All posts tagged: founded

Hazlewoods helps on investment for female founded accountancy services provider

Hazlewoods helps on investment for female founded accountancy services provider

Female founded accountancy services provider, Mazuma, has secured backing from the Cardiff Capital Region’s £50 million equity fund, with Cheltenham-based Hazlewoods Corporate Finance supporting Innovation Investment Capital (IIC). Established in 2006 by Lucy Cohen and Sophie Hughes, the Bridgend-based business provides accountancy services to microbusinesses and is aiming to develop its strategy and reach through new technology solutions and employee expansion.  The IIC fund, which is managed by Capricorn Fund Managers and PwC, focuses on increasing the availability of long-term capital in Southeast Wales by encouraging economic growth through investments in innovative and scalable businesses. Mazuma is the second business to have secured Cardiff Capital Region backing alongside generative AI company, Amplify, back in September 2023.  Lucy Cohen said: “We started off with just myself and Sophie, when we were 23 from my spare bedroom, and now we have a workforce of 40, serving clients across the whole of the UK.  “…Part of going down the equity route, is that it naturally brings those partners with it, and you get other people around the table with that …

YC-backed African fintech Cleva, founded by Stripe and AWS alums, raises .5M pre-seed

YC-backed African fintech Cleva, founded by Stripe and AWS alums, raises $1.5M pre-seed

Nigerian fintech Cleva, focused on creating a banking platform for African individuals and businesses to receive international payments by opening USD accounts, has raised $1.5 million in pre-seed funding. The round was led by 1984 Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm based in San Francisco. Other participants in the round include The Raba Partnership, Byld Ventures, FirstCheck Africa, and several angel investors. Aaron Michael, a partner at 1984 Ventures, expressed support for Cleva’s founders, Tolu Alabi and Philip Abel, noting that their product provides a means for Africans to navigate hyperinflation challenges, which he describes as a massive opportunity. “The team is uniquely qualified to address this given their experience building banking products at Stripe and robust platforms at AWS. The impressive early growth is a testament to the team’s unique capacity to execute across Africa and the U.S.,” he added.  Y Combinator also participated in Cleva’s pre-seed round as the fintech begins its involvement in the accelerator’s winter 2024 batch this month. The famed accelerator has previously backed African startups helping freelancers and remote …

She founded Stelar – a sustainable handwoven bag label from Bali

She founded Stelar – a sustainable handwoven bag label from Bali

If you visited Bali and didn’t buy a bamboo bag, did you even go to Bali? This ubiquitous accessory might be available at every market and street stall on the island, but not all bamboo bags are created equal.   Ask Lorna Watson, the brains behind Stelar, an accessories brand that works directly with local artisans in Bali to preserve their indigenous skills, heritage and craftsmanship. A collection of handwoven and leather goods including tote bags, belts, wallets and clutches that capture the spirit of Bali, all of Stelar’s products are proudly made in communities, not factories.   “We currently work with 160 different artisans that are located within their own communities in Bali, Lombok and Java,” said Watson, who has a background in fine jewellery and over 25 years of experience in the luxury goods industry. Originally from Scotland, she first came to Bali for yoga 20 years ago and attempted to start a jewellery line to stay longer, but found it extremely challenging to get the project off the ground.  Source link

01 Advisors, founded by Dick Costolo and Adam Bain, just closed on 5M more

01 Advisors, founded by Dick Costolo and Adam Bain, just closed on $395M more

You might imagine that if two former Twitter chieftains and a longtime C-suite Facebook exec agreed to build a venture firm together, they would chase after nascent social networks. You’d be wrong. 01 Advisors, an outfit founded in 2018 by former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and former Twitter COO and president Adam Bain, tells TechCrunch exclusively that it just locked down $395 million in capital commitments for a third fund based on the traction the team has enjoyed by investing primarily in Series B-stage startups that sell business software and fintech services.  Some of their most valuable stakes tie to Tipalti, a finance automation platform that was valued at $8.3 billion during the heady days of 2021; SpotOn, which focuses on restaurant and small business payment processing (valued at $3.6 billion last year); Honeybook, which helps small businesses book clients, manage projects, and get paid (it was valued at $2.4 billion in 2021); and Linear, a project management platform that was reportedly valued at $400 million in September, when Accel led its newest round.  Bringing …

New e-commerce startup, founded by an ex-PayPal exec, aims to give customers control of their own shopping data

New e-commerce startup, founded by an ex-PayPal exec, aims to give customers control of their own shopping data

Do you get tired of creating an account every time you purchase something from an online store? You’re not alone. I Own My Data (IOMD) is a startup aiming to eliminate the tedious step for consumers, so not only do you not have to create a password, or deal with Captcha, you also don’t get bombarded with follow-up promotional email or text communications. The advantage for merchants is being able to offer an easier and faster way for people to shop on their sites. The company’s self-described aim is to “flip the script” on commerce with its Node platform. Rather than people having to enter and re-enter personal information on countless sites, I Own My Data says it lets consumers manage, retrieve and save all of their online interactions, purchases and profiles only on their devices.   Founder and CEO Rohan Mahadevan said he started the company last year after growing frustrated with his own experience as a consumer of having to re-verify and validate who he was, and creating new accounts with every site.  “Node …

IronNet, founded by former NSA director, shuts down and lays off staff

IronNet, founded by former NSA director, shuts down and lays off staff

IronNet, a once-promising cybersecurity startup founded by a former NSA director and funded by cyber and defense investors, has shuttered and laid off its remaining staff following its collapse. In a regulatory filing published Friday, IronNet’s president and chief financial officer Cameron Pforr said the company had ceased all business activities as it prepares for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, effectively liquidating the company’s remaining assets to pay its remaining debts. The Virginia-based IronNet was founded in 2014 by retired four-star general Keith Alexander, soon after he departed as the former director of the National Security Agency during the biggest leak (at the time) of government secrets by former contractor Edward Snowden. IronNet provided corporations and government agencies with technologies aimed at helping to defend against cyber threats, and using large data sets and analytics to automate threat intelligence. Its other products were designed to protect critical infrastructure. To date, the company raised more than $400 million in funding, including a $78 million Series B in 2018 led by C5 Capital, with participation from ForgePoint Capital, and …

Founded by Adyen and Affirm alums, Ansa aims to help merchants create virtual wallets for customers

Founded by Adyen and Affirm alums, Ansa aims to help merchants create virtual wallets for customers

Having the ability to load up a digital wallet to pay for goods and services at businesses you frequent, and then earn rewards for those purchases, would be convenient and well, rewarding. But as of now, few merchants outside of retail giants such as Starbucks offer that ability. Ansa is a startup emerging from stealth today that wants to change that. Founded last year by former Adyen manager Sophia Goldberg and ex-Affirm software engineer JT Cho, San Francisco-based Ansa is building what it describes as a white-labeled digital wallet infrastructure to help businesses process small payments and offset high credit card fees for smaller transactions. Or as Goldberg describes it, Ansa is building a “wallet-as-a-service,”or embedded customer balances to let any merchant launch a branded flexible payment instrument. “That can look like consumer prepayment, like the Starbucks in-app payment experience, or it can be for the merchant to fund with incentives,” she told TechCrunch. “The why of this is that it can really reduce costs and also drive loyalty.” Initial customers are quick-service restaurants (QSRs) …

Founded by actors, Mansa brings its free streaming service for global Black culture out of stealth

Founded by actors, Mansa brings its free streaming service for global Black culture out of stealth

Mansa, a free ad-supported streaming service and content aggregator that offers a curated selection of Black cultural content, launched out of stealth today. Mansa offers a wide variety of content, from on-demand titles and digital linear (FAST) channels to short-form videos and user-generated content. The company was founded by actors David Oyelowo (“Selma”), Chiké Okonkwo (“La Brea”) and Nate Parker (“The Great Debaters”), along with tech entrepreneur and film financier Zak Tanjeloff, who produced “The Birth of a Nation” and “American Skin.” The company is also announcing today that it recently closed an $8 million seed round, led by MaC Venture Capital, as well as additional funding from Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo, Mike Novogratz’s Web 3-focused Galaxy Digital, Robert F. Smith’s Vista Equity Partners, Base Ventures, Dubin & Co and Rainmaker Films. Mansa is additionally backed by notable investors including NBA player and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Black Capital VC; James Norman, CEO of Pilotly and managing partner of Black Operator Ventures; and Wemimo Abbey, co-founder of the Softbank-backed Esusu, among others. Today, there are a …

Humane, a secretive AI startup founded by ex-Apple employees, raises another 0M

Humane, a secretive AI startup founded by ex-Apple employees, raises another $100M

A startup founded by ex-Apple design and engineering team Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, Humane, today raised another $100 million to build what it calls an “integrated device and cloud services platform” for AI. Humane’s work is shrouded in mystery. But its latest round of funding, a Series C, attracted a laundry list of notable investors, including Kindred Ventures (which led the round), SK Networks, LG Technology Ventures, Microsoft, Volvo Cars Tech Fund, Tiger Global, Qualcomm Ventures and OpenAI CEO and co-founder Sam Altman. To date, Humane has raised $230 million from existing and previous investors, including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. Its workforce has grown correspondingly larger, now numbering exactly 200 employees. “This Series C round presented an opportunity to raise money through equity, and to bring on board great VCs and strategic partners who would like to participate in equity as the company grows,” Chaudhri told TechCrunch in an email interview. “At Humane, we’re building a first-of-its-kind device and services platform — we’re growing fast, and we’ve been focused on innovation, research and development.” …