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AudaCity of Fashion toasts fashion creativity

AudaCity of Fashion invited a select, influential group of fashion bloggers and other fashion creatives to celebrate our launch at Felicities showroom on the Hoxton/Shoreditch borders.

Shoreditch is home to the famed ‘Silicon Roundabout’ where the most innovative tech start-ups in Europe cut their teeth and where Google Campus has set up shop. Hoxton as you may know, is the centre of London’s contemporary art world and home to The White Cube. AudaCity’s launch event couldn’t have been a better geographical location because in actual fact, our fashion crowdfunding platform enables creative vision through technical innovation.

We raised our glasses to the three campaigns we launched with: Operation Wardrobe, Jerboa Jewellery and Ada Zanditon. Among other notables in the house were Rivkie Baum, Editor of Drafted Magazine, Danny Keeling and Joshua White from Candid Magazine, the super-lovely Jay Pinxie Turnbull,  Alice Wilby from the ethical fashion magazine FutureFrock, Andree Latibeaudiere from IndiePRGirl, Alison Lewy from Fashion Angel and Hannah French, of the Forsyth Group who invests in SeedCamp.

Former Mr Porter global marketing acquisition manager joins Styloko as marketing director


Orla Barrett has joined social shopping site as its new marketing director from Mr Porter.

Barrett was Mr Porter’s first marketing hire and has now been tasked with establishing Styloko as a global fashion destination.

With more than a decade of marketing experience behind her, having also served as a product marketing manager for Google, Barrett’s expertise in building a luxury brand, social media, and digital marketing strategies are hoped to be an asset to the brand as it looks to communicate its offering to customers.

“Orla is a fantastic addition to the team. With a background in fashion as well as technology she immediately understood our vision…Orla’s role will be to find innovative ways to introduce more shoppers to the convenience of the Styloko experience,” commented Styloko co-founder Ivailo Jordanov.

Barrett added: “As a self-confessed techy and Google alumni, Styloko’s innovative technology really appealed to me, and from a marketing perspective it’s always exciting to promote a product which is truly the first within its field. Following my experience of launching Mr Porter this role provides a fresh challenge and I look forward to communicating Styloko’s visionary features to a new audience.”

Brett invited to attend Hy! Berlin


Brett invited to attend Hy! Berlin

hy! brings together 150 creators who push boundaries in technology & media. They will engage in powerful dialogue in a laid-back atmosphere while discovering Berlin.

Attendees will include Charles Adler (Kickstarter), Jawed Karim (YouTube), Renaud Visage (Eventbrite), Travis Kalanick (Uber), Francis Pedraza (Everest) and many more.

This summer, hy! welcomes special guests including young entrepreneurs and high profile players in the national and international start-up scene as well as the leaders of European businesses and politics. The three-day event commences on Sunday, June 2nd with a live show for the public, and then becomes an invitation-only summit for 150 pioneers of the start-up scene.

From June 2nd to the 4th hy! Berlin’s main focus is the creative digitisation of the European ecosystem. The diverse program of the opening show on Sunday reflects this principle and offers the audience not only captivating discussions, but also the trademark hy! start-up competition, including new and innovative industry players.

HPI appoints Madhur Srivastava as consumer director

Our clients HPI have recently completed a strengthening of the management team and Forsyth Group are proud to have assisted the company in placing Madhur Srivistar as consumer director with the company.

A new management team has been appointed at HPI, with Roger Evans as the new automotive sales director, and Madhur Srivastava as consumer director.

 They are joined by Dominique Horton, who takes the role of chief financial officer, and new head of industry relations, Barry Shorto.

Evans has previously held a number of senior positions, including director of business development and European sales manager for Avis Rent-a-Car, head of developments at the AA, and director of sales North America for Europcar.

E-commerce expert Srivastava joins HPI after founding pay-to-bid auction site, Madbid in 2008. In his role as operations director, Madhur oversaw the growth of Madbid which achieved a turnover of £10-12 million within three years.

In addition to five years in specialist claims management, Horton worked in manufacturing, distribution and utilities industries.

Shorto, who has been with HPI for more than nine years, will be responsible for developing relationships with influencers across the motor, finance and insurance industries as well as with key government representatives.

Congratulations to the fabulous team from TransferWise

P2P Currency Exchange TransferWise Raises $6M Led By Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, With Participation From SV Angel, Others

Steve O’ Hear



Here’s some encouraging news for the European startup scene, and London in particular.TransferWise, the online currency exchange that uses the crowd to undercut traditional money transfer services, has announced that it’s closed a $6 million series A round led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures — the first investment in Europe by the PayPal co-founder and early Facebook investor’s international fund.

We also understand that Ron Conway’s SV Angel has joined this round, along with a small number of angels, and TransferWise’s existing backers IA Ventures, Index, Seedcamp, and TAG. This brings the total raised by the company to $7.35 million since its launch just two years ago.

Originally billing itself as the “Skype of money transfer,” TransferWise enables individuals and businesses to send money between countries for a fraction of the price that banks and others charge, using a peer-to-peer, “crowdsourced” model — where money destined for transfer doesn’t unnecessarily actually leave each country. It passes on these saving by charging a small flat fee per transfer.

(It’s the P2P element that playfully draws the Skype comparison, as well as the fact that TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus was the Internet calling giant’s first employee, while other members of his team also worked at the company.)

The company also pitches itself as the preferred method of money transfer for European startups, recently garnering some decent PR with an offer to waive the fees for a total of $100 million worth of international money transfers for qualifying startups using the TransferWise platform. Interestingly, Thiel was one of a host of names publicly endorsing the campaign, so we probably should have known something was going down.

Hinrikus tell me that the new funding will enable TransferWise to continue expanding, both in terms of the number of currencies it plans to support, and in raw head-count. It started out offering British Pound and Euro transfers, and has since added support for the U.S. Dollar, Swiss Franc, Polish Zloty, and Danish, Swedish and Norwegian Krone. In total, the company claims to have transferred over £125m worth of customers’ money, saving £5 million-plus in banking fees (though it isn’t without competition). Meanwhile, the team has grown to 33 members of staff.

“There’s another dozen currencies to be launched this year and 20 more people needed in the team,” says Hinrikus. “Also we need to launch locally in key European markets – Germany, France and Spain.” Hinrikus says TransferWise continues to grow between 20-30 percent a month, which to date equals roughly 10x year-on-year growth. “Doing what’s in the pipeline puts us on track to do another 5-10x this year,” he says.

Staying on message, London-based TransferWise (with an office also in Tallinn, Estonia) is now calling itself a Tech City startup. Tech City, headed up by Joanna Shields, ex-Google, AOL/Bebo, and most recently Facebook’s head of EMEA operations, is the UK government’s re-branding of the London tech scene and, specifically, East London’s “Silicon Roundabout” area.

Cue the now prerequisite statement from Shields: “Transferwise is a shining example of the successful businesses that make Tech City a thriving ecosystem. London has a real strength in financial services and technology, with many companies like Transferwise transforming financial services for consumers, for the better.”

That said, TransferWise’s HQ is on Shoreditch High Street, which doesn’t get any more Silicon Roundabout than that. And certainly, a $6 million series A is no mean feat for a European startup, and nor is attracting a top tier Silicon Valley investor like Peter Thiel.




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