Mooncard raises $5.7 million for its expense platform

French startup Mooncard raised a $5.7 million funding round (€5 million) from Raise Ventures, Aglaé Ventures and business angels. The company provides a service to track and manage your company’s expenses with the help of good old plastic cards.

Corporate credit cards aren’t as widespread in France as in the U.S. and other countries. That’s why fintech startups have been trying to find a way to streamline expenses for French startups.

Mooncard lets you get as many cards as you want for your team. Managers can set different kinds of rules with different limits and validation processes.

Every time you pay with your card, you get a text message with a link. When you tap on the link, you can take a photo of the receipt, add details and submit your expense. Your accounting team can see expenses in real time and share reports with accountants.

Behind the scene, companies create a specific account for expenses and top up that account. Mooncard works with Wirecard for the banking integration.

So far, 1,000 companies are using Mooncard, such as Air France, Vinci, Virtuo, Ledger and others. Companies pay between €13 and €15 per user per month, and Mooncard plans to have 200,000 users within three years.

Tesla gets green light to sell Model 3 in Europe

Tesla's new Model 3 car on display is seen on Friday, January 26, 2018, at the Tesla store in Washington, DC.

Tesla has cleared the final regulatory hurdle to selling the Model 3 in Europe, allowing the electric carmaker to begin shipping the vehicles to Europe. Reuters reports that RDW, the automotive regulatory authority in the Netherlands, has signed off on the Model 3. Under EU rules, regulatory approval in one country allows Tesla to sell its cars across the EU territory.

EU law requires an automaker to get “type approval” for each vehicle it wants to sell in the European Union. Tesla shipped several production Model 3s to RDW, which put them through a battery of tests. They checked that the vehicles met all the requirements of EU law: brake performance, lights, crashworthiness, emissions, and so forth.

The approval comes just in time. A Belgian news site reports that Tesla is expected to ship as many as 3,000 cars a week to the Belgian port of Zeebrugge for subsequent distribution across the continent.

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Wynd raises $82 million for its store management service

French startup Wynd raised another $82 million (€72 million) from Natixis, Sofina and BNF capital. The company started with a point-of-sale solution for restaurants and other brick-and-mortar stores. It now provides a one-stop-shop for all your digital needs when it comes to managing your offline and online sales.

The startup has raised $127 million in total (€112 million) from today’s new investors as well as Sodexo, Orange and Alven.

Wynd provides a software-as-a-service platform for everything that can be powered by computers. The service manages your inventory, handles orders, payments and tells your staff what they’re supposed to do to prepare orders for your customers.

Everything is omnichannel, which means that an online sale and an offline sale are handled the same way in the system — there’s just a different parameter when it comes to delivery. Your inventory is unified across your e-commerce websites and stores. And Wynd can also replace your product information management service.

If you’re already using other services for some parts of your business, Wynd has an API and integrates with third-party services. For instance, you can connect Wynd with your ERP.

Wynd also lets you get detailed reports on your products and your staff. On this front, Wynd competes with Excel and good old static exports. Having dynamic dashboards can help you be more reactive and understand why a specific product is taking off for example.

And now, big brands are using Wynd to manage their sales, such as Carrefour, Total, MK2 and Monceau Fleurs. 30 percent of the company’s revenue comes from other countries.

UK startup veteran and investor Wendy Tan White joins Alphabet X as Vice President

Wendy Tan White, a veteran of the U.K. startup scene — including founding SaaS website builder Moonfruit, which exited to Yell Group for $37 million — is joining Alphabet X (formerly Google X), TechCrunch has learned.

According to sources, Tan White was approached by Google late last year, as she weighed up a number of other options, including raising a VC fund of her own dedicated to “deep tech”. Ultimately, she’s decided to join Google X, where she’ll hold the position of Vice President and will be part of the leadership team.

I understand she’ll be reporting directly Astro Teller, the head of X (or “Captain of Moonshots”). “She will be managing, mentoring and supporting a range of teams across X,” a source tells me.

As well as founding and exiting Moonfruit with her husband Joe, Tan White has recently been a very active investor in the U.K., both in a personal capacity and as former Partner at BGF Ventures, the early-stage U.K. venture capital fund where she remains an advisor.

She led the Open Cosmos Series A for BGF, amongst others. Tan White’s over 30 personal investments, along with her husband Joe, include Public.io, Whitehat, Cleo, CloudNC, OpenCosmos, Automata, Massless, Q-bot, Streetbees, and Xihelm.

Prior to BGF, she was a General Partner at Entrepreneur First, the London-headquartered deep tech company builder, which is backed by Greylock, and remains a popular figure amongst EF alumni.

(I’m told Joe White will remain in his current post as General Partner at Entrepreneur First, and, along with Wendy, will be based in the U.S., where he already spends much of his time.)

Wendy Tan White is also a Board Trustee of the Alan Turing Institute (the U.K.’s National AI Institute), a Member of the UK Digital Economy Council, on the Board of TechNation and Imperial College, DoC. She was awarded an MBE for services to business and technology in 2016 and Women in IT, Business Role Model of the Year 2017.

Just Eat acquires restaurant software platform Flyt for £22M

Just Eat, the takeout marketplace and food delivery service, has acquired Flyt, a startup that offers software for restaurants and restaurant suppliers. The acquisition price is £22 million, which Just Eat says it has financed from cash reserves.

“A further cash consideration may also be payable subject to certain operational and financial criteria being met over the next three years,” discloses the company.

Notably, Just Eat was already one of Flyt’s investors, but this deal sees the takeout behemoth become a majority owner. Existing investors, including Time Out and Entree Capital, have exited. The company is thought to have raised close to £12 million since being founded in 2013.

Described as a leading software platform that helps restaurant groups and restaurant suppliers integrate their point of sale (POS) systems with third-party services, Flyt has obvious synergies with Just Eat, providing technology that helps improve the experience of ordering online.

Better POS integration with various third-party services can help improve a restaurant’s customer experience and its operational efficiency. Specifically, Flyt says its technology platform removes the need for manual restaurant processes, reduces driver wait times in restaurants, and eliminates human error in order processing.

To that end, Flyt currently works with over 3,000 quick service and branded restaurants, including some of the U.K. and world’s largest brands such as KFC, Tim Hortons, Mitchells and Butlers, Pizza Express and Nando’s.

Despite now being owned by Just Eat, the company says it will continue to operate as a standalone platform and brand. Founders Tom Weaver and Chris Evans will continue to lead the business.

As a footnote, prior to the acquisition, Just Eat owned an 8 percent stake. The takeout marketplace says the acquisition will enable it to accelerate the development of Flyt’s technology and offer Flyt’s services to more of its restaurant partners globally.

Peter Duffy, Interim CEO of Just Eat comments: “Bringing Flyt into our Group will accelerate the take-up of these services around the world and allow the Flyt team to innovate with new and exciting technology solutions for the industry. We’ve admired Flyt for some time and are hugely impressed by their technology – integration between Just Eat and our restaurant partners is a critical component to providing world-class food delivery services”.

TaxScouts, the UK startup that helps prepare your taxes, picks up £1.2M led by SpeedInvest

TaxScouts, the U.K. “tax preparation” startup founded by TransferWise and Marketinvoice alumni, has created some new paperwork of its own. The London-based company has raised £1.2 million in seed funding.

Leading the new round is SpeedInvest, with participation from Finch Capital and SeedCamp. It adds to £300,000 in pre-seed investment that TaxScouts announced six months ago.

Combining “automation” with a network of human accountants, TaxScouts’ service is designed to support you through your annual tax filing preparation and submission. However, the headline draw is that the company charges a flat fee of £99 if you pay in advance, and promises a turn-around of just 24 hours.

To achieve this, the web app walks you through your tax status, income and expenses without assuming too much prior knowledge. This includes asking you to upload or take a photo of any required documents, such as invoices or dividend certificates. The idea is that all of the admin is captured digitally and packaged up ready for an assigned accountant to check.

Last year, I took the service for a spin, the first time in years that I haven’t left my tax return to the last minute. The accountant assigned to me was helpful and his advice seemed quite good. Most importantly, the communication was speedy, both over text and in a call we needed to have to talk through the pros and cons of two alternative ways to expense a car for work.

Meanwhile, I’m told accountants like the service, too, as it potentially enables small practices to scale and therefore take on more clients. Powering this is TaxScouts’ client management system for accountants, which the startup claims is saving 3-5 days of work per month for its accounting partners.

To that end, TaxScouts says it hopes to quadruple its network of accountant partners by the end of 2019. Its longer term aim is reduce the workload of accountants by 80 percent through further “process automation and digital data processing”.

“With an ever increasing amount of people in the UK experiencing non-standard income and with late fines amounting to billions last tax season alone, the time is better than ever to fundamentally redefine the experience,” says Anthony Danon, Principal at SpeedInvest.

“TaxScouts has built automation that brings simplicity, speed and convenience through a unique approach that creates shared value across taxpayers and accountants. We are excited to be backing such a product-minded team that has led product and engineering in some of U.K.’s best fintech startup stories”.

Axa Venture Partners raises $150 million early-stage fund

Axa Venture Partners, the venture capital arm of insurance company Axa, is raising an early-stage fund. Today’s new $150 million fund (€130 million) is called AVP Early Stage II.

Previously, Axa Venture Partners had raised a $110 million early-stage fund back in 2015. So far, it has invested in 40 companies, such as Hackajob, K4Connect, Futurae or Zenjob and Happytal.

When it comes to investment strategy, Axa Venture Partners plans to invest in early startups based in Europe, North America and Israel with this new fund. The firm will invest as much as $6 million per company.

Axa Venture Partners also operates a growth fund and invests in other funds through a fund of funds. And the firm has offices in Paris, London, San Francisco and New York.

Youth-run agency AIESEC exposed over 4 million intern applications

AIESEC, a non-profit that bills itself as the “world’s largest youth-run organization,” exposed more than four million intern applications with personal and sensitive information on a server without a password.

Bob Diachenko, an independent security researcher, found an unprotected Elasticsearch database containing the applications on January 11, a little under a month after the database was first exposed.

The database contained “opportunity applications” contained the applicant’s name, gender, date of birth, and the reasons why the person was applying for the internship, according to Diachenko’s blog post on SecurityDiscovery, shared exclusively with TechCrunch. The database also contains the date and time when an application was rejected.

AIESEC, which has more than 100,000 members in 126 countries, said the database was inadvertently exposed 20 days prior to Diachenko’s notification — just before Christmas — as part of an “infrastructure improvement project.”

The database was secured the same day of Diachenko’s private disclosure.

Laurin Stahl, AEISEC’s global vice president of platforms, confirmed the exposure to TechCrunch but claimed that no more than 40 users were affected.

Stahl said that the agency had “informed the users who would most likely be on the top of frequent search results” in the database — some 40 individuals, he said — after the agency found no large requests of data from unfamiliar IP addresses.

“Given the fact that the security researcher found the cluster, we informed the users who would most likely be on the top of frequent search results on all indices of the cluster,” said Stahl. “The investigation we did over the weekend showed that no more than 50 data records affecting 40 users were available in these results.”

Stahl said that the agency informed Dutch data protection authorities of the exposure three days after the exposure.

“Our platform and entire infrastructure is still hosted in the EU,” he said, despite its recently relocation to headquarters in Canadia.

Like companies and organizations, non-profits are not exempt from European rules where EU citizens’ data is collected, and can face a fine of up to €20 million or four percent — whichever is higher — of their global annual revenue for serious GDPR violations.

It’s the latest instance of an Elasticsearch instance going unprotected.

A massive database leaking millions of real-time SMS text message data was found and secured last year, a popular massage service, and phone contact lists on five million users from an exposed emoji app.