Steve's ITK

By Steve O'Hear

Steve's ITK: Move fast and break things

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Steve's ITK

February 9 · Issue #58 · View online

Steve's In The Know: Thoughts from a European tech insider.


Opening thought: Move fast and break things
I wasn’t planning to work yesterday - life has been quite stressful this past week dealing with social care issues - and I had absolutely promised myself a day of not thinking about work. That didn’t stop me checking social media, of course, which was just as well.
‘Hey Steve, don’t know if this is of interest?’ read one of the messages, linking to a regulatory filing on Companies House. After a quick scan of the document in question, my reply was emphatic: ‘Yes :)’
Facebook had quietly acquired another U.K. company: Scape Technologies, the London-based computer vision startup working on positioning technology that is more accurate than GPS. Hidden out in the open, I knew I had to move fast.
The filing indisputably showed that Facebook now owned at least 75% of Scape and also revealed that all of the startup’s venture capital backers had resigned from the board, so I began typing.
Within 25 minutes, I had crafted a short news story, had a lawyer also give the various filings a once over in an attempt to extract more, and contacted Facebook and Scape for comment. In addition, I called a number of my other sources within the U.K. tech community to see if I could definitely nail the acquisition price or learn of Facebook’s plans for Scape, which largely drew a blank.
Then I hit publish – all before finishing my morning cup of tea.
Hours later, Facebook confirmed the story: ‘We acquire smaller tech companies from time to time. We don’t always discuss our plans,’ emailed one of the social networking behemoth’s spokespeople.
The take-away: Journalism and original reporting can be about lots of things: years of building up sources and gaining people’s trust, making judgement calls, triangulating information, doing proper research, and a willingness to pick up the phone or use up some shoe leather.
But sometimes it can be as simple as having eyes and ears on the ground, and when a message like yesterday’s drops, not being afraid to move fast and break things*.
*News
Bonus: Thefacebook and I have previous form, going all the way back to 2010.
Things I wrote
Facebook has acquired Scape Technologies, the London-based computer vision startup
Europe’s A/O PropTech is a new €250M fund dedicated to companies disrupting real estate
Moteefe, the e-commerce platform for on-demand merchandise, raises $5M Series A
Tier Mobility, the European e-scooter rentals startup, adds new COO and CCO to executive team
Jigsaw, an early-stage fund from ex-GFC general partner Dan Jones, is nearing first close
Hinge Health, the digital solution for chronic back and joint pain, closes $90M Series C
Azimo, the money transfer service, secures €20M debt finance from the European Investment Bank
Dixa, a customer engagement platform, picks up $36M Series B
A conversation with ‘the most ambitious female VC in Europe’
Shipamax scores $7M Series A to digitise the logistics back-office
Bird confirms acquisition of Berlin scooter rival Circ
Teller raises $4M to take on Plaid in the US by providing API access to bank accounts
TriggerMesh scores $3M seed from Index and Crane to help enterprises embrace ‘serverless’
Ophelia Brown’s Blossom Capital raises new $185M European early-stage fund
LumApps raises $70M Series C led by Goldman Sachs
Stasher, the luggage storage app for travelers, raises $2.5M additional funding
Berlin’s Home pulls in €11M Series A for its landlord and tenant solution
Personio, the German HR platform for SMEs, raises $75M Series C at a $500M valuation
Open banking platform Tink raises €90M at a post-money valuation of €415M
Get in touch
Have feedback or comments on any of the stories above? Hit reply; I answer every non-pitch ITK email.
P.S. Still time to back the crowdfund of my debut album
With just 5 days to go, there is still time to back the vinyl crowdfunding campaign for the album I spent 3 years making with friends. Head over to Qrates to find out more and check out this interview I did with former band members who feature on the album.
In Between Floors / Otis 'Max' Load and the Thirteen Persons
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