Unicorn spotlight: Numbrs and Knotel
This week, two companies, one American, one Swiss join the increasingly inclusive Unicorn Club. Comprised of startups that have achieved a valuation in excess of $1bn, this week’s latest entrants are Knotel, a self-purported alternative to WeWork (which is backed by SoftBank and expected to file for its IPO in the near future), and Numbrs, a money management app with a reported download count in excess of 2mn.
In the US in particular, real estate is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity. Knotel proposes itself as a solution to that problem.
With over 4mn square feet across 200+ locations in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Boston, Toronto, London, Berlin, Paris, São Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, Knotel is working to change the way that companies approach real estate.
Working to provide fully furnished, functional and private workspaces to large businesses, Knotel is setting itself apart from other space-sharing companies like WeWork, pitching itself as a more stable investment. The company counts global brands like Monday, Segment, Omnicom and Cheddar among its clients, landing another $400mn in venture capital funding this week, which catapulted it to unicorn status.
Knotel will reportedly use the financing to grow its footprint in existing markets, continue expansion into the world’s 30 largest cities and deepen its engagement with global enterprise accounts.
“Knotel is building the future of the workplace, and we are excited to welcome a group of investors who believe passionately in our product, vision and ability to execute,” said Amol Sarva, Co-Founder and CEO of Knotel. “Wafra will help us continue our rapid global expansion and solidify our position as the leader in a fast-growing, trillion-dollar flexible office market.”
Numbrs Personal Finance
Motivated by the idea that digitalisation should make our lives easier, Swiss fintech startup Numbrs applies intuitive, machine learning powered analytics technology to help its users understand and manage their finances independent of banks.
Numbrs was founded in 2014 by entrepreneur Martin Saidler and its growth strategy has reportedly been based upon the support of private investors rather than venture capital acquisitions. “Venture capital and private equity funds tend to have less patience. They get nervous when it takes longer for a startup to earn money,” said Saidler.
The startup’s app enables users to manage all their bank accounts under a single application, and apply for financial products such as bank accounts, credit cards, loans and insurances directly within the app, according to the company’s blog. Numbrs has partnerships with major banks like Barclaycard, Postbank, Santander, Bank of Scotland, Allianz, AXA, etc. which allows its users to manage multiple accounts through a single app.
On the 22nd, Numbrs raised a further $40mn, which provoked its $1bn valuation.
Ericsson: 5G will be fastest adopted mobile generation in hi
Ericsson’s June Mobility Report projects that nearly 600 million 5G subscriptions will be active by the end of 2021, making it the fastest adopted mobile generation in history.
The longer range forecast is for around 3.5 billion 5G subscriptions and 60 per cent 5G population coverage globally by the end of 2026.
China, the US, Korea, Japan and the GCC (Gulf states) will lead deployment, with Europe lagging behind. The latter got off to a slower start and has been mired in infrastructure battles over the provenance of hardware.
North East Asia is expected to lead 5G deployment with an estimated 1.4 billion subscriptions by 2026, while North America is expected to account for the highest 5G subscription penetration.
Key findings of the Ericsson Mobility Report, June 2021
5G remains on track to become the fastest adopted mobile generation in history with subscriptions increasing at a rate of about a million per day
China, North America and the Gulf Cooperation Council markets are leading the way on subscriber numbers, while Europe is off to a slow start
5G subscriptions with a 5G-capable device grew by 70 million during the first quarter of 2021 and are forecast to reach 580 million by the end of 2021
5G ready for 'advanced use cases'
Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of networks, Ericsson, said, “We are in the next phase of 5G, with accelerating roll-outs and coverage expansion in pioneer markets such as China, the USA and South Korea. Now is the time for advanced use cases to start materialising and deliver on the promise of 5G. Businesses and societies are also preparing for a post-pandemic world, with 5G-powered digitalization playing a critical role.”
Photo credit: Ericsson