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UK tech rounds above £100M: The top funded companies in 2020

Wise

UKTN has collected some of the biggest headline-grabbing funding rounds of 2020 in the tech space of the UK. Most of them which scooped funding of well and above £100 million this year.

Talking about funding rounds during the pandemic, the UK is one of the markets that hasn’t faced a major impact, claims a report by our friends at Dealroom. Furthermore, the report states that the UK-based tech companies raised $5.3B (nearly £3.93B) funding in the first half of this year. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the 12 largest rounds of 2020.

Revolut
Picture credits: Revolut

Revolut

Founder/s: Nikolay Storonsky; Vlad Yatsenko
Founded year: 2015
Total funding: £752M

London-based challenger bank Revolut raised the maximum funding in the UK in 2020 with two huge funding rounds in the same year. Earlier in February, the fintech secured mammoth funding of $500M (nearly £375M) in a Series D round taking its valuation to $5.5B (nearly £4.12B). This investment was led by US-based growth capital firm TCV (Technology Crossover Ventures) along with support from existing investors such as GP Bullhound, Lakestar, DST Global and Ribbit Capital.

As an extension of the Series D, Revolut raised another $80M (nearly £60M) funding in July 2020. This time, the round was led by TSG Consumer Partners, a private equity company based in San Francisco. The UK unicorn has been using the money extensively, it has been in the news a lot lately for optimising customer experience with features like early salary, web app and more. Further, the company is also aggressively developing its core retail and business offering in the already existing markets and on product development as well.

Farfetch
Picture credits: Farfetch

Farfetch

Founder/s: José Neves
Founded year: 2008
Total funding: £574.7M

Farfetch, the London-based quite popular online luxury fashion retail platform that unites several independent fashion boutiques, announced a strategic partnership with Alibaba Group and Richemont this year and also secured almost £1B to expand its footprint in China and speed up the process of digitising the global luxury industry.

Farfetch Marketplace connects customers in over 190 countries with items from more than 50 countries and over 1,300 of global brands, boutiques and department stores. Farfetch’s additional businesses include Farfetch Platform Solutions, which services enterprise clients with e-commerce and technology capabilities; Browns and Stadium Goods, which offer luxury products to consumers; and New Guards, a platform for the development of global fashion brands. Farfetch also invests in innovations such as its Store of the Future augmented retail solution, and develops key technologies, business solutions, and services for the luxury fashion industry.

TransferWise Founders
Image credits: Transferwise

Transferwise

Founder/s: Taavet Hinrikus, Kristo Käärmann
Founded year: 2011
Total funding: £324M

Transferwise, the international money transfer service headquartered in London and known for its lowest fee — bagged $319M (nearly £240M) capital in a round led by existing shareholder Lone Pine Capital. Others that participated in the funding round included existing investors such as Fidelity Investments, Baillie Gifford and LocalGlobe. Besides them, Vulcan Capital and D1 Capital Partners came on board as new investors in the company.

This year, Transferwise also reached a valuation of $5B (nearly £3.75B) and became one of the most valuable fintech unicorns in Europe.

Cazoo
Picture credits: Cazoo

Cazoo

Founder/s: Alex Chesterman
Founded year: 2018
Funding: £471.5M

London-based Cazoo, a used car marketplace which is gaining popularity quite fast also raised a whooping funding round of $310M (nearly £240M), which took the company’s overall funding to over £450M. Also, Cazoo became the fastest ever unicorn this year with a valuation of over £2B.

The latest backers of Cazoo are General Catalyst, D1 Capital Partners and Fidelity Management & Research Company and Blackrock. Besides them, existing and new investors – L Catterton, The Spruce House Partnership, Durable Capital Partners, Novator, Mubadala Capital and DMG Ventures also backed the company. Already, Cazoo is changing the way people buy used cars in the UK and this huge funding round is already helping it provide the best possible buying experience for UK customers.

Ki Insurance
Picture credits: Ki Insurance

Ki Insurance

CEO: Mark Allan
Founded year: 2020
Total funding: £410M

Ki Insurance based in London is a newly established insurtech startup. It raised $500M (nearly £375M) investment in a round led by Tactical Opportunities, which is the investment arm of Blackstone along with participation from Fairfax Financial Holdings. Ki Insurance is a first-of-its-kind digital model, which claims to deliver a unique advantage to its business partners. It is the first fully-digital and automatically-driven Lloyd’s of London syndicate.

Octopus Energy
Picture credits: Octopus Energy

Octopus Energy

Founder/s: Greg Jackson
Founded year: 2015
Funding: £270M

London-based utility supplier Octopus Energy also received £270M funding this year in a round led by Origin Energy, which is one of the leading Australian energy companies. The investor took a 20% stake in Octopus Energy worth over €330M (nearly £268M). This funding round made Octopus Energy a unicorn with over £1B valuation and it was one of the first few impact startups to get into the coveted club. With this investment, the company intends to accelerate the country’s transition to a cleaner, greener, and fairer energy system. As per the company, the energy cost will be set transparently and customers will have the freedom to switch whenever they want.

Karma Kitchen
Picture credits: Karma Kitchen

Karma Kitchen

Founder/s: Eccie Newton, Gini Newton
Founded year: 2018
Total funding: £272M

Karma Kitchen, the London-based rental kitchen startup secured $318M (nearly £240M) Series A funding from Vengrove Asset Management, a real estate investment control corporation in 2020. Besides this, Vengrove also got a minority stake in the company to help fund the 53 new sites that the founders expect to open in the next five years. Karma Kitchen’s plan is to open more sites in the UK this year and continue to expand elsewhere in Europe from next year.

Zenobe Energy
Picture credits: Zenobe Energy

Zenobe Energy

Founder/s: Steven Meersman, James Basden, Nicholas Beatty
Founded year: 2017
Total funding: £243.4M

London-based Zenobe Energy, previously known as Battery Energy Storage Solutions Limited is one of the largest UK-based independent owners and operators of battery storage. The company bagged $200M (nearly £150M) investment from Infracapital, M&G PLC’s infrastructure equity investment arm this year. Zenobe Energy aims to use the investment to accelerate the UK’s transition towards the use of a green energy system.

It has been announced that Zenobe Energy will be able to support customers with a minimum of 500MWhr of additional grid-connected batteries and 1000 electric buses or vehicles and the necessary infrastructure software systems in the next two years.

Snyk
Picture credits: Synk

Snyk

Founder/s: Assaf Hefetz, Danny Grander, Guy Podjarny
Founded year: 2015
Total funding: £370.5M

Snyk, a London-based developer-first security company also announced in 2020 to have secured $200M (nearly £150M) in a round led by Addition an investment firm that supports visionary entrepreneurs. This takes the overall funding raised by the company to $450M (nearly £336.7M) and its valuation to over $2.6B (nearly £1.94B).

Snyk plans to use this latest investment to accelerate its vision of realising a comprehensive developer-first security solution.

Freeline Therapeutics
Picture credits: Freeline Therapeutics

Freeline Therapeutics

Founder/s: Amit Nathwani, Markus Hörer
Founded year: 2015
Total funding: £225.3M

This Stevenage-based biotechnology company focuses on developing curative gene therapies for chronic systemic diseases and raised $120M (nearly £90M) in an extended Series C funding this year. The round was led by Novo Holdings A/S, Eventide Asset Management and Wellington Management Company along with participation from Cowen Healthcare Investments, Acorn Bioventures and Ample Plus Fund.

Freeline Therapeutics expects to use the investment to bring its lead program in Haemophilia B into a trial and continue its phase ½ clinical program for Fabry Disease. It will also develop its proprietary gene therapy platform using next-generation AAV technology and expand its manufacturing capabilities.

Checkout.com
Picture credits: Checkout.com

Checkout.com

Founder/s: Guillaume Pousaz
Founded year: 2012
Total funding: £310.9M

London-based leading global payment solution provider Checkout.com is one of the most valuable fintech companies in the world. In June this year, Checkout.com bagged $150M (nearly £112M) Series B funding, which tripled its valuation taking it to $5.5B (nearly £4.12B). The funding round was led by Coatue along with participation from existing investors such as Insight Partners, Blossom Capital, DST Global, Singapore’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, GIC and Endeavor Catalyst.

Graphcore
Picture credits: Graphcore

Graphcore

Founder/s: Simon Knowles, Nigel Toon
Founded year: 2016
Total funding: £376.6M

Bristol-based Graphcore is a semiconductor business with Intelligence Processing Unit products and Poplar software platform has been designed specifically to resolve Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning workloads. The company secured $150M (nearly £112M) funding led by Mayfair along with Baillie Gifford, M&G Investments and Merian Chrysalis among other existing investors.