Qureight raises £1.5m for complex disease data curation
Cambridge-based data company Quest raised £1.5m in seed funding to deliver the next generation of its platform and capitalize on its vision to house the world’s largest collection of complex disease data.
Playfair Capital led the investment round, which also included life sciences funds Meltwind, Ascension and Cambridge Angels.
Each phase III pharmaceutical study in complex diseases can cost upwards of £200 million. The company’s proprietary technology enables scientists to track disease progression and drug response in patients with complex diseases, developing unique digital biomarkers for use in clinical trials. This will significantly reduce the costs of bringing complex, life-saving drugs to market.
One of Qureight’s first targets is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) – a condition in which the lungs become scarred and breathing becomes increasingly difficult. Lung scarring can also occur as a result of COVID-19. Qureight was the first to integrate complex datasets and software algorithms across Europe last year.
Team building and wellness platform Kaido raises £400,000
Birmingham-based team and wellbeing platform Kaido raised £400,000 in seed funding, bringing its total investment to nearly £600,000.
The round was led by Longrow Capital Finance with participation from University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust through its SME Innovation Fund, the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network and Mercia.
The platform aims to get teams talking, moving and motivating with its four-week Team Wellbeing Challenge which has been used by companies including Google, HSBC and the Department of Health and Social Care. At the end of each challenge, companies receive a report that shows the impact of the challenge, helping them better understand their team and what’s working for them.
Food delivery startup Zapp gets £149m
Fast food delivery and convenience app zap raised £149m in Series B funding which included Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton. Atomico, Burda and Vorwerk Ventures also participated in the round.
Zapp stores thousands of items in micro-fulfillment centers known as Zappstores. Consumers use the Zapp app to make purchases such as last-minute snacks and hygiene products. Zapp riders collect and deliver orders via e-bikes, with the service available 24/7.
Zapp will also use the funding to achieve profitability in existing markets and expand into new markets, and invest in its customer experience and technology.
Fiat Republic lands £2.58m to bridge gap between web3 and banking
London based company Fiat Republic secured £2.58 million in seed funding from European tech investors Speedinvest, Seedcamp and Credo.
The startup, which is building an emoney-regulated, compliance-focused banking and payments API, seeks to significantly reduce the time and cost of processing fiat currencies for crypto platforms, both at the level of the individual consumer and at the company’s cash level.
The startup will use the funds raised to strengthen its already strong team of 14 people and to accelerate the acquisition of regulated status in the UK and EU.
TALA raises £4.2m for sustainable sportswear
Sustainable sportswear brandTALA raised £4.2m in funding co-led by Active Partners and Venrex. Other participants in the oversubscribed round include Pembroke VCT, as well as angel investors including Nicola Milner (CEO and Founder, Deciem), Michelle Kennedy (CEO and Founder, Peanut) and Simon Mottram (Founder, Rapha).
The investment will be used to further TALA’s mission of bringing sustainable sportswear into the mainstream, investing in inventory, hiring and international growth. Jason Mahendran, an investor at Active Partners, will also join TALA’s board of directors.
TALA’s popular product line includes leggings, shorts, sports bras, tops, hoodies, tracksuits, outerwear and underwear. TALA’s products and packaging are made with upcycled, upcycled and natural materials, and the brand places a strong emphasis on ethics, sustainability and transparency at every stage of production.
Cauldron raises £1m to launch sci-fi project in Web3 games
video game studio Cauldron got £1million to make its first game as an independent studio.
Seedcamp and existing investors IQ Capital and Playfair Capital are backing the project, codenamed “Nightshade”.
Fox Rogers, co-founder and creative director of Cauldron, said: “Our studio has naturally wanted to transition over the years to become a build-driven world, so it couldn’t be more timely to see a new audience emerge looking for immersive game-like experiences where they own parts of the world he loves. At Cauldron, we’re used to working in markets where we know our art and emotional storytelling can have a dramatic impact and we see the growing base of Web3 gamers striving for more.
AI photobook startup Popsa raises £9m
Gresham House Ventures led a £9m investment round in Popsaalongside existing investors Pembroke VCT, Octopus Investments and Guinness Asset Management.
Popsa is a user-friendly mobile app that uses AI to help users quickly design photo-centric products such as photo books and have them delivered to their doorstep. Led by founders Liam Houghton and Tom Cohen, Popsa has demonstrated excellent growth since its inception, ranking among the 10 fastest growing UK technology companies over the past two years according to Deloitte.
This investment will increase funding for Popsa’s data science and technology team as the company seeks to advance product features and development as well as strengthen sales and marketing, supporting the goal of the company to scale the brand in its key geographies of the United States, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.
In other international investing news…
Norrsken22 closes £147.7m fund supporting future tech giants in Africa
The Norrsken Foundation, founded by Klarna co-founder Niklas Adalberth, has partnered with Hans Otterling, partner at Northzone; an investment team led by Natalie Kolbe, former global head of private equity at Actis in South Africa; Actis colleague Ngetha Waithaka in Kenya; and Lexi Novitske, former founder of Acuity Venture Partners in Nigeria, to launch Norrsken22 Africa Technology Growth Fund.
The fund is backed by 30 unicorn founders, contributing their entrepreneurial skills and US$65 million in funding. Among them, Olugbenga Agboola, co-founder of Flutterwave; Niklas Zennström, co-founder of Skype; Jacob de Geer, co-founder of iZettle; Niklas Östberg, co-founder of Delivery Hero; Carl Manneh, co-founder of Mojang; Sebastian Knutsson, co-founder of King; and Willard Ahdritz, founder of Kobalt Music.
The fund is also supported by the SEB Pension Foundation and family offices, which share the Norrsken22 vision of scalable entrepreneurship as a driver of long-term, sustainable economic growth in Africa.
Channable Secures £45.8m Series B Funding
changeablea global provider of e-commerce workflow management and PPC automation solutions for digital marketers, brands and online retailers, has received over £45.8m in Series B funding led by Partech with existing investor Peak.
This latest fundraising fuels global expansion, accelerating the company’s R&D efforts, while building on the company’s global sales and marketing momentum.
Founded in 2014 by Rob van Nuenen, Stefan Hospes and Robert Kreuzer, Channable enables e-commerce businesses around the world to effectively sell, advertise, market and manage their sales online. Since its inception, the company has had more than 6,000 customers worldwide, processing more than 55 billion items per day through 2,500 local and global channels on comparison websites, marketplaces, search engines and social networks.
Electric scooter company Dott raises £51.7m
Point, a European micro-mobility company, has announced a £51.7m extension to its Series B funding round. The extended round was jointly led by new investor abrdn and existing investor Sofina. Other existing investors, including EQT Ventures and Prosus Ventures, also participated in the round.
Dott was established in October 2018 and has since expanded to cover 36 cities in nine countries across Europe. At the end of 2021, Dott added 10,000 e-bikes to its fleet of over 40,000 e-scooters, expanding its offering and providing more choice for its riders, who made 130% more trips than in 2020.
As micro-mobility use continues to grow across Europe, the new investment allows Dott to accelerate the rollout of its new e-bikes, invest in product development to improve user experience and to expand into new cities and new countries.