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Micro-climate technology startup Sencrop raises $18 million led by JVP, will expand into Israel

The French company, whose data-driven precision app enables more than 20,000 farmers to have a crop-oriented vision of the weather conditions, disease and pest risks, and their irrigation needs, will open an extension in the International Foodtech Center in the Galilee

French startup Sencrop, which develops micro-climate technology, announced on Tuesday that it has raised an $18 million Series B fundraising round led by Israeli venture capital firm JVP, as part of the VC fund’s climate and foodtech initiative. EIT Food, supported by the European Union, Stellar Impact (managed by Telos Impact), IRD Management, and Sencrop’s existing shareholders, including BPIfrance, Demeter IM, and NCI Waterstart, are also taking part in the transaction. JVP’s investment was led by General Partner Gadi Porat and Director of Investments Alexandre Dahan.

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TRIGO Group has acquired the industrial start-up SCORTEX

TRIGO Group has acquired the industrial start-up SCORTEX – forming an alliance of a Deep Tech operation specialising in Artificial Intelligence with the world leader in quality consulting and inspection services within the transportation and industrial sectors.

TRIGO Group, the world’s leading provider of inspection, consulting and quality engineering services to the transportation industry, owned by the Ardian investment fund, announced today the acquisition of the French start-up SCORTEX that specialises in Artificial Intelligence – or AI – applied to automated quality control. This transaction is in line with the Group’s strategy and allows TRIGO to further strengthen its position as industrial innovationists. TRIGO will invest five million Euros in SCORTEX in 2022 and will double the workforce of its new entity.

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Innovative supply chain solution secures £5m in funding to expand in Europe

Flowlity, an innovative AI-based supply chain planning and forecasting solution, has secured £5 million in funding, led by Fortino Capital, to expand throughout Europe. The funding will be used to accelerate its development with the aim to becoming an industry leader by providing innovate ways of reducing waste across the entire supply chain – enabling companies to save money and reduce their carbon footprint.

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Radancy Announces Acquisition of Firstbird – A Global Leader in SAAS Based Employee Referral Programs

Radancy, the global talent technology leader, is pleased to announce its plans to acquire Firstbird, a global leader in SaaS based employee referral programs. Based in Vienna, Austria, Firstbird offers a comprehensive software solution to digitize and streamline the employee referral process. The acquisition of Firstbird is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including certain regulatory approvals.

This strategic acquisition combines Firstbird’s innovative referral technology with Radancy’s unified talent acquisition platform. Together, they will provide global clients with enhanced touchpoints along the entire candidate journey, connecting people to careers and companies with qualified candidates to solve their most critical talent acquisition challenges.

“From the first meeting I knew Firstbird checked every box for us. The people, the technology and the opportunity to expand Radancy’s reach within the DACH market made this a perfect match,” said Michelle Abbey, President and CEO of Radancy. “I’m excited to integrate their technology into our global unified platform and continue to transform talent acquisition for our customers.”

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SAP.iO Foundry Paris Launches Its New Program: Sustainability in the Service Industries

January 11, 2022 — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today launched a startup program focused on sustainability as part of the 7th edition of SAP.iO Foundry Paris. Eight international startups have been selected by a jury of SAP experts, partners, customers and investment funds to join the program.

SAP.iO Foundry Paris, SAP’s startup acceleration unit in France, has already supported more than 50 startups. In three years, SAP has achieved the goal set at the #ChooseFrance summit with the French government in 2018 to support the startup economy.

This new program focuses on four topics related to different issues concerning sustainability in the service industries:

  • Responsible design and production
  • Responsible sourcing
  • Resource recovery and re-use
  • Responsible consumption

Sébastien Gibier, Director of SAP.iO Foundry Paris, said: “SAP.iO has always been a great incubator for startups. This year, the focus on sustainability will allow scale-ups to amplify their impact. SAP France is delighted to continue this program focused on innovation. We are particularly pleased to have met our objectives set with the government.”

Over the next 12 weeks, startups will have access to one-on-one mentoring from SAP executives, exposure to SAP® technology and application programming interfaces (APIs), and opportunities to collaborate with SAP customers around the world.

The following startups are participating in the SAP.iO Foundry Paris program:

  • ACTRADIS assists companies in the compilation, verification and digitization of documents on a sharing platform.
  • bloXmove is a decentralized mobility blockchain platform that provides easy-to-integrate interfaces for verifying identities and credentials, smart contracts and revenue distribution.
  • Cozero offers a digital carbon action platform covering the end-to-end carbon management process of companies to optimize their environmental and economic footprint throughout the supply chain.
  • HESUS provides solutions for the transport and treatment of soil and construction waste, while reducing their environmental impact.
  • Leanpath provides a comprehensive food waste prevention platform – including measurement, discovery and automation tools – enabling partner customers to reduce food waste by 50% or more in more than 40 countries.
  • Liftango guides international organizations and cities in planning, launching and implementing shared mobility projects. It solves parking, congestion and zoning problems by improving the efficiency of transportation services through on-demand transportation technology.
  • Madaster offers a cloud platform that provides a single point of access to leverage real estate data to meet environmental, regulatory, health and financial ambitions throughout the lifecycle of the object.
  • TotalCtrl creates digital products in collaboration with restaurants, hotels, municipalities and individuals to eliminate manual processes, streamline food inventory management, easily generate monthly cost of goods sold and accounting reports.

About SAP.iO
SAP.iO delivers new partnerships and products for SAP by accelerating and scaling startup innovation as well as incubating employee businesses. SAP.iO brings together innovators from all regions, industries and sectors to transform the way businesses work. Since 2017, SAP.iO has helped 380+ external startups and internal ventures accelerate their growth while enabling thousands of SAP customers to access to innovation. For more information, visit http://sap.io/.

London’s learning management system Looop acquired by 360Learning for $20 million

arisian collaborative learning platform 360Learning has acquired Looop for $20 million in a mix of cash and shares. 360Learning received a strong vote of confidence last October when it announced a $200 million investment round co-led by Sumeru, SoftBank, and Silver Lake Waterman, and M&A activities were specifically mentioned. The Looop acquisition marks a first for the company, with presumably more announcements in the future.

Having had a front-row seat to the damage that substandard learning and development programmes can have on business, staff morale, and productivity, in 2014 Ben Muzzell and Dan Gray set out to build a better mousetrap. Employing a series of automations, Looop is a learning management system that eschews the repetitive manual work from the process, resulting in an embedded process that allows teams to create resources with as much, or as little, content as desired, sourced from any input, and delivered when needed.

In doing so, that mousetrap has struck a chord, as Looop reports consistently achieving outstanding satisfaction ratings on eLearning platforms including Capterra (4.9/5), G2 (4.9/5), and eLearning Industry (97%), and has become the defacto L&D provider to companies including Klarna, Monzo, Cazoo, and ASOS. If the credentials don’t already speak for themselves, Looop reports an annual growth rate of 100%, all while being cash flow positive.

From 360Learning’s perspective, the acquisition couldn’t happen at a better time. As the effects of the pandemic continue to play out, companies around the globe are beginning to see the Great Resignation kicking into gear and are pumping huge amounts of capital into talent retention, least of which, learning and development programmes. How much capital? According to Market and Markets, over the next four years, corporate spending on L&D will surge from the $15.8 billion seen in 2021 to a robust $37.9 billion by 2026.

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Maven leads £5.5 million funding round for transport tech platform Liftango

Liftango’s carpool platform helps larger employers and academic institutions to internally match drivers and passengers in real-time to minimise their carbon footprint, reduce parking congestion and create a convenient shared transport experience to and from offices or campuses.

The new investment should help the business take advantage of commercial opportunities in the transport sector, by recruiting several key sales and marketing staff as it looks to scale its operations in Europe and across North America.

Martin McLaren, investment director at Maven, said: “We are seeing a notable shift towards DRT solutions as organisations across the world seek to address parking, congestion, zoning and environmental issues attributed to transport.

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South Korean Payments Firm CHAI Pockets US$45 Million in Series B+ Fundraise

South Korean payments startup CHAI raised US$45 million during a Series B+ funding round that was co-led by SoftBank Ventures Asia (SBVA) and Nyca Partners.

SBVA’s participation in this funding round marks their second Series B investment into CHAI.

The round also received additional participation from investors such as KT Investment, Conductive Ventures, Nordstar Capital, Samsung NEXT and B Capital.

CHAI said that it will use this funding to expand its footprint in Southeast Asia and develop a fully automated end-to-end payment infrastructure for digital merchants throughout Asia.

Founded in 2019, CHAI aims to bridge the payments gap in Asian markets by providing a unified payment orchestration solution for local merchants through a single application programming interface (API).

Through CHAI Port, merchants can activate and offer over 30 payment options such as credit cards, digital wallets, bank transfers and cross-border payments to their customers in under an hour.

CHAI currently processes more than US$6 billion on behalf of over 2,2 00 merchants and had launched CHAI Port in Vietnam and Thailand

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Airport retailer deploys MishiPay mobile self-checkout

Airport retailer and restaurant company Paradies Lagardere is expanding its fleet of MishiPay Scan, Pay & Go mobile self-checkout technology to 20 more airports in the U.S. and Canada.

During a successful pilot in the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Paradies Lagardère saw the clear impact of MishiPay’s technology: by enabling shoppers to scan and pay for their desired products using their own devices, store associates were able to repurpose a portion of their shift from manning a cash register to other valuable tasks such as restocking, sanitizing high traffic sections, and assisting customers.

The technology is being embraced by customers, according to the release, with an average satisfaction rating of 4.85 out of 5, with over 90% of shoppers making a purchase when they have opened the app, which does not require a download.

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The next steps for SCALUE, a game-changer in procurement analytics

A lot has happened since we last talked to Thomas Teichmann, one of the co-founders, along with Samir Kharkan, and managing director of SCALUE, in 2019. Since then, their tool became available at SAP® Store, the online marketplace for SAP and partner offerings. They also welcomed Dr. Ulrich Piepel, former top manager from RWE | innogy and current Senior Advisor from BCG & SAP Ariba, to their advisory board.

“Procurement analytics is the next step, replacing legacy spend cubes and bringing a new dimension to procurement organizations in terms of total spend transparency, process efficiency, automation, savings, and maverick buying,” saysDr. Ulrich Piepel, former CPO of RWE and innogy about the future of procurement analytics.

SCALUE’s procurement analytics plug-and-play app gives SMEs and corporates a chance to address their supply chain pain points without manually inserting data in an Excel sheet. Their automated, cloud-based technology will soon become a crucial competitive advantage to keep businesses up to date with digitalization.

As a result, the SaaS procurement tool keeps getting the attention of Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs), Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), and other industry leaders looking to improve their digitalization efforts to overcome challenges in the supply chain.

How does SCALUE help CPOs?

With APIs instead of spreadsheets, SMEs and corporates benefit from totally automated data processing (ETL). SCALUE’s benefits include:

  • 20% more cost-efficiency and 80% of time-saving, depending on the industry and supply chain;
  • An empowered team, thanks to their integrated e-learning platform to deliver educational content on procurement terminology and optimization;
  • Data to empower CPOs’ abilities to fast decision-making, preparing the foundations to remain agile should unexpected events happen;
  • And tools for CPOs to optimize and scalue their procurement processes — adding more and more value.

As the points above summarize, SCALUE’s automated and advanced procurement software helps build a transparent, digitally-forward foundation for strategic procurement processes.

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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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How a mobile-friendly platform can increase quality control of fresh produce

Companies that deal in fresh produce and are looking for more advanced quality control of their fruits and vegetables throughout the supply chain might want to check out Clarifruit’s mobile-friendly platform.

By simply taking a photo from a smartphone of their product, Clarifruit’s intuitive app can then autogenerate a report with data for more refined inspections and analysis. Officials say it can provide both reassurance and times savings for marketing teams, wholesalers, retailers and distribution centres.

“Clarifruit has built the only end-to-end automatic QC platform in the market, offering both automated, mobile data collection for the QC inspector as well as QC analytics for the sales and operational departments”, CEO Avi Schwartzer said. “Additional key differentiators are our proprietary technologies, including a patent-protected, deep-learning computer-vision engine as well as a rating algorithm that leverages an ever-growing database of produce photos and attributes.”

Clarifrut leaders say its platform can produce quality reports on nearly a dozen different categories, including apples, bananas, blueberries, cherries, grapes, lemons, mangoes, melons, oranges, peaches pineapples and plums as well as easy-peelers. More items may be added in the future as the business grows.

The cloud-based startup from Israel which had been in the works for several years, received a £4.5 million infusion prior to the pandemic, including a nearly £1.9 million investment from the European Innovation Council Accelerator.

So how does is work?

After downloading the Clarifrut app, users can take a picture that they want analyzed. That photo then goes through a process aided by “computer-vision technology” that assesses its surface, size, stem, colour and imperfections. Those photos are then compared against Clarifruit’s Big Data library which contains millions of produce images. Clarifruit says “this information can be configured ahead of time to take the inspection type and your specific list of inspected attributes into account.”

As for getting beyond the skin or peel to the heart of the product, Clarifruit says its platform can be configured to work with any ERP solution and “intelligent integrations with third-party hardware devices” to provide more defined qualities such as Brix or firmness.

Users can track their products and reports and get real-time information through the app and their own management dashboard. That dashboard contains data on each inspection, include date, time and location. Reports can be uploaded and converted into Excel spreadsheet if users desire.

Among the applications Clarifruit supports are pre-harvest and final products, inbound and outbound distribution centers, coolers, intake, and front of stores.

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MishiPay Gains 20 More Airports And Takes On ‘Just Walk Out’ From Amazon

Travel retailer Paradies Lagardère will have more than 20 stores in airports around the U.S. and Canada deploying MishiPay’s mobile self-checkout technology in time for Christmas and the expected surge in holiday traffic.

The UK-based technology company’s in-house developed Scan, Pay & Go system has been selected by Paradies—part of the second-biggest airport retailer in the world Lagardère Travel Retail—after a successful test at two locations, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport in Florida and Charlotte Douglas Airport, in North Carolina.

The airport rollout includes some key hubs with high footfall such as Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Phoenix Sky Harbor, plus Vancouver and Toronto airports in Canada. A total of 26 Paradies stores will offer MishiPay from an estate of more than 950, including restaurants, in about 100 airports. Gregg Paradies, president and CEO at Paradies Lagardère, described the current expansion as “phase two” suggesting that further openings were possible.

The decision to expand was based on several factors including customer satisfaction levels in the test stores. They averaged 4.85 out of 5, with over 90% of shoppers making a purchase when they opened the app.

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Connecting Food Crowned the Winner of the Innovation Challenges at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit 2021

CONNECTING FOOD, harnesses blockchain technology to improve food security, reduce wastage and reinforce consumer trust in our food systems. Connecting Food leverages industry expertise to map food supply chains, improve end-to-end traceability and showcase value chain data via a QR code and WebApp, bringing trust through transparency to consumers.

Revealing the winner of the Innovation Challenge at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit in Singapore were judges from CPF and Cargill:

  • Xiuling Guo, Managing Director, Edible Oils, CARGILL, SINGAPORE
  • Francesca Kleemans, Managing Director, Cocoa and Chocolate, CARGILL, SINGAPORE
  • Lalana Thiranusornkij, SVP – Head of Innovation and New Product Development, CPF, THAILAND
  • Peemdej Utsahajit, Assistant Vice President, Development and Coordination of Research Activities, CPF, THAILAND

Commenting on the reasons for the winning choice, Lalana Thiranusornkij, SVP – Head of Innovation & NPD at CPF said: “All three of our finalists are truly amazing, full of passion and energy in addressing the taste and texture of alternative-protein products and this is the most important issue for companies to be able to deliver to their consumers. What was even more difficult was to select the winner! I’m proud to announce the winner being “Lypid”. A start-up that addresses “Fat” which is key to making plant based meats taste like meat! We feel that working with Lypid will speed up our development and improve our existing products to be even healthier and tastier.”

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