Welcome to The Week in Tech, your roundup of the week’s top tech news. This time, we have over £368m in UK tech funding, news about the resignation of Uber’s CEO, Reddit’s reported $150m funding round, a new $3.3bn investment fund and much more.
Farfetch scored $397m (£313.5m) in investment from Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, which will now become one of the largest shareholders in the UK firm.
The e-commerce company, which has raised $701.5m to date, will enter into a “strategic partnership” with the Chinese firm in an attempt to increase its market position in the Asian nation.
Blockchain, a UK-founded software platform for digital assets, closed a $40m (£31.6m) Series B round.
The round was led by Lakestar with participation from GV (formerly Google Ventures), Nokota Management, Digital Currency Group and existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mosaic Venture Partners, Prudence Holdings, Virgin, and Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Group).
FinTech firm Soldo raised $11m (£9m) in Series A funding in a round led by Accel. Connect Ventures, InReach Ventures, U-Start and R2014 Partners also participated in the round.
Birmingham-based Grid Edge secures £200,000 to cut energy consumption using AI
The company offers a multi-user spending account for consumers and businesses and will use the money to strengthen its proprietary technology and boost its growth.
Now Healthcare Group’s £4m
HealthTech firm Now Healthcare Group (NHG) secured £4m in Series A funding from Medicash, a health cash plan provider based in Liverpool, in exchange for a minority stake in the business.
Founded in 2015 by Lee Dentith and based in Media City (Manchester), NHG provides digital healthcare services through its brands Dr Now, Now GP and Now Pharmacy.
AimBrain, a biometric identity as a service platform, closed a £4m Series A led by BGF Ventures.
UK tech is crying out for those with trade skills, not just academic degrees
The London-based firm seeks to make it easier to identify customers of financial institutions by leveraging a deep-learning enabled service that provides biometric authentication.
London-based EdTech startup MyTutor closed a £3m Series A to onboard new customers and enhance its platform.
Mobeus Equity Partners led the round, which also drew support from Clive Cowdery (Resolution Capital) and Thomas Hoegh (Arts Alliance).
MyTutor connects school pupils to ‘high-performing’ university students studying in the UK for one-on-one sessions.
Innovate Finance CEO Lawrence Wintermeyer steps down
FinTech startup TrueLayer raised $3m (£2.4m) in Series A funding to continue giving developers ‘easy’ access to bank APIs.
The round was led by the Anthemis Group and drew support from existing investor Connect Ventures.
TrueLayer will use the money to grow its team and increase its coverage of supported banks. The firm will also build out its offering as an Account Information Service Provider (AISP) and Payment Initiation Service Provider (PISP) in line with the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2).
In other UK investment news this week, Coventry-based Impression Technologies landed £3m, Welsh PropTech startup Properr raised £850,000, hospitality recruitment platform Inploi raised £500,000 and London-based online marketplace Obby raised £250,000.
To keep track of the latest UK tech funding rounds covered by Tech City News, visit our Investment Tracker.
Queen’s Speech: New ‘digital charter’
In the Queen’s Speech, a government pledge to introduce a new ‘digital charter’ was announced, the aim of which is to seek to ensure the UK “is the safest place to be online” and that it retains “its world-class regime protecting personal data”.
The speech also featured a series of proposed new laws formulated to prepare the country for a “smooth and orderly” Brexit. Find out more here.
Uber founder Travis Kalanick resigns
Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick has resigned following pressure from the firm’s shareholders.
His resignation comes after a review of practices at the firm by former Attorney General Eric Holder. This followed a number of scandals including complaints of sexual harassment.
Last week, Kalanick announced he was taking an indefinite leave of absence following the death of his mother in a boating accident.
New $3.3bn investment fund
New Enterprise Associates (NEA) has closed its latest fund at $3.3bn. This is just larger than NEA’s last fund of $3.15bn, which it raised in 2015. The last raise included a $350m ‘opportunity fund’ for investing in growth-stage companies.
New has invested in numerous tech companies, including PropTech firm Opendoor, and ecommerce marketplace Jet.
Reddit raising funds, with $1.7bn valuation
Reddit is looking to raise looking to raise around $150m (£117m), according to Bloomberg, and it’s aiming for a $1.7bn (£1.3bn) valuation.
The social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website has previously raised money from investors including Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, Jared Leto, and Snoop Dogg.
Download of the Week
Our Download of the Week is Inploi. This app acts as a professional network for the London hospitality industry enabling users to discover job vacancies or list jobs.
Founded in London in late 2015, the company announced this week that it had raised a further £500,000.
And finally, in a move that’s either really useful, or really creepy (I can’t quite decide), Snapchat has launched a new feature, which allows users to see where exactly their friends are in real time.
Users can choose who can see their location, so there’s no need to worry about ‘unexpectedly’ bumping into your crazy ex. There’s also a ‘Ghost Mode’, which prevents your location from being revealed to anyone.