Subscription service Brushbox secures over £770k in funding from nearly 300 investors on Crowdcube

  • Start-up raises investment for eco-friendly toothbrush subscription boxes
  • It has been 154% overfunded in its latest investment round
  • The funding will result in nearly 10,000 toothbrushes being gifted to disadvantaged children through its ‘Buy 1, Give 1’ charitable scheme

A Cardiff-based start-up providing an eco-friendly toothbrush subscription service has secured more than £770,000 investment in its latest funding round, exceeding its target by over £250,000 from nearly 300 investors.

Founded by former Deloitte advisor, Mike Donovan, Brushbox aims to be the world’s largest subscription brand for eco-friendly, cruelty-free and sustainable personal toothbrush, toothpaste and oral care products.

During the funding round, Brushbox has also strengthened its board and investor base with the addition of founder, former CEO and now vice chair of Cloudreach, Pontus Noren. A senior advisor to The Blackstone Group, he brings with him 24 years’ experience as a successful entrepreneur, with leadership expertise in the IT industry across sales, business development and product marketing from working for blue chip companies like Cisco, Ericsson, and Nokia.

Mike explained the Brushbox team has been overwhelmed by the support they have received in this funding round and said: “To have so many people willing to invest their hard-earned cash on our company is amazing and to welcome investors of the calibre of Pontus to the board has been phenomenal.

To exceed our funding target by 154% is just incredible and it has been truly exciting to have so many people who share and support our vision to create a step change in how we consume every day, typically throw away items, with an aim to vastly improve the UK’s oral health in a fun and different way, including young children in deprived areas who might otherwise not have the means to help themselves in the way that some of us do. We can’t thank everyone enough for their support and encouragement.”

On his investment and appointment to the Brushbox board, Pontus Noren said: “I met Mike a few months ago and his passion for Brushbox and his persistence to build the best consumer focussed subscription businesses was palatable.

This is an industry ripe for disruption and Brushbox is in pole position to drive the change we need to see. With a focus on health, eco-friendliness and giving back as a core part of the business, I believe Brushbox can look forward to an exciting and bright future.”

Brushbox is the UK’s first sustainable subscription box service and deliver 100% recyclable and biodegradable toothbrushes, including beautiful bamboo brushes, toothpaste and other oral health products direct to your door. With their focus on eco-friendly bamboo toothbrushes one of their key aims is to combat the estimated *3.6bn plastic toothbrushes that end up in landfill or our oceans each year.

Since its launch in 2018, Brushbox has been listed as the number one start-up business to watch in Wales and, having delivered thousands of boxes across the UK last year, was named the second fastest-rising direct to consumer brand in the UK by Marketing Week magazine, just behind US razor subscription service Dollar Shave Club.

Explaining the inspiration behind Brushbox, Mike said: “We understand that actively remembering when to change your toothbrush may not immediately be at the top of everyone’s priority list, but we’re passionate about spreading the Brushbox ethos in order to improve people’s health.

“The awareness around the damage that plastics are having in our seas and environment means that there is an ever-growing population of consumers who are crying out for eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives to the status-quo, and it’s important that this is done well.

“According to a report from Euromonitor, the oral care market exceeded sales of £1.3billion in 2017 in the UK alone, with traditional plastic toothbrushes and toothpaste making up 73% of those sales. Alongside this, the UK subscription market is one of the fastest growing sectors in retail and is forecasted to be worth more than £1billion by 2022. With more than half of 25-35-year olds in the UK already signed up to at least one subscription box, and with 40% of consumers saying they will join more schemes in the future, there is the potential for big, sustainable and eco-friendly business to be done here.”

Mike is committed to improving the oral health of the UK and to that end Brushbox has also fostered a partnership with Dentaid which means that, for every Brushbox toothbrush sold, another one is donated to a disadvantaged child who may not have the same means to replace their brushes when they’re supposed to. As a direct result of their most recent funding round an additional 10,000 toothbrushes will be donated in the coming months.

More information on subscribing to Brushbox can be found at www.brushbox.com.

– Ends –

Notes to editors:

For more information, please contact Lynsey Walden or Bethan Rees at Front Door Communications on 02920 020360 or at knock.knock@fdcomms.co.uk.

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Foresight invests £2.1 million into £2.9 million Series A investment round into energy tech pioneer Synaptec

  • Synaptec’s innovative technology can reduce downtime and allow easier and cheaper monitoring of the increasingly complex electric power grid
  • The Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund invested £2 million alongside £100,000 from the newly created Foresight Scottish Growth Fund
  • The funding will be used to scale-up production, grow international sales and exploit future data analytics opportunities

Click here for the PDF version.

Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”) and Williams Advanced Engineering (“Williams”) are pleased to announce a £2 million investment as part of a £2.9 million growth round into the disruptive technology business Synaptec Ltd (“Synaptec” or the “Company”). The Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund led the round alongside £100,000 from the newly created Foresight Scottish Growth Fund financed by the Scottish Growth Scheme through a combination of Scottish Government funds and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and £800,000 from existing shareholders, including The Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, Equity Gap and the University of Strathclyde.

Synaptec was founded in 2015 as a spinout from the University of Strathclyde and is led by Philip Orr, Managing Director. The innovations developed by Synaptec are based on work Philip and his co-founders conducted at the University of Strathclyde’s Institute for Energy and Environment, one of Europe’s leading power engineering research groups.

Electric power grids are becoming increasingly complex to manage due to a growing proportion of energy being provided by renewable sources. New methods are required to measure and maintain a stable electricity supply for customers. Synaptec addresses this problem by passively monitoring the grid using existing optical fibre networks. It avoids expensive auxiliary equipment for communications, GPS or power at measurement locations and can operate over a range of 100km. Synaptec’s systems are safer to install, have a smaller footprint and lower environmental impact than alternative sensors.

Synaptec offers the first secure and scalable system for wide area fault detection, monitoring and analytics of electric power grids that is cost-effective at scale. It has already seen demand for its systems from international customers.

The investment round led by Foresight will be used to scale-up manufacturing, engineering and business development capabilities.

Commenting on the investment, Andrew Bloxam, Senior Investment Manager at Foresight said: “Synaptec offers a truly disruptive technology that addresses a global problem. The experienced management team has already achieved a considerable amount of success over the past three years of development and we are delighted to have the opportunity to support the business as it scales.”

Matthew Burke, Head of Technology Ventures, Williams Advanced Engineering, added: “With Synaptec combining innovation, technology and reduced environmental impact, it is a company that very much aligns with the objectives of Williams Advanced Engineering. We look forward to working with Synaptec to help commercialise their technology to enhance energy network performance and resilience.”

Philip Orr, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Synaptec, added: “The backing of Foresight and Williams Advanced Engineering brings both financial acumen and world-renowned expertise in engineering design and manufacturing to Synaptec. Their support is a significant moment in the continuing growth and success of our highly interdisciplinary engineering firm as we continue to disrupt the instrumentation market and revolutionise how critical electrical infrastructure is managed and controlled. The technical fit between Synaptec and Williams is excellent, and we will be drawing upon their know-how to scale up our manufacturing capacity and rapidly develop new product offerings. This investment represents an exciting new phase of growth and development for Synaptec and will enable us to make a positive and lasting impact on the global energy transition.”

Kerry Sharp, Director of the Scottish Investment Bank, said“Synaptec is a great example of an innovative Scottish company which has developed technology that brings solutions to challenges within the power industry. The Company has global growth ambitions and this investment round demonstrates the strength of belief in the technology and the team. Scottish Investment Bank is delighted to provide funding alongside co-investment partner Equity Gap and new investor Foresight Group and also to bring the wider support mechanisms from Scottish Enterprise to support the Company’s next stage of growth.”

Stuart Mackenzie, Commercialisation Infrastructure Manager at the University of Strathclyde, said: “The University is delighted to participate in this latest milestone in Synaptec’s growth.  Synaptec is a fantastic example of the contribution Strathclyde technologies can make to industry, and of the types of companies the University is looking to create and support through its role in the Glasgow City Innovation District, where Synaptec is based.”

ENDS

For further information contact:

Amy Smith, Communications Executive, Foresight Group asmith@foresightgroup.eu/020 3763 6978

NOTES FOR EDITORS

About Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund

Foresight and Williams announced the unique collaboration represented by the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund in November 2016. It combines the Williams Advanced Engineering team’s expertise with Foresight’s successful investment track record.

The Fund enables investors to qualify for relief under the UK Government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme (“EIS”) for investment into early stage UK SMEs with strong intellectual property in their own specialist fields.

The Fund plans to make investments of up to £3 million into at least ten qualifying UK SMEs per investor, supporting the next generation of engineering technology success stories in the UK.

About the Foresight Scottish Growth Fund

The recently established £20 million Foresight Scottish Growth Fund under the Scottish Growth Scheme contributes up to £2 million of equity to investment rounds of up to £10 million in growing Scottish SMEs. Investing over the next five years, the Fund aims to support economic growth and job creation in Scotland, also attracting additional private sector investment, by backing exciting growth companies across a range of sectors.

The Foresight Scottish Growth Fund (Scottish Growth Scheme – Foresight Group Equity Finance LP) is financed by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund from the 2014-20 European Structural Funds Programme in Scotland. It is part of the Scottish Growth Scheme, a £500 million package of financial support for Scottish businesses backed by the Scottish Government, which aims to help businesses grow.

About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”):

Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.

Foresight has £2.9 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Property Relief (BPR).

Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprising 24 investment professionals, pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.  

Foresight was voted ‘Best VCT Investment Manager’ at the 2017 Growth Investor Awards, having been previously awarded ‘VCT House of the Year’ at the 2016 Unquote British Private Equity awards.  Foresight was recently a shortlisted finalist in the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards as Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year. Foresight was recently names ‘Fund Manager of the Year’ at the PLC Awards.

Foresight is headquartered in London with regional UK offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Madrid and Seoul.

www.foresightgroup.eu

About Williams Advanced Engineering

Williams Advanced Engineering Limited operates a technology and engineering services business and is part of the Williams Group.

In 2010, Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited began diversifying its operations, leading to the establishment of the Williams Advanced Engineering division, which has now become Williams Advanced Engineering Limited. Combining cutting edge technology and the industry’s best engineers with precision and speed to market derived from four decades of success in the ultra-competitive environment of Formula One, Williams Advanced Engineering provides world class technical innovation, engineering, testing, manufacturing and operational consultancy services to the automotive, motorsport, aerospace, defence, health and energy sectors. Working in close collaboration with its customers, Williams Advanced Engineering helps meet the sustainability challenges of the 21st century and improve performance, with its expertise in aerodynamics and thermodynamics, electrification, advanced lightweight materials, simulation and vehicle integration.  The Company was honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation 2018.

For more information see www.wae.com, follow on TwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

About The Scottish Investment Bank

The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) is the investment arm of Scotland’s national economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, operating Scotland-wide in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise.  SIB’s activities support Scotland’s SME funding market to ensure businesses with growth and export potential have adequate access to growth capital and loan funding.

SIB manages a suite of co- investment funds including the Scottish Co-investment Fund and the Scottish Venture Fund, and the Energy Investment Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government. SIB is also an investor in Epidarex Capital’s Life Sciences Fund and is a participant in the Scottish-European Growth Co-Investment Programme with funding secured from Scottish Government’s Scottish Growth Scheme alongside the European Investment Fund.

SIB also provides funding into LendingCrowd, Scotland’s marketplace lender providing loans to SMEs.  SIB’s team of Financial Readiness specialists help companies to prepare for new investment and access appropriate finance.

Authenticate Information Systems secures £2.3 million Series A funding led by Mercia

13 May 2019

A Harrogate company whose technology platform is transforming the way food businesses manage their supply chain has secured a new funding round of £2.3m, which includes £1.5 million from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and the remainder from existing shareholders including Summit Alpha .

The investment in Authenticate Information Systems was led by NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. It will allow the company to double the size of its software and data research teams, creating 10 new jobs in Harrogate.

Authenticate was founded in 2013 with the aim of bringing greater transparency to the global food industry. Its unique software allows food businesses to track ingredients right back to the source and ensure they comply with all relevant standards. The platform offers real-time compliance dashboards and benchmark analytics, and provides a more efficient way for them to monitor their supply chain in respect of food safety, environmental, ethical and social measures.

Authenticate already works with five of the top UK supermarkets and many leading global hospitality groups, and has more than 20,000 food companies worldwide registered on its database, including more than 75% of the UK’s food manufacturers.

The latest investment brings the total raised by the company to over £5m. Authenticate CEO Paul Marples commented: “We are delighted to have secured this latest funding round, which demonstrates investors’ confidence in the potential of our technology. Authenticate is changing the way the food industry looks at supplier compliance. We live in an ever more transparent world and technology means that so much more information can be monitored in real time – reducing the burden on all parties, and delivering genuine insight into the way our food is grown and processed.”

Graham Davies, Investment Director at Mercia said: “Authenticate’s software is helping food companies to meet the ever-increasing burden of technical compliance. This latest investment will enable the business to further develop its technology platform and accelerate its global growth.”
David Dickson, Chair of Infrastructure and Joint Assets Board for the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership, said: “Investment in this innovative technology brings multiple benefits. Food production is a central driver in our regional economy, this software will not only develop new jobs, it will help to drive transparency and efficiency across the sector, with benefits for suppliers and consumers. It’s great to see industry advancement being driven from within North Yorkshire with potential global impact.”

Raymond Taylor of Solomon Taylor & Shaw provided legal advice to Authenticate while Adrian Ballam of Schofield Sweeney advised the Fund. Stephen Moore of Princelet Partners and Jonathan Davis of Saffery Champness provided fundraising and financial advice to the company.

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.

ENDS

For more information, please contact:
Katy Horrocks
Marketing Director
Mercia Technologies PLC
+44 (0) 330 223 1430
+44 (0) 772 521 8579
katy.horrocks@merciatech.co.uk

Pauline Rawsterne
PR Agent
Turquoise PR
+44 (0) 161 860 6063
+44 (0) 780 163 9816
pauline@turquoisepr.co.uk

About Mercia Fund Managers
Mercia Fund Managers provides both equity and debt finance to small businesses based in the UK regions. The Group has approximately 400 businesses in its portfolio, a strong record including 11 IPOs and has circa £0.5billion of assets under management including Mercia EIS Funds.
• Mercia Fund Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the
FCA under firm reference number 524856
• Enterprise Ventures Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA
under firm reference number 183363
• EV Business Loans Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA
under firm reference number 443560
www.merciatech.co.uk

About The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

  • The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will invest in Microfinance, Business Loans and Equity Finance sub-funds which will offer financing ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
  • The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
  • The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investmen Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
  • The NPIF covers the following LEP areas: Tees Valley Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria,
  • Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Humber, Leeds City Region, Sheffield City Region, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding
  • The project is receiving up to £140,359,192 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.
  • Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
  • The funds in which Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and Tees Valley.
  • The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb

Adderstone Group funds OpenWorks to create drone busting weapons

North East based property and investment business, Adderstone Group, has invested a seven-figure sum into OpenWorks Engineering, an award-winning, hi-tech product company which is developing world-leading security and counter-terrorism products.

OpenWorks, which operates from premises in Stocksfield, Northumberland, has developed a unique and innovative drone capture system named SkyWall, which is already being used across the globe by a number of government authorities, militaries and private security organisations to provide close protection to the likes of airports, major infrastructure and even world leaders at summits.

OpenWorks was established in 2015 by five directors; Chris Down, Neil Armstrong, Alex Wilkinson, James Cross, and Roland Wilkinson; and has developed game-changing products for the defence and security industry. Its directors are confident that the significant investment from Adderstone Group will enable OpenWorks to increase capacity to manufacture their award-winning SkyWall drone defence products, accelerate research and development of the next generation of SkyWall products and ultimately add significant value to the business.

Whilst Adderstone Group is known primarily as one of the largest property development businesses in the region, it has a long and successful track record at founding and growing a range of investments.

The funding is Adderstone Group’s second investment into an engineering business, following the company’s successful support of a delisting and management buyout of Turbo Power Systems Plc., which specialises in providing innovative high-speed machines and power electronic solutions for the Energy, Industrial, Transport and Defence markets.

Ian Baggett, CEO and Founder of Adderstone Group said: “OpenWorks achievements to date have been astounding.  They are an extremely talented group of engineers who not only foresaw a massive need to protect against rogue drones but have gone on to design, patent, manufacture and monetise what is acknowledged to be world leading technology from their base in Stocksfield.  My team and I look forward to doing whatever we can to help our new colleagues continue to grow a world leading business that protects the public and infrastructure from this burgeoning threat.”

Chris Down, Managing Director of OpenWorks said: “Adderstone Group’s track record speaks for itself.  We were determined to partner with a local investor to expand our production capability and accelerate the development of new products.  We are confident that, in Adderstone, we have secured the perfect investment partner.”     

The latest OpenWorks promotional film can be viewed here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ymlejkz5DGo

Source: https://www.adderstonegroup.com/who-we-are/media/latest-news/2019/adderstone-group-back-north-east-based-counter-terrorism-firm/

Agile Analog secures £3.5 million Pre-Series A investment from Delin Ventures, First Minute Capital and MMC Ventures

AI-driven analog design to accelerate chip innovation

Cambridge, UK, 13 May 2019: Agile Analog, a Cambridge analog IP company, announces it has closed its latest Pre-A funding round with Delin Ventures, firstminute Capital and MMC Ventures for $5M.

Founded in 2017, Agile Analog will use the funding to expand the existing engineering team in Cambridge and deliver analog IP products to a wide range of waiting customers. Agile Analog’s unique AI-driven platform replaces the existing manual design process that has not fundamentally changed in 60 years.

With the explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT), AI, autonomous vehicles, the next generation of telecoms and newer smaller process nodes, the demand for new chip designs has never been greater. Analog circuits are needed on every chip to interface between the real world and the digital world. From sensors to battery connections to data transmission, analog components are the hidden driving force behind our modern digital lives. Analog design, which is slow and manual is often the key bottleneck in chip design. Agile Analog’s innovative solution removes this bottleneck, giving customers exactly the type of component they want, on exactly the right semiconductor process, with industry leading quality. This enables Agile Analog’s customers to accelerate the pace of chip innovation and provide smaller, cheaper, more reliable and lower power solutions.

By removing the restrictive manual process, Agile Analog provides access to flexible and easy to use analog IP, enabling a broad range of customers to incorporate more analog onto their chips and significantly reducing the size and cost of end products. Agile Analog technology enables a move away from simple analog designs compensated by complex digital designs to a more balanced mix of technologies, bringing more reliable, lower power designs to market quicker.

Tim Ramsdale, CEO for Agile Analog said: “I’m delighted with the confidence that our investors have placed in us. This investment will enable us to deliver to our customers faster and make possible a paradigm shift in the $2Bn analog IP market.

Jonathan Hay, Partner at Delin Ventures, said: “We are impressed with the team’s vision to transform analog design and reinvigorate the use of analog. Analog design is the backwater of the semiconductor industry and we think Agile Analog can change that. The team has the world-leading experience and industry connectivity to deliver on this vision. That was a key part of our decision to follow on with our Seed investment.

Brent Hoberman, Co-founder at firstminute Capital, said: “The Agile Analog founding team is an exceptional balance between deep tech and commercial experience. Predominantly made up of ex-ARM domain experts and division heads, they are industry veterans with a strong network as well as technical expertise.

Camilla Mazzolini, Investor at firstminute Capital, said: “Following extensive due diligence from industry experts, it was clear to FMC that the company’s technology and approach have the potential to disrupt and transform the industry from a labor-intensive, manual and costly process to an automatic, cheaper, quicker and more accurate on.

Mina Samaan, Investment Manager at MMC Ventures, said: “Agile Analog’s technology has the potential to become the industry standard for Analog IP. We’re excited to back Tim, Mike and the rest of the team as they continue to bring innovation to an industry which is ripe for disruption.

For more information, see www.agileanalog.com

///ENDS///

Contact:

Andrew Farrugia – andrew.farrugia@agileanalog.com

About Agile Analog

Agile Analog is a VC funded start-up which has brought together industry veterans from the analog, IP and design automation worlds to revolutionise the way analog IP is developed and delivered. Based in Cambridge (UK), we are growing quickly to become one of the world’s leading analog IP companies. Using our innovative core technology, we are able to design analog circuits faster, to a higher quality, and on any semiconductor process. We are widening market access to analog IP in a way that will greatly increase our customers’ opportunities to take innovative chip designs to market. As part of a dynamic industry, we are disrupting methodologies that have been unchanged for generations.

About Delin Ventures

Delin Ventures is London based private technology focused investment firm founded by the serial entrepreneur, Igor Linshits. Delin invests in early stage U.K. technology businesses. Delin’s current portfolio includes import.io, Fluidic Analytics, AimBrain, the Plum Guide, and Vidsy, as well as a number of other seed stage investments. Delin has also invested in funds managed by Local Globe, IQ Capital, Entrepreneur First, Stride.vc and o2h Ventures. Delin Ventures is part of the Delin Group which also includes Delin Capital Asset Management, a leading investor and developer of logistics real estate.

About firstminute Capital​

Firstminute capital is a $100m pan-European seed fund founded by Brent Hoberman and Spencer Crawley that launched in June 2017 to support the next wave of early stage European technology entrepreneurs. The fund, which counts the London-based venture fund Atomico, the Chinese technology giant Tencent and the European FMCG conglomerate Henkel as institutional investors, along with 30 founders of billion dollar technology businesses, invests across Europe, and opportunistically in the US and Israel. Firstminute capital has a sector agnostic remit within tech, with a particular interest in SaaS, DeepTech, vertical AI, Healthtech, Blockchain, Cyber, Gaming and D2C. For more information visit: www.firstminute.capital

About MMC Ventures

MMC Ventures is a research-led venture capital firm that has backed over 60 early-stage, high-growth technology companies since 2000.

MMC’s dedicated research function provides the Firm with a deep and differentiated understanding of emerging technologies and sector dynamics, to identify attractive investment opportunities. MMC’s research team also supports early stage companies through the life of MMC’s investment.

MMC helps to catalyse the growth of enterprise software and consumer internet companies that have the potential to disrupt large markets. The Firm has one of the largest software-as-a-service (SaaS) portfolios in Europe, with recent exits including CloudSense, Invenias and NewVoiceMedia.

MMC’s dynamic consumer portfolio includes several of the UK’s favourite companies, including Bloom & Wild, Gousto and Interactive Investor.

Explore MMC’s cutting-edge research at mmcventures.comMMC Writes and @MMC_Ventures.

Greensill get funded by SoftBank to the tune of £628.56 million

13th May, 2019


London, United Kingdom– May 13, 2019– Greensill, the leading non-bank provider of working capital finance for companies globally, today announced an $800 million investment by the SoftBank Vision Fund.

The transaction underscores the value of working capital finance as the most advanced means of providing low cost capital to companies large and small, while opening up a new asset class to global investors.

Lex Greensill, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Greensill, said: “The SoftBank Vision Fund’s investment is a resounding endorsement of the work we do at Greensill unlocking capital so our clients can put it to work. We are proud to welcome Masayoshi Son and the Vision Fund team into the Greensill family, and we are excited about the opportunity of working with the company, its many partners and beyond.”

The worldwide market for working capital finance is valued at $55 trillion, according to the latest research by Greensill, while only a small fraction of that opportunity has been accessed. Traditional banks typically offer working capital finance to a limited number of large clients. Greensill’s differentiated technology-driven approach opens the market to all companies no matter their size, scope or location based on a sophisticated, data-driven model.

“Greensill democratises access to capital using technology and the financial markets,” Lex Greensill added. “We are agents of technological disruption with a mission to make available finance at the lowest possible cost for our clients and their suppliers, whilst opening up a whole new asset class to global investors.”

Greensill is one of the largest non-bank bond issuers in Europe, working with more than 100 global institutional investors, unlocking capital to provide more than $60 billion of financing to more than 8 million customers across 60 countries.

The Vision Fund’s investment will accelerate Greensill’s development of new technology to further improve access to capital for companies globally and meaningfully enhance the firm’s ability to support the development of a broad, liquid capital market for working capital finance assets.

With the Vision Fund, Greensill will build on its partnership with General Atlantic to continue developing its already extensive global network, further grow its established origination and distribution strategy, and explore new and deeper opportunities for collaboration.

Greensill will also accelerate its recent entry into Brazil and plans to enter multiple global markets including China and India. Since 2015, Greensill has delivered annual growth of more than 100%.

Colin Fan, managing partner of SoftBank Investment Advisers said: “Greensill is a strong market leader in working capital finance and has played a pioneering role in the technological revolution that has transformed the industry.Through this new partnership, we see immense opportunity to introduce working capital finance to a new generation of businesses around the world.”

Morgan Stanley were financial advisors and Allen & Overy were legal advisors to Greensill on the transaction.

Source: https://www.greensill.com/news/greensill-announces-800-million-investment-by-the-softbank-vision-fund/

Flagstone raises £11m Series A investment from Kindred Capital and others

9th May 2019.

London based FinTech, Flagstone, developer of the UK’s largest cash deposit platform which provides clients with access to over 550 deposit accounts from 30 banks through a single application, has raised £11m in growth capital from investors including Kindred Capital, Moneysupermarket Group plc, VentureFounders and a number of private individual investors.

Flagstone was founded in 2013 and has grown rapidly to become the leader in the UK cash deposit platform market having transmitted more than £3bn in deposits since 2015. The business provides individuals, their wealth managers, SME corporates and charities with access to more than 550 deposit accounts, many with market leading or exclusive interest rates, from 30 banks including high street names such as HSBC and Santander as well as a host of challenger banks, enabling clients to increase their interest income and manage their risk through diversification and greater use of FSCS protection.

Flagstone is already the exclusive cash deposit platform for clients of St. James’s Place, Quilter Cheviot, Tilney Group and many other leading wealth management firms.

Simon Merchant, Co‐Founder and Co‐Managing Partner of Flagstone, said: “With £11m of growth capital we are now well‐positioned to expand our business and provide more clients with a simple way to maximise the interest income on their cash and at the same time become an increasingly valuable funding partner to our banks.”

NOTES TO EDITORS
About Flagstone:
Flagstone is an FCA authorised and regulated fintech company (FCA reference numbers 676754 and 605504) located in London and founded in 2013. Flagstone’s online cash deposit platform enables companies, charities and individuals to earn more interest and reduce risk through diversification.

Completion of a single application gives the client access to over 550 deposit accounts from 30 banks and enables them to research and open multiple accounts in a matter of key strokes. The platform puts clients in control of their cash, giving them access to market‐leading and exclusive rates from a growing panel of UK banks, consolidated reporting and regular new rate alerts to ensure that their cash is working as hard as possible for them 24/7. For more information, see www.flagstoneim.com or watch a short video explaining what we do and how it benefits clients by clicking here.

About Kindred Capital:
Kindred Capital is a seed and early stage venture capital investor, focusing on European technology companies. Based in London, Kindred invests in entrepreneurs building globally ambitious businesses. Kindred’s portfolio includes Kalo, Paddle, Five.ai, LabGenius and Verve. Kindred’s unique Equitable Venture model, of sharing carry with the founders they invest in, has led to over 60 founders co‐owning carry in the fund. For more information, please visit www.kindredcapital.vc.

About Moneysupermarket Group:
Moneysupermarket Group is an established member of the FTSE 250 index. Our brands ‐ MoneySuperMarket, MoneySavingExpert, TravelSupermarket and Decision Technologies ‐ together have 13 million active users for whom we provide proactive and personalised services to help them manage, save and grow their money.

In 2018, we helped millions of families save an estimated £2.1bn on their household bills including insurance, energy, credit cards and loans, travel and TV and broadband.

Moneysupermarket.com Financial Group Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA FRN 303190) for the insurance, mortgage and consumer credit products it offers. For energy products, MoneySuperMarket is accredited under the Ofgem Confidence Code.

About VentureFounders:
VentureFounders is one of the UK’s leading investors in high growth B2B and B2B2C technology companies with over 90 investment rounds completed in the last four years. It was founded by James Codling in 2013, following his 18‐year career in Private Equity and launched in 2014. VentureFounders’ USP is that it gives High Net Worth and Sophisticated investors direct access to venture investment opportunities, on the same terms as the lead investors. Its experienced senior executive and investment team has been responsible for backing 34 high growth technology companies including Park box, Zopa, Hopster, DueDil, Farewill, BioSure, RotaGeek, Brightpearl and Hypaship. The business has dedicated origination efforts and sourcing partnerships with leading venture capital funds, family offices and angel investors. For more information, see www.venturefounders.co.uk.

For more information please contact:
Simon Merchant – Managing Partner, Flagstone
Email: simon.merchant@flagstoneim.com

Closed Loop Medicine secures £2.1 million Seed investment from IQ Capital and others

New funding secured from leading venture capital investors and Cambridge Angels


London, 9th May 2019: Closed Loop Medicine (CLM), the Cambridge-based health tech startup that helps doctors and healthcare providers to deliver personalised treatment regimens has raised £2.1 million in venture capital funding, raised from Longwall Venture Partners, IQ Capital and Martlet, the investment arm of the Marshall of Cambridge group. Several leading Cambridge Angel investors took part in the financing, including the well-known serial entrepreneur, Sherry Coutu CBE.

Closed Loop Medicine is a new breed of therapeutics company that combines proven drug treatments with digital therapeutics. Digital therapeutics deliver evidence-based therapeutic interventions to patients that are driven by high quality software programs to prevent, manage, or treat a medical disorder or disease. Even in countries with the most advanced healthcare systems, few providers deliver truly personalised care. This is because current models of care do not have the ability to deliver fully integrated treatment underpinned by cutting-edge technology. The Closed Loop Medicine approach uses data and insights about how a patient is responding to treatment to tailor drug and non-drug therapy, which provides a much faster way of getting an individual to their optimum outcome.

Dr Hakim Yadi OBE, CEO and Co-Founder of Closed Loop Medicine, said: “Having been in stealth mode for several years, this latest fund raising marks a significant milestone for the business and its founders. As well as securing venture capital funding from experienced investors in deep tech and life sciences, we have been able to establish corporate partnerships with international Pharma companies and the NHS, we have also hired a senior management team that represents the very best in talent across healthcare and technology.”

The funding will support the development of a drug + digital approach to treat and manage major health conditions our society faces, starting with sleep disturbance and hypertension. The company intends to develop fully regulated, evidence-based Drug + Digital solutions for the NHS and international healthcare providers.”

CLM was founded in 2017 and first secured seed funding from several angel investors via the Cambridge Angel Network. In 2018 the company raised further funding from Longwall Venture Partners and Cambridge Angels. In this latest round Cambridge Angels and Longwall Venture Partners were joined by IQ Capital. The company was founded by Dr Paul Goldsmith, Dr Hakim Yadi OBE, Dr David Cox and Dr Felicity Sartain.

Dr Yadi OBE joined from the Northern Health Science Alliance Ltd, where he was chief executive, and in March this year joined CLM full-time. Dr Andy Richards CBE is the CLM’s Chairman. He is also Director of Ieso Digital Health, chairman of Arecor, Congenica, Abcodia, and the Babraham Research Campus.

This most recent funding round has enabled the company to take offices in London, invest in technical product development, start clinical development and clinical trials as well as invest further in drug development. The funding has also been used to recruit the current management team, as well as support building out the CLM tech team.

Dr Rebecca Todd, Investment Director, specialist health and life sciences investor at Longwall Venture Partners, said: “Closed Loop Medicine has brought together a world-class team of experienced and passionate healthcare professionals with the goal of delivering a step-change in how we do medicine in the 21st century. Their unique approach for providing personalised precision medicine by combining drug with digital to create individualised treatment regimens will be applicable across a wide range of clinical areas and has the potential to transform the way we treat patients and manage illness”.

Ed Stacey, partner at deep-tech fund, IQ Capital, said: “The management team at CLM have hugely impressive credentials and now bring this experience to one of the most cutting-edge innovations in digital therapeutics. We are really excited by the huge steps forward the team is making in this field – watch this space. IQ Capital has invested in several companies that leverage the technology including Biobeats, Neurovalens, and now CLM”.


About Closed Loop Medicine

Closed Loop Medicine is a Cambridge-based therapeutics company focused on care pathways, outcomes and the provision of dynamic personalised regimens. CLM has a development pipeline that integrates Drug + Digital+ Device for the treatment of some of the biggest challenges facing global health systems. For now, CLM is working on treating sleep disorders and hypertension but in the future will be working on other health problems.

By focusing on individual care pathways, CLM can augment proven drugs with digital therapeutics enabling the digitisation and data capture of an entire care continuum for dynamic personalised regimens. Digital therapeutics deliver evidence-based therapeutic interventions to patients that are driven by high quality software programs to prevent, manage, or treat a medical disorder or disease.

The founders of CLM have a track record of working together and between them have launched many highly successful commercial enterprises including drugs, digital health, diagnostics and devices. The team has full experience of technology development through to market access, reimbursement and uptake.

CLM was founded in 2017. Its HQ is in London, UK.

About IQ Capital

IQ Capital is a Cambridge-based venture capital firm that invests in UK ‘deep-tech’ across sectors including machine learning, AI, engineering and materials, and data-focused propositions based on disruptive algorithms. All of the firm’s portfolio companies are capable of dominating their respective markets on a global scale. The team typically invest at seed and series A stage, with significant capital reserved to scale companies through their growth stages. Initial investments range from £300k to £5m, with capacity for follow on investment up to £10m.


 For more information, please contact Dr Yadi at info@closedloopmedicine.com or on +44 20 3457 0524

Karakuri raises £7 million Seed investment led by Ocado

Posted on Thursday May 9, 2019 in Karakuri NewsPress Releases

9 May 2019 – How and what we eat in restaurants or on-the-go is changing thanks to new robotics startup Karakuri and its £7million seed investment, led by Ocado.  With growing demand for personalised nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle, Karakuri uses the latest innovation in robotics, machine learning, optics and sensors to allow restaurants and food retailers to offer personalised, freshly prepared, high quality meals, which maximise nutritional benefits and minimise food waste.

Research shows that almost two-thirds of consumers globally follow a diet that limits or prohibits consumption of some foods or ingredients[1]. Whether you have a food intolerance or are following a diet plan, Karakuri’s system personalises any meal using its robots to dispense the exact ingredients and quantities into that dish. For restaurants and food retailers, Karakuri’s technologies also represent a way to move away from mass pre-packaged meals and significantly reduce food waste.

The £7million seed fundraise is led by Ocado, and includes investments from Hoxton Ventures, firstminute capital and Taylor Brothers. The funding will be used to further develop the company’s technology, strengthen its IP base and expand its team for global growth.  The investment in Karakuri gives Ocado the opportunity to expand its value proposition in grocery, especially through Ocado Zoom, its new immediacy offer, and also provides their Ocado Solutions partners with innovative answers to the challenges of building a strong and profitable food delivery business.  Ocado expects to take delivery of the first of Karakuri’s machines in late 2019.

Karakuri CEO and co-founder, Barney Wragg, said, “At Karakuri, we are dedicated to providing smart new ways to create and prepare fresh personalised meals. Consumer eating habits in and out of the home are changing rapidly as demand increases for healthier options that match specific dietary requirements. This growth in menu personalisation is putting huge pressure on restaurants, cafes and other food retailers. These providers have historically relied on identically mass produced meals to maintain their profit margins. By using robotics and machine learning, Karakuri’s systems provide localised micro-manufacturing within an existing restaurant, retail or commercial kitchen. Our systems prepare personalised meals onsite in real time to the exact requirements of each customer. At the same time, our technology aims to minimise food waste, packaging and distribution costs and all of the associated environmental impact.”

Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado added, “Ocado is constantly striving to identify the best and most innovative solutions to provide consumers with the greatest possible value, choice and convenience. Our investment in Karakuri, potentially a game-changer in the preparation of food-to-go, gives us the opportunity to bring the best innovation to the benefit of our own customers as well as our partners”.

Brent Hoberman, Karakuri’s founding chairman, co-founder of Founders Factory and General Partner at firstminute Capital added, “The time is now for robotics and AI to drive change in the restaurant and food services business. Barney and Simon have assembled a world-class team to go after one the next large markets to be enhanced by this technology. We are delighted that  Ocado, a global leader in robotics and distribution, has chosen to invest in Karakuri to lead the innovation in this sector.”

Karakuri emerges from the Founders Factory incubator with the goal of utilising groundbreaking intelligent robotics, to transform how we eat for the better and reduce food waste. Co-founders Barney Wragg, Simon Watt  and Brent Hoberman, are focussed on growing Karakuri into the segment-defining food automation providers. Karakuri’s advisory board includes industry experts from ARM, Ocado, Imperial College, Bristol Robotics Lab and Edinburgh Centre for Robotics.

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Notes to Editors

For all enquiries relating to Karakuri, please contact Laura Moross (laura@lsmpr.co.uk , 07969673895)

About Karakuri

www.karakuri.com

Karakuri is a UK based technology company designing, manufacturing and installing robotic automation systems for restaurants, commercial kitchens and caterers.

Born out of the Founders Factory incubator, Karakuri was founded by Simon Watt and Barney Wragg, two longtime friends and colleagues who originally worked together at ARM in the 90s. In April 2018 Founders Factory invested Karakuri and Brent Hoberman joined the board as Chairmen.

About Ocado

Ocado is a UK based company admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange (Ticker OCDO). It comprises one of the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailers, operating its own grocery and general merchandise retail businesses under Ocado.com and other specialist shop banners, together with its Solutions division. In February 2019, Ocado Group announced the creation of an online grocery retail joint venture with Marks & Spencer plc, one of the UK’s leading food and clothing retailers.

About Ocado Solutions

Ocado Solutions is responsible for corporate partnerships, providing the Ocado Smart Platform as a service to retailers around the world. OSP comprises access to Ocado’s physical infrastructure solutions, running highly efficient warehouse operations for the single pick of products, together with the entire end-to-end proprietary software applications required to operate a world class online grocery business. It is underpinned by Ocado’s proven expertise and experience as a dedicated online grocer in the UK.

About Founders Factory

Founders Factory is the world’s best partner for founders. Started by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox, Founders Factory has received investment from Marks & Spencer, L’Oreal, easyJet, Guardian Media Group, Aviva, Holtzbrinck and CSC. Combined with its full-time team of 70 specialists it provides founders with the best platform to launch or scale their startup.

Hive HR raises £1.2 million Series A investment led by Maven

Maven has led a £1.2 million investment into Hive HR (Hive). The innovative employee engagement Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform Maven co-invested alongside the North East Development Capital Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, Growth Capital Ventures, as well as a network of private investors and management.

The funding will enable Hive to invest in its sales and marketing resource and create a number of new roles to deliver on its ambitious expansion plans, whilst support the roll out of a number of innovative product enhancements.

Hive is a cloud-based platform (www.hive.hr) that supports the HR function of organisations to help them improve employee engagement and communication. The platform collates and analyses employee feedback in real time and on a continuous basis, which serves to continually evolve and improve the HR function within a business, as well as helping to clarify and implement new policies and services for their employees.

The business already boasts an impressive client list across a number of sectors, including banking, government bodies, property and education. These include Hermes, Shop Direct, Travelodge, Tarmac, River Island and various NHS and public sector organisations. 

The cloud services market has grown rapidly in recent years and this shift is particularly prevalent in HR software with SaaS centric platforms set to increase from 28% globally in 2017 to 86% by 2022.

The workplace is constantly evolving, and organisations must remain dynamic to ensure more than ever that they are keeping their employees happy, motivated and engaged. The Hive platform helps remove the additional burden this is creating for HR and leadership teams and is helping them respond better and more quickly to employee feedback to deliver initiatives and services to help retain and motivate staff in what is an increasingly competitive environment. John has built an impressive senior management team around him and we are delighted to support the business as it enters an exciting new phase of growth.

Alex Marsh, Investment Manager at Maven

Hive has grown quickly in the last three years with very little capital. The whole team are now excited about what we will achieve with the additional backing from investors and are really pleased to welcome Maven as part of this round.

John Ryder, Managing Director at Hive HR