FORCE is strong in Shift, investors find

The investment round, led by Bessemer Venture Partners in partnership with previous investors Accel, General Catalyst and Iris Capital, brings the …

Insurtech company Shift Technology has secured $60 million (£45.35 million) in funding to help transform its fraud detection platform into an end-to-end claims process solution.

The investment round, led by Bessemer Venture Partners in partnership with previous investors Accel, General Catalyst and Iris Capital, brings the total investment in Shift to $100 million (£75.59 million) since its founding in 2014.

Shift plans to use the investment to develop its fraud detection solution, FORCE, as well as expand in the US and Japan.

The company’s more than 200 employees already serve clients across Europe, Asia and the Americas from its headquarters in Paris and offices in Boston, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, Madrid, Singapore, Toronto and Zurich.

Insurers currently use FORCE across lines and in multiple jurisdictions. The artificial intelligence (AI)-based solution analyses hundreds of millions of claims to identify potential fraud, giving handlers a tool specifically designed to scale their capacity and add greater efficiency to claims processing.

Shift said the new funding will support the development of its fraud detection solutions and enable the company to accelerate product development focused on automating the entire claims process for carriers and their customers.

AXA Spain, a long-time Shift client and early adopter of the company’s solutions, is already using its innovations in the claim automation space, which aim to enable carriers to provide an exceptional customer experience by confidently delivering straight-through processing at greater scale than previously possible.

The latest funding round will also be used to drive Shift’s expansion of its US headquarters in Boston and its offices in Tokyo.

The company plans to hire for positions including data scientists, developers, and sales and marketing professionals.

“I’m incredibly proud of what our team—with the support of an amazing board of directors—has been able to accomplish in a relatively short time,” stated Jeremy Jawish, chief executive officer and co-founder at Shift. “Our AI-native technology is helping the world’s leading insurance companies inject greater efficiency and accuracy into their systems.”

“We’re supporting their digital transformation strategies and helping them improve customer satisfaction. We strongly believe that AI can benefit so many more aspects of the claims process and of the insurance policy lifecycle overall. With this investment, we’re well positioned for our next phase of growth and development.”

Charles Birnbaum, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, added: “We are thrilled to partner with the Shift team. They have built a powerful AI platform that is transforming the insurance market and we are confident that they are just getting started.”

“The Shift team has already had a great deal of success with carriers all over the world and we are excited to support their next phase of growth as they help their customers navigate the digital transformation that is now in full swing in this industry.”

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Paris-based startup Virtuo aims to disrupt car rental market with fresh funding of €20M

Bernard Liautaud, managing partner at Balderton Capital stated, “Technology in cars and other areas of mobility is evolving rapidly, due to concerns …

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The car rental market in Europe is getting competitive with each year. One of the French startups Virtuo has now become a strong contender in the car rental arena after the fresh capital inflow of £17.3 million (€20 million) from Iris Capital. Other participants in the series B funding round were existing investors including Balderton Capital and Raise Ventures.

Investors’ take on the funding

Stéphane Pesqué, partner at Iris Capital expressed, “Virtuo’s founders have created a business that is disrupting car rental from the ground up relying on a unique digital path for users. We love their attention to detail and their determination to perfect the customer experience, which will convince occasional and frequent drivers that Virtuo is the best solution when travelling for work and leisure in Europe. We are very proud to invest in them at this stage.”

Bernard Liautaud, managing partner at Balderton Capital stated, “Technology in cars and other areas of mobility is evolving rapidly, due to concerns over the environment and congestion. Given these shifts, renting a car as and when you need it is becoming a viable alternative to buying, particularly for younger people who have come of age as the sharing economy took off. The same way innovative tech companies are disrupting legacy players in sectors like finance, Virtuo, in which we first invested 18 months ago, is radically changing the way we hire a car.”

Virtuo – disrupting the car rental market

Founded in Paris in 2016, Virtuo has eliminated all the logjams of traditional car booking through its 24X7 digital solution. Users can create an account within few minutes validating their driving licences and with a shelfie.

The platform offers customised flexible car rental plans depending upon the users’ need. One can pick a car from a scheduled place with a smart key linked with the app.

Generated 10X revenue in the UK

The Parisian startup began its operations in London just seven months back and endured a 10 times revenue within this stipulated period. Functional in 21 locations in France and Belgium, the startup is escalating at a rate of 200% annually.

Aims to become a pan-European service provider

Post the funding, Virtuo is looking forward to commencing operations in Germany and Spain. By summer this year, the car rental platform is going to start services in other UK cities including Manchester, Edinburgh and Bristol.

Virtuo co-founder Karim Kaddoura articulated, “Now is the right time for this investment because we want to revolutionise car rental across Europe and show that with our service, there is simply no need to own a car anymore. Travel outside cities in many European countries is not well served. Here in the UK, the railways are becoming less efficient and increasingly expensive. We want to show a younger generation that cars are still a really convenient and cheap way to travel and that you don’t need to own a vehicle to be able to have on-demand and hassle-free access to it.”

Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more updates in the tech startup world.

Medicus AI raises €5M Series A funding to transform the future of healthcare sector

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European car rental startup Virtuo inks about $23 mln

European car rental service Virtuo has raised 17.3 million pounds (about $23 million) in funding. The investors were Iris Capital, Balderton Capital and …

European car rental service Virtuo has raised 17.3 million pounds (about $23 million) in funding. The investors were Iris Capital, Balderton Capital and Raise Ventures.

PRESS RELEASE

London, 12th February 2019

Car rental startup, Virtuo, stepped up its battle against the giant car rental companies today by announcing that it has raised £17.3m from Iris Capital, Balderton Capital and Raise Ventures to help it make a big push into the UK market in 2019. Virtuo, which currently operates in 21 locations in France and Belgium, also launches in Spain and in Germany in 2019, making it a truly pan-European rental option for drivers who are fed up with being served so poorly by the existing car hire sector.

Virtuo launched in London last summer, having been born out of frustration with traditional car rental. The Virtuo app allows users to book and unlock a pristine Mercedes A-Class or GLA in minutes, at stations across London, and the business has seen revenue grow by 10 times in the UK in the last seven months. As a whole, the company is growing at a rate of 200% per annum.

“Now is the right time for this investment, because we want to revolutionise car rental across Europe and show that with our service, there is simply no need to own a car anymore,” said Virtuo’s Co-founder, Karim Kaddoura. “Travel outside cities in many European countries is not well served. Here in the UK, the railways are becoming less efficient and increasingly expensive. We want to show a younger generation that cars are still a really convenient and cheap way to travel and that you don’t need to own a vehicle to be able to have on-demand and hassle-free access to it.”

Virtuo promises to eradicate the horrors of traditional car hire including hour-long queues at rental desks, unnecessary up-selling of insurance and accessories, never being able to get the car you actually booked, as well as opaque terms and conditions that make hiring stressful and steep penalties easy to incur. Virtuo users can complete all paperwork in the app before picking up a valeted car from their chosen spot and unlocking it with a smart key downloaded to their phone.

Through the app, drivers can extend and modify bookings in seconds and are rewarded for returning their car with extra fuel. The digital car key can be shared between four additional drivers, for no extra charge, and competitive rental rates vary depending on demand, period and rental duration.

Stéphane Pesqué, partner at Iris Capital, said: “Virtuo’s founders have created a business that is disrupting car rental from the ground up relying on a unique digital path for users. We love their attention to detail and their determination to perfect the customer experience, which will convince occasional and frequent drivers that Virtuo is the best solution when travelling for work and leisure in Europe. We are very proud to invest in them at this stage.”

Bernard Liautaud, managing partner of Balderton Capital, said: “Technology in cars and other areas of mobility is evolving rapidly, due to concerns over the environment and congestion. Given these shifts, renting a car as and when you need it is becoming a viable alternative to buying, particularly for younger people who have come of age as the sharing economy took off. The same way innovative tech companies are disrupting legacy players in sectors like finance, Virtuo, in which we first invested 18 months ago, is radically changing the way we hire a car.”

Virtuo is disrupting the car rental space with a product that sets out to fix all the pain points of traditional car rental. During 2019 the mobile-only car hire company will introduce the ability to pick up a vehicle in one place and drop it off elsewhere. It will also launch in Spain and Germany in June, further serving travellers who are frustrated by legacy car-rental companies.

Virtuo facts

Virtuo service is available at six UK locations: Waterloo, Victoria, St Pancras, Marble Arch, Kensington High Street, Stratford International and will shortly be available in Earl’s Court, Shepherd’s Bush, London Bridge, Liverpool Street and Heathrow

Further UK locations – Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh – pending

France: 19 locations

Belgium: 2 locations

Virtuo has had 500,000 downloads of the app

Age bracket of Virtuo’s customer is 25-35

Average number of days of each rental: 4

80% of customers go for the compact A Class, while 20% take SUV

325 average miles per rental

How does Virtuo work:

Customers create their account by providing their driver’s license and a selfie. The whole process takes just a couple of minutes and only has to be carried out once

Once users have decided on their preferred model, Mercedes A-Class or GLA, they can choose the best insurance coverage and personalised options that suit their needs.

The Virtuo app guides users to their car – Virtuo has no rental desks- and takes them through every step of the process.

As customers get closer to their car, they can use the virtual key in the app to unlock it.

A quick damage report is carried out in the app using your phone’s camera

Virtuo’s tariff is from £35 per day in the UK, depending on demand, period and rental duration. The tariff includes up to 150 miles of travel, with the option to exceed this for a surcharge of £0.10 per mile. Up to 4 additional drivers can be registered for each car.

Virtuo’s customer service team can be contacted 24/7 through an integrated chat module that allows the user to ask questions and receive answers in real time.

About Virtuo:

Virtuo was founded out of the frustrations of renting a car from a traditional car rental company. Launched in France in 2016, the company provides a seamless, convenient and affordable way to lease premium cars, through a mobile app. Without paperwork and available 24/7, Virtuo’s cars can be rented from convenient locations like airports and railway stations in France, Belgium and the UK, with more locations opening in 2019. www.govirtuo.com

About Iris Capital

Iris Capital is a leading European VC specialized in the digital economy. It fuels entrepreneurs at various stages of maturity, from early-stage to growth equity. With its deep sector specialization and extensive experience acquired over 30+ years, as well as the backing of its corporate sponsors, Iris Capital provides active support to its portfolio companies, through its presence in Paris, Berlin, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Dubai.

For more information, visit www.iriscapital.com

About RAISE Ventures:

Founded in 2013 by Clara Gaymard and Gonzague de Blignières, the RAISE Group is organized around four complementary activities: RAISE Investments, RAISE REIM, RAISE Ventures and the RAISESHERPAS Endowment Fund.

– RAISE Investments is a €410 million development capital company targeting ITEs with strong growth potential and taking stakes of between €10 million and €50 million;

– RAISE REIM, a portfolio management company dedicated to real estate, whose first vehicle has a capital of 210M€;

– RAISE Ventures, a €60 million investment company targeting innovative start-ups, within which RAISE Media Investment, a media investment company, is integrated;

– The RAISESHERPAS Endowment Fund, a philanthropic structure with a budget of more than €22 million to support, finance and network startups in order to help them build sustainable adventures.

The RAISE Group is based on a financing mechanism that combines profitability and generosity, since the investment teams give 50% of their profit-sharing to finance the RAISESHERPAS Endowment Fund. This pioneering system in France makes it possible to create a virtuous ecosystem, combining large groups and institutional shareholders, TWAs and startups.

For more information: www.raise.co

About Balderton Capital:

Balderton Capital is Europe’s largest early stage venture capital investor, focused on European technology companies at Series A. Based in London, the firm manages $2.6bn and invests in entrepreneurs building globally ambitious businesses. Balderton’s Partners and advisory team include the founders and operational leaders of multi-billion dollar companies including Business Objects, Dropbox, Uber and Autonomy. Previous investments include Betfair (FTSE: BET), Magic Pony (Twitter), NaturalMotion (Zynga), Sunrise (Microsoft) and Yoox Net-a-Porter (BIT: YNAP). Among Balderton’s current portfolio of 76 companies are: Aircall, Carwow, Citymapper, Contentful, GoCardless, The Hut Group, Kobalt Music, Nutmeg, Prodigy Finance, Recorded Future, Revolut, ROLI, SOPHiA Genetics, Talend (NASDAQ: TLND), Vestiaire Collective, and Vivino. For more see http://www.balderton.com or follow @balderton.

Paris-based digital car rental service Virtuo raises €20 million Series B to roll out across Europe

… in 2016, the startup has just raised €20 million in Series B funding led by Iris Capital with participation from RAISE Ventures and Balderton Capital.
virtuo_founders

Parisian startup Virtuo is the first player on its market to offer 100% paperless car rental services, eliminating rental desks through a mobile app.

Founded in 2016, the startup has just raised €20 million in Series B funding led by Iris Capital with participation from RAISE Ventures and Balderton Capital. With operations in France, Belgium and the UK, Virtuo has raised almost €30 million to date to digitise the car rental industry across Europe.

Virtuo is a next-generation car rental service, with a fleet of connected vehicles accessible 24/7 through its app. Through its fully digital rental process, customers can book, pick up and return vehicles freely – using scanned copy of their driving licenses and digital keys in any of Virtuo’s 30 rental stations located in city centres, rail stations and airports in France, Belgium and the UK.

The new funding round will support the startup’s growth in the markets where it already operates: France, Belgium, and the UK. The company also plans to launch its service in Spain and Germany in 2019, and is considering a move to the US market.

Virtuo also plans to use the new funds to invest in R&D and step up its innovation by introducing new features, as well as to expand its premium fleet from 1,000 available vehicles to 3,000 by the end of the year, and to grow its workforce from 45 to 90 by the end of the year.

“The past two years have been very busy for Virtuo with a strong growth and expansion in two new markets,” said Thibault Chassagne, Virtuo co-founder & CEO. “These achievements let us put our rental model to test while confirming that it meets customers’ needs. This new funding round will help us roll out our service model at the European scale, facilitating travel for a maximum number of users.”

“Shared mobility and its democratized access are key for the European market and we have a sharp eye on new companies disrupting the travel industry, especially when they offer a 100% digital service and a guarantee of high-quality service,” said Stéphane Pesqué, Partner at Iris Capital. “Virtuo is at the very heart of this new industry and we are proud to support its ambition to become the European leader.”

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Orange Fab, in partnership with a group of top-tier investors led by Cathay Innovation, Iris Capital …

… Netatmo, PlaceIQ, Scality, Shift Technology, Talend, Unu Motors and Zeta Global. For more information, visit www.iriscapital.com. Media contacts.

SAN FRANCISCO, June 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Orange Fab, a leading platform for connecting innovative startups with corporations, has announced the launch of Fab Connect(ai) – a Silicon Valley acceleration program designed to identify and support early stage startups with resources for empowering smart connectivity.

Fab Connect(ai) is being launched in collaboration with prominent partners, including Google Cloud’s Startup Program, NVIDIA’s Inception Program, Microsoft IoT & AI Insider Labs, LAB IX Flex Ventures, Publicis Groupe, Groupe Seb, Michelin, Valeo, Ping An Technology and Lumi.

Fab Connect(ai) has created a deliberately crafted ecosystem of resources for seed-stage startups who are building the bridge between AI and ubiquitous smart connectivity. The platform will offer the combination of artificial intelligence, networking technologies, chipsets, and sensors, which will realize the unfulfilled promises of the intelligent enterprise, smart home, AI-driven factory, and smart city.

Orange Fab created Fab Connect(ai) based on the observation that existing ecosystems are too fragmented to work together. There are complex operating environments, with distinct technology providers and multiple stakeholders, and Fab Connect(ai) partners collaborate to bridge these gaps and provide entrepreneurs with an integrated network to better facilitate the rise of smart connectivity empowered by AI.

Startups that participate in Fab Connect(ai) will have access to a network of seed-stage investors and corporations providing technical resources and real-world business challenges. Multinational corporations have a new opportunity to link their networks together through Fab Connect(ai) to source external innovation. Each season of Fab Connect(ai) will focus on a unique technology topic of strategic interest to all participants. The first season will focus on startups working at the intersection of AI and IoT.

“Fab Connect(ai) is one of the first accelerator programs to align capital with global growth opportunities sustained by such a network of partners,” noted Georges Nahon, CEO of Orange Silicon Valley, the home of Orange Fab. “Our goal with Fab Connect(ai) is to identify the most promising startups in AI & IoT, a domain of growing importance for Orange and our Fab Force members.”

“Fab Connect(ai) is the only global initiative designed to empower AI with the benefits of smart connectivity, from a collaborative and global perspective, and with an extensive network of influential partners,” said Denis Barrier, co-founder and CEO of Cathay Innovation. “As a global venture capital fund deeply committed in the fourth industrial revolution, Cathay Innovation believes that this approach can be helpful for the rise of a Super AI able to foster the next wave of digital transformation.”

“Fab Connect is a disruptive global acceleration experience. It connects the next generation of Industry 4.0, AI and smart connectivity startups with world class industry leaders to help them disrupt their space. Fab Connect is building bridges between startups and innovative corporates, which we are familiar with at Iris Capital, thanks to our Venture initiative built in partnership with leading corporate partners, and we look forward to supporting this unique accelerator,” adds Julien-David Nitlech, Partner at Iris Capital

To learn more about the program and apply to Fab Connect(ai)‘s inaugural cohort: www.orangefab.com/connect

About Orange Fab

Orange Fab, an Orange Silicon Valley initiative, is a platform connecting innovative startups to corporations for proof-of-concept projects, distribution, or investment opportunities utilizing our onsite team of industry analysts, online content platform, CVC network, and thought leadership events.

About Orange Silicon Valley

Orange Silicon Valley (OSV) is the San Francisco Bay Area presence of Orange, one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators. We actively engage with San Francisco and Silicon Valley and participate in the disruptive innovations changing the way we communicate.

About Cathay Innovation

Cathay Innovation is a global venture capital fund, created in affiliation with Cathay Capital Private Equity. It was founded around the shared conviction that supporting digital entrepreneurs by providing them with a platform bridging 3 continents – North America, Europe and China – constitutes a particularly powerful value-creation strategy. As a multi-stage fund, Cathay Innovation partners with visionary entrepreneurs, committed to driving change through technology. Such transformation is accelerated by leveraging Cathay Capital Private Equity’s extensive network with corporates and solid experience in operational excellence. Cathay Innovation has offices in San Francisco, Paris, Beijing and Shanghai.

For more information visit www.cathayinnovation.com or follow us on Twitter @Cathayinnov

About Iris Capital

Iris Capital is a European venture capital funds’ manager specialized in the digital economy. It fuels entrepreneurs at various stages of maturity, from early-stage to growth equity. With its deep sector specialization and extensive experience acquired over 30+ years, as well as the backing of its corporate sponsors, Iris Capital provides active support to its portfolio companies, through its presence in Paris, Berlin, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Dubai.

IrisNext, Iris Capital’s new fund, includes for its first closing industry leaders such as Orange, Publicis and Valeo, joined by financial investors and institutions such as Bpifrance and BRED Banque Populaire. Iris Capital investments include, among others, companies such as Agorize, Armis, Careem, iAdvize, Kyriba, Mojio, Netatmo, PlaceIQ, Scality, Shift Technology, Talend, Unu Motors and Zeta Global.

For more information, visit www.iriscapital.com

Media contacts

Orange Group

Olivier Emberger

Olivier.emberger@orange.com

Orange Fab

Julie Leclercq

Julie1.leclercq@orange.com

+1 415 712 5365

Cathay Innovation

For France

Yoann Besse – Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Yoann.besse@citigatedewerogerson.com

+33 6 63 03 84 91

For the US

Margot Edelman – Edelman

Margot.Edelman@edelman.com

Iris Capital

Emmanuelle Flahault-Franc

E.Flahault-Franc@iriscapital.com

+33 1 45 62 73 67

Cision View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/orange-fab-in-partnership-with-a-group-of-top-tier-investors-led-by-cathay-innovation-iris-capital-michelin-ventures-total-energy-ventures-and-homebrew-launches-pioneering-accelerator-fab-connect-300668431.html

SOURCE Orange Fab

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