Decoding #Investment
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17 June 2022
Maddymoney startup investment-news

Atomistic experiments, satellite intelligence, and virtual operating theatres all feature 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

Peptone raises £33M to bring together atomistic experiments with supercomputing technology

Peptone, the molecular computational physics company focused on protein drug discovery, has announced the completion of a £33M Series A financing round to develop the world’s most advanced facility dedicated to solving complex and problematic intrinsically disordered protein structures at scale, pioneering a new class of potential therapeutic targets and drugs. 

The round was led by F-Prime Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from Walden Catalyst Ventures and existing investors, including Hoxton Ventures and dRX Capital, the venture arm of Novartis.

“Disordered proteins operate right at the point where physics becomes biology,” said Kamil Tamiola, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO of Peptone. “By taking a rigorous and computer-driven experimental physics approach to analysing proteins, we can go beyond classical drug discovery approaches and observe protein behaviour that algorithms like AlphaFold cannot. This new funding will allow us to further advance our platform and support the investigation of the disordered protein universe towards developing drugs of the future.”

Earth Blox secures £1.5M funding from Archangels for global expansion of no-code earth observation software

Our skies are full of satellites acquiring incredible amounts of intelligence. Thankfully, Scottish tech firm Earth Blox enables users to create customised insights using this satellite and geospatial data in a straightforward way. 

The company’s no-code technology is designed to meet the growing need of a wide range of sectors, businesses, and users to quickly and easily access earth observation insights as part of strategic planning, monitoring, and reporting. With net zero and ESG as key drivers, the Earth Observation (EO) market for value-added services like Earth Blox is forecast to double in the next ten years from £1.86B in 2021 to £3.97B by 2031.

Earth Blox has just secured £1.5M funding from Archangels to expand its global reach and further develop its no-code EO cloud-based SaaS.

Technology platform allowing clinicians to ‘scrub in’ to theatres around the world raise £66M in Series C funding

Proximie is the technology platform that allows clinicians to virtually ‘scrub in’ to any operating theatre from anywhere in the world. Empowering clinicians to share their skills, experience, and knowledge in real time. 

The global health technology platform has announced a successful Series C equity financing round, following a year in which Proximie saw a significant increase in its Total Contracted Value, supported over 13,000 surgeries, and expanded their global footprint to 100 countries.

Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram, CEO and Founder of Proximie, said “our vision is to democratise surgery through better data by connecting every OR and Cath Lab in the world.  We began this journey enabling surgeons to virtually join any OR.  Now, we’re using this capability to digitise the operating room, bringing patients the collective expertise of the best surgeons in the world – where data collected and shared on Proximie can help them receive life-saving care, no matter where they live.”

Webio secures £3.3M to scale conversational AI in the collections and payments industry

Irish start-up Webio, a leader in Conversational AI in the credit, collections and payments industry, has announced a series A funding round, led by Finch Capital, amounting to £3.3M. 

Webio’s technology has enabled leading UK and European companies to communicate conversationally with customers throughout their credit and collections journey, making difficult conversations about payments easier. 

“Conversations about money are stressful and difficult, not only for the customer but also for agents tasked with having these conversations. Going digital means companies can create a whole new set of digital experiences that help customers feel more confident in having those difficult conversations and ultimately, stop them from falling into unnecessary and significant financial difficulty,” says Cormac O’Neill, Co-Founder and CEO at Webio.

Sky to anchor new £100M VC fund with Founders Factory to champion early-stage climate startups

The new fund – Planet Fund – will attempt to plug the funding gap that exists for seed stage climate startups, offering entrepreneurs Founders Factory’s robust approach to company building with high-conviction capital, execution support and unparalleled network. 

The new fund will focus on broad sustainability themes including decarbonisation, resource preservation, climate resilience and the circular economy.

The backing builds on decades of successful environmental initiatives including Sky’s ongoing net zero commitment – Sky Zero. Sky plans to move Sky Ocean Ventures, and the 25 startups it has invested in since its launch in 2018.

In international investment news

TestGorilla secures $70M in Series A to help companies eliminate hiring bias 

The online skills assessment platform TestGorilla has announced a $70M Series A funding round co-led by the London-based venture capital firms Atomico and Balderton Capital, bringing the company’s total investment to $80M.

TestGorilla has attracted more than 5,000 customers, less than two years since its launch in summer 2020. These include Sony, PepsiCo, Bain & Company, Oracle, Revolut, H&M and the UK’s National Health Service. G2, the world’s largest software marketplace, recently named TestGorilla in its prestigious list of the top five fastest-growing software products for 2022.

Founded by serial entrepreneur Wouter Durville and former Bain & Company partner Otto Verhage, TestGorilla makes the recruitment process more fair, efficient, and data-driven by enabling organisations to use skills assessments as soon as candidates apply for open roles.

NFTPort raises $26M to become the leading NFT infrastructure

NFTPort, the company building NFT infrastructure for developers, has announced the closure of a $26M Series A funding round. The round will enable NFTPort to scale its core product which enables developers to bring their NFT applications to market in hours, instead of months.

NFTPort’s mission is to lay the infrastructure that will underpin this change and enable developers to make the Internet ownable by citizens, through a decentralised NFT infrastructure.

NFTPort is used by over 30,000 developer teams, including some of the most well known Web3 companies, including Nifty Gateway and Protocol Labs. As of March 2022, developers through NFTPort had minted over a million NFTs on Polygon – 10% of all NFTs minted on the Polygon chain.

Rayon raises $2M pre-seed to provide next generation collaborative space design software

Rayon, the space design software makers, today announce the successful completion of a $2m pre-seed round, which will be used to grow the Rayon team, refine its product, and launch its offering in October of this year.

Reyon provides online design software that allows users anywhere to draw, share, and work together on floor plans directly in their browser. By speeding up the design phase, gathering teams around a single source, and replacing time-consuming cross-platform workflows, current users have experienced working up to three times faster than previously.

Bastien Dolla, co-founder at Rayon says, “There are more than 30 millions people working on floor plans every day. […] Our goal is for Rayon to become the fastest and simplest way to work on floor plans as a team.”