Welcome to The Week in Tech, your roundup of the week’s top technology news. This week, we have a £20m Series B round raised by a UK tech firm, news about the latest Microsoft Surface Pro, interesting stats on tech in Asia and more.
Quiqup raised £20m in Series B funding in a round led by JOBI Capital, a New York-based fund.
The London-based startup also drew investment from Transmed, a prominent consumer goods distributor operating in the Levant, Gulf and Africa. Some of the firm’s existing investors also participated.
London-based home insurance startup Neos raised £5m in a Series A round led by Aviva Ventures and strategic partner Munich Re, a German reinsurance firm.
Bath-based wedding planning app Prezola landed a £3m investment from venture capital firm Business Growth Fund.
UK blockchain startup Provenance gets fresh cash injection
Prezola allows couples to create and share wedding plans and gift lists online, and claims to have sold more than 1 million wedding gifts since 2012.
London-based ship-booking software provider Shipamax raised $2.5m in Seed funding, led by American venture capital firm Cherubic Ventures, and joined by AME Cloud and FF Angel, the angel investing arm of Founders Fund.
Shipamax, founded last year, aims to move the bulk shipping industry “into the digital age” by creating a single cloud-based platform to allow businesses to book space on cargo ships.
SaveMoneyCutCarbon, an e-commerce platform and energy savings consultancy, secured £2.2m in funding.
Exclusive: Guild gets $1.2m as it seeks to rival Whatsapp
The company, which is headquartered in Suffolk, received funding from London-based private investment house IW Capital.
MortgageGym, an FCA-authorised mortgage robo-adviser, raised a Seed round of £2m.
The London-based company, which is set to officially launch this summer, claims it will allow homebuyers to complete their mortgage applications online in 15 minutes through its free website.
What Firstminute Capital looks for in tech entrepreneurs
Tech investment in Asia
$106bn has been invested in Asia-based tech companies across 5,019 deals since 2012 – that’s according to the Asia Tech Investment Report by CB Insights. The report also found the number of investment rounds of $50m or higher into VC-backed Asia tech companies rose 39% in Q1’17 to hit a five-quarter high.
Francisco Partners seeking to raise $3bn tech fund
Technology-focused private equity firm Francisco Partners is seeking to raise around $3bn later this year for its fifth flagship fund – that’s according to Bloomberg sources. The firm’s fourth fund closed in 2015 at just under $2.9bn.
Microsoft’s new Surface PRO
Microsoft unveiled its new Surface Pro device this week, the two-in-one tablet/laptop is thinner, lighter and has a longer battery life than its predecessor.
It doesn’t include USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 connectivity but does have the latest, seventh-generation Intel Core processors. The entry-level US model is set to go on sale for $799 and it will be £799 for those in the UK.
Download of the Week
Our Download of the Week is ZCast. The app enables people to create live audio broadcasts straight from their smartphones. Users can invite guest speakers to join them, while audience members can post comments in real time. The broadcasts can be recorded and published online so a larger audience can be reached and super fans can listen again.
Twitter users now have a whole host of new emojis at their disposal as the tech firm has implemented Emoji 5.0. There are 234 variations of 69 unique new images, including a mermaid, rock climber and hedgehog!