Connect with us

Start Ups

HRtech startup Omnipresent snaps up €12.3 million Series A to boost the remote work revolution

Avatar

Published

on

HRtech startup Omnipresent has closed a €12.3 million Series A funding round just five months after it’s seed round. The funding will be used to continue to grow the company’s share of the international employment market as the world shifts to remote work post-2020. The round was led by an undisclosed investor with participation from existing investors, Episode 1, Playfair Capital and Truesight Ventures.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 the world has witnessed an unprecedented global shift towards remote working. A Gartner survey of company leaders found that 80% plan to allow employees to work remotely at least part of the time after the pandemic, and Omnipresent’s own employer surveys showed that over 85% of employers will be employing remote or international employees in 2021.

“While talent is evenly distributed around the world, for too long, opportunities have not been. I have experienced first hand the challenge of hiring globally. When I was a CEO attempting to grow a team across different jurisdictions I was dismayed by the baroque complexity and lack of affordable tech-driven solutions,” said Carina Namih, General Partner at Episode 1 Ventures.

London-based Omnipresent is the answer to this problem. By acting as the local employer in every country, Omnipresent helps companies employ local teams worldwide at a fraction of the cost of doing the legwork themselves. With the use of a simple tech-enabled platform, companies can onboard employees compliantly in 150 countries, providing employees with local contracts, tax contributions, and local and international benefits such as health insurance, pensions and equity options. 

“Remote work undoubtedly represents the future of the modern workforce. The sooner companies adapt, the sooner they will reap the massive competitive advantage associated with a globally distributed workforce, including increased workforce productivity and satisfaction and a larger and more diverse pool of talent from which to recruit workers ” said Joe Thornton, General Partner at Playfair Capital. 

Having started the business whilst part of leading talent investor Entrepreneur First’s London cohort in 2019, Matthew Wilson and Guenther Eisinger founded the business on the strong conviction in the transformative power of global distributed teams before the pandemic accelerated the behavioural change. They raised a seed round in July 2020 to build a team and extend Omnipresent’s international coverage to 80 countries by the end of 2020.

Carina Namih also noted: “It comes as no surprise to me that this Series A round is happening hot on the heels of their seed round that we led just 5 months ago. Omnipresent has already become a crucial piece of infrastructure for global teams working across different countries. The team is passionate about delighting users and their pace of execution has been extraordinary. In just a matter of months they have exceeded their ambitious targets and have scaled to cover over 150 countries and rolled out a powerful product that clients are evangelical about.”

With its Series A investment secured, Omnipresent is well positioned to continue its leadership in shaping the future of global employment. 

Source: https://www.eu-startups.com/2021/01/hrtech-startup-omnipresent-snaps-up-e12-3-million-series-a-to-boost-the-remote-work-revolution/

Start Ups

Why SaaS Startups Need Trademarks

Avatar

Published

on

Establishing your brand is an important process for any business. Branding helps form your company identity and allows you to build brand awareness. In the tech industry, establishing your brand is even more critical as competition can be fierce, making being able to differentiate your business and the goods or services you offer important to help stand out in a crowded field. Consequently, establishing trademark protection early on is crucial for protecting the reputation and customer goodwill being built under your name or logo, and for ensuring that you and you alone have the rights to operate under that mark.

In many cases, you will find that your brand and accompanying intellectual property are the most valuable assets for ensuring your business’ future. Trademarks operate under a “first come, first served” system, so prioritizing establishing your marks early on is very important to guarantee you successfully claim those rights. 

This article will show you why SaaS startups need trademarks and how they can benefit your company.

Benefits of Trademarks for SaaS Startups

When you secure trademarks for your SaaS, you create a level of protection. Trademarks provide the groundwork for building brand recognition and prevent competitors from copying or stealing your brand by using identical or confusingly similar marks with their competing business. 

As a SaaS startup, it’s vital that you establish and maintain a positive reputation. This will encourage sophisticated consumers to choose you over a competitor, and help draw in talented and knowledgeable employees to work for your business. 

Securing your trademark protections early helps you avert legal problems in the future. If you wait to register, a competitor SaaS company can take steps to begin using a similar name or logo and potentially pursue register before you have the chance to do so. In this case, the competitor may have senior legal right to the marks, and you could be forced to start over and rebrand. 

Unlike other intellectual property tools, a trademark can be for life. Once established, a trademark registration is initially provided for a term of 10 years; however, you can continue to maintain the registration for subsequent periods by filing appropriate renewals and maintenance documents wherein you establish that you have continued to use the mark in commerce. This means you have the potential to benefit from your trademark ownership for decades to come

Having your SaaS startup protected with trademarks gives your business a sense of autonomy. You create an identity and establish yourself as different from the rest of the market. When consumers are looking for your products and services, this allows them to quickly and easily find your business as opposed to that of a competitor.

What Do Trademarks Protect? 

A trademark is one of the tools you can use to protect your SaaS intellectual property, and you will use it in conjunction with copyrights and patents. A trademark protects words, phrases, slogans, symbols, and designs used to indicate the branding or source of the goods and services being offered to consumers. Likewise, a trademark may be used to protect a combination or composite of these elements. 

The purpose of a trademark is to identify the source of a particular good or service and ensure consumers are dealing with the business they intend to. In such, the trademark distinguishes your company from your competitors who are performing a similar service or selling a similar product as they would be unable to use a confusingly similar mark. 

Trademark protections are what you would use to protect your SaaS brand, whereas patents protect your underlying software invention and copyrights protect your original artistic works (e.g., the literal written code or other written or drawn works). 

Creating a Strong Mark 

The first step is choosing a mark that not only represents the concept you wish to portray for the business, but that is both federally registerable and legally protectable. Therefore, it is important to start by choosing a mark that is not likely to be confused with the mark of another company. Both examiners with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office when determining registrability of a mark and courts when looking at issues of potential infringement will use standards of whether the conflicting marks are likely to cause consumer confusion. This likelihood of confusion could result from how a mark looks or sounds, the similarity of the goods or services being offered, the commercial impression given by the mark, among other various factors. These factors are weighted and assessed on the whole to determine whether consumers may confuse the marks. Consequently, it is possible to have even identical marks so long as the marks are otherwise distinct enough that consumers would not believe they come from the same source (e.g., the marks are being used for completely unrelated goods or services which are not typically offered by the same company, purchased or used together, etc.). Generally, whether goods or services are related will be broadly interpreted, so it is best to ensure that if the marks are similar, the goods and services are not.

Next, consider the strength of your mark. Generic names and words are not registerable on their own.  Examples of generic terms include the wording “computer,” “tablet,” or “cell phone.” Descriptive terms, which provide some indication as to the nature of the goods or services, likewise are not registerable on their own. An example of a descriptive term would be using “fast” or comprehensive” to describe your software. 

The strongest marks are those which are merely suggestive, fanciful, or arbitrary marks. These are inherently distinctive and more easily enforceable as they more clearly identify a source due to their novelty. 

What’s The Difference Between a Trademark and Servicemark?

Once you’re ready to register for protection of your mark, you’ll need to decide whether you should register for a trademark or service mark. A single SaaS business may need to register both a trademark and a service mark if it needs to protect both services (e.g., the services provided through their software) and products (e.g., a downloadable form of a software provided to consumers). You’ll often hear both trademarks and service marks referred to simply as a “trademark” or “mark.”

A trademark is used by businesses to protect the company name, logo, sound, color schemes of the same, or names and logos used for individual products and product lines. Trademarks are useful for companies that have a range of products or services that need to be identified as all being under the single company brand. Examples of nontraditional trademarks include the Microsoft Windows startup sound, the Coca-Cola bottle’s shape, or the McDonalds golden arches, each of which uniquely indicates to a consumer the brand of the products being provided. 

A service mark is similar to a trademark in that it identifies a business name, logo, and or that of its individual services and lines of services. For example, a plumbing service company would use a service mark. An example of a nontraditional service mark would be the NBC chime, which represents the NBC television service. 

In the context of trademarks, a single application can encompass both trademark and service mark protections by identifying the various goods and services being provided thereunder. In such, it is important to identify how each mark will be used when preparing to file your applications.

What’s The Difference Between The ® & ™ symbols?

You have probably seen small symbols after a company name or other branding. They could be an ® & ™. You can only use these symbols in certain situations, though. 

If you want to use the ® symbol, you’ll need to have a federal registration for the trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. While there’s no requirement that you must use the ® symbol, it provides constructive notice to consumers that you have a trademark registration which may be enforced should they attempt to infringe upon the same.

Many companies choose to use the symbol on marketing material to immediately indicate to others that the legal rights to the name are protected. If you decide to use it, be careful to only use it with words, phrases, or logos you have already registered. 

In contrast, you may use the ™ symbol any time you have a claim to trademark rights, whether under a federal or state registration or pending application, or otherwise under common law by virtue of your using the same in commerce. Before using this symbol, it is important to do your due diligence and confirm that your chosen mark isn’t already protected by another party, as you can only claim protection for marks that that a third party does not own senior rights to. If you choose to use the ™ symbol on a mark that’s already protected, then you risk facing a lawsuit from the rightful owner. 

It’s always a good idea to have a skilled attorney do a thorough search for you. They will have more resources to perform an on-point search and be able to better assess the results. Once you determine that the mark is unprotected, you may place the ™ marker on the wording or logo to signal your claim to competitors. 

Have Questions About Protecting Your Startup’s Brand?

As you can seem, SaaS startups need trademarks. Trademarks establishe your business as a serious one that commands respect and consideration. Likewise, you will attract higher quality consumers and employees while also preventing competitors from wrongly benefiting from your hard work and good reputation. 

Investing in trademarks is investing in your future by protecting your business’ branding. It’s crucial that you work with an experienced attorney who can help you establish comprehensive protection. Further, because your protection is based on first use, don’t delay in establishing your ownership rights. 

Request a free consultation today and have all of your trademark questions answered by one of our knowledgeable attorneys. 

Source: https://arapackelaw.com/trademarks/why-saas-startups-need-trademarks/

Continue Reading

Start Ups

What You Need To Know About Dispo, The New Photo App Everyone is Buzzing About

Avatar

Published

on

If you’re part of Generation Z or spent some time on Tech Twitter over the weekend, you’ve probably heard of Dispo at this point.

Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily

The app, which has been around for more than a year, became the subject of discussion and scramble for invites after rolling out an invite-only test version last week. 

Because we care (really, we actually do care), we thought we’d break down Dispo and tell you why it matters.

The basics

Dispo is an app founded by YouTuber and social media personality David Dobrik. Dobrik’s known for leading The Vlog Squad on YouTube, and founded Dispo in late 2019. 

The app was previously known as David’s Disposables, according to dot.LA, and is essentially a camera app that acts like a disposable camera and produces retro-looking photos. Users take a photo and have to wait for it to “develop” and receive it at 9 a.m. local time. 

The end result is a more authentic looking photograph–not the filtered, edited photos social media users have grown accustomed to seeing on Instagram, but more raw and real.

Dispo’s aesthetic is one that Gen Z has come to embrace on social platforms like TikTok that is more authentic and unfiltered. Dobrik said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal last year that the idea for Dispo was born after he noticed his friends taking photos with real disposable cameras at parties. The end product wasn’t filtered or edited.

“With disposable photos, you’re not sitting there and making sure you get the right photo,” Dobrik said, according to WSJ.

How it works

Besides taking a photo and receiving it the next morning, Dispo also has a social element to it, where users can share their camera rolls. Dispo just released the invite-only version of the app that has the social element, and it quickly hit the 10,000 user limit over the weekend after users in Japan flocked to the app, according to the company. The original version of the app with just the photo-taking capability is still available on the App Store.

Who is backing it

Dispo raised a $4 million seed round led by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s VC firm Seven Seven Six in October 2020, according to Crunchbase. We’ve reached out to Seven Seven Six and haven’t heard back yet, but will update this story if that changes.

VC firms like Shrug Capital and Unshackled Ventures also participated in the round, along with celebrity investors like The Chainsmokers and actress Sofia Vergara. You can see Dispo’s full list of investors on Crunchbase here.

The Information also reported Wednesday that the app has gotten investment interest from the likes of Sequoia and Andreessen Horowitz, which recently backed Clubhouse.

So there you have it. Time will quickly tell if Dispo is more than just the latest fad but with high profile backers and a nice chunk of seed money it will at least be interesting to see what lies ahead.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/what-you-need-to-know-about-dispo-the-new-photo-app/

Continue Reading

Start Ups

Leveraging R&D Tax Credits: Boast.ai Inks $100M To Front Tax Credits

Avatar

Published

on

Boast.ai, a tool to automate R&D tax credit-based financing for startups, has secured a $100 million credit facility from Brevet Capital to provide cash advances on tax credits and subsidies.

Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily

Keeping track of R&D tax credits is manual, cumbersome and time-consuming, and companies typically don’t note which employee did what and for how long, Boast.ai co-founder and President Lloyed Lobo told Crunchbase News. In 2019, more than an estimated $18 billion in R&D credits were reported by businesses, according to financial advisory services firm BDO.

“Companies incur R&D expenses throughout the year, but don’t see financial benefits for 16 months or more because they can’t submit for the credits until they file taxes,” Lobo said. “We are automating the collection of data to identify, categorize and time-track eligible projects, which gives an estimate of how much time was spent in R&D. You leverage your R&D to grow without giving up equity.”

The $100 million credit facility will enable Boast.ai to give money to companies so they don’t have to wait for the tax credits. In return, the borrowing company pays back the credits with interest.

Rather than having to pay several times a year to use the platform and return the credits, Boast.ai will create one fee the company will pay that encompasses everything. That fee will typically be lower than taking a loan or paying an accounting firm to compile the data, Lobo said.

The new funding follows a $23 million Series A round of funding in December, led by Radian Capital, bringing the company’s total funding to $123 million since its inception in 2012, according to Crunchbase data. Prior to that, the company was bootstrapped, Lobo said.

Douglas Monticciolo, co-founder and CEO of Brevet Capital, said in a written statement that R&D tax credits are an “untapped resource for companies looking to invest in and accelerate innovation.”

“R&D tax credits are a valuable form of capital — but the delays can be extremely challenging for early-stage companies,” Monticciolo said. “Boast.ai’s AI-powered financing platform eliminates those delays and allows startups to focus on creating new solutions and products while immediately reaping the benefits of their hard-earned R&D efforts.”

Boast.ai says it has worked with more than 1,000 companies to recover R&D costs from the U.S. and Canadian governments, streamlining the process and reducing the risk of costly audits.

The company says it has doubled its revenue year over year. If all of its customers use Boast.ai’s new cash advance offering, Lobo expects to exhaust the $100 million this year. He hopes to be able to extend the facility to $500 million.

“The next steps are scaling and growing,” Lobo added. “We are almost going to triple operations in the next little while. Our goal is to get to 5,000 customers, and that will take us to $100 million in revenue.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

SeedFi is creating a platform for Americans who don’t have adequate resources to build credit, save money, access funds and plan for the future.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/leveraging-rd-tax-credits-boast-ai-inks-100m-to-front-tax-credits/

Continue Reading

Start Ups

The Briefing: Public.com Gains $1.2B Valuation, Copado Lands $96M, Fictiv Nabs $35M, And More

Avatar

Published

on

Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily

Public.com gets its horn after $220M Series D

Investing social network Public.com is now valued at $1.2 billion following a $220 million Series D investment. Investors in the deal include existing backers Accel, Greycroft and Lakestar, as well as Intuition Capital, Tiger Global, Mantis VC, Dreamers VC, Inspired Capital, Vine Capital Partners, Aglaé Ventures and Phil DeFranco.

This comes two months after the New York-based company raised a $65 million Series C, bringing total funding to date to $310 million.

In addition, the company has amassed 1 million members just 18 months after launching, according to the company. On Feb. 1, Public announced its decision to eliminate Payment for Order Flow (PFOF) from its business model, moving to now collect tips from users in exchange for executing their orders.

The company intends to use the new funding on platform infrastructure, product development and new features that will include crypto, pre- and post-market trading and ways to set up recurring investments, as well as other stock market education features.

— Christine Hall

Spain’s Copado lands $96M for devops platform

Madrid-based Copado, provider of a devops platform for Salesforce users, raised $96 million in a Series B funding round led by Insight Partners and Salesforce Ventures.

The eight-year-old company offers enterprise customers tools to automate or minimize manual tasks, and to get visibility of release pipelines and data flow between environments. Previously, the company had raised around $35 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data.

— Joanna Glasner

Enterprise software

  • Fictiv raises $35M for digital manufacturing: Fictiv, provider of an online platform for designing and manufacturing items, raised $35 million in a Series D round led by 40 North Ventures. The round brings total financing to date for the San Francisco-based company to around $92 million.
  • Peak raises $21M for enterprise AI: Peak, a startup out of Manchester, England that provides software for enterprises to accelerate adoption of artificial intelligence technology, raised $21 million in a Series B round led by Oxx.

Joanna Glasner

Health care

Excision, Nest Collaborative raise rounds: Excision BioTherapeutics, a San Francisco company developing potentially curative CRISPR anti-viral treatments, announced $60 million financing that will go toward clinical trial support of four candidates targeting treatment for viruses such as HIV, herpes and Hepatitis B. GreatPoint Ventures led the round and was joined by a group of existing and new investors. Meanwhile, virtual lactation consultation platform Nest Collaborative brought in $2.1 million in seed funding, led by Altitude Ventures. Other investors participating in the round included Bread and Butter Ventures and Wavemaker 360. This is the Baltimore-based company’s first institutional funding and will enable Nest to scale its team, invest in additional breastfeeding support offerings and increase marketing and partnerships.

— Christine Hall

Transportation

Super73 lands $20M: Lifestyle adventure brand Super73 closed on a $20 million investment from Volition Capital, bringing its total known funding to $29.5 million, according to Crunchbase data. The Irvine, California-based company makes two-wheeled electric vehicles and since 2016, has gained a following from celebrities like Jack Black, Will Smith and Madonna.

— Christine Hall

Energy

Dandelion lands $30M: Dandelion Energy, a home geothermal company, closed on a $30 million Series B round of funding, led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, to give the Peekskill, New York-based company total funding of $65 million since the company was spun out of Alphabet’s X lab in 2017. This includes a $12 million Series A-1 round in January 2020. Dandelion has developed a virtual sales and design process for its heating and cooling systems, which reduce a home’s carbon emissions by as much as 80 percent and eliminates the need to buy heating fuel, the company said.

— Christine Hall

Fintech and e-commerce

  • Standard Cognition bags $150M: Standard Cognition, providing an autonomous checkout tool that can be installed into retailers’ existing stores, raised $150 million in a Series C round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The San Francisco-based company plans to outfit hundreds of checkout-free stores, with a goal of more than 50,000 stores in the next five years. The global pandemic is driving more contactless payment options. The global contactless payment market was valued at more than $8 billion in 2019, and is expected to grow 15 percent each year, according to Research Corridor.
  • Goldin Auction raises $40M: Collectibles and trading card marketplace Goldin Auctions brought in approximately $40 million in growth financing from The Chernin Group. In addition to the investment, the Runnemede, New Jersey-based company announced Ross Huffman, former chief business officer at Headspace, joined as CEO. In addition to The Chernin Group, backers included a group of notable individuals and firms, including Mark Cuban, Kevin Durant and Chad Hurley.

— Christine Hall

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Encouraging more connections and collaboration between corporate giants, startups and government agencies is a sure-fire way to continue building the…

Crunchbase data shows at least nine known venture-backed EV companies were acquired in 2020, marking a five-year high for such acquisitions recorded…

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-2-17-21/

Continue Reading
SPACS5 days ago

TPB Acquisition I files for a $250 million IPO; SPAC targets sustainable food production

SPACS5 days ago

Elliott Management’s tech-focused SPAC Elliott Opportunity I files for a $1.0 billion IPO

Amb Crypto4 days ago

Litecoin Price Analysis: 20 February

Blockchain4 days ago

VeChain Review: Blockchain Supply Chain Management

PR Newswire4 days ago

S3 AeroDefense Signs 10 Year Distribution Agreement & Repair License with Honeywell Aerospace

SPACS5 days ago

Special purpose acquisition companies grow in popularity on Wall Street during the pandemic

Amb Crypto4 days ago

Why MicroStrategy and other institutions don’t regret their Bitcoin buys

Amb Crypto4 days ago

Why retail adoption of Bitcoin may be a challenge at $55,000

SPACS5 days ago

Paul Singer-backed blank-check firms file for up to $1.5 billion IPO

NEWATLAS5 days ago

Perseverance sends back post-touchdown selfie

Amb Crypto5 days ago

Chainlink integrates with Danal Fintech to support retail Bitcoin payments

Automotive4 days ago

Tesla’s Gigafactory formula rose from a humble “tent” at the Fremont Factory

Amb Crypto4 days ago

Are Bitcoin’s long-term hodlers entering the seller’s market?

Amb Crypto4 days ago

Polkadot, Cosmos, IOTA Price Analysis: 20 February

NEWATLAS5 days ago

Super-light laptop carries heavyweight price tag

Amb Crypto5 days ago

SEC is “dead wrong” in the Ripple case claims former SEC chair Mary Jo White

Amb Crypto4 days ago

Chainlink, Aave, SushiSwap Price Analysis: 20 February

Amb Crypto5 days ago

Litecoin, EOS, Decred Price Analysis: 20 February

Amb Crypto5 days ago

Ethereum Price Analysis: 20 February

Amb Crypto4 days ago

Binance coin, Tron, FTX Token Price Analysis: 20 February

Trending