Welcome to The Week in Tech, your roundup of the latest top tech news. This week, we have lots of UK tech funding news, Worldpay’s £9.3bn merger, dramas at Google, audiobooks for your four-legged friend and much more.
E-commerce company Cornerstone, which supplies men’s shaving products, received £3.5m from private equity firm Calculus Capital.
With this round, Cornerstone has now raised £8m since it launched in 2014.
London FinTech startup Glint raised £3.1m from investors including Bray Capital.
The startup, which says it is working on a new global currency, will launch in Q4 this year.
DeepCrawl, a search marketing analytics and insights company, closed a £1.75m Series A funding round.
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It secured £1.5m of the round from venture and growth capital firm Beringea, which has also invested in the likes of Thread, Poq and Firefly Learning. The remaining funds were committed by individual high-net-worth investors.
FinTech startup Railsbank raised a £1.2m Seed led by Firestartr.
The round also drew support from Kima Ventures and angel investors including Peter Jackson (Worldpay UK); Tim Levene (Betfair); and Philip Riese (ex Zopa).
MUTE International’s £810k
MUTE International, a platform that enables people to lease electric scooters, raised £810,790 on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.
Jonathan Simnett, director at Hampleton Partners, on how UK tech entrepreneurs can prepare for M&A
The company leases its scooters to both businesses and individuals and is currently active in Bali, Perth and Shanghai, but has so far achieved the greatest success in the latter, claiming to have over 200 scooters on the road in Shanghai.
Other investment rounds this week include the £500,000 raised by Babysitting app Bubble, the £500,000 secured by HealthTech startup Cera, the £500,000 Seed top-up raised by StreetDots, PlanSnap’s £375k crowdfunding round and Academy of Robotics’ £292k crowdfunding round.
Mergers and acquisitions
Turn/River acquires Huddle
UK tech startup Huddle was acquired by Turn/River, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, for a reported $89m (£68m).
Huddle, which produces enterprise collaboration software, was founded in London in 2006.
Govt introduces Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill to boost driverless car sector
Clanwilliam Group acquires HealTech firm Medisec Software
Dublin-based healthcare, technology and services business Clanwilliam Group acquired Cheshire-based Medisec Software.
Clanwilliam said it acquired the NHS technology provider to achieve its goal of digitising the UK health service. It is the 13th healthcare technology company to join the group in the past three years. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Tandem to acquire Harrods Bank
Digital challenger bank Tandem agreed to acquire Harrods Bank, the banking division owned by the London-based luxury department store, in a ‘multi-million pound’ deal.
Tandem, which has so far raised $77.8m (£60m) since bursting onto the FinTech scene four years ago says it will operate the whole business under its brand once the deal is finalised.
Worldpay agrees Vantiv merger
Worldpay agreed to merge with US rival firm Vantiv in a deal that values the UK payment processing firm at £9.3bn.
As a result of the transaction, the new firm will have a combined value of £22.2bn.
Google employee anti-diversity memo causes row
There was scandal at Google this week after a staff member criticised the firm’s diversity initiatives. The male software engineer wrote in an internal memo that the lack of women in top tech jobs was due to biological differences between men and women.
The search engine giant’s new head of diversity Danielle Brown said in an internal email, published by Motherboard, that the memo was “not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages”.
The staff member in question has since been fired.
Facebook announces video streaming service
Facebook is taking on YouTube and Netflix by launching a new video platform, which will enable users to watch a range of TV shows without having to exit the social networking site or app.
There will be a “Watch” tab on users’ feeds and they will be able to see what their friends are watching and communicate with others who are interested in the same videos.
There will be a host of popular series on the platform, plus some original content paid for by Facebook.
Download of the week
Our download of the week is GIF Brewery. This free Mac app, by Gfycat, enables users to create GIFs from video files.
Just upload your video file, use the editing tools to crop, resize and cut the video, then add filters and/or captions, and off you go!
This one’s for all the dog owners out there. Amazon’s audiobook platform Audible has teamed up with dog behaviour expert Cesar Millan to create audiobooks for dogs.
The books use human voices to tell stories to dogs when nobody is at home, the idea being it will keep the canines calm and prevent them from getting up to mischief!