Wagestream closes £40 million Series A led by Balderton and Northzone with revolving debt facility by Shawbrook


  • £40m milestone arrives after latest £15m cash injections from investors co-led by early-stage venture capital specialists, Balderton and Northzone
  • Rapid adoption of Wagestream platform by UK firms proves employers are willing to invest in financial wellness and tackle in-work poverty
  • Wagestream is a ‘get-paid-as-you-earn’ service that allows workers to access their earned income in real time
  • Firm seeks to end the payday poverty cycle, kill off the payday loans industry and encourage straight-from-salary savings
  • Over 120,000 UK employees at clients including David Lloyd, Rentokil PLC, Camden Town Brewery, Slug & Lettuce and Carluccio’s can now access wages in real time

London, Embargoed 20 May 2019 0001 — Flexible wage app, Wagestream, which campaigns against payday poverty and seeks to end the financial stress caused by the monthly pay cycle, has secured the largest social impact investment ever in the UK.

The firm’s latest round sealed this week — with early-stage venture capital specialists Balderton and Northzone co-investing together — adds £15m resulting in a total raise of £40m ($52.5m)

The funding total means that Wagestream — which allows staff to draw down a percentage of their earned wages any day of the month for a flat £1.75 fee — has attracted the largest pool of social impact investment in UK history.

With Wagestream, there are no loans involved and therefore no interest is charged.

Tech investor Balderton has raised £2.7bn over 19 years and has backed startups including Revolut and Nutmeg, while Trustpilot-backer Northzone has raised €1bn, targeting more than 130 companies since 1996.

This latest round comes on the back of earlier investments from QED, co-founding Investors in Wagestream, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the London Co-investment Fund (LCIF) and Village Global — a global VC backed by leading entrepreneurs including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos — on top of a wholesale funding facility of up to £25m from specialist savings and lending bank, Shawbrook.

Venture capital and professional funders measure the investment worth of companies by looking at the full range of their capital resources.

Wagestream is on a mission to end in-work poverty, eradicate payday loans and destroy the ‘Poverty Premium’, whereby people on low incomes pay more for a range of essential products and services such as insurance, energy, and credit.

Wagestream is doing this by short-circuiting the monthly pay cycle — an antiquated monthly windfall that forces workers into the hands of payday lenders and other high-cost lenders when they approach the end of the month or face unexpected expenses.

Rapid adoption of the Wagestream platform by UK corporations proves employers are willing to invest in staff financial wellness and tackle in-work poverty.

Employers from across the private and public sphere including Rentokil Initial, Hackney Council and Roadchef have identified a number of CSR and HR advantages to the service.

For example, staff have greater financial security, which breeds loyalty, and employers trying to fill overtime shifts, particularly during unsociable hours, have noticed it becomes easier to do this once they use Wagestream.

This is because employers can elect to give workers access to that pay as soon as their shift is over — thereby re-establishing the link between work and reward. In fact, research shows that shift workers choose to work 22% more hours on average once enrolled in Wagestream.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s investment came through the Fair By Design Fund, a movement committed to tackling the Poverty Premium by changing essential services so they don’t cost more to low income consumers. It is a  joint partnership with JRF, Big Society Capital, Barrow Cadbury Trust and Tech Trust.

Wagestream is also a supporter of Finance For Good — a collective of fintech services firms committed to improving the financial wellbeing of everyday people.

Peter Briffett, CEO and Co-Founder, Wagestream, commented:

“The feedback we are getting from private companies and public sector customers alike is that staff are happier, more productive and have greater financial security once they start using our service.

“The antiquated monthly pay cycle inflicts huge financial damage on household finances and its days are numbered. Too many people are pushed into a corner by in-work poverty and forced into the hands of payday lenders and high-cost credit.

“Wagestream is at the point of scaling up rapidly and this historic investment is going to accelerate the pace at which companies across the country liberate their staff from payday poverty and the disastrous social consequences that stem from it.”

Dr. Thomas Hellmann, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, added:

“This fund raising is an example of the convergence of VC and impact investing, a Fintech venture attacking a pressing social problem with an innovative business approach. Fintech is constantly evolving and maturing, so it is exciting to see it deliver not only commercial, but also social, value.”

Nigel Morris, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of QED Investors, commented:

“We are extremely proud of our investment in Wagestream. As its co-founding investor, we’ve worked closely with management since its inception, helping Wagestream grow from a seed-stage start-up into the dominant player in the space.

“Employers and employees love this business, and so do we. It’s a unique combination of high customer satisfaction, strong leadership, rapid growth and social good. Very few companies check all those boxes. We’re thrilled to be associated with Wagestream.”

Rob Moffat, Partner, Balderton Capital, added:

“We fell in love with the strong product-market fit of Wagestream. We very rarely hear such universal positive feedback from all who have tried a product. Companies used to take an active role in supporting the financial health of their users but this has slowly been eroded, to the extent where employees paid at the end of the month are effectively subsidising their employer for 29 days a month. Wagestream starts to restore the right balance.”

Jeppe Zink, Partner, Northzone added:

“Fintech is delivering where the financial services industry has failed, by putting consumers’ financial wellness at the core of the industry. This is not just a new business model, it’s a fundamentally new way of doing business. We think Wagestream can be the leading light for a consumer-led era of finance, and we are excited to partner with them on the journey.”

If you’re interested in joining Wagestream then email us at pressoffice@wagestream.co.uk

— ENDS —

Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact:

Neil Millard, Rhizome Media: neil@rhizomemedia.co  |  07803 560 331

Martin Greenland, Rhizome Media: martin@rhizomemedia.co  |  07582 770055

About Wagestream

Wagestream’s goal is to end the payday poverty cycle, which sees a significant percentage of Brits taking out ultra-high interest loans to bridge their way to payday.

Wagestream is also a supporter of Finance For Good — a collective of fintech services firms committed to improving the financial wellbeing of everyday people.

Wagestream does this by enabling employees to receive a percentage of their accrued earnings anytime during the month, sparing them from using loans and payday lenders.  They can draw down earned funds using a mobile app for a flat fee of £1.75. Wagestream Ltd is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority as an EMD Agent (reference 902046) of PayrNet Limited, an Electronic Money Institution authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (reference number: 900594).

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.”


For further information contact:

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


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.


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.


For more information, please contact:
Katy Horrocks
Marketing Director
Mercia Technologies PLC
+44 (0) 330 223 1430
+44 (0) 772 521 8579

Pauline Rawsterne
PR Agent
Turquoise PR
+44 (0) 161 860 6063
+44 (0) 780 163 9816

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

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

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.”

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

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

InstaDeep closes £5.50 million Series A funding led by AfricInvest

London, 3rd May 2019 : London headquartered InstaDeep, an Enterprise AI startup, announced it has raised $7 million in Series A funding. The leading pan-African private equity firm, AfricInvest, led the investment, with participation from Endeavor Catalyst, a New York-based co-investment fund under Endeavor.

The funding supports the development of a scalable product platform aimed at empowering enterprises with better decision-making using Artificial Intelligence. The product-driven platform, leveraging deep reinforcement learning and other advanced machine learning technologies, brings AI to applications within an enterprise environment, allowing companies to optimise decisions and improve efficiency.

“Through our own cutting-edge research, we have developed a platform that goes beyond what we have seen in AI applications in the past. It can tackle challenging optimisation and automation challenges in dynamic and complex environments such as, but not limited to, mobility, logistics, manufacturing and energy. We already see that our product is providing real value and ROI for our clients”,  says Co-Founder and CEO of InstaDeep, Karim Beguir.

The new platform marks a milestone for InstaDeep, who has seen sustained growth and achievements since its humble beginnings in Tunisia as a bootstrap in 2014 including being one of the first ever African-founded AI companies to publish original AI research at NeurIPS 2018⁽¹⁾. Through its strategic partnership with AfricInvest, InstaDeep also aims to continue bringing advanced AI opportunities to Africa.

“We want to grow an African AI success story and are on a mission to democratise Machine Learning in Africa. By partnering with AfricInvest, we can leverage their operational expertise and strong business knowledge on the continent, and together accelerate talent and positive use of AI”, says Beguir.

Through its investments, AfricInvest expects to meaningfully contribute to this development. “InstaDeep has managed to establish an excellent reputation for delivering solid and unique AI solutions, and we are excited to see what they can deliver next with the support from AfricInvest. We believe the company has a bright future ahead and could lead the development of the AI sector throughout the continent and beyond” says Khaled Ben Jilani, Senior Partner at AfricInvest.

“AfricInvest will draw on its African business expertise to support InstaDeep’s research and development, and also their talent development program. Together, our combined knowledge will help the African continent rise to the opportunities offered by AI.”

Endeavor has also confirmed they are joining the investment round, news that comes hot on the heels of Beguir being selected by the global high-impact entrepreneurship movement as an Endeavor Entrepreneur for Tunisia. Specifically, it’s Endeavor’s fund Endeavor Catalyst that is injecting capital, an organisation known for rigorously selecting only elite start-ups. The company will also assist in connecting US CEOs and further investors with InstaDeep.

⁽¹⁾ The 32nd Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems. InstaDeep’s research papers:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_utB5Y8Y6D5cHprSkMtWFllMXNSZzl5TlNIRHYtLTlXR2xZ/view and

– END –  

For more information contact communications@instadeep.com or call +44(0)20 3890 7528.


Founded in Tunis in 2014 by Karim Beguir and Zohra Slim, InstaDeep is today an industry renowned AI firm delivering AI products and solutions for the enterprise, with headquarters in London, and offices in Paris, Tunis, Nairobi and Lagos.

Powered by high-performance computing and outstanding research and development breakthroughs, InstaDeep utilises deep reinforcement learning and other advanced machine learning techniques to create AI systems that can optimise decision-making processes in real-life industrial environments. Our skilled in-house team of AI researchers, Machine Learning engineers, Hardware and Visualization experts, harness the expertise to build end-to-end products that can tackle the most challenging optimisation and automation challenges, and provide real value and ROI to your business. InstaDeep offers a host of AI products and solutions, ranging from optimised pattern-recognition, GPU-accelerated insights, to self-learning decision-making systems.

InstaDeep partners with organisations such as Deep Learning Indaba, Google Launchpad Accelerator, Facebook Dev Circles and Data Science Nigeria to support the rise of AI in Africa and across the globe.

InstaDeep was named as one of the top 20 most intriguing global tech start-up companies to watch at the MWC 2017 by PCMag, and Karim is a certified Google Developer Expert in Machine Learning (Nov 2017).



AfricInvest is among the leading private equity firms in Africa with over 1 billion euros of assets under management across 18 private equity funds. Founded 24 years ago, AfricInvest has deployed capital in 25 countries contributing to significant socio-economic development mainly thanks to revenue growth and profitability improvement across its portfolio companies. Operating out of seven offices in Africa (Abidjan, Algiers, Cairo, Casablanca, Lagos, Nairobi, and Tunis) and one in Paris, AfricInvest invests in leading African enterprises that have regional and continental growth aspirations, especially in the financial sector where AfricInvest relies on dedicated investment vehicles and a dedicated investment team that delivers expertise and focus on improving business processes and charting new growth initiatives.



Endeavor Catalyst is an innovative co-investment vehicle designed to support Endeavor Entrepreneurs with their equity financing rounds and contribute to the long-term sustainability of Endeavor. Following a disciplined, rules-based investment process, Endeavor Catalyst invests alongside professional venture capital and growth equity firms into the equity financing rounds of Endeavor Entrepreneurs. The firm invests in the companies of Endeavor Entrepreneurs, alongside professional investors, and seek to follow exactly the same terms as the lead investor(s).

Launched in 2012, Endeavor Catalyst has $115MM+ in capital under management across three entities: Endeavor Catalyst Philanthropy (donated funds from 15 anchor donors), Endeavor Catalyst I, LP (invested capital from 90+ Limited Partners), and Endeavor Catalyst II, LP (invested capital from 150+ Limited Partners). As of March 2018, Endeavor Catalyst has made 76 investments across 21 different Local Offices.


Wazoku raises £2.5 million led by Calculus Capital

London-based SaaS eyes global expansion and product enhancement, as demand for idea management set to reach £1.17bn by 2022.

London, United Kingdom. 2 May 2019 – Idea management firm Wazoku has announced that it has raised £2.5M, led by Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trust (VCT) specialist, Calculus Capital and backed by existing investors. With the funding, Wazoku intends to continue its recent global expansion, further refine and improve its technology and to make good on its core objective, to ‘change the world one idea at a time’.

The past 12 months has seen Wazoku add major new customers all over the world, including a significant win in late 2018 to supply its services to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). Wazoku also achieved more than 50% year-on-year revenue growth last financial year. Tech Nation named Wazoku one of the UK’s 30 leading tech scaleups in Upscale 4.0.

This latest investment, which brings the total amount raised by Wazoku to £6.1M, is both a recognition of that growth, and also the increasing size and potential of the global idea management market. Recent Markets and Markets research has forecast that to reach £1.17bn in 2022, a compound annual growth rate of 29.2%.

“It really feels like the time is now for idea management and we want to be the company leading the market as it grows, matures and becomes even more mainstream,” said Simon Hill, CEO, Wazoku. “All organisations need to innovate, solve problems and generate new ideas to meet their objectives. Engaging with, and crowdsourcing ideas from different groups provides an exciting opportunity to radically rethink the way organisations collaborate and innovate.”

“The funding from Calculus will enable Wazoku to further expand our reach by investing to strengthen our sales and marketing capability. It will also allow us to continue to deliver a market leading product through further investment in product development and data science capability.”

Alexander Crawford, Co-Head of New Investments at Calculus Capital, said: “Innovation starts with an idea to solve a problem or improve a process. These ideas need to be captured, collated, analysed and successfully implemented. Wazoku helps organisations do this very effectively, transforming raw ideas into actionable innovation.”

“The company is a leader in a high-growth business area and already has an impressive roster of clients. Our investment will help them move into the next stage of their growth story.”

Wazoku’s core platform, Idea Spotlight, is used by businesses such as John Lewis & Partners, HSBC and Aviva, to uncover opportunities, highlight areas for business improvement and drive significant savings or boost revenues. It is used to capture, evaluate, improve and implement ideas from across any audience, whether that’s employees, customers, partners, the general public or another group of stakeholders altogether, to embed innovation led change or transformation as a core, strategic, everyday capability.

Hill commented: “The past 12 months have been a period of sustained and strong growth for Wazoku and I am hugely optimistic about this next phase for the business. Our market is showing strong growth globally and Wazoku is growing even faster. We have continued to deliver against our global ambitions with key client wins across Europe, APAC, North America, LatAm and Africa. I am particularly excited by our expansion into Germany and the Nordics, where we have signed a number of key strategic partnerships and are already starting to see strong growth.”

In 2018, Wazoku signed a strategic reseller agreement with Sopra Steria ISS in Germany, who delivered Die Alter Leipziger, one of the oldest insurance companies in Germany, as a new Wazoku client in 2018 and have a very strong pipeline of opportunity for the rest of 2019.

As an innovation company, Wazoku continues to invest significantly in R&D, to ensure product development continues to drive the market forward and maintain product differentiation for Wazoku’s core product, Idea Spotlight. In 2018, Wazoku launched Spotlight.AI, which is based on proprietary Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing, to connect people, ideas and problems. Spotlight.AI achieves this by highlighting key relationships between content, promoting transparency, engagement and visibility.

The success of the product continues to be evidenced through its long-standing and broad reaching customer roster, noteworthy successes include:

  • Sopra Steria Connected Limited (SSCL)
    • Thanks to its work with Wazoku SSCL was awarded ‘Best Business Transformation Strategy’ at the Engage Awards 2018 and the ‘People and Organisation’ category at Ideas UK ‘Idea of the Year’ competition. The firm has engaged more than 67% of its workforce in its ideas scheme and generated 400% ROI in its first year alone.
  • Direct Line Group
    • 2018 saw Direct Line Group recognised as a leader in garnering employee ideas, being awarded ‘Best Use of Innovation in Employee Engagement at the 2018 Engage Awards.
    • Direct Line’s Idea Lab has now engaged more 11,000 staff and generated Direct Line Group £3.5 million in savings, making it one of Wazoku’s most successful customers.
  • Waitrose
    • In early 2019 the supermarket chain renewed its contract with Wazoku, expanding its use within 350 stores to run a number of focused campaigns in areas such as IT. Since 2015, Waitrose has engaged more than 60,000 employees in its Partner Ideas scheme and driven £millions of benefit to the business.


For further information about Wazoku, please visit https://www.wazoku.com

PR Contact:
Paul Allen – Rise PR
07515 199 487 / paul@risepr.co.uk

Checkout.com raises £ 175.33 million Series A investment led by Insight Partners and DST Global

Checkout.com, the global payment solutions provider, announces today that it is taking funding from outside investors for the first time in its history, having raised $230m in what is Europe’s largest fintech Series A round ever, and globally the third largest fintech Series A round of all time.

  • Largest-ever fintech Series A raise in Europe led by Insight Partners and DST Global*
  • Third largest fintech Series A round globally ever
  • Online international payments business counts Samsung, Easygroup, Getty Images, Deliveroo, Transferwise, Patreon and Virgin Active amongst its customers
  • Insight Partners’ Deven Parekh to join the board

Checkout.com, the global payment solutions provider, announces today that it is taking funding from outside investors for the first time in its history, having raised $230m in what is Europe’s largest fintech Series A round ever,and globally the third largest fintech Series A round of all time. 

The record round, led by growth investors Insight Partners and DST Global, underlines the ambition of the seven year old UK business, which istransforming the world of digital commerce by providing merchants with a solution that enables payments across all geographies and channels. Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, Blossom Capital, Endeavor Catalyst and other strategic investors are also participating in the round. Checkout.com will use the funding to continue its rapid growth in Europe, the US and the Middle East, with further expansion into Asia and Latin America. 

The London-headquartered company, whose solutions already power many of the UK and EU’s leading fintechs, offers the world’s most comprehensive cross-border payment solution for digital commerce. Checkout.com’s proprietary technology helps fast growing businesses have seamless and reliable global payment processing for both companies and consumers. The business offers direct access to domestic acquiring across payment methods and geographies, including all major credit and debit cards, online banking, PayPal, Apple Pay and other eWallets. This is achieved through a single, unified integrated platform which also provides fraud management tools, analytics and comprehensive reporting features.

Founder Guillaume Pousaz said: “We have been fortunate to have some of the world’s leading investors approach us for some time but our focus has remained on building the very best suite of products we can for our merchants on four continents. Having built a sustainable business, one hire at a time, it was crucial to find partners that share our vision of how enterprise businesses will consume financial services in the future. We have anticipated this from our early days and have designed Checkout.com’s platform from the outset so that we can easily deliver incremental services to our customers as the company expands its offering.”

“Bringing world-class investors on board for our first funding round is a validation of everything the Checkout.com team has worked hard to achieve over the years and a way to flag just how serious we are about building a global leader that can serve any business, in any geography. The capital will help us increase the speed at which we roll out new products to address our merchants increasingly complex needs. Performance in payments and data streams are key drivers of success for merchants. Our objective remains to help our customers to grow their businesses, by providing them with the solutions and insights they need to win market share.”

Checkout.com enterprise customers include some of the world’s best known brands, such as  Samsung, Easygroup, Getty Images, Deliveroo, Transferwise, Patreon and Virgin Active. It processes more than 150 currencies and has 345 staff, with nearly 200 based in London and the rest in the company’s eight offices. Its team is expected to triple over the next three years as the company expands its core business and moves into new product areas.

Following the fundraising, Deven Parekh, Managing Partner at Insight Partners will take a seat on the board. 

Deven Parekh said: “We’ve been following Checkout.com for some time and we have been impressed by their dedication to building the right product for their merchant customers, as well as their commitment to creating a profitable business. The payments world is changing rapidly and online payments will be the source of most financial services in future. We are confident that Checkout.com will attract a great proportion of those transactions because its product and unified platform provide the full range of services that growing enterprises require. Insight Partners is excited to welcome the Checkout.com team to our portfolio, and look forward to driving continued growth together.”

Tom Stafford, Managing Partner, DST Global, said: “Payments are a critical component of any online business. With the digital payments market expected to grow to $6 trillion by 2021, we believe Checkout.com can expand rapidly through its technology-driven and customer-centric payments solution. We are delighted to partner with Guillaume and the team.”

Checkout.com has been advised in this transaction by FT Partners and law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. 

*According to Dealroom data on Series A fundraises, Immunocore ($320m) was the largest Series A fundraise for a UK company in 2015, followed by OakNorth ($200m) in Oct 2017. Outside biotech, the biggest Series A round in Europe was TradePlus24 (Switzerland) in Jan 2019 ($120 m).

–   Ends – 

antonella@burlington.cc – +447530 815018
angela@burlington.cc – +447799 622438 

MWWPR for Insight Partners – insightpartners@mww.com

About Checkout.com
Checkout.com helps companies accept more payments around the world through one integration.  The tech company works with global businesses to optimize their payments, with real-time data.  Checkout.com’s unified global payment processing platform features in-country acquiring, relevant payment methods, feature parity across geographies, fraud filters and reporting features, via one API. It helps businesses in Europe, the US and the Middle East to achieve faster, more reliable processing in more than 150 currencies, with direct access to Visa, Mastercard, American Express, all major international cards, as well as popular alternative and local payment methods. For more see: www.checkout.com

About Insight Partners
Insight Partners is a leading global venture capital and private equity firm investing in high-growth technology and software companies that are driving transformative change in their industries. Founded in 1995, Insight currently has over $20 billion of assets under management and has cumulatively invested in more than 300 companies worldwide. Our mission is to find, fund, and work successfully with visionary executives, providing them with practical, hands-on growth expertise to foster long-term success. Across our people and our portfolio, we encourage a culture around a core belief: growth equals opportunity. For more information on Insight and all its investments, visit www.insightpartners.com or follow us on Twitter @insightpartners.

About DST Global
DST Global is one of the leading Internet investment groups globally. Its portfolio includes some of the world’s leading and most valuable Internet companies like Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, Spotify, WhatsApp, Alibaba and JD. DST Global is headquartered in Hong Kong and has offices in Silicon Valley, New York, London and Beijing. 

Source: https://www.checkout.com/company/blog/post/checkout-com-raises-usd230m-in-record-european-series-a

Nivo secures £2 million Series A investment from GP Bullhound, Angel CoFund and Angel Investors

Nivo announces £2m funding round to accelerate growth and boost innovation in customer identity verification and onboarding for regulated financial firms

  • GP Bullhound and Angel CoFund invest in Manchester-based firm, alongside angel investors
  • Nivo is the only instant messaging network that banks can trust for sensitive and transactional conversations

Manchester, 2nd May – Nivo, the Manchester-based instant messaging and identity verification platform, has announced the close of a £2m funding round from GP Bullhound, the Angel CoFund and a syndicate of angel investors. This funding will be used to accelerate growth and product innovation, cementing Nivo’s position as the fastest, safest way for financial services companies to sign up and service their customers.

Nivo’s secure instant messaging network includes advanced data protection features, so brands in regulated industries can connect with customers, verify identities, gather personal information and complete transactions much more easily using mobile technology. Launched in late 2018 as an early stage spin out from Barclays Bank, Nivo’s are already working with large banks, lending brokers, lenders, credit unions and professional services companies who use the platform to significantly improve customer sign ups and service efficiency.

Since launch, Nivo has enabled more than £20m of loans to be written by financial services organisations using its platform and has engaged with over 30,000 consumers.

Nivo CEO Mike Common comments: “Our mission is to make it easier for consumers to connect with service providers in regulated industries like Financial Services. Our clients are using Nivo to deliver simpler mobile experiences, which reduce effort and empower customers. This means everyone saves time, costs go down and satisfaction goes up.”

He added, “We’re making the latest and best financial technologies available to anyone. For service providers, it’s free to get started, with no technical effort required, then a simple monthly subscription.

Hugh Campbell, Managing Partner of GP Bullhound added: “Manchester is a growing hub for disruptive and world-leading FinTech firms, and we’re delighted to be putting our support behind one of its leading lights. The strength of advocacy and results from its existing client base impressed us right from the beginning, with the Nivo team developing an unparalleled product offering that is disrupting the financial services industry.”

Tim Mills, Managing Partner of the Angel CoFund said: “The Nivo team has achieved a great deal in a very short period of time, and solves a very real problem for enterprises needing to transact a wide range of services online. The strength of the product has led to early adoption by a broad range of well-known financial institutions. The team knows this industry very well and has built a fantastic group of supporters and advisors around them. We’re happy to be joining that group and look forward to seeing the product go from strength to strength.”

The funding also includes some of the UK’s leading technology entrepreneurs including Elizabeth Gooch, founder and CEO of process optimisation technology firm EG Solutions who will be joining the Board. Other investors include Scott Fletcher, founder and chairman of cloud computing group ANS, Paul Gouge and Alex Rigby, founders of leading mobile games company Playdemic, and Rodney Baker-Bates, Chairman of the Willis Group.

Nivo allows any provider in a regulated industry to join its network in minutes, with no upfront cost or technical expertise – allowing any brand to offer a high-quality digital experience that would normally cost millions of pounds.

The platform offers features including Onfido identification verification checks, the ability to securely send and receive files and photos, open banking, and electronic signatures – all delivered via instant messaging.  

In addition to its unique position as the go-to instant messaging platform for banks, Nivo offers the most flexibility to enable e2e customer sign ups, and delivers unparalleled ease of set up and a simple monthly subscription. Clients have confirmed that sign up processes previously taking six weeks have been reduced to 15 minutes through Nivo’s platform.

Nivo joins existing GP Bullhound portfolio companies, including Slack, Partnerize and Unity Technologies on its list of fast-growing technology businesses.

Media Enquiries

For enquiries please contact:

Jake Smith

Brandex Financial

e – jake.smith@brandexfiancial.co.uk

m – 07860 779802

About Nivo

Nivo is an instant messaging platform with robust bank standard security and FinTech features built in. Developed by a senior team from a leading UK bank, its unique service lets any business access technologies previously only available to large banks and makes it much easier for consumers to get the right financial products.


About GP Bullhound

GP Bullhound is a leading technology advisory and investment firm, providing transaction advice and capital to the world’s best entrepreneurs and founders. Founded in 1999, the firm today has offices in London, San Francisco, Stockholm, Berlin, Manchester, Paris, Hong Kong, Madrid and New York. For more information, please visitwww.gpbullhound.com, or follow on Twitter @GPBullhound.

About the Angel CoFund

Launched in 2011, the Angel CoFund (ACF) is a privately managed and commercially focused institution that works alongside groups of business angels to invest in high potential SMEs across the UK, directly providing funding as well as encouraging the expansion and development of the business angel market. To date the ACF has supported 85 companies (for example, Ebury, Gousto, Crowd Vision and Hopster) providing more than £40 million in direct investment alongside more than £200m from business angels and other investors, making it one of the most active early stage investors in the country. The ACF is a long-term investor and, in aggregate, sets aside £1 of further capital for every £1 it invests. This model gives portfolio companies and co-investors the support they need to propel strong growth. Visit www.angelcofund.co.uk

Fnatic raises £14.49 million Series A funding for its eSport platform

Fnatic’s incredible 15 year journey today starts a new chapter as the organisation has raised $19m USD in Series A funding. This investment will help Fnatic continue its global expansion into Asia and North America, strengthen its involvement in tier-one leagues including the League of Legends European Championship, continue to partner with the most forward-thinking global brands and launch new product categories of its Fnatic Gear gaming peripherals including an exciting new audio line.

Leading the investment round is tech entrepreneur and founder of VK (Russia’s largest social network) Lev Leviev of LVL1 Group who joins the board with support from investors Beringea, BlackPine, Unbound, Raptor Group and Joi Ito.

Supporting the next stage of Fnatic’s rapid growth is a new leadership team which sees founder Sam Mathews return to the Chief Executive Officer CEO role while former Mercedes AMG F1 CEO Nick Fry has been named Chairman and founder of Affectv Glen Calvert has been appointed COO. Meanwhile, former CEO Wouter Sleijffers has stepped down after four years of helping expand Fnatic’s global team and reinforce the organisation’s position as leaders on the competitive stage.

This is a pivotal moment in the evolution of Fnatic” said new CEO Mathews, adding: “I am incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years and now is the time to build on this strong foundation to realise our vision of being the leading global esports brand. To have such high calibre investors is telling of the potential they see in Fnatic and our future. We would not be at this point without the invaluable contribution of Wouter over the last four years, we are extremely grateful and sincerely wish him all the best.

Below is a statement from Wouter Sleijffers, reflecting on his time with the organisation:

When starting over 4 years ago in Fnatic, I could not have envisioned in my wildest dreams the journey and the transformation we’ve gone through. Fnatic, already the world’s most recognisable and successful competitive organisation in esports, transformed itself into a groundbreaking global brand representing the passion of billions like no one else does. Or simply said, to make every esports fan feel super proud and show the world what esports really is about.

We’re embarking on the most exciting time for esports. And Fnatic is ready more than ever. An unrivalled legacy of esports success, epic apparel, ground-breaking esports gear and impactful best-in-class partnerships is just a few of the things. And so, it’s time for others to break more grounds and continue carrying the Fnatic mission under Sam Mathews’ visionary leadership, Patrik Sattermon’s competitive mentorship and everyone else’s passionate and relentless energy in Fnatic.

I’m grateful for having been among an amazing team of people, amazing players and staff, amazing fans, amazing partners and having made a lot of amazing friends along the way. To be part of Fnatic, is truly unique. We all wrote a part in the esports history books and Fnatic will continue to do so. Thank you for making Fnatic awesome!

I wish everyone much esports excitement and fortune ahead. No doubt our paths will cross again and I look forward to stay in touch.



For further information please contact press@fnatic.com