This Week’s Top Five News: Peter Thiel’s venture fund Valar Ventures invested in Berlin-based Number26 and in EyeEm, Rocket Internet bought Munich-based restaurant delivery service Volo, and invested in Thermondo, French BlaBlaCar acquired Carpooling.com.
Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures invests in Number26
Berlin-based FinTech Number26 announced a €10 million Series A round led by Peter Thiel’s venture fund Valar Ventures. Swizz entrepreneur Daniel S. Aegerter as well as existing investors Earlybird and Redalpine also joined the round.
EyeEm raised $18 milllion
Peter Thiel’s New York-based Valar Ventures led the round, existing investors Earlybird Ventures, Passion Capital, Wellington Partners, Atlantic Labs, and Open Ocean Capital also participated. The four-year-old Berlin-based photo community startup previously raised $6 million in funding.
Rocket Internet buys Munich-based restaurant delivery service Volo
After announcing its €6 million investment in Belgium-based Take Eat Easy, Rocket Internet acquired 10-month-old Munich-based Volo which operates in the same space. The team will soon move to Berlin, where Rocket Internet is based. Further financial details of the deal remain undisclosed.
After launching in Munich in October 2014, Volo expanded to Berlin and Frankfurt. The German cities Hamburg, Cologne, and Dusseldorf will be up next. Volo plans to also launch internationally soon: nine countries — including Italy, Spain and Sweden.
French BlaBlaCar acquires Carpooling.com for an undisclosed amount
Carpooling.com, the company behind Germany’s largest ride-sharing platform Mitfahrgelegenheit.de and Mitfahrzentrale.de, was acquired by French competitor BlaBlaCar. Backed with $110 million of funding from investors such as Accel Partners, BlaBlaCar did manage to establish itself in Germany, but had trouble competing against other companies. Carpooling has been popular in Germany for years – even before online services offered it.
Besides this acquistion, which was named the startup’s largest deal so far by BlaBlaCar’s COO and co-founder Nicolas Brusson, the startup also bought Hungary-based Autohop, which operates in Romania, Serbia, and Croatia.
Rocket Internet and Holtzbrinck Ventures invest in Thermondo
Berlin-based Thermondo sells heaters via its online platform, letting local companies or a Thermondo team take care of the installation. Having started in October 2012, Thermondo claims to have the largest digital heating product database. Apart from that, the startup also developed a software that displays every step in the installation process. Through that, Thermondo says, it can manage all procedures, starting with the order of a costumer to organising a team for the installation.
While Rocket Internet and Holtzbrinck Venture are joining as new investors, the already existing ones, Grey Crop, IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, and the power company E.ON also joined the €6 million Series B round.
Thermondo was founded by Philipp Pausder, Kristofer Fichtner and Florian Tetzlaff and currently employs 70 people. It plans on growing to 140 employees by the end of the year, focussing on heating engineers and developers.
COBI raises more than $4 million in its first post-Kickstarter round of funding
Frankfurt-based bike startup COBI claims to develop the world’s smartest connected biking system. It has now announced to have completed one of the largest financing rounds ever for a bike startup. More than $4 million came from European investors Capnamic Ventures, Iris Capital and Creathor Venture, as well as private investors from COBI’s seed round. The fresh capital will be used for production and the development of the distribution, marketing and customer service units.
News app Pocket raises $7 million financing round
San Francisco-based read-it-later app Pocket raised a $7 million round, led by New Enterprise Associates. Foundation Capital, Sound Ventures (a fund announced by Ashton Kutcher …), and Berlin-based publisher Axel Springer invested as well.
[VentureBeat], [Gründerszene] (Deutsch)
Growing too fast? Nestpick faces a quantity-over-quality issue
Rocket Internet’s mid-term rental platform Nestpick is not even 12 months old and already available in 25 cities in eight countries. On its website, the startup promises to verify all accommodation offers available through its network. But can Nestpick really keep its promise while growing so quickly?
Ex-Rocket’s GoButler launches in NYC
While most Rocket Internet startups don’t enter the US market (as that is where inspiration often comes from), GoButler, the Magic clone that was started by three former Rocket employees, launches in New York.
ProSiebenSat.1 sells all Talentry shares to Allgeier Gruppe
Munich-based Talentry is a social recruiting startup. Now, it announced it has raised a seven-digit Euro amount from Allgeier Gruppe, who joined as a strategic partner. Former investor ProSiebenSat.1 sold all it shares.
Rocket Internet invests in Take Eat Easy
Take Eat Easy lets its customer order food online from restaurants that usually don’t offer delivery service. The startup operates in Belgium and France. This week the Brussels-based startup announced its €6 million series A round. Investors include Rocket Internet, DN Capital, and Piton Capital. The investment will be used to expand to the U.K., Spain, and Germany.
Rocket Internet invests in Ichwillmeinautoloswerden.de