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Tech + Startups

Revel, An Electric Moped Startup Disrupting The Moped Market Raises 27.6M

Disrupting The Moped Market

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It has taken less than two years for Revel to go from just an idea to disrupting the moped market and becoming a shared electric vehicle startup! Currently, Revel has more than 1,400 mopeds across Washington, D.C., and Brooklyn and Queens, New York. Now it’s ready to scale and grow beyond these three cities after raising $27.6 million in capital from a Series A round led by Ibex Investors.

The $27.6 million will be used to help Revel to scale up. CEO and co-founder Frank Reig said this growth will extend to its fleet of scooters within the cities it currently operates as well as expand into new markets.

What makes Revel Standout?

  1. Revel plans to hit 10 more large cities and who is behind its operations is what Reig believes differentiates Revel from other shared electric vehicle providers. In the past, other scooter startups have had a record of deploying in cities before getting approval from local authorities – Not Revel.
  2. Many startups in the shared industry, including Revel, talk up their focus on safety and desire to be responsible partners with cities. Revel’s choice of vehicle — along with a few other decisions — helps it stick to those promises

1,400 Scooters in 20 Months

The idea for Revel was born out of Reig’s travels to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he witnessed locals on every form of a two-wheeled vehicle.

“A sort of light bulb went off my head, and I asked myself, ‘why is it not a thing in the U.S?,’ ” Reig told TechCrunch in a recent interview. “I came back to New York, started studying the market more and saw all these electric moped operators had been popping up in Europe over the last few years and just realized that if I don’t do it, somebody else will.”

The company started out with a small pilot of 68 mopeds in a few neighborhoods within Brooklyn. In May, after a nine-month pilot, Revel pulled the original mopeds it used in its limited pilot and replaced them with 1,000 new models built for two riders and equipped with kickstands for parking. With more mopeds in its fleet, Revel expanded the service to more than 20 neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens. In August, Revel launched its service in Washington, D.C., where there are now more than 400 mopeds.

Revel rides cost $1 per person to start, followed by $0.25 per minute to ride and $0.10 per minute while parked. Revel says it will cut the cost by 40% for eligible riders — and give them a $25 credit — through its Revel Access program. Riders who use public assistance programs like SNAP or live in NYCHA housing are eligible for the program.

Jourdain graduated from Colby-Sawyer College, where he studied Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and Finance. After graduation, Jourdain joined one of the most active Venture Capital Firms in the world, Alumni Venture Group. Before joining AVG, Jourdain Co-founded Beast Media Agency, a digital marketing, and PR company focused on helping founders get their stories featured in online publications. During his sophomore year of college, Jourdain worked for iComeUp Marketing, a start-up based out of Miami, Florida. Within 8 months he helped grow the business revenue from $20,000.00 a month to $130,000.00. In his free time, Jourdain covers success stories of founders and companies who are making an impact on the world for publications like The Hustlers Digest, Kivo Daily, Future Sharks, Thrive Global and Disrupt.

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Entrepreneurship

Incredible Health Raises $15M For Its Hiring Platform

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The California startup gives nursing professionals and hospitals a faster and more efficient hiring process through proprietary matching algorithms that replace the need for hospitals to manually sift through applications. Instead the platform matches job seekers to nursing vacancies based on criteria supplied by both sides of its network. The recruitment platform Launched in late 2017 and has so far limited its range to California, with 150+ hospitals in the region signed up and an undefined “thousands” of nurses on board.

Incredible Health claims that by 2024 the US will have a shortage of a million nurses. This shortage will be a risk of financial loss to hospitals, as contractors cost more to employ, and the growing number of unfilled nursing vacancies risks the quality of care hospitals are able to offer patients.

Their hiring and recruitment solution taps algorithms to help health systems narrow down the list of qualified nurses, and to provide those nurses with personalized, tailored opportunities they’d not likely find anywhere else. That’s not to suggest it’s an entirely automated flow — human experts support both job seekers and employers along the way, vetting matches to ensure they’ll lead to fruitful, long-term employment.

Hospitals begin by making a profile and then browsing a set of licensed nurse candidates screened for over 40 specialties, education, experience, malpractice records, and certifications before sending interview requests to professionals they’d like to meet. On the candidate side, nurses can accept or decline requests that come to them and compare top offers from favored hospitals that match their criteria.

Incredible Health’s mission is to help health care professionals live better lives and do their best work.  They’ve seen strong early success helping to match these health care professionals with hospitals throughout California, and are beginning to expand their solution nationally. 

For more information, you can visit their website.

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Tech + Startups

How Transportation Company Landline Is Disrupting The Bus Travel Experience

How landline is disrupting the bus travel experience

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In a world where technology is changing so fast, it seems like we are starting to live in the future. There are some startups focused on building space ships that one day could send us all to Mars! Then there are some startups that are focused on fixing infrastructures struggling to keep up with the changing world. Landlines Founder and chief executive officer David Sunde is working on doing just that. Continue reading to learn how Landline is disrupting the bus travel experience.

At any giving moment, there is a new company raising venture capital. Landline comes out of the Midwest as the operator of a bus network. Even though the company is actually based out of LA, it has completed its initial launch in Minnesota, where there’s greater demand for short-term bus travel. Landline has closed a $3.85 million round led by Los Angeles firm Upfront Ventures, with participation from Mucker Capital and Matchstick Ventures.

Landline Bus

Booking Through Landline

The process of booking a ride on Landline is booked through its partner airline Sun Country Airlines. Sun Country travelers pay one fixed price to get them from the bus pick-up point to their final destination. With the goal of helping those who live far distances from airports save money and enjoy the experience of busing.

The perception of bus travel in the U.S. is negative. Many find the experience of bus travel to be uncomfortable and a big part of Landline’s mission is to get people comfortable on buses again as a viable alternative to air travel in certain markets.

What About Competition Like Greyhound?

Many of you might be wondering, isn’t this like Greyhound? According to Landline, they won’t compete with Greyhound because they focus on long-haul trips. However, Landline will specifically focus on connecting those in rural communities to airports, particularly regions where there aren’t already bus routes that conveniently access the airport.

For more information on how Landline is disrupting the bus travel experience click here to visit there about section on their website.

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Tech + Startups

The UK is attracting Fintech investment at a record rate

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UK Fintech is continuing to draw record levels of investment. The sector is cementing its place in the UK economy, and looks set to continue growth. According to industry body Innovate Finance, a total of $2.9 billion was raised during the first half of 2019.

And it’s Fintech start-ups that are attracting the lion’s share of investment. Start-ups have also attracted the fastest investment so far, with the total invested during the first six months of 2019 at 85%, which is equivalent to the entire amount invested in 2018.

Fintech investment up year-on-year

This super-fast start for UK Fintech start-ups beats earlier years by a significant amount. Investment in this sector is up 45% year-on-year, and nearly twice that invested during H2 2018.

Data compiled in this research is particularly significant as it shows that the Fintech sector remains robust. In spite of the challenges to the country’s economy caused by Brexit uncertainty, a plummeting pound and the possibility of a no-deal exit from the EU, Fintech remains strong. And there is no reason to think this will not continue, even as Brexit pressure ramps up.

2019 will be a record-breaker

By the end of last year, the total investment in UK Fintech stood was at $3.3 billion. It’s clear that this year’s investment total will eclipse this and set a new record. And while the volume of deals has continued to fall year-on-year, the value of each deal is increasing.

The investment total so far accounts for 123 deals within the Fintech sector, which shows a decline of 30% year-on-year. Two major deals secured so far this year are Greensill Capital with investment of $880 million and OakNorth Bank with $440 million.

Challenger banks receive high amounts of investment

OakNorth Bank is a UK-based operation aimed at SMEs. It provides property and business loans to this sector. Founded in 2015 by entrepreneurs Joel Perlman and Rishi Khosla, its 2018 pre-tax profit stood at £33.9 million. In 2016, it became the first UK bank to host its core system completely on the cloud, using Amazon Web Services (AWS). It’s this forward-thinking technologically innovative attitude that is attracting huge amounts of investment.

Other challenger banks are also receiving significant investment. Monzo has raised $147 million while Starling Bank received $98 million. Other sub-sectors that are popular with investors include foreign exchange and payments.

Later stage investment increasing faster than early stage

Around 85% of investments in 2019 so far come from later stage private equity growth rounds and late stage venture capital. This shows just how much the sector is maturing, with just 15% going towards early venture capital rounds, angel and seed investment.

For example, Checkout.com has raised $230 million so far this year. This platform was launched in 2012 and is now a major international provider of online payment solutions. Using their own proprietary technology, the company promises to handle every part of the payment while providing clients with total transparency.

WorldRemit is an online money transfer platform, which currently boasts four million customers. Founded in 2010, the company is backed by venture capital institutions Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) and Accel Partners. And this year, the company has received another influx of investment worth $175 million. GoCardless is also benefiting from a new round of investment at $76 million to support growth.

Investment rising outside of London

Investment flows mostly concentrate on Fintech companies based in London at 90%. However, there is a significant rise in investment in other regions. Most notably, investment is higher in the north, with companies based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Derbyshire and Greater Manchester raising funds. The split in number of deals shows 78% in London and 22% in the rest of the country.

In a press release issued with the report, the CEO of Innovate Finance, Charlotte Crosswell, says: “Investment into the UK Fintech sector shows no sign of slowing down. The flow and impressive size of individual investments demonstrate an ecosystem that is showing signs of growing maturity.”

The research underscores the UK’s position as a Fintech leader in Europe, which is encouraging for an economy battered by Brexit uncertainty. Adds Keith Morgan, CEO of British Business Bank, in an interview with finextra.com: “Fintech is a hugely important sector for the UK economy, providing invaluable innovation in financial services and products.”

It’s certainly encouraging to see record amounts of investment going into this sector. It bodes well not just for the SMEs receiving the funding, but for the economy as a whole. The UK will continue to lead in Fintech innovation as we move through Brexit and beyond.

About Freddie Achom

Frederick Achom is a British-Nigerian serial entrepreneur and tech investor. He is the co-founder and chairman of the Rosemont Group Capital Partners

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