As UK Gov reaches out to tech, investors threaten to ‘pull capital’ over M&A regulator over-reach

Rishi Sunak in a meeting

As the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer engaged with the tech industry at a ‘Chatham House’ style event today, the Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec) think-tank released a survey of over 50 key investors which found startup investors are prepared to pull capital over the prospect of the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) new Digital Markets Unit (DMU) becoming a “whole-economy regulator by accident”. Investors are concerned after the CMA recommended the DMU be given ‘expanded powers’ regarding its investigations of M&A deals.

Read More

Vector.ai’s productivity platform for freight forwarders raises $15M A round led by Bessemer

Vector AI

n November last year, digital freight forwarder Forto raises another $50M in a round led by Inven Capital. In April this year, Nuvocargo raised $12M to digitize the freight logistics industry. In May, Zencargo, with a freight forwarding platform, raised $42 million. In June, freight forwarder sennder raised $80M at a $1B+ valuation. In July Freightify landed $2.5M to make rate management easier for freight forwarders.

Read More

[Report] Financial Institutions are increasingly adopting AI for supporting AML as Fintech adoption rises

Payments and standards

As noted in the report, almost £18 billion in Fintech investments were made in H1 2021, which is another record for the UK’s total investments in the financial technology space, and it now puts the country in second place, trailing only the US.

Read More

Olsam raises $165M to buy up and scale consumer and B2B Amazon Marketplace sellers

Oslam

On the heels of Heroes announcing a $200 million raise earlier today, to double down on buying and scaling third-party Amazon Marketplace sellers, another startup out of London aiming to do the same is announcing some significant funding of its own. Olsam, a roll-up play that is buying up both consumer and B2B merchants selling on Amazon by way of Amazon’s FBA fulfillment program, has closed $165 million — a combination of equity and debt that it will be using to fuel its M&A strategy, as well as continue building out its tech platform and to hire more talent.

Read More

UK-based Heroes raises $200M to buy up more Amazon merchants for its roll-up play

Heros

Heroes, one of the new wave of startups aiming to build big e-commerce businesses by buying up smaller third-party merchants on Amazon’s Marketplace, has raised another big round of funding to double down on that strategy. The London startup has picked up $200 million, money that it will mainly be using to snap up more merchants.

Read More

Nvidia-ARM takeover raises serious antitrust concerns, finds UK’s CMA

Nvidia

The UK’s competition watchdog has raised serious concerns about Nvidia’s proposed takeover of chip designer, ARM. Its assessment was published today by the government which will now need to decide whether to ask the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to carry out an in-depth probe into the proposed acquisition.

Read More

xentral, an ERP platform for SMBs, raises $75M Series B from Tiger Global and Meritech

Xentral

Enterprise Resource Planning systems have traditionally been the preserve of larger companies, but in recent years the amount of data small medium sized businesses can generate has increased to the point where even SMEs/SMBs can get into the world of ERP. And that’s especially true for online-only businesses.

Read More

Smart money Fintech app Snoop Secures £15M via Series A with participation from US investment firm Paulson & Co. Inc

Snoop

Fintech app Snoop has secured £15 million in capital in order to support its global expansion efforts. Established by ex- Virgin Money Chief Executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia, the smart money app Snoop closed its Series A round with contributions from US investment management company Paulson & Co. Inc.

Read More

Blossom Capital lures Alex Lim from Silicon Valley to join the European tech boom

Alex Lim

Alex Lim, a British-born VC based in the Bay Area who invested in Hopin, UiPath, Discord, and many other unicorns has decided to up sticks and leave Sand Hill Road behind for Blossom Capital in London. Blossom is fast making a name for itself both in Europe and internationally, having invested in breakout hits like Tines, Duffel, and Checkout.com.

Read More

Untitled Ventures joins the scramble for Russian & Eastern European startups with a $118M warchest

Untitled Ventures

Sorry Mr. Putin, but there’s a race on for Russian and Eastern European founders. And right now, those awful capitalists in the corrupt West are starting to out-gun the opposition! But seriously… only the other day a $100 million fund aimed at Russian speaking entrepreneurs appeared, and others are proliferating.

Read More

Swiss B2B Proptech PriceHubble finalizes $34M round from Digital+ Partners, Latitude Ventures, others

Price Hubble

Switzerland-based B2B Proptech firm PriceHubble reveals that it has finalized its $34 million Series B round.
PriceHubble’s investment round was oversubscribed and was led by Digital+ Partners, a European growth equity investor. The firm’s round was also joined by Latitude Ventures, the Series B+ sister fund of UK’s VC LocalGlobe and TX Ventures from Zurich, and TX Group AG’s venture unit.

Read More

Virti Raises $10M to Train Real People With Virtual Humans

British virtual training startup Virti has closed a $10 million Series A funding round led by IQ Capital. Virti’s digital environment uses AI-powered virtual humans to train people in communication and other skills. Initially focused on doctors and other medical professional skills, the startup is expanding into other enterprise training such as sales and management.

Read More

German identity verifier IDnow acquires France’s ARIADNEXT for $59 million, hits M&A road

Ariad Next acquires IDnow

IDnow, a German-based identity verification startup is acquiring ARIADNEXT, a French equivalent, specializing in remote identity verification and digital identity creation. A price was not released by either party but TechCrunch understands from sources that the deal was approximately $59 million / €50 million. Sources say IDnow is looking to do similar acquisitions.

Read More

8 UK founders, leaders highlight fintech and deep tech as Bristol’s top sectors

Bristol startup ecosystem

The U.K. is gaining in popularity as a great place to start a tech firm. The country is quickly catching up to China on the tech investment front, with VC investments reaching a record of $15 billion in 2020, according to TechNation. Bristol proved especially popular among tech investors last year — local businesses raked in an impressive $414 million in 2020, making it the third-largest U.K. city for tech investment. The city also has the most fintech startups per head in the U.K. outside London, according to Whitecap’s 2019-2020 Ecosystem Report.

Read More

Ban biometric surveillance in public to safeguard rights, urge EU bodies

Biometric surveillance ban

There have been further calls from EU institutions to outlaw biometric surveillance in public.

In a joint opinion published today, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Wojciech Wiewiórowski, have called for draft EU regulations on the use of artificial intelligence technologies to go further than the Commission’s proposal in April — urging that the planned legislation should be beefed up to include a “general ban on any use of AI for automated recognition of human features in publicly accessible spaces, such as recognition of faces, gait, fingerprints, DNA, voice, keystrokes and other biometric or behavioural signals, in any context”.

Read More

Australian ID verification startup OCR Labs raises $15M Series A to expand into UK/ Turkey/ Europe

OCR Labs

OCR Labs, which emerged from Australia, has announced a €12.5M / $15 million Series A funding round led by Turkish investors Oyak Group, to expand its services and team to the UK, Turkey and Europe. Halkin Ventures invested in its seed round. The startup specializes in digital ID verification, customer onboarding, identity fraud, and regulatory compliance.

Read More

Security startup Tessian, which uses AI to fight social engineering, trousers $65M

In the latest chunky funding round out of Europe, UK-based email security startup, Tessian, has closed $65 million in Series C funding. The startup applies machine learning to build individual behavior models for enterprise email use that aims to combat human error by flagging problematic patterns which could signify risky stuff is happening — such as phishing or data exfiltration.

Read More

Flush with $42M, hot AI startup Faculty plans to hoover-up more PhDs… and steer clear of politics

Faculty

In the wake of the news that UK-based AI startup Faculty has raised $42.5 million in a growth funding round, I teased out more from CEO and co-founder Marc Warner on what his plans are for the company.

Read More

Personalized nutrition startup Zoe closes out Series B at $53M total raise

Zoe Nutrition

Personalized nutrition startup Zoe — named not for a person but after the Greek word for ‘life’ — has topped up its Series B round with $20M, bringing the total raised to $53M.

Read More

UK gov’t triggers national security scrutiny of Nvidia-Arm deal

UK scrutinizes arm deal

The secretary of state for digital issues, Oliver Dowden, said today that the government wants to ensure that any national security implications of the semiconductor deal are explored. Nvidia’s $40BN acquisition of UK-based Arm was announced last September but remains to be cleared by regulators. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) began to solicit views on the proposed deal in January.

Read More
1 2