Check out the trailer for Jordan Peele’s new YouTube series ‘Weird City’

Mastermind Jordan Peele is a very busy man these days, working on new projects including the movie “Us,” an upcoming Twilight Zone reboot, a Netflix stop-motion animated movie called “Wendell and Wild,” as well as two Amazon shows. But the Academy Award winner is also making time for YouTube.

The first trailer for “Weird City,” a sci-fi anthology series with an absolutely amazing cast, dropped today.

The series was created by Peele and “Key and Peele” writer Charlie Sanders, and follows the lives of various characters in the future city of Weird, where the middle class has disappeared and left only the rich (living “above the line”) and the poor (“below the line”).

The Weird City cast includes Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ed O’Neill, Awkwafina, Laverne Cox, Steven Yeun, Dylan O’Brien and Gillian Jacobs.

The show drops February 13 on YouTube Premium.

Revolut hires Freetrade co-founder and former CTO as head of Wealth & Trading Product

The London fintech industry is pretty close-knit, full of strong personalities and, at times, fiercely competitive. Within this context it is quite common for employees — and sometimes even founders — to swap sides. The latest such move sees André Mohamed, previously CTO and a co-founder of Freetrade, join rival Revolut as its new Head of Wealth & Trading Product.

Freetrade launched its “zero-fee” trading app in October last year, four months after Revolut announced its intention to add commission-free trading to its banking app, in a bid to compete with Silicon Valley’s Robinhood. That feature has yet to see the light of day, although I’m told it is still on track to launch this quarter. That makes the hiring of Mohamed from Freetrade all the more noteworthy. He joined Revolut in November.

The circumstances that saw Mohamed depart Freetrade remain unclear. According to my sources, his contract was terminated last year and the two parties settled, with Freetrade accepting no liability. Companies House records show that the former CTO resigned as a director of Freetrade on 7 September 2018. According to one person familiar with Mohamed’s side of the story, the former CTO had a difference in philosophy to that of Freetrade co-founder and CEO Adam Dodds. Founder disputes are not uncommon, after all (and I should know!).

Freetrade declined to comment on the specific reasons for Mohamed’s departure, but did provide TechCrunch with the following statement:

“In the first half of last year, it became clear to us we were not shipping the Freetrade product fast enough. We decided to bring in new technical leadership. Ian Fuller joined us as our new VP Engineering in July. Coming from Snap, and Amazon before that, he arrived with deep experience in shipping and scaling mobile products to millions of users. Under his leadership, we’ve finally launched our app and have been working on a new investment platform, which we are excited about rolling out in the coming months.”

Meanwhile, Mohamed’s background suggests he is a good fit for Revolut’s soon-to-launch trading product, and not just based on inside experience as a co-founder of Freetrade (it’s curious that Mohamed doesn’t appear to have signed a non-compete clause). He has a Computer Science degree from UCL, coupled with 20 years industry experience where he has worked at a number of leading fintech startups, SMEs, tier 1 investment banks and capital markets technology consultancies. He is also a former colleague of Revolut co-founder and CTO Vlad Yatsenko, from their time at Lab49.

“It’s a company that you don’t come across very often, so I jumped at the opportunity,” says Mohamed in a statement. “Revolut has a huge customer base and global ambitions, at a completely different scale to any company I’ve worked at before. It’s extremely exciting to be part of a fast-growing scale-up that is growing rapidly and getting worldwide recognition. The products we are building are truly disruptive, and we can’t wait for the trading products to join the roster of other fantastic money-saving financial products on offer at Revolut.”

As head of Wealth & Trading Product, Mohamed is said to be focused on delivering Revolut’s commission-free trading platform as well as a complementary robo-advisor offering.

If you have tips regarding London’s fintech scene, get in touch confidentially by emailing me at

Mr Jeff bags $12M Series A to replace trips to the laundromat

If you thought the on-demand laundry space had run out of startup steam, here’s a bit of a conditioner: Spanish startup Mr Jeff has bagged a $12 million Series A, led by All Iron Ventures.

The 2016-founded firm currently offers home laundry and dry cleaning services, including on-demand and monthly subscription options, in seven countries, with a focus on LatAm. Last August it acquired Brazilian laundry franchise Lava é Leva to move into another market in the region.

The franchise model sets the approach apart from some other on-demand laundry startups that already folded. That and a focus on markets with lower rates of washing machine ownership. Ergo, they’re disrupting trips to the laundromat.

The company closed 2018 with more than 1,000 franchises operating, and more than 150 direct employees plus 2,400+ indirect employees working to turn the customer’s in-app tap into clean and ironed clothes returned to them within 48 hours.

Flush with new funding, Mr Jeff says it’s aiming to have franchises operating in 30 countries by the end of 2019, looking east to Asia. It also plans to consolidate its LatAm position by expanding its operations in Panama, Costa Rica and Uruguay.

Prior to the Series A, it had raised around $3.5 million in seed funding, including from European entrepreneurs such as Albert Armengol (CEO of Doctoralia), Jeroen Merchiers (managing director of Airbnb Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Kim Jung ( CEO of NXC Corp.).

It adds that a majority of its earlier investors have opted to continue to support the company by participating in the Series A.

This report was updated with a correction after the company told us it is in fact headquartered in Valencia, rather than Madrid as its PR implied.

OneLogin snares $100M investment to expand identity solution into new markets

OneLogin is not a young startup by any means. The identity access management company was founded in 2009 and has watched while companies like Ping Identity, Duo Security and Okta had tidy exits. But as CEOs are fond of pointing out, the total addressable market is large and where investors see a chance, they take it. Today, the company announced a $100 million investment.

The latest round was led by new investors Greenspring Associates and Silver Lake Waterman, the late-stage investing arm of Silver Lake. Existing investors CRV and Scale Venture Partners also contributed to the round. Today’s investment brings the total raised since inception to more than $170 million, according to the company.

It is referring to this as a “growth round,” but indicated that actually means Series D plus “flexible capital.” Whatever you call it, it would appear to give OneLogin some runway to grow large enough to find a way to exit.

CEO Brad Brooks says his company is well-positioned to compete with the likes of Okta and Microsoft in this market by offering a multi-faceted authentication solution that works both on-prem and in the cloud. He swept aside questions of revenue, valuation or IPO plans, only indicating that the company was growing and they had big expansion plans.

Photo: OneLoginThat would include building on its success in Europe, while expanding to Asia and creating more specific solutions in the U.S., such as focusing on FedRamp federal government compliance. The company currently has more than 260 employees, and with the new money, Brooks wants to put the pedal to the metal.

He plans to double that number in the next 18 months, as he fuels that expansion plan, bringing in new engineers along with sales, marketing and support. He wouldn’t rule out acquisitions to expand the company’s capabilities, but said his preference is building in-house over buying. He believes that building provides an internal goal of innovation and offers the kind of challenges that attract engineering talent.

Brooks came on board in 2017, replacing co-founder Thomas Pedersen, who moved into the role of chairman of the board and chief technology Officer. Its most recent round prior to today was a $22.5 million Series C last June.