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The Briefing: Revolut Raises $800M, Teikametrics Lands $40M, And More

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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.

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Revolut raises $800M

London-based fintech unicorn Revolut raised $800 million in a Series E funding round backed by Softbank Vision Fund 2 and Tiger Global.

The financing sets a $33 billion valuation for the 7-year-old company, which will use the money in part to expand its offerings to U.S. customers and to branch out into India and other international markets.

Revolut offers a financial app that people can use for money transfer, exchange and other tasks. The company previously raised just over $900 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data.

Teikametrics lands $40M

Boston-based Teikametrics, a provider of e-commerce optimization software, raised $40 million in a fresh Series B funding round.

Funding round

SecurEnds picks up $21M: Atlanta-based SecurEnds, a provider of identity governance and access control technology, announced that it raised $21 million in a Series A round led by Elephant.

— Joanna Glasner

Enterprise software

Netradyne closes $150M Series C: San Diego-based Netradyne raised a $150 million Series C led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from existing investors Point72 Ventures and M12. Founded in 2015, the company has raised nearly $200 million to date.

Netradyne uses AI and edge computing to provide fleets with enhanced video safety cameras and performance analytics tracking to help reduce risky driving behaviors.

— Chris Metinko

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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

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Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-7-15-21/

Start Ups

DataRobot lands $300M and acquires Seattle machine learning startup Algorithmia

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Diego Oppenheimer of Algorithmia

Seattle startup Algorithmia has been acquired by DataRobot, a Boston-based startup and leader in the machine learning operations sector.

Founded in 2013, Algorithmia builds tools to help companies incorporate machine learning into their operations to increase productivity and efficiency as well as create new technologies. More than 130,000 people have used Algorithmia’s platform, including those at companies such as Merck, Ernst & Young, and Deloitte.

DataRobot is similar, automating the building and deployment of machine learning models for large enterprises.

“It was the perfect fit for Algorithmia with alignment on vision and mission to deliver AI/ML to every enterprise on earth,” Algorithmia CEO Diego Oppenheimer told GeekWire.

Oppenheimer will remain at DataRobot following the acquisition. He co-founded Algorithmia with Kenny Daniel, the company’s CTO. Algorithmia originally built a marketplace for machine-learning algorithms that companies could find and insert into their applications, but later shifted to helping companies implement those algorithms into their software-development process, which is difficult for startups and enterprises new to machine learning.

Oppenheimer was previously at Microsoft for more than five years, where he helped design, manage and ship some of the company’s data products including Excel, Power Pivot, SQL Server and Power BI. He was a finalist for Startup CEO of the Year at the GeekWire Awards last year.

Algorithmia had raised $37.9 million to date, including a $25 million Series B round in 2019. Investors include Norwest Venture Partners, Madrona Venture Group, Gradient Ventures, Work-Bench, Osage University Partners, and Rakuten Capital. Algorithmia has 58 employees and was ranked No. 90 on the GeekWire 200 index of top Pacific Northwest startups.

DataRobot also announced a $300 million Series G funding round at a $6.3 billion valuation alongside its acquisition of Algorithmia. The company launched in 2012 and is one of the most-funded privately held AI startups. It has acquired other companies including Nexosis, Paxata, Cursor, ParallelM, and Nutonian.

Algorithmia’s people and technology significantly enhance our mission to rapidly move from experimental to applied AI by helping customers bring every model into production with rapid time to value,” DataRobot CEO Dan Wright said in a statement.

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Source: https://www.geekwire.com/2021/datarobot-lands-300m-acquires-seattle-machine-learning-startup-algorithmia/

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Start Ups

After landing NBA jersey sponsorship deal, crypto startup StormX raises $9M

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Seattle cryptocurrency startup StormX raised $9 million from Optimista Capital to fuel growth of its platform that lets users earn cryptocurrency rewards when they shop at retailers such as Nike, Samsung, eBay and Microsoft. It comes on the heels of a separate $6 million round in April, and a NBA jersey sponsorship deal with the Portland Trail Blazers announced earlier this month. The fresh cash will help StormX launch a debit card later this year and offer more rewards to cardholders.

The StormX app has more than 3 million downloads and has paid out more than $4 million in rewards to date. The company makes money off transaction fees when their users make purchases from their partner brands. It’s one of many crypto and blockchain-related startups attracting attention from investors.

Total funding to date for the 23-person company is $47.7 million.

Previously: How this Seattle entrepreneur went from running a food truck to leading a fast-growing crypto startup

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.geekwire.com/2021/landing-nba-jersey-sponsorship-deal-crypto-startup-stormx-raises-9m/

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Start Ups

How RapidSOS used creative tactics to build partnerships and a BD engine at scale

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One of the most challenging aspects of leading a startup is the seeming impossibility of building partnerships and executing business development. Large companies are sclerotic and bureaucratic, taking eons in terms of startup years to make decisions that for them are small, but for a new company, can be life itself. Every startup ultimately needs to break through those logjams, and sometimes, they need to lock in quite a few partnerships to be successful.

And then there is RapidSOS. With a two-sided business built around relationships with dozens if not hundreds of companies on both sides of the coin, it needed to gain competency in building partnerships really early and really quickly as it scaled its data platform to improve emergency 911 calls. We’ve already covered the company’s origin story and business in parts one and two of this EC-1, and now I want to turn to the secret sauce: How a scrappy cadre of startup folks were able to break down the walls that imperil partnerships at some of the largest tech companies in the world.

For RapidSOS, which had to scale to support hundreds of partners over the years, the key has been building its team and training them for the unique partners they have signed agreements with.

The key, as we will learn, is a set of creative tactics that the company used to bind as many stakeholders into its business as possible. We’ll look at what these partnerships are and how they are formed, and then explore how RapidSOS integrated with software vendors in the 911 space. We’ll also explore how it educated call takers at public safety answering points (PSAPs), worked with its customer partners, and finally, how it built its advisory board and an industrywide initiative around health profiles to become a key thought leader in the market.

The art of the partnership

“Partnership” is a notably and intentionally vague term often thrown around startup circles. Simply put, it describes a business relationship, generally consummated with a contract or statement of work, that brings two companies together over a common initiative. Unlike a mere sale, where one company supplies a product and perhaps customer support in exchange for compensation, partnerships tend to be much broader and more strategic, and can include everything from cross-promotion and channel marketing to engineering assistance, venture investment, exclusivity commitments and more.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/27/rapidsos-ec1-partnerships/

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Start Ups

After a decade, Congress might finally bring 911 into the internet age

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When it comes to user-interface design, 911 is about as good as it gets. It’s the “most recognized number in the United States,” Steve Souder, a prominent 911 leader, points out. Simple, fast, and it works from any telephone in the United States. No matter what the emergency is, the call takers on the other side will triage and dispatch assistance.

I’ve taken that ubiquity and simplicity for granted over the past three parts of this EC-1 on RapidSOS as we’ve looked at the startup’s origin story, business and products, as well as its partnerships and business development engine. The company is deeply enmeshed with 911, which means that the prospects of 911 as a system will heavily determine the trajectory of RapidSOS in the coming years, or at least, until its international expansion hits scale and it isn’t so dependent on the U.S. market.

Right now, a $15 billion funding bill to invest in NG911 has been proposed in Congress as part of the LIFT America infrastructure bill that is currently winding its way through the appropriations process and negotiations between Democratic and Republican leaders.

Now, you might think, “911, how could they screw that up?” But this is America, and you’d be surprised.

Despite the daily heroic work of tens of thousands of 911 personnel who keep this brittle system afloat, the reality today is that America’s emergency call infrastructure is in a perilous state. After more than a decade of heavy advocacy, the transition to the “next generation” of 911 (dubbed NG911), which would replace a voice-centric model with an internet-based one designed around data streams, has been trundling along, with some early traction but little universality.

As a Congressional Research Service report described it just a few years ago, “funding has been a challenge, and progress has been relatively slow.” Three years later, the words are just as true as they were then.

Given that RapidSOS’ future ultimately relies on a competent government capable of providing core infrastructure, this fourth and final part of the EC-1 will look at the current state of 911 services and what their prospects are, and finally, how one should ultimately judge RapidSOS given all that we have seen.

The three-digit number that feels like it is three-digits old

911 was invented in the late 1960s to unify America around one emergency number. Early forays to create emergency lines had sprouted up across cities and states, but each used their own system and telephone number, creating massive complications for travelers and people living on jurisdictional boundaries. President Lyndon Johnson’s 1967 crime task force recommended creating a single number for emergency calls as a crime-prevention tool, and on February 16, 1968, the first 911 call was dialed in Haleyville, Alabama.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/27/rapidsos-ec1-future/

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