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Soda Raises €11.5M Series A Funding to Bring Everyone Closer to Data

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PRNewswire – Soda announced today that it has raised €11.5M Series A financing to accelerate the development of its data monitoring platform that streamlines how teams find the data worth fixing. The round was led by leading European venture investor, Singular, with returning participation from seed investors Point Nine Capital, Hummingbird Ventures, DCF and angel investors.

Raffi Kamber, General Partner at lead investor, Singular, said, “Analysis and usage of data has become business critical in most applications. Data quality needs to be preserved everywhere in a modern data stack, which is becoming increasingly massive and complex. A natural need has thus emerged for a platform that monitors data and provides a unified view of the data and its issues to all the stakeholders. That’s what Soda is about, and Maarten and Tom bring deep expertise on this issue to the industry, their partners and customers.”

According to Gartner’s Data Quality Market Survey, the average financial impact of bad data on organisations in 2017 was estimated to be around $15 million per year. This is because people across any business – data engineers, developers, data scientists, managers, senior executives – are all exposed to data, and use it as part of their roles every day. If data is incomplete or damaged, the time taken to correct the data is both time-consuming and costly. For Soda, maintaining data quality is a team sport that means everyone who has a stake in the data – and that is everyone in the business – needs to understand it, trust it, and stay on top of it. Soda’s mission is to bring everyone closer to trusted data.

“Testing and monitoring of software and infrastructure is ubiquitous, so why don’t we apply the same principles to data, arguably any business’ most important strategic asset? The world’s fastest-growing companies rely on data in online retail, financial markets and even vaccine discovery, and in every instance the quality and integrity of the data is paramount,” explained Tom Baeyens, CTO & Co-founder, Soda. “Our data monitoring platform empowers teams to collaborate seamlessly to firstly define what quality data looks like, and then resolve issues swiftly before they have an adverse impact on the business downstream.”

Reflecting the rapidly growing importance of the data monitoring category, Soda’s Series A round follows soon after a seed round of €2.6M led by Point Nine Capital, one of Europe’s leading early-stage investors, bringing total financing to over €14M over the past six months. In 2018, Soda won €500,000 as part of an Innovative Starters Award from Innoviris, the Brussels regional institute for Research and Innovation.

Louis Coppey, Partner at Point Nine Capital, said, “Beyond our conviction that the data monitoring space is one of the most exciting new categories, we, at Point Nine, have been very impressed by Tom and Maarten’s deep insight into the problem and by their ability to build global demand for the product. We are excited to continue supporting the team as they bring this critical brick of infrastructure to the modern Enterprise.”

Soda plans to use the funding to develop the usability and scalability of its cloud-based platform, in addition to establishing a global community of users. Available as a soon to be released open source community edition and enterprise edition, Soda’s platform keeps data fit for purpose, verifiable and trustworthy by connecting data engineers, operations and the business to collaborate and work with trusted data. The platform’s interface is accessible and easy-to-use, enabling users to effortlessly instrument multiple datasets across any data workload to create observability so that anyone in the organisation can collaborate on data monitoring. This means businesses can adapt quickly to change, swiftly deploy new technologies and build innovative new products on solid data foundations.

“Companies like Amazon, Tesla and Deliveroo have shown that you can disrupt entire markets at scale with data. Businesses are moving from using data to being built entirely on data, but there are challenges in terms of how they collect, process and maintain this data. You need to test and monitor data to stay on top of it, but most companies don’t have the capabilities and engineering resources to do this,” said Maarten Masschelein, CEO & Co-Founder, Soda. “We have seen a surge in demand for our data monitoring platform from innovative digital companies wanting to address these challenges, and this round of funding allows us to start commercially meeting this need. Soda is leading the way to a future where companies all over the world can build and rely on data of the highest quality.”

EuroNewsweek is a dynamic news platform featuring lifestyle, sustainability, successful stories, tech, leadership, creative marketing, business, and the unstoppable people behind them.

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How to effectively use LinkedIn for business

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Worker checks his LinkedIn on a tablet
LinkedIn was launched in 2002 in California, USA.

No matter if you are a business owner, actively looking for a new job, or have been happily holding on to your dream position for the past 10 years – and is not intending to move to a new challenge anytime soon – LinkedIn is the place to be to network and learn.

In fact, it has been a while since the platform, launched in 2002, stopped merely being a place to host your digital CV. The more it grows, the more LinkedIn is becoming a place to socialize and engage, rather than a HR database.

So, how can businesses take advantage of a platform with over 700 million members that is comfortably positioned as the most trusted social network in the U.S?

Here, entrepreneurs share their key lessons and tips on how to effectively use LinkedIn to get an advantage for your business.

 

Joining LinkedIn groups and staying active

“Joining LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your target demographic is a tip I often give to small business owners. Not only is this a fantastic way to ‘listen in’ to what your target audience is talking about, but also provides small business opportunities like interacting or offering them their advice. So, LinkedIn can be a marketing service. More significantly, even if you aren’t related, you can message members of groups you’re in. Since LinkedIn InMail costs money, this is a perfect way to save money while developing relationships with potential clients.”

Lee Grant – CEO at security and privacy management developer www.wrangu.com

 

Look for your network

“The most effective way to use LinkedIn for your business is to look for your network. You don’t have to wait for the network to come to you; instead, you can go to the network. You can search LinkedIn’s database of over half a Billion (with a B) users for people who work in the industry you are targeting, work for the companies you want to sell to, and so forth.”

Benjamin Rose – Co-founder at www.traineracademy.org

 

Engage before pitching

“When approaching a potential client, you have to be casual and conversational. People love to talk about themselves. So, get them talking by asking questions. By the time they are done they will ask you what you do, and now you have permission to pitch them.”

Peter Burstyn – CEO at marketing agency www.burstynconsultingllc.com

 

Be honest and upfront

“The worst thing about LinkedIn is all of the messages from people asking how you’re doing and if you have time for a chat next week. So many people use these annoying approaches to try and grow their business. I have even seen unrelated people who are using the same introduction scripts to message me. Everyone is trying to do their best, but it is annoying and gets ignored.
If you want to get traction on LinkedIn these days, be honest and direct about what you’re doing.

Jim Miller – Author and personal finance expert at www.iamjimmiller.com

 

Combine different strategies

“I use LinkedIn for business promotion in several ways. First, when people include me in their expert interviews, I promote their articles to my LinkedIn wall. This gives them the motivation to include my insights again, bringing me more links to my site and boosting my SEO. So, this approach gives me exposure on Google.

Also, I promote in LinkedIn groups that are relevant for my niche using hashtags that LinkedIn recommends. I always use my brand’s hashtag as one of them. All these methods help me receive offers and opportunities on LinkedIn.”

Janice Wald – Blogging Coach and freelance writer at www.mostlyblogging.com

 

Be creative to stand out

“Add something to your name that stands out to your target audience.
Instead of ‘Martina Cooper’, write ‘Martina Cooper – Helping Online Marketers
Grow Their Business’.
You can use Sales Navigator to effectively connect with your perfect client. This extension allows you to filter by niche, number of employees, location, and profitability.
Even though it’s super professional and mostly B2B, it’s a social platform.
Build relationships, engage and provide value. The ROI of those relationships won’t be instant monetary checks but seeds that will turn into flowers in the long-term.”

Martina Cooper – Editor and digital marketer at www.brutallyhonestmarketingreviews.com

 

Leverage the Live video tool

“LinkedIn Live video interviews with those who have a consistent show and following demonstrates our thought leadership, increases our reach and allows people to connect with us on a more personal level. They often follow up with connection requests and messages. These are all organic strategies that build trust, strengthen our brand, and make genuine connections.”

Daniel Snow – Co-founder at digital marketing agency www.thesnowagency.com

 

Have a clear target

“Our company recently started using LinkedIn to promote our video production service through paid advertising. In less than three months, we gained 300 followers and 104k post impressions. Our goal has been to get new leads through LinkedIn. It has been a slow process but we’ve noticed LinkedIn is targeting the markets we’re looking for, rather than just leading everyone and anyone to our page.”

Tyler Mose – CEO at full-service video production agency www.e3mcreative.com

 

Build your tribe

“LinkedIn has become a platform where likeminded business people want to connect, engage and learn from others. One of the most important things to do is build an engaged network (a tribe) by commenting regularly on other people’s posts, being visible in groups, and posting valuable content regularly on your page. People do business with others whom they like. Business is about relationships. Build the relationship first and people will want to work with you.”
Gareth Bain – Director at growth Marketing agency www.gotlegsdigital.com

 

And coming up text  …

Professional networking site LinkedIn has recently announced plans to launch their own gig marketplace. It will be similar to the already established Upwork and Fiverr, allowing professionals to post projects and hire freelancers to work from home. The new platform, to be called Marketplace, will primarily focus on jobs such as writing, marketing, and consulting. Microsoft—the parent company of LinkedIn—is also focusing their efforts on creating a digital wallet that will be compatible throughout several of its platforms.

 

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Polish digital-first furniture company raises €22 Million in funding

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Founders of startup Tylko sitting together
Tylko has served almost 60,000 satisfied customers over the past five years

Tylko, the Polish digital-first furniture company, announced today the close of a €22 million Series C round of funding led by Israel-based Pitango Ventures and Finnish Evli Growth Partners. Since its creation in 2015, Tylko has served almost 60,000 satisfied customers and shows no signs of slowing down. The €22m investment follows a strong year for Tylko, with its unique approach to furniture design generating a 132% increase in sales in 2020 in comparison to previous years.

The new investment shows confidence in Tylko’s offering of premium design coupled with a user experience that puts the customer in control. The brand’s unique business model is premised on its belief that through investment in innovation and cutting-edge technology, the furniture industry can be swayed from ‘fast furniture’ towards durable, user-first products. By embedding conscious consumption in everything it makes, Tylko incorporates sustainability into high-quality and well-designed products.

Angel investors in this Series C round include Brian Walker, former CEO of furniture giant Herman Miller, who had been advising Tylko prior to his investment, and Mark Williamson, COO of renowned US-based online classes platform MasterClass. As part of this investment, Rami Kalish from Pitango Ventures, Mikko Kuitunen from Evli Growth Partners and Brian Walker will join the company’s Supervisory Board.

A future-proof business model

Tylko has seen sales during the pandemic rise by over 130%, as its future-proof business model adopts an online-only, direct-to-consumer (D2C) and made-to-order approach. Individually designed by the customer from home, based on the principles of parametric design, each item is an individual solution. From each order Tylko’s unique proprietary software automates the manufacturing process for its production partners: a directly scalable process.

The successful Series C funding round comes off the back of a strong year for Tylko. With the pandemic transforming homes into workplaces, schools and beyond, our interiors have never been more important. Tylko’s unique offering – environmentally conscious, customisable, premium design – has struck a chord with taste-conscious and environmentally minded consumers alike.

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Disney Cruise line to offer staycation sailings for United Kingdom residents

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Mickey character at a Cruise greeting passengers

With travel restrictions still in place, a cruise around Britain will be the first post-lockdown holiday.

United Kingdom residents will be able to experience the magic of Disney Cruise Line close to home with brand-new Disney Magic at Sea “staycation” sailings from UK. ports this summer for a limited time. Featuring enchanted entertainment and with multiple layers of health and safety measures, the Disney Magic cruise ship plans to sail mostly 2- and 3-night voyages, as well as limited 4-night sailings round-trip from London Tilbury, NewcastleLiverpool and Southampton.

“Our teams are bringing tremendous ingenuity and fun to these new cruises, tailoring them with care to the times we are living in, yet filling them with everything you’d expect from Disney, from great service and entertainment to immersive dining experiences and magic for the whole family,” says Thomas Mazloum, president of Disney Cruise Line.

Guests will remain aboard the Disney Magic throughout the sailing and will be able to have a cruise experience with world-class accommodations, entertainment and a variety of included dining options without leaving the country.

Favourite Disney stories, characters and entertainment will come to life during these special Disney Magic at Sea cruises, including a celebration with Mickey MouseMinnie Mouse and their pals, a Frozen flurry of fun with Anna, Elsa and Olaf, and an epic encounter with Marvel’s greatest Super Heroes. Guests will cherish special moments with beloved Disney friends, from capturing physically distanced photos with Captain Mickey, to enjoying a royal promenade with Disney Princesses or seeing favourite Toy Story pals. West End-quality stage shows will captivate guests of all ages in the elegant Walt Disney Theatre.

Disney Cruise Line is implementing multiple layers of health and safety measures considering guidance from the UK government, health authorities and medical experts. This includes COVID-19 testing, health screenings, face coverings, reduced guest capacity, physical distancing and enhanced cleaning.

Staycation sailings are expected to go on sale in April 2021 for sailings this summer, pending the issuance of UK government guidelines and authorisations.

Photo: Matt Stroshane

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