News by Maddyness UK
3 February 2023
3 February 2023
Temps de lecture : 11 minutes
11 min

Refurbished phones, AI medical training and two healthtechs star 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.
Temps de lecture : 11 minutes
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Number of deals

Raylo raises £110M to give more consumers affordable access to the tech they want

Raylo, a leading fintech, has agreed a new £110M debt financing facility from NatWest bank and Quilam Capital. Given the challenging macro and fundraising environment, this substantial new financing package is arguably a validation of Raylo's business model and its position within developing the circular economy.

Raylo, which currently provides consumers with access to high value tech products – like iPhones – on affordable monthly subscriptions, plans to grow both its direct to consumer channel and its checkout integration for merchants (Raylo Pay), where the pipeline of retailers has grown 10x in the last 6 months to a £3Bn p.a. opportunity.

Raylo is also announcing its BCORP status, doubling down on its mission to accelerate the circular economy in consumer electronics and other categories of durable goods. Building on its commitment to drive adoption of the circular economy, products on subscription are returned to Raylo, refurbished and reused across multiple users over six or more years. Raylo’s circular model also eradicates e-waste – at the end of useful life products are sustainably recycled, rather than languishing in landfill. Raylo’s sustainability report underlines that over 50% of emissions can be saved by extending the life of existing products and avoiding unnecessary overproduction of new products.

Raylo’s business and technology will deliver meaningful wins for both consumers and merchants in this challenging macro environment and the company is excited about its growth and product expansion strategy, which will include new retail categories.

The hammer goes down at £250K for auction management platform Artisio

Artisio, complete front to back auction management solution, has secured £250K in a pre-seed funding round led by early-stage focused venture capital firm Jenson Funding Partners.

The systems required by auction businesses are often fragmented. This means auction businesses typically rely on multiple services for clients, which then requires them to manually handle sale information from different vendors in order to upload it to back-office systems. Artisio addresses these pain points through automation, streamlining the auction system by bringing all processes, including bidding, into one place. The solution is customisable to an auction house’s needs, whilst integrating seamlessly into any currently implemented systems. Full automation with Artisio means that auction businesses can carry out tasks and bidding in an all-in-one admin panel that can be tailored to specific needs.

The funding will help Artisio reach a global auction market looking to streamline the way online auctions are run.

Liberis, an embedded finance provider for SMEs, raises additional £26.4M

Liberis, a global embedded business finance platform, has secured additional financing from Silicon Valley Bank UK to grow its European business.

Liberis’s platform applies machine learning to understand a customer’s risk profile and funding options available to them, enabling higher volumes of origination, and giving financial control back to SME owners.  With the International Monetary Fund recently announcing that half of the European Union, and a third of the globe, will be facing recession in 2023, Liberis’s ability to provide flexible, affordable, and convenient funding options will be extremely beneficial to small and medium sized business owners in continuing to grow their businesses.

The funding helps ensure that Liberis can continue to offer market leading financing options to merchants, in its continued expansion across the Nordics and Europe, particularly in Poland and Germany.

Situ Live, an experiential product marketing platform, bags £1M

IW Capital has made an equity investment of £1 million in the immersive shopping platform, Situ Live.

Situ Live is the first experiential product marketing platform that combines physical “store-like” venues and a digital platform allowing brands to showcase their products and providing consumers with the ability to interact and experience the products first-hand. Situ Live then collects traffic and purchases intent data for brands whilst facilitating the direct connection between consumers and brands.

With additional support from Westfield Group, Situ Live have plans for further expansion in 2023 adding a sustainable lifestyle-focused proposition. Following the principle of experience-led discovery this will provide consumers with the opportunity to explore and consider how they can reduce their carbon footprint.

AI company raises further £1.5m to roll out social housing platform

AI company Pivigo has launched a new platform to help social landlords manage rent arrears has raised a further £1.55m from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance.

Pivigo’s platform – that is already used by Peabody, London Borough of Camden, Community Housing and Cobalt – uses machine learning to help maximise rent collection, identify tenants most in need of support and transform productivity.

The latest round will enable Pivigo to create new jobs, boost its sales and marketing, and roll out the product to more social landlords.

Instill AI raises £2.9M to make AI ‘more accessible’

Instill AI, a startup providing tools to derive insights or generate meaningful content from unstructured data (image, video, audio, text), has raised $3.6M in a seed round, led by venture capital firm RTP Global.

While deep learning has shown its strength in understanding unstructured data in recent years, data tooling has not yet caught up. Despite the emergence of new tools, the implementation and deployment of an effective AI solution in an organization’s data stack is still extremely costly and complex. To solve this problem, Instill AI has introduced its open-source project — Versatile Data Pipeline (VDP) for unstructured data ETL (Extract, Transform and Load), that seamlessly brings AI into the modern data stack. The company provides modern Data and AI teams with no-/low-code tools to streamline the process of distilling the value of unstructured data, converting unstructured data into meaningful data representations. By integrating Instill AI’s solution into their data stack, Data and AI teams can glean richer insights, uncover unknown patterns, develop AI applications faster, and work more efficiently — free from siloes.

The investment will enable Instill AI to launch, later this year, a fully managed cloud service of VDP, to remove the stress of infrastructure maintenance for community members. To accomplish this, Instill AI is expanding its hiring efforts and aims to double its headcount by the end of 2023.

Healthtech startup Healistic raises £1M launches ‘Open Healthcare’ app

Healistic, an innovative Healthtech mobile app and the first pharma-based speedy delivery service in the UK, has raised £1M in pre-seed funding from leading international investors today.

The app is already live for iOS and Android, and offers thousands of healthcare products (incl. P-Meds and soon prescription medications), delivered conveniently to the customer’s doorstep in under 45 minutes - an unparalleled user experience in the UK. Healistic has partnered with independent pharmacies across London, enabling them to access a digital channel and customer base they otherwise couldn’t reach.

The mobile app has initially launched in London. The plan is to expand into other cities across the UK this year. Healistic will also continue to build on its initial offering, with plans to implement speedy prescription delivery, tele-health consultations with GPs and nutritionists, and insurance claim management, as it moves towards a full-service digital healthcare app.

Re:course AI Secures £3.4M to reimagine healthcare training

Re:course AI, the artificial intelligence (AI) flight simulator for healthcare training, has secured $4.3M in seed funding in a round led by Par Equity and including Northern Gritstone.

The company describes itself as the “flight simulator for healthcare and life sciences.” It uses AI models and digital human avatars in virtual training exercises to provide hospital doctors, GPs, nurses and other healthcare professionals with realistic patient interactions and automatic feedback. The AI-powered digital human platform can provide training on any scenario as Re:course AI has teamed up with clinical experts to build up a bank of dozens of avatars with different conditions covering every demographic, thus addressing issues around bias. Tutors can also support medical professionals examining multiple conditions, almost acting like a co-pilot to steer individuals through training.

The company is looking to expand its engineering team and enter new markets at a time when the global healthcare industry must urgently address chronic staffing shortages, the accelerating pace of innovation in life sciences and expectations for improved patient outcomes.

Dxcover raises £9.7m to help bring test for early detection of cancer to market

Dxcover – a Glasgow-based company developing a blood test that can detect cancer at an early stage – has raised £9.7M through a Series A investment round and grant funding. The £7.5M funding round was led by existing and new investors. Dxcover also secured a £2.2M grant from the European Innovation Council.

The funding will support the ongoing development of the Dxcover® Liquid Biopsy Platform for the detection of early-stage cancers, including brain and colorectal cancers. Dxcover’s novel platform, which is based on research by Professor Matthew J. Baker at the University of Strathclyde, uses infrared spectroscopy to analyse patient blood samples and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to detect the presence or absence of disease.

Having initially proven the technology for the detection of brain cancer, the company expanded its focus to eight cancers and a study in 2022 demonstrated its ability to detect multiple cancers at the earliest stage. Dxcover now employs a 15-strong team led by Dr Mark Hegarty.

Digital bank Zopa raises £75M to accelerate growth

Digital bank Zopa has raised £75 million to drive its next phase of growth, supporting its vision to become Britain’s best bank. The deal cements and markedly enhances Zopa bank’s Unicorn status, and was led by existing investors.

In contrast to fintechs and e-money institutions, Zopa is a “real” bank. A banking license means that Zopa is held to the same standards as major high street banks in terms of how customers are safeguarded. For example, its deposits are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000.

The funding will be used to meet the capital requirements of Zopa bank’s growing balance sheet, and to support M&A dealmaking that could kick off as early as this quarter.

Climate Analytics firm Risilience closes £21M to expand climate-risk assessment

Climate analytics firm Risilience has announced a $26M Series B funding round to help global businesses transition to the low-carbon economy.

Risilience was spun out of the Centre for Risk Studies at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School after identifying a growing need for science-based climate analytics. The Risilience platform turns data into actionable insights, empowering organisations to understand and quantify the scope, magnitude and timescale of climate risk to their strategies and operations. This allows companies to measure and balance the potential financial impacts with the cost of transitioning their business to operate more profitably in a low-carbon economy.

Led by Quantum Innovation Fund, alongside existing investors, the investment will allow Risilience to expand its market-leading SaaS platform to serve clients at any stage of their decarbonisation journey. The funds will also be used to drive international expansion, with a specific focus on the US where pending SEC rules will require climate and risk disclosures.

Superlayer raises £1M to empower sales teams through AI-driven forecasting

Superlayer, a London-based B2B sales pipeline management startup, has secured $1.3M in a pre-seed funding round co-led by Triple Point Ventures and Concept Ventures, alongside Notion Capital, Accel, Exor Seeds and a number of high profile angel investors.

Superlayer is a modern pipeline management platform for sales leaders, enabling them to build high performing teams that win more deals by offering a comprehensive view over their sales stack. Users can inspect deal dynamics and risks in seconds, schedule next steps, and manage forecasting through scenario analysis and AI-backed simulations.

The business will use this funding to further develop the product and expand its team in order to reach new verticals, aiming to build the perfect workspace for sales teams.

Recycleye raises additional £13.7M in Series A funding to reinvent recycling

Recycleye, provider of the most adapted and robust AI-driven solution for sorting dry mixed recycling, has bagged a $17M Series A financing round, led by deep-tech venture capital firm DCVC.

Recycleye uses AI-powered waste-picking robots to lower the cost of sorting materials. This ground-breaking technology is turning the world’s waste into resource and delivering data essential for dynamic decision-making in a Material Recovery Facility (MRF). Recycleye’s technology combines computer vision and robotics to pick with more consistent accuracy than a human. Using proprietary AI models, the robot “sees” waste and is trained to pick an unlimited number of material classes such as plastics, aluminium, paper and cardboard.

The new investment will be used to further improve the uncommon accuracy of Recycleye’s sorting.

Phlo raises £10M to spearhead digital transformation in pharmacy sector

Phlo, UK digital pharmacy leaders, have closed a £10m Series A round led by family office Thairm Bio.

Phlo’s flagship product is their Digital Pharmacy, currently offering a same-day NHS and private prescription delivery service to patients in Birmingham and London, and launching in Manchester in 2023. Over 110,000 orders have been delivered since the platform’s launch in 2020, with user numbers more than doubling year-on-year.

The funds will be used to expand the reach of Phlo Digital Pharmacy, the first UK digital pharmacy to offer patients same-day medication delivery, and to scale Phlo Connect, the market-leading digital infrastructure platform for healthcare providers.

IQ Endoscopes
Situ Live
PHINXT Robotics
Ramp Global
Instill AI
Re:course AI