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Startup News

Missing out on updates from the startup scenes around the globe? - We got you covered! This podcast will provide a 5 minute highlight reel of all that happened in the startup ecosystem last week.

Last week in startups - global

So, last week’s startup funding scene. We had a total of 385 funding rounds, $17 billion total funding, 145 acquisitions recorded, and a transaction of a total acquisition amount of $17.1 billion.

Let’s dive right into the highlights now.
Swit, a collaboration suite that offers ‘freedom from integrations,’ raises $6 million in seed funding
The app combines messaging with a roster of productivity tools, like task management, calendars and Gantt charts, to give teams “freedom from integrations.” Originally founded in Seoul and now based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Swit announced that it has raised a $6 million seed round led by Korea Investment Partners, with participation from Hyundai Venture Investment Corporation and Mirae Asset Venture Investment.

Even though the market is heavily saturated with great unicorns, many companies need multiple collaboration apps and there is nothing that seamlessly combines them, so users don’t have to go back and forth between multiple platforms. Many employees rely on Slack or Microsoft Teams to chat with one another, on top of several project management apps, like Asana, Jira, Monday and Confluence, and email to communicate with people at other companies. Most businesses use at least two messaging apps and four to seven collaboration tools. Swit’s goal is to cover all those needs in one app. It comes with integrated Kanban task management, calendars and Gantt charts, and at the end of this year about 20 to 30 bots and apps will be available in its marketplace.

GetAccept’s workflow and e-signature platform for sales secures $7M Series A funding
Many years ago every sales deal was sealed with a handshake between two people. Today, digitization has moved into the sales process, but it hasn’t necessarily improved the experience. In fact, it’s often become a more time-consuming affair because information and communications are scattered across multiple channels and the number of people involved in a deal has increased. That means lots of offers and quotes get lost in the mix.

GetAccept is a startup that provides an all-in-one sales platform where video, live chat, proposal design, document tracking and e-signatures come together to simplify the life of a sales team.

The new capital will be used to scale sales and marketing, and accelerate product innovation for GetAccept’s industry-leading document workflow solution for sales.

Kencko chugs down $3.4M to help you get more fruit and vegetables in your diet
Kencko, a company that wants to help people eat more fruit and vegetables in their daily life, is entering feast mode after it announced a $3.4 million seed round for growth and product development.

Kencko develops plant-based products that help people eat healthily without having to suffer the pain of horrible-tasting food or other extreme eating. That’s to say that its fruit drinks, the company’s first product, include the pulp and vitamins absent in pressed juice but come in a convenient sachet that has been flash-frozen and slow-dried to retain all the goodness.
Beyond products, Kencko is also using the new capital to develop its direct-to-consumer strategy. A big focus is on its mobile app, which is currently in beta with early customers but will get a full launch this year.

Moving on to mergers and acquisitions -
Laundrapp and Zipjet merge to form largest on-demand laundry service in UK, seal new funding
Two of Europe’s biggest on-demand laundry startups are merging today. Laundrapp from London and Zipjet from Berlin are confirming the completion of a previously-rumored merger through which the combined business will become the largest on-demand laundry business in the UK.
What else caught our eyes-
Google’s SMILY is reverse image search for cancer diagnosis

Spotting and diagnosing cancer is a complex and difficult process even for the dedicated medical professionals who do it for a living. A new tool from Google researchers could improve the process by providing what amounts to reverse image search for suspicious or known cancerous cells. But it’s more than a simple matching algorithm.
Part of the diagnosis process is often examining tissue samples under a microscope and looking for certain telltale signals or shapes that may indicate one or another form of cancer. This can be a long and arduous process because every cancer and every body is different, and the person inspecting the data must not only look at the patient’s cells but also compare them to known cancerous tissues from a database or even a printed book of samples.

In a study of pathologists given the tool to use, the results were promising. The doctors appeared to adopt the tool quickly, not only using its official capabilities but doing things like reshaping the query box to test the results or see if their intuition on a feature being common or troubling was right. “The tools were preferred over a traditional interface, without a loss in diagnostic accuracy”