This week’s headlines include a security breach from a popular mobile messaging app, two notable Series B funding rounds and a series of new initiatives from a food delivery startup.
Urban raises $10m Series B
We covered the news earlier this week about Urban, who rebranded from Urban Massage in November last year, about securing a $10m Series B.
The London-based wellness services app secured the raise as part of its mission to help empowering city-dwellers to prioritise their wellbeing. The round was led by patient venture investor, Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV), with existing investors Passion Capital and Felix Capital also participating. The funding will enable Urban to accelerate towards its goal of becoming a one-stop shop for on-demand wellness services.
Urban founder Jack Tang said: “Our goal is to become the one-stop shop for on-demand wellness services, and with the services we offer today, we’re just getting started.”
WhatsApp announces security breach
pureLiFi completes $18m Series B
Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp recently announced a major security breach that urged user to update the app on their mobiles. The Financial Times reported the breach, which reportedly allows hackers to compromise information stored on devices and gain access to smartphone sensors such as the camera.
“WhatsApp encourages people to upgrade to the latest version of our app, as well as keep their mobile operating system up to date, to protect against potential targeted exploits designed to compromise information stored on mobile devices,” said a WhatsApp spokesperson in an email to TIME.
Paul Taylor, Cyber Security Partner at KPMG, commented on the news: “Encrypted communication apps are not only used by millions of people for social communication. They are also increasingly used in business, allowing people to quickly communicate on the move.
“Security breaches indicate that businesses need to keep thinking about how to prevent unauthorised data leakage from their network and seriously consider if and how third party provided apps should be used.
Soldo launches open API with NatWest Rapid Cash
Pleo raises $56m Series B
Earlier this week Pleo announced an impressive $56m Series B funding round that was led by Stripes, a leading New York-based growth fund, with participation from existing investors Kinnevik, Creandum and Founders.
The company secured a $16m Series A funding round last year which was recorded as Denmark’s largest in a decade and the series B fundraise is Denmark’s largest Series B.
Pleo eliminates expense reports and automates bookkeeping tasks as it integrates directly with accounting software providers, saving companies time and money.
Silicon Valley Bank expands into Denmark
“Managing work-related spending has traditionally caused headaches for employees and their employers alike. Pleo is making the whole process simpler, quicker and more transparent,” comments Jeppe Rindom, co-founder and CEO at Pleo.
Deliveroo attracts funding from Amazon and launches new initiative for drivers
Today, on-demand food app Deliveroo announced an impressive $575m (£450m) Series G investment from Amazon. The shared funding round also included existing investors T. Rowe Price, Fidelity Management and Research Company, and Greenoaks.
With this funding, Deliveroo will continue to build its service—bringing customers the food they want whenever and wherever they want it, offering even more work for riders, and helping restaurants to grow their businesses by reaching new customers.
The new investment will contribute to growing Deliveroo’s engineering team in its London office, expanding Deliveroo’s delivery reach to target new customers, expand ‘Editions’, and develop new products for customers to offer a more personalised experience.
Founder and CEO of Deliveroo Will Shu said the new investment “will help Deliveroo to grow and to offer customers even more choice, tailored to their personal tastes, offer restaurants greater opportunities to grow and expand their businesses, and to create more flexible, well-paid work for riders.”
Speaking of Deliveroo riders, earlier this week the company launched Deliveroo Academy, a series of services that give its riders free training courses and opportunities to grow their own businesses in future. More details here.