Urban closes £8.45 million Series B investment led by ADV

On-demand wellness app Urban closes $10M Series B to double down on beauty and fitness.

Europe’s number one wellness services app, Urban, has raised a further $10M to double down on its mission of empowering city-dwellers to prioritise their wellbeing.

This latest round of investment comes at a time when the company is nearing profitability. Led by patient venture investor, Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV), it will enable Urban to accelerate towards its goal of becoming a one-stop shop for on-demand wellness services.

Existing investors Passion Capital and Felix Capital also participated. To support the expansion, Urban is in the process of recruiting a team of 30 engineers in Lithuania. “Our new Vilnius office will be instrumental in helping to evolve our service,” says Giles Williams, co-founder and CTO of Urban. “The Lithuania team will work on all aspects of our marketplace platform, including its award-winning client apps, practitioner business software, corporate offering and data science projects.”

In November 2018, the London-headquartered company expanded its on-demand services beyond massage to include osteopathy, facial, and nail services. These services have been widely embraced, with 80% of new service revenue driven by existing customers.

In a world where wellness means something different to everyone, Urban cuts through the noise. They make it easy for city-dwellers to take time for treatments that help them feel at their best, be it a rejuvenating facial or a deep tissue massage.

But rather than thinking of these things of one-off rewards, Urban conceives of them as an integral part of wellbeing, unlocking individual potential. That’s why, with more services in the pipeline, their goal is to be the go-to destination for the wellness needs of anyone who lives in a city.

Their philosophy aligns perfectly with major investor ADV, which prioritises longevity over short-term gains.

Lee Strafford, ADV’s CEO says: “Urban is building an ecosystem of wellness offerings for a modern society with a highly varied set of needs. We really like Urban’s vision of delivering on consumer needs while making wellness a better business for therapists on the platform. So we’re delighted to partner with the team as they execute on their ambition.”

Urban founder Jack Tang says: “We’re excited to partner with ADV in the next stage of our growth and ambition. ADV’s long-term investment philosophy aligns with our plans to grow sustainably and organically, improving our already robust unit economics.”

We have a super exciting roadmap ahead. Our newly expanded engineering team means we can empower even more wellness practitioners to build thriving, independent businesses with Urban.

Our goal is to become the one-stop shop for on-demand wellness services, and with the services we offer today, we’re just getting started.”


Notes for editors
Key business highlights

  • Aug 2016 £3.5m Series A led by Felix Capital – unannounced as we focused on delivering the best experiences for our customers (therapists and end-users)
  • Sep 2016 Paris launch – third largest city market globally for wellness spend after NYC and London
  • Nov 2017 introduced £49 off-peak massage in a bid to reduce the barrier to wellness services
  • Feb 2018 Milk Beauty (at-home B2C) and Freauty (B2B) acquired to bolster our corporate wellness offering
  • May 2018 therapist ambassador scheme for UK and FR launched to ensure the community’s voice is well considered for any policy planning to deliver best-in-class experience for the professionals
  • Aug 2018 Seedrs crowdfunding raised £3.5m convertible note / advance subscription with 800+ new investors to help us shape the future and roadmap (majority of the investment was from current customers, therapists, staff and current VC backers)
  • Nov 2018 Urban massage rebrands as Urban, introducing osteopathy, nails and facial services, delivered in partnership with brands such as Dermalogica and Aveda
  • May 2019 Urban closes $10M Series B to double down on its mission of empowering city-dwellers to prioritise their wellbeing.

For more information, a quote or photography please contact press@urban.co

About Urban
Founded in 2014, Urban is an on-demand wellness app on a mission to empower people through wellbeing. At Urban, we believe that when you’re well, you’re better equipped to go after everything else in your life. It’s the easy way to book the treatments you need – massage, nails, skincare and osteopathy – in the comfort of your home, office or hotel. Urban is currently available in four cities across Europe – London, Manchester, Birmingham and Paris and is backed by some of London’s leading VC firms.

About Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV)

ADV is a patient venture investment engine. Its team are entrepreneurs and operators who have learnt the hard lessons and want to pay them forward. Currently investing £150M, ADV takes the long view of business building, investing across the funding lifecycle of startups, scaleups and ‘scalebigs’. ADV champions the innovators – the people who build complex, technical, generation-defining businesses. ADV’s investors are British Business Bank, Legal & General and Woodford Investment Management.

This investment was from ADV’s British Business Bank ECF fund.

Say hello at www.accelerated.ventures | @AcceleratedDV

B-Secur raises £4 million investment from ADV and Bank of Ireland

5th March 2019

Kernel Capital confirm B-Secur Ltd, a Belfast-based ECG biometric authentication company has raised £4m. This is the second round of funding secured by the company from Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV), The Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Fund (NI) and an existing Private Investor. 

B-Secur, which now employs 36 staff in Belfast, has developed technology that uses an individual’s unique heartbeat pattern (ECG) as a means of personal authentication. The company recently launched Heartkey which combines this unique user identification with advanced physiological monitoring for health and wellness purposes. 

B-Secur is now partnering with some of the world’s top motoring manufacturers, global wearable and fitness tracker technology firms and leading semiconductor manufacturers, to embed Heartkey into multiple everyday technologies and wearables. 

‘Since our first investment in B-Secur we have been impressed by the drive and determination of the management team and their highly skilled technical experts who have worked hard to elevate this technology and to pair it with partners and applications which we strongly believe will change how we live and work. They are at an exciting stage and we are very proud to support them in taking their vision forward on a global scale.’
Jayne Brady, Partner, Kernel Capital

‘Securing further investment at this critical stage recognises our rapid development over the past 18 months and the market relevance of B-Secur’s technology. Most importantly, it’s a strong indicator of B-Secur’s growth potential globally.’
Alan Foreman, CEO, B-Secur

‘When everyday wearables become medical grade devices, the importance of assuring who can access sensitive information is of the greatest importance. B-Secur’s Heartkey software enables any OEM to achieve near medical grade heart monitoring and tracking capability coupled with unique authentication. One product roadmap with two distinct solutions, all derived from one heartbeat (ECG) signal. We’re backing B-Secur for the second time because we truly believe in the product vision and the team.’Tong Gu, Investment Lead, Accelerated Digital Ventures

The Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Fund (NI) was designed to help SMEs in Northern Ireland to accelerate their growth. Invest Northern Ireland has committed £15m of funding to this fund which is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.

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For further information please contact: 
Dawn Walsh, Kernel Capital.
+353 21 4928974