10 April 2020

Investments continue for UK startups with £21.35M raised

Every week, Maddyness brings you the latest investment news from the UK startup scene. Here's a recap of this week's investments.

Number of deals

Open banking fintech Yapily raises £10.5M

Yapily, an enterprise connectivity solution has raised $13M (£10.5M) in a Series A funding round led by Lakestar, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and LocalGlobe, as well as angel investors. This new investment comes during a successful period for the fintech company with its revenue increasing by over 500%, staff growing and the entry into new markets – Italy, Ireland and France.

Yapily uses open API, powering applications behind the scenes, for its customers to seamlessly connect and access financial information to enrich the customer experience in banking, lending, payments, accounting and money management. With this investment, Yapily intends to expand open banking adoption by organisations across Europe providing a strong, secure and powerful connectivity layer that enhances customer experiences and creates financial opportunities.

Data-streaming and cloud provider Ably has raised £5.6M

Data-streaming and cloud provider Ably has raised $7M (£5.6M) in a Series A funding led by MMC Ventures with Forward Partners co-investing. Ably provides cloud infrastructure and APIs to empower developers to overcome more traditional complexities and deliver rich live experiences to their users. Companies such as HubSpot choose Ably to change the way they deliver real-time messaging services globally.

With this investment, the company will provide the new standard in real-time messaging infrastructure required for a connected future.

Sportswear price comparison raised £1.625M

Based in Durham,, a website that compares football merchandise and sportswear prices has received a £1.625M investment from Northstar Ventures that will enable the company to implement its expansion and global growth strategies. will use the investment to increase brand awareness, hire more people and develop its online technology so their customers can easily continue to find exclusive deals on sportswear.

VR expert Roto raises £1.5M

Roto VR, creators of the first interactive chair has raised £1.5M from Pembroke VCT, TVB Growth Fund and The FSE Group. Designed in 2015 by Elliott Myers and Gavin Waxkirsh, the Roto VR chair solves the issues associated with the use of VR.

The Roto VR chair is an advanced and interactive chair that tackles the physical problems of consumers using VR while seated, such as motion sickness and tangled cables and enhances the immersive experience with haptic feedback and vibration effects.

London foodtech Vertical Future receives a £1.1M seed investment

Based in London, Vertical Future, a foodtech business that specialises in vertical farming has secured £1.1M of follow-on investment from an existing investor Earthworm.

Vertical Future aims to improve health in cities through a better food production and supply system in urban centres. MiniCrops, its flagship Controlled Environment Agriculture initiative now works with over 100 high-and-mid-end restaurants across London and provides fresh produce for thousands of households.

This investment will be used by the startup to grow its proposition and support research and development, as well as to accelerate international growth plans and forming a basis for equipping the UK in the event of future economic shocks.

Health care provider Care Hires raises £500K

Care Hires, a cloud software solution that allows health & social providers to hire care staff more efficiently, has received a £500K angel seed investment. Care providers are struggling with staff shortages and Care Home Managers spend up to £7B a year using traditional agency staff. With this solution, Care Home Managers can post jobs via their own portal on The job is then published in real-time to the Care Hires network and filled with qualified candidates.

With this investment, Care Hires will roll out its service to Care Providers across the UK and hire new people. The startup also plans to boost its sales and marketing functions in addition to enhancing its tech infrastructure.

Renewable energy storage startup Gravitricity received £300K from Innovate UK

Edinburgh-based, Gravitricity has raised £300K from government agency Innovate UK to explore South Africa’s mineshaft potential, as gold mines could potentially be energy stores.

These energy stores could be essential to South Africa since their nation faces an energy crisis and has insufficient grid infrastructure to reliably connect electricity generation to power users. Gravitricity’s innovative energy battery works by raising multiple heavyweights of up to 12 tonnes in a deep shaft and releasing them when energy is required.

Training and coaching platform PushFar raised £250K

Career uplifting and mentoring solution PushFar has received a £250K Seed investment from private investors to strengthen its sales and marketing strategies and hire more team members. PushFar offers a cost-effective way to set up, run and report on mentoring and helps individuals and organisations across all aspects of career development. Furthermore, it offers personalised professional event recommendations, job listings and networking opportunities, among other features. 

This investment will enable PushFar to hire four new people and push its sales and marketing outreach to enter more markets.

This week, in France, 4 companies raised €52.7M.

Investments around the world…

Airbnb raises £1B for the post COVID-19 world

Despite the online rental marketplace having seen its business plummet due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Airbnb raised $1B in debt and equity from Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners. The coronavirus has prompted governments to issue stay-at-home orders which generated massive cancellations in the travel and hospitality sectors. Airbnb emphasized that the funds would support its strategic work to invest over the long term.

Data intelligence company Collibra raised $112.5M

Collibra provides tools to manage, warehouse, store and analyse data opportunities to help organizations unlock the value of their data and turn it into strategic, competitive assets. The company raised $112.5M with a valuation of $2.36B, bringing the company’s total venture funding to $345.5M. The funding round was led by ICONIQ Capital, Index Ventures, Durable Capital Partners LP, Battery Ventures, CapitalG and Dawn Capital.

Software innovation solution CircleCI raised a $100M Series E investment

Founded in 2011, CircleCI, the platform for software innovation at scale, has received a $100M Series E funding from IVP and Sapphire Ventures. With this investment, CircleCI will continue to provide the most advanced integration and continuous delivery solution to solve the world’s most complex software delivery needs.

Telehealth Tyto Care raised $50M

Tyto Care, the all-in-one telehealth platform for on-demand and remote medical examinations has received $50M from Insight Partners, Olive Tree Ventures, and Qualcomm Ventures LLC. This funding comes as the company experiences a surge in demand with rapid global telehealth adoption.

Hong-Kong based fintech startup Neat raises $11M

Neat, a Hong Kong-based fintech startup received an $11M Series A investment from Pacific Century Group, Visa, MassMutual Ventures Southeast Asia, Dymon Asia Ventures, Linear Capital and Sagamore Investments. This investment will be used to help small businesses do cross-border trade. The startup will also partner with Visa to start issuing Visa credit cards to SMEs and startups.

Other news from the financial world…

Blossom Capital creates Cultivate, an angel investment program

Led by Ophelia Brown, Blossom Capital has created Cultivate, an angel investment program to encourage ambitious founders to become unicorn pioneers. Cultivate aims to kickstart an angel ecosystem in Europe and to bring it to the same level that exists in Silicon Valley. Over the next 12 months, Cultivate aims to invest a total of $5M into 20 disruptive startups from across Europe, focussing at the seed and pre-seed stage.

Bacardi partners with Deliveroo

Spirits company Bacardi has partnered with online delivery platform Deliveroo to support bartenders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group with Deliveroo Editions have launched its #RaiseYourSpirits virtual bar as part of an initial £1.5M investment to support the hospitality industry during the mandatory shutdown of bars and restaurants. The initiative will launch in London and Manchester next week and aims to give over 120 bars a platform to sell their drinks to local customers across the country.