Sequoia announces the first cohort of Arc
In late March this year, Sequoia Capital released Fr. bell for the European founders of the early stages to join its newly created accelerator, Arc. Starting with the initial investment from Sequoia, participants are also trained in the “Sequoia Path” on setting up, building and scaling long-term companies. According to the firm, this “Sequoia Way” has been specifically adapted for European business.
To support this European-specific way of doing business, Sequoia has recruited home-grown talent, and Arc members will receive the care of the co-founder and CEO of Front Matilda Colin for Culture, Senior Vice President of Hubspot Marketing Kieran Flanagan about product-led growth, co-founder and CEO of Wolt Mickey Coosey on the creation of the MVP, as well as the founder and CEO of Bolt Marcus Willig on market expansion, among others.
I’m usually nervous when a brand starts dictating how to run a show “via ABC”, but as a reminder, Sequoia’s track record includes early investments in the company, including Google, Youtube, Apple, Whatsapp, Paypal, Instagram, Linkedin, Oracle and Zoom, so maybe there is there is method to madness.
After what was probably a daunting task for Sequoia jury members, the firm announced 17 inaugural participants for its Arc program, including two stealth companies.
Led by the co-founders Kiaran O’Keefe, Anti Gilliganand Stuart CameronAkeero seamlessly integrates automated threat modeling for cloud products so that the teams that create them can identify errors earlier, teach developers advanced security techniques, and focus their energy where it matters most.
Providing the Visibility as Code platform for server-free architecture, Baselime creates automated, repetitive dashboards and alerts to detect problems and eliminate bottlenecks. Founder Boris Thane and his team are helping software developers move in and better understand – a new brave world without servers.
Every company wants to be informed, but actually extracting value from data is easier said than done. Aggregation is slow and expensive, and context is often lacking, especially with problems of cross-functional collaboration between distributed teams. Co-founders Costa Kolev and James Elmar with Calliper believe there is a better way: collaborative analytics. Using advanced ML techniques, they combine key data sources into a single easy-to-use “mission management” center that anyone in the enterprise can use.
Selection options (UK)
We’ve all been there: you sit down to watch a movie and instead spend an hour scrolling through the options. From 70 million tracks on Spotify to 1.3 million Airbnb lists in the EU alone, today’s consumers are faced with endless lists of options – and research shows that this “choice paradox” makes decisions harder rather than easier. And because they are optimized to achieve supply goals, most modern referral platforms don’t really help. But giving priority to consumer identification and algorithmic responsibility, the co-founders of Choice Options Martin Gould and Johnny Hunter found an opportunity to maintain privacy by helping people easily find movies, books, food and destinations that they really enjoy.
As the creators themselves, co-founders Selim Benayat and Mugib Hassan know firsthand how difficult it is to find the right employees – people who share your values and want to work on projects that are most important to you. They created CreatorSpace to enable these connections, making it easier to find details such as skills, interests, and deadlines. Instead of relying solely on local circles or people you met at university, talented engineers, designers and other content creators can find their next partners based on what really matters: not professional prestige, but the job itself.
From changing compliance requirements in Europe and beyond to the surge of decentralized structures fueled by the growth of remote work, good governance policies have never been more in demand. Rates are high, with risks including slowing down transactions, wasting resources and accountability for both companies and their employees. There is a desperate need for automation in this space; in many organizations each department is digitized except for compliance. Co-founders Lisa Gradova, Philip Petersand Vincent Bobinski recognized this potential disruption and launched Fides Technology, a universal management platform for everyone from external consultants to the C-suite.
Otto Finance (UK)
Financial health is at the heart of all aspects of employee well-being and productivity, making it a priority for both employees and employers. But today’s market for financial advice is disrupted, and expert advice is only available to a few privileged individuals. Co-founders of Otto Finance Ian Erwin Thomas and Madeleine Debney believe that comprehensive financial services is a key component of the modern benefits package and should not require a minimum balance. Through a combination of personal coaching, educational resources and DIY tools, Otto gives employees more control over their financial lives.
The advent of the modern data stack has put microservices at the heart of the business, but the continuous production of data means that people also want constant understanding. Unfortunately, for most data groups, flow processing remains a major headache; they are accustomed to simple batch tools that do not require scripts and easily connect to existing services, while most modern thread handling solutions offer neither. Now with Popsink led by the co-founders Benjamin Jedi and Alexander WheelsAnalyst engineers can create real-time data jobs in SQL – no scripts required.
From young technology startups to major global companies, the product is increasingly at the heart of the company’s growth. But in order for a product-driven model to work, sales and product departments need to be aligned – and today such collaboration is hard to achieve. The product hardly interacts with customers, sales lack in-depth knowledge of the road map, and modern tools only facilitate separation. So here it is Berber Dill (formerly from the portfolio companies Sequoia Xentral and Klarna) created RevMap. Following the example of product and technology integration over the past decade, the platform gamifies and rewards teamwork between product and sales, helping companies find the right product market faster.
Barriers to accessing education are the highest ever. The shortage of teachers, especially in mathematics and science, worries schools around the world, and tight government budgets make it harder to compete for talent. While families with sufficient funds can choose private schools, move to areas with the best public schools or pay for expensive elite tutoring, 99% of the population simply cannot afford it. The co-founders of Studeo bring together the best teachers and proven teaching methods in a digital platform Nicholas Lewandowski and Antonin de Laver and their team allows more students to study at their best.
The European B2B insurance markets are still dominated by physical brokers, making it difficult for SMEs to find and even more so to manage policies. The products are hard to understand; paper and standalone services. But with SureIn, customers can quickly receive personalized recommendations based on independent advice, sign up immediately and manage policies from the central dashboard. Built by the co-founders Daniel Dirkes, David Shara, Maximilian Geissinger and their team, an automated advisor combines natural language processing and other ML technologies with data from 25 leading carriers and even offers updates to the “self-regulatory” policy if conditions change.
For companies that create solutions for computer vision, the bottleneck for successful model learning is getting the right data. Publicly available options only work for a narrow set of usage options, and many teams have no choice but to spend valuable time manually picking up what they need. However, thanks to recent research on generative artificial intelligence algorithms, high-resolution image synthesis provides relief – and the co-founders of Synativ Andrei Konopatsky and Tom Bruce take advantage of this opportunity. By transforming existing datasets while retaining tags, they help teams quickly create high-quality image data.
As more and more B2B buyers choose remote meetings over face-to-face sales, more than ever, they are counting on e-mail for cold information communication. But with an average response rate of 1% – and on the recipient, mailboxes full of irrelevant emails – this process is no less frustrating for both sellers and buyers. At the same time, modern solutions often expand the top of the funnel, making finding quality customers even more time consuming. Co-founders of Telescope Reza Giovanni and McCluskey Fireplace use a collaborative filtering approach that collects and uses information from multiple companies so sellers can spend more time closing deals.
As the world became remote, body language and tone of voice receded into the background for many teams in favor of written asynchronous communication. How Mohamed Chagin Revealed over the years of training sales representatives, however the approach to improving the writing skills of “human coaching” has no scale. Therefore, he is a co-founder Thomas Metcalfe launched the automated learning tool Twain. Their approach would not have been possible a year or two ago. But thanks to significant improvements in Mohammed’s natural language creation, Thomas and their team are now helping salespeople speak more clearly, confidently and convincingly.
Even before the pandemic in the payment market began to lead non-cash transactions. Today they account for more than 90% in some European countries. Small businesses and charities can no longer manage cash, but what if the card machine breaks down or you lack terminals to prevent long queues for payments or donations? As the founder of Xelda India Healy O Connor Admittedly, a sustainable solution is to use smartphones, which more than 80% of the world’s population already carry in their pockets, and accept payment using a QR code. If the company uses the app, customers don’t need to enter email or download anything – just scan, pay and drive.