Northern robotics consortium gets £22.6M investment from Government’s £127M Strength in Places Fund

Human and machine handshake

A consortium based in West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester has been granted £22.6 million from the £127 million Strength in Places Fund of the Government. Notably, this consortium is one of the five projects that will be backed by the research and development fund. Each of these projects have been selected based on the livelihood of societal benefits and ability to accelerate regional economic growth.  

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Elon Musk’s brain computer startup Neuralink scores $205M funding

Brain computer

Recently, Neuralink has raised a Series C round from Google Ventures and others, while its competitor Synchron is making in-human trials in the US. The round raised was around $205m and was led by Dubai-based investment firm Vy Capital with participation from Google Ventures, DFJ Growth, Valor Equity Partners, Craft Ventures, Founders Fund, and Gigafund.

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ConverseNow is targeting restaurant drive-thrus with new $15M round

Converse Now

One year after voice-based AI technology company ConverseNow raised a $3.3 million seed round, the company is back with a cash infusion of $15 million in Series A funding in a round led by Craft Ventures. The Austin-based company’s AI voice ordering assistants George and Becky work inside quick-serve restaurants to take orders via phone, chat, drive-thru and self-service kiosks, freeing up staff to concentrate on food preparation and customer service.

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$6M Series A funding for blockchain startup that helps businesses improve their sustainability

Diginex

We all know how big of an impact, companies can have on the world around us. ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) reporting is a great way to assess this impact and traditionally, a few large organisations with budgets and resources to spare were the ones publishing these reports. However, the pressure to publish ESG reports is mounting on companies of all sizes and it can be difficult for smaller companies. This is where the UK-registered startup Diginex comes in, which aims to make ESG reporting more accessible and mainstream. 

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Blameless raises $30M to guide companies through their software lifecycle

Blameless

Site reliability engineering platform Blameless announced Tuesday it raised $30 million in a Series B funding round, led by Third Point Ventures with participation from Accel, Decibel and Lightspeed Venture Partners, to bring total funding to over $50 million.

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Robotic AI firm Covariant raises another $80 million

Robotic arm - Covariant

In May of last year, Covariant announced that it had raised a $40 million Series B. It was a healthy sum of money for the young company, bringing its total funding up to $67 million. Just a little over a year later, the Berkeley-based AI startup is adding another $80 million to its coffers, riding on a wave that dramatically accelerated interest in robotics and AI during the pandemic.

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NotCo gets its horn following $235M round to expand plant-based food products

Noco - Not milk

NotCo, a food technology company making plant-based milk and meat replacements, wrapped up another funding round this year, a $235 million Series D round that gives it a $1.5 billion valuation.

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VOCHI raises additional $2.4 million for its computer vision-powered video editing app

Vochi

VOCHI, a Belarus-based startup behind a clever computer vision-based video editing app used by online creators, has raised an additional $2.4 million in a “late-seed” round that follows the company’s initial $1.5 million round led by Ukraine-based Genesis Investments last year. The new funds follow a period of significant growth for the mobile tool, which is now used by more than 500,000 people per month and has achieved a $4 million-plus annual run rate in a year’s time.

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Tailor Brands raises $50M, aims to be one-stop shop for small businesses to launch

Tailor Brands

Tailor Brands, a startup that automates parts of the branding and marketing process for small businesses, announced Thursday it has raised $50 million in Series C funding. GoDaddy led the round as a strategic partner and was joined by OurCrowd and existing investors Pitango Growth, Mangrove Capital Partners, Armat Group, Disruptive VC and Whip Media founder Richard Rosenblatt. Tailor Brands has now raised a total of $70 million since its inception in 2015.

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DNSFilter secures $30M Series A to step up fight against DNS-based threats

DNS filter

DNSFilter, an artificial intelligence startup that provides DNS protection to enterprises, has secured $30 million in Series A funding from Insight Partners. DNSFilter, as its name suggests, offers DNS-based web content filtering and threat protection. Unlike the majority of its competitors, which includes the likes of Palo Alto Networks and Webroot, the startup uses proprietary AI technology to continuously scan billions of domains daily, identifying anomalies and potential vectors for malware, ransomware, phishing, and fraud. 

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Path Robotics raises another $100M

Path Robotics

In May, Path Robotics announced a $56 million Series B. It was a sizable raise, as far as robotics rounds go. But the Columbus, Ohio-based startup is already back for more, raising a “pre-emptive” Series C a mere two and a half months later. And it’s a biggie. The firm has raised $100 million, led by Tiger Global and featuring participation from Silicon Valley Bank, an existing investor. The deal brings the robotic welding firm’s total funding to $171 million.

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Robot operated, nano-warehousing provider Noyes Technologies raises $3.8 million

Noyes Technologies

Specifically designed to be used in urban markets, Munich’s robotic warehousing maker Noyes Technologies has raised $3.8 million in seed funding. Noting the growing trend of consumers’ expectations of ever-faster delivery times, Noyes is aiming to provide a fully automated distribution solution in advance of market demand. The funding is expected to be used to accelerate product roll-out as well as further develop the company’s flexible robotic warehousing technology.

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Coventry-based biotech grabs £6.2M funding to develop its novel biologic delivery platform

n-Syrinx

Coventry-based biotech, NanoSyrinx has raised a further £6.2m of seed financing, co-led by incoming Octopus Ventures and existing investor M Ventures (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), the corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA. Previous investors BioCity and the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) joined the funding round along with experienced deeptech investor IQ Capital and Jonathan Milner. The round was significantly oversubscribed with high demand both from existing and from new investors.

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Visualping raises $6M to make its website change monitoring service smarter

Visualping

Visualping, a service that can help you monitor websites for changes like price drops or other updates, announced that it has raised a $6 million extension to the $2 million seed round it announced earlier this year. The round was led by Seattle-based FUSE Ventures, a relatively new firm with investors who spun out of Ignition Partners last year. Prior investors Mistral Venture Partners and N49P also participated.

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Taste intelligence startup Halla closes $4.5M Series A1 to predict which grocery items shoppers will buy

Halla IO

Halla wants to answer the question of how people decide what to eat, and now has $4.5 million in fresh Series A1 capital from Food Retail Ventures to do it.

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Skymind targets the UK with its $800M AI investment fund

Skymind

Skymind, which bills itself as the world’s first dedicated AI ecosystem builder, is focusing on the UK with its $800 million AI investment fund. Although the fund is global, the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic meant that much of the focus was geographically near the Malaysian base of its leadership team. However, having announced their first investments earlier this year, they are looking at the UK for their future investments and the future of AI. 

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Cybereason raises $275M at Series F, adds Steven Mnuchin to board

Cybereason

Cybereason, a US-Israeli late-stage cybersecurity startup that provides extended detection and response (XDR) services, has secured $275 million in Series F funding. 
The investment was led by Liberty Strategic Capital, a venture capital fund recently founded by Steven Mnuchin, who served as U.S. Treasury Secretary under the Trump administration. As part of the deal, Mnuchin will join Cybereason’s board of directors, along with Liberty advisor Gen. Joseph Dunford, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Trump until his retirement in 2019.
Lior Div, CEO and co-founder of Cybereason, tells TechCrunch that the startup’s decision to work with Liberty Strategy Capital came down to the firm’s “massive network” and the “understanding of the financial and government markets that Mnuchin and Gen. Joseph Dunford bring to our team.”
“For example, the executive order on cybersecurity put out by the Biden Administration recommends that endpoint detection and response solutions be deployed on all endpoints,” Dior added. “This accelerates the importance of solutions like ours in the public market, and Liberty Strategic Capital has the relationships to help accelerate our go-to-market strategy in the federal sector.”
This round, which will be used to fuel “hypergrowth driven by strong market demand,” follows $389 million in prior funding from SoftBank, CRV, Spark Capital, and Lockheed Martin. The company didn’t state at what valuation it raised the funds, but it is estimated to be in the region of $3 billion.
Cybereason’s recent growth, which saw it end 2020 at over $120 million in annual recurring revenue, has been largely driven by its AI-powered platform. Unlike traditional alert-centric models, Cybereason’s Defense Platform is operation-centric, which means it exposes and remediates entire malicious operations. The service details the full attack story from root cause to impacted users and devices, which the company claims significantly reduces the time taken to investigate and recover from an enterprise-wide cyber attack. 
The company, whose competitors include the likes of BlackBerry-owned Cylance and CrowdStrike, also this week expanded its channel presence with the launch of its so-called Defenders League, a global program that enables channel partners to use its technology and services to help their customers prevent and recover from cyberattacks. Cybereason claims its technology has helped protect customers from the likes of the recent SolarWinds supply-chain attack and other high-profile ransomware attacks launched by DarkSide, REvil, and Conti groups. 
Today’s $275 million funding round is likely to be Cybereason’s last before it goes public. Div previously said in August 2019 the company planned to IPO within two years, though he wouldn’t be pressed on whether the company is gearing up to go public when asked by TechCrunch. However, the company did compare its latest investment to SentinelOne‘s November 2020 Series F round, which was secured just months before it filed for a $100 million IPO.

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