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From Blockchain To Farming, Newly-Funded Startups Embrace Data Analytics

This week’s B2B venture capital breakdown is an impressive blend of startups and, together, they’ve raised more than $279 million. From a firm that targets accounting for blockchain companies to a social network for farmers, investors certainly diversified their funding targets. But there is a clear common thread among the B2B startups that secured fresh funding this week: data analytics. Read below to explore the ways newly-funded firms are using the power of data analytics for their corporate customers.

Blockchain

Libra
Financial software startup Libra targets blockchain industry players with its solutions, including the Libra Enterprise Platform, a data management, standardization and delivery solution. With $7.8 million in Series A funding announced this week, Libra said it plans to roll out new apps and services for accounting, auditing and tax processes, according to Accounting Today. The U.S. company’s CEO Jake Benson said the company’s goal “is to be the premier provider of next generation accounting, audit and tax software and data services for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.” The Series A investment, provided by an unnamed European investor, follows $2 million in seed funding.

Logistics

InstaFreight
InstaFreight, based in Germany, announced more than $9.5 million in Series A funding this week, though it did not disclose the private investment company that provided the funds. The company is targeting the European transport market, providing digital services for companies’ freight transport needs, including price quoting and invoicing. InstaFreight developed a pricing algorithm that automates price quoting and supports instant booking for its corporate users, reports in EU-Startups said. With the funding, cofounder Philipp Ortwein said the company will focus on developing its business model to handle rising transport volumes, boost automation and strengthen its data interfaces.

Artificial Intelligence

Artesian Solutions
The U.K.’s Artesian Solutions provides artificial intelligence (AI) services for business teams that face clients and, with more than $4.7 million in new funding, the company said it will refinance existing debt and use the investment as a line of capital to fuel growth and expansion. Artesian Solutions links client-facing professionals with real-time data analytics to help them more efficiently and strategically do their jobs and forge B2B relationships. The company’s solution scans troves of data from online sources and use AI to filter out what client teams will find most useful. Recently, reports in FINSMES said the company rolled out a chat bot to automate some of the tasks these client teams handle.

B2B eCommerce

Farmers Business Network
The second-largest funding round of the week goes to a unique startup — one that reports in TechCrunch admitted might seem a bit “boring” to the tech world. Yet, with $110 million captured in its latest investment round, the Farmers Business Network proved its working to fill a gap in the farming industry. The company provides a social network for farmers to share knowledge and data for the purpose of informing them during third-party price negotiations. Farmers Business Network’s services are subscription-based, helping members swap seed and crop data that will help them determine which seeds, pesticides and vendors will work best for their businesses. The Farmers Business Network’s latest venture, though, is launching an eCommerce unit so farmers can buy herbicides and other farming-related products direct from manufacturers. With the new funding, the firm said it will continue to develop an expansion of that eCommerce service by linking its members with potential B2B buyers.

Big Data

Uptake
This software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup, like many others on the board this week, focuses on data. Uptake aims to provide industrial companies with predictive data analytics capabilities, helping them adopt Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled systems. The company secured the largest funding of this week with $117 million in a Series D round led by Baillie Gifford. Revolution Growth and GreatPoint Ventures also participated. According to reports in TechCrunch, the funding lands Uptake a $2.3 billion valuation.

Corporate Culture

Thrive Global
Here’s a startup with a unique mission: to change corporate culture. The company, founded by Arianna Huffington, announced $30 million in Series B funding this week led by IVP. Thrive Global, based in the U.S., provides media and technology services for businesses to tackle “stress and burnout” for businesses and their employees, the company said. Its B2B services include digital workshops and behavior-change products, and the Series B funding will be used for further development of these services and solutions. The firm also hopes to develop data and analytics capabilities for more sophisticated measurement of behavior change initiatives.

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