Made in Emerging Europe

Made in emerging Europe: Trusted Twin, SME Finance, Monese, XVision/Rayscape

Emerging Europe’s start-up scene is thriving: new money and new ideas are coming onto the market all the time. To keep you up to date with the latest investments, innovations, movers and shakers, every week Emerging Europe brings you a round-up of the region’s start-up news.

Trusted Twin: Polish data sharing start-up raises one million US dollars in pre-seed round

Polish start-up Trusted Twin, a developer platform for real-time data sharing, has raised one million US dollars in pre-seed funding led by ff Venture Capital, with participation from Presto Ventures, Movens Capital, RKKVC, Startup Wise Guys and several high-profile angel investors.

The funds will be used to scale the start-up’s team, build out technology, and grow its customer base. 

Trusted Twin was founded in Gdańsk by a team of veteran IT start-up executives who identified a market gap that currently hinders the effective sharing of data between different partners.

Trusted Twin provides capabilities for modelling, creating, storing and sharing virtual representations of almost any real or abstract objects that matter to businesses.

Furthermore, Trusted Twin offers these in a trust-based, secure, reliable, and scalable framework. The platform provides a complete data sharing layer that addresses trust and control challenges, including control over the visibility and accessibility of data and protection from external harmful interferences.

It also overcomes traditional complexities around interoperability and integration and offers seamless scalability backed by a serverless architecture.

“Data sharing is becoming a business necessity, and clunky, time-consuming data sharing processes will certainly hamper business growth,” says Krzysztof Malicki, CEO of Trusted Twin.

“Data sharing is one of IT’s major headaches, with most organisations lacking the tools and resources to develop the necessary frameworks. Our mission is to accelerate the digital transformation for almost any kind of organisation and support the data sharing conundrum between partners with an innovative approach based on the digital twin concept.

“In essence, we are a data-sharing layer that takes non-functional requirements like scalability and availability off developers’ plate, so that they can stay focused on the core of their business.” 

Lithuania’s SME Finance opens in Finland to help close funding gap for smaller businesses

SME Finance, the fintech reinventing growth financing for small- and medium-sized enterprises, has opened for business in Finland, promising fairer, faster growth financing for the nation’s smaller businesses faced with a two billion euros funding gap. 

The move will make it easier for smaller businesses in Finland to obtain the growth financing they need to expand, including the unsecured business loans rarely available from conventional banks. SME Finance also lends to businesses with trading histories shorter than the two-year minimum normally demanded by mainstream banks.  

SME Finance’s entry to the local Finnish market comes after rapid growth in Lithuania, from where it has already provided more than one billion euros in working capital to over 2,000 growing businesses, primarily in the Baltics. 

SME Finance has brought its new digital-first approach to growth financing to Finland, a country known for its openness to innovation. The nation has a highly digital economy, projected to be cashless by 2029. It is top of the digital leaderboard in the EU’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) for 2020, and seventh in the Global Innovation Index for 2021.

SME Finance believes its digital-first approach to banking and finance is a strong match for local business owners’ needs.

Its Smart Loan, for example, offers an alternative to the traditionally slower, more conservative and potentially biased lending practices of traditional banks. The use of AI and open banking APIs shortens and simplifies the business financing process, and introduces unbiased lending criteria based on contextual trading and cash flow data.

The lending decision takes less than one hour and the loan is transferred within 24 hours. The data can all be provided remotely and digitally, reducing the bureaucratic burden on businesses when borrowing to expand.

“Finland’s small businesses are not alone in facing a massive funding gap, put at two billion euros by the ECB,” says SME Finance’s country manager in Finland, Matias Peltoniemi.

“What we have on our side, however, is an openness to the sort of innovation and digital solutions that SME Finance is bringing to the local market. SME Finance offers a fairer, faster way for smaller businesses to access growth financing, even unsecured loans for start-ups with less than two years’ trading history.”  

SME Finance is planning further expansion in 2022 in the Netherlands, Spain, and Germany.

HSBC Ventures invests 35 million US dollars in Estonia-founded Monese

Estonian-founded fintech firm Monese last week announced a 35 million US dollars investment by HSBC Ventures, part of a broader, strategic partnership that will focus on Monese’s cloud-based Platform as a Service business.

The new funding will support the continued growth of Monese’s platform.

“HSBC is continually pioneering new wealth and banking innovations for our digitally-savvy customers – we want to help clients make smarter decisions so they can meet their financial goals with innovative digital tools,” says Taylan Turan, group head of retail banking and strategy, wealth and personal banking at HSBC.

“This new partnership is a key step towards helping us deliver digital wealth and banking tools at pace and scale, combining Monese’s fintech credentials with our own global wealth and banking capabilities,”

Norris Koppel, Founder and CEO of Monese, adds: “Securing the support of a tier one global bank demonstrates the strength of our platform and the continued appetite from investors in the platform. I am delighted to have such a distinguished partner and investor in HSBC, who brings a great deal of experience in delivering exceptional banking services. We look forward to taking this partnership forward.”

In September 2021, Monese announced the launch of its Platform as a Service business and a strategic partnership with Investec. As part of the strategic partnership, Investec led Monese’s oversubscribed Series C.

Romanian medtech start-up XVision becomes Rayscape as it heads for global expansion

Romanian medtech start-up XVision, the artificial intelligence algorithm-based medical platform that develops products to support radiologists in analysing and interpreting medical images, is changing its brand identity to Rayscape.

With plans for global expansion, a significant number of partnerships with hospitals, clinics, and physicians across Europe, new imaging products for the oncology patient segment and a reiterated business purpose, the company’s vision and values are naturally reflected in the new brand identity: a ray of light finding its way through a sea of uncertain diagnoses.

“We began the XVision journey in 2018 with a clear purpose: to generate a positive impact in the world. Since then, we’ve strived to make the healthcare system smarter with technology, specifically by providing precise tools for medical image analysis. Now, to strengthen our position in the market, we have decided to come up with a new brand identity,” says Ștefan Iarca, CEO of Rayscape.

Rayscape products, which use artificial intelligence for image analysis, are currently used by 100 public and private institutions in Romania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Croatia. Customers include major private sector companies such as Regina Maria Private Health Network and Medlife Medical System, as well as public sector companies such as Spartanska Institute, Kopernik Hospital Lodz in Poland, and Semmelweis University in Hungary.

Rayscape will continue to add value by developing artificial intelligence algorithms dedicated to imaging analysis. The company keeps its two existing products dedicated to the analysis of chest X-rays and lung CT scans in its portfolio and is also planning to develop new products dedicated to oncology imaging.

XVision has already started to enter the oncology area with the development of the lung CT product, which is able to detect, measure and follow the evolution of lung nodules, all of which are extremely important in the early detection and monitoring of lung cancer patients. Rayscape will continue this line of business, improving existing products and planning to develop new products that can be used to treat and monitor cancer patients.

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