Why Luxury Brands Should Celebrate the Preowned Boom (Vestiaire CollectivexBCG)

This article was co-published by Ventech portfolio company Vestiaire Collective and global consulting firm Boston Consulting Group, describing the results of an October 2018 BCG survey of 1,005 Vestiaire Collective customers and the 2019 BCG-Altagamma True-Luxury Global Consumer Insight study, which surveyed more than 12,000 consumers in ten countries.

Luxury goods manufacturers have much to gain by encouraging and participating in the fast-growing luxury resale market. Although many manufacturers once viewed this market as an unattractive niche, a recent BCG survey reveals that it has found new life through the online channel and now offers a powerful opportunity for luxury brands to boost their image and grow their customer base.

The secondary market has always been a steppingstone into the luxury world for customers who don’t have access to the primary market. Online sales have accelerated this effect, as more and more customers who may one day become primary-market luxury clients discover that it offers an avenue to goods they didn’t think they could afford. These resale customers typically are not primary-market buyers—and therefore tend not to be secondhand sellers. Instead, sellers are usually firsthand buyers who use resale to get money back so they can reinvest in new, full-priced luxury products.

In addition, a thriving resale market makes the luxury industry more sustainable—and more popular with environmentally aware millennials—by supporting a circular luxury economy. Brands that go further and actively collaborate with the preowned market can secure a number of previously unforeseen benefits, including the ability to connect with their customers in an innovative way.

A BOOM IN RESALE

The secondary market is expected to grow from an estimated $25 billion in revenues in 2018 to around $36 billion in 2021.

The secondary market for luxury goods has always existed in the shadow of the primary market, but now it’s moving into the spotlight, becoming one of the fastest-growing areas of luxury. This market niche is expected to grow from an estimated $25 billion in revenues in 2018 to around $36 billion in 2021, increasing by an average of 12% per annum and boosting its share of total personal luxury goods to around 9%, according to the 2019 BCG-Altagamma True-Luxury Global Consumer Insight study, which surveyed more than 12,000 consumers in ten countries. The primary luxury market, in contrast, is expected to grow more slowly over the same period, at around 3% per annum.

Much of the growth in resale will come from online platforms, which currently generate around 25% of global secondhand luxury-market sales, according to BCG research. Small, independent stores that worked on consignment once dominated the resale market—and we expect this mature offline retail channel to remain highly fragmented, with slow growth for independent stores, which tend to lack a luxury look and feel.

In sharp contrast to that sales model, online retailers are concentrated and organized, offering large catalogs of goods, price transparency, home delivery, and even repairs to ensure that products are in good condition. Further fueling growth, a number of new specialist online players are emerging, and generalist online platforms are expanding to include luxury goods.

Among individual secondhand luxury segments, leather goods such as handbags are extremely popular, as they are an aspirational product for first-time buyers, easy to buy online, and yet relatively scarce in the traditional offline retail channel. Most firsthand luxury goods companies have a vested interest in this category because leather goods are typically their primary focus—and in many cases account for the bulk of their sales. The watches and jewelry segment is also well developed. Meanwhile, clothing and shoes make up a relatively small proportion of today’s luxury resale items, as their potential is capped by the typical barriers for online purchase of such goods: the inability to try them on, the wide range of sizes, and, therefore, the risk that they won’t fit.

Looking across geographies, we find that resale is a global phenomenon. Its presence is particularly strong in the US, where 50% of luxury customers—defined as those who have purchased a luxury item in the previous 12 months—participate in the resale market, according to the BCG-Altagamma survey, and in Europe, where the market is developing quickly. The resale market in China is emerging steadily, too, although it is not yet well structured and no large players have appeared.

In terms of generational differences, younger luxury consumers are the largest participants in the secondhand market, with 54% of Generation Z and 48% of millennial luxury customers buying preowned goods. In contrast, just 38% of Generation X luxury customers and 35% of Baby Boomer luxury customers buy secondhand. Younger luxury consumers are the largest participants in the secondhand market, with 54% of Generation Z and 48% of millennial luxury customers buying preowned goods.

PRIMARY GROWTH ENGINES

An October 2018 BCG survey of 1,005 Vestiaire Collective customers and the 2019 BCG-Altagamma survey highlight four main factors behind the growth in luxury resale: price accessibility, the increasing professionalization and concentration of the secondhand market, changing consumer preferences, and access to a broad selection of products.

Price Accessibility

The first major growth engine behind increasing secondhand sales is the ability of customers to gain access to luxury items at affordable prices. Buying and selling in the preowned market allows these consumers to increase their disposable income by limiting their total cost of ownership (TCO). In fact, around 96% of buyers in the BCG-Vestiaire Collective survey say that they purchase secondhand items in part because they are looking for good deals. (See Exhibit 1.)

Growing Professionalization and Concentration

Traditional brick-and-mortar luxury resale includes very few players of significant size. Instead, the market consists largely of a long tail of small businesses that focus on a specific product category or geographic footprint.

Online resale platforms for luxury goods have won over consumers by offering far greater brand selection and product assortment. In addition, each platform has developed its own services and approach, with specific offerings that include product authenticity and curation (Vestiaire Collective, The RealReal); consignment, at-home pickup, photos, and storage (The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective); and category expertise (StockX for sneakers, Chrono24 for watches). Many have upgraded the buyer experience to premium standards, providing websites with a luxurious look and feel. Others are creating offline expansions through brick-and-mortar stores. The RealReal and Rebag, for example, have opened a few physical stores, while Vestiaire Collective has opened pop-up stores at large retailers such as Selfridges and Le Bon Marché.

The willingness of these online resellers to grow and professionalize their offers has not only attracted buyers and sellers into the space, but also drawn sizable venture capital and equity investments, such as the more than $280 million raised in 2018 by The RealReal—a company that went on to raise $300 million in an IPO in June 2019. As such investments continue, they create barriers to entry, boosting market concentration and establishing a few clear winners as a result.

Changing Consumer Preferences

Another source of growth in the preowned market is shifting consumer preferences. Today, consumers—especially millennials and Generation Z, the market’s largest participants—tend to care more about sustainability and responsible consumption than did prior generations. Our BCG-Altagamma study found that 59% of luxury customers in both the primary and secondary markets say that the issue of sustainability influences their purchasing behavior, while 17% of customers in the secondhand market purchase preowned items because they consider doing so to be “truly sustainable behavior.” Our survey of Vestiaire Collective customers yielded similar data, with more than 70% of respondents saying that they try to shop ethically and 13% saying that sustainability is extremely important to them. Of those that shop ethically, 57% say that environmental impact is their primary concern.

Access to a Broad Selection of Products

The preowned market is also growing quickly because it offers customers a large selection of products. Beyond vintage items and items made available from past luxury collections at affordable prices, two types of items are especially popular on the resale market: rare or iconic items, including limited editions, that suffer from scarcity in the firsthand sales network; and collaborations. Resale prices for the former typically build in a premium that is highly correlated with the items’ desirability and scarcity, sometimes making them more expensive than the same items sold firsthand.

Increasingly, luxury brands are collaborating with artists or other brands. In fact, awareness of such collaborations reached around 90% of survey participants in 2018, and 50% of them had actually purchased collaborations or special editions. Such purchases are most common among Chinese customers (62% of those surveyed) and younger generations of shoppers (67% of Generation Z customers and 60% of millennial customers).

Of the buyers we surveyed, 62% say that they find the preowned market attractive today because they are looking for sold-out items or limited editions (“strongly agree” or “slightly agree”), and 83% point to the large choice of items and brands available there.

REASONS TO SUPPORT PREOWNED

Luxury players might understandably regard a growing preowned market as a threat. However, the secondhand market has much to offer the luxury industry, including serving as a recruiting mechanism into the luxury world, encouraging primary-market buyers to purchase additional premium items in light of their lower TCO, and boosting sustainability. The secondhand market can recruit new buyers into the luxury world, encourage primary-market buyers to purchase additional premium items in light of their lower TCO, and boost sustainability.

Preowned Purchases Are a Recruiting Mechanism

Buyers of preowned luxury items are usually consumers who either don’t have access to the primary luxury market or don’t want to purchase new products at full price. In fact, 71% of the preowned item buyers we surveyed lean toward items and brands that they can’t afford firsthand. The secondhand market is therefore a powerful way for luxury brands to connect with—and anchor their brand in the minds of—buyers who may become primary customers in the future. Social media generated around the preowned market can help, too, by publicizing high-quality products and brands through the comments and feedback that market participants provide and by creating transparency around the products in most demand.

As buyers of secondhand luxury items mature, their purchasing power tends to increase, giving them the financial resources needed to shift to the primary market. When they do, they will already be educated in a given brand or brands and may remain loyal after the transition. Among survey participants, 62% say that their first purchase of a brand they currently like was secondhand on Vestiaire Collective; and within that 62%, almost all of them say that they would consider buying that brand again. Although 43% say that they would probably stick to secondhand, the remaining 57% would either definitely buy or consider buying the item firsthand—making them very good prospects for the firsthand market.

Secondhand Sellers Are Firsthand Buyers

Secondhand sellers typically use resale to regain some of the money they spent on firsthand purchases—often so they can reinvest in new, full-priced luxury products. Of the sellers we surveyed, 32% say that their primary reason for selling was to be able to purchase new firsthand goods. Most sellers of preowned items buy very little in the secondhand market. For example, 70% of all preowned sales on the Vestiaire Collective platform are generated by sellers who rarely purchase secondhand (less than 20% of their transactions are purchases). And these purchases in aggregate represent only 3% of all transactions made on the platform.

As reselling a luxury purchase becomes easier, primary luxury customers are even adjusting the way they buy. Some customers are trading up and buying higher-ticket firsthand items, in anticipation of the lower TCO. Among survey respondents, in fact, 44% say that they purchase more-expensive luxury items than they would have bought without a resale market. Other customers purchase more frequently, investing approximately the same amount on individual items overall, but buying repeatedly as they free up their budgets by reselling used items. Preowned sales clearly boost these sellers’ purchasing power for new items and, therefore, create an opportunity for manufacturers to increase primary-market sales, benefiting luxury players.

Preowned Boosts Sustainability in the Luxury World

The preowned market extends the lifetime of luxury products. Most products sold on preowned luxury platforms are of high quality, with 62% of them unworn or scarcely worn (worn three to ten times), according to our survey.

It also helps create a circular luxury economy, a hot topic in the fashion industry today. As Stella McCartney has said, “If every single second there’s a truckload of fast fashion being incinerated or landfilled, then I’m a big, big, believer in reusing that and [participating in] the circular economy.” And “extending the life of clothes by just nine extra months of active use would reduce carbon, waste, and waste footprints by around 20–30% each,” according to environmental action group WRAP. Luxury companies that support sustainability will ultimately benefit from participating in a more responsible ecosystem.

Luxury companies that support sustainability can take pride in participating in a more responsible ecosystem, and they will ultimately benefit from such positioning. This is especially true in view of the importance of sustainability to young consumers today, as illustrated by initiatives such as Stella McCartney’s sustainability partnership with The RealReal, along with the Bash and SMCP partnerships with Vestiaire Collective.

In contrast, behaviors such as stock destruction can backfire in the eyes of the younger generation, particularly when these customers are ready to shift to primary luxury. One European luxury goods manufacturer experienced this firsthand, when its customers discovered that it had burned all of the prior year’s unsold products. The company quickly announced a policy change, saying that henceforth it would take a more sustainable path.

A more responsible industry sales ecosystem can also serve as a strong complement to and differentiator from the various ethical and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives that luxury players typically pursue. And it meshes well with the new Fashion Pact introduced by French president Emmanuel Macron at this year’s G7 summit—a set of objectives intended to encourage the fashion industry to reduce its environmental impact. Thirty-two companies, comprising roughly 150 brands, have signed the pact so far, thereby committing to collective achievement of practical objectives in three areas: stopping global warming, restoring biodiversity, and preserving the oceans.

COLLABORATION BRINGS FURTHER BENEFITS TO THE LUXURY ECOSYSTEM

Luxury players that actively support and collaborate with the preowned market can garner even greater benefits. Brands can actively collaborate in several ways. First, they can provide access to a resale service that helps buyers consume more sustainably and supports the circular economy. (See Exhibit 2.) Second, they can create unique or exclusive events and collaborations that mix current and vintage treasures to celebrate a brand’s heritage. Third, they can reinforce the fight against counterfeiting. And fourth, they can work with resale players to engage with a community of advocates and prospective customers.

Such collaborations might enable luxury players to benefit from access to data on purchasing patterns, giving them a better understanding of underlying trends, including potentially collecting insights for the primary market. Alternatively, they might interact with communities of engaged consumers to obtain feedback on products and brand positioning. Any active involvement would also contribute toward eventually converting clients to the primary market.

All of these factors point toward the same conclusion: brands that support the secondhand market—without fearing consumer feedback or competition—are most likely to emerge as winners.

(Source: Boston Consulting Group, Vestiaire Collective Joint Study)

No-Code Platform Open as App raises €5.2 million

Ventech and Senovo lead €5.2m Series A fundraising for Munich-based Open as App – the first No-Code, automated app development platform

Munich, 15th October 2019 – Open as App, the first No-Code platform for automated app creation, raised a Series A investment of €5.2 million led by Ventech and Senovo. main incubator (Research & Development Unit and early-stage investor of Commerzbank Group) and US-based Acequia Capital provided additional fundraising for the round.

Open as App’s fundraising follows the growing demands of the global low/no-code development market – a market which Gartner predicts will support 65% of all app development within five years. The platform enables the direct transfer of existing business data and logic into No-Code apps – an important contribution to the digital transformation of companies of all sizes.

Open as App lets users add calculation/logic features or integrate existing business systems without additional coding; this marks a significant departure from common low code/no code RAD tools that require intensive coding. With Open as App, Excel calculations and database contents are instantly available to end-users as mobile KPI dashboards, web embedded offer calculators or bot-enabled contact lists, for example.

Global industry leaders such as Commerzbank, Deutsche Bahn (the largest German railroad company), and PricewaterhouseCoopers are already using Open as App’s new approach to no-code app development in their day-to-day business. The platform accelerates digitalization processes and greatly optimizes sales, client services, information sharing processes, collaboration and reporting.

Open as App’s new investors provide the Munich-based start-up valuable expertise and resources for its internationalization and the expansion of its SaaS offering for business enterprise and SME customers.

“No-Code is an exciting growth market and a central pillar of the digital transformation of companies,” explains Stephan Wirries, Partner at Ventech. “We are excited to see the international inbound interest for Open as App’s platform and excited to partner such an ambitious team for their next chapter.”

“Open as App is cutting edge technology with a convincing approach for the ever more needed digitization of business processes. The incredible ease of use of Open as App’s tools is fascinating. We are pleased to support Open as App in its growth and we are happy to welcome the very strong team in our portfolio of B2B SaaS companies,” says Frederick Mallinckrodt, Partner at Senovo.

“main incubator has accompanied Open as App from the outset and together with the management team, has driven its growth to date, primarily in the financial and insurance sectors. This Series A financing project represents an important milestone for the company,” says Christoph Osburg, Investment Manager at main incubator.

In addition to the aforementioned investors, Open as App counts Business Angel Consortium Impact 51 and Business Angels Pieter van Groos (CEO, Ferratum), Bart Markus (Gap Technology) & Ralf Hertneck (Cloud Value Equity) among its existing investors and shareholders.

Frontastic raises €1.8m to continue investing in its front-end-as-service solution

Frontastic offers a frontend management platform focused on excellence of digital customer experience in the context of headless architectures. As part of a pre-series A, the company, which was founded in 2017, has now successfully completed a financing round of 1.8 million euros – well-known investors include Reimann Investors, Ventech and NRW.BANK, as well as Business Angel Ulrike Müller (Demandware, NewStore).

Experienced founding team and major brands

Behind Frontastic is the founding team of Thomas Gottheil, Henning Emmrich, Kore Nordmann and Tobias Schlitt with a strong combined industry experience from previous professional stations and successfully established companies such as Shopmacher and Qafoo. The 16-person team operates as a distributed team from various international locations and has already won customers such as Apollo Optik, Universal Music Germany, Prym and Chronext for its product.

Thomas Gottheil, Henning Emmrich, Tobias Schlitt, Kore Nordmann

The focus is on experience

Thomas Gottheil, CEO of Frontastic, said of the company’s mission: “With Frontastic, we want to make customers and developers happy by enabling companies to create, deliver and scale outstanding digital experiences in the front-end in an intelligent and efficient way. In the API economy, our goal is to be the standard for managing and delivering these digital customer experiences – on any device – with the PWA-based solution.”

A new category in the market

A paradigm shift is taking place in the software market, away from monolithic systems towards API-first/headless architectures. Frontastic now provides a cloud platform for the frontend especially for this new world. This Frontend Management Platform (FMP) consequently closes the need for a solution for the changed requirements of commerce companies and their setups. In addition to the many advantages that developers appreciate in an API-first setup, Frontastic goes one step further with the integrated editor: Business users, such as marketing managers in companies, can work with significantly less dependence on IT. The FMP thus enables every company to quickly and efficiently transform a wide variety of data into outstanding experiences for its customers.

Ulrike Müller comes on board as Business Angel

As part of the Pre-Series-A, Ulrike Müller, co-founder of Demandware and NewStore, will also be on board. With Demandware, she has already successfully been part of building a listed SaaS company, which now operates as Salesforce Commerce Cloud on the market after its exit to the United States. “Frontastic brings together experienced founders, a strong team and a solution that, in my opinion, meets a market at exactly the right time that is looking for innovation, excellence and the decisive game changer in e-commerce,” Ulrike Müller summarizes.

The signs are pointing to growth

With this financing, Frontastic is further expanding its product and its own market position. For product roadmaps and sales pipelines, the signs are pointing to growth – from ambitious dealers to globally operating enterprises, the flexibilization of the front-end, often in combination with headless solutions such as commercetools or Spryker, has become a decisive competitive advantage.

“Reimann Investors” as Lead Investor

Frontastic won Reimann Investors from Munich as lead investor. Reimann Investors invests in strongly growing digital start-ups in the areas of Premium Digital Commerce, SaaS, FinTech and digital service models. “Frontastic creates the optimal stage for a convincing brand experience in commerce, relying on state-of-the-art technology and a strong team. We were impressed by Frontastic’s ability to win well-known customers at a very early stage in the company’s development and look forward to actively and enthusiastically supporting further growth,” said Jussof Breshna, Partner at Reimann Investors.

Veo Raises $6M Series A to bring its ‘AI camera’ for soccer matches to the US

Danish startup Veo invented an AI camera for recording football matches and has now raised $6 million in A-round funding. Money earmarked at expanding into the U.S. market.

Every year, millions of football games are played worldwide for the sport’s four billion fans. Almost none of these are recorded – and nor are the millions of goals and unique football moments.

Danish startup Veo has solved this problem with a portable and affordable football camera that allows anyone, anywhere to record and analyze football matches without the need of a cameraman. The company raised six million dollars in A-round funding led by pan-European Ventech Capital, U.S.-based Courtside Ventures, and Danish VC Seed Capital. The new capital will be used to launch in the U.S. in an effort to penetrate the North American market, and Veo cameras already started shipping to US and Canadian clubs.

“Henrik and the Veo team have harnessed their impressive creativity and entrepreneurial vision to transform how important moments are captured in the sports industry. We are excited to support Veo’s global ambition to share their best in class, AI-powered video solution to football teams worldwide,” explains Ventech Partner Tero Mennander on the global, early-stage VC’s investment.

“With this injection of capital, we can start meeting our own expectations of becoming a central player, both on the North American and the global football market”, says Veo CEO and founder Henrik Teisbæk.

The Veo football camera provides a solution to a prevalent problem in football teams on most levels: To record a football match or -training properly, a club needs a cameraman who can follow the players from an elevated spot by the pitch and has the technical knowhow to cut and edit highlights from the full recording. For the vast majority of football teams, this is not a realistic setup.

“We have an ambition of making video technology a natural part of football – in all clubs, on all levels. Not only in the biggest clubs who already have the resources to do so and just want an easier solution. But especially for the smaller clubs who haven’t had the opportunity to record football like this, until now,” says Henrik Teisbæk.

The camera itself is a dual 4K lens camera that records the entire pitch. And because it requires no cameraman, it can be mounted on a 23ft tripod with optimal view. The real magic, however, lies in the processing where Veo’s patented AI-powered software detects both ball and players to create a perfectly balanced broadcast view for its users. Just like a football match on TV. Both Veo’s software and hardware is developed and produced in the company’s office in Copenhagen, Denmark, where 35 people currently are employed.

In the last year alone, 25,000 games have been recorded by 3,000 teams in 50 countries worldwide using Veo. That’s 13 times more than Europe’s five biggest leagues combined, and as Veo keep increasing its sales, these numbers will grow exponentially, turning Veo into probably the biggest football broadcaster in the world.

Veo was founded in 2015 Henrik Teisbæk, Jesper Taxbøl and Keld Reinicke. See it in action yourself here: https://player.vimeo.com/video/333529341

 

Swedish Fintech-challenger Capcito raises €7m for international expansion

Swedish Fintech-company Capcito has closed an investment in the amount of EUR 7 million. Schibsted Growth and pan-European VC Ventech have joined owners SEB Venture Capital and Collector Ventures in support of Capcito’s next stage of growth.

In an increasingly competitive industry, Capcito has gained significant traction in the past 12 months through fast growth and a 500% increase in active clients. Thus far ~EUR 80 million have been paid out to growing businesses through Capcito’s automated financing platform.

  • There is an obvious demand among growing businesses for a costworthy, flexible and digital provider of working capital to small businesses, says founder Michael Hansen on the firm’s competitive advantage and growth.
  • One of the biggest obstacles for companies to develop and grow is access to working capital, and the available alternatives are seldom costworthy or transparent flexible enough. I am convinced this is why we are growing rapidly in an industry which is highly competitive but contains lots of old-fashioned players, says Hansen.

Capcito’s credit assessment is automated, which means that an available credit amount is calculated instantly – based on real-time data from an invoice- or accounting software. So far 6,000 businesses have connected and are profiting benefitting from access to a pre approved credit facility, factoring and invoice discounting services.

  • Capcito can help businesses and entrepreneurs with working capital, in a completely new way. Finally, things are happening within the fintech for b2b space, both in Sweden and internationally. We want to be a part of that transformation, says Dan Ouchterlony, Investment Manager at Schibsted Growth.
  • We believe Capcito is positioned to change the financing marketplace with their concept of automated financing – and that is a journey Ventech wants to be a part of. I look forward to helping Capcito facilitate its international expansion and continue its exponential growth, says Tero Mennander, General Partner at Ventech Europe.

In connection with the investment, Dan Ouchterlony from Schibsted and Tero Mennander from Ventech will take up seats on Capcito’s board.

This capital injection enables Capcito’s international expansion and further sharpening of its digital product.

 

Tilkal lève 3,5 M€ pour mieux répondre à l’exigence de transparence des consommateurs et consolider la traçabilité des filières industrielles grâce à la blockchain

Paris, le 17 juin 2019 – Tilkal, infrastructure logicielle pour la traçabilité et la transparence des supply chains, annonce une levée de fonds de 3,5M€ auprès de Breega (investisseur lead), de Ventech et de business angels. Ce financement permettra à Tilkal de devenir l’un des premiers opérateurs de la traçabilité en Europe. 

UNE PERTE DE CONFIANCE CROISSANTE DU CONSOMMATEUR

À l’origine, il y a un constat simple. La perte de confiance du consommateur est devenue un véritable enjeu pour les industriels : 75% des consommateurs déclarent ne plus avoir confiance dans les produits qu’ils achètent, et 28% seulement font confiance aux marques, un phénomène amplifié par des crises sanitaires de moins en moins tolérées, et plus généralement par le développement du commerce illicite (contrefaçon, marchés gris, ingrédients non conformes, travail d’enfants, etc.).

En conséquence, la traçabilité des produits est devenue le défi premier des supply chains et nécessite d’être repensée en profondeur.

La solution développée par Tilkal apporte une réponse globale permettant de passer d’une analyse statique et ponctuelle des cahiers des charges à une analyse dynamique et continue des pratiques et des échanges entre industriels.

UNE INFRASTRUCTURE LOGICIELLE AU SERVICE DE LA TRANSPARENCE GRÂCE À  BLOCKCHAIN ET BIG DATA

En combinant blockchain et analyse (big data), Tilkal permet enfin la reconstitution et le contrôle de l’ensemble du cycle de vie des produits.

L’infrastructure réunit les parties prenantes au sein d’un réseau de traçabilité temps réel des produits, de la production à la distribution. Tilkal fournit à chacun une “tour de contrôle” de la supply chain pour en analyser le fonctionnement de bout en bout ainsi que des outils de transparence vis-à-vis des clients finaux (applications mobiles). Avec Tilkal, il devient possible de fiabiliser des processus critiques tels que les rappels produits, et de permettre au consommateur de choisir ses produits sur la base d’une information engageante, en confiance et en conscience.

L’UNE DES TOUTES PREMIÈRES SOLUTIONS DE TRAÇABILITÉ “BLOCKCHAIN” DÉPLOYÉE EN FRANCE

Tilkal a mis en oeuvre avec Groupe Casino et plusieurs coopératives la traçabilité de plus de 8M de produits par an actuellement disponibles en magasin (miel, volaille et œufs). Tilkal est également présent dans une dizaine d’autres filières agroalimentaires parmi lesquelles le porc, le transport de frais, le lait infantile, les compléments alimentaires. Des projets sont en cours dans la restauration collective ainsi que dans d’autres industries.

“À l’origine, Tilkal est né de notre engagement à Joseph, Sébastien et moi-même, de contribuer à une économie plus éthique et plus responsable. Cet engagement trouve écho auprès de nos clients, qui souhaitent légitimement se différencier en démontrant leur maîtrise industrielle bout en bout. Aujourd’hui, pour continuer à innover et à nous développer, nous comptons sur des partenaires financiers tels Breega et Ventech, engagés, ambitieux et ayant la capacité de nous accompagner dans notre développement au service du secteur agro-alimentaire, puis vers d’autres industries” – Matthieu Hug, CEO et co-fondateur de Tilkal.

“La traçabilité et la transparence sont des enjeux que nous connaissons bien chez Breega. La solution développée par Tilkal prend en compte les questions essentielles de la localisation des nœuds et de la gouvernance du réseau. On garde ainsi l’équilibre entre les différents acteurs engagés. Il est en effet essentiel de s’assurer que la blockchain ne permet pas à un seul acteur de s’approprier les données de toute une filière.” – Maximilien Bacot, Partner chez Breega.

“Tilkal propose une solution de traitement et de partage des données industrielles, aux filières agroalimentaires. Acteur européen, elle leur permet d’assurer le contrôle et la souveraineté de ces données, ce qui est un différenciant important. L’enjeu est comparable à celui des données personnelles.” – Claire Houry, General Partner chez Ventech.

4Stop Closes $2.5M Series A Round to Expand Its Global KYB, KYC, Compliance and Anti-Fraud Technology

4Stop, a leading global KYB, KYC, compliance and fraud prevention provider announces today its successful completion of a German-based $2.5 Million Series A Round Investment from Ventech.

Ingo Ernst, CEO of 4Stop states: “This is another major milestone for 4Stop, one that we are all very proud of achieving and a true endorsement of our business and technology potential. We are very excited to take this opportunity to expand our business, team and our KYB, KYC and anti-fraud technology solutions. Allowing us to further facilitate modern, leading-edge risk-based management, from a single API solution.”

The global growth of online transactional engagement paired with its increasing fraud rates, identity thefts and continuous evolution of the regulatory requirement landscape makes it imperative for businesses operating online to ensure they implement a solution that future-proofs their compliance and fraud defense. A need for simplistic, all-encompassing risk management solutions is proving pertinence and supports 4Stop’s technology development, market value proposition and strategy.

4Stop dramatically saves businesses time and money underwriting merchants, managing their anti-fraud processes and eliminates the need to integrate multiple 3rd party KYC data sources. “We provide businesses with near real-time KYB, thousands of global data points, hundreds of KYC data sources and leading-edge, smart anti-fraud technology, all from a single API integration. Ensuring the most efficient, optimal data experience and future-proofed risk management processes are obtained. Bringing confidence to every merchant onboarded through to their customers and associated transactions, empowering and accelerating business performance”,  states Ernst.

4Stop’s technology has received “Best Financial Transaction Security Platform” by Fintech Breakthrough Award earlier in 2019 and has received “Best Risk Management Solution Provider” in 2017 and 2018. Additionally, 4Stop’s value proposition has already been implemented by global payment and crypto leaders including Mifinity, Paymentz, Paysend, Gatehub and Draglet.

“We believe 4Stop has only began to realize its great potential and is well on its way to turning the burden of compliance into a driver of business operations excellence in the payment & Fintech industry; Ventech is thrilled to partner with 4Stop in their next chapter. We look forward to leveraging our broad and strong investment expertise and 20+ years of experience internationalizing of early stage companies.” explains Ventech Principal Stephan Wirries.

For more insight on why we partnered with 4stop: https://medium.com/@wirries/one-api-to-r%CC%B6u%CC%B6l%CC%B6e%CC%B6-help-them-all-a6151bdfb7e5

Finnish IoT Innovator Treon announces €1m seed funding from Angel Investors and Ventech

Treon, a Finnish Tampere-based company that develops smart wireless devices and hardware platform for IoT-solutions, announced today that it has raised a 1MEUR seed funding round with the support of a strong group of angel investors and leading early stage global VC Ventech.

“We’re so proud of the progress we have made since Treon was founded in late 2016. We have already established Treon as a hardware product design company of choice for market innovators such as Varjo (www.varjo.com) and HappyOrNot (www.happy-or-not.com)”, says Treon CEO Joni Korppi.

“The new funding and a group of experienced investors will help us to focus even more on development and global market introduction of Treon branded products for IoT-solutions, starting this year already.”

INVESTORS TRUST IN TREON’S EXPERIENCED TEAM

The seed funding of 1MEUR shows an eminent and global trust in Treon and its product development, as well as in its already existing products. The funding comes from two major parties: a group of independent, experienced entrepreneurs, and Ventech (www.ventechvc.com), the leading pan-European VC fund investing in early-stage tech-driven start-ups.

“In Treon, we are most impressed by the people: an experienced, and highly qualified and innovative team of smartphone professionals with exceptional pedigrees who made a successful transition to developing hardware and software for IoT-solutions,” says Tero Mennander, General Partner at Ventech. “Particularly when combined with the IoT product market uptake, Treon stands out as an exceptional fit for our vision and strategy.”

HARDWARE IS A KEY BUILDING BLOCK FOR SUCCESSFUL IOT-SOLUTIONS

The seed funding will help Treon to continue developing exciting ground-breaking products to selected IoT-solution areas, such as Industrial Condition Monitoring and Asset Management, and bring its current portfolio of devices to market.
Treon Gateway is an edge computing platform that can connect a mesh of sensor devices to any cloud platform. Wireless mesh networks are easy and cost-efficient to deploy, adaptable and freely expandable. Treon Gateway comes with preloaded support for Wirepas Mesh and its hardware is ready to support Bluetooth Mesh.

Treon Node and Treon Industrial Node are wireless, battery-operated sensor devices that operate in a mesh network. Treon Node measures indoor environmental and air quality via a variety of sensors. Treon Industrial Node monitors the condition of rotating equipment, such as pumps, by measuring equipment vibration and surface temperature. Treon Industrial Node has been codeveloped with Sulzer Ltd (www.sulzer.com) and will be commercially available during the first half of the 2019.

“Great hardware is a key building block for IoT-solutions in many vertical solution areas. We will continue to work closely with our customers, old and new, to bring to market products that are designed both for industry and customer needs. Our investors are helping us in this work, both concretely and mentally, and we are grateful for that,” says Joni Korppi.

Botify Raises $20M in Series B Funding, Opens Seattle HQ

Botify​, the new standard in organic search marketing, today announced that it has closed $20 million in Series B funding and is opening its second U.S. headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Botify’s Series B financing was led by IDInvest, with participation from Ventech, bringing the company’s total funding to $27 million. The investment will be used to fuel product innovation, customer adoption and success, and global expansion.

“With today’s financing and the tremendous support of our investors, we will further cement Botify as the go-to partner for enterprise search professionals,” stated Adrien Menard, CEO and Co-Founder of Botify. “Since we founded Botify in 2012 and subsequently made our U.S. debut in 2016 at​ ​Techcrunch Disrupt​, organic search has gained complexity due to ‘mobile-first’ initiatives and the predominance of Javascript. Botify is in a unique place to solve these complexities with our device-agnostic, technical SEO platform, which is quickly becoming the new standard interface between search engines and large websites looking to be indexed in organic search results.”

Botify’s Seattle headquarters, which opens March 1, will be home to both sales and customer success professionals. This team will extend Botify’s worldwide footprint, providing enterprises with the data, tools, and diagnostics necessary to create and maintain high quality digital assets for search engines and voice assistants.

“We believe that Botify has the right vision for this market.They’re delivering a great impact for their customers and are poised to take the enterprise search marketing sector to new heights,” said Benoist Grossmann, Managing Partner, IDInvest. “We are extremely impressed with the
work Botify has done to date and we’re very excited to continue to support them in this next chapter.”

Thomas Grange, CTO and Co-Founder of Botify continued, “Search is the DNA of the web, if it doesn’t work, the web doesn’t work. With approximately 80,000 queries done every second on search engines, it is critical for companies to optimize the organic search process to be found. In fact, if you’re searching the web, you’re likely clicking on results optimized based on insights provided by Botify as we are working with some of the world’s largest enterprises such ​as Expedia, Nike, Marriott, and hundreds more.”

The funding comes on the heels of a stellar year in which Botify grew over 200% in the U.S. and delivered many innovations, such as structured data analysis, javascript crawling, mobile versus desktop parity content analysis; and the release of Botify Keywords. Additionally, Botify received numerous accolades in 2018 including being ​named one of the leading enterprise SEO platforms by MarTech Today and receiving the ​French BPI Innovation Award for its Botify AI project about content quality.

[Image c/o TechCrunch]

Antidot announces a €5.5m funding round from Ventech and CM-CIC Innovation to accelerate its international deployment of Fluid Topics

Antidot, the software vendor behind Fluid Topics Dynamic Content Delivery platform, announced today that it has closed a €5.5m financing round from pan-European investment fund Ventech and its historical partner CM-CIC Innovation (a member of Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale Group).

With roots in Lyon and Lambesc (France) and field operations in Boston (US), Antidot has been developing innovative search and enrichment technologies that help companies leverage their textual content since 1999. Capitalizing on its expertise, in 2015 Antidot launched Fluid Topics, a Content Delivery Platform that revolutionizes how technical documentation and product information is published and accessed in Customer Support and Field Maintenance applications.

Antidot targets makers of sophisticated products (software vendors, industrial firms, high-tech equipment manufacturers, infrastructure operators, financial services, etc.) for whom seamless access to technical content is critical to product adoption and customer satisfaction.

This funding enables Antidot to accelerate the development of its strong technology roadmap around content delivery. Building on recent successes with major customers that include Talend (US), Teradata (US), Kone (Finland), Médiamétrie (France) and EasyMile (France), this €5.5m capital infusion also signifies an increase in Antidot’s global coverage as the firm endeavors to both strengthen its US operations and deepen its focus on Northern and Central Europe.

Fabrice Lacroix, CEO and Founder of Antidot, attests to the value of this funding, explaining: “We are pleased to receive the backing of a global investment player like Ventech, and a renewed commitment from CM-CIC Innovation who has been supporting us since the beginning of the story. This new funding will allow us to accelerate the next stages of our growth, both by expanding the functional scope of our platform, and by extending our market coverage in a context of strong internationalization.”

Karine Lignel, President of CM-CIC Innovation and member of the Board of Antidot, adds: “CM-CIC Innovation is proud to back Antidot, and to have supported the various phases of the company’s development. The recent successes of the Fluid Topics solution are extremely promising and we are excited about the next phase of growth.”

Claire Houry, General Partner at Ventech, who with this investment joins the Board of Antidot, explains: “We were impressed by Antidot’s highly experienced team and its extensive international client list. With Fluid Topics, the company leverages 20 years of expertise in Machine Learning to offer software vendors and industrial companies a solution that re-invents the user experience of Customer Support or Field Maintenance departments. We are very proud to work with them to accelerate their international development.”