Vortex IoT secures six-figure sum from Development Bank of Wales

Swansea-based firm will use investment to power its growth having already attracted BT and Network Rail as clients

Monday, 25 February 2019

A Swansea-based IoT company has received six-figure investment from the Development Bank of Wales.

Vortex IoT will use the investment to help the business continue its trajectory of international growth.

The firm builds sensors and networks for a variety of harsh environments where conditions are hostile, power supply is limited, AI is needed, or data security is critical.

Its solutions have already attracted the attention of a number of major global brands, including Tata Steel, Dell Technologies, Network Rail, BT and Hitachi.

Plans will see Vortex IoT collaborating with highly-skilled engineers and world class scientists at a Centre of Excellence located close to Swansea University’s Science and Innovation Bay Campus, where innovative ways to boost the company’s productivity will be researched and implemented.

The Development Bank of Wales investment will allow Vortex IoT to pursue its ambitious growth plans which involve securing a number of high-profile clients, in the UK and abroad, as well as growing its current workforce from 15 to 30 by the end of 2019.

Vortex IoT is already building a reputation for finding innovative solutions to a wide range of problems faced by businesses, designing retro-fit products which meet the often extremely exacting needs of a variety of industries.

The Development Bank of Wales offers Wales-based companies flexible business finance in the form of loans and equity. Among its specialisms is offering seed and growth capital to technology-based businesses.

“The nature of our business means that we could have set it up anywhere in the world,” said Adrian Sutton, managing director of Vortex IoT.

“However, the funding environment in Wales is extremely positive and conducive to encouraging SMEs in the tech sector to thrive which was a real incentive for us when we were making the decision about where to locate our head office.”

“This investment from Development Bank of Wales will help us continue to build on our national and international growth, raising awareness of the business and our unique, innovative IoT solutions.”

Imagen secured £6.5 million Series B funding from Downing Ventures

London, January 21, 2019 – Imagen, the leading SaaS video management platform business, has secured £6.5 million in a Series B round. The company received funding from an investor pool led by Downing Ventures. The round also included capital from Guinness Asset Management Ltd and participation from existing investor, Cambridge Innovation Capital.

The investment represents a major milestone for the company, following significant growth in 2018 that saw Imagen post an 88% year on year revenue increase driven by clients including Formula One, The Premier LeagueWorld Tennis AssociationBPReutersBBC and IMG, part of Endeavor.

The investment follows a growth trajectory that has seen Imagen establish a significant foothold in the video management sector and become an essential piece of technology for sports, media and enterprise businesses looking to manage their expanding video and content libraries.

Charlie Horrell, CEO of Imagen, comments, “This funding is clear recognition of the value our partners and prospects see in the platform. We have a world class roster of clients across the sports, media and enterprise sectors and have a healthy pipeline going into 2019. We look forward to accelerating our global operations and are thrilled to be working with new investors to continue shaping the future of video management.”

Richard Lewis, Investment Director at Downing Ventures, added, “We are delighted to be backing Imagen and the exceptional management team that has developed a market leading video management platform. We are now focused on supporting Imagen’s exciting UK and international expansion plans.”
Victor Christou, CEO of Cambridge Innovation Capital, adds, “Imagen was one of the first companies into which CIC invested. It has made great progress since our initial investment, transforming itself into a globally leading SaaS video management platform with a greatly enhanced client list. We are delighted to continue to support the company as it expands from its UK base into international markets.”

Malcolm King, Fund Manager at Guinness Asset Management said, “Imagen is an acknowledged leader in video management with an enviable customer base. We are delighted to have completed our growth capital investment into the company and look forward to working with the Imagen team, CIC and Downing Ventures to help the company realise its international growth ambitions. The deal demonstrates our ongoing ability to source and deliver high quality investments for our EIS investors.”

Eddie Harding, Partner at ICON Corporate Finance who advised the company on the round, added, “I’m delighted to have helped Charlie and his team raise this funding from these three highly respected tech investors. The research shows that video continues to grow exponentially, and Imagen’s enterprise grade video management platform is ideally placed to meet the explosive demand of this sector.”

The funding will enable Imagen to expand its global operations and make significant inroads into the US and European markets. Imagen will be establishing a customer led sales and marketing presence in the US, as well as accelerating product development and the growth of its technology division.


About Imagen

Imagen is an intuitive video management platform that enables sports organisations, media companies and enterprise sectors to intelligently manage their video content with enhanced functionality, control, and insight. Imagen is being used by global organisations to manage and distribute their expanding video and media libraries – enabling fast, easy, secure and controlled access to content through the highly customisable platform.

Imagen’s customers include Formula One, The Premier League, World Tennis Association, BP, Reuters, BBC and IMG, part of Endeavour. The secure platform is also used by the Ministry of Defence, and preserves archive collections for Imperial War Museums, the British Library and the BFI.

For more information visit www.imagenevp.com

About Downing Ventures

Downing Ventures is a London based evergreen fund investing in seed to series A (and beyond) companies, providing entrepreneurs with a ladder of funding. The fund has backed over 60 ambitious businesses (as at January 2019) across a variety of technology sectors including online marketplaces, enterprise software, and health technology.

About Guinness Asset Management

Guinness Asset Management provides a range of long only actively managed funds to individual and institutional investors. We also offer an Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS service) investing in private growth stage and AIM-listed companies. Founded in 2003, Guinness is independent and is wholly owned by its employees. We believe in in-house research, intelligent screening for prioritisation of research and well-designed investment processes. We manage concentrated, high conviction portfolios, with low turnover and no benchmark constraints. Since our establishment we have developed a variety of specialisms in global growth and dividend funds, global sector funds and Asian regional and country funds.

For enquiries regarding Guinness EIS Service contact Shane Gallwey, Tel: +44 (0)20 7222 3475, Email: eis@guinnessfunds.com

About Cambridge Innovation Capital plc

CIC combines a unique relationship with the University of Cambridge with deep financial and industry links to support rapidly growing intellectual property rich companies in the Cambridge Cluster. The company is committed to building leading businesses from brilliant technologies, with the benefit of some of the most influential figures in the sector and a patient capital structure.

For more information please visit www.cicplc.co.uk or follow us on Twitter at @CambsInnovation

About ICON Corporate Finance

ICON Corporate Finance is a boutique investment bank which acts exclusively for technology companies. Its clients are changing the world and ICON helps them secure funding to build great companies and realise maximum value when they come to sell.

Beamery secures investment from Workday

Talent Engagement Platform joins the Workday Software Partner Program, and is selected by Workday for Beamery Talent CRM

20/02/2019 – Beamery, a leading talent engagement platform, today announced it has received a strategic investment from Workday Ventures and it will join the Workday Software Partner Program. In addition, Beamery also announced that the Workday Talent Acquisition team has selected Beamery products that help further its efforts to identify early-stage, passive candidates and are complementary to Workday Human Capital Management (HCM), including Beamery Talent Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Beamery Talent Marketing, and Beamery Pages.

Beamery’s mission is to help companies redefine the way they attract, engage, and retain top talent, helping deliver a better talent acquisition experience. The company has raised $40 million to date, experienced 300 percent growth in annual recurring revenue in the past 12 months, and has won a significant number of enterprise customers. Beamery’s platform combines Talent CRM, Talent Marketing, Automated Compliance, and a Connected Integration layer to enable enterprises to approach recruiting like customer acquisition – from outbound prospecting and pipeline building to targeted nurture and engagement.

Beamery’s technology enables companies to make smarter hiring decisions by deploying such things as large-scale data-mining, a 360-degree view of each candidate relationship, and machine learning algorithms to determine which prospects are most interested, in order to better nurture top candidates.

“We’re thrilled to join the Workday family as a Software Partner,” said Abakar Saidov, CEO and co-founder, Beamery. “The industry expertise that Workday brings to the table, combined with the product integration that shared customers will gain from our partnership, extends our position to help companies redefine the way they work with talent.”

“Two things really stood out to us when selecting Beamery – its expertise in targeting early-stage, passive candidates, and its technology, which complements and extends the industry-leading capabilities of Workday HCM,” said Charles Mah, vice president, global talent acquisition, Workday. “This partnership helps support our talent networking strategy focused on building stronger candidate relationships by understanding their interests and motivations, and then matching them with the right opportunities.” “Beamery and Workday share a commitment to deliver cutting-edge solutions that allow organizations to take a more strategic approach to talent acquisition” said Leighanne Levensaler, senior vice president, corporate strategy and managing director and co-head, Workday Ventures. “By partnering, Workday and Beamery will be able to help customers more effectively engage future talent with personalized experiences, so they can attract the best candidates in order to help their businesses grow and compete in the future.”

About Beamery

Beamery is the leading Talent Engagement Platform. It enables enterprises to attract, identify and engage candidates on one unified platform, to deliver better talent acquisition – at scale. Beamery’s mission is to help the world’s best companies acquire their greatest assets: their people. Founded in 2014, Beamery is one of the leading UK technology companies and trusted by global organizations such as Continental, Zalando, Shop Direct, Grab and Balfour Beatty. Beamery has offices in London, Austin, and San Francisco.

About Workday Ventures

Workday Ventures is the strategic investment arm of Workday, Inc., focused on accelerating the growth of emerging enterprise software companies that enhance the Workday customer experience and are complementary to Workday products and services. The $250 million fund was launched in February 2018 with investments in companies focused on areas such as machine learning, employee enablement, data and analytics, and robotic process automation.

AI cyber defender Senseon secures £4.92 million to redefine industry approach

19th February 2019

The seed funding will support Senseon’s scaling of technology and presence in EMEA and the US

London, 19 February 2019: Senseon, the next generation AI platform for cyber defence, today announces the completion of a seed funding round of $6.4m. Leading the investment is research-led venture capital fund MMC Ventures, alongside Mark Weatherford, Chief Cyber Security Strategist at vArmour and former Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Additional investors include Amadeus Capital PartnersCrane Venture Partners and CyLon.  The funding will allow Senseon to continue its rapid expansion in the UK and increase its presence in EMEA and the US.

Founded in 2017 by David Atkinson – the first ever cyber operative within the UK’s specialist military units – Senseon empowers businesses to keep pace with the increase of emerging cyber-attacks. Atkinson’s extensive expertise in cyber security, both for enterprises and at a national level, inspired him to create the ‘AI Triangulation’ system at the heart of the Senseon platform.

AI Triangulation ensures complete visibility across organisations’ entire digital estates and provides context to automatically determine genuine cyber threats in the noise of busy networks. The Senseon platform learns and adapts to organisations’ environments and provides highly accurate threat detection that reduces false positive alerts, which the average organisation wastes 425 hours a week investigating, costing them $1.37million per year.

Founder and CEO of Senseon, David Atkinson, said: “Cyber-attacks are one of the greatest concerns for the modern business. Organisations’ networks are becoming increasingly complex and accelerated tech adoption creates additional noise for attackers to hide within. Meanwhile, attacker innovation is growing, and their techniques evade current cyber defence tools, which are unable to differentiate between genuinely malicious threats and merely new or unusual activity.

“The Senseon team understands too well the woes of enterprises and their security teams who have to keep up with the evolving landscape of cyber-crime, while also trying to cut through the noise and work out which threats on their network are genuine. We created Senseon to tackle this specific problem. The intelligence behind the Senseon product, and its ability to automatically detect and investigate threats across the entire organisation, is reducing the burden placed on already-stretched security teams and freeing up resources to focus on what matters: investigating actual threats.”

Mina Samaan, MMC Ventures, said: “Cyber security continues to be the number one priority for technology deployments by CIOs. Organisations of all sizes need to get better at keeping pace with emerging threats, but more importantly, identifying the attacks that require intervention. Senseon’s technology directly addresses this challenge by using reinforcement learning AI techniques to help over-burdened security teams better understand anomalous behaviour through a single holistic platform.

“This is an evolving and difficult problem which requires a world-class team to solve it. We have been very impressed with David and the Senseon team and are excited to be a part of their next phase of growth.”

CyLon Co-Founder, Grace Cassy, said: “Businesses see real value in the way Senseon’s product – through the use of AI Triangulation – can provide them with one cohesive platform that protects their organisation from emerging threats, replacing the need to purchase and maintain multiple single-point solutions.”


About Senseon

Senseon is the next phase of AI for cyber defence, moving beyond rules-based systems that are too rigid to keep pace with emerging cyber-attacks or ineffective AI systems which cannot differentiate between unusual behaviour and malicious threats. Unique to Senseon, ‘AI Triangulation’ understands and correlates threats across an organisation’s entire digital estate, providing much needed context and clarity in an increasingly noisy landscape. Founded in 2017, Senseon brings together cyber security experts, former government cyber operatives and applied machine learning specialists. Headquartered in London, UK and Chicago, USA, Senseon also has a presence in the Middle East and Australia. Find out more at www.senseon.io

UK AI companies Biorelate and Intellegens win share of £20m in Innovate UK grant competition to explore creation of advanced data curation tool

2019-02-18. Manchester, UK and Cambridge, UK. Two artificial intelligence (AI) companies, Biorelate Limited and Intellegens Limited, today announced their success in the third round of the Innovate UK open grant funding competition. Together, the two companies have secured over £300,000 from Innovate UK and will co-invest an additional £130,000 to deliver a partnership project entitled: “Chemeia: A synergistic AI integrated architecture for augmenting high-value dark-data”.

Project Chemeia (‘Chem-ee-a’) will test the potential for combining the capabilities of Biorelate’s deep text mining (Galactic AITM) technology with Intellegens’ sparse data solution, to produce up to date, comprehensive, and reliable data sets for high-value R&D work.

Biorelate and Intellegens are two high-technology companies specialising in the development and application of novel AI techniques that can solve common problems associated with optimising data curation for R&D.

Data curation is a critical component of scientific research and development (R&D) in many areas including biological research and advanced materials manufacturing – helping to ensure that results from in-house experiments and information from external sources can be integrated for further analysis.

Current AI methods for curating scientific experimental data can be slow and are prone to leaving gaps in the information they produce. Existing techniques are costly to deploy at scale. Estimates suggest that around 80% of published scientific literature is unused and the effort of data curation is an obstacle to research. This project will determine how modern AI approaches can make this better.

Biorelate CEO and founder Dr Daniel Jamieson said ‘Adequate data curation underpins so much of the future success of research and development in science and Biorelate is continually investing in innovative ways to improve this. What really excites me about this project is the prospect of bringing two completely different, game-changing technologies together to achieve something entirely novel. We can’t wait to start!’

Intellegens CEO and co-founder Ben Pellegrini said ‘We are excited to work with the team at Biorelate to bring together the best parts of our AlchemiteTM platform with Galactic AITM. Independently, our AI technologies are proven; together they have the potential to take the pain out of data curation. Biorelate curates databases from the analysis of published scientific literature – allowing researchers to extract structured biological knowledge for use in a variety of applications. We work with sparse data, using our deep learning algorithm to make accurate predictions in datasets that are as little as 0.05% complete. With the funding granted by Innovate UK we’ll be able to exploit the synergies between these two approaches and see if it is possible to create a powerful new approach that can transform data curation.”

Both CEOs agreed that ‘Funding from Innovate UK has made this project possible. This support will help us contribute to the UK’s position as a leading nation in this field.’

Biorelate, Manchester Science Park, Manchester, UK, M15 6JJ

Biorelate is developing Galactic AITM, an advanced text analytics & data mining cloud-based platform. Galactic reduces research risks, increases commercial awareness and helps solve biomedical research’s greatest challenges.


Intellegens, Eagle Labs, 28 Chesterton Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, CB4 3AZ

Intellegens have developed Alchemite, which builds on existing numerical curated resources (sparse data) by using AI to predict ranked unknown data-points and uncertainties. No other solution on the market can replicate Alchemite’s low cost modelling, prediction, error detection & parameter optimisation for big, sparse, numerical data.


Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency

Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. We connect businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn ideas into commercially successful products and services and business growth. We fund business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into R&D. Our support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, value chains and UK regions. Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation.


Beringea leads £2.4 million investment in DeepCrawl

(London, UK) Beringea, the transatlantic venture capital investor, today announced that it has led a £2.4 million investment in DeepCrawl, a leading web crawler and marketing insights platform. The funding follows on from DeepCrawl’s £1.75 million Series A, which was also led by Beringea UK – other existing high net worth investors supported both rounds.

DeepCrawl has grown significantly since the initial investment by Beringea’s UK funds in 2017 through expanding its customer base and successfully establishing itself in the American market. Its platform, providing a suite of leading technical SEO software products to analyse the health and performance of a site, is now used by a growing roster of enterprise clients including Made.com, Missguided and Autotrader.

DeepCrawl has also rapidly built its presence in the USA, with almost 50 per cent of its revenues now generated by American clients. An expanding team operating from its New York headquarters has secured a string of influential customers including IKEA, eBay and Uber, demonstrating notable demand for its technical analysis of website and SEO performance among global tech giants.

This demand reflects the quality of the DeepCrawl platform – a recognised leader in technical SEO crawling and analytics – and the vital importance of website performance for modern businesses. MADE.com, one of Europe’s leading homeware and furniture retailers, used DeepCrawl’s software to evaluate and improve its website’s technical performance, generating a 42 per cent year-on-year increase in new users and a 60 per cent month-on-month increase in revenues from organic traffic.

As the scale and complexity of website architecture increases and as Google places greater value on the performance and experience of sites prioritised in its search rankings, DeepCrawl’s platform will continue to grow in value and importance for businesses worldwide.

This latest round of funding will enable DeepCrawl to capitalise on this opportunity through building its sales presence in the UK and the US and expanding its customer success team to support its growing base of enterprise clients.

“DeepCrawl has demonstrated its ability to build a platform that delivers tangible impact for global companies with highly complex and technical website architecture,” Stuart Veale, Managing Partner of Beringea, commented. “Beringea has backed DeepCrawl as it gathers momentum and strengthens its leadership in an increasingly vital specialism that will shape the success of online businesses.”

Michal Magdziarz, co-founder and CEO of DeepCrawl, commented: “This additional investment will help support our continued drive in building a global technology platform, helping to protect clients around the world from SEO regression, while enabling them to maximise their online revenue growth. We are really looking forward to 2019 as we continue to deliver exemplary satisfaction for our clients and the launch of several key projects we have in development for this year.”

DeepCrawl was founded in 2010 in London by Michal Magdziarz, Matt Jones and Chris Evans, three highly experienced SEO specialists. The business has since grown substantially, with more than 60 employees spanning offices in London, New York and Krakow.

Rapyd Secures £31.25 million in Series B Funding Led by General Catalyst and Stripe

LONDON and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Feb. 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Rapyd, a global fintech-as-a-service platform that enables businesses and consumers to pay or be paid however they choose, using any payment method or cash for local and cross-border e-commerce, today announced a $40 million series B financing round led by General Catalyst and Stripe, with participation from Target Global, IGNIA and other strategic payments and fintech companies.

With this investment, Rapyd will expand its technology platform that supports any local or cross-border commerce use case requiring local payments, such as bank transfers, e-wallets, and cash for local acceptance and payouts. Rapyd addresses a significant and growing market opportunity as more than half of all transactions worldwide are facilitated via bank transfer, but merchants find it increasingly difficult to digitally enable local payment methods and process cross-border sales that are critical for international expansion.

“We’re excited to work with our new partners General Catalyst, Stripe, Target Global, IGNIA, and others, who today join our earlier investors including seed and series A lead TaL Capital. This marks a critical inflection point in our evolution as a company and at a time when market demand for our fintech-as-a-service platform approach is accelerating,” said Arik Shtilman, Co-founder and CEO of Rapyd.

“Rapyd’s product offering helps merchants, banks, telcos and fintech companies expand the scope of the products they offer, increase the number of customers they reach, and improve the overall customer experience,” said Adam Valkin, Partner of General Catalyst. “Rapyd does this by helping drive the ubiquity of payment and payout options beyond debit and credit cards, towards cash, bank transfers, instant payments, e-wallets, and mobile money.”

“As global commerce continues to grow, the market opportunity for online merchants, the gig economy, online lenders and banks looking to provide access to funds instantly, is constrained due to the challenges of accepting and making local payment methods and cash transactions,” added Shtilman. “Rapyd helps businesses and their customers pay and be paid however they choose by seamlessly integrating any local payment method or cash to run any digital application from a single API.”

“Rapyd is a rare example of a unique solution allowing merchants and banks that work globally to be able to access hundreds of payment methods with one integration around the world. This ensures access to services for those who are most in need so that they can pay the way they are used to rather than being obliged to use the existing rails of card schemes,” noted Mike Lobanov, General Partner of Target Global. “We see the future in seamless payments with more and more transactions happening inside closed ecosystems through e-wallets. The global economy needs a modernized infrastructure which Rapyd is building.”

“Early on we saw and backed Rapyd’s vision to fundamentally re-think how financial management, money movement, and payment services could be delivered through a cloud computing model through a single technology stack. By removing the complexity and difficulty of managing geographic expansion, regulations, and new features businesses can focus on building the best fintech applications without worrying about backend systems that work on a global scale,” noted Eyal Dior, co-Managing Partner at TaL Capital. “We were pleased to lead Rapyd’s seed round and to co-lead their Series A funding. It is great to see market and investor acceptance of their Fintech-as-a-service vision.”

In addition to enabling local payments Rapyd also provides (1) Single Point of Reconciliation and Settlement of all funds across 65 currencies and the ability to payout in over 170 countries, (2) Advanced real-time foreign exchange services, that on average, provide a lower cost to clients and their consumers, and are more profitable, due to advanced FX hedging technology, and (3) Comprehensive global Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/Counter Financing Terrorism (CFT) services.

About General Catalyst
General Catalyst is a venture capital firm with approximately $5B raised to date that makes early-stage and transformational investments. We back fearless entrepreneurs who have the potential to build market-leading technology companies like Airbnb, BigCommerce, ClassPass, Datalogix, Datto, Demandware, Gusto, HubSpot, KAYAK, Oscar, Snap, Stripe, and Warby Parker. With offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, New York City and Boston, our portfolio companies benefit from a bicoastal network of talent, customers, and opportunity. For more: www.generalcatalyst.com.

About Target Global
Target Global is an international Venture Capital firm headquartered in Berlin, with €700m in assets under management. Connecting the key European startup ecosystems we leverage the unique DNA of each of our target geographies, across our global network. Building on our experienced team with substantial operational and investment experience, we help exceptional entrepreneurs to build market leaders. Target Global follows a lifecycle approach, investing in fast-growing online platforms, targeting trillion $ markets. Our partners have been investing for more than 15 years in the digital technology space, backing some of the European success stories. The Target Global portfolio includes companies such as Auto1, Delivery Hero, GoEuro, Dreamlines, Rapyd, and WeFox. For more: www.targetglobal.vc  

About TaL Capital
TaL Capital is a Private Investment Fund investing in promising early-stage high-tech companies with a focus on Healthcare and Fintech. Comprised of seasoned professionals and business leaders, our group has extensive connections and expertise ranging from technical know-how to operations and marketing, to strategic proficiency. At each stage of the business life cycle, our team supports the Fund’s array of portfolio companies by providing them with valuable input into strategy-building, networking, strategic alliances, and funding. TaL Capital seeks companies that offer unique technology, strong commercial potential, and outstanding leadership teams. For more information contact at eyal@tal-capital.com.

IGNIA is a venture capital fund that invests in high growth companies aimed at the emerging middle class in Mexico. IGNIA invests in sectors such as fintech, financial services, payments, saas, marketplaces and gig economy, among others. For more: www.ignia.mxand @IGNIA Fund.

About Rapyd
Rapyd provides a fintech-as-a-service platform that helps businesses and their customers pay and be paid however they choose. The Rapyd platform supports any payment method for in-country or cross-border commerce use cases. Businesses can seamlessly integrate payment methods like bank transfers, e-wallets, or cash into any digital application from a single API and scale them globally across multiple payments networks. Rapyd operates the world’s largest local payments network that connects to over 2B+ consumers transacting around the corner and across the globe. For more: www.rapyd.net.

Media contact: 
Lumina Communications for Rapyd 
Marshall Hampson / Danielle Scotto 408-680-0561 / 646-775-6303 


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Starling Bank raises £75 million Series C to fund its expansion from Merian Chrysalis

London, 13 February 2019: Starling Bank, a leading digital banking platform, has raised £60 million in a Series C funding round led by Merian Global Investors, including the Merian Chrysalis Investment Company Limited (“Merian Chrysalis”).

Starling has also raised a further £15 million from its existing investor, bringing the total to £75 million.

The funding will support increased investment in Starling’s pioneering financial products in retail and SME banking as well as banking services in the UK. It will also enable the digital banking platform to accelerate its global expansion, starting in Europe.

The expansion will build on Starling’s rapid success to date in the UK and underscores its ambitions to change the face of banking: since launching its app in May 2017, Starling has built up a customer base of 460,000 personal current accounts and 30,000 SME accounts. The bank expects to hit one million customers by the end of 2019.

Starling’s Banking Services division, which makes the bank’s proprietary best-in-class banking and payments infrastructure (“Banking-as-a-Service”) available to third parties, has 20 institutional clients, including three new customers this week, while payment volume in its Payment Services is doubling month on month. The Starling Marketplace, Europe’s first fully integrated financial marketplace, provides customers with access to third-party financial services and now has 11 partners, with many more in the pipeline.

Starling has a strong track record as an innovator, bringing out new products and features virtually every month. Its latest product, a euro account, allows UK residents to hold, send and receive euros for free.

Merian Chrysalis is an LSE-listed investment company advised by leading asset management firm Merian Global Investors, which was formerly named Old Mutual Global Investors. Merian Global Investors has a total of £28.9 billion under management (as at 31 December 2018).

Merian Chrysalis, is co-managed by Richard Watts and Nick Williamson members of Merian Global Investors award-winning small and mid-cap desk, which manages approximately £6 billion in client investments (as at 31 January 2019). Merian Chrysalis was created specifically to invest in exciting, late-stage private companies.

Anne Boden, founder and chief executive of Starling Bank, said:
“Building our platform and launching in the UK to provide genuine choice to retail, SME and Banking-as-a-Service customers was just the first step. Our ambition is to use our technology to build a next-generation global, digital banking platform, starting with our launch across Europe this year.

“We look forward to the support of the Merian Chrysalis team as we deliver the Starling product to a global audience.”

Nick Williamson, Merian Chrysalis co-portfolio manager, said:
“Financial services is a market undergoing considerable change, driven by technology and users’ desire for better and more convenient offerings. The Starling team has developed a highly impressive and efficient platform, which we believe positions it well to continue to take share in core banking markets, as well as the ability to offer innovative new services in the future. We are delighted to be backing Anne and her team with this investment, and look forward to supporting them as they realise the full potential of the business.”

Notes to Editors

MGI’s total investment, across a number of funds, is approximately £50 million, subject to regulatory approval. Starling’s seed investor Harald McPike is participating in the round with a £10 million investment. This follows £15 million he recently invested in the bank and brings the total raised to £75 million.

J.P. Morgan acted as exclusive financial advisor to Starling Bank on this transaction with Norton Rose and Macfarlane’s acting as legal advisors to Starling Bank and Merian Global Investors, respectively.

About Starling Bank

Starling Bank is a digital bank based in the UK, offering personal, business, joint and euro current accounts. It also operates a Marketplace as well as Payment Services for banks, e-money institutions, government and corporates, and a Banking-as-a-Service platform. Headquartered in London, Starling is a fully licensed and regulated bank, founded by former Allied Irish Banks COO, Anne Boden, in January 2014.

About Merian Chrysalis Investment Company

The Merian Chrysalis Investment Company Limited is a Guernsey-domiciled investment company traded on the London Stock Exchange. It aims to generate long-term capital growth through investing in a portfolio consisting primarily of equity or equity related investments in unquoted companies. The Company’s investment adviser is Merian Global Investors. Its investment advisory team is led by co-fund managers Richard Watts and Nick Williamson.

Merian Global Investors was formed in June 2018 when its management team, together with funds operated by the global growth private equity firm, TA Associates, acquired the “single-strategy” investment capabilities of Old Mutual Global Investors.


For Starling Bank:
Alexandra Frean alexandra.frean@starlingbank.com +44 7973 668363
Pagefield media@starlingbank.com +44 203 874 6639

For Merian Global Investors:
Amelie Shepherd, Amelie.Shepherd@merian.com +44 207 332 8345