Retail automation platform Veeqo raises £3.3 million Series A investment led by Octopus Investments

London, UK: Veeqo, the retail automation platform that helps retailers sync their inventory across multiple sales channels and fulfil customer orders, has raised a £3.3m growth investment from the Development Capital team at Octopus Investments. They join existing investors, Daniel McPherson and New Look founder Tom Singh, along with equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs, in supporting the company through this next stage of rapid growth.

This latest round of fundraising will be used to further Veeqo’s dominant position in the UK market, and to expand into the USA. Veeqo’s growth strategy will be driven by a mix of inbound marketing, outbound sales and strategic channel partnerships to cement its position as the leading, all-in-one inventory and fulfillment software for the retail market.

Every year, the Veeqo platform powers over 31 million shipments by its user base. Hundreds of retail brands such as Brompton Bikes, Maidenhead Aquatics and Dove already use Veeqo to fulfil ecommerce orders to customers all over the world, with one Veeqo retailer shipping up to 10,000 orders a day during their peak season.

With its head office based in Swansea, South Wales, and additional offices in London & Bishkek, Veeqo will be expanding with a US team based in North America later in 2019 – becoming one of the only companies founded in Wales to boast a truly global footprint.

Matt Warren, CEO and Founder of Veeqo said:
“I’m passionate about building a global tech company from our home here in Wales. We’re the first Welsh company to raise a growth investment of this size, and it’s fantastic to be working with Octopus – one of the most well-regarded investment firms in London. With the High Street facing increasing challenges day-by-day, retailers selling omnichannel have an opportunity to grow at an astonishing rate and Veeqo can help them achieve that goal.”

Richard Court, Head of Development Capital at Octopus Investments said:
“Veeqo has a very exciting proposition and we’re delighted to be able to support this next phase of growth. The platform Matt and his team have created is market leading, providing SME ecommerce retailers with a strong back-end platform to manage their orders. As a result, Veeqo is positioned well to dominate the UK market and expand further into the USA. We look forward to working with the team and helping them deliver on their ambitious growth plans.”

-ENDS-

About Veeqo

At Veeqo, we are on a mission to help retail brands provide the best experience to their customers everywhere. Our software helps retailers pick, pack and ship a high volume of orders to customers all over the world, and our omnichannel inventory and order management functionality keeps stock levels across multiple warehouses accurate & reliable.

Veeqo’s barcode scanning hardware provides digital picking and packing capabilities that result in a paperless warehouse where every order is shipped quickly and accurately. This, along with advanced software and smartphone apps are providing enterprise-level inventory and shipping functionality to retailers of any size.

About Octopus

Octopus Investments, part of the Octopus Group, is an award-winning, fast-growing investment business dedicated to delivering quality services and products to financial advisers and investors across the UK. We offer a broad portfolio ranging from tax-efficient investments to multi-manager funds, UK smaller company investing, cash management solutions and peer to peer lending. At Octopus we champion the value of financial advice and passionately believe that more people and their families could benefit from financial planning. We want to change the world of investments by offering a straight-talking approach, exceptional customer service and a range of products that aim to do what they say they will.

Octopus is a group of companies that invests in the people, ideas and industries that will help to change the world. We are experts in smaller companies, renewable energy and healthcare infrastructure. We currently manage more than £8.5 billion on behalf of our customers. Octopus Energy, Octopus Healthcare, Octopus Investments, Octopus Wealth, Octopus Property and Octopus Ventures are all part of Octopus Group. Visit www.octopusgroup.com.

Pricing Optimisation Platform BlackCurve raises £1.5 million Series A investment led by Nauta Capital

  • The London-based SaaS pricing optimisation platform helps retailers make smarter pricing decisions
  • BlackCurve will use the investment to accelerate its commercial development, doubling its team, and strengthening its product offering
  • Nauta Capital, a pan-European VC focused on capital-efficient software companies, leads the round.

We are proud to announced the closing of a £1.5 million funding round, led by Pan-European VC Nauta Capital.

Founded in 2016, we are a pricing optimisation platform helps retailers manage and optimise the price of every item they sell to achieve their business goals. Our platform, powered by Artificial Intelligence, ingests data sources ranging from sales history and website page performance, right through to competitor pricing and stock levels, enabling every retailer to create smart pricing rules for their specific business.

We serve mid to large multichannel retailers across industries such as sporting equipment, DIY, garden & outdoor, kitchen & home goods, consumer electronics & photography, pet supplies, stationery, automotive parts, toys & games, beauty & healthcare.

Currently, our pricing platform optimises the prices of over 1 million products and executes over 15 million price changes per month.  This allows retailers to achieve profit margin growth and save both time and resources.

Philip Huthwaite, Founder and CEO of BlackCurve, had this to say about the investment:

“We’re delighted to announce that Nauta has invested into BlackCurve. Their track record speaks for itself, and their advice and support to date has been excellent. We look forward to partnering together on this exciting chapter of our journey. With our existing investor, Mercia, following on too, it is a further proof point of the potential for us to shake up the price optimisation software market and help more retailers optimise their prices.”

Leading the investment, Carles Ferrer, Nauta Capital’s London-based General Partner will be joining BlackCurve’s board and will support the company’s growth plans. Commenting on the investment, Carles said:

“For Nauta, being able to partner with BlackCurve and their highly knowledgeable founding team was an opportunity we could not pass. While exploring different pricing strategies is a key concept in most businesses, the process in which this is achieved has largely remained manual and inefficient, hardly keeping up with the changing pace of technology, but BlackCurve’s innovative solution changes this. There is also a great synergy between our existing portfolio and BlackCurve, and we look forward to working with Philip and the rest of the team in scaling BlackCurve globally.”

The round is supported by Mercia Fund Managers, a United Kingdom-based technology investment firm. Chris Kilroy, Investment Manager at Mercia Fund Managers, said the following about the investment round:

“BlackCurve has continued to make excellent progress since we led the company’s seed round in February 2018. Philip and Charles have done a fantastic job assembling a world-class team in 2018 and we’re looking forward to working with and supporting the company alongside Nauta Capital throughout 2019 and beyond.”

About BlackCurve

BlackCurve is a Pricing Optimisation Platform, that blends the flexibility of a rules-based engine with the power of artificial intelligence. The platform helps retailers manage and optimise the price of every item they sell to achieve their business goals. BlackCurve is headquartered in London, and has raised approximately £2 million of external investment to date. www.blackcurve.com.

About Nauta Capital

Nauta Capital is a pan-European Venture Capital firm investing in early-stage technology companies, with offices in London, Barcelona and Munich. Nauta’s main areas of investment interests include B2B software propositions, disruptive digital media companies, and enabling technologies for mobile and the Internet. Nauta has $300+ million under management and invests in Western Europe. Nauta has led investments in 30+ companies including Brandwatch, CloudIQ, Nextail, Mercaux, Marfeel, MishiPay, ForceManager, Scytl, Getapp, BeMyEye, Geoblink, Smarp, Aba English, Fizzback, Privalia and Social Point. www.nautacapital.com.

About Mercia Fund Managers

Mercia Fund Managers provide both equity and debt finance to small businesses based in the UK regions. The Group has more than 400 businesses in its portfolio, a strong record including 11 IPOs and manages circa £400.0million of third-party funds, including Mercia EIS Funds. www.merciatech.co.uk.

Force24 secures £250,000 debt finance from Mercia

A Leeds-based tech firm which has developed one of the UK’s leading marketing automation platforms has secured a £250,000 loan from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

The funding will support the ongoing development of Force24’s platform and allow it to introduce new features to further improve efficiencies and clients’ return on investment.

Established in 2010 by Adam Oldfield and Nick Washbourne, Force24 now has over 2,000 users and a 97% client retention rate. The company, which employs around 50 people in Leeds, plans to achieve significant growth over the next five years.

Adam Oldfield, Force24’s Managing Director, said: “In an ever evolving marketing landscape, it’s imperative a platform provider like Force24 is in tune with the industry’s needs. We commit to offer our clients free training and support for life, and the unique insights we gain help us understand how we can further support the market. Mercia understands our ambitions clearly and we look forward to working with them and the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund in the years to come, as our funding requirements evolve.”

Jonathan Craig, Investment Manager at Mercia Fund Managers, added: “Force24 consistently invest in their product offering to ensure they keep ahead of the competition and deliver return on investment for clients. The funding will allow the management team to continue product development and drive the business forward.”

Mark Wilcockson, Senior Manager at British Business Bank, said: “Historically, funding options for businesses in the North have been scarce, which has stifled growth and innovation in the region. NPIF is making real strides in reducing the regional funding gap between the North and the South, providing a variety of finance solutions that help businesses in the North realise their growth ambitions.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

HealthTech company Neurovalens raises £4.6 million Series A investment led by Wharton Asset Management

Belfast-based health tech company, Neurovalens, has secured one of the largest ever Series A investments generated by a Northern Irish technology company.

The company specialises in using neuroscience to solve everyday health issues.

The £4.6 million raise was led by London-based Wharton Asset Management along with Cambridge based IQ Capital. The round was also supported by Techstart Ventures, through its Invest NI-backed fund, The UU Fund, Co-Fund NI managed by Clarendon Fund Management, Beltrae Partners and the Angel CoFund.

Led by Dr Jason McKeown, Neurovalens is renowned for the development of Modius, an innovative headset which non-invasively stimulates the area of the brain associated with appetite and cravings.

The investment will allow for further medical trials in the areas of obesity and type 2 diabetes and will also support the company’s wider research into issues such as insomnia, mental health and epilepsy.

“We are delighted to receive this latest wave of funding, it will enable us to continue to lead the way in developing non-invasive neuro-stimulation technology and will propel our work to a whole new level,” said Dr Jason McKeown, CEO of Neurovalens.

“Modius has been an incredible success story since its launch in 2017 and with medical device approval expected within the next 12-18 months, the prospects are extremely exciting.

“With the concept now proven, our immediate focus is on the development of neurological science to tackle ever wider health and lifestyle issues affecting people all over the world. It’s a hugely exciting time for the application of neuroscience and our business.”

Highlighting the significance of the funding round, Jamie Andrews of Techstart Ventures added:

“We are very proud to have been investors in Neurovalens from its earliest days. This round is a huge endorsement of the work of the entire team at Neurovalens. Their ability to bring neuroscience and technology together is not only delivering a lighthouse commercial success story for Northern Ireland but at a global level, is changing lives for the better.”

Also commenting on the raise, Kerry Baldwin, Partner of IQ Capital added:

“IQ Capital is looking forward to supporting the impressive, thought-leading team at Neurovalens as they apply their IP-rich neuro-tech to solve multiple health issues.”

SatelliteTech company OneWeb raises a mammoth £950 million investment led by SoftBank

March 18, 2019 – OneWeb, a global communications company with a mission to bring connectivity to everyone, everywhere, announces it has secured its largest fundraising round to date with the successful raise of $1.25 billion in new capital. This brings the total funds raised to $3.4 billion. This round was led by SoftBank Group Corp., Grupo Salinas, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., and the Government of Rwanda.

The new funds, following the successful first launch of OneWeb’s satellites, enable the company to accelerate the development of the first truly global communications network by 2021. OneWeb’s system will deliver high speed, low latency, seamless broadband access, everywhere on Earth.

“This latest funding round, our largest to date, makes OneWeb’s service inevitable and is a vote of confidence from our core investor base in our business model and the OneWeb value proposition,” said Adrian Steckel, CEO of OneWeb. “With the recent successful launch of our first six satellites, near-completion of our innovative satellite manufacturing facility with our partner Airbus, progress towards fully securing our ITU priority spectrum position, and the signing of our first customer contracts, OneWeb is moving from the planning and development stage to deployment of our full constellation. Our success is made possible thanks to the backing of our investors and the cooperation of our world class commercial partners including Arianespace, Airbus, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., Virgin, and Hughes.”

OneWeb’s satellites, produced through its joint venture with Airbus doing business as “OneWeb Satellites”, will ramp-up production this spring at its new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Exploration Park, Florida. Following the company’s successful launch of satellites on February 27th, OneWeb will embark on the largest satellite launch campaign in history. Starting in Q4, OneWeb will begin monthly launches of more than 30 satellites at a time, creating an initial constellation of 650 satellites to enable full global coverage. After this first phase, OneWeb will add more satellites to its constellation to meet growing demands.

On the additional investment, Marcelo Claure, COO of SoftBank Group Corp. and CEO of SoftBank Group International said: “OneWeb has extended its first-mover advantage and is on track to become the world’s largest and first truly global communications network. At SoftBank, our aim is to invest in transformative companies at the leading edge of technology disruption. OneWeb’s potential is undeniable as the growth in data from 5G, IoT, autonomous driving and other new technologies drives demand for capacity above and beyond the limits of the existing infrastructure.”

OneWeb’s priority rights to a large block of globally harmonized spectrum and its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation design will enable a unique combination of high speed, low latency, and truly global service. OneWeb’s network will go beyond the limits of existing infrastructure, enabling connectivity for rural communities and schools as well as for business and industries that demand seamless global connectivity solutions such as Aviation, Maritime, Backhaul, and Land Mobility. OneWeb’s customers will be able to develop and support a wide range of emerging applications that require real-time communication and collaboration.

“I have worked for over 20 years to bring network access to people throughout Mexico and Latin America and have seen first-hand the power of connectivity to change and improve lives. OneWeb will have the ability to reach places that have previously been impossible to connect. We are proud to be supporting Adrian and the entire OneWeb team and are looking forward to creating new opportunities for people everywhere,” said Ricardo Salinas, Founder and Chairman of Grupo Salinas.

Greg Wyler, Chairman and Founder of OneWeb, added “We are committed to bridging the digital divide, and this funding helps ensure our globally shared dream will soon become a reality. We look forward to continuing our work with the many supportive and forward-looking Governments, ISP’s, and Telecom Operators to help them broaden the reach of connectivity to connect people everywhere.”

OneWeb’s network will provide services to billions and will support the emerging digital economy and advanced mobile application needs. To support the deployment of the system, OneWeb relies on high-tech satellite operation centers in both Virginia and in London, and has installed ground stations in Italy, Norway, and Canada, with more on the way. A global company, OneWeb now has offices in Virginia, London, Florida, California, and has recruited top talent around the world to execute the rollout of its system.

For more information please visit www.oneweb.world or follow us on Twitter & Instagram.

***

About OneWeb

OneWeb’s mission is to enable Internet access for everyone, everywhere. OneWeb is building a communications network with a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites that will provide connectivity to people around the world. OneWeb is creating business solutions for Broadband, Government and Cellular Backhaul. Its high speed, low latency, network will offer game-changing Mobility solutions to industries that rely on global connectivity, such as Aviation, Maritime, Automotive, Trains and more. http://www.oneweb.world

Media Contacts

Press Contacts

  • Katie Dowdkdowd@oneweb.net+12024154030
  • Chris Torresctorres@oneweb.net+12024278068
  • FTI OneWeb Teamoneweb@fticonsulting.com

BGF invests £11.6m in Reading-based Invenio Business Solutions

14 March 2019: BGF, the UK’s most active investor in growing businesses, has invested £11.6m in Invenio, a UK-headquartered and global provider of business focussed technology solutions and consulting services, to support the business’s continued growth.

Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Reading, Invenio provides consulting services and technology solutions for organisations in the media, manufacturing & logistics, and public sector verticals.

Invenio delivers successful transformational projects and business critical technology solutions with exceptional customer focus, deep industry expertise and a transparent approach.

Invenio has over 750 employees working for customers worldwide with delivery centres across seven countries – UK, India, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Fiji, USA and UAE – and has a strong track record with global partners and clients. SAP, the world’s largest enterprise software vendor, named Invenio as one of its leading partners globally for tax and revenue management and the media industry. Invenio’s customers include Universal Music Group, Kuehne & Nagel, the BBC and the Fijian and Saudi Tax authorities. 

The investment from BGF will help the business scale by expanding its offering, improving its services and growing through acquisition.

Arun Bala, CEO of Invenio, said: “Invenio was set up on the core values of exceptional customer focus, deep industry and technology expertise, transparency and employee care. Our core values, a unique culture and a highly valued customer engagement model have helped us grow over the last thirteen years and maintain deep relationships with our clients.

We are delighted to have BGF on board for the next stage of our journey and are looking forward to making the most of the team’s expertise in this space. BGF’s investment will help us continue to invest and grow to meet demand, whilst keeping control of our business and staying true to our values.”

Alex Snodgrass, an investor at BGF who will join the board of Invenio, said: “Invenio is a fantastic, fast-growing business which has created a market-leading position and a loyal and constant customer base. Arun and the team have exceptional deep domain knowledge and experience, and we’re delighted to be a part of this exciting next step for Invenio as it grows to meet demand on a global scale.”

The investment was led for BGF by Alex Snodgrass, Jack Teasdale and Tim Rea.

The advisors to the transaction were:

BGF: Wilson Partners and Field Seymour Parkes

Invenio: PwC, CIL, RSM and WBD

                                                — End —

About Invenio:

Invenio Business Solutions is an award-winning company, headquartered in Reading, UK, which solves complex business challenges with innovative technical solutions. The company has specialist expertise and experience in media, manufacturing and logistics, and the public sector. Formed in 2006, Invenio has subsidiary offices in Germany, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Fiji, India and USA with a 750-strong workforce.

About BGF:

  • BGF was set up in 2011 and has invested more than £1.8bn in over 260 companies, making it the most active investor in the UK and globally by number of transactions. On average, BGF invested in one company per week in 2018.
  • BGF has £2.5bn to invest in UK SMEs and in Ireland, and an additional €250m to support Irish businesses. Earlier this year, Canada launched its equivalent – the Canadian Business Growth Fund – based on BGF’s funding model, and Australia is now actively exploring the approach as well.
  • BGF is a minority, non-controlling equity partner with a patient outlook on investments, based on shared long-term goals with the management teams it backs.

www.bgf.co.uk 

Social media: @BGFinvestments


For Press & Media Relations contact:

Name: Silviya Savova – Marketing Executive
Email Address: silviya.savova@invenio-solutions.com
Phone Number: +44 (0) 7496056859 

Adthena raises £10.57 million Series A investment from Updata Partners

LONDON, UK (March 13, 2019) — Adthena (www.adthena.com), the leader in AI-powered search marketing intelligence, today announced it has raised $14 million in a Series A round of funding from Updata Partners. Updata Partners joins the Adthena board to accelerate Adthena’s US Growth in addition to product developments and improvements

The investment will further accelerate Adthena’s rapid growth across the US and internationally, while strengthening the product development of its paid search AI platform, which is built around its patented ‘Whole Market View’. In addition, it will allow the company to scale its AI capabilities and support the launch of new channels.

“With more than 200 major brands as clients we’ve already proven the value of the search clarity that we bring to marketers.” said Ian O’Rourke, CEO at Adthena. “With Updata’s investment and experience, we aim to accelerate delivery of AI-driven capabilities customers have been asking for, while supporting an expanding client list in the US.”

According to Adobe, only 15 percent of companies are already using AI to drive their marketing initiatives but a further 31 percent are planning to implement in 2019. As the only AI-powered search platform in the world leveraging natural language processing, machine learning and thousands of deep learned categories, Adthena offers the most powerful search marketing intelligence solution on the market today. The platform has been adopted globally by marketing leaders and their agencies to help exceed performance by delivering competitive clarity to search marketing auctions. This unique market positioning has allowed the company to:

– Increase Volvo’s new car configurations by 97 percent
– Help a leading UK retailer obtain 50 percent market share for the new iPhone launch
– Help AutoTrader maintain a leading position in share of clicks across their core ad groups

“Adthena is at the heart of key performance decisions as a strategic partner of choice and driving results for some of the world’s largest enterprise organizations,” said Braden Snyder, Vice President at Updata Partners. “The progress they have made in the US over the last year shows Adthena’s ability to adapt to a new market and create opportunities, which we’re excited to be apart of this coming year.”

As part of the transaction, Jon Seeber, General Partner at Updata, will join Adthena’s board of directors.

Ian O’Rourke, CEO at Adthena added, “This is a very exciting time for Adthena, particularly and especially the growth of our Austin office, as we embark on the next part of our journey. We are delighted to have Updata join as partners and welcome Braden and Jon to the board.”

Adthena was founded in 2012 by Ian O’Rourke and has offices in London, Austin, and Sydney.

About Adthena

Founded in 2012, Adthena is The Ultimate Search Intelligence Solution, processing over 10 terabytes of new data, while indexing 500 million advertisements and 200 million keywords in 15 different languages every day. Adthena’s user-friendly interface segments data to provide insights into Brand Protection, Partner Management, Strategic Planning, Gap Analysis and Ad Copy Analysis delivering all the key insights search advertisers need. Globally, Adthena works with more than 200 clients across 14 different business sectors, including retail and e-commerce, finance, travel, education, and automotive. Brand customers include Autotrader, Air New Zealand, Atlassian, Citibank, Burberry, Toyota, and Volvo. Agency customers include media specialists like GroupM and channel-specific paid search experts like iProspect. In addition, Adthena is the winner of several leading industry awards — including the Search Engine Land Awards, Stevie® Award for Customer Service, and European Search Awards, among others.

PR Contact: ashley.fletcher@adthena.com or allyse@INK-co.com

PolyAI raises £9.2 million Series A investment to deploy conversational AI agents in contact centres led by Point72 Ventures

8th March 2019

Company plans to use its technology to disrupt traditional customer service models

 LONDON, 8 March, 2019 — PolyAI, a platform for conversational artificial intelligence, today announced $12 million in Series A funding. The investment round was led by Point72 Ventures and included investments from Sands Capital Ventures, Amadeus Capital Partners, Passion Capital, and Entrepreneur First. This follows an earlier $2.4 million seed round, led by Amadeus Capital Partners and Passion Capital.

PolyAI’s platform powers conversational AI agents that guide users through complex customer support scenarios. The agents are based on PolyAI’s proprietary machine learning and natural language processing technology, which allows them to scale seamlessly across different use cases and world languages.

“Developing sophisticated AI technology while formulating a compelling SaaS proposition is a significant challenge, and it has delayed the real-world deployment of conversational AI for far too long,” said Nikola Mrkšić, PolyAI co-founder and CEO. “Attempts to bring modern AI to customer support have been largely unsuccessful – due to a lack of data and insufficient understanding of contact center operations. To make rapid progress, we plan to pursue very close integration with existing contact centres.”

“Our machine learning platform works to empower human agents, not replace them,” Shawn Wen, PolyAI co-founder and CTO said. “Our AI agents learn by listening to humans – then, they provide suggestions and improve through feedback. They can do many things that we as humans struggle with. They have instant access to all relevant information and can speak any world language. At peak times, they can handle calls autonomously if human agents are not available.” Mrkšić added: “Ultimately, AI agents are not a replacement for the human touch, which is essential for great customer experience. However, automation is key for changing the economics of a contact centre – if the AI agents can deal with the most routine use cases, this leaves the more complex cases to humans, where they can bring the most value.”

The London startup was founded in 2017 with a core team of scientists and engineers from Cambridge’s Dialog Systems Group. The CEO and co-founder, Nikola Mrkšić, was the first engineer at VocalIQ, a start-up that developed proprietary software to improve dialogue interactions in voice-activated systems, sold to Apple in 2015 to be integrated with Siri.

“We believe strongly in the potential for AI to transform existing industries by improving both customer satisfaction and workforce efficiency, and we’re thrilled to support PolyAI’s mission to build the world’s most advanced call centres,” said Sri Chandrasekar, Partner at Point72 Ventures.  “Nikola, Shawn, and Eddy have put together an impressive team of builders and engineers at PolyAI who are poised to modernize this important aspect of customer service.”

Hermann Hauser, Co-Founder and Venture Partner, Amadeus Capital Partners, said: “PolyAI has identified, in customer experience, a major market in need of intelligent automation. They have a deep knowledge of how conversational AI can enhance human interaction and communication in order to transform the customer service experience. Amadeus is pleased to support this exceptionally smart and proven team as they build out the business.”

Press Contacts:
Nikola Mrksic
+447869767467
nikola@poly-ai.com

Tiffany Galvin-Cohen
(203) 890-2052
Tiffany.galvin-cohen@point72.com

About PolyAI 
PolyAI is a London-based technology company with a state-of-the-art machine learning platform for creating conversational agents. The PolyAI platform empowers contact centres, allowing them to deliver the next-generation of customer experience at a fraction of the cost paid by their competitors. PolyAI’s conversational AI agents understand users and can hold conversations without getting confused. They are available 24/7 and can easily scale to support new use cases or to speak almost any world language.

Suir Valley Ventures leads £3m funding round in VividQ

Suir Valley Ventures, the entrepreneur-led venture capital fund launched in partnership with Shard Capital Partners LLP to invest in early-stage software companies across a range of high-tech verticals including Augmented Reality (‘AR’) and Virtual Reality (‘VR’), Artificial Intelligence (‘AI’), and the Internet of Things (‘IoT’), is pleased to announce it has led a £3 million funding round in VividQ Limited – a UK-based deep tech software company pioneering the application of holography in AR/VR and consumer electronics display.

Overview

  • VividQ is a deep tech start-up with world-leading expertise in 3D holography. The company developed patented software to enable commercial applications of holographic display in AR/VR headsets, smartglasses, automotive head-up displays, and consumer electronics.
  • VividQ was founded in February 2017 in Cambridge, UK. Technical co-founders include engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists from the University of Cambridge, Oxford, and St Andrews with expertise in digital holography.
  • VividQ established partnerships with chipmakers, display and hardware manufacturers in the US, Taiwan and Europe, to enable mass adoption of holographic display with their patented software for hologram generation.
  • The AR market is expected to grow from $11 to $61 billion between 2018 and 2023, with the VR market growing from $8 to $34 billion in the same period, at CAGRs of over 30%, according to Markets and Markets. At the same time, the global display market, valued at $115.60 billion in 2017, is projected to reach $206.29 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 7.4% from 2018 to 2025, according to Allied Market Research.
  • The investment will enable VividQ to accelerate the adoption of their hologram generating software. They aim to double their Cambridge and London-based teams to implement further developments to the software framework and complete ongoing customer projects, to productise devices using holographic display in 2020.

Suir Valley Venture Managing Partner, Barry Downes, said, “We are delighted to lead the £3million investment round in VIVIDQ Limited. Darran and his team have the unique combination of the world-leading expertise and the pioneering,  proprietary software technology that is the missing piece needed for the mass adoption of holography, which will radically enhance and grow the AR and digital display industry.”

VividQ’s CEO, Darran Milne, said, “Suir Valley have been great to work with, both for their professionalism and deep understanding of the companies they invest in and the technology behind them. They demonstrate the kind of vision and passion that the deep tech companies of today need to accelerate bringing truly disruptive solutions to market.”

Further Information

Founded in February 2017, VividQ is a deep-tech software company with world-leading expertise in 3D holography. With seed funding, VividQ has grown its Commercial and Technical teams in Cambridge and London, made a full release of their software framework, and secured partnerships with world-class customers including hardware and embedded systems manufacturers.

Holography has long been considered the ultimate display technology. The science fiction ideal of engineering and manipulating light to produce 3D projections appealed to the imagination of millions through franchises such as Star Wars or Star Trek. While physically possible, the tremendous computing requirements to create full-depth holographic display made it unreachable for commercial applications. Until now.

VividQ has developed solutions required for the mass adoption of holography in AR and consumer electronics. Its patented software framework allows for the real-time generation of holograms from 3D data, and projection on available micro-displays. Commercially viable holographic display solves a crucial problem of today’s AR/VR – the lack of depth perception, which disrupts the user’s sense of realism and results in eye-fatigue and nausea. Holography overcomes these issues and paves the way for immersive 3D without the need for glasses at all.

With technical co-founders leading their team out of Cambridge (UK), VividQ has benefited from the rich research environment of the University and its Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics. VividQ’s Commercial Team operates from London, as part of the rich entrepreneurial network of TechHub and Innovation Warehouse. The company has achieved wide recognition at international industry events including AWE, nVidia GTC, Photonics West, and Mobile World Congress.

Heliocor raises £1.93 million in tokenised preference shares

Heliocor, the emerging RegTech restoring trust in financial services, taps revolutionary new pathway to funds; raises $2.5m in tokenised preference shares City of London based regulatory technology company Heliocor announces that it has raised $2.5m in scale up funding from High Net Worth investors using a brand new and potentially disruptive investment process. This is the first time this funding process has been used in the UK.

The funding was achieved through the first of a series of preference shares offers in terms of which:

• investors participate in 20% of Heliocor’s future profits after tax; and

• their investment is represented by a digital token, using blockchain technology, rather than just a paper certificate, potentially providing significant liquidity should that digital token be listed.

The funds raised are to be used to enhance the core products built by Heliocor’s Barcelona Technology Development Centre; launch and build the Dokstor app as a consumer brand; and accelerate international sales of RoboliticsTM, the high-speed data analytics engine.

The offer was made in part through Globacap’s fundraising platform (www.globacap.com) which uses a combination of public and private blockchains to create digital securities and in part by private placement. Globacap is an FCA regulated arranger and custodian, having progressed through the FCA’s regulatory sandbox programme.

Heliocor has now begun promotion of the next round of its preference share offer, marketing exclusively to sophisticated/qualifying investors, to raise up to an additional $15m. In addition to bolstering its current offices in London, Barcelona and New York, that funding is intended to establish new sales offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and India in 2019.

Owen Hall, CEO of Heliocor, commented, “We have decided to address a big and important global problem: tackling digital identity fraud and restoring trust in the system. It’s a big challenge, but one that Heliocor has the experience, the products and team to solve. We thank our investors for expressing their confidence in our vision and embracing blockchain technology as the conduit for funding to support our ambitious growth plans.”

Media Contacts

Roderick Cameron, Chief Strategy Officer, Heliocor Ltd, 20 Birchin Lane, London, EC2V 9DU
Roderick.Cameron@heliocor.com
@RodCam24
+44 (0)203 006 6412
or

Elly Zhang, Director of Partnerships, Heliocor Ltd
Elly.Zhang@heliocor.com
@cryptovenus
+44 (0)203 006 6411

Investor Contacts
Vikas Tripathi, Managing Director, Heliocor Ltd
Vikas.Tripathi@heliocor.com
+44 (0)203 006 6405

Notes to Editors:

About Heliocor
Heliocor’s mission is to radically reduce and potentially eliminate the $100 billion+ annual cost of fraud globally by building an anti-fraud ecosystem based on its existing products.

Today, Heliocor’s core product is RoboliticsTM, a high-speed data analytics engine, that helps financial institutions manage their compliance more effectively and much more cheaply than other solutions. Its proven technology, using AI, neural networks and machine learning, is working in Tier 1, 2 and 3 financial institutions today. Heliocor also supports clients with Know your Client (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML)) onboarding via its Dokstor software which uses blockchain encryption. Dokstor is available as an API (linked to RoboliticsTM) and as a standalone App (in both the Play and App Stores).

Combining the two developed and delivered products with the leveraging power of blockchain, Heliocor intends to build world’s first global anti-fraud ecosystem to radically reduce and potentially eliminate identity fraud.

Partnerships/Awards:
• National Finalist, Tech Nation’s Rising Stars 2019
https://technation.io/news/announcing-the-20-tech-startups-set-to-pitch-at-therising-stars-grand-final/
• Winner, Most Promising KYC/AML/Compliance Checker for Security Tokens at
‘Security Tokens Realised’ Jan 2019
https://thefintechtimes.com/event/security-tokens-realised/
• PwC Winter18 FinTech Scale Up Programme
https://www.pwc.co.uk/press-room/press-releases/PwC-announces-cohort-forScale-FinTech-programme.html
• Cohort 11, Mayor of London’s International Business Growth Programme
http://gotogrow.london/
Web resources:
• Twitter @heliodid
• www.heliocor.com
• www.robolitics.com
• www.dokstor.com
• Video introduction to Heliocor’s Mission – https://vimeo.com/305081807
• Video explaining our Anti-Fraud Ecosystem – https://vimeo.com/305083454
• www.globacap.com