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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Raisin, the platform for savings and investments, acquires pension startup Fairr

Raisin, the well-capitalised fintech startup that offers a pan-European marketplace for savings and investment products, has acquired Fairr, a German startup disrupting the pensions industry. Terms remain undisclosed, although I understand the price was in the “double-digit Euro millions” range.

The majority of the deal was cash, although some Fairr investors exited with a mixture of cash and Raisin stock. Fairr’s investors included IBB Investitionsbank Berlin, Transamerica Ventures , Pro7Sat.1 Accelerator, and Söderberg & Partners.

Raisin says the acquisition of Fairr is part of a strategy to enter the €12 trillion European pension and retirement savings market, which is a natural extension to the fintech’s current focus on deposits and investments.

The idea is to be able to offer an all in one online marketplace that only needs to be signed up to once, including the mandatory regulatory checks, in order for customers to purchase savings, investments and now pension products.

Fairr’s founders are said to be staying on and will take leading roles in the newly formed investments and pension products division at Raisin, which will include Raisin’s existing investment product line WeltInvest. “The entire fairr team will also join them in becoming part of the larger Raisin family,” says the company.

Meanwhile, I’m told that one of the main reasons for choosing to acquire Fairr is that the startup has shown it can successfully streamline and digitise the heavily-regulated German pension market, including being able to offer a more cost-effective and flexible version of the German state-funded “Riester” pension product. It also offers products targeting company pensions and supplementary retirement savings.

“Just as Raisin focuses on providing savings that are more customer-friendly and more transparent than comparable products on the market, Fairr has been dedicated to doing the same with its own solutions in retirement savings,” says Raisin. “Fairr’s low-cost, fully digital offer is based on an ETF investment approach. The company has received multiple awards and seen its products recommended by both Germany’s premier financial advice publication and top consumer finance guide”.


Source: TechCrunch

Smartphone sales declined again in Q2, surprising no one

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Smartphone sales are down. Again. After years of growth, the smartphone market’s recent slide has continued into the second quarter of 2019, per numbers from analyst group, Gartner.

At 1.7% year over year, it’s not a huge slice of the overall pie, but it does point to a continued problem for manufacturers, dropping from 374 million to 368 million. The biggest hit continues to be in the high end of the market, as higher prices coupled with longer refresh cycles and fewer compelling features continue to contribute to the decline.

Of the top five markets, only China and Brazil saw growth. At 0.5%, however, China’s slight bump wasn’t enough to turn things around. Interestingly, Gartner notes that some of China’s growth may be due to manufacturers looking to move old flagship stock to make way for 5G models. Additional 5G phones, coupled with more carrier coverage, could drive sales a bit as well in future quarters.

The number two market, India, saw a 2.3% drop y-o-y, as consumer upgrades from feature phones to smartphones began to slow. The firm anticipates that sales will continue to remain slow through the end of 2019.

Apple continued to see declines, though those have slowed compared to the hit it took in the first quarter. Samsung and Huawei, meanwhile, were rare bright spots. Samsung’s growth was led primarily by mid-range and entry-level handsets like its Galaxy A series, while the deferment of Huawei’s U.S. ban helped boost its sale a bit for the quarter.


Source: TechCrunch

Mario Kart mobile game hits your Android, iPhone on September 25 – CNET

It’s called Mario Kart Tour. What a time to be alive.
Source: CNET

Flamin' Hot Cheetos… the movie? – CNET

Eva Longoria to direct movie about Flamin’ Hot Cheetos creator Richard Montanez.
Source: CNET

China Trade Spillover, LA’s Pollution by Block, and More News

Catch up on the most important news from today in two minutes or less.
Source: Wired

HP Labor Day sale drops killer deals on Envy and Spectre x360 laptops

If you’re looking for laptop deals before summer comes to a close, the HP Labor Day sale has arrived with discounts on Envy and Spectre x360 models.
Source: Digital trends

Dell Labor Day sale: 4K TV, Bose, and XPS laptop deals

Dell’s Labor Day sale has arrived, and the deals are bountiful with big savings on laptops, 4K TVs, monitors, and wireless headphones.
Source: Digital trends

Y Combinator graduate PredictLeads helps VCs hunt for unicorns

The Slovenian founders behind PredictLeads, another recent Y Combinator graduate, applied to the prestigious accelerator five times before they were admitted.

Their business, which helps venture capital firms and sales teams identify high growth companies, i.e. potential investments and potential customers, had come a long way since it was founded in 2016. And earlier this year — finally — YC gave them the green light to complete its three-month accelerator program.

“We almost ran out of money in 2017 and then I took a loan from my mother because that bank wouldn’t give me the loan at that point,” PredictLeads chief executive officer Roq Xever tells TechCrunch. “But by then, the data was getting much better and we were able to make higher-value sells and that got us to profitability.”

You read that right. Unlike most of today’s tech startups, PredictLeads is profitable, though, only out of pure necessity: “We didn’t know we would ever get into YC to raise the money we needed, so we structured the company to make more money than we spent.”

Xever leads the small PredictLeads team alongside marketing chief Miha Stanovnik and chief technology officer Matic Perovsek. Xever tells TechCrunch it wasn’t until they realized the opportunity to sell their product to VCs that YC became interested. Today, PredictLeads has eight venture firms as customers, the names of which they were not able to disclose.

The tool helps investors track companies they’ve considered in the past. PredictLeads notifies users if certain companies start getting traction so they can reevaluate the deal and helps investors become aware of startups they may not have otherwise heard of.

More and more venture capital firms are turning to third-party tools to help them make sense of and leverage data in the investment and company-tracking process, leading to the birth of new data-focused companies. Social Capital co-founder Chamath Palihapitiya is spinning out a company from his venture capital fund-turned-family-office, TechCrunch learned earlier this year. The new entity, temporarily dubbed CaaS (short for capital-as-a-service) Technologies, will focus on providing data-driven insights to VC firms, for example.

Startups have also realized the importance of data. Narrator, another recent YC graduate, is betting big on this trend. The startup wants to become the operating system for data science by providing companies software that claims to fulfill the same service as a data team for the price of an analyst.

PredictLeads, for its part, collects data from websites, press releases, news articles, blogs and career sites, then uses supervised machine learning to extract and structure the data. The startup tracks 20 million public and private companies.

Now that it’s a graduate of YC, the team is in the process of moving its headquarters to the U.S. Either New York or San Francisco, says Xever, who’s currently navigating the difficult visa application process.

The startup is today raising a $1.5 million seed financing at a $10 million valuation. They plan to use the capital to expand their service to cater to quant funds, build a Salesforce app to better support sales teams, and, of course, expand their small team.


Source: TechCrunch

10 best phones for back to school – CNET

Need a new phone to start the school year? Check out CNET’s top picks.
Source: CNET

Facebook said to be developing new messaging app called Threads – CNET

The app will be for those who want to share even more information about themselves, The Verge reports.
Source: CNET

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