Capsule, a video Q&A platform aimed at brands, has closed on $2 million in pre-seed funding. It offers a full platform for hosting Q&A sessions, where the brand starts with a template that they then customize to match their campaign by changing the logo, colors, buttons, background and URLs. The brand will then write their questions and prompts for consumers to answer, in the form of short video responses. The consumers’ responses to the Q&A are curated for the final video product. What makes the technology even more interesting is how Capsule assembles this footage. Capsule instantly and automatically processes the video, adding elements like music and graphics, pre-roll or post-roll, which makes the resulting video appear professionally edited.
Startup Mosaic that builds a “strategic finance platform” software has raises $18.5M Series A. The platform is designed to ingest data from all sorts of systems in the alphabet soup of enterprise IT — ERPs, HRISs, CRMs, etc. — and then provide CFOs and their teams with strategic planning tools to be able to predict and forecast with better accuracy and with speed. Mosaic is trying to do to rebuild the CFO software stack. It wants to build a platform that is a gateway to connecting the entire company to discuss finance in a more collaborative fashion. So while Mosaic focuses on reporting and planning, the mainstays of the finance office, it wants to open those dashboards and forecasts wider into the company so more people can have insight into what’s going on and also give feedback to the CFO.
Xentral, a German startup that develops enterprise resource planning software covering a variety of back-office functions for the average online small business, has picked up a Series A of $20 million. The company’s platform today covers services like order and warehouse management, packaging, fulfillment, accounting and sales management, and the majority of its 1,000 customers are in Germany — they include the likes of direct-to-consumer brands like YFood, KoRo, the Nu Company and Flyeralarm. The challenge with Xentral in that regard will be to see how and if they can bring more businesses to the table and tap into the kinds of tools that it provides, at the same time that a number of other players also eye up the same market. (Others in the same general category of building ERP for small businesses include online payments provider Sage, NetSuite and Acumatica.)
Tradeswell focuses on six components of e-commerce businesses — marketing, retail, inventory, logistics, forecasting, lifetime value and financials — with the key goal of allowing those businesses to improve their net margins, rather than simply driving more clicks or purchases. The platform can fully automate some processes, such as buying online ads. To illustrate what it can accomplish, Tradeswell pointed to the work it did with a personal care brand on Amazon Prime Day, with total sales doubling versus the previous Prime Day and profits increasing 67%.
French startup Iziwork, that is building a platform focused on improving temporary employment, has raised a $43M. Iziwork manages a marketplace of temporary work; 2,000 companies are using the platform in France and Italy, and 800,000 candidates have used the app to access job opportunities. You can consider it as a tech-enabled version of the good old employment agency. Candidates can onboard directly from the mobile app. You then get personalized recommendations based on your profile (95% of assignments are filled in less than four hours). And of course, all your documents are managed from the app.
Drata, a startup that helps businesses get their SOC 2 compliance, today announced that it has raised a $3.2 million seed round. Like similar services, Drata helps businesses automate a lot of the evidence collection as they prepare for a SOC 2 audit. The focus of the service is obviously on running tests against the SOC 2 framework to help businesses prepare for their audit (and to prepare the right materials for the auditor). To do so, it features integrations with a lot of standard online business tools and cloud services to regularly pull in data. One nifty feature is that it also lets you step through all of the various sections of the SOC 2 criteria to check your current readiness for an audit.
Stacklet, a startup that is commercializing the Cloud Custodian open-source cloud governance project, today announced that it has raised an $18 million Series A funding round. Stacklet helps enterprises manage their data governance stance across different clouds, accounts, policies and regions, with a focus on security, cost optimization and regulatory compliance. The service offers its users a set of pre-defined policy packs that encode best practices for access to cloud resources, though users can obviously also specify their own rules. In addition, Stacklet offers a number of analytics functions around policy health and resource auditing, as well as a real-time inventory and change management logs for a company’s cloud assets.
Webflow, a software company that helps businesses build no-code websites, announced that it has raised a $140 million Series B. Webflow’s product fits into a category of companies arguing that building software for the internet should get easier over time, not harder. The company has big product plans, including building out its service to support richer and more powerful website creation. In the CEO’s view, websites are merely part of the software world, and he expects no-code tooling to take on more and more complex software tasks over time. That could expand the broader no-code market, in our view, perhaps creating more space for startups to build services that allow for non-developers to depend less on engineering teams over time.