24 April 2020

As uncertainty continues 12 startups raise just under £40M this week

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

Sleep and mindfulness app for kids Moshi secured a £9.7M Series B round

Created in 2017, Moshi, an audio sleep and mindfulness app, received £9.7M ($12M) in Series B funding from Accel, Latitude Ventures, Triplepoint Capital and former MTV CEO and chairman Bill Roedy.

Moshi is a sleep and mindfulness app for kids with a selection of tuneful stories created to help kids fall asleep quickly. The calming and playful meditation sessions help kids relax and learn the basics of mindfulness with a collection of original instrumentals specifically composed to relax. With the investment, the company wants to accelerate its operations and develop its business spreading the benefits of calming mindfulness to the next generation.

Digital learning platform BibliU raises £8M

BibliU, a London-based digital learning platform that makes textbooks and reading materials accessible, received £8M ($10M) in a Series A equity funding round led by Nesta Impact Investments, Guinness Asset Management, Stonehage Fleming and ClearlySo.

This funding round will allow BibliU to continue transforming how higher education institutions make textbooks and supplementary reading materials accessible to their students in the U.K. and the U.S.

Natterbox secures £7.5M to accelerate global expansion

Natterbox, a leading provider of global voice cloud services, has secured £7.5M of growth equity funding from the Development Capital team at Octopus Investments. Natterbox is the world’s first global business phone system managed entirely within Salesforce. The platform enables companies to revolutionise interactions with customers over the phone enabling them to accelerate productivity, become more data-driven and offer a more streamlined, and personalised customer experience.

In 2019, the company doubled its client portfolio and expanded its relationships with several existing clients such as Fruit of the Loom, Groupon and Virgin Wines. With this funding, Natterbox will continue its global expansion, strengthen its sales and marketing operations, and further invest in its rapidly growing customer success and product development teams.

Living Optics, an Oxford-based imaging technology company raised £3.3M

Living Optics received £3.3M investment from Oxford Sciences Innovation and Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund. Founded in 2019 at the University of Oxford, Living Optics is commercializing next-generation imaging technology which leverages a compact camera system based on breakthroughs in hardware design and software processing.

With this investment, the company will continue to develop and expand its technology into mainstream markets, such as consumer products, manufacturing and medical devices.

Second-hand marketplace Luxury Promise raises £3M

Created in 2016 by Sabrina Sadiq, an expert in the world of luxury goods, Luxury Promise is an online marketplace for rare and vintage handbags and accessories and has received £3M ($3.75M) in Series A investment from Beringea and Lloyd Amsdon. The business has also expanded its operations into London and Dubai.

With this funding, the marketplace hopes to enable consumers to shop sustainably for pre-owned luxury goods which are authenticated and if needed repaired by experts.

BtoB solution Precursive raises £2.5M

Based in London, Precursive, a BtoB platform which allows clients to manage a wide range of business processes, secured £2.5M from Maven Capital Partners. Co-founded in 2011 by Jonathan Corrie and Andy Mahood. Precursive provides companies with a SaaS-based modular platform to manage resource management, project planning, accounting, forecasting, reporting and client onboarding.

With the funds, the company plans to expand across the UK and enter the US market as well as continuing its product development and growing its sales and marketing teams.

Insurtech raises £2M

Insurtech startup offers contextual AI, a revolutionary system that enables insurance claims to be settled within just 24 hours. The company has received $2.5M from Amadeus Capital Partners, a specialist in deep tech investing, Playfair Capital and Techstars.

This investment will enable to build a world-class data science and engineering team, expand its sales operations and enter the US. This expansion is based on its confidence that demand for insurance automation will be positively impacted by the current global pandemic.

Analytics specialist Count raises £1.7M in funding

Headquartered in London, Count, a provider of data consolidation and analytics has raised £1.7M in funding from LocalGlobe and Global Founders Fund. Led by Ollie Hughes, CEO & co-founder, Count provides an all-in-one data platform enabling teams to combine, organise and visualise their data using notebooks.

With the funding, the company plans to continue to expand operations and increase its business reach.

Ecommerce chat startup Blueprint raises £1M

Blueprint, the tech startup reimagining the way we purchase and communicate with our favourite brands, has announced a £1M seed investment led by Magnus Rausing’s MAHR Projects and including Founders Factory and Hambro Perks.

Blueprint aims to disrupt the retail process that has been built on email or online communication and traditional, clunky checkout systems and offer brands higher retention rates, greater engagement and clearer ROI on marketing spend.

Zeigo raises £800K in a seed funding round

Zeigo is an innovative green-tech platform that connects corporate energy buyers with renewable energy suppliers. It provides access, transparency and data insights, allowing customers to access the market and build a business case.

In the current digital shift due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Zeigo will make it easier for corporations to become visible on local clean energy markets and connect with generators without the need to be ‘on the ground’.

Refillable deodorant company Wild raised £500K

Wild, a new refillable deodorant company that is 100% compostable and biodegradable, has raised a £500K seed investment in a bid to introduce sustainability to the bathroom. The startup aims to address the lack of innovation across the personal care sector, particularly in the approach to recycling in the bathroom.

With this funding, Wild plans to introduce a curated selection of high quality natural personal care products, that will help create a more sustainable daily routine easier for everyone.

Student accommodation app Housemates raises £100K

Founded by Lydia Jones in 2019 in Manchester, student accommodation marketplace Housemates has secured £100K of pre-seed funding from GC Angels. Housemates is a mobile platform that automates the process of onboarding students into accommodation.

The platform, which is aimed at both private landlords and PBSA chains, requires no upfront cost and is free to sign up to for property owners. This funding will help Housemates to support its plans to expand its platform across the UK and internationally.


Investments around the world

Stripe raises $600M at $36B valuation in Series G

Stripe, which builds economic infrastructure for the internet, raised an additional $600M Series G round from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, GV, and Sequoia. The funding takes place on the same terms and valuation as the Series G. Stripe aims to grow the GDP of the internet by providing an on-ramp to the digital economy for businesses around the world.

Event streaming platform Confluent raised a $250M Series E

Confluent, the event streaming platform has closed a $250M Series E round led by Coatue Management. Right now, the adoption of event streaming is accelerating as the demand for real-time digital experiences is higher than ever. With this funding, Confluent plans to help more companies put event streaming at the core of their businesses.

A concert raised $128M for WHO

Some of the world’s top stars have helped to raise nearly $128M for the World Health Organization during the coronavirus pandemic by performing in a concert broadcast globally. Dozens of celebrities and musicians, including Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder and the Rolling Stones, took part in the 8-hour show called “One World: Together At Home.” Global Citizen, an international advocacy group that organized the event, said early Sunday on Twitter that $127.9M had been pledged in donations. Following the live broadcast, Global Citizen tweeted: “$127.9M for COVID-19 relief. That is the power and impact of One World: #TogetherAtHome.” Lady Gaga responded to this tweet, saying: “I am so humbled to have been a part of this project.”

German Mobile investor Trade Republic raised €62M

Mobile investing pioneer Trade Republic has received a €62M Series B round from Accel and Founders Fund, to further the development of a European platform for mobile saving, investing, and trading. In Accel and Founders Fund, Trade Republic gains two of the world’s most renowned technology investors, as it opens up investing in the capital markets for more people across Europe.

French fashion tech Vestiaire Collective raises €59M

Vestiaire Collective, the global platform for pre-owned fashion secures a €59M round of financing from existing shareholders along with Korelya Capital backed by Naver, Fidelity International, Vaultier7, a specialist female-led consumer fund, and Cuir Invest, backed by the French Leather industry. Vestiaire Collective is committed to limit the waste produced by the fashion industry, by keeping clothes out of a landfill and increasing the number of times they are worn today, for a better tomorrow.

French health insurtech Alan has raised $54.4M

French startup Alan has received a $54.4M (€50M) Series C investment from Temasek and Index Ventures. Overall, Alan has raised $136M (€125M) over the past four years. Alan has built a health insurance product for the French market. The company first started with a well-designed insurance product and wants to tackle all things related to personal health in the future.