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News

Mojo Mortgages, an online mortgage broker, has successfully secured £7m in Series A funding. Backers included NVM Private Equity, Maven Capital Partners as well as other investors.

The Manchester-based startup provides customers with algorithm-powered mortgage recommendations from over 90 lenders and offers free advice on their best option in under 15 minutes, before handling the entire application on their behalf.

Mojo, which had already raised £800k in an earlier seed round, will use the funds to continue its growth and innovation efforts.

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Starling Bank, a leading digital banking platform, has raised £60 million in a Series C funding round led by Merian Global Investors.

The challenger bank has also raised a further £15 million from its existing investor, bringing the total to £75 million.

The funding will be used to support Starling’s pioneering financial products in retail and SME banking as well as banking services in the UK. It will also enable the digital bank to accelerate its global expansion, focusing primarily on Europe.

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Facebook, the social media behemoth, has bought visual shopping startup GrokStyle.

The social network purchased at least four companies last year, such as startups that developed messaging and AI technologies.

Facebook said GrokStyle will contribute to the company’s AI capabilities, which have been a key focus for the social media giant for the past few years. 

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QVC, the shopping channel, has announced that is launching a new and updating its logo. 

Q Anytime is an app available on the iPhone. It is intended to complement the company's flagship app with a feed of shoppable videos, which are presented on demand in 5 to 8-minute segments. Customers can tap on a video to buy a product or get more details. Customers can also customise their feed by category or build a playlist by liking specific videos.

Their new logo conveys QVC's evolving character, as it features a square representing the many screens through which customers connect with QVC, as well as a re-imagined Q in a sleek, mobile-friendly format. 

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Spotify, the online music streaming platform, has announced that it has bought two podcast networks - Gimlet and Anchor - in undisclosed deals.

The company has also stated that it plans to spend a further $400-$500 million on multiple acquisitions in 2019 to enable it to expand within the podcast sector.

The firm believes that by increasing its podcast offering it is not only drawing in more customers who want to listen to podcasts, but who also go on to listen to music on the platform, thereby boosting the amount of time people spend on Spotify. 

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Farfetch, the luxury online retailer, has appointed Browns CEO Holli Rogers to the newly-created position of chief fashion officer. She was promoted to the role with immediate effect and will still continue as CEO of Browns. 

Farfetch bought Browns, the iconic luxury fashion retailer on London’s South Molton Street, about four years ago and is now seeking to expand into bricks-and-mortar retail.

At Browns, Holli Rogers has been credited with opening their first new store in 20 years, which is located in Shoreditch, London.

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Casper, the direct-to-consumer company best known for its bed-in-a-box mattresses, recently expanded its product assortment with the release of a smart nightlight called Casper Glow.

While the nightlight isn't Casper's first product outside of mattresses — the company has also released bed frames, bedding, dog beds and more since its launch — the Glow Light may be its most technological item and give it an edge over its competition. 

This move shows that Casper isn't just in the market to provide the tools necessary once you fall asleep. The startup is expanding into similar product areas to better compete for the entire sleep experience, from sunset to sunrise.

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The key channel for online fashion shoppers globally has switched from traditional laptop and desktop computers to mobile phones, according to new report The State of Fashion eCommerce in 2019.

The report also stressed that mobile is more than just a convenient and alternative channel to desktop, it’s one where consumer behaviour is different.

When shopping on their mobile consumers spend less time in a site and so retailers need to makes sure their mobile experiences enable their customers to get in and out quickly while also achieving their goals.

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European listed firms expect to receive £396.14 billion in total revenue from China in 2019, with luxury brands and automakers the most exposed sectors, according to a Refinitiv analysis of company data.

The importance of the purchasing power of China’s expanding middle class has had a large impact on the corporate and economic health of Europe, which has led to concerns as their spending has slowed alongside the slowing of Chinese economic growth.

Among the pan-European STOXX 600 index, consumer firms including Swatch, Richemont and BMW, derived the biggest section of revenues from China with a total of €127 billion in sales.

That equates to nearly a third of the estimated €456 billion in total revenue to be derived from China. The total 2019 revenue for Europe’s listed firms is €6.7 trillion, which means that China accounts for about 7%.

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Pinterest, the image collective social media platform, has hired Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan with regards to going public in the first six months of 2019. 

The San Francisco-based company was founded in 2008 and claims to have 250 million monthly active users. It is experiencing strong growth, reporting revenue of $700 million for 2018, which was 50% higher than 2017.

Pinterest was valued at $12 billion in its last fundraising round in 2017 and could be set to raise around $1.5 billion (£1.1 billion) in the IPO.

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