London based Data Technology firm Blis has raised $25m dollars in Series B funding from Endeit Capital, Beringea US and Unilever Ventures - Yahoo Finance    Button Moon: Rocket Internet's shares have tanked by 18.5% in past two days - Financial Times     Accel Partners, investors in Slack, Deliveroo, Facebook and Funding Circle, raises $500m for new European Tech Fund - City AM    London-based on-demand delivery service Jinn completes $7.5M Series A funding round!    East to West - Pi-Labs is moving from Second Home in Bethnal Green to the Collective in Bedford Square, Bloomsbuty; City AM     Onfido, the background checking platform started by 3 Oxford grads, raises $25 million - Business Insider    Crowdfinders launches £100m Race to Scale funding drive for UK scaleups - Tech City News    Peer to Peer lending site LendInvest agrees $40m lending facility with Australian Investment Bank Macquarie - Tech City News    Finn-Tech: Nokia acquires French connected health product maker Withings for €170m euros - Tech.eu    Tip Top; Balderton Capital's Bernard Liautaud is promoted to Managing Partner, no longer operates flat partner structure: http://techcrunch.com/2016/04/28/balderton-puts-a-grownup-in-charge/

Force Over Mass Hosts “Ask Me Anything” At Huckletree HQ With The “Grumpy Entrepreneur” & Director, Wired Consulting

 
Huckletree

Huckletree’s co-working space in the Alphabeta building, Finsbury Square – the perfect place to talk futuristic tech

On stage at Huckletree HQ The lights shone bright on a panel who’s combined brainpower represents as good a reason as any as to why we do not yet need to fear a dystopian future where we are all enslaved by super-intelligent robots who out-think us at every turn – not if this lot have anything to do with it.

If you don’t know Huckletree are the latest co-working space to throw open their doors to entrepreneurs, startups, and digital nomads of all kinds, offering desk space at a reasonable price of £35 per day in the rarefied atmosphere of Finsbury Square (they also have an office in Clerkenwell), opposite the Bloomberg building. They are also a Force Over Mass portfolio company.

DKLM Hosts Inaugural Law Tech Hub, Asks How Law Intersects With Burgeoning Tech Startup Scene

 
Legal Advice Bricks Wall Hands Hold Concept

Is your startup drowning in legalese – get some colour at TechLawHub, the last Tuesday of the month

DKLM are a Law Firm started in 2004 in Shoreditch by 4 partners with a diverse range of interests and a strong presence in India, China and Africa. “Our differences are our strengths”, they say and so it should come as no surprise that 2 of the firm’s team, Jessica Jia Shin Leau and Kushal Morzeria decided to found #TechLawHub, a free to attend series of monthly meet-ups exploring how law firms and professionals across all industries can build closer ties with their entrepreneurial Tech City startup neighbours.

Managing Partner Alan Dixon contributed the opening remarks to what was an entertaining, useful evening; DKLM bought their offices just off Old Street’s “Silicon Roundabout” over a decade ago, survived the global financial crisis of 2008, acquired 2 more floors shortly afterwards and branched out into China in 2012 via a strategic partnership with a Chinese law firm.

In short, Dixon and the other three partners have been there, done that, but still retain a healthy entrepreneurial streak; remember, Dixon told the 50 or so attendees, these 4 things about being a startup; cashflow is king; don’t be afraid to take risks; be open to new opportunities and try to maintain a diverse collection of staff. Wise words.

The Google Bashing Continues In Earnest In Europe – But Will EU Regulators Take Action?

 
MOUNTAIN VIEW CA/USA - AUG 14 2014: Exterior view of Google office. Google is a multinational company specializing in Internet related services and products and it's the best place to work in 2014.

Which way to the Lobby? Try the European Commission

Troubles always come in 3’s. After its new parent company, Alphabet briefly became the most valuable listed company in the world at the beginning of February, the problems for Google, in Europe at least, have mounted.

The company is now looking at 3 charge sheets from the European Commission.

The EC believes that Google is in breach of EU anti-trust rules, and is abusing its dominant market position to the detriment of Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators.

Firstly, Google has implemented a strategy that forces manufacturers to pre-install its Google Search function and Google Chrome browser, and set Google search as the default search service on every device they build; if they do not do so, Google refuses them access to certain proprietary apps such as the Google Play store. “This is not good”, says the EC, bluntly.

Is It Time For Ad Blocking Services To Get Real, Or Advertisers?

 

Advertisers, publishers and readers form a complex love triangle – they can’t live with each other, or without. Or can they?

Something has to give. If I keep visiting my favourite sites with my ad blocker software turned up full blast one day my favourite site won’t be there anymore because it will have gone bust.

That is the obvious downside of ad blocking technology. But that said, there is a balance that needs to be struck. Is it fair that in order to watch a 90 second video clip on YouTube, we must first watch a 30 second ad, most likely one we have watched many times before? Aren’t YouTube rich enough already?

And who are the real victims of the “adblockalypse”? In a nutshell, any advertiser funded online publication, but particularly those who publish longer form content, although ironically, they are not the root cause of the problem.

The Staggering Figures behind The Rise Of Uber – The (second) Greatest Start-up Phenomenon Of All Time?

 
Uber raising

Uber’s business broken down by the guys at mister BEEP; to see the whole infographic click here

Uber; the name says it all. It’s the biggest, the most controversial and the most heavily backed startup to have come out of Silicon Valley since Facebook. It’s the biggest bet on a disruptive tech platform ever and the cultural implications of its success or otherwise will reverberate through the decades.

Stories From The City; Stories From The Seed – Welcome To F*ck-up Nights!

 
fuck up nights

Welcome to Fuck Up Night at Impact Hub Kings Cross – Failures welcome – so long as you keep trying!

“We believe a better world is created through the combined accomplishments of compassionate, creative, and committed individuals focused on a common purpose.”

So says the introductory blurb on the website for the Kings Cross branch of Impact Hub, a “community of social businesses addressing challenges both locally and globally.” Impact Hub has workspaces all over the world, and over 11,000 global members, collaborating, mentoring one another and exchanging ideas. An inspiring network of entrepreneurial creativity.

Luckily however, for the modern founder, Impact Hub isn’t just tolerant of failure, it actively encourages people to discuss their disastrous business cock-ups in front of hundreds of others.

A Record Breaking Quarter For US Venture Capital Fundraising In Q1 Is Good News For Entrepreneurs Everywhere

 

US VC firms raised $12.6bn in Q1 2016 – the most for a decade

They’re studying your metrics; they’re holding a red pen and occasionally making notes. You’re sweating. They’re asking how long will it be until you start to deliver real, tangible returns?

It may be of some considerable comfort to startup founders everywhere they they are not the only ones who have to endure a quarterly grilling from the money men. Venture Capitalists have to do it too. Remember, unlike Angels, who invest their own personal wealth, VCs spend as much time trying to secure funds as startups.

Say Hailo To The Money Cloud’s New Non-Exec Director

 

Last week the Money 20-20 Conference took place in Copenhagen, and for the first time, some of the world’s largest banks shared the stage with a variety of disruptive Fintech founders.

Throughout 2015, London’s Fintech revolution gathered pace with companies like Transferwise and World Remit achieving the fabled “Unicorn” status as their valuations, backed by significant Venture Capital funding, soared past the $1 billion mark.

London or Berlin – Which is Best For Startups?

 

Is Berlin about to take London’s crown as Europe’s number 1 startup hub?

They are two of the most thriving startup scenes in Europe; international, cosmopolitan and playing by hipster rules.

That means parties, super-strong coffee, beards and craft beers; maybe even a Daschund or two. But don’t be fooled, it also means determined, ambitious founders with vision, rockstar developers, extreme growth hacking, and supercharged growth fuelled by Venture Capital firms, and plenty of them.

But which was chosen as the best city to launch a startup in 2015? Which is the most gender equal hub in Europe? Which is supported by a community of which more than half are foreigners? And where’s cheapest for lunch?

Silicon Roundup; In A Week That May Have Kickstarted The Fundraising Season, We Ask, Are London’s Entrepreneurs building for the 1%?

 

London is the most expensive city to live in in the world – are entrepreneurs increasingly catering to the rich and powerful?

Is this the week that London’s tech startup scene finally burst into life in 2016?

After the highs of 2015, when Venture Capital grew 70% year on year to £3.6bn, $2.8bn of which was raised here in London, came the murmurings of discontent. Was it a bubble – could valuations be sustained – can we really trust disruptive tech?

Want To Work For A Startup? Join Global {M} For Tips, Tricks & 1-1 CV Surgeries @ Google Campus 29th April

 

When it comes to finding the perfect job, don’t play the waiting game, get pro-active!

If startup founders are the new rock stars, Global {M} are its New Romantics.

Co-founders Nick Waller and Alex Hemsley have brought a new approach to recruitment to the Tech City table. They have created dream-teams of developers and coders from scratch and trained them up before deploying them into large corporates and multinationals by leveraging their network of international contacts, from Dubai to Durban.

They have championed the cause of the “intrapreneur”, the people who bring the startup spirit to organisations, supported local and international charities, and, of course, helped local startups grow by helping them make the right recruitment choices.

“Stay Humble” Says Heavyweight Joshua As He Rolls Into “Home of British Boxing” Bethnal Green’s York Hall Ahead Of Title Fight; He Would Have Made A Great Hipster

 
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Anthony Joshua demonstrates the grace under pressure and publicity skills that most Hipster founders would die for at his media meet and greet before his world title shot on Saturday

As East London’s Hipsters headed home on Monday after a hard day’s hacking and hustling, the Hummers came rolling into Bethnal Green; it’s unclear what kind of relationship Hackney’s startup community has with the bruising world of boxing, but what is indisputable is that York Hall, just opposite Bethnal Green tube station has been the spiritual home of British boxing since it first opened, with a capacity of 1,200, back in 1929.

With $14m Series B Fundraising Planday Are Leading Wonderful Copenhagen’s Startup Charge

 

All eyes on Copenhagen; the city’s startup scene is one of the most talked about in Europe

London isn’t the only European capital with a thriving startup scene; Copenhagen’s entrepreneurs are every bit as resourceful as their British counterparts, although until recently raising large funding rounds in the Danish capital might have been considered a bridge, or maybe a pivot too far.

The First 5 Things You Need To Do As A Founder After You Have Raised Seed Funding

 

You’ve done it! For many start-up founders in London the thrill of raising capital for a venture is what got them into the start-up scene in the first place. The UK is renowned for being one of the best countries in the world to do business – you can start a business in just 15 minutes here –and also because of schemes such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS and SEIS) that incentivise high net worth individuals to invest in tech start-ups – the business angel network in London is very strong.

But when you first raise seed funding for your start-up the irony is that you will have to keep a closer eye on the purse strings that at any stage previously – after you have celebrated the raise properly anyway!

What’s Mine Isn’t Yours; Fash-Tech Startup Pieces Of Mine Offers Bespoke, Personalised Jewellery From Top Independent Designers

 

pieces of mine2A new London -based Fash-Tech startup is aiming to put the romance back into the jewellery market. In a world where everything is mass produced consumers today crave personalisation; real beauty is not about the branding; it’s all about the story.

Ex Rothschild’s investment banker turned entrepreneur Nadine Oei launched Pieces of Mine to address the gap between what consumers want – bespoke, lovingly created and curated jewellery made by real designers with genuine passion, and what is available on the market – heavily branded and generic goods devoid of character and distinction.

“There is still a huge gap between emerging designers who are trying to get their products and brand name out there and the consumer that is looking for something ‘special’”, she says; “Pieces of Mine was founded to bridge that gap through a curated jewellery marketplace.”

London (& Manchester) Startup Events You Don’t Want To Miss In April

 

It may be April Fool’s but before you start to take everything the day throws at you with a colossal pinch of salt, read our guide to the best events taking place this April in London, and one not to be missed start-up extravaganza in one of Europe’s most founder friendly cities; Manchester. Steve Wozniack will be there – and no, that is not a wind-up!

Incubus Future of Work With PWC Passing Out Parade – Fri April 8th, PWC Embankment Place

Incubus, London  start-up-accelerator-on-a-bus have put 6 startup’s hoping to disrupt the future of the workplace through their paces, with help from consultancy firm PWC and mentors, including Jon Bradford, MD Techstars and co-founder of F6S, and Will King, founder of $50m global startup success story King of Shaves.

Hackney Community Law Centre Hosts Europe’s First Ever Law-Tech Hackathon

 
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Cllr Sade Etti, Speaker of Hackney, attends the Law for Good Hackathon at Hackney Community Law centre; photo courtesy of Legal Geek

Legal Geek, the UK’s largest law focused tech community, founded by entrepreneur Jimmy Vestbirk took over Google Campus during the weekend of 18th March as teams from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Mischon de Reya as well as more than 150 delegates from as far afield as Romania and the US battled it out during 72 hours of coding and programming mayhem.

This was officially Europe’s first ever Law-Tech Hackathon; its aim to create innovative and technical solutions to the issues affecting legal services in the borough of Hackney.

The Hackney Community Law Centre, on behalf of whom the “Law for Good” event was organised, operates on a limited budget and often struggles to meet demand for its services.

Ivo Spigel Just Published The Bible Of European Startup Success, & Launched It At Startup Bookshop Libreria!

 

Spot the celebrity rockstar (founder)?

Last Tuesday night Libreria, the tiny bookshop with the labyrinthine trompe d’oeil opposite the Second Home Incubator on Hanbury Street, owned by SH founder Rohan Silva and journalist Sally Davies, was the setting for the launch of journalist Ivo Spigel’s new book “The European Startup Revolution”. Ivo was interviewed by Joe Schorge, Managing Partner at Isomer Capital, who helped fund the writing of the book by backing its crowdfunding campaign.

When Cameron Crowe wrote and directed the film Almost Famous in 2000, general consensus at the time was that jobs don’t get much better than being a journalist covering the rock star super-groups of the 1970’s.

Serial Entrepreneurs vs. One Time Only Founders – What Are The Key Differences?

 

Both love to build businesses, but they can be radically different personalities. One embraces the possibility of risk, the other guards against it; one doesn’t like to get bogged down in the day to day and thinks 3 days a month is sufficient time to give a project provided you ask the right questions; the other frets about a weekend away. One thinks education is bunk – the other most likely studied beyond degree level, trying to squeeze every last drop of knowledge out of the system before they began what they saw as a one-time, lifetime project. Meet the serial entrepreneur and the one-time entrepreneur. Chalk and cheese?

There are always exceptions to the rule but based on evidence provided by a ground breaking study carried out by the Centre for Entrepreneurs on behalf of Coutts Bank, called “Beyond the first business, The Myths, Risks & Rewards Of Being A Serial Entrepreneur”, you might conclude that you’d always find the serial entrepreneur in the kitchen at parties, whilst the one-time entrepreneur, if they came at all, would probably hole up in the study, armed with a smartphone and laptop.

The Greatest Challenge For A Startup Founder? Hammer Horror!

 

In a recent interview with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner for German Daily newspaper Die Welt Mark Zuckerberg said:

“You know I actually remember very specifically the night that I launched Facebook at Harvard. I used to go out to get pizza with a friend who I did all my computer science homework with. And I remember talking to him and saying I am so happy we have this at Harvard because now our community can be connected; but one day someone is going to build this for the world.”

Hot Startup Alert! Give London the Hurry-up with Quiqup

 

quiqupWhat do London couples fight about? Who picks up the ingredients for dinner? Whose turn it is to run down to the shops when the milk runs out? Who forgot to pick up a chewy bone for the pooch?

First world problems you might say – but now there’s a way to cover for your domestic cock-ups or fulfil those last minute desires by outsourcing to someone who can solve them within the hour, and earn a decent wage at the same time. Meet Quiqup.

Lobster, The Marketplace For Discovery And Licensing Of Your Creative Content, Smashes Crowdfunding Target – But There’s Still Time To Invest!

 

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a professional photographer – supplying the fruits of your work to top media agencies like Mashable?

Sites like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook are making it possible to show the world how creative you can be – but with 1.8 billion photos being shared on social media every day how do you make agencies aware your images are available for use – and surely the agencies won’t pay, right?

The Thinker, The Fighter or The Leader – Which Personality Should A Founder Make Their First Hire?

 

Hire too many fighters and it might feel like the lunatics are taking over the asylum; too many thinkers and nothing will ever get actioned!

Spoiler alert! There is no right answer here but there are 3 very different personalities to choose from when making your first hires at your new start-up. Each one comes with a different set of strengths and weaknesses – lets briefly look at them and give you some pointers to think about during your next interview.

From Poole To Penzance – Via Glasgow! Baroness Mone Completes Review Of Startup Business Growth In Britain’s Most Deprived Communities

 

It may not always feel like it, but entrepreneurs in London have it easy. The network of support available to us here in the capital is amongst the best in the world – from top accelerators like Tech Stars or Level 39, to incubators including Entrepreneur First and Launch 22, to co-working spaces like Central Working or WeWork, there are resources available to every founder, no matter the scope of their ambition, and further up the food chain, VCs such as Notion Capital and Hoxton Ventures are ready to inject funds when the time is right.

Virtual or Augmented – Who Will Win The Battle For Hearts And Minds?

 
Virtual Reality VR Goggles Glasses Headset Device Concept Image

Virtual Reality VR Goggles Glasses Headset Device Concept Image

We’ve all heard about Oculus Rift, and now it seems that Mark Zuckerberg, who acquired the company for $2bn in 2014, is ready to throw his full weight behind it. At MWC in Barcelona last week the Facebook CEO described VR as “the next platform where anyone can experience anything they want. It’s going to change the way we live and work and communicate.”

Zuckerberg even made a surprise appearance at Samsung’s Unpacked event later in the conference, walking on stage unnoticed as the entire audience, made up of some of the most influential people in tech, donned Samsung’s Gear VR headsets – a glimpse of the future?

Maserati And The Centre For Entrepreneurs Reveal UK’s Hottest Hundred Entrepreneurs

 

These days on London’s startup scene, it seems that if you want to be thought of as hot property, you also need to be listed property.

Hot on the heels of Business Insider’s list of the 100 coolest people in UK Tech, bookended by two of the country’s most recognisable women in tech, Baroness Martha Lane Fox, founder of LastMinute.com and an instigator of countless digital initiatives and programmes, and Eileen Burbidge, Tech City Chair and founder of VC firm Passion Capital of White Bear Yard, comes the 2016 Maserati 100.

It may sound more like a classic car race than a group of prominent “philanthropists, investors, mentors and advisors”, but this, on the face of it, unlikely alliance has done a sterling job of profiling some of the country’s most entrepreneurial, most disruptive and most entertaining business people.

MWC ’16 – The Best Bits

 

We talked about Zuckerberg; we discussed 4YFN; we looked at what happened after hours in Barcelona’s bars and hotels; so now that Mobile World Congress is over for another year in Spain (although it starts all over again in July, in Shanghai, with the theme “Mobile Is Me”) it’s time to look at the key takeaways and questions the event raised, and what they mean for worlds of mobile, tech, entrepreneurs and disruptors who are helping to create the future.

Fashion Places, Fashion Spaces:

 

london fashion week 5Fashion Correspondent Abi Buller writes:

With the current melting-pot of creative talent saturating the fashion industry, it is no mean feat to produce a well-received and memorable brand presentation during the madness that is fashion month. Coinciding with an ever-changing influx of fashion trends, seasons, campaigns and shows, fashion communication and promotion has seen an enhanced prominence of catwalk alternative offerings in recent seasons, leading to a rethink in brand presence.

London’s fashion week offering included an array of conventional shows in various locations, from the Tate Britain to Central Saint Martins with carefully considered set design to reflect the mood and tone of the collection. One example of this communication is Mary Katrantzou’s show, inspired by childhood love and a nostalgic passion for dressing up, reflected in the set and atmosphere through an array of silver balloons and music by Dolly Parton.

Postcard from Barcelona: 4YFN, MWC and Swedish Beers!

 

When one door closes, another opens; ticket holders at 4YFN, Barcelona’s mobile start-up conference are flooding through the doors of big brother MWC 2016 today to join the nearly 100,000 fellow attendees to have walked the halls and floors of this gigantic, genre-defining conference, sniffing out opportunities, making contacts and signing contracts that will secure the future of their businesses for another year at least.

Uh-Oh – We’re In Trouble!

 

Has someone come along and burst our start-up bubble? Reports have surfaced that one of Britain’s most valuable (as much as £1.8bn) and celebrated startup “unicorns”, Powa Technologies is about to enter administration, putting 300 jobs at risk – Deloitte have been appointed to try to sell the business as a going concern.

Meanwhile across the US, Europe and Asia, post IPO valuations are dwindling; Fitbit shares dropped 15% in after-hours trading on Monday after the company reported weaker than expected fourth quarter results.

VC fundraising is expected to fall this year as the investment “cycle” enters a downturn after a record breaking 2015; all of a sudden London, home to nearly half (17) of Europe’s much-vaunted unicorns, looks vulnerable.