Startups Weekly: Ups, downs, and silver linings

Welcome to Startups Weekly — Haje’s weekly recap of all the pieces you’ll be able to’t miss from the world of startups. Anna can be masking for him this week. Enroll right here to get it in your inbox each Friday.

Most attention-grabbing startup tales from the week

As the top of 0% rates of interest retains taking its toll, SoftBank-backed Norway-based on-line grocery store supply startup Oda has confirmed 150 layoffs and a refocus on Norway and Sweden, the place it hopes to achieve profitability subsequent 12 months.

Individuals being let go is rarely excellent news, however Oda co-founder Jon Kåre Stene, now a companion at VC agency Skyfall Ventures, hopes that this “may prompt the start of a number of new startups within the Norwegian tech scene or strengthen firms already set out on a journey.” Europe already has a number of startup factories — assume Skype — and now it might be Norway’s flip.  

As 150 persons are let go from Oda, let’s hope they’re transferring on to raised issues.
Picture Credit: Oda

{Hardware} is difficult, episode 234: We already knew that Humane’s Ai Pin launch was going something however easily. Now the startup urges prospects to cease utilizing its charging case as a result of battery hearth issues. That is “out of an abundance of warning” and primarily based on a single criticism, based on Humane, however it’s unlikely to assist its case.

Reinventing the walkie-talkie: The 2 co-founders of French startup ten ten are getting little sleep lately as their authentic social app went viral, with 1 million downloads of their residence nation and 6 million globally.

Sued, fined, and evicted: AI mortgage startup LoanSnap isn’t doing properly. With backers comparable to Reid Hoffman, Richard Branson and the Chainsmokers, it has staff deeply involved about its future as worries maintain mounting. 

Falling from top: The within story of Fisker’s collapse is an interesting one, and TechCrunch has it. Sean O’Kane labored on this for weeks, and the result’s a story of hubris, energy struggles, and the repeated failure to arrange primary processes which can be foundational for any automaker.

We’ll dance once more: Co-founder and CTO of Firefly, Joseph “Sefi” Genis, was among the many lots of murdered by Hamas on October 7. Now the Israeli startup is forging on.  

Most attention-grabbing fundraises this week

Options by Textual content (SBT), an organization that offers individuals a solution to pay their payments and apply for loans by way of textual content messaging, raised $110 million in funding. However as TechCrunch’s Mary Ann Azevedo famous, “this isn’t your typical startup elevating capital.” The corporate was bootstrapped from its creation in 2008 to 2021.

One other distinction between SBT and the common startup is that it’s EBITDA constructive and dealing towards full profitability this 12 months, based on its CEO, David Baxter, who took over in 2021.

Based by brothers Danny and Mike Cantrell, the corporate took a flip underneath Baxter’s helm. 

“We actually have remodeled the enterprise from extra of a founder-led household, life-style kind of a enterprise, doing roughly 20ish million messages a month to about 150 to 200 million messages a month,” Baxter advised TechCrunch.

Sword Health
Sword Well being is an AI-powered digital bodily remedy startup.
Picture Credit: Sword Well being / Firm
  • Reside by the sword: Sword Well being, an AI-powered digital bodily remedy startup, raised a $30 million main funding spherical and a $130 million secondary funding spherical that introduced its valuation to $3 billion. That’s a 50% improve from its November 2021 Collection D valuation.
  • EV design in 18 months: Swiss startup Neural Idea raised $27 million to chop electrical automobile design time to 18 months, a powerful promoting level as Europe and America search to scale back EV manufacturing prices to compete towards China. 
  • We are able to get why: GetWhy, a shopper analysis tech firm that leverages AI to assist companies conduct market research and extract insights from video-based interviews, raised $34.5 million from California-based VC agency PeakSpan Capital and others.
  • The place’s your head at: Austrian startup Storyblok raised $80 million so as to add extra AI to its “headless” content material administration system (CMS) for non-technical individuals.

Different unmissable TechCrunch tales…

Listening to of the Ticketmaster antitrust lawsuit made some amongst us marvel if this might give hope to ticketing startups.

And now Ticketmaster proprietor Reside Nation confirms Ticketmaster was hacked. In case your private knowledge was caught within the breach, that’s not nice. But when that’s one other step towards getting options, perhaps there’s a silver lining.

Extra prime tales:

  • Stroll the stroll: SAP is shelling out a whopping $1.5 billion in money to accumulate WalkMe, a “digital adoption” platform supplier.
  • Massive nest egg: Personal fairness agency Bridgepoint entered a $650 million deal to purchase a majority stake of LumApps, a French “intranet tremendous app” — and this might gasoline extra acquisitions.
  • Noticed in filings: We knew that Salesforce purchased Spiff in February. Now we all know how a lot it paid for the gross sales fee administration firm: $419 million, together with $374 million in money.
  • 11 figures: Spanish startups reached €100 billion in mixture worth final 12 months, because the tech scene retains maturing. Nonetheless, with a mixed worth of $191 billion, Cambridge’s ecosystem alone is sort of price double Spain’s.