Tis the Season to Get Funded: Linko, Eyeglass24, Amorelie and More

By David Knight |

The January funding season is in full swing, with announcements of new investments coming thick and fast. On top of the news that Finnish-American mobile enterprise startup Linko has secured $2.6 million (€1.9m) in seed funding and acquired Berlin-based company Localstream is the latest raft of investments from the German Startup Group (GSG), as well as funding for Eyeglass24 and Amorelie.

Munich-based Eyeglass24, which offers an online service to re-lens old glasses, completed its first round of funding with a six-figure sum from Whitestone Communication Networks and other private investors. Eyeglass24 users can order new lenses to be put into existing frames they send in.

Founder and CEO Jacsha Chong Luna said the money would be used for growth and to expand marketing activities.

Online sex shop Amorelie, meanwhile – which offers a product range that “covers not only toys but also exclusive lingerie as well as sensual products, such as erotic literature” – sealed funding in the millions from, among others, Epic Companies, the incubator from ProSiebenSat.1, and the German Startup Group.

At the same time, GSG also unveiled six other investments. As with its previous deals, the latest seven portfolio companies represent a wide variety of size, business model and structure. GSG was itself founded with a view to eventually going public, enabling everyday investors to put their money into Berlin’s booming tech scene without having to take the risk of betting the house on one startup in particular.

The latest tranche of GSG investments include later-stage startups like Delivery Hero, reBuy and MisterSpex as well as earlier stage companies such as ePetworld, Funanga and eWings.

Additionally, the fund has strengthened its cooperation with Cooperativa Venture Services over portfolio administration and control, while initiating a co-investments partnership with company builder Venture Stars.

Linko’s investment, meanwhile, comes primarily from an international mix of angel investors, including Giuseppe Donagemma, Pekka Vartiainen, Pertti Melamies, Roberto Condulmari and others. The company automates customer relations management by aggregating data from smartphone and tablet applications and delivering reports in real time through intelligent, user-managed filters.

On the acquisition of Localstream, Linko founder and CEO Mikko Alasaarela said: “We saw a strong synergy between the Localstream technology platform and Linko’s core product. Automated location-aware customer communication data will offer a huge advantage to sales managers who embrace mobile devices as sales tools.”

Tuesday’s raft of funding announcements comes after Delivery Hero, Quandoo and online premium discount store Lesara – which bagged a seven-figure sum – on Monday.