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25 June 2021
Maddymoney startup investment-news

Celebrity video messages, laundry and sustainable protein all star 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.

Number of deals

VR experience startup Otherworld secures £2.9M

Out-of-home virtual reality experience creators Otherworld is set to expand its unique world of VR content across the UK and internationally after raising £2.9M.

Edge Investments led the Series A round, with follow-on investment from specialist leisure investor Imbiba and participation from games industry veterans Chris Lee and Rupert Loman.

The Otherworld team has signed deals to open two prime locations in London Victoria and Birmingham this summer, with plans to expand to a further three locations in Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow over the next 12 months. Internationally, Otherworld is recruiting franchise partners in Germany and the United States.

Insurtech unicorn Tractable lands £43M Series D investment

London-based Tractable, which helps insurance companies rapidly process claims with AI, has secured a Series D round of £43M led by North American duo Insight Partners and Georgian.

Tractable develops artificial intelligence systems for accident and disaster recovery. Its AI solutions process over $2B (£1.43B) a year in vehicle repairs and purchases, and have been deployed by over 20 of the world’s top insurers across Europe, North America and Asia, helping millions of households recover from accidents faster.

The raise more than doubles its funding to date and pushes the company valuation to over $1B (£716M).

Personalised celebrity video message platform Thrillz secures £1.3M

Thrillz has raised £1.3M to scale its rapidly growing marketplace enabling creators and celebrities to commercialise via fan engagement, corporate partnerships and exclusive content.

The investor base includes WatchMojo founder and CEO Ashkan Karbasfrooshan, celebrities, family offices and strategic partners, in addition to executives from the private equity and venture capital industry.

Since launching, the London-based company has grown at over 100% per month and is valued at £10M.

Climate tech startup Ecologi gains £4M

Reforestation and climate action platform Ecologi has secured £4M of investment to help scale its climate action and plant a million trees a day.

Ecologi is a subscription service for the planet where individuals, families and businesses can put their pocket change into funding the most impactful climate solutions. This investment, led by General Catalyst, will help Ecologi progress its climate impact exponentially as it races towards its target to reduce 50% of global emissions by 2040.

The funding will enable the launch of an innovative service that allows businesses to measure their carbon footprint automatically via Open Banking. It is hoped this offering will revolutionise the traditional way of calculating carbon footprints, which have previously been expensive to determine, and will allow Ecologi to offer this for businesses at a fraction of the price.

Beamery secures £99M to help business clients find talent

Beamery, the talent operating system that helps companies attract, engage and retain top talent, has raised £99M  in Series C funding led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board through its Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP).

TIP focuses on late-stage venture and growth equity investments in companies that use technology to disrupt incumbents and create new sectors. Accenture Ventures also participated alongside existing investors EQT Ventures, Index Ventures, M12 and Workday Ventures.

This new investment will fuel extensive product development, accelerate commercial growth in existing and new geographies, double its rapidly growing employee base, and boost Beamery’s position in the talent space.

Caura raises £3M to simplify car ownership

Caura – a vehicle management platform that aims to eliminates the hassle, stress, and expenses associated with driving in the UK – has raised £3M to expand its products, including a new B2B offering for car manufacturers.

The funding round was led by TwinFocus Capital Partners, with participation from InMotion Ventures (the CVC arm of Jaguar Land Rover), Road Ventures, Pareto Holdings and Quiet Capital. Notable angels also joined including Jon Oringer, founder of Shutterstock; Antony Sheriff, former CEO of McLaren Automotive; and Rob Wilmot, serial entrepreneur, investor and advisor to the UK Government. Unnamed Apple and Google executives also joined the round.

Caura launches in 2021 include Android and web apps that enable drivers to manage every aspect of their car admin and payments from all major platforms, and continuous development of features and functionality to better manage parking, tolls, congestion charges, MOT, and insurance, including now serving Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ).

Oxwash’s secures £2M for on-demand laundry service

Oxwash has raised £2M in seed expansion investment to clean up the traditional and environmentally-costly washing and dry cleaning sector with its space-age technology.

The on-demand laundry company uses water-saving ozone technology to sterilise fabrics at lower temperatures, thermal and biodegradable chemical processes to achieve higher than medical-grade disinfection, dissolvable laundry bags, and with electric cargo bikes for hyper local pickups and deliveries.

Investors in the round include former Pinterest and Beyond Meat backers Future Positive Capital (NYC/SF); Clean Ventures (NYC); Conduit-Ascension EIS Impact Fund; Holly Branson, chief purpose & vision Ooficer at Virgin Group; Sam Branson, filmmaker, musician and philanthropist; Pentland Group (Berghaus and Speedo), Leon Lewis (River Island) and founder of, Paul Forster.

ENOUGH raises £36.7M fo its sustainable protein

Food tech startup ENOUGH (formerly 3F BIO), who are pioneering high scale sustainable protein production, has raised £36.7M in Series B funding.

ENOUGH produces ABUNDA mycoprotein, fermenting fungi using renewable feedstocks to make the most sustainable source of food protein.

The funding round is led by Nutreco, a global leader in animal nutrition and aqua feed, and Olympic Investments Inc., along with new investors including AXA IM Alts through the AXA Impact Fund – Climate & Biodiversity, HAL Investments and Tailored Solutions. Existing investors CPT Capital and Scottish Enterprise are also participating and CPT Capital will remain the largest shareholder in the company.

Browser testing platform BrowserStack raises £143M

BrowserStack has secured £143M in Series B funding at a £2.86B valuation. The round was led by BOND, with participation from Insight Partners and existing investor Accel.

BrowserStack offers software testing on the cloud, with over 50,000 customers and 4M developer signups. The investment will support BrowserStack’s strategic acquisitions, expansion of its product offerings, and continued scale and growth.

Its customers include Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Twitter, Tesco, IKEA, Spotify, Expedia, and Trivago. As a developer-first brand, BrowserStack has focused on product-led growth and is profitable since its inception.

Digital construction firm Modulous secures £5M

CEMEX Ventures has made a follow-on investment of £5M in Modulous, a UK-based company that exploits technology in a bid to modernise the design and construction of affordable housing, making the process more efficient and scalable.

Modulous has created a software platform to streamline design and overhaul the inefficient logistics that weigh down the sector. It has also developed a precision-engineered apartment product that enables high quality, affordable, sustainable homes to be computer designed and delivered to a specific cost. Unlike other companies utilising MMC, Modulous is an asset-light business with no factories.

The new funding will expand the company’s building design team, grow its technology team, and speed up the evolution of its software platform, being developed to exploit AI technology in a bid to make delivering homes better in every way possible.

Big Drop Brewing
Panoramic Growth & Rubix Ventures
Barclays, Octopus Ventures, Aggreko & Cambridge Innovation Capital
Edge Investments & Others
BlackRock, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, JPMorgan Chase, Nationwide, Ping An & Westpac
Insight Partners & Georgian
General Catalyst & Entrée Capital
EQT Ventures & Others
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board,  Accenture Ventures,  EQT Ventures, Index Ventures, M12 &Workday Ventures
on Hand
Northstar Ventures & Others
IQ Capital, Crane Venture Partners & Backed VC
TwinFocus Capital Partners, InMotion Ventures, Road Ventures, Pareto Holdings, Quiet Capital & Angels
Future Positive Capital & Angels
SFC Capital, Antler & Angels
Enough Food
Nutreco, Olympic Investments Inc, AXA Impact Fund, HAL Investments, Tailored Solutions, CPT Capital & Scottish Enterprise
Accel, Insight Partners & Bond
TRI Capital, Old College Capital, Scottish Enterprise & Wallace Equity
Solve Innovation Future & Others
Blackhorn Ventures, CEMEX Ventures & GroundBreak
XBTO, Maven11, Coinbase Ventures, Spartan Ventures, DFG, LD Capital, Cadenza, Woodstock & Others

The international one

Tesseract raises almost £18M to boost digital asset lending offering

Tesseract, the institutional digital asset lending company in Europe, has raised almost £18M in its Series A funding round.

The first funding round in Europe focusing on the sector is led by Augmentum Fintech with participation from LeadBlock Partners, BlackFin Capital Partners, Concentric, DN Capital, Jabre Capital Partners Family Office, and Sapphire Ventures.

Tesseract bridges institutional capital flows between traditional and digital asset finance. Its core products are in margin lending, OTC lending, partnerships with retail trading platforms, and decentralised finance.