Europe

Helpling, the Rocket Internet-founded company that lets you book a range of home services online, has raised further funding. This time around, the undisclosed backing — which I understand to be “several million” Euros — comes from Unilever Ventures, the venture arm of Unilever, in what can undoubtedly be described as a strategic investment. In
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Fintech startup Klarna grew thanks to its e-commerce payment service, but now the startup is diversifying a bit. The Swedish company is launching Wavy, a free peer-to-peer payment app and service. After Cookies imploded, Klarna approached the team behind the German app so that they could join another fintech company. It turns out that this
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Large hotel chains are feeling the heat from Airbnb and other startups building digital marketplaces for travelers with a more flexible range of places to stay, and more flexible prices to match. And that is leading some of them to make acquisitions. RCI, a division of Wyndham Worldwide, has acquired Love Home Swap, a startup out
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In what looks like a potentially useful use of drone technology, Russian scientists at the Moscow Technology Institute have stuck a defibrillator on a drone so it can be remote piloted to a person in need of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. So much like an air ambulance, but — presumably — a lot cheaper. The project is a
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French speaker maker Devialet just announced a brand new speaker in partnership with British broadcasting company Sky. The Sky Soundbox is a single speaker designed for your TV. It’s roughly the size of a gaming console and it is supposed to produce surround-like sound. This partnership is something brand new for the French startup. Most
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Brolly, a U.K. ‘insurtech’ startup that offers an app to help you manage and purchase various insurance products, has raised £1 million in seed funding. Valar Ventures, the U.S.-based venture fund backed by Peter Thiel, led the round, with Pi Labs co-leading. Entrepreneur First (EF) also participated via the company builder’s £40 million “Next Stage
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Northern Ireland based B-Secur has closed a £3.5m (~$4.5M) late stage seed investment for its biometric authentication technology that utilizes an individual’s unique heartbeat pattern, known as an electrocardiogram (ECG), to — in its words — “quickly and securely authenticate identity”. The investment is coming from a syndicate of UK and Ireland-based investors, including Accelerated Digital Ventures
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U.S. social media giants have been warned by Europe’s consumer rights commissioner that she’s  running out of patience with their failure to comply with the region’s consumer protection standards. “I am becoming very impatient,” said commissioner Věra Jourová, speaking at a press briefing today in Brussels. “In our opinion there are in the terms and conditions
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The Budapest Transport Authority (BKK, in Hungarian) recently launched an online payment system with the help of a T-Systems Hungary, Deutsche Telekom’s consulting arm. The system, which took three months to build, was supposed to be installed in time for the FINA world championships in Budapest. The software, not unexpectedly for such a project, was
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Poland has worked diligently over the past decade to become an entrepreneurial powerhouse. Once home to businesses focused primarily on app design and outsourcing, social, societal, and economic pressures forced the country’s brightest to start building for themselves. And they did. I’ve covered Polish startups for almost a decade, first on TechCrunch and then on
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The UK government has announced a plan to require drone owners to register their devices. It says the incoming rules are aimed at ensuring safer use of the technology. Under the planned regulations, owners of drones weighing more than 250 grams will, in future, be required to register their devices — with the stated aim
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The U.S. has now lifted entirely a controversial ban on laptops in hand luggage for passengers flying to the country from the Middle East or via certain Middle Eastern airlines, with the Department of Homeland Security professing itself satisfied with “enhanced security measures in place”. It had already lifted the ban for three major airlines, earlier this
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