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In this CEE startup news recap we cover funding stories from two transportations startups – Slovenian ride-sharing platform for shuttle buses GoOpti and Russian competitor of Uber and Lyft – Fasten. Estonia also has cool things to celebrate: Jobbatical temporary placement platform for tech nomades raised a round from an Australian VC to win the ground there, Starship’s delivery robots are winning over new US locations, and VitalFields farm management software startup had an exit. Read on…
GoOpti has raised €4.4M in new funding from the European Сommission, which granted €1.5, and their Series A investors EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), Point Nine Capital, and RTAventures.
GoOpti is a transportation platform from Slovenia which provides shared and private airport transfers at affordable prices for travelers from remote European cities and towns. People can choose independent shuttle bus providers, direct or low-cost connections, book online and receive an immediate response about availability and prices.
At the moment GoOpti operates in Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. The company will spend the funding on further expansion into European markets.
International online lending platform Blackmoon, which presents its service as “marketplace lending as a service” (MPLaaS), raised $2.5M from A&NN Group, Flint Capital, Target Global, and unnamed individual investors. The details of the deal are not disclosed.
Moscow-based Blackmoon was founded in 2015 by Oleg Seydak and Ilya Perekopsky. The company gives institutional investors the access to diversified loan portfolios provided by balance-sheet lenders. In September, the volume of transactions on the platform surpassed $5M.
Currently Blackmoon works with lending institutions in the USA, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Georgia. The company is going to further develop the platform, expand in the US market and apply for a US broker and dealer license in H2 2017.
Lithuanian robotics startup Rubedo Sistemos will get €500,000 from Practica Capital. Rubedo Sistemos will be one of the first robotics companies in the Nordic-Baltic region to raise VC money. The company will use the funding to support product launch and commercialization.
Rubedo is based in Kaunas Science and Technology Park. The company specializes in mobile robotics solutions such as navigation of self-driving vehicles, computer vision, unmanned missioning, and artificial intelligence.
The team has recently developed the FDA-compliant robotic precise tumour targeting solution for the Swedish medical device manufacturer Elekta and its radiation therapy product.
Lovely was created by Jakub Knik and Tomasz Badyla from Poland. It is a smart sex toy and moblie app for couples that helps them have even better sex. Lovely measures the position, speed, attack angles, and gives highly personalised tips and suggestions to the couples. It even tells how many calories people burn during sex. Lovely toy is available for pre-orders at $129.
In July Lovely won the Tech Open Air pitch contest in Berlin. The team is planning to create an ecosystem of sex tools. More details on TechCrunch.
Estonian farm management software company VitalFields was acquired by The Climate Corporation, a digital agriculture company from the USA. The details were not disclosed.
VitalFields was founded in 2011, and is operating in Austria, Estonia, Germany, Poland, Romania, Switzerland and Ukraine. It offers a modern easy-to-use tool for farm management which analyses field activities, tracks and reports all crop inputs and thus helps farmers be more efficient.
The company had already received $2.22M in four funding rounds. The teams of VitalFields and The Climate Corporation will join together to provide connected digital agriculture platform for farmers across the globe.
Starship Technologies, a delivery robot company from Estonia founded by “ex-Skyper”, was approved for pilot programs in Washington, DC, and Redwood City, CA, and will be expanding its extensive research and development programme.
Starship is developing robots that deliver packages, groceries and food to consumers in a two-three-mile radius. The robots drive autonomously while human operators monitor them in control centres. The robots have already driven over 12,600 miles in 16 countries and 58 cities, and made over two million deliveries.
Starship has successfully tested its delivery robots in London, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Bern, Switzerland, and Tallinn. The startup is about to get the permission for robot pilot programs in US cities like Sunnyvale, San Carlos and Menlo Park.
GoalEurope covered Starship a year ago.
Giraffe360, a virtual tour technology builder, has raised €500,000 in investment from private Estonian venture capital consortium led by the investment firm Koha Capital. It is more than any other Latvian startup has received in a seed investment round this year.
Giraffe360 was founded in 2015 in Latvia. The company is developing a virtual tour technology 360° camera and virtual tour platform available on the web, mobile and virtual reality headsets. The startup changes the real estate property viewing as it offers its clients an immersive experience solution to make high quality virtual web tours around their future homes.
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