Decoding #other
Read time: 04'27''
8 October 2021
Maddymoney startup investment-news

Dentists-on-demand, ecommerce fulfilment and intelligent gifting 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

Startup providing dentists on demand secures £3M in seed funding

Toothfairy, the startup which connects patients to dentists on demand, has raised £3M in a seed funding round led by impact VC, ADA Ventures and Slingshot, alongside other investors including Seedcamp, All Iron and Haatch Ventures. 

After 19 million dental appointments were missed due to COVID-19, Toothfairy now uses an app to connect patients with dentists via a video call. The app is now approved by the NHS, and patients can monitor their treatment and medical notes remotely. 

Since 54% of the population do not know how to access dental care out of hours, the app makes it easier for patients to access dental care when they need it.

AI powered drug development company raises almost $500M in stock market debut

Exscientia, which uses AI to research and develop new drugs, has raised $464M in it’s stock market debut. Investors included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as Softbank which is now the company’s largest investor. 

The funding will be used to develop the company’s AI technology, and drive research and development. The company has so far developed drug candidates for companies such as Bristol Myers Squibb and Sanofi, but aims to develop its own drugs and has even expressed an interest in developing antivirals for any future pandemic.

Huboo raises £60M in quest to become the leading e-commerce fulfilment provider in Europe

E-commerce platform, Huboo has raised £60M in a Series B round led by Mubadala Capital. The funding will drive the software driven platform’s mission to become the leading e-commerce fulfilment provider in Europe. 

Since launching in 2017, the company has expanded its operation from a single warehouse in Bristol to operating four fulfilment centres across the UK. Having recently opened a new site in The Netherlands, the company plans to use the funding to drive expansion throughout European markets.

Huboo now boasts over 1,000 customers, including small direct-to-consumer (D2C) merchants as well as larger e-commerce brands. The end-to-end order fulfilment service smooths out the process of ordering through e-commerce platform, from warehousing and inventory management to order logistics and shipping. 

Martin Bysh, co-founder and CEO of Huboo, said: “This is the problem we’ve set out to address with our hub model, which brings flexibility and affordability to the incredibly complex fulfilment piece so that online retailers of all sizes can benefit. We’re thrilled to have Mubadala on-board and are looking forward to developing our plans.”

Femtech founded by Jessica Ennis-Hill bags £1M

Jessica Ennis-Hill has secured a £1M investment for her femtech startup, Jennis. The app helps women understand their menstrual cycle and plan exercise around it. 

The former olympian launched the startup after realising she could make the expert advice and guidance she had as an athlete more accessible. Building on period tracking apps on the market, Ennis-Hill wants to bring a greater focus on exercise. Her aim is to increase the amount of sports science research dedicated to women, which at the minute is just 6%. 

Investment in the cycle mapping startup was led by, alongside Venrex, and will be used to drive research into amateur athletes and expand the team

Global gifting platform secures over £30M to expand its smart software

Reachdesk, the intelligent gifting platform, closed £31.75M million Series B to expand into new markets. The company has integrated with other SaaS platforms, meaning gifting can be fully automated. Plus, a curated global marketplace and logistics network spanning the US, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia and Asia means  gifts are personalised and unique.

The round was led by Highland Europe alongside Highland Capital, HubSpot Ventures, and RLC Ventures. It will be used to drive product product development, make the platform even more effective. It will also be used to expand the company’s list of technical integrations, curated marketplace vendors, and global warehouse partnerships to fuel growth into new regions.

Temy Mancusi-Ungaro, CEO of Reachdesk said: “With this investment, and the partnerships and opportunities our new investors bring, we can double down on the areas that have driven Reachdesk’s incredible growth – from our truly global reach, to our unique, curated, personalised gifting marketplace and our market-defining ROI and tracking tools,”

Cleantech company raises over £700,000 from new investors

Cleantech company, EcoSync, has secured £710,000 from RO Capital Partners, alongside other investors including the Oxford Innovation EIS Growth Fund, Silicon Roundabout Ventures, Steve Headington and KCP Nominee.

Founded by engineers at Oxford University, the company’s energy management platform adapts temperature control to changing occupancy levels in commercial buildings, helping its customers reduce their energy consumption.

Dr Zsuzsa Mayer, Co-Founder and CEO of EcoSync, said: “Empty commercial buildings waste large amounts of energy.  The lack of room-by-room control also makes offices uncomfortable, buildings inefficient, and is frustrating for facilities managers.”

Edward Rowlandson, Group Managing Director of the RO said: “We are excited about the ways in which EcoSync’s platform can help companies to meet their sustainability goals, an increasingly important benchmark for investors, landlords, and tenants.”

In other International news

No-code software Heyflow raises $6 million to help companies win conversions at scale

No-code software, Heyflow, has secured $5M in a seed round led by Project A Ventures. The startup helps companies trying to build high-converting user experiences by providing them with a platform to design and integrate interactive clickflows without the need for codes. 

Amir Bohnenkamp, Co-Founder of Heyflow said; “We want to provide an experience that resonates with peoples’ habits and lifestyles to quickly get them onboard. With a no-code platform like Heyflow, companies can level the playing field when it comes to optimizing their conversion rates.”

Dr. Anton Waitz, General Partner at Project A, said, “No-code platforms are seeing very strong momentum, as they offer great opportunities for smaller companies without significant engineering capacity… Heyflow has seen enthusiastic first demand in the market – and we strongly believe it can become a clear leader in the space.”

Data-driven content house sets it’s sights on the US after $59M raise

Data-driven content house, Inkitt, had closed $59M in Series B to drive global expansion. The berlin-based startup has set it sights on the US in particular, seeing San Francisco as a new business hub.

The funding, which was led by NEA’s Managing General Partner, Scott Sandell, and the media and technology company, Axel Springer, will also be used to fuel product development. The startup will innovate across multiple new genres and formats and aims to expand into new genres and storytelling formats, including continued expansion into the audiobook space.