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2 December 2022
Hueligans enrol Idris Elba, wooden debit cards and mindful golfing in this week's Maddymoney
© Huel

Hueligans enrol Idris Elba, wooden debit cards and mindful golfing 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

Idris and Sabrina Elba join forces with Huel in latest £20M funding round

Idris and Sabrina Elba join Grace Beverley and Jonathan Ross as investors in the sustainable nutrition brand. Huel has closed its latest round, led by Highland Europe, welcoming actor, musician, filmmaker and philanthropist and UN Goodwill Ambassador Idris Elba OBE to the team, alongside other high-profile new investors, including Jonathan Ross and sustainable activewear brand TALA’s CEO, Grace Beverley.

The brand has sold over 270M meals worldwide since its inception in 2015, with 50% of sales now outside the UK, building an army of loyal ‘Hueligans’ across the globe. The funding round values the company at $560M, just seven years after the brand was first launched.

The investment will also fuel Huel’s mission to make a difference in the world. The Elbas will partner with Huel to bolster the brand’s existing commitment to tackling poor nutrition and sustainable farming, as well as Huel’s climate change initiative – “eat for 1.5 degrees”. Huel meals fit within a diet aligned with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, and Huel believes that raising awareness of our diets is one of the simplest and most effective actions people can take to tackle climate change.

Idris Elba comments, “I’ve been a Hueligan for several years now, starting my journey while preparing for my role in Thor, so to come on board with Huel was an easy decision. I believe in their mission to deliver nutritionally complete food, sustainably. We have some exciting projects coming up and I look forward to spreading the message and raising awareness around healthy, low carbon food.”

The new funding will be deployed to support global expansion, with a particular focus on the US. Since its market launch in 2017, the US has become the brand’s second-biggest market. The investment will also support new product innovation, and continued expansion into retail stores in addition to the core online channel.

Hueligans enrol Idris Elba, wooden debit cards and mindful golfing in this week's Maddymoney

Healthtech Hearing Diagnostics eyes market breakthrough following £1.1M funding

Hearing Diagnostics, the Edinburgh-based healthtech company, is eyeing commercialisation in the domestic and US markets following a £1.1M fundraise.

Led by Archangels, the world’s longest continually running angel investment syndicate, the funding will unlock the spatial hearing screening technology’s market potential. Other funders in the raise include Scottish Enterprise through its Scottish Co-Investment Fund.

Hearing Diagnostics’ technology makes testing for hearing loss easy and reliable while being accessible out with a clinical environment. The company currently employs five people and intends to expand the team through the latest investment round.

Job design platform RoleMapper raises £1.75M to boost growth

A HR Tech company which helps organisations design and structure jobs that improve diversity and skills-based hiring has raised £1.75M in a funding round led by Mercia and including existing backer Qantx and private investors.

Designed for large organisations, the RoleMapper platform helps HR leaders redesign job structures in readiness for new and future ways of working. This includes skills-based hiring – a way to recruit candidates based on their skill set rather than educational background – as well as hybrid and flexible working.

The funding will enable Exeter-based RoleMapper to further develop its AI-powered platform and continue to grow its client base in the UK and US.

Energy management tech startup EcoSync raises close to £1M

EcoSync, a tech startup founded by Oxford University engineers, has raised close to £1 million in its second seed funding round. Existing investors ROCP, the Oxford Innovation EIS Growth Fund, and Oxford Investment Opportunity Network angels joined in this round.

EcoSync’s energy solution allows commercial occupiers to reduce heating bills and carbon footprint by up to half, by providing control over the heating of individual rooms, consideration of different occupancy levels, and adjusting temperatures via QR codes available for each room.

EcoSync now looks to expand into new sectors beyond higher education, to offices, schools, and hotels. With this new funding, EcoSync will grow its team to further develop the AI features of its solution to make it smarter and even more effective.

Treecard raises £19.15M to build environmental super app enabling sustainable lifestyles

Treecard, the fintech allowing people to plant trees with every purchase they make, is today announcing it has raised £19.15M in Series A funding led by Valar Ventures. World Fund also participated, along with EQT Ventures, Seedcamp and Episode 1.

London-based Treecard was created to make it easier for people to make sustainable choices in their daily lives. Their flagship wooden debit card sits on top of a customer’s existing bank account and channels 80% of the profits earned from merchant transaction fees into tree planting. Currently in beta, Treecard’s US-based customers have already funded the planting of over 200,000 trees in partnership with Ecosia. Treecard users have also removed 315,000 plastic bottles from the ocean through the app’s rewards program.

Treecard will use the funding to grow the team, with the aim to almost double in size, as well as continue to develop the product ahead of the official launch in 2023.

Searchland raises £2.3M to help developers solve housing crisis with automation

London-based Searchland has received £2.3M in seed capital from Fuel Ventures for its platform used by property developers to find suitable land to build on.

Searchland is the next-generation platform for land sourcing. By making developers data-driven and automating their most time-consuming processes, it allows them to find, validate and acquire high margin development opportunities ahead of their competitors.

Having gained significant traction with developers since its launch last year, Searchland will use the funds to integrate additional datasets and further automate land sourcing processes so they can rapidly find, validate and acquire off market sites for development.

Sport-tech Golf Guru has raised £250K pre-seed

Mental performance and mindfulness content provider Golf Guru has completed an over-subscribed £250k pre-seed round.

Supported by private UK and European investors and the Capital Pilot Boost Fund, Golf Guru launched its golf mindfulness mobile app on iOS and Android in August 2021 and features more than 20 hours of mindfulness and meditation content focused on improving golfers’ handicaps and overall mental approach to the game.

Capital raised for Golf Guru’s pre-seed round will help develop audio content serialisation across all levels of golfer to enhance the learning path, and build biometric and neurofeedback integrations to give users an analysis of their mental state after they’ve played or practised.

In other international investment news

Classified Cycling secures €22M to disrupt the cycling industry

Classified Cycling, a Belgium-based company developing innovative technology for the cycling industry has closed a funding round of €22M led by Active Partners.

Classified is a pioneer in bike drivetrain and transmission systems, using deep technology expertise to transform the riding experience and performance for all cyclists, from Olympic competitors to everyday enthusiasts.

New funds will be used to accelerate new product development, including into e-bikes, expand the Classified team and establish new commercial and strategic partnerships across the globe. Nick Evans, Managing Partner at Active Partners, Chairman of Rapha and former Executive Chairman of Evans Cycles, will join the Classified board.