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Deliveroo could leave Spanish market ahead of on-demand labor reclassification

Deliveroo announced today that it is considering leaving the Spanish market, citing limited market share and a long road of investment with “highly uncertain long-term potential returns” on the horizon.
The company, an on-demand outfit based in the U.K., went public earlier in 2021. Its shares initially sagged, drawing concern about both the value of on-demand companies and tech concerns listing in London more broadly. However, shares of Deliveroo have since recovered, and the company’s second-quarter earnings report saw it raise its expected gross order volume growth expectations “from between 30% to 40% to between 50% to 60%.”
Given its rising growth expectations …

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The RapidSOS EC-1

Three digits, so little time.
Numbers can take on profound cultural significance, but few numbers have quite the resonance as 911, the emergency number for the United States. Few want to dial it, but when they must, it works — every single time. One industry trade association estimates that 240 million 911 phone calls are made every year, ranging from the quotidian loud dog to the exceptional terrorist attack.
While it may be a singular number, 911 calls are directed to roughly 5,700 public safety answering points (PSAPs) across the country, all with independent operations, variegated equipment, disparate software, multifarious organizational structures, and vast inequalities of …

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Crypto infra startup Fireblocks raises $310M, triples valuation to $2.2B

Fireblocks, an infrastructure provider for digital assets, has raised $310 million in a Series D round of funding that tripled the company’s valuation to $2.2 billion in just over five months.
Sequoia Capital, Stripes and Spark Capital co-led Fireblocks’ latest round, which also included participation from Coatue, DRW VC  and SCB 10X – the venture arm of Thailand’s oldest bank – and Siam Commercial Bank. The latter is the third global bank to invest in Fireblocks in addition to the Bank of New York (BNY) Mellon and SVB Capital. 
In February, the New York-based startup raised $133 million in a Series C round …

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UK’s Mindtech raises $3.25M from In-Q-Tel, among others, to train CCTV cameras on synthetic humans

Imagine a world where no one’s privacy is breached, no faces are scanned into a gargantuan database, and no privacy laws are broken. This is a world that is fast approaching. Could companies simply dump the need for real-world CCTV footage, and switch to synthetic humans, acting out potential scenarios a million times over? That’s the tantalizing prospect of a new UK startup that has attracted funding from an influential set of investors.
UK-based Mindtech Global has developed what it describes as an end-to-end synthetic data creation platform. In plain English, its system can imagine visual scenarios such …

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Raylo nabs $11.5M to get more mobile users to lease and reuse

UK-based smartphone subscription startup Raylo has tucked $11.5 million in Series A funding into its top pocket, led by Octopus Ventures.
The equity round follows a debt raise last year — and brings Raylo’s total raised since being founded back in 2019 to $40M (in equity and debt). Its roster of investors to date also includes the Macquarie Group, Guy Johnson of Carphone Warehouse and the co-founders of Funding Circle.
The new funding will be used to charge up a subscription smartphone play that nudges consumers never to own their own mobile device — but just pay a monthly fee to lease a …

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Kaseya hack floods hundreds of companies with ransomware

On Friday, a flood of ransomware hit hundreds of companies around the world. A grocery store chain, a public broadcaster, schools, and a national railway system were all hit by the file-encrypting malware, causing disruption and forcing hundreds of businesses to close.
The victims had something in common: a key piece of network management and remote control software developed by U.S. technology firm Kaseya. The Miami-headquartered company makes software used to remotely manage a company’s IT networks and devices. That software is sold to managed service providers — effectively outsourced IT departments — which they then use to manage the …

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Tom Blomfield takes first board post at Generation Home, after leaving Monzo and Angel investing

Following on from mid-June when first-time buyer mortgage lending startup Generation Home raised a $30.4m Series A round and a £300m loan facility from NatWest, it’s now adding to its board.
Although known for becoming an Angel investor since leaving Monzo, the challenger bank startup he co-founded, Tom Blomfield hasn’t joined any startup boards.
That changes today with the news that he is joining Generation Home.
The startup launched last year with radically a different model for home buying – effectively allowing relatives to become co-equity holders in the properties their children bought, and go along for the ride.

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The 2021 edtech avalanche has just begun

Rhys Spence
Contributor

Rhys Spence is head of research at Brighteye Ventures, a European edtech-focused fund, where he works with portfolio companies to help address priorities, with a focus on internationalization.

Last week was a good one for edtech in Europe.
GoStudent became Europe’s first edtech unicorn (IPO’d companies aside), raising its third round in 12 months and the biggest ever in the sector in Europe. Brighteye Ventures’ analysis showed that VC investments in European edtech had breached $1 billion in a calendar year for the first time, even without GoStudent’s mega-round, with six months left to go.
Edtech …

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Lollipop AI launches online grocery marketplace where you can build your own recipes

As I’ve taken to online grocery shopping over the pandemic, I’ve always wondered why supermarkets didn’t offer simple ‘recipe’ features that would have automatically collected items for a homemade meal. It seemed an opportunity missed. But it is missed no more.
Lollipop AI, the new British online grocery marketplace, is launching its public beta today to do that, and it’s been created by a serial UK entrepreneur who was there at the start of successful UK startups Osper, Monzo and Curve.
Founder and CEO Tom Foster-Carter has envisaged a platform allowing people to build meal plans …

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8 founders, leaders highlight fintech and deep tech as Bristol’s top sectors

The U.K. is gaining in popularity as a great place to start a tech firm. The country is quickly catching up to China on the tech investment front, with VC investments reaching a record of $15 billion in 2020, according to TechNation. A global health crisis notwithstanding, London remained a favorite for investors. U.K. cities made up a fifth of the top 20 European cities, with names such as Oxford, Dublin, Edinburgh and Cambridge rising to the fore in 2020.
Bristol proved especially popular among tech investors last year — local businesses raked in an impressive $414 million in 2020, making it the third-largest U. …

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