Tech startup

Welcome to The Week in Tech, your roundup of the week’s top technology news. This week, we have over £35m in UK tech investment, the ‘Google Drive’ phishing scam, Apple’s $1bn fund and more.

Investment news

MPP Global’s £12m

Cheshire-based MPP Global raised £12m in Series B funding from investors including Albion Ventures and Grafton Capital.

Headquartered in Warrington, MPP Global delivers digital monetisation services to media companies such as Sky, News UK and the Daily Mail Group.

VST Enterprises’ £11.4m

Cybersecurity firm VST Enterprises raised £11.4m at a valuation of £220m.

The Manchester-based startup, which was founded in 2012, secured the funding from private investors including serial entrepreneur Chris Lightbody and director at KPMG Guy Weaver.

Decibel Insight’s $9m

London-based analytics firm Decibel Insight closed a $9m Series A led by Eight Road Ventures.

The enterprise software company also drew support from John Simon, via his Ventureforgood investment vehicle.

Yieldify’s $6m

London-based MarTech firm Yieldify raised an additional $6m in a round led by Binomial Ventures.

The firm also drew support from John Giuliani, CEO of digital marketing leader Conversant, who will also be joining the Yieldify board as chairman; and Tom Singh, founder of fashion chain New Look.

Ve Interactive bought for £2m

Struggling technology firm Ve Interactive, once thought to be worth at least £1bn, was bought by its new management for just £2m.

The news comes after the firm was saved from going into administration following a management buyout last month.

Concha PLC, one of the company’s investors, said in a statement that its board was “deeply disappointed by the recent events and circumstances of the last few months, particularly the actions of both the founder management team and their advisors”.

Plesk bought for $105m

Oakley Capital completed a $105m (£81m) deal to buy software platform firm Plesk.

Founded in 2000, Plesk is headquartered in Switzerland and employs more than 200 people.

Oakley Capital founder Peter Dubens said: “We are delighted to be investing in Plesk, which is a widely used software platform with significant growth potential in a sector we know well.”

Google Drive phishing scam

A massive phishing campaign targeted Google accounts this week. Victims received emails that appeared to be from someone they knew and contained what looked like a link to a Google Doc. The link took victims to a page that asked them to select one of their accounts and provide access to an app called ‘Google Docs’.

This malicious app (not created by Google) would then be able to sift through the victim’s emails and contacts, allowing it to continue the infected chain-mail.

Google has since introduced a new feature to make it easier for users to protect themselves from such attacks. The security feature for Gmail on Android shows a popup warning if users click on a suspicious link.

Apple’s $1bn fund

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced his firm is to create a $1bn fund for manufacturing jobs in the US. It’s not yet clear how the fund will be distributed or who will be eligible to receive it, but the firm said it would announce the first investment later this month.

Cook told CNBC he hopes the investment will cause a ripple effect and spur even more job creation.

Download of the Week

Our download of the week is Slither.io. No need to buy a Nokia 3310 just because you miss playing Snake. Let Slither.io fill that void in your life. This popular multiplayer game took iOS and Android charts by storm in 2016.

You manoeuvre a cute-looking worm with your finger to collect orbs while avoiding other snakes. You can either play Slither.io against other players or against the game’s AI.

And Finally

Sticking with the games theme, Facebook is rolling out Instant Games on Messenger, enabling users to compete with their friends in 50 different titles, such as Words with Friends, 8Ball Pool and Pac-Man.

The game-playing was in beta mode last year, but is now available to the 1.2 billion people who use Messenger every month.

That’s all for this week’s roundup. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more tech updates.

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