500 Startups’ Dave McClure resigns over sexual harassment claims, Amazon’s underwater warehouse plans and more in The Week in Tech


Welcome to The Week in Tech, your roundup of the latest top tech news. This week, we have 500 Startups’ sexual harassment woes, more than £38m in UK tech investment, a new €2.4bn growth fund, a £9.1bn merger, Amazon’s plans for underwater warehouses and much more.

UK investments

Push Doctor’s $26.1m

HealthTech firm Push Doctor raised a $26.1m (£20.2m) Series B led by Accelerated Digital Ventures and Draper Esprit.

With this round, which drew support from Oxford Capital, Partech Ventures and Senveture Partners, Push Doctor brings its total funding raised to more than $37.5m.

Tide’s $14m

Digital challenger bank Tide raised $14m (£11m) in a Series A round led by Anthemis.

Creandum, a Swedish VC fund which has invested in Spotify, participated alongside existing investors Passion Capital and LocalGlobe.

Previse’s £2m

FinTech startup Previse closed a £2m Seed round led by Hambro Perks alongside Founders Factory.

The startup, which has developed a proprietary AI solution designed to support instant payments between corporates and SMEs, also drew investment from high-net-worth Angel investors.

Catapult’s £1.8m

On-demand staffing app Catapult raised £1.8m from investors including Global Founders Capital, Rocket Internet’s venture investment arm.

The London-based firm also drew funds from high-profile Angel investors.

Bibblio’s $1.5m

Bibblio, which provides a plug-and-play ad-free content recommendation toolkit powered by machine learning, closed a $1.5m (£1.2m) Seed round led by 01 Ventures.

Based in London, Bibblio had previously raised $300,000 from Angels in March 2015 and wants to help publishers engage with users.

Motivii’s £1.1m

Smart productivity tool provider Motivii raised a £1.1m Seed from various business Angels.

The London-based startup will use the cash to gain new clients, deepen relationships with enterprise customers, expand its headcount and develop additional features.

Other investments

In other investment news this week, a team of researchers at City were given £300,000 by Google for a European big data verification and fake news project called DMINR; and FinTech startup MortgageGym topped up its £2m Seed with an additional £500,000 investment from the former COO at Deutsche Bank.

Vitruvian’s €2.4bn fund

Vitruvian Partners closed its third fund, Vitruvian Investment Partnership III (VIP III), totalling €2.4bn (£2.1bn).

The private equity investor backs high-growth European companies, with previous investments including UK tech firms such as Skyscanner and Just Eat.

NHS/Google’s DeepMind partnership ‘broke the law’

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found Google’s DeepMind partnership with the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust “failed to comply with the Data Protection Act”.

As part of the trial to test an alert, diagnosis and detection system for acute kidney injury, Google DeepMind received the details of approximately 1.6 million patients.

A year-long investigation by ICO, the national data protection watchdog, found a series of issues with the way in which the data was handled, including that patients were inadequately informed about their data being used as part of the trial. Despite ruling the deal was illegal, the ICO is not planning to issue a fine.

Worldpay ‘to merge with Vantiv in £9.1bn deal’

UK payment processing firm Worldpay is set to merge with US rival Vantiv in a deal that would value the company at £9.1bn, including debt.

According to the Financial Times, Worldpay has reached a preliminary agreement which values its shares at 385p each, including the payment of a 5p dividend.

SoftBank ‘in talks to buy Deliveroo stake’

SoftBank Vision Fund (a tech fund backed by Apple and the Saudi Arabian state) is in talks to buy a stake in British food delivery service Deliveroo.

According to Sky News, the $93bn fund, which launched late last year, is in detailed talks with Deliveroo about participating in a big fundraising round being planned by the firm.

500 Startups’ Dave McLure resigns

Dave McClure, founding partner of tech incubator and venture fund 500 Startups, resigned just days after the New York Times reported he had sent inappropriate messages to a female entrepreneur seeking a job at the fund.

McClure apologised following the Times’s report, writing a blog post titled “I’m a creep. I’m sorry.” Numerous women have since come forward alleging to have also been sexually harassed by McClure.

Download of the Week

Our Download of the Week is Notifer. The app, which is currently only available on iOS, boosts memory and productivity by creating timely and actionable reminders as opposed to a traditional to-do list.

And finally

And finally, it appears Amazon could be planning to create underwater warehouses. Once goods are purchased, they would be released, floating to the surface for delivery.

The scheme is outlined in a new patent applied for by Amazon in the US. The ‘aquatic storage facility’ warehouses would be found at the bottom of lakes, reservoirs or other bodies of water.

That’s all for this roundup, for more top tech news, remember to follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

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