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Sales Experience Platform Walnut Raises $15 Million in Series A Funding – ReadWrite

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Deanna Ritchie


Sales Experience Platform Walnut Takes the Next Step By Raising $15 Million in Series A Funding.

Walnut, a newly released sales experience platform, recently attracted some major funding attention. The news is particularly noteworthy as Walnut has been in business for less than a year. Moreover, investors say that they have been particularly impressed by the company’s ability to radically redefine the concept of the traditional sales demo.

Given the unprecedented turmoil of the past 18 months — there has been disastrous impact on far too many bottom lines. However, Walnut is bringing an innovative retooling of the sales process to market, which seems to place Walnut in the right place at the right time. As a result, serious investors have begun to pay attention.

Who — and What — is Walnut?

Founded by tech visionaries Yoav Vilner and Dani Friedland, Walnut is a startup committed to rewriting the concept of the traditional sales demo.

The Walnut platform is able to optimize its clients’ product demonstrations and enable sales teams to address the needs of each individual customer. It represents an approach that the brand considers to be a solution to one of the toughest nuts to crack — especially in an increasingly online-focused world.

Responding to this urgent need, Walnut created a no-code platform offering a simple and efficient way to customize sales demos.

This process is done to better serve the unique sales and marketing needs of a growing number of SaaS companies around the globe. The Walnut approach eliminates the need for generic customer demo experiences lacking focus or relevance. The platform also provides various insights — a critical detail often lacking with in-house development — for a marketing team to utilize for future sales experiences.

Taken together, the Walnut platform creates a more comprehensive, holistic approach to the demonstration of products and services. It also streamlines the entire sales process, putting much-needed horsepower back in the hands of sales leaders without the need to rely on the complexities of working with a back-end technical team.

Walnut’s Commitment to User-Friendly Sales Experiences

For Walnut, the ultimate objective is for an organization to bring its services to market in a seamless, efficacious, customer-focused manner. Simply stated, the overall objective is to eliminate annoying technical glitches on either end of the sales experience, allowing potential clients to focus on the offering itself…and salespeople to focus on effective interactions.

Walnut met this objective by shifting its primary attention from the companies it works with to its customers. By approaching the overall sales experience problem from a customer-centric viewpoint, Walnut gained the insight needed to create a tool. This progressive tool enables its clients to create demos that resonate with their constituents.

By zeroing in on customer needs, Walnut brought a platform to market that meets company requirements at the same time.

Walnut sees itself as filling a critical gap in the rapidly evolving sales and marketing landscape.

Not only that, but the team behind the brand is effectively turning their sales demo vision into reality — a fact that has attracted the attention of various investors eager to support effective solutions to the challenges represented by making sales in a post-COVID-19 environment.

Walnut’s Recent Funding Success

Walnut is something of a wunderkind tech company fueled by the idea that sales are much easier to close — and mutually beneficial — when experiences are optimized.

As it turns out, the Walnut approach isn’t just an opinion. The startup received an extraordinary amount of attention in the first few months of its existence.

Walnut has been featured in prestigious rankings such as Will Reed’s “Top 50 Seed-Stage Startups to Work For,” “Top Must-Have Startup for 2021,” and Product Hunt’s “Top Product of the Week.”

Walnut’s take on improving the overall sales experience is also backed by cold, hard cash. The company already went through a seed round of investing less than a year ago. Over the course of those first few months, Walnut saw an unexpected high demand that ended up generating an eye-popping $6 million in seed money.

Walnut’s initial round of investment funding came from high-profile investors, including A Capital, Liquid2, NFX, and Graph Ventures. It also included several tech industry leaders including Google, HubSpot, Wix, GitHub, and others. Total investment has now officially been raised by a further $15 million thanks to an additional Series A round of funding.

Savvy market investors know that fundraising of this type doesn’t normally occur until a company has developed its lightbulb idea into something real, tangible, and steady. In other words, Series A funding typically takes place once a company has a solid track record to speak of.

Most startups must reach several key performance indicators (KPIs), such as having a dependable crowd of users and steady sales figures before achieving this level of stable investment. For its part, Walnut has clearly reached these benchmarks with flying colors as it took less than a year after its seed round for the startup to land a Series A round of investments.

Walnut funding comes from Eight Roads Ventures, a global venture capital firm that has been in operation since 1969. Eight Roads Ventures manages a robust $8 billion in assets and has invested in major tech firms, including Alibaba, Hibob, and Made.com.

Representatives from Eight Roads Ventures say they are excited to list their first sales experience platform amongst their latest investments. In addition, the firm has affirmed the importance of Walnut in a world responding to the ever-evolving challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the remote sales trend continues to accelerate, Eight Roads Ventures sees Walnut as a light of business stability in the darkness, blazing a trail toward a positive, one-of-a-kind remote selling experience.

Walnut’s Future Vision

It’s no secret that many companies — of all sizes — are still struggling to recover the financial ground lost during the past 18 months. The need to remove barriers of distance and lack of customization to increased sales has never been more pressing than it is right now.

And what about Walnut, the company that managed to put a combined $21 million in seed and Series A fundraising behind its revolutionary business idea in less than 12 months?

Where is the growing enterprise headed from here? For many observers, the next steps forward seem clear. Series A funding is normally obtained once a company has put down roots, established its viability, and is ready to take the next step. As a direct result, in the case of Walnut and optimized sales demos, the future is more clear-cut than usual.

Walnut plans to utilize its latest round of funding in two areas. First, it’s working to expand its international team in order to take advantage of future growth opportunities. This group of elite talent spans the globe from the U.S. to Europe and Israel. Secondly, Walnut will use the funding to continue to develop its platform and the cutting-edge technology that powers it.

In one short year, Walnut has managed to land the financial backing of a plethora of investors, cultivated a satisfied user base, and garnered a resounding vote of confidence from its stakeholders and customers alike.

With so much success already in the rearview mirror, it’s only a matter of time before the burgeoning enterprise becomes a household name and the globally recognized pioneer of Sales Experience Platforms.

Image Credit: rodnae productions; pexels; thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending

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Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play


London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs

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Deanna Ritchie


As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations

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Deanna Ritchie


As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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