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30 April 2021
Maddymoney startup investment-news

Electric airplanes and green cement – see it to believe it in this week’s MaddyMoney

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

Total
£211.5M
Number of deals
12

£215K for Cquestr8 carbon capture

In this seed investment round, led by Counteract, Cquestr8 has raised £215K. The company is working on a process where carbon dioxide is captured as bicarbonate, and then used to reverse ocean acidification. The money raised will go towards developing proof of concept.

Andrew Shebbeare, managing partner at Counteract, commented:

“We get particularly excited by carbon removal applications with systemic benefits. The Cquestr8 team combines deep chemical engineering expertise with extreme care for the natural environment and is uniquely placed to develop a product not only combating the climate emergency but also helping sustain marine ecosystems.”

“We believe their idea can reach Gigaton scale, with a host of practical customer applications from point source to direct air capture.”

AI care management solution raises £31M

Current Health masterminds healthcare outside the hospital; healthcare and pharmaceutical organisations can use its platform to coordinate the treatment and management of all their patients.

The healthtech has just closed a £31M Series B round, led by Northpond Ventures. The round also saw participation from LRVHealth, OSF HealthCare, Section 32, Elements Health Ventures, and existing investors. It will go towards international expansion.

CEO and cofounder Chris McCann said:

“Healthcare providers must move away from point solutions and develop system-wide strategies to deliver care at home. We’ve built Current Health to serve as the ‘mission control’ for organisations to transition healthcare from the hospital to the home and meet patients where they are. Our Series B financing, from the top investors in both healthcare and pharma, will enable us to rapidly grow on a global scale and meet the demand for an integrated, enterprise approach.”

Flexible work pioneer Juggle Jobs closes Crowdcube campaign

In its founder and CEO Romanie Thomas’ own words, Juggle Jobs “helps SMEs to hire exceptional senior professionals on a self-employed or flexible basis.”

“We’ve built a solid community of over 13,000 professionals across a range of functions – including finance, HR and marketing – to fulfil demand from customers who need delivery minded, self-managing, experienced people.”

Following a successful stint on Crowdcube, the startup has raised £467K – beating its target by over 130%. The money will go towards team growth, expanding product offering, and connecting more employers with more workers.

TMT Investments leads 3s.money Series B

Online banking service 3s.money focuses on international payments. The fintech has just raised £3M in Series B funding in a Series B round led by TMT Investments. At the moment, 3s.money has offices in London, Dubai, Amsterdam, Luxembourg and Riga. The new cash will be channeled into hiring new employees and expanding into even more countries.

Ivan Zhiznevskiy, CEO of 3s.money, said:

As an operationally profitable bank challenger serving a distinct segment of the market, it was great to receive such strong and quick support from the VC’s. We service mid-market clients from over 190 countries, supporting their high-value international payments through our extended correspondent network; a market that is dramatically underserved by both the pure online players and big merchant banks.”

BT challenger Cuckoo rakes in £4.3M

Cuckoo offers simple and fast fibre broadband, which customers pay for on a monthly rolling basis. It has just raised £4.3M to build out its team and grow its reach.

A website statement read: “Since our launch last year in July, we’ve been building and tinkering to create a great experience for our customers. We’ve had some big wins and deep learnings over that time. So it feels great to today announce an exciting new phase of growth. We’re welcoming two successful investors as shareholders in the business.”

These two shareholders are RTP Global – who will contribute to Cuckoo’s efforts to build software that’s scaleable – and JamJar, from the founders of Innocent.

Founded by sisters, SoSyncd secures £720K

SoSyncd is a dating that matches people based on their Myers-Briggs personality type. The organisation has just closed a seed round, led by Upscalers, with contributions from KM Capital and several Angels. With the funds, the SoSyncd sisters have plans to expand operations to the US.

Cofounder and COO Louella Alderson commented on how SoSyncd is changing the game:

“We have a perfectly even split of men and women which improves the experience for everyone.”

“We have a highly engaged user base. A match on our app is seven times more likely to result in a conversation compared to the industry average.”

Connecting people through gaming, Live Tech Games garners £1M

Spearheading a revolution in mobile entertainment, Live Tech Games combines mobile and live to make communal gaming tournaments. The brand has just raised £1M, to feed growth, from several Angels.

Nathan Moore, CEO, and cofounder of Live Tech Games, said:

“Raising investment in one lockdown was a challenge and, we never expected to have to do it for a second round. We saw so much promise for the future of Live Tech Games in the beta launch of our first app and we were delighted our investors felt the same.”

“The early success points towards a growing commercial opportunity in the B2B and media sectors and this incredible investment will allow us to reinforce the potential Live Tech Games has to be a leading industry pioneer.”

£25M overall Series A for Kent-based aviation tech

Autonomous Flight is creating a six-seater electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft; flights on the so-called Y6S Plus generate zero carbon emissions and don’t require a runway. The hope is that we eventually see these kinds of vehicles used for short journeys in urban areas.

The company, founded by Martin Warner (botObjects, Parcel Fly, Flix Premiere) has just raised £5M, which forms part of a wider £25M Series A funding round. With plans afoot to launch in 2023, funding will go towards development and testing.

iKVA raises £1.5M seed to start AI rollout

Cambridge University spinout iKVA has raised £1.5M to get going with the commercial rollout of its AI technology.

The organisation provides knowledge management solutions, amalgamating data from different sources so customers can easily search for what they need. Developed with a little help from institutions like the BBC and the Home Office, iKVA works especially with big multinationals who have staff operating from different places and on different platforms.

iKVA raised this £1.5M seed funding from Cambridge Enterprise, Crowdcube and others.

eSales Hub announces £1.7M raise

Trusted by big guns like British Gas and Europcar, eSales Hub gives businesses the tools they need to drive sales based on call data. Dyno/Centrica’s Alastair Donson says of the service: “We first started working with eSalesHub for lead generation and got great results. But then our relationship quickly switched through working in conjunction with them in realising the potential to being a valued data partner.”

eSales Hub has closed a £1.7M Series A, from the NPIF – Maven Equity Fund and Maven VCTs. Cash will go towards scaling the business and perfecting the organisation’s AI technology.

£1.3M for glamping à la FURTHER.SPACE

FURTHER.SPACE runs luxury ‘pod’ holidays across Scotland and Ireland. Scattered around castles, farms and bays, the pods provide space for up to four people and offer a hotel-quality experience. There’s heating, electricity, and lovely birchwood interiors.

Braced for a summer of staycations and a future of ecotourism, FURTHER.SPACE has secured £1.3M in growth funding from Foresight Group – under the Scottish Growth Scheme. The money will go towards scaling the business – which will involve hiring in the business development team and manufacturing more pods, to go in more locations. The plan is to install over 100 pods in Scotland over the next five years, helping landowners diversify their revenue streams in the process.

Last but definitely not least, a major Series D

Exscientia has closed its Series D round at £161.3M, with a further £215M available (from SoftBank) at the pharmatech company’s discretion. The round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 – and also saw contributions from Novo Holdings, Blackrock-managed funds, Mubadala Investment Company, Farallon Capital, Casdin Capital, GT Healthcare Capital, Marshall Wace, Pivotal bioVenture Partners, Laurion Capital, Hongkou and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Making use of AI to design patient-centric drugs, Exscientia has plans to fundamentally change how many drugs are created. CEO Andrew Hopkins said:

“All of our investors share Exscientia’s vision to discover better drugs, faster, through AI and automation.”

“Our patient-first AI platform has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to precision design drugs that address patients’ needs. With the Series D completed, the quality and depth of our shareholder base allows us the freedom to continue to scale both our platform and pipeline.”