Startup update, or what’s new in the startup industry

Startup update, or what's new in the startup industry

I have selected for you the most interesting information about startups. The information is from three categories: funding, awards in competitions, startup development. Below is the July startup update.

PLN 1 million for MoonyLab

Podlaski Equity Fund donated one million zlotys to MoonyLab, a startup that allows you to develop photos directly from your phone. Funds obtained in this round of financing will be allocated to the development of applications (iOS and Android), as well as for implementing the current strategy. Thanks to MoonyLab you can order a print of a photo e.g. from FB or from Instagram. Different formats are available posters, magnets or the most popular in the offer – MoonyBook, an album containing 50 photos, from which each photo can be easily torn out.

– The company has existed for three years, the model of operation has been verified on the market and the team has developed the most effective channels for reaching their target customers. With the help of our resources, it is planned to intensify these activities. We expect that this will translate into dynamic growth of sales revenues and profits – says Krystyna Kalinowska, investment director at Podlaski Equity Fund.

PLN 49 million for Booksy in the latest funding round

What is Booksy? It is an operator of an application used for making appointments in various service outlets, e.g. at the hairdresser's. The company is not yet profitable, but according to founder and CEO Stefan Batory, this is expected to change in the near future.

The internationally renowned Polish startup has already raised big funding in the past (e.g. 4 million in March 2017), but this latest round is the largest in the company's history. The funds raised will be used both to strengthen the company's position on the markets where it operates (especially USA) and to increase the team. The company wants to hire machine learning specialists, who will have the task of improving the operation of the application in such a way that the application itself, based on the behavior of users, suggests the most convenient time to visit particular service establishments.

Facebook has acquired Bloomsbury AI

Acquisitions of companies happen often. Purchases made by individual entities can indicate the direction of development of a given company. However, Facebook's purchase is worth watching especially due to the size of the portal and its level of influence on reality. FB recently bought Bloomsbury AI, which deals with natural language processing. TechCrunch reports that the transaction could be worth as much as 23 to 30 million dollars.

What was crucial for FB was the know-how they possessed. Bloomsbury's expertise will strengthen Facebook's natural language processing research efforts and help us better understand natural language and its applications – Facebook Academics. FB now employs many people who check posts on Instagram or FB for illegal content, such as. pornography. A great saving of time and money would be the possibility to automate this process with the help of artificial intelligence, which would find the desired information without human assistance. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to create software that can understand and process natural language.

Additionally, Bloomsbury AI researchers may help FB with new project – smart speaker powered by artificial intelligence. Experts comment that the acquisition of the company may also be the next step of FB in the fight against Fake News.

Robot from Poland wins CEE Released

Photon robot has won the prestigious international CEE Released program organized by EBAN (European Business Angels Network). At the EBAN Annual Congress 2018 in Sofia, the Polish company was awarded the title of the best early stage CEE startup.

Why Photon won recognition? It is the world's first robot that grows with the child. Normally, a toy that we take out of the box is immediately playable. Photon is different. He doesn't know anything at first. We have to teach him everything. The child, with the help of a fabulous app, teaches the robot while learning the basics of programming. Thanks to this approach, the robot develops together with its handler. Both need to learn the operation of the sensors installed in the robot, and then learn how to use them. The popularity and interest from the education sector shows how innovative this product is. So far, Photon has already been delivered to more than 450 educational facilities (kindergartens and elementary school) in Poland, making lessons more interesting and engaging for students.

Photon, which premiered in December 2017, had to beat 18 in the global finals. Competitors, recognized as the best startups from Central and Eastern Europe.

Zubax Robotics has won the competition PowerUp!

PowerUp startup competition! The winner was Zubax Robotics, which presented a solution for reducing energy consumption in electric motors of air vehicles. Zubax Robotics product makes electric vehicles, especially those in the air, travel longer distances by reducing battery power consumption. Currently, the range of electrically powered vehicles is the main barrier to electro mobility. Zubax Robotics has a chance to change that, making electric vehicles more appealing to customers.

In the fourth edition of the competition organized by EIT InnoEnergy took part also startups from the areas of cleantech, energy, smart cities. The winning team received €30,000. The startup has won €1,000 and has the chance to be invited to the prestigious Highway by InnoEnergy gas pedal.

Registration for the fourth edition of Polish Tech Night has started

The fourth edition of Polish Tech Night will take place on 26th and 27th September in Berlin's Silicone Allee campus. The event (first edition in 2016) is intended to bring together German investors and Polish startups. It is about showing the benefits for both sides that can come from mutual cooperation. It is also a chance for Polish startups to appear in the German business ecosystem, to get funding or to establish new contacts, which may be helpful in further development of the business. In the previous three editions, about 20 Polish startups presented their solutions on the Berlin stage.

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