UK tech: Winning early-stage startups that got funded in March 2021
In March 2021, investments have been pouring into the UK tech startups as compared to the previous months. Already, we saw some major funding rounds happening, such as Payfit, Snyk, SumUp and more.
We at UKTN always make an effort to remain proactive in acknowledging and encouraging the fast-growing tech startups in the country. Hence, for the month of March again, we have come up with a round up of some winning tech startups which got funded and deserve to be noticed.
Sunswap raised £500K
Founder/s: Michael Lowe, Nikolai Tauber, Andrew Sucis
Founded year: 2020
UK-based cleantech engineering firm Sunswap raised £500K in a crowdfunding round on Crowdcube. The investment will be used to rapidly scale the business and deploy their zero-emission TRU technology on the roads by the end of 2021. The company use it to finalise the development of their latest generation sustainable transport refrigeration unit (TRU) before its deployment. Also, Sunswap will grow the team and move into larger facilities to accelerate scaleup.
Following the investment round, the company is in the final stages of confirming manufacturing partnerships to become a major provider of zero-emission TRUs in the coming years. Already, the company announced that they will work with social impact startup OX to develop solar-powered mobile chilling capability for their zero-emission trucks in Rwanda.
Loui Blake invests in Embargo
Founder/s: Tsewang Wangkang, Frederick Szydlowski
Founded year: 2017
London-based Embargo is a loyalty platform that allows restaurants, bars, and coffee shops to recognise and reward their customers through pioneering technology. It helps hospitality businesses embrace digital transformation by connecting them directly with their customers. Recently, serial entrepreneur and angel investor Loui Blake became the latest big name to invest in and join the advisory board of Embargo.
Since the first lockdown in July 2020, over 200 hospitality venues have signed up to use Embargo’s loyalty solution. The UK-based startup is used by well-known brands including Notes Coffee, Bird Restaurants, The Gentlemen Baristas, Chucs Restaurants, Queens of Mayfair, Floozie Cookies, Crosstown Doughnuts and Thunderbird Friend Chicken.
BGFG bagged £1M
Founder/s: Andrew Kirkcaldy, Craig Kirkcaldy, Will Blears
Founded year: 2019
Manchester-based game and tech publishing house BGFG (By Gamers For Gamers) bagged £1 million angel funding. The round was supported by FWS Advisory Limited and its investors include high-net-worth individuals such as AO.com’s original investor Bill Holroyd and Usespace’s founder David Walter.
The seven-figure investment will fast track the firm’s expansion and support its mission to enhance Manchester’s reputation as an economic powerhouse in digital and creative industries. It will also help the company facilitate working growth capital and support its acquisition ambitions.
We Are Paradoxx raised £3M
Founder/s: Yolanda Cooper
Founded year: 2018
London-based We Are Paradoxx, a plastic-free beauty brand that drives conscious and clean range of natural and sustainable products, raised $4 million (nearly £2.9 million) seed funding. The investment will be used to further expand into the US market, develop their hair and body offering, and further research and develop electrical hair tools. Already, the company has wider growth plans to extend its electrical offering.
Wefarm secured £9.5M
Founder/s: Kenny Ewan
Founded year: 2018
Wefarm, a social networking platform aimed at helping independent farmers, raised $11 million (nearly £9.5 million) funding. This was an extension to the Series A funding round it secured in 2019. The round was led by Octopus Ventures along with participation from True Ventures, Rabo Frontier Ventures, LocalGlobe, AdFunder and June Fund.
The platform that lets independent farmers meet each other, get advice, exchange ideas and sell or trade supplies and equipment will use the investment to expand its network. It also intends to use the fund to continue growing its business while it has 2.5 million users now.
Next bought 25% stake in Reiss
Founder/s: David Reiss
Founded year: 1971
Reiss, a modern, global fashion brand based in London secured £33 million equity funding for the stake and a debt investment of £10 million from Next. This round took the valuation of the company to £200 million. As a result, Next bought a 25% stake in the fashion brand, its rival to form a partnership.
Being a favourite brand of Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge, Reiss reported strong growth in sales in recent years. With the investment, it will fuel its growth plans in the UK and overseas. Its online platform, logistics, distribution and warehouse will be transitioned to Next.
VRAI got £1.2M
Founder/s: Niall Campion, Pat O’Connor
Founded year: 2016
VRAI creates data-driven VR simulation training for high hazard environments. Based in Dublin, the company also operates from its UK office. It bagged £1.2 million seed funding from existing private investors and the Irish state economic development agency, Enterprise Ireland. The company combines virtual reality, AI and IoT technologies to render more authentic and measurable simulation training for work environments. It will use the fund to expand VR simulation training for enterprises.
CareLineLive secured £175K
Founder/s: Josh Hough
Founded year: 2014
CareLineLive, an all-in-one home care management software secured a £175k grant from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. The funding supports a research-led software development project that will extend the capability of the CareLineLive to provide dynamic care planning of patients in their homes. The investment also will help the company develop data insights and the functionality for its homecare platform that connects agencies, clients, carers and families.