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EPA Invests in Rheaply to Enhance Material Recycling

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently selected 30 small businesses to receive part of a $3 million investment to help develop new technologies to address environmental and public health concerns. Among the recipients was Chicago-based startup Rheaply.

Rheaply is based on the concept of circular economies, where waste or excesses resources are repurposed, significantly reducing waste. An example of a circular economy is a furniture designer repurposing wood scraps into other products instead of chucking the waste into the garbage and it ending up in a landfill.

Launched in 2016, Rheaply offers a SaaS platform that not only functions as an asset manager but also allows companies to publicly post assets they no longer need. With the platform, businesses can sell, share and rent unwanted assets with other businesses. A feature on the software also allows companies to request specific assets.

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Adloid Raises $4 Mn For Its Metaverse And AR Builder Platform

Metaverse and augmented reality (AR) builder platform Adloid has raised $4 Mn from Chiratae Ventures (Formerly IDG Ventures, India), and Lenskart Vision Fund as part of its Pre-Series A funding round to fuel its growth and product evolution.

The round also saw the participation of EaseMyTrip cofounder Prashant Pitti, Seeders, and 100x Entrepreneur.

The startup has also announced its rebranding to Metadome, a metaverse that will provide the no-code infrastructure to millions of creators and brands to build immersive experiences for the virtual world.

“The company will be expanding its product and tech teams and inviting the creator community to build a metaverse which can host 1 Bn experiences a day by 2023,” it said. The startup also plans to strengthen its customer success and delivery in North America and other geographies to support its enterprise offerings.

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NavVis Adds Fresh Funding To Fulfill Its Mission To Digitize Commercial Buildings And Assets

NavVis is a global leader in end-to-end solutions for reality capture and digital twins. The company is on a mission to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world by enabling immediate access to building information, anytime, anywhere. The NavVis product offering includes the world’s most advanced reality capture solution, which allows for rapid digitization of buildings and assets, and cloud-based digital twin software for the manufacturing and construction sector.

NavVis announced that they have received 25€m of fresh equity funding that complements the recent 20€m debt funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB), raising the total investment to 85€m. The round was led by Cipio Partners, with additional capital from previous investors, BayBGMIG, Target Partners, Digital+ Partners, and Kozo Keikaku Engineering, making NavVis one of the best-funded deep tech startups in Europe.

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Breinify Accelerates Momentum in Second Half of 2021 for funding

Breinify, the leading lightweight personalization platform, is pleased to announce continued momentum following a $11 million round of seed funding in April 2021. The company has seen strong continued growth, meeting key milestones set for 2021 including tripling its headcount and 4.3x revenue, adding four new customers, and experiencing zero product downtime, among other drivers of operational success.

“It’s incredible to see how Breinify has grown,” says Diane Keng, co-founder and CEO of Breinify. “We’ve done an amazing job setting the foundations for scaling as we raised $11M in unheard of speeds. Our ‘crawl, walk, run’ approach really resonates with our customers and we’re beyond ecstatic to see how we’ve jump started their personalization journeys.”

New Notable Customers & Partnerships

In the last few years, retail/CPG brands have made quite a shift to become more digital-centric and data-driven. To successfully move the needle for these industries, these brands have to find ways to implement smart personalization. Unfortunately, unless you are Amazon, Google, or the top one or two brands in your industry, these companies face several challenges to enable even the most basic personalization capabilities. Breinify is democratizing data science by finding ways to make predictive capabilities accessible to non-technical, yet data-driven marketing teams. The company’s AI solution enables enterprise marketers to deliver predictive personalization at scale.

“2021 has shown us that brands are hungrier than ever for predictive personalization,” says Keng. “More of the brands we see in our kitchen pantries or bathroom cabinets embrace the importance of relevant personalization, but struggle to get effective experiences up and running. Through word of mouth, we organically quadrupled our customer base and expanded our partnership with more than 80 percent of our existing customers. The time to access data science powered personalization is now.”

Breinify customers include BevMo!, Duraflame, Sally Beauty, and many more to drive $125M in new revenue, 20x results (between split testing) for page visits, and +105% in CRM growth.

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Sounding Board lands Series B to move coaching beyond services and into SaaS

Sounding Board, which started as a platform to connect leaders to coaches through a marketplace, realized early in the pandemic that mentorship needs a refresh.

“We’ve always delivered coaching in this traditional services format,” said Christine Tao, Sounding Board CEO and co-founder. “Well, we’re not in the office anymore so we actually have to speak differently about how we’re developing our talent and our leaders.” The insight led to the launch of a software platform that let users not only connect with coaches, but also track goals on an ongoing basis.

Now, nearly a year after landing a Series A with this vision, Sounding Board has closed a $30 million Series B led by Jazz Venture Partners and joined by Gaingels as well as angel investors such as theBoardlist’s Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Ancestry.com’s Deb Liu, Udemy’s Yvonne Chen and DocuSign’s Tammy Aguillon. Previous investors in the company include Canaan Partner and Precursor Ventures.

The round also saw JAZZ Venture Partners’ John Spinale join the board, an addition to Sounding Boards’ all-female team (and all-female board). “The joke is that we actually had to add diversity to our board … a man,” Tao laughed.

The fundraise comes off of solid growth for Sounding Board, which touts that it has had sequential growth for the past seven quarters. While Tao wouldn’t share specifics on revenues, the company said revenue was in the “multimillions” in the past and annual bookings have increased more than 350% year over year. Looking at stickiness, Sounding Board claims that net revenue retention is over 200%, meaning that existing customers continue to pay for the platform as time goes on.

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Milk Moovement Bags $1.5M From SDTC

Milk Moovement, which makes supply chain management software for the dairy industry, now controls about 10 percent of United States milk production and has bagged a $1.5 million grant from federal agency Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

CEO Robert Forsythe said in an interview that, in the wake of a United States expansion that saw the company move its sales office to Minnesota, Milk Moovement has inked deals with three of the country’s largest dairy cooperatives — including California Dairies, which includes more than 300 farms.

He said Milk Moovement’s revenue has grown about 350 percent on the back of the American deals, with annual recurring revenue set to hit $2 million by the end of this year.

In addition to a $4 million equity funding round last Spring, the money from SDTC follows a smaller, $100,000 grant from 2020.

“From there, they really looked at, ‘Okay, who’s high-performing and who’s growing really quickly, and who could benefit from further investment?” said Forsythe.

“They were just seeing traction and an ability to really double down on what we pitched for the $100K.”

Milk Moovement’s software is now used in the production of 23 billion pounds of milk annually — about a tenth of the 223 billion pounds produced every year in the United States. The technology is used by about 800 farms and Forsythe expects that number to double by early next year.

But he said $2 million of revenue from 10 percent of the market does not mean Milk Movement’s annual revenue from the U.S. will top out at $20 million. Dairy co-operatives are the company’s beachhead market, but next year, he expects to begin making inroads into the tenfold larger dairy processing industry.

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Jina.ai raises $30M for its for its neural search platform

Berlin-based Jina.ai, an open-source startup that uses neural search to help its users find information in their unstructured data (including videos and images),  announced that it has raised a $30 million Series A funding round led by Canaan Partners. New investor Mango Capital, as well as existing investors GGV Capital, SAP.iO and Yunqi Partners also participated in this round, which brings the company’s total funding to $39 million to date.

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Jina.ai raises $30M for its neural search platform

Berlin-based Jina.ai, an open-source startup that uses neural search to help its users find information in their unstructured data (including videos and images), today announced that it has raised a $30 million Series A funding round led by Canaan Partners. New investor Mango Capital, as well as existing investors GGV Capital, SAP.iO and Yunqi Partners also participated in this round, which brings the company’s total funding to $39 million to date.

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Israeli startup EasySend raises $55.5m to help enterprises build, maintain digital customer journeys with its no-code platform

EasySend, a no-code digital customer journey platform announced a $50.5 million Series B funding round led by Oak HC/FT. Existing investors Vertex IL, Intel Capital, and Hanaco Venture also participated in the round. The company also secured $5 million in venture debt from Silicon Valley Bank.

The announcement follows a year of accelerated growth; the company expanded its US revenues by ten-fold as it supported digital transformation for insurance, banks, and credit unions such as Cincinnati Insurance, NJM Insurance Group, PSCU, Sompo, and Petplan. The funding will accelerate EasySend’s growth in the US and other geographic regions as well as support expansion into new verticals and product use cases.

Tal Daskal, Chief Executive Officer, EasySend: “COVID-19 led to a massive shift in the way people interact with businesses online. EasySend helps enterprises accelerate their five-year digital transformation plans in just three months, making it simple for them to offer exceptional online customer experiences. We are grateful for the support we’ve received from Oak HC/FT and our other investors and are excited to continue helping more businesses make the digital leap forward.”

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AI-Driven Routing Company Wise Systems Raises $50 Million

Wise Systems – a leading AI-driven routing and dispatching platform provider – announced it has raised $50 million in Series C financing led by Tiger Global Management with participation from new and existing investors that include Section 32, Valo Ventures, Gradient Ventures, and Prologis Ventures.

Wise Systems’ real-time, automated system enables delivery and service operations with drivers worldwide across the last-mile industry. And the company will use the financing to further accelerate product development, market expansion across key geographies, and to address the increasing global demand for the company’s dispatching and routing solutions.

Known as a leader in AI technology for last-mile delivery operations, Wise Systems saw significant growth over the two past years, growing 300% year-over-year, experiencing increased demand for the company’s autonomous dispatch and routing technology across a number of markets. And today’s announcement comes on the heels of other significant developments for Wise Systems this year, including the availability of its platform in the SAP App Store and its launch in Japan. In July, Wise Systems announced a partnership with Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), under the umbrella of Daimler Trucks Asia (DTA), to offer the company’s AI-driven routing and dispatch software to MFTBC customers in Japan. This partnership extends Wise Systems’ reach to the commercial vehicle industry in Japan, one of the busiest last-mile markets in the world.

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Computer vision platform Cogniac nabs $20M to bolster its customer acquisition efforts

Cogniac, a San Jose, California-based startup developing computer vision tech for task automation, today announced that it raised $20 million in a series B1 financing round led by National Grid Partners with participation from National Grid, Autotech Ventures, Cisco Investments, Energy Innovation Capital, London Technology Club, Vanedge Capital, and Wing Venture Capital. CEO Chuck Myers says that the proceeds will be put toward the expansion of Cogniac’s workforce and the ramp-up of R&D efforts to support the company’s approach to computer vision, data storage, and “human-AI interactivity.”

Computer vision is a type of AI technology that allows machines to understand, categorize, and differentiate between images. Using photos from cameras and videos as well as deep learning components, computer vision can identify and classify objects and then react to what it “sees.”

Investments in computer vision startups are on the rise as businesses embrace automation during the pandemic, which continues to place a strain on the worldwide labor market. Despite not having passed the “awareness phase,” as per one survey, the computer vision market could grow from $10.9 billion in 2019 to $17.4 billion by 2024. External investments in computer vision startups have already far exceeded the $3.5 billion McKinsey estimated in 2016.

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360Learning Raises $200M in Funding

People mingling in conversation

360Learning, a NYC- London, UK and Paris, France-based SaaS global collaborative learning company, raised $200m in growth funding.

The round, which brought total raised to over $240m, was led by Sumeru Equity Partners, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Silver Lake Waterman with participation from existing investors Bpifrance Large Venture, XAnge and Educapital.

The company will use the funding to:

  • grow the team to over 500 people by the end of next year driven by hires in innovation, engineering and product;
  • expand internationally across North America, Asia, Europe and South America; and
  • invest in strategic M&A.

Led by Nick Hernandez, founder, and CEO, 360Learning provides a platform that empowers learners to build their own skills, create courses in as few as 17 minutes and share knowledge throughout the business. The company also leverages AI to analyze data sets created from collaborative learning interactions and applies these insights to help learning communities identify what courses are missing or need to be improved, speed up course delivery, ensure learners find courses tailored to their immediate needs and keep growing through constant learning.

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Wakeo Raises $11M in Series A Funding

Wakeo, a Paris, France-based global leader in real-time visibility for overseas transport, raised $11M USD in Series A funding. Backers included 360 Capital and Promus Ventures, through its Orbital Ventures fund. The company intends to use the new to further invest in their ETA calculation models, continue to develop more added-value features, and accelerate international growth.

Led by co-founder and CEO Julien Cote, Wakeo leverages a worldwide network of hundreds of sources including shipping lines, airlines, carriers, ERP, TMS, as well as satellites, terminals, or IoT devices to provide real-time visibility for overseas transport. The platform integrates a data engine crossing those multiple data sources, powered by AI algorithms, to provide intelligent ETAs that anticipate disruptions and deliver customers’ promises.

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H3 Dynamics closes US$26M Series B to introduce long-range hydrogen-air logistics solutions

Singapore-headquartered advanced aerial mobility company, H3 Dynamics Holdings, has completed its US$26 million Series B investment round led by Japan’s SPARX Mirai Creation Fund (backed by Toyota Motor and SMBC).

Singapore’s EDBI, ACA investors, Capital Management Group, the Grosvenor Group, Audacy Ventures, Ascent Hydrogen Fund, and French strategic investors ATEQ also joined the round.

“Our investors recognise that this is a long journey and that we must first address our immediate markets while solving key technical and regulatory challenges before adding more complexity,” said H3 Dynamics founder and CEO Taras Wankewycz.

In June 2019, e27 reported that the startup was in the process of closing a US$16 million Series B round, led by SPARX Mirai Creation Fund.

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