Hello and welcome to the Week in Tech, your weekly roundup of the top technology news stories from across the globe.
This week, we bring you the latest UK tech investment news, the launch of Instagram’s new feature and more.
Health apps charge ahead
It’s been a fruitful week for HealthTech companies.
Mental health therapy app Healios bagged £2.2m in a round led by Albion Capital and Spice Capital. The platform offers psychological assessments, treatments, wellbeing monitoring and clinical time with qualified clinicians through video conferencing and interactive digital tools, in an attempt to make access to mental health treatment quicker and more flexible.
Over in San Francisco, meditation and mindfulness app Calm raised a huge $27m in Series A funding. The funding round was led by Insight Venture Partners with participation from Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures. This cash injection brings Calms total raise $28.5m.
Back in the UK, Live Better With landed $7m to improve cancer patients’ lives whilst Micrima attracted £4.4m to continue developing breast screening tech. Live Better With is using the money to build a one-stop online shop featuring helpful products, content and like-minded communities to bring people – initially cancer patients – relief from side effects and symptoms. Currently, the startup’s online platform offers a selection of over 2000 non-medical products. The London-based company had previously closed a $4m Seed.
The dos and don’ts of crowdfunding
Bristol-based Micrima uses MARIA breast cancer screening technology in symptomatic clinics, which is intended to eventually be widely adopted as a viable alternative to mammography breast screening. The company’s £4.4m round was led by Technology Venture Partners, The Angel CoFund and Venture Founders.The round brings the company’s total to £10.7m.
Funding for online teaching platforms
Moving on from HealthTech, it was also a good week for EdTech companies, too. Matr closed a £4.75m Series A round to develop its AI maths teaching platform, whilst MyTutor grabbed £5m from Mobeus Equity Partners, bringing its total raised to £10m.
Matr offers weekly one-to-one online maths lessons for children aged seven to 11, containing content which aligns with the national curriculum. This latest funding, which was led by the UCL Technology Fund and Downing Ventures, brings the company’s total raise to £8.25m.
MyTutor is an online platform which allows parents to search for a private tutor. Existing angel investors, including Clive Cowdery, founder of Resolution Foundation; Thomas Hoegh of Arts Alliance; and Stephen Welton, head of Business Growth Fund, also contributed to the company’s Series B round.
The continuous flourish of Hackney’s tech startups
The funding will support the company’s growth, as well as helping to develop the platform and increase the size of the team.
Tessian’s $13m Series A
The round was co-led by new backer Balderton Capital and existing investor Accel.
The power of tech to provide better care in the UK
Its co-founders, Tom Adams, Ed Bishop and Tim Sadler, met while studying engineering at London’s Imperial College. They started work on Tessian when they noticed a gap in the market to protect companies against the problem of highly sensitive information being sent to the wrong person on email.
This latest investment will be used to expand Tessian’s product offering and grow its business by increasing the size of its sales and marketing teams.
Beamery eyes global expansion
And finally, Recruitment tech firm Beamery secured funding to take the next step in the company’s growth. The company combines elements of customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing software with AI.
Its $28m Series B round was led by EQT Ventures, and will be used to boost the company’s global expansion and go towards additional R&D.
London-based Beamery was founded in 2014 by brothers and friends Abakar Saidov, Sultan Murad Saidov and Mike Paterson. Its clients include Facebook, Continental, VMware, Zalando, Grab and Balfour Beatty.
- Blockchain startup Gospel Technology closes £1.4m round
- UK-based Adaptive Lab acquired by French consultancy firm to go global
- Cardiff-based cloud consultancy DevOpsGroup lands £3
- Panaseer nabs $10m in Series A funding
PayPal buys Hyperwallet
In acquisition news, digital payment giant PayPal acquired global payout platform Hyperwallet for a sum of $400m.
The merger should enhance PayPal’s capabilities, such as its ability to provide an integrated suite of payment solutions to e-commerce platforms and marketplaces around the world. Bill Ready, COO of PayPal, shared a statement on the news:
“Ecommerce platforms and marketplaces are leveling the retail playing field by connecting buyers who have specific needs with groups of sellers that can meet them. Merchants and service providers who use these platforms want quick, efficient, flexible and secure access to their earnings, whenever and wherever they need them. By acquiring Hyperwallet, we will strengthen our ability to provide an integrated end-to-end solution to help ecommerce platforms and marketplaces — however large or small — leverage world-class payout capabilities in over 200 markets.”
The deal is expected to close later this year, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
Instagram launches platform to rival YouTube
Social media giant Instagram has launched a new feature to rival video content apps such as Snapchat and Youtube.
IGTV allows people to upload long-form videos. Videos can now range from 15 seconds to 60 minutes, compared to the previous offering of just one minute long videos.
In an exclusive interview with Newsbeat to promote its new feature IGTV, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom said: “We want to make sure we’re a positive force in the world”.
The feature is under a new tab, where users can search for content creators, follow their favourites or browse popular videos.