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8 July 2022
Maddymoney startup investment-news

‘Slack for construction’, a Tik-Tok-style investment startup, and a power bank rental service all feature on 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

Black Swan Data raises £15.22M from Oxx and AlbionVC as a new age of consumer research dawns

Black Swan Data – the data science and consumer behaviour prediction company – has closed an $18.5M growth fundraise led by Oxx, a venture capital firm that backs Europe’s most promising B2B SaaS companies, with participation from existing investor AlbionVC.

The funding will be invested in developing more advanced features and capabilities in Trendscope, Black Swan’s core software platform, and continuing expansion in the US market. 

By predicting consumer needs and trends with 89% accuracy rating more than six months into the future, Trendscope enables consumer packaged goods companies to develop more relevant innovation ideas and improve their new product launch success rates (often cited as having a >75% failure rate).

WeWALK, RNIB, and ICL consortium secures UKRI funding to improve mobility for visually impaired and elderly

WeWALK, the London-headquartered company behind unique products that enhance the lives of visually impaired people, has secured funding for a £1.7M Designed for Ageing project through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). 

Partnering with Imperial College London and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), the project aims to develop a new computer vision-aided solution to help people facing mobility challenges, from catching the right bus to navigating the busiest streets.

WeWALK’s software-enabled products have already transformed mobility for people with visual impairments. The company’s Smart Cane uses a front-mounted ultrasonic sensor that detects obstacles and warns users with vibration feedback. The Smart Cane can also be paired with WeWALK’s smartphone app to give users accessible voice-guided navigation, enabling them to discover and explore new spaces.

PhysioMedics poised for growth through capital fundraise following CEO appointment

PhysioMedics is poised to scale its commercial operations after securing growth capital from investors led by Archangels. The investment follows the appointment last year of experienced CEO, Charles Sweeney, to lead the company through the next stage of its growth.

Edinburgh-based PhysioMedics secured equity and grant funding totalling £1.5M from Archangels, Scottish Enterprise, and Innovate UK to allow it to accelerate its commercial growth and product roadmap, including expanding into European and Indian markets.

The company’s PhysioWizard platform is the only clinically validated self-assessment tool for muscle and joint problems that patients can complete online, without requiring a clinician. PhysioWizard accurately matches patients with the recommended treatment, and the platform provides patient-led self-care and advice, enabling users to actively participate in their treatment and achieve better results. 

WiseWorks AI lands £1M to help financial institutions analyse virtual communications

WiseWorks AI, the communications intelligence platform, has secured a £1M investment to build a one-stop solution for financial institutions to analyse surging virtual communications for compliance and to automate everyday tasks.

The heavily oversubscribed round was led by Veridian Ventures, with investment from funds including Silicon Valley-based R42, SyndicateRoom’s Super Angel fund, and Istcapital, joining initial investors Founders Factory. The funding will be used to expand the team and accelerate product development.

WiseWorks has built a first-of-its-kind product that captures visual, acoustic, and linguistic cues from virtual communications, to enable previously out-of-reach use cases ranging from prevention of misleading advice, to continuous fact finding for suitability and business development purposes.

Tik-Tok style investment startup secures £205K in pre-seed funding from SFC Capital

Zeed, the first-ever investment platform that uses short-form video to empower Gen-Z investors in Europe, has secured £205K in pre-seed funding led by SFC Capital, the UK’s most active seed stage investor. 

The London-based FinTech startup makes investing more accessible to Gen-Z by pairing in-house finance content with trade execution. The funding will be used to continue building the Zeed product, expanding the team, and producing exclusive content.

Co-founders Salman Hussain and Rohan Regmi, Imperial College London and UCL graduates respectively, both worked within financial services themselves in commodities trading and private equity. During their time at university they built Finance-Focused, a 5,000+ member community for early careers in the financial services industry. A survey conducted by Finance Focused showed that 87% of its members – the vast majority of which are Gen Z – found that a lack of access to information was stopping them from making an investment, and that short form videos was the most engaging method.

‘Slack for construction’ platform Symterra closes £1.4M seed round to eliminate construction uncertainty

SymTerra, a communications platform for the construction project supply chain, has closed its first seed round at £1.4M, with a global investor base led by Samaipata, with participation from Nemetschek, Pi Labs and Accel.

The ‘Slack for construction’ platform is designed to eliminate construction uncertainty through its communication, collaboration, and visibility tool. Over 30% of construction costs are directly related to re-work and delays, as a result of miscommunication on site – this contributes to the sector’s £235B re-work issue.

“This funding, with the clear support of a great investor base, allows us to grow our team, launch our freemium subscription and expand the platform. Our vision is to become the industry standard for construction site communication,” said co-founder Sarah Crawley.

In other international investment news

Black-owned tech firm awarded a $13.4B defence contract with the US Airforce and US Spaceforce

Eminent Future is known for providing software development, project management, and analytics services to a range of businesses, and has just been awarded a multi-billion defence contract with the US Military.

Co-founded by José Risi and Isaac Barnes in 2009, Eminent Future is one of Virginia’s fastest-growing companies and has led software development teams for both Obama and Trump administrations.

The company uses AI to build the framework for its products, and works directly with organisations to help them figure out the best software to implement for their brand. According to Issac, Eminent Future “help the federal government figure out ways to use technology to create societal change.”

Swedish power bank rental Brick closes $3M round to accelerate growth

Power bank rental provider Brick has finalised a $3M investment seed round led by Swedish entrepreneur Christer Fåhreaus and his fund FSG (Fåhreaus Startup and Growth). The capital will be used to further scale the business in existing and new markets and strengthen the company’s product and tech development.

Brick is a Stockholm-based startup that takes mobile charging into the era of the sharing economy. Brick is an app that allows users to charge their devices wherever and whenever they want. Through the app, the user can rent a power bank at one of Brick’s hundreds of stations around the world, and then return it to whichever Brick station they want. 

In a short time Brick has expanded to several markets outside Sweden and today they can be found in countries such as Peru, Turkey, Poland, Panama, Nigeria, Australia, The US and Canada.