In the loop: Fuel Ventures anonymise pitch decks, Google slammed with GDPR fine and MarketInvoice’s huge series B

This is the week when we learned how dating behaviours mar recruitment, VCs can ensure the best startups are funded and the real price for breaking GDPR

In the loop: Fuel Ventures anonymise pitch decks

Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder of MarketInvoice, has raised a massive series B round this week. Photo credit: Emilie Sandy

Fuel Ventures don’t care who you are as long as the investor loves your startup

Finding funding as a female founder is hard. In the past, women have had to tackle unwanted sexual attention from VCs, struggle to explain their idea in the male-dominated investment sector and, even then, they would often end up without any cash. Well, at least one VC firm is taking this issue seriously.

Having recognised that only 4% of the pitch decks received since launching in 2014 had a female founder, the seed investor Fuel Ventures has opted to anonymise all pitch decks during the next three months. That way, it hopes to tackle the gender bias in its own ranks and to encourage more equality in the startup space. “It’s ridiculous that such a gender imbalance even exists so we’re making a stand,” said Mark Pearson, founder of Fuel Ventures. 

We can only applaud the effort and hope other investors are willing to trial similar ideas.

Google slammed with a £44m GDPR fine

It’s been almost nine months since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) snapped into action. And now regulators may’ve taken their first big scalp as a result. 

On Monday January 21, French data regulator CNIL slammed Google  with a €50m (£44m) fine for breaching the regulations. It argued that the tech titan had failed to provide transparency and lacked valid consent regarding ads personalisation, the BBC reported. The Mountain View company is reportedly looking over the ruling to decide what to do next. But it may not be the last big business to get into European regulators’ crosshairs as companies like Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Spotify are facing similar complaints

Fortunately for small startups and SMEs, we’ve found that it might be easier to adapt to GDPR as a small and nimble business. Every cloud has a silver lining, right?

How recruitment is like dating in a bad way

The war for talent is fierce. But while recruiters are encouraged to woo candidates, it seems like some are adopting the worst dating behaviours to do so. 

Having surveyed 500 job hunters, JamieAi, an HR tech startup, found that a shocking 90% of job hunters have experienced nuisance behaviour when dealing with recruiters. 29% said they’d been catfished, as in finding out a recruiter’s description didn’t even match the reality of the job. 23% had been ghosted by the recruiter and 19% had been cushioned, which is when the candidate was told that they were the only jobseeker for the recruiter only to find out they were just a bit on the side. Even more troubling, 16% felt that recruiters had been too clingy and wouldn’t leave them alone and 15% reported that recruiters had essentially stalked them online. 

We don’t know about you but we’re definitely swiping left on that sort of behaviour.  

MarketInvoice massive £56m series B

Anil Stocker, co-founder and CEO of MarketInvoice, the business lending scaleup, is a man on a mission – to help small-business owners overcome their invoice and business loan woes. Having done just that to the tune of more than £2bn since the launch in 2011, a new impressive £56m series B round can help him do even more.

The round is made out of two parts – £26m of equity funding and £30m in debt facility. The equity round was led by Barclays and fintech fund Santander InnoVentures, the VC arm of Santander. Group. The round was also backed by previous VC investor Northzone and technology credit fund Viola Credit, which also provided the debt facility. 

The money will be used to scale the business, hire more people, improve its tech, deepen partnerships and boost awareness about MarketInvoice’s services. 

This is good news for the scaleup as well as for the SMEs it will help. 

Why Google Pixel 3 may be the phone for you

Google’s latest flagship smartphone isn’t expected to break any sales record. However, our review this week shows that it’s definitely an upgrade to consider for entrepreneurs.

Are you paying your staff enough?

January is the month when most workers leave their jobs. But according to Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of job site CV-Library, offering employees the right salary and perks may be enough to make them stay. 

TrustedHousesitters isn’t afraid of Brexit

TrustedHousesitters, the pet and house-sitting scaleup, is reaping international rewards in over 130 countries. Still, the popularity of the service aside, one would be forgiven for thinking that the business is worrying about how Brexit will affect TrustedHousesitters in bad way. Interestingly, the CEO told us this week he doesn’t share these concerns. This is why. 

Keeping staff is about more than having a ping pong table

Startups have a tendency to showcase their perks in order to boost retention. However, this week Anil Stocker, co-founder and CEO of MarketInvoice, revealed that ensuring workers stay has to do more with finding the right people to begin with

How Urban is revolutionising the UK massage market, one knead at the time

What do you do when you’re shocked by the conditions massage professionals are working under? Well, if you’re named Jack Tang, chances are that you launch a startup named Urban to fix the problem. This week we found out how he’s loosening up the hard knots Britain’s therapists have to work with.

The trick to successfully expand Down Under

Australia is more than Crocodile Dundee and the Hemsworth brothers. In fact, for savvy UK SMEs, Oz provides several great business opportunities. This is how you can expand your enterprise successfully Down Under. 

Eric Johansson
Eric Johansson

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