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TechCrunch

Kindred Capital closes £81M second fund to back early-stage European startups – TechCrunch

Kindred Capital, the London-based VC that backs early-stage founders in Europe, has closed its second seed fund at £81 million. That’s only a tad larger than the the firm’s first fund, which invested in 29 companies and was raised in 2018. Portfolio companies from fund one include Five, which is building software for autonomous vehicles; Paddle, the SaaS for software e-commerce; Pollen, the peer-to-peer marketplace for experiences and travel; and Farewill, which lets you create a will online. However, perhaps what really sets Kindred apart from most other seed VCs is its “Equitable Venture”. This sees the founders it backs get carry in the fund, effectively becoming co-owners of Kindred. Once the VC’s LPs have their investment returned, like the firm’s partners, the founders also share any subsequent fund profits, as long as they have passed the vesting period. More broadly, Kindred says the idea is this extra incentive encourages a collective model, in which founders actively help each other achieve their goals. “This has also had a positive impact on deal flow, with entrepreneurs sourcing 38% of Kindred’s dealflow at the top of the funnel,” says the VC. Notably, Kindred projects that around £5 million will be returned to founders from the first find, profit that would otherwise have gone to its own General Partners. Presuming those exits are realised, based on two founders per startup, a quick back of the napkin calculation suggests that’s just over £80,000 each. Meanwhile, Kindred already begun investing from its second fund. It…Continue readingKindred Capital closes £81M second fund to back early-stage European startups – TechCrunch

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TechCrunch

Social Capital Hedosophia just filed for its fourth SPAC, says new report – TechCrunch

According to a new report in Bloomberg, Social Capital Hedosophia has filed plans confidentially with the SEC to raise $500 million for its newest blank-check company. It will be the fourth special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, to be raised by the outfit, which is headed up by Chamath Palihapitiya and his longtime investment partner, Ian Osborne. Astonishingly, dozens more may be in the works. On the “All-In Podcast,” co-hosted by Palihapitiya, he revealed recently that has reserved the symbols from “IPOA” to “IPOZ” on the New York Stock Exchange. He also said he has $100 million of his own involved in each deal to demonstrate his alignment with potential investors. What’s the play? In the podcast, Palihapitiya pointed to the Federal Reserve’s economic and interest rate forecasts and its plans to keep interest rates at zero for years to come. “I mean, quite honestly,” Palihapitiya said, “there’s no path to any near-term inflation of any kind whatsoever.” It’s why he thinks investors are going to “get paid to be long [on] equities, because your risk-free rate is zero and will soon be negative. And what are you supposed to do if you’re an asset manager?” Here’s how he framed it: “Let’s say you’re the California pension system, you have hundreds of billions of dollars, and you need to generate five or 6% a year to make sure that your pension isn’t insolvent, and the government is paying you zero. When everybody is in that situation, you’re overwhelmingly long equities…Continue readingSocial Capital Hedosophia just filed for its fourth SPAC, says new report – TechCrunch

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TechCrunch

Human Capital announces the winners of its Delta fellowship program – TechCrunch

Today, in the first interview of Disrupt 2020, Human Capital’s Baris Akis and investor Michael Ovitz announced the winners of its Delta Fellowship program. Human Capital launched in 2016 with a mission to become a talent agency for engineers in the same way that CAA, founded by Michael Ovitz, was a talent agency for entertainers. Human Capital helps engineers find great positions at great companies, and fosters their careers well beyond that, including helping them switch jobs, ask for raises and promotions, and more. Human Capital also has an investment arm that seeds these same entrepreneurs with funding when they’re ready to start on their own project. The fellowship program is an extension of Human Capital’s commitment to people over metrics, explained Michael Ovitz, who invested in the company earlier this year. Sixteen fellows were selected from more than 1,300 applications across 20 countries and more than 200 universities. Interestingly, the Delta fellowship application process did not include a request for a business proposal, but rather evaluated the people themselves. “We’re here to partner with founders,” said Akis. “We get to know the people behind the ideas. We consider ideas in the context of the people driving them.” Delta Fellows include: ● Abu Qader, a Cornell junior who developed a low-cost mammography tumor detection platform after seeing the challenges of healthcare firsthand in Afghanistan as a teenager● Katie Mishra, a Stanford junior who published three books by the time she was 16 and started a nonprofit to teach middle schoolers…Continue readingHuman Capital announces the winners of its Delta fellowship program – TechCrunch

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TechCrunch

Santander spins out its $400M fintech venture capital arm, now called Mouro Capital – TechCrunch

Santander, the Spanish multinational banking giant, is announcing that its fintech venture arm is to be spun out and will be managed more autonomously going forward. Previously known as Santander Innoventures and first established in 2014, the VC is being re-branded to Mouro Capital. It will continue to be headed up by general partner Manuel Silva Martínez, who joined Innoventures five years ago and has led the fund since 2018, and senior advisor Chris Gottschalk, who joined from Blumberg Capital last year. Noteworthy, despite its new-founded independence, Santander will remain Mouro Capital’s sole investor/LP, including doubling its current commitment, seeing the VC have $400 million in allotted funds. However, my understanding is that by being managed autonomously from the multinational bank, Mouro will be able to invest more nimbly, including placing bets adjacent to pure fintech or financial services and in startups that could more directly compete with Santander’s own product lines. It should also help remove any market perception that portfolio companies aren’t independent of the incumbent bank, in terms of future investment or partnerships with Santander competitors. Meanwhile, Santander Innoventures was an early backer of a number of so-called unicorns (companies valued at more than a billion dollars). They include Ripple, Tradeshift, and Upgrade. It has sees a number of exits, too, including iZettle to PayPal in 2018 for $2 billion, and Kabbage acquired by Amex last month. “Mouro Capital aims to bring its fintech expertise, global network and strong track-record in successful investments to early and growth…Continue readingSantander spins out its $400M fintech venture capital arm, now called Mouro Capital – TechCrunch

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TechCrunch

Passion Capital has backed Fronted, the startup that wants to offers loans to cover rent deposits – TechCrunch

Fronted, the new London-based startup aiming to make life easier for renters, including lending the cash needed for a deposit, has picked up seed investment from Passion Capital. The investment showed up in a recent regulatory filing for the company. The exact cheque size isn’t yet disclosed, but what we do know is that Passion Capital partner Eileen Burbidge has joined Fronted’s board. That’s unsurprising, given that Fronted co-founder Simon Vans-Colina was an early and important employee of Monzo, the challenger back of which Passion Capital and Burbidge are original backers. Confirming Passion Capital’s investment, Fronted co-founder and CEO Jamie have TechCrunch the following statement: “Like a lot of businesses we have been finding our feet in post-pandemic world, we are grateful to have supporting investors like Passion Capital who have supported us from the very beginning and who believe in our vision to help renters move”. The company, founded late last year by Campbell, Vans-Colina and Anthony Mann — former employees at Bud, Monzo and Apple, respectively — is planning to launch later this year with a fintech product to help renters finance their rental deposits. The nascent company is currently in the FCA “sandbox” program (run by the U.K. financial services regulator) to begin lending cash that can only be used for a rental deposit. By using open banking and other financial technology, and offering a credit product designed to finance deposits directly, Fronted believes it can lend more cheaply than existing options — such as credit cards,…Continue readingPassion Capital has backed Fronted, the startup that wants to offers loans to cover rent deposits – TechCrunch

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TechCrunch

With $11 million in fresh capital, Bolt Bikes rebrands to Zoomo – TechCrunch

Bolt Bikes, the electric bike platform marketed to gig economy delivery workers, has a new name and a fresh injection of $11 million in capital from a Series A funding round led by Australian Clean Energy Finance Corporation. The round also included equity from Hana Ventures and existing investors Maniv Mobility and Contrarian Ventures, together with venture debt from OneVentures and Viola Credit. The Sydney, Australia-based startup that launched in 2017 is now called Zoomo, a change that aims to better reflect a customer base that has expanded beyond gig economy workers to include corporate clients and everyday consumers. Mina Nada, co-founder and CEO of the newly named Zoomo, also told TechCrunch that he wanted to ensure the company wouldn’t be confused by other similarly named businesses. “When we set up Bolt back in 2017, the name was fine in Australia, but as we’ve gone international we’ve come up against at least three other companies called Bolt, two of them in the mobility space,” Nada explained. On-demand transportation company Taxify rebranded as Bolt in May 2020. Another company known as Bolt Mobility provides shared scooter services. Zoomo, which has operations in Australia, the UK, New York and soon in Los Angeles, sells its electric bikes or offers them as a subscription. Its primary business has been subscriptions for commercial use, which includes the electric bike, fleet management software, financing and servicing. Subscribers get 24-hour access to the bike. A battery charger, phone holder, phone USB port, secure U-Lock and safety…Continue readingWith $11 million in fresh capital, Bolt Bikes rebrands to Zoomo – TechCrunch

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TechCrunch

Sequoia Capital has internal crash courses for its founders — here’s how they work – TechCrunch

No matter what you think of Sequoia Capital, the firm doesn’t rest on its laurels. Though it’s now managing ungodly amounts of money and has for decades been considered among the top venture firms in the world, it routinely finds new ways to stay relevant and to ensure that it gets a first look at the most promising founders. It was the first firm to employ scouts, for example. Recently, to create more room between itself and its ever-growing number of competitors, the firm has also begun fine-tuning a curriculum for the founders of both the pre-seed and seed-stage startups it has funded, as well as its Series A and B-stage founders. According to Roelof Botha — the U.S. head of the venture firm since 2017 — and Jess Lee, a partner at Sequoia for nearly four years, the idea is to arm the individuals it backs with Sequoia’s vast “tribal knowledge” so they can not only compete with their rivals but, hopefully, outperform them. “We were already delivering this on an on-demand basis,” says Botha, “so we figured why not [institutionalize it]?” How do the curricula work? Much as you might imagine. The pre-seed and seed-stage program is shorter but more intensive than the later-stage program. Think three weeks of between three to six hours of programming a day, versus up to 10 weeks of more occasional programming for founders whose companies are more mature and who maybe can’t drop in for quite as much hands-on education. The content…Continue readingSequoia Capital has internal crash courses for its founders — here’s how they work – TechCrunch

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TechCrunch

With a new general partner and without Alexis Ohanian, Initialized Capital garners $230 million for fund five – TechCrunch

Initialized Capital, the early-stage venture firm that got its start inside of Y Combinator almost a decade ago and spun out of the organization roughly five years later, has closed its newest fund with $230 million in capital commitments, cofounder Garry Tan announced on Medium earlier today. The fund, its fifth, brings the assets that the San Francisco firm is managing to $770 million. Tan also announced that Initialized has a new general partner in Brett Gibson, with whom Tan has partnered with time and again in the past. Specifically, Gibson co-founded with Tan the blog platforms Posthaven and Posterous. He and Tan also later wrote software for Y Combinator, building the organization’s internal software systems. Initialized has been much in the news recently. We had the chance to talk with Tan just last month for at TechCrunch event organized for our Extra Crunch readers, and we discussed a few of the biggest mistakes that startups tend to make. This editor also talked back in March with Tan and Alexis Ohanian, the Reddit cofounder and later Y Combinator partner with whom Tan, also a former YC partner, had founded Initialized. The two talked at the time about the importance of founders finding a way to eke out 18 months of runway on the assumption that the pandemic could take a while. While they gave no indication that they’d be parting ways, that’s exactly what happened more recently, with Ohanian deciding to raise his own pre-seed stage fund (reportedly with a…Continue readingWith a new general partner and without Alexis Ohanian, Initialized Capital garners $230 million for fund five – TechCrunch

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TechCrunch

Singapore’s trade finance startup Incomlend raises $20M led by Sequoia Capital India – TechCrunch

Incomlend, a Singapore-headquartered startup that operates a trading platform to connect exporters and importers with investors, has raised $20 million in a new financing round, it said on Tuesday. Sequoia India, the India and SEA investment arm of the storied U.S. headquartered venture firm, led the Series A round in four-year-old Incomlend. The CMA CGM Group, one of the world’s largest shipping and logistics firms, also participated in the round. Incomlend’s invoice trading platform is solving three pain points. Exporters typically get paid weeks or months after shipping goods and lack working capital to move to service other orders until they have received the due. Incomlend says its platform employs AI-powered underwriting technology to enable exporters to receive early payment. Similarly, the startup says importers on its platform are able to minimize the risk of supply chain disruption and set more favorable payment terms. And investors have found a new alternative asset class to invest in through Incomlend that offers returns in shorter durations. These roadblocks have prompted traditional banks to pull back from financing such deals, creating a cash crunch among cross-border trading firms worldwide. “This has led to a $1.5 trillion trade finance gap, hitting mid-cap companies hard. This gap has worsened with Covid-19,” the startup said, citing its own research. “The impact is acute in high-growth Asia where SMEs — which account for more than 95% of all businesses and provide two out of three private-sector jobs in the region — need more financing options to meet…Continue readingSingapore’s trade finance startup Incomlend raises $20M led by Sequoia Capital India – TechCrunch

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Engadget

Capital One fined $80 million over 2019 data breach

A bank spokesperson said the company had since poured “significant” resources into bolstering its security and otherwise addressing orders from both the OCC and the Federal Reserve. The payout isn’t small, but it might not make many victims happy. The breach exposed sensitive details like addresses, reported income and (in some cases) account numbers and credit scores. Capital One did provide free credit monitoring and identity theft protection after the incident, but the payout still amounts to about 75 cents per person affected in North America. Like the Equifax breach, the compensation may seem small compared to the security precautions and stress inflicted on affected people. Source linkContinue readingCapital One fined $80 million over 2019 data breach