Yet another edition of Disrupt Berlin has come and gone! The event brought many interesting talks but also some important announcements to take notice of. We leave you with some of the most prominent news the two-day conference brought us.
Atomico unveils new initiative to push angel investors in Europe
London-based venture capital firm Atomico announced the Angel Programme, a new initiative aimed towards finding and backing the “next generation” of angel investors for Europe’s startup ecosystem.
“We are passionate about helping all of the ecosystems to flourish and this is one way of boosting them, and we’re also passionate about helping to activate the next generation of angels,” said Sophia Bendz, Atomico partner and head of the program. ““And for me it has been such a rewarding journey doing angel investments, and there are more people out there with knowledge and capabilities, so this is a way for us to sort of help seed them in a way”.
In short, Atomico knows the Europe startup market can only grow, and it plans to be at the center of it all.
Babbel announces 1M subsctiptions sold in the US
Duolingo rival Babbel announced during Berlin Disrupt that it has sold over one million subsctiption in the US during 2018. Co-founder and CEO Markus Witte announced that the company is now moving into a new area of language learning with the launch of a language travel marketplace.
While language travel is a huge market (some 220 million in Germany alone the last year), it’s a more foreign concept in the United States. Babbel surely hopes to capitalise on that market and expand US interest in language travel.
Startup Polyteia pitches a way for cities to better use their collected data
A big part of every Disrupt event is hearing pitches from startups wager to prove their worth to the market. One of such this year in Berlin was Polyteia, a local-based company that has developed a platform to help local governments and municipalities.
While governments have a lot of readily available data about their citizens, they don’t always take advantage of this. The idea is to unify that data in a modular, topic-specific platform. Governments can choose which parts of the service they want to use, with the goal of brining legacy data so it can be stored in a single location.
The company claims some cities have already expressed immense satisfaction with the service, and is in talks with some more to expand its operations.
Can blockchain help refugees?
Nairobi-based Gravity Earth thinks blockchain ca be used to help refugees gain access to financial services and other resources. The company has developed a platform that allows a person’s digital data to be stored securely on its decentralized platform, which would theoretically make it easier for NGOs to handle data.
The service is about to be first used in a refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya. It will help show information like school attendance and student performance, for example. “Everyone in the camps is basically an unknown person, so every piece of information known about them gains a lot of value,” said co-founder Johannes Ebert. “That could be tracking attendance in school, or basic identity such as age, the number of kids in the household, languages spoken, etc.”
While we have yet to see if blockchain can really be as helpful for cases like this as many would led us to believe, the reasoning at least makes sense. Disrupt also brought to our attention the fact that cryptocurrency didn’t kill venture capital after all.
And the winner is…
The winner of this year’s Startup Battlefield was Legacy, a Swiss company focused on safe sperm storing. “Our unique at-home solution allows men to have their sperm analyzed and frozen at a clinic without leaving their home or having to meet with a physician,” said founder Khaled Kteily. “All clients receive a full fertility analysis, including personalized recommendations using our machine learning-driven technology.”
The second spot was for Imago AI, a startup that plans to use computer vision and machine learning technology to “fully automate crop output and quality.”