Tech Wrap Sept. 18: Estonian Cybercrime Solutions Startup Raises $20.3M in Series A


🖥️ Cybercrime Solutions Startup Binalyze Raised $20.3M in Series A Round

Binalyze, a Tallinn-founded startup specializing in cybercrime investigation solutions, has secured $20.3 (€19 million) in a Series A funding round led by London-based VC and private equity firm Molten Ventures. The round saw participation from new investors including Cisco Investments, Citi Ventures, and Deutsche Bank Corporate Venture Capital, along with existing investors such as Earlybird Digital East and OpenOceanVC. Binalyze plans to use the investment to expand its market team and global customer support, enhance its Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR) platform with AI and machine learning integration, and launch Binalyze AIR 4.0 in October 2023 to significantly reduce investigation times and improve efficiency in cyber threat response. [Source: BalticVC]

🇯🇵 BaltCap Invests $214M in Japanese VC Firm Focused on Nordic and Baltic Startups

Nordic Ninja VC, a Japanese venture capital firm focusing on Nordic and Baltic startups, received $214M from BaltCap, a private equity fund focusing on buyout deals, growth, venture and infrastructure investments. NordicNinjaVC’s Fund II, supported by investors including Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC), Swedbank pension funds, Honda, and Omron, will focus on early-stage startups in climate tech, deep tech and digital society while expanding its operations to the U.K., Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. [Source: BalticVC]

🧶 The Knotty Ones Raises €250K From Coinvest VC and Others

The Knotty Ones, a Vilnius-based fashion marketplace for knitwear clothing from female artisans in rural areas, raised a total of €250K. The investors participating in the investment round included Coinvest VC, model Giedre Dukauskaite, actress Gelminė Glemžaitė, angel investor Leva Zubavičiūtė, Karina Andriukaitiene and others. The startup plans to use the investment towards expanding into global markets, like the U.S., as well as to focus on wholesale and e-commerce. [Source: BalticVC]

🏦 Eurora Solutions Shrinks Its Company to 93 Employees

Estonian Eurora Solutions, a company focusing on simplification of tax and customer processes related to cross-border trade and logistics through the use of technology, laid off 111 employees around the globe, with 80 of those from its Estonian office due to company restructuring. Only 93 employees will remain at the company, as it plans to shift its focus to product development and sales in Asia and Latin America instead of Estonia, the USA, and the UK. [Source: BalticVC]

🪑Trind Ventures Leads $2.7M round for Finnish Used Furniture Marketplace

Estonia-based investment company Trind Ventures led a $2.7 million funding round for Finnish second-hand furniture marketplace Mjuk, with support from Finnish VC firm Superhero VC, Norwegian-Swedish investment firm Alliance VC, and Helsinki-based private equity firm Lifeline VC, in addition to angel investors. Mjuk, founded in 2019, offers an end-to-end circular marketplace for furniture, facilitating the buying and selling of second-hand furniture, overstock from brands, and retailer returns, with the startup handling everything from pickup and cleaning to sales and delivery. The startup claims to have grown its revenue every year by 100% year-to-year since 2019. [Source: BalticVC]

💰Monemom Raises $1.1M From Business Angels Ilimar Mattus and Kalev Tanner 

Monemon, a Tallinn-based fintech subscription-based application, which comprises traditional banking services like debit cards and payments in euros, raised $1.1M from angel investors Ilimar Mattus, a co-founder of UK-based investment firm Tickmill, and chairman of IIZI Kindlustusmaakler Kalev Tanner. The company is also working on introducing interactive features like customizable 3D digital characters and a loyalty point system called Monecoin. The startup intends to enter the market at the beginning of the next year pending approval of the license from the Financial Supervision Authority. [Source: BalticVC]

🥑Avokaado Raises $1.3M from Tera Ventures and Other Investors 

Avokaado, a Tallinn-based legal tech company offering a contract lifecycle management platform, raises $1.3M (€1.2M) from international investment firm Tera Ventures and other investors. The startup plans to use the investment towards the introduction of AI technology in its contract management platform with a new feature allowing static text to turn into “living documents that respond to changing conditions, trigger actions, and seamlessly integrate with other systems.” [Source: BalticVC]


👶 Investor Syndicate Toloka Invests $1M in Children with Autism

Forta Health, a California-founded startup specializing in services for children with autism spectrum disorders, receives a $1M investment from Ukrainian-based angel investors syndicate Toloka. The startup, valued at $68.5M in July 2022, has grown tenfold over the five months of 2023, with an average projected increase in income of about $1.5M per month. The company plans to raise an additional $30 million by the end of 2023, but those plans shifted when Insight Partners offered to expand the Series A round by an additional $15 million at the current valuation. [Source: InVenture]

🦄 Silkroad Innovation Hub Hosts the First Ukrainian and Central Asian Unicorn Battle A Unicorn Battle for Startups was hosted by Silkroad Innovation Hub, bringing together over 100 guests. During the event, ten startups pitched their ideas to the top 15 Silicon Valley VCs, with Kodif, InCharge and garnering the most votes. [Source: UnicornEvents]

💻 IdeaSoft Launches Second Parts of Blockchain Course

IdeaSoft, a Ukrainian fintech blockchain company that helps startups build cutting-edge solutions, launched a second phase of its complimentary IdeaSoft Booster platform blockchain course ( “Rust + Solana Advanced Development”). The course provides developers with an opportunity to acquire skills in advanced decentralized application development and gain a grasp of smart contract auditing principles, while at the same time offering them the ability to assess security and dependability of smart contracts within Solana. [Source: TechUkraine]

🇺🇦 Forbes Ukraine Estimates What Joining EU Would Mean for Ukraine’s Tech Sector

Not surprisingly, joining the European Union would be a major boost to the country’s IT sector and startup ecosystem. This potential integration would offer numerous advantages, including exemption from customs duties and taxes, elimination of trade barriers, access to EU grants, participation in European tenders, increased investments, improved IT education programs, and enhanced protection of intellectual property for Ukrainian IT companies. As a result, Ukraine’s GDP could grow by up to +12%, and exports of goods and services to the EU could see substantial increases, potentially leading to a more competitive and prosperous tech ecosystem. [Source: Forbes Ukraine, TechUkraine]


💬 Druid AI Received Investment From Karma Ventures and Other Investors

Bucharest-based DRUID AI, a conversational platform integrating ChatGPT to develop virtual assistants and chatbots, received an investment from Estonian early-stage venture capital firm Karma Ventures, New York-based TQ Ventures, London-based Smedvig Capital, Amsterdam-based Gap Minder Venture Partners, New York-based Endeavor community as well as UK-based firms Hoxton Ventures and Verve Ventures. The startup, which has over 150 employees globally, plans to use the investment to grow its base in the USA, which generates over 60% of the company’s revenue. [Source: BalticVC]


💰Less Than 30% of Polish Funds Made at Least One Investment in 2023 So Far

AIN.Capital, an online publication dedicated to the Central and Eastern European tech ecosystem, reported a decline in total investments in Poland during the first half of 2023. According to the publication, out of over 65 local funds, only 19 invested in new projects during this period. and SMOK Ventures were the top two funds that added new projects to their portfolio totaling 12 new deals. [Source: AIN.Capital]


⭐ Techstars Launches a New Accelerator Program 

California-based company Techstars opens applications for a Techstars Global Accelerator program. The company will be running most of its programs twice a year with the Spring Terms having 22 programs in 16 cities across 5 countries, with each culminating with an exclusive investor event. Programs will be organized in cooperation with partners including The Ohio State University, Cedars-Sinai, UnitedHealth Group, Build in Tulsa, J.P.Morgan, and others. The application deadline is November 29, 2023. [Source: Techstars]

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