Welcome to The Week in Tech, your roundup of the latest top tech news. This week, we bring you a massive £195.6m in UK tech funding, info on the Taylor Review, Samsung’s snub of London, WeWork’s huge Series G and much more.
We’ve been rushed off our feet covering UK tech funding announcements this week, seeing some huge raises from a few really interesting FinTech players, and some further rounds from many companies based outside of the capital.
Cybersecurity firm Darktrace raised a $75m (£58m) Series D, reaching a post-money valuation of $825m.
The round was led by Insight Venture Partners and drew participation from existing backers Summit Partners, KKR and TenEleven Ventures.
Move Guides’ $48m
Move Guides, a London-founded SaaS employee management platform, closed a $48m (£37.3m) Series C.
The round, which brings the company’s total funding raised to date to $91m (£70.8m), drew support from Future Fund, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Notion Capital.
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UK FinTech firm Revolut closed a $66m (£51m) Series B to boost its expansion across Asia and North America.
The London-based firm, which has so far raised $83m, drew support from lead investor Index Ventures and existing backers Balderton Capital and Ribbit Capital.
Drayson Technologies’ £15m
Drayson Technologies closed a £15m Series C round led by Woodford Investment Management.
The HealthTech firm struck a licensing deal which will see the NHS gain £5m worth of equity as part of the round.
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Metail, a fashion tech firm which enables consumers to try on items in a virtual fitting room, raised £10m in Series B funding to scale in Asia.
Existing investor TAL, a Hong Kong-based clothing manufacturer, led the round, which comes after the firm closed a $12m Series A in October 2014.
FinTech startup Curve closed a $10m (£7.7m) Series A funding round, bringing its total amount of money raised to date to $13m (£10.1m).
The London-based firm drew support from Santander InnoVentures, Investec, Connect Ventures, Speedinvest, Oxford Capital, Breega Capital and Samos Investments.
Blockchain tracking platform Everledger lands $10.4m to prevent fraud
In other UK investment news this week, London PropTech firm OneDome closed a $4m (£3.1m) Series A, retail app Poq secured £3.5m, Welsh startup enModus raised £3m, AI science discovery platform Sparrho scored $3m (£2.3m), Hampshire-based games developer nDreams raised £2.7m, London MarTech startup Tailify closed a $1m (£0.7m) Seed, data delivery firm Ably secured $1m (£0.7m) and UK blockchain startup Provenance closed an $0.8m (£0.6m) Seed.
The Taylor Review
This week saw the publication of the Taylor Review – a report on the UK labour market that had plenty to say about the ‘gig economy’.
It acknowledged that platform-based working can offer genuine two-way flexibility, providing opportunities to those who are not able to work in more conventional ways. However, it also recommended the government ask the Low Pay Commission to advise on bringing in a higher National Minimum Wage for hours that are not guaranteed in a contract.
Samsung snubs London
London is “not a fun place to live unless you are really rich”, according to Felix Petersen, the managing director of Samsung Next Europe, a $150m (£117m) technology fund. And for this reason, he told The Times, the fund decided not to choose our capital city for its European headquarters, instead opting for Berlin.
WeWork raises $760m
Co-working and office space provider WeWork has raised a Series G funding round of around $760m, according to filings with the Delaware Department of State.
The company’s valuation now stands at $20bn, unnamed sources told Forbes. This follows a $300mn investment by Japan’s Softbank in March of this year.
Download of the Week
Our Download of the Week is perhaps a bit of a morbid one – it’s LifeLocker, created by Avalon Funeral Plans.
The app enables people to record their digital autobiography, recording life stories, facts, memories, photos and final wishes. There’s an individual ‘locker’ in which users can store information on their desired funeral plans. Users can then select two ‘Keyholders’ – friends or relatives who will be able to unlock the information.
And finally, there’s little worse than a flat pint (unless you’re a lover of real ale, of course). But with a new device from a New York tech firm, you’ll never again need to worry about your beverage losing its sparkle.
The Beverage Power device from Global Ionics uses energy from the human body to send a micro-current through liquid, stimulating the taste buds to “enhance the bubbles” in your chosen tipple.