News by Demi Odulana
22 September 2023
22 September 2023
Temps de lecture : 9 minutes
9 min

Reducing and removing carbon, improving healthcare efficiency and a hydrogen-electric aviation company 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 : 9 minutes
Number of deals

Low Carbon Innovation Fund 2 invests in award winning carbon reduction platform SKOOT

Turquoise, the UK merchant bank specialising in energy, environment and efficiency, has announced a follow-on investment by Low Carbon Innovation Fund 2 (LCIF2) in SKOOT ECO GROUP. This forms part of a £1.1M capital raising round for the startup which will fuel SKOOT’s growth as it also announces its first one million trees planted.

SKOOT's user-friendly climate technology enables brands to showcase their commitment to sustainability without incurring additional overhead costs. Its unique integrations with leading POS systems such as Micros and Oracle Simphony as well as GloriaFood, Shopify and Zapier makes it possible for businesses to prioritise net-zero in partnership with their customers.

This latest capital raise will support the start-up as it continues to expand and extend its ongoing partnerships with leading NGOs including Eden Reforestation and Plastic Bank. Renowned hospitality establishments across the UK and US embrace SKOOT's innovative technology, integrating it seamlessly into their operations. Showcasing further growth, SKOOT has recently secured a contract to become the exclusive carbon offset partner for leading renewable energy provider, Good Energy.

“This capital raise, coupled with our one million tree milestone signifies a pivotal moment for us as we continue to dedicate our business to drive real change. We believe that collective small actions can lead to significant positive impacts, and our mission is to support people in taking those actions through affordable, in-the-moment solutions.” says Greg Gormley, CEO and Co-Founder of SKOOT.

Northern Gritstone invests in C-Capture, leading designer of chemical processes for carbon dioxide removal

Northern Gritstone has invested in C-Capture, the leading designer of chemical processes for carbon dioxide (CO2) removal, as part of a funding round of up to £10M alongside existing investors bp Ventures, Drax and Kiko Ventures, with the potential for additional investors to follow.

Based in Leeds, C-Capture was formed in 2009 as a spin-out from the School of Chemistry at the University of Leeds with initial funding from IP Group. The company has since won backing from private investors and from the UK Government to develop its innovative carbon capture technology, which can prevent CO2 emissions from industrial processes from entering the atmosphere.

C-Capture’s next-generation solvent technology offers a sustainable solution to decarbonisation, using up to 40% less energy than currently available approaches. It is extremely robust and suitable for use even within hard-to-abate industries. The startup uses new, proprietary solvents to remove carbon dioxide emissions at source, offering a safer, more efficient, and more cost-effective alternative to current technologies based on traditional chemistries. Making carbon dioxide removal significantly more economically viable from a wider range of large-scale processes, such as power generation from coal, gas and biomass, and the production of cement, steel, and aluminium is central to C-Capture’s vision. In this way, it offers these industries a route to decarbonisation.

Location tech scaleup Navenio secures £5.08M to boost efficiency and capacity for patient care delivery teams

Navenio, the UK location tech scaleup, has today announced its £5.08M investment to help revolutionise healthcare efficiency worldwide. The round was led by Oxford Science Enterprises, and saw Navenio’s existing investors, including G.K. Goh Ventures, Big Pi Ventures, George Robinson, and the University of Oxford, participate.

Navenio’s technology streamlines patient care logistics within complex healthcare environments, optimising workflow efficiency. Real-time location awareness of patients, staff and medical equipment combined with Uber-like intelligence of task allocation, current path of motion, and optimal route determination enables smart, automated orchestration of patient care.

The investment enables Navenio to build upon its proven technology platform and demonstrated customer value to accelerate momentum in healthcare and beyond. With a range of existing customer partners in the UK, including NHS organisations, facilities management businesses and private hospital groups, the investment will fuel further expansion and growth in the United States healthcare market, as well as other geographies.

“This investment will go a long way in helping Navenio to ramp up its offering in the US as well as in new geographies. We’re on a strong growth trajectory, and accelerating our deployment for real world impact across healthcare and beyond is our top priority.”, adds Connie Moser, CEO of Navenio.

ZeroAvia, a hydrogen-electric aviation company, raised an undisclosed amount in funding.

The round was co-led by Airbus, Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital and NEOM. Energy Ventures, Horizons Ventures, Alaska Airlines, Ecosystem Integrity Fund, Summa Equity, AP Ventures and Amazon Climate Pledge Fund also participated. This investment will enable ZeroAvia to accelerate progress towards certification of its first engine as well as delivering the company’s mission of a hydrogen-electric engine in every aircraft.  

ZeroAvia is pursuing hydrogen-electric propulsion systems as the most environmentally friendly and economically attractive solution to aviation’s growing climate change impact. The company’s hydrogen-electric engines use hydrogen in fuel cells to generate electricity, which is then used to power electric motors to turn the aircraft’s propellers, with the only byproduct during flight being water.

The funding will also enable ZeroAvia to continue to progress its larger engine program – the ZA2000, a 2-5.4 MW modular powertrain designed to support larger commercial aircraft applications. The company is working on retrofitting a Dash 8 400 76-seat testbed demonstrator provided by Alaska Airlines, with a view to first flight testing with a full size engine in 2024. The investment will help ZeroAvia extend the leadership it has established across core in-house technologies for multi-MW class hydrogen-electric engines, including high temperature PEM (HTPEM) fuel cells, advanced electric motors and power electronics, and onboard liquid hydrogen fuel storage.  

DKK Partners closes pre-seed funding raising £3M

DKK Partners, a leading Frontier Markets FinTech company which specialises in emerging markets (EM) and foreign exchange (FX) liquidity has announced the successful closing of their pre-seed funding raise, totalling £3M, prior to Series B set to take place at the beginning of 2024. The company surpassed their initial funding target by 33 per cent, marking a significant milestone in their journey to democratise access to FX liquidity sector by providing financial services across the globe, driving forward business opportunities and supporting banks or financial institutions in emerging markets.

The London based frontier markets trading house is oversubscribed, cementing its current pre-money valuation at approximately £100M as they have seen record revenue growth over the last 3.5 years, expanding rapidly since it was founded in 2020. The funding will be used to drive forward further expansion opportunities in the coming years.

The news follows DKK Partners’ recent expansion into East Africa, opening its newest office in Nairobi, Kenya followed by Uganda and Tanzania which is supported by the successful attainment of the CONSUMAF licence which will help to accelerate its financial services operations in Africa.

“At DKK Partners we saw value in providing the opportunity for those who have supported us over the years, helping us to build the organisation that exists today, to continue their support, share our success and give thanks to all who have been a part of our journey up until this point.” says Khalid Talukder, Co-founder of DKK Partners.

Broken String Biosciences
DKK Partners

In international investment news

With £48.7M Series B, Corti Will Scale AI Co-Pilot To Support Overburdened Healthcare Staff Globally

Corti, the AI co-pilot for healthcare interactions, announced a £48.7M Series B round today. The round was co-led by Prosus Ventures and Atomico, with participation from existing investors Eurazeo, EIFO, and Chr. Augustinus Fabrikker.

Corti offers AI assistants for healthcare professionals that help to deliver excellent quality care during patient interactions, with minimal administrative workload. Trained on millions of patient interactions, Corti’s AI Co-Pilot can follow a patient interaction, understanding what’s been said and shared in real-time. As the interaction evolves, the Co-Pilot nudges the professional to deliver an excellent patient experience while also handling journaling, coding, and quality assurance automatically.

Having grown at a staggering pace over the past two years, today Corti collaborates with some of the biggest healthcare providers and insurers in Europe and the United States, covering approximately 100 million patients a year, and augmenting professionals over 150,000 times a day. The funding will fuel Corti's expansion globally, growing its team and client base. With AI that understands commonalities of cases across languages and regions, Corti's ultimate goal is offering global access to fast, consistent, and high-quality healthcare advice at a much lower cost. With offices in Europe and the United States, Corti is uniquely positioned to scale globally.

"Corti and its product suite provide system-wide efficiency improvements and enhancement of care provider abilities. We’re confident in its leading technology, unique market offering, and experienced founding team, and believe Corti is well-positioned to fundamentally redefine both the patient and healthcare experiences.” says Sandeep Bakshi, Head of European Investments at Prosus Ventures.

In recent investment news

HSBC plans climate tech funding push

HSBC today announced that it plans to make available £812.3M of financing to early-stage climate tech companies around the world. The financing is expected to support start-ups to create a range of new solutions, including EV charging, battery storage, sustainable food and agriculture, and carbon removal technologies. This announcement also follows the launch of HSBC Innovation Banking and of HSBC Asset Management's Climate Tech Venture Capital strategy.

HSBC is seeking to deepen its support for the ecosystem of climate tech innovation. This comes as recent data shows that after successive rapid year-on-year growth, venture capital funding for climate start-ups plunged by 40 per cent in the first half of 2023, as market conditions in the venture capital space put downward pressure on nascent tech valuations. HSBC’s climate tech proposition aims to enable these critical technologies to reach the market more quickly at scale.

While the majority of global early and growth stage climate tech investment has focused on the USA and Europe, HSBC’s £812.3M allocation plans to focus on high potential climate tech companies, wherever they are in the world. Estimates suggest almost half the emissions reductions required to reach net zero in 2050 will come from technologies that are currently at the demonstration or prototype phase.

“Access to finance is critical for early-stage climate tech companies to create and scale real-world solutions. We are already working with some of the most exciting companies at the forefront of climate tech, from seed to global scale-up. With HSBC’s global reach, in-house climate tech expertise, and newly launched Innovation Banking proposition, we can offer these pioneer companies unrivalled support.” says Barry O’Byrne, CEO of Global Commercial Banking at HSBC.

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