The startup funding round: Blackbird backs cyber startup, Enboarder’s $6.6 million boost, and André Eikmeier’s bid to “save the f**king world”

Enboarder

Enboarder founder Brent Pearson. Source: Supplied.

We may have only had three working days since our last startup funding wrap-up, but it seems both Aussie and international investors have been busy little Easter bunnies.

This week, as well as news of Canva’s latest mammoth valuation, we’ve seen Vinomofo co-founder André Eikmeier secure startup funding for his socially conscious social media platform, HR tech getting a boost, and a new delivery player on the block.

And, Aussie VC Blackbird has made a play in the cybersecurity sector, leading the seed round of Y Combinator grad Cyble.

Enboarder

HR tech startup Enboarder has secured US$5 million ($6.6 million) in fresh startup funding, after the pandemic prompted a shake-up to old-fashioned onboarding processes.

The round was led by US VC firm Next Coast Ventures, and also included repeat investment from GreyCroft and Stage 2 Capital. It follows an $11.6 million raise in June 2019, and a $5 million round the previous year.

This time around, the funding is pegged for expanding Enboarder’s offering to create a full end-to-end employee experience platform, and to bolster its existing platform to better accommodate remote and flexible work arrangements.

The raise reportedly follows a year of 60% to 70% revenue growth, as the COVID-19 pandemic prompted organisations to prioritise employee experience.

Transitions such as onboarding, offboarding and parental leave “disproportionately drive employee experience”, Enboarder founder and chief Brent Parsons said in a statement.

“COVID has been the biggest workplace transition of our lifetime,” he added.

Rendr

Delivery platform Rendr has secured $2.1 million in startup funding from a consortium of big-name backers, including former Australia Post chief and current head of Latitude Financial Group Ahmed Fahour and Global Retail Brands chief Steven Lew.

The round, which reportedly values the business at $6.7 million, also included backing from Global Retail Brands chief operating officer Darron Kupshik and Hairhouse owner Emad Nayef.

Founded back in 2019 by Greg Leibowitz and James Fisher, Rendr started out as an Uber-style delivery service for homewares and hardware.

Now, it has partnered with national retailers and e-commerce platforms, as well as with couriers ranging from on-demand bike riders to interstate heavy goods transporters, meaning they can deliver anything and everything.

“We’re doing everything that everyone is doing, but no-one is doing what we’re doing,” chief executive Sonney Roth told the Australian Financial Review.

“We could become disruptors in lots of different areas.”

Good Empire

Good Empire, the new gamified special media platform dreamt up by Vinomofo co-founder André Eikmeier, has reached its $250,000 minimum equity crowdfunding threshold.

At the time of writing, the Birchal campaign has raised $256,983 from 262 backers. It is now inching towards the maximum target of $1 million, with nine days to go.

With the tag-line: ‘It’s time to save the f**king world’, Good Empire is designed to encourage people to take part in challenges that help address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

In a statement before the campaign went live, Eikmeier suggested the challenges would be similar to TikTok challenges, “but having a global impact”.

“Imagine an app where an Ice Bucket Challenge or an Earth Hour was happening every single day, with millions of people taking action and sharing,” he said.

A paid version of the app will also be available for organisations who want to improve their corporate social responsibility to offer to employees.

Cyble

In international news, US-headquartered dark web and cyber crime monitoring startup Cyble has secured US$4 million ($5.2 million) in seed funding, led by Aussie VC firm Blackbird Ventures and US early-stage VC Spider Capital.

Xoogler Ventures — the angel group of former Google employees — also contributed to the round.

Having just graduated from the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator, Cyble specialises in providing early warning intelligence relating to cyber threats.

The startup funding will allow co-founders Beenu Arora and Manish Chachada to invest in more resources and scale the tech “in lock step with our rapidly growing client base”, Chachada said in a statement.

Uniphore

And finally, Indian AI and automation company Uniphore — which has offices in Sydney — has secured US$140 million ($182.7 million) in Series D funding, including strategic investment from Cisco Ventures.

The tech allows organisations to better manage and analyse their contact centre engagements, giving them the insights required to improve customer service and thereby drive better results.

“Given the rapid digital transformation happening across the enterprise, the need for automated and intelligent solutions to help drive new business models has never been greater,” Uniphore co-founder and chief Umesh Sachdev said in a statement.

The funding will be used to further improve the technology and bolster the leadership team. Projections suggest the headcount will have grown by 200% by the end of the financial year 2022.

Annual revenues are expected to top US$100 million within the same time frame.

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