Welcome to the Week in Tech, your roundup of the week’s top UK technology news. There’s no video this week, as we’re taking a hiatus while we rebrand some of our video content. We’re also working on a website redesign, but we’ll give you some sneaky peeks at that closer to the launch!
This week, we have almost £14m in UK startup funding, a bit of Brexit doom and gloom, an app for the crafty members of our audience and much more.
It’s been a bumper week for investments, with 10 rounds being recorded on the Tech City News Investment Tracker.
Data intelligence startup Ripjar secured £3.75m in funding from existing investor Winton Ventures, the VC arm of the Winton Group. The news comes after the Cheltenham-headquartered company raised an undisclosed sum little over a year ago.
Vantage Power, a London-based firm founded by two Imperial College graduates, raised £2.5m in a pre-Series A round led by John Winter, the former CEO of Barclays Corporate Banking. The company, which manufactures hybrid systems for buses, also drew support from the Angel CoFund and Dr Till Becker, former CEO of Daimler AG Asia, Turkey, India and Portugal.
Smart home security system provider Cocoon raised £2.46m in equity crowdfunding on Crowdcube, drawing support from 1,117 investors and reaching a $15m valuation. The startup, which launched on crowdfunding site Indiegogo in November 2014, attracted £2.69m in strategic investment from Aviva Ventures and Breed Reply as part of its Seed round last year.
Vidsy, a tech startup that allows brands to link up with creators to produce mobile video ads, raised £1.3m. The round was led by Delin Capital and Guardian Media group, with other investors in the round including Coral Reef, Force Over Mass and Ascension Ventures.
Vida, a platform that enables users to find carers for themselves and their loved ones, raised over £1m in Seed funding in a round led by Hambro Perks. The company also drew support from investors including Barnaby Cardwell, of Cardwell Technologies, Grima Ventures and a series of undisclosed high-net worth angel investors.
Other investments this week include the $1m Seed raised by London-based data visualisation platform Flourish, Edinburgh-based Reactec’s £700,000 round, HealthTech startup LiveSmart’s £700,000 Seed, ContentCal’s £400,000 Seed and InsurTech startup InMyBag’s £300,000 pre-Seed.
New £1.3m fund
London-based startup accelerator Bethnal Green Ventures (BGV) raised a new £1.3m fund from Big Society Capital, Nominet Trust and Nesta.
BGV will use the funding to expand operations, build new partnerships and invest in tech-for-good startups.
Brexit is upon us
Prime Minister Theresa May notified Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, of the UK’s departure from the EU, triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and formally setting the wheels in motion for Brexit. Many members of the UK tech community saw it as a dark day.
Francesco Cardoletti, founder of PawSquad, a $2.1m-backed marketplace that connects pet owners to pet care providers, said: “Triggering Article 50 is the equivalent of jumping off a cliff hoping that your untested parachute will open. It is quite the risky business.” No sitting on the fence there, then. Read further opinions on this topic here.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd called for the police and intelligence agencies to be given access to WhatsApp and other encrypted messaging services so they can thwart future terror attacks.
Opposition politicians and civil liberties groups responded labelling her demand unrealistic and disproportionate.
Facebook released ‘Stories’ in its main mobile app. The feature, which replicates Snapchat’s own ‘Stories’ function, enables users to post photos and videos in chronological order that disappear after 24 hours.
Facebook Stories It is being made available globally after being tested in Ireland and other countries over the past few months.
Download of the Week
Available on iOS, the free app enables knitters to store all their digital patterns in one place, plus it also includes handy features such as a row counter and an in-app pen for highlighting or doodling.
A Dutch startup is using a fleet of drones to clean up dog … erm … ‘mess’ from the streets of The Netherlands.
Called Dogdrones, the machines are fitted with cameras and thermal energy technology and transmit GPS coordinates of the droppings to a rolling robot on the ground. This robot then trundles on over and cleans up the waste.
Sorry to leave you with that image!
That’s it for this week’s round up. For a daily summary of the news, commentary and analysis published on Tech City News, subscribe to our newsletter.