Venture June 2019
It has been an active period for the Club in recent weeks. Medlanes and Meatless have now closed. Manna Drone Delivery Inc. was the latest deal offered to the Club at the end of May but was closed quickly due to strong demand from members. While summer is traditionally a slow time for deals, we continue to have an active pipeline of projects and will be in touch once they progress further.
Declan Magee leads Venture at Elkstone.
Elkstone Venture Showcase – Wednesday, 29th May
Wednesday May 29th saw the second Venture Club Showcase Event launch at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. The event is designed for our members to witness first hand the founders of a selection of the Elkstone supported companies within our portfolio and pipeline. We had over 150 in attendance on the night including founders, Club Members, people from the wider venture eco-system and Elkstone team members. We had six companies pitch to the audience with plenty of opportunity to interact and question the founders. We also launched our latest deal for the Club, Manna Drone Delivery Inc., at the event.
VENTURE CLUB COMPANY NEWS
CEO Anubh Shah of With Clarity (rebranded from Four Mine) recently appeared on TV with Maria Bartiromo to discuss the great traction that the company is currently having in the online jewellery market. View the interview here.
CTO and co-founder at HealthBeacon, Kieran Daly, reflects on receiving the eHealth Innovation of the year award from the Irish Medtech Association. Read the full article here: HealthBeacon Medtech II.
The Meatless Farm Company, is a UK based plant-based meat alternative company. Meatless has already launched its first products (mince and burgers) with UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s in Q4 2018 with a third product (sausages) to start later this month. The company has pushed further into the UK grocery sector through launches with Morrison (April) and Co-op (May) while negotiations with other grocers (including Asda and Tesco) will expand the UK portfolio further over the coming months. Meatless is also targeting the Food Service sector and the existing trial with Wetherspoons has been extended to 20 further airport destinations recently with a view to extending further to its 900 pub estate by the end of Q3 2019. Internationally, the drive for exports has led to Meatless securing a listing in 450 Whole Foods USA stores starting Q3. Securing such a premium marque name is important not just in terms of its financial contribution to the group but also as validation of the quality of its products. Elkstone is raising up to £1m from its Club members as part of the current fundraise.
HealthBeacon, the medical adherence technology company, announced an Innovation Partnership with Dublin City University through the establishment of HealthBeacon Labs, a new research and development facility at their recently expanded Dublin HQ. Both parties will work together to build predictive patient behaviour models based on real-world insights, recognising the importance of data analytics in improving patient care. The partnership recognizes that the fusion of internet of things, technologies, artificial intelligence and large amounts of good quality data presents significant opportunities to meaningfully empower health care providers and their users, with insights which can lead to real improvements in healthcare delivery and patient-empowerment. The company also announced that, as part of its international expansion and rollout, it has entered into the UK market.
SoapBox Labs, the childrens’ voice tech platform, announced that will partner with language platform Lingumi to bring its speech recognition to Lingumi’s app. The app will use SoapBox’s technology to provide an assessment for children using it to learn English. The app reviews and provides instant feedback to the user having assessed the fluency and pronunciation. “By integrating the SoapBox API, Lingumi can now assess and track the English speaking progress of thousands of children every day, motivate them to accelerate their learning, and provide feedback to their parents, all in a scalable and cost effective way”, according to CEO, Dr. Patricia Scanlon.
HANetf, which provides a white label platform solution to issuers of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) has announced the launch of two further innovative products. HAN-GINS Healthcare Innovation will provide investors access to companies active in advanced life sciences and intelligent healthcare while KMEFIC FTSE Kuwait will allow investors to participate in the performance of the Kuwaiti market. Both products are available on the Xetra and Borse Frankfurt.
OTHER NON-CLUB NEWS
Elvie, the UK based femtech company, announced that it has raised $42m in a Series B funding round. The financing was led by private holding company IPGL and supported by existing shareholders Octopus Ventures and Impact Ventures. The funding represents the largest femtech company raise to date. founded in 2013, the company has launched two products to date – the Elvie Trainer, an app-connected kegel trainer that helps women strengthen their pelvic floor with real time biofeedback. The latest product is the Elvie Pump, a silent wearable breast pump.
SuperAwesome, the global kidtech platform, announced that it has expanded its footprint further with an investment of $2m in Kids Corp of Argentina. Both companies make technology to help content creators to comply with laws around child online privacy and advertising to minors. The investment will help finance Kids Corp expansion into Brazil, Chile and Peru from its current bases in Argentina, Mexico and Colombia. There has been media speculation that SuperAwesome has discussed with investment bankers the possibility of an IPO, perhaps as early as next year.
German based fintech, Smava, announced that it has appointed Goldman Sachs to investigate a dual process approach to the company whereby it is exploring an IPO for the company while simultaneously looking at a possible sale. Smava operates a lending platform focussed on the consumer loan market.
Kontainers, the digital platform for containerised shipping announced the addition of Toll Group ( a leading international freight forwarding and supply chain management services company) as a customer in a deal reported to be worth $1.15m. Kontainers already supports four of the top 20 shipping brands including market leader, Maersk.