Issue #106: For the week ended May 18, 2021
Hello from Texas! No, I have not jumped on the “all VCs move to Austin or Miami” thing just yet, but my family and I have decided to spend a few weeks living and working out of Texas and the Southwest to make sure we get vaccinated in a timely fashion (dose #1 done, finally!) and to enjoy some sunshine and wide, open spaces. So far, it’s been heaven.
We have restarted our regular webinar/podcast series. These are interactive sessions where we host a conversation with some super interesting people from the enterprise & deep tech world and — most importantly — founders from across Europe and Israel are invited to participate. Last week, we hosted Asaph Shulman, CMO of Firebolt. In addition, Asaph is a Venture Advisor at Angular and hosts his own podcast, Techie Talkie, the leading marketing-oriented podcast in Israel. The session was awesome and is available on Youtube.
This week and next, the series continues with two awesome unicorn CEOs who will be available to answer your questions and share some of their hard-won insights. First up, this week (tomorrow) is a fireside chat with Amir Orad, the NY-based CEO of Sisense, the leader in cloud analytics with well over $100M in revenue. Amir is a serial CEO with some very deep insights on leadership and scale, having already sold two previous companies. Next week, will have a fireside chat with Dror Davidoff, CEO and co-founder of Aqua Security, another unicorn company, this time in the cloud-native cybersecurity space. Aqua has raised over $265M and Dror brings with him a wealth of direct sales experience as a sales executive and VP sales at a number of startups before founding Aqua — so we’ll have plenty to talk about. Both Amir and Dror will be available to answer questions and we look forward to a lively discussion as always.
Angular Ventures is a first-check venture capital fund based in London, Tel Aviv, and New York that backs early-stage enterprise tech companies from Europe and Israel. We typically invest between $250K and $2.5M as early as possible in a company’s life cycle. If you’re working on something that fits our focus, please reach out and let us know. We’d love to learn about it and see if we can help.
FROM THE BLOG
EUROPE & ISRAEL FUNDING NEWS
France/AI Insurance. Shift Technology raised $220M for their AI-driven decision automation and optimization technology for the global insurance industry.
Spain/Corporate Travel. TravelPerk raised $160M for their business trip booking platform.
Israel/SME Finance Platform. HoneyBook raised $155M for their online business and financial management platform that allows SMEs to streamline all aspects of their business, automating workflows, contracts, and invoices.
Germany/Post Purchase Management. parcelLab raised $112M to offer final-mile fulfilment service for online retailers.
Sweden/Autonomous Vehicles. Einride raised $110M to scale up the development of electric and autonomous freight mobility vehicles.
Israel/Medical Data. Vim raised $60M for its healthcare technology platform that allows for the transferring of medical data between medical organizations.
France/Creator Platform. Jellysmack raised their Series C for their creator platform that combines its AI-powered technology and expertise to identify social video creators and fuel their growth.
Israel/Invoices. Stampli raised $50M for its software platform that optimizes corporate invoice management.
UK/Mental Health. Unmind raised $47M for its workplace mental health platform.
Israel/Cyber Simulations. Cymulate raised $45M for its continuous security validation platform.
Israel/Application Configuration. Salto raised $42M for its re-imagine the way business applications are configured and managed.
Israel/Next-Gen BI. Pecan AI raised $35M for its platform that helps its clients integrate AI into their business intelligence data and analytics, unlocking more predictive insights and information.
Denmark/Contract Management. Contractbook raised $30M for its end-to-end contract management platform that automates contract management.
UK/Security. Panaseer raised $26.5M for its platform that provides automated, trusted insight into the security and risk posture of the organisation.
Israel/Cyber Risk Ratings Agency. VisibleRisk raised $25M for its real-time monitoring platform enables decision-makers to continuously monitor their cyber risk rating.
Germany/Digital Assets. Finoa raised $22M for their digital asset custody and financial services platform.
Ireland/Extended Workforce Management. Utmost raised $21M for its platform for managing personnel that aren’t traditional employees, such as freelancers, contractors and vendors, or the ‘extended workforce’.
Israel/Secure DevOps Pipeline. Cycode raised $20M for the first source code control, detection, and response solution for visibility and protection across code repositories.
Israel/Insurance Analytics. Planck raised $20M for its insurance-related data insights and analytics for more than 50 major business segments.
Germany/Academic Conferences. Morressier raised $18M for its virtual conference solutions designed for professional and academic organizations.
Israel/Automated Auth. Authomize raised $16M for its Automated Authorization Governance and Management Solution.
Israel/Security Operations. CyberHat raised $15M for its security operations centre as a platform solution.
Israel/Auth. Akeyless raised $14M for its software-as-a-service platform for authentication and digital access.
Germany/Debt Collection SaaS. Receeve raised $13.5M for its no-code collections SaaS solution.
UK/Instant at-home Remote Worker Setup. Firstbase raised $13M for its all-in-one provisioning platform that lets companies supply and manages all the physical equipment for remote workers.
Germany/Workflow Automation. n8n raised $12M for its low code workflow automation platform.
UK/Cloud Payments. Gr4vy raised $11.5M for its cloud payment orchestration platform.
Germany/IoT Data Transfer. HiveMQ raised $11.2M for its MQTT broker designed to move IoT data across networks and cloud platforms.
Germany/Metals Marketplace. Metalshub raised $11M for its metal industry digital trading and price intelligence platform.
Estonia/AI Negotiations. Pactum raised $11M for its automated negotiation platform.
France/Engineering Design. DessIA raised $7.6M for its AI software for systems design engineers, helping automating design tasks and helping engineers make the best decisions by exploring all possible options from optimal electric battery architecture to choosing a suitable cable routing for an aircraft engine.
France/Payments Infrastructure. Fintecture raised $7.5M for its secure and scalable API connecting different kinds of businesses on one side and banks APIs on the other, to initiate transactions and access customers account data.
UK/Carbon Project Rating Agency. Sylvera raised $5.8M for its rating platform that uses satellite, radar and lidar data-fuelled machine learning to bolster transparency around carbon offsetting projects in a bid to boost accountability and credibility.
Israel/Ecommerce API. Weav raised $4.3M for its API for commerce platforms.
Monday.com files for IPO. The Israeli workflow platform files for IPO with an S-1 full of “no-code” references. Techcrunch Extra has a teardown of the numbers and, well, it’s complicated: “We can see two things from this deluge of numbers: First, that when using formal American accounting rules, Monday.com is pretty damn unprofitable, thanks in part to share-based compensation expenses. However, when it comes to real cash burn, the company’s deficits have been somewhere between just fine and pretty good for a high-growth software company.”
The battle to own collaboration. How Microsoft and Salesforce are battling each other to own enterprise workflows. “Slack and Microsoft have been racing to build low-code or no-code tools to automate workflows, which in theory reduce the need to pop out of the chat environment into other apps. But unless those tools become significantly more powerful, Slack and Teams risk becoming simple pipes for messages from more powerful, dedicated-purpose apps that prompt workers to leave the collaboration space and do work elsewhere.”
Similarweb went public. Similarweb, the online behavior and traffic analytics company, went public on the NYSE at a ~$1.7B valuation. “The Tel Aviv-based company, which was founded in 2007, has developed a platform for understanding online behavior by monitoring traffic on the web and mobile apps, and which is used by millions of people for digital insights, including more than half of the Fortune 500 companies. The company had raised $240 million to date.”
HOW TO STARTUP
Hot-swap startups. Roy Bahat and James Cham of Bloomberg Beta define a new type of startup they are looking for: “What makes these startups different? Like the more general “full-stack” startup, hot-swap startups don’t sell software — they sell some product or service that their customers are used to buying. That said, many full-stack startups force their customers to adapt to some new way of doing things (think Warby Parker before they had stores or even Tesla). A hot-swap startup: (1) Competes directly with a valuable incumbent in an industry; (2) Offers a “strictly superior” product to the incumbent’s (i.e., it is at least as good on every important dimension to the customer and better at least at one very important dimension) — the main reason for customers not to buy from them is fear that a startup might not deliver; (3) Avoids asking its customers to change their behaviors much, if at all (e.g., doesn’t ask customers to switch to buying in a new way or taking a new risk in exchange for some other advantage); (4) Enjoys advantages that would be impossible without technology, but where technology alone is insufficient to deliver the advantage — these startups have to refactor the entire way an incumbent in that industry would operate.”
HOW TO VENTURE
Dancing on their own. Insider rounds are reaching record levels, according to an analysis by the Information. “The number of inside rounds, or VC deals in which only a startup’s previous investors participate, reached a high of over 1,000 in the U.S. last year and could top that record by the end of 2021, according to data provided to The Information by research firm PitchBook. In total, VC firms invested a record $30 billion in inside rounds in 2020, up 15% from 2019. Some of the rise likely stemmed from emergency financing of portfolio companies at the start of the pandemic. But it also reflects the boom in tech investments as VC funds, afloat in record levels of capital, doubled down on their favorite companies. This rise in prices has started to change the stereotype of inside rounds. Historically associated with investor bailouts of companies, inside rounds have started to indicate fierce investor competition for a sought-after startup. At the same time, their prevalence adds to worries that plentiful VC funding is inflating startup valuations.”
Who’s backing unicorns? New analysis by Crunchbase shows that the “growth firms” are backing unicorns at a faster rate than the traditional VC players. The method they use (a straight-up count of unicorns) is a bit simplistic. It doesn’t capture entry valuations or how early a particular investor is beginning to support a company, and it doesn’t capture the “hit rate” or the ultimate performance of the investor. But it does capture the zeitgeist: a wave of non-VC growth investors is aggressively entering the VC eco-system and investing at an unprecedented pace.
Female VC partners. There aren’t nearly enough, but Sifted has put together a list of female VC partners in Europe. It’s a great start, and worth checking out.
Two VCs moved (back) to Iceland. David Helgasson (founder of Unity) and Ari Helgasson (previously at Index) are moving back to Iceland to set up their impact-focussed VC fund.
Moving on. Jason Green, an inspiration to enterprise VCs everywhere and a friend of Angular, announced his retirement from Emergence Capital, the firm he co-founded. The interview contains a few snippets of the wisdom that made him such an outlier: “At a lot of firms, it’s a little bit more of an eat-what-you-kill kind of mentality. I think in the venture business that’s a little bit misplaced, because there’s so much luck involved in the business. You never know which partner is going to have that big home run. It can take 10 years to actually figure out what were the big wins [in a fund], so you’re going to judge somebody based on the deals they’ve done in the first two years or three years of the business? We tend to focus a lot more on the inputs than the outputs because the outputs are very variable and have a lot of uncertainty associated with them, but the inputs you can control.”
Crux OCM’s CEO, Vicki Knott, discusses the situation Colonial Pipeline is facing and their infrastructure security crisis.
Datos Health and Amgen aim to find out if real-world remote monitoring helps doctors treat heart failure with a new US study.
Forter partners with Adobe to help Magento commerce merchants approve more transactions and deliver a seamless customer experience.
Snyk acquires FossID to accelerate worldwide developer-first security adoption.
JFrog announced the lineup for its annual DevOps user conference swampUP.