera and a lock connected, Amazon Key allows its users to track the progress of the deliveryman when it delivers the precious package.
In the same way, the company wishes to deposit its deliveries directly in the trunk of the cars of its customers.
News #2 Fintech Monzo on the verge of becoming a European unicorn
A British neo-bark targeting young people, Monzo is about to join the particularly selective ranks of European startups that have become unicorns.
If the neobank had “nearly 500,000 users” last November, this figure now reaches 900,000 customers. Founded in 2015, the young sprout is on the verge of becoming a European unicorn, surpassing the $ 1 billion valuation mark.
Indeed, a new round of fundraising organized with several investors should value the young shoot to more than 1.5 billion dollars, according to information from the Financial Times.
For now, Monzo’s founder and CEO, Tom Blomfield, does not want to comment on the fundraiser, but says: “Our investors are totally in agreement with our plan and quite comfortable with the fact that we are not looking to break even this year or next year. ”
In fact, it is expected that the new funds will be used to allow the Neobank to expand its product line. Short term loans and savings accounts could soon be offered.
Monzo seduces many investors
In November 2017, the young Londoner revealed that she had just raised 71 million pounds, the equivalent of more than 80 million euros.
At that date, such a sum represented twice his previous cumulative rounds.
Among the investors, Monzo then counted participants such as the specialist of payment software for Startups Stripe, Orange Digital Ventures or the man considered the richest in Wales, Michael Moritz.
In time, the youngster also managed to seduce the co-founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, and the American singer Tom Odell, who both invested.
In terms of activity, Monzo is a NeoBank that allows its users to enjoy a credit card, a checking account and assistance available via a chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
By definition , fintech prevents customers from moving to a physical agency and having to provide many documents when opening an account, for example.
In fact, transfers are instantaneous between users, where the credit card is free.
Available only online, the Neobanque is aimed at a young clientele directly represented by the millennials generation.
As Tom Blomfield told The Guardian last year, “Monzo gives you real-time visibility and control. It’s one of those home screen apps: you have five or six apps that you use to live your life and Monzo is one of them. “
Monzo has to compete with several competitors in a similar market, such as Berlin’s N26 and Britain’s Revolut.
Regarding the latter, she already reached the status of unicorn in April with a fundraising of $ 250 million. Then valued at $ 1.7 billion, Revolut now wants to conquer 100 million customers in five years to hope to become profitable.
News #3 Slack announces new fundraising and exceeds 7 billion valuation
The Slack collaboration platform recently announced that it had raised $ 427 million, an amount that now values more than $ 7 billion.
On Tuesday, August 21, the American Slack confirmed to TechCrunch that he had just closed a fundraising of no less than $ 427 million.
During the round table led by Dragoneer Investment Group and General Atlantic, investors such as Wellington Management, T. Rowe Price and Baillie Gifford joined other shareholders previously present.
As a reminder, the American company had already raised some $ 841 million from its forty investors, represented by individuals in its own right, but also companies like SoftBank, Accel and Social Capital. In the last cycle, it had raised $ 250 million and was valued at $ 5.1 billion.
In previous rounds, co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield said Slack was raising funds “opportunistically”.
One point which means that if the platform does not directly need money, it is still worth it to seize the financing.
It can be assumed that the approach is similar for this last round, which should allow the company to hope to take a significant advance on its main rivals.
Compete against rivals Microsoft Teams and Facebook Workplace
To date, the Slack collaborative platform has attracted almost 8 million daily active users, where approximately 70,000 teams pay to use the application.
Launched in 2013, it faces competitors particularly present in the market, like Microsoft and its similar tool, Teams.
As a reminder, the latter has recently consolidated its own platform, offering for example a free version to its users for a few weeks.
The company must also rub against the platform Workplace launched in 2016 by Facebook. As an indication, it had some 30,000 companies around the world in May 2018.
As for Slack, the platform has recently bought Stride and Hipchat from Atlassian, two tools that will allow it to migrate the users of these tools to its own service.
News #4 Startup accelerator Y Combinator arrives in China
Particularly famous for having supported the former Airbnb or Twitch startups, the American Y Combinator finally arrived on Chinese soil.
Considered to be one of the most popular startup accelerators in the world, Y Combinator recently said it was preparing to arrive in China.
Once operational, the entity should be based in Beijing, a city in which the accelerator will strive to get closer to the young Chinese shoots. As Combinator’s CEO Sam Altman told TechCrunch, the new program should work independently while relying on the help of local partners. In fact, the president said: “The opportunity to include many more Chinese founders seems very valuable to everyone.
Over the next decade, a significant portion of the technology companies created will come from the United States or China, [a] network in both countries is a huge business. “
Baidu’s former director of operations heads the Y Combinator China program
While no specific date for the launch of this new program has been made public, it is known that Qi Lu will be in charge.
After working at Yahoo and Microsoft, he worked at Baidu as Director of Operations before resigning for personal reasons a few months ago. In fact, he becomes the CEO and Research Director of Y Combinator China.
As a reminder, the startup accelerator has collaborated with many startups in their infancy, such as Airbnb, Twitch, Reddit, Algolia, but also the platforms Coinbase and Dropbox.
More concretely, Y Combinator provides about $ 120,000 and three months of advice to young shoots that he shoulder, against 7% of the capital of the latter.
It remains to be seen how the US accelerator will succeed in establishing a country with strict rules when it comes to the arrival of foreign companies.
As a reminder, the Google search engine has been trying to make a comeback for several years, a project that could be about to materialize, in case it agrees to comply with the rules of censorship in force in the country .