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5 November 2021
Maddymoney startup investment-news

Digital forensics, student task apps and sleeptech 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

Forensic Analytics secures £4.5M investment from Mercia

Digital forensics company, Forensic Analytics bagged £4.5M from Mercia Asset Management PLC. The funding will be used to develop its cloud-based software platform, which is already used by police forces throughout the UK.

The technology allows police forces to analyse complex forensic data, create reports and has led to the persecution of sophisticated criminal networks.

Founded in 2013, the Hertfordshire-based platform was also recognised this year with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Steve Rick, Chief Executive of Forensic Analytics, said: “I am delighted that Forensic Analytics and Mercia have formed this partnership, which will enable us to continue our R&D programme, to deliver the tools required by policing that generate results. This investment will also enable us to realise our ambition to be the UK’s leading provider of digital forensic solutions and expand internationally.

Healthy donut brand secures £3M

A startup boasting healthier donuts has raised £3M in seed funding. Urban Legend, which launched in August, describes its donuts as allowing for “responsible indulgence,” with less sugar and saturated fat. The funding will be used to develop a new lab in West London where the donuts will be created.

The funding was led by investors including Eka, Guy’s & St. Thomas’s Foundation as well as The Good Food Fund and JamJar Investments, the VC led by the founders of Innocent Drinks.

Climate data startup bags £2.3M

London and San Francisco based Sust Global has raised £2.3M in seed funding. The climate data startup uses deep learning techniques to transfer complex climate sciences, models and satellites into readable data.

The funding, which was led by Hambro Perks alongside other investors including Vala Capital, Powerhouse Ventures and Thirdstream Partners, will be used to grow its commercial and technical teams, and develop its product for expansion into new markets.

Gopal Erinjippurath, CTO & Head of Product at Sust Global, said: “We see a massive opportunity and an unmet need for data-driven interpretation of the latest climate models. Through fusing data sources across different time scales, we are developing the essential inputs and data transformation tools for more sustainable, climate aware capital allocation.”

Food delivery startup raises £2.4M to drive pandemic success

Food delivery service, SUPPER has secured £2.4M in seed funding from private equity investment firm, Growthdeck. The startup provides vehicles to pickup food from London’s stores and restaurants, and deliver them to peoples’ homes safely.

Unlike other ride-hailing and food delivery platforms, the startup employs drivers directly, shifting away from the “gig economy” model. Since the start of the pandemic, the company has increased its revenue by more than 700%. The funding will be used to drive this growth.

Shaz Hussain, Investment Director at Growthdeck, said: “We’re thrilled to back a player in the home delivery market that employs its riders directly and pays them properly. The market has responded well to this offering and this funding round will help them continue on their current trajectory.”

CaaS platform Unlock secures £1.5M in seed round

London based Culture-as-a-Service platform Unlock has secured nearly £1.5M in a seed funding round. The CaaS sector is now valued at $300B, attracting investor interest in remote working models. Unlock is contributing to the sector by helping build remote culture among remote working teams.

The round, which was led by La Famiglia alongside Kima Ventures, Antler, GuideStar Ventures and other angel investors.

Maria Wlosinska, Co-Founder and CEO of Unlock said: “We’re in the midst of a culture shift. The companies we work with realise that in order to stay ahead in the talent war, they have to put a strong culture at the core, but that’s not always easy to do in practice. At Unlock, we know that with the right tools and content, gathering as a team online can be easy, engaging and really fun.”

Student task app bags £1.25M to create new employment opportunities for young people

A task app targeted at students from London has secured £1.25M in a round led by angel investors. UniTaskr connects businesses with over 180,000 students looking for paid work opportunities. It was designed to help students find additional income while gaining work experience.

Inside two years, the startup has grown from providing £150K-worth in work opportunities to £10.7M in collective opportunities. The funding will now be used to expand the operation, launch new services to maximise recruitment and grow the team.

Joseph Black, cofounder of UniTaskr, said: “Since we officially launched UniTaskr in September 2019, both Oliver and I have worked hard to create a platform that successfully bridges the gap between students and businesses, whilst providing the opportunity for students to gain valuable, paid work experience that will increase their chances of securing a desired and relevant job role once they’ve graduated.”

Sleeptech startup raises over £1M for US expansion

A shefflied-based sleeptech startup has raised £1.4M to expand into new markets. SleepCogni was designed to help those suffering from insomnia to get a better night sleep through a handheld medical device.

The startup now plans to scale the business into the US and will use the investment led by Chasnay Capital Partners to drive this mission.

The funding will allow the startup to prepare the handheld device for manufacturing at higher volumes, while developing their patient-led online platform.

In other international news

Dubai-based open banking platform Tarabut Gateway has closed a seed round of $13M and pre-series A round of $12M led by Tiger Global in the last eight months.The investment comes on the back of Tiger Global’s other recent investments in open banking platforms across the globe, including Truelayer in the UK, Mono and in Africa. The funding will be used to develop the platform’s tech and leadership teams, serving more people across the region.

John Curtius, Partner at Tiger Global Management said: “People are increasingly sophisticated in how they utilise their money, and in a marketplace rife with such exciting growth such as the MENA region, we worked hard to find a company on the ground that shared our vision.”