Spotify’s ‘secret IPO filings’, a major security flaw and more in the Week in Tech

Hello and welcome to The Week in Tech, your weekly roundup of the top technology news from across the UK.

This week, we bring you the latest on Spotify’s potential IPO, a major design flaw in CPUs and over £10m in UK tech investment.


ProFinda’s £4.8m

ProFinda, an AI platform which maps organisations’ talent pools, has raised £4.8m.

Backers in the round included Notion Capital and Nextlaw Ventures.

Speaking about the fundraise, Roger Gorman, CEO of ProFinda, said: “Our work is helping to disrupt the future of work landscape. ProFinda’s latest investment puts us in a powerful position to continue to deliver our fast-paced and ambitious roadmap.

Urban Jungle’s raise

FinTech startup Urban Jungle has closed a £1m Seed.

Urban Jungle’s round was led by Rob Devey, the former CEO of Prudential UK and HBOS insurance, who will also act as a board advisor.

Founded by Jimmy Williams and Greg Smyth, Urban Jungle will leverage machine learning in a bid to improve risk scoring.

Upside Energy’s £5.5m

Manchester-based Upside Energy received £5.5m in fresh funding.

The smart energy startup says it will use the cash to hire more people and speed up the commercialisation and deployment of its cloud-based smart-grid platform.

Upside Energy drew investment from Legal & General Capital – the investment arm of the Legal & General Group – and SYSTEMIQ, an investment advisory company.

Modern Energy and Bulldog Innovation Group also invested in the startup’s Series A alongside individual backers.

Funding Circle ‘heading towards IPO’

UK peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Circle is reportedly eyeing an IPO.

The firm is believed to be looking for advisers to oversee a £1bn-plus flotation in London, which could happen as soon as late autumn.

Launched in 2010, Funding Circle made headlines last year after it announced a $100m investment round led by Accel. It was one of the top 10 of 2017.

A UK FinTech unicorn, Funding Circle says it has matched lenders to tens of thousands of SMEs, distributing more than $5bn worth of loans since it was founded almost eight years ago.

Tech giants and terrorism

Tech giants such as Google and Facebook could face multimillion-pound tax bills if they don’t do more to combat extremism.

Earlier this week, Ben Wallace, the UK’s security minister, accused tech firms of being “ruthless profiteers” and said they were failing to help security services to identify terrorists and eradicate online extremism.

Additionally, Wallace said the country’s reliance on the Internet meant it was increasingly vulnerable to terrorism.

A major security gaffe

In other news, two major design flaws in Intel’s, ARM’s and AMD’s microprocessors mean that data including passwords and crypto-keys can be stolen from consumer devices such as computers and smartphones. The vulnerabilities are known as “Meltdown” and “Spectre”.

Tech giants including Amazon and Google have began to roll out patches, despite there been no proof that the flaw has been exploited.

It’s believed the patch for Meltdown could affect machine performance, slowing down computers by up to 30%. No known fix currently exists for Spectre.


Spotify’s ‘secret IPO filing’

Swedish music streaming firm Spotify reportedly filed secret IPO documents with the SEC at the end of last year.

The news, first reported by Axios, means Spotify could potentially be one step closer to pursuing a direct listing, instead of a traditional float.

If completed successfully, Spotify’s IPO could change the way in which some technology businesses go public.

Spotify, which is being sued in a $1.6bn copyright infringement case, is expected to list in Q1 of 2018.