Monolith AI closes Seed round of £1.9 million led by Pentech Ventures

Technology start-up Monolith AI, which has developed the first AI assistant for engineers, today announces it has raised £1.9 million led by Pentech Ventures with participation from Stanford Angels of the UK, Ascension Ventures and Charlie Songhurst. This funding will support Monolith’s mission to transform the engineering design process through the use of their advanced AI platform.

Monolith AI’s platform applies cutting-edge machine learning to complex engineering problems. The London-based company has demonstrated significant value in their early customer engagements by utilising the large amounts of data that is generated during the engineering design process. The Monolith platform enables the exploitation of this valuable data asset using its advanced data analytics and machine learning framework, enabling the customer to drastically shorten time to market.

Monolith has worked with companies and their engineers in the Automotive, Aerospace and Packaging industries, showing the wide applicability and versatility of the platform.

“Our goal is to accelerate product development, from race cars to spaceships and everything in between. We believe that traditional engineering will soon change dramatically. Our dream is to work alongside engineers to enable them to bring exponential growth to product development. We are building the world’s first AI Platform for Engineers – we like to describe it as the J.A.R.V.I.S. in Iron Man.”, said Dr Richard Ahlfeld, CEO and Founder of Monolith AI.

Eddie Anderson, partner at Pentech, said “The Monolith platform extracts knowledge and value from historical and current design processes, enabling new designs to be brought to market in a much shorter period of time, and for significantly less cost. We believe they can become the category leader in this emerging sector and are very excited to be working with Richard and the Monolith team.”

“Monolith is transforming engineering design, by unlocking capabilities to handle unprecedented scale and complexity at breakthrough speed,” said Rani Saad, president of the Stanford Angels of the UK. “We are delighted to have backed Monolith from the outset and to continue to do so.”

Editorial Notes:
Questions? Contact Kaitlyn (COO) on kaitlyn@monolithai.com or 07548 318784

About Richard
Dr Richard Ahlfeld, Founder and CEO, was included in Germany’s Top 30 Under 30 Innovators, awarded a fellowship at the Royal Academy of Engineering and the EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship at the Uncertainty Quantification Laboratory of Imperial College London. During his PhD Richard published twelve papers, one of which enabled him to work at Stanford and NASA. Richard’s research interests are situated at the intersection of machine learning and engineering simulations.

About Monolith
Monolith AI previously secured a seed/Angel round in October 2018 (Stanford Angels and two private investors). The startup has taken part in the Founders Factory Accelerator and Techcelerate Incubator programmes. Previously Monolith AI was known as Uquant.

About Pentech
Pentech Ventures are leading early stage software investors looking for opportunities to build breakout companies in emerging market spaces, with particular focus on AI and ML. Founded in 2001, the firm has raised over £150m across three funds and has a long track record of guiding small founding teams from pre-launch to international scale. Pentech’s four partners are ex-operators with deep tech backgrounds and an immersive understanding of the businesses they invest in. With a UK outlook and hubs in London and Edinburgh, the team’s investments include Acunu (Apple), FanDuel, Maxymiser (Oracle), Nutmeg, Outplay and Semetric (Apple). The companies Pentech has backed have between them created almost 2,000 new jobs.

About Stanford Angels of the UK
The Stanford Angels of the United Kingdom is a group of Stanford alumni with experience as successful investors, entrepreneurs, and executives —primarily in sectors experiencing high innovation. The group offers select, high-calibre startups access to smart funding, relevant expertise and private connections.

Source: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/da4c04_1330747edd0b4900bd0720c6fa3f35ef.pdf

Credit Kudos raises £2.2 million Series A investment led by Ascension Ventures

Credit Kudos, challenger credit bureau and leader in commercial applications of Open Banking, announced today they have raised £2.2m in their latest round of funding. Funding is led by Ascension Ventures, through its social impact fund Fair by Design, with additional investment from existing investors NFT Ventures and Entrepreneur First’s Next Stage Fund. New backers include Dragons’ Den star Sarah Willingham; prolific angel investor Charlie Songhurst (investor in Affirm, ClassPass, and Coindesk); and key figures from the credit industry, including both the former CEO and MD of Callcredit, now TransUnion, John McAndrew and Graham Lund. The investment will be used to drive further growth within the UK and support expansion into Europe, alongside further investment into Credit Kudos’ platform.

Credit Kudos, which launched its Open Banking platform in January 2018, was co-founded by software engineers Freddy Kelly and Matt Schofield. Upon returning to the UK after working in Silicon Valley, Freddy faced a myriad of challenges accessing credit due to his ‘thin’ credit file. With little to no recent financial activity in the UK, Freddy was offered only limited credit product options, with higher interest rates and restrictions. This experience led Freddy to co-found Credit Kudos to help all people access affordable credit.

In the UK alone, it is estimated that 1 in 4 UK families have less than £100 in savings, demonstrating a pervasive need for access to affordable credit. However, due to insufficient data, many individuals with the most need for credit are at risk of being pushed into high-cost credit options, and have the hardest time accessing affordable loans. It was also revealed that financially excluded individuals pay on average a “poverty premium” of £490 per annum.

Credit Kudos’ mission is to advance financial inclusion through new applications of technology. Credit Kudos provides lenders, brokers and financial institutions with a highly accurate and transparent scoring system based on consumer consented data, providing a fairer representation of an individual’s creditworthiness. Credit Kudos’ solution enables lenders to make better decisions, whilst simultaneously helping previously overlooked individuals access credit.

Investment in this round by Ascension Ventures’ social impact fund Fair by Design (FBD), is a testament to Credit Kudos’ work towards the advancement of financial inclusion and reducing the poverty premium, to enable previously overlooked individuals access to mainstream credit through alternative measures of creditworthiness. “Credit Kudos is very much at the centre of the FBD investment thesis,”said Emma Steele, Investment Manager for Ascension Ventures “They are a core solution to tackling the lack of fair and affordable access to credit for customers, with thin files or no credit history. We very much back Freddy’s ambition to change the way the risk profile of a potential borrower is assessed. By doing that, Credit Kudos has the potential to 1) advance financial inclusion by improving approval rates for people previously excluded by the system 2) help prevent borrowers from being forced into higher priced products and 3) make it easy for lenders to check affordability. We are excited to back the team on this journey.”

Also providing further investment is the world’s leading talent investor, Entrepreneur First. Entrepreneur First have been a part of the Credit Kudos story since inception. Matt Clifford, Entrepreneur First CEO said, “Credit Kudos is tackling a highly complex and challenging problem, taking a new approach that leverages machine learning to power smarter decisions. We are thrilled to be doubling down on our commitment to the team and their vision.”

This funding round has brought a number of new backers including BBC Dragons’ Den star Sarah Willingham, “I’m thrilled to be backing the Credit Kudos team and their mission to make credit scoring fairer and easier for both businesses and consumers. Sadly the traditional methods are still opaque and confusing and all too often consumers are penalised despite being very creditworthy. Applying new data and technology to the problem gives Credit Kudos the ability to make smarter decisions, empowering consumers and giving them greater choice. I look forward to seeing Credit Kudos make a lot of lives easier.”

Securing further investment from both original investors and further industry leaders is evidence of Credit Kudos’ success and growth since Open Banking became a reality in early 2018. “This investment allows us to scale up our business to meet the demands of a post-Open Banking and PSD2 world,” said Freddy Kelly, Credit Kudos CEO. “This funding will be used to expand our engineering and development team to continue to deliver first to market technology across our platform, as well as supporting expansion into wider Europe.”

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About Credit Kudos:

Credit Kudos is an FCA-authorised credit bureau and an Open Banking Account Information Service Provider (AISP) that uses financial behaviour to measure creditworthiness. Through direct connections to the UK’s largest banks, Credit Kudos aggregates and interprets transaction data for use by lenders, brokers, and financial institutions. Credit Kudos goes beyond traditional scoring, providing a comprehensive view of a borrower’s creditworthiness. Its platform transforms complex sets of information in easy-to-use, digital-first tools to help everyone make better lending decisions.

Live Game Management Platform ChilliConnect secures £343k Seed Funding led by TechStart Ventures

Live Game Management platform ChilliConnect is excited to announce the completion of a Seed funding round of over $450,000 raised from TechStart VenturesAscension Venturesand existing angel investors.

The technology company was founded in 2016 as a spin out from a successful game development studio. Its flagship product, the ChilliConnect platform, is a SaaS (software as a service) tool kit that provides game developers and publishers with a single solution to a range of Live Game Management services including analytics, game backend services and live operations. This “all in one” game development and publishing service has already attracted a range of notable global clients.

Following this Seed investment round, ChilliConnect plans significant growth across the business. Dedicated sales and marketing capability has been added and the company is now seeking to double the size of its current development team. ChilliConnect’s ambition to democratise Live Game Management for all game developers regardless of shape, size and financial resource is now one step closer to reality.

CEO and Co-founder Paul Farley said “We are delighted to close this Seed round. Not only will this investment allow us to accelerate the development of the ChilliConnect platform, developing innovative live operations and game backend features, but we can now market the platform to an even larger range of potential customers. Having access to the knowledge and networks of both TechStart Ventures and Ascension Ventures is a massive benefit. We’re looking forward to working with these top drawer early-stage funds.”

Mike Herron, CTO and Co-founder added “We’ve already demonstrated we can deliver a world class service with a small team, now we have the opportunity to maximise our positioning and become one of only a handful of key players in this space. In addition to developers and publishers we fill a large hole in the technology stack of distribution platforms, engine providers and other complementary technology companies. We’re looking forward to realising this potential in the months ahead.”

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PRESS
For more information contact Paul Farley, CEO paul.farley@chilliconnect.com or 07824 614105.
Press pack available here: www.chilliconnect.com/press
Website: www.chilliconnect.com
Twitter: @Chilli_Connect

ABOUT ASCENSION VENTURES
Ascension Ventures backs exceptional entrepreneurs with big visions – providing capital, our network, and expert mentors to grow scalable technology businesses. We support UK businesses from Seed to Series A, and since 2013, Ascension has invested in over 75 UK based early-stage companies. Current funds include the ASCEND SEIS (Seed), CENTAUR EIS (Seed+), UK-India EIS (Seed+), and its Fair By Design social impact fund, working to eradicate the UK’s Poverty Premium.

ABOUT TECHSTART VENTURES LLP
Techstart Ventures LLP is a seed stage venture capital investor for the most ambitious entrepreneurial founding teams in Scotland and Northern Ireland. We seek to be trusted peers who help founders realise their vision through experienced and timely support. With our capital and backing, founders can focus on customer development, validating their business model and growing sales. Techstart manages the Scottish Growth Scheme – Techstart Ventures Equity Finance LP Fund which has been part financed by support from the European Structural Funds 2014-2020 European Regional Development Fund Programme in Scotland.