Welcome to The Week in Tech, your roundup of the latest top tech news.
This week, we bring you Truphone’s £255m raise, Google’s latest product reveal and much more.
Truphone raises £255m to boost global expansion
UK mobile operator Truphone raised £255m to aid its global expansion.
The money, raised through a successful rights issue, came from existing shareholders Minden and Vollin Holdings – two investment firms linked with Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
Now valued at £370m, Truphone will also use the money to offset the debt incurred during the development of its mobile connectivity platform.
Seedrs valued at £50m following £6m raise
Seedrs is now valued at £50m following a £6m crowdfunding campaign ran on its own platform.
UK FinTech firms ‘raised more VC money than their European counterparts’
The firm, which raised £4m from Woodford Investment Management in September, was funded by over 2,000 of its users.
The average individual investment amount was £3,200, with the biggest individual investment hitting £800,000. Most investors came from the UK, Germany, Portugal, France and Italy.
Canopy lands £1.6m in funding
InsurTech startup Canopy closed a £1.6m funding round earlier this week.
The company, whose round was led by Direct Line Group, will use the cash to expand internationally.
Treatment, training and therapy: VR in healthcare
Launched in May, Canopy is looking to disrupt the property rental market by making it easier for renters, landlords and estate agents to co-exist.
InsurTech firm PremFina gets $36m
Thomvest Ventures, Emery Capital, Rubicon Venture Capital, Talis Capital and the company’s founder Bundeep Singh Rangar also participated.
The round –made up of equity and debt financing – will help the London-based company boost its operations nationwide and support its expansion overseas.
Guardian Media Group announces £42m investment fund to support early-stage tech startups
Online photo marketplace miPic closes £1.3m Seed
MiPic, a London-based startup which operates a photo marketplace, has raised £1.3m in Seed funding from Sage Technologies.
The startup was founded by architect Carl Thomas in a bid to make art, photography and design accessible to the masses.
MiPic enables users to print, buy and sell their pictures online.
BrickVest raises an additional £5m
PropTech firm BrickVest topped up its Series A with an additional £5m.
Berlin Hyp, the real estate finance provider to Germany’s Savings Banks Finance Group, led the round.
Speaking about the fundraise, Emmanuel Lumineau, CEO at BrickVest, commented: “We’re delighted to have closed this Series A fundraise with one of the largest amounts raised in the PropTech sector.
SalaryFinance gets £40m
Financial wellbeing employee benefits platform, SalaryFinance, has raised £40m in a round led by Legal & General and Blenheim Chalcot.
The firm, which leverages technology to help employees consolidate debt and start saving, says it is working with clients including Dunelm, Timpsons, Worldpay, Ageas, Saga, Hays, Agilisys, E.ON and the London Borough of Hackney.
SalaryFinance will use part of the funding to support its international expansion as it seeks to move into the US market.
UK Cyber Demonstration Centre
Matt Hancock MP, Minister for Digital, formally launched the UK Cyber Demonstration Centre – a government-backed facility for cybersecurity startups to showcase their products and capabilities – based at Level 39.
The Centre was commissioned by the Cyber Growth Partnership in conjunction with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Department for International Trade.
During the opening, Hancock met some of the UK’s most successful startups, including Digital Shadows, which recently closed a $26m (£20m) round led by Octopus Ventures.
Saul Klein launches Zinc
Well-known tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist investor Saul Klein has launched Zinc, London’s newest company builder.
His new venture will seek to leverage technology in an attempt to solve some of the most pressing problems being faced by society and will be starting by trying to address the challenge of women and girl’s mental health.
Participants taking part in Zinc’s first mission will work with experts from some of the UK’s top universities, the NHS, the technology sector and the worlds of entrepreneurship and business before creating teams to work on the most promising ideas and bring them to life.
Google’s hardware product reveal
Google revealed the new Pixel 2 smartphones and a set of instant translation Bluetooth headphones on Wednesday this week.
The Pixel Buds, as the headphones are known, were demonstrated live on stage as two users spoke short phrases in English and Swedish, while running Google Translate on a Pixel 2 smartphone.
Download of the Week
There’s absolutely no need for you to buy a Nokia 3310 to play Snake, because Slither.io fills that void to perfection!
The popular multiplayer game took the Android and iOS charts by storm last year and enables users to play against other players or against the game’s AI.
Either way, it’s all about manoeuvring a somewhat cute-looking worm with your finger in order to collect as many orbs as you can while avoiding other snakes.
And finally, technology has the potential to improve and change the lives of many across the world, but can it also be credited with revealing the ‘average face’ of people working in different professions? It seems it can!
A Reddit user has created a facial alignment algorithm to combine the faces of hundreds of people into one single image. Each face is set against three axis to ensure the features align even if they are of different height and width.
Faces created so far, include one produced using the world’s best 500 golfers, one created with every single member of UK Parliament and a somewhat weird combination of the top 1,000 female and male porn stars.
That’s all for this week…See you next Friday!