Welcome to The Week in Tech, your roundup of the latest top tech news.
In this week’s roundup, we bring you the latest on Deliveroo’s £285m Series F, Twitter’s character update and a somewhat deceiving ‘life-like’ android.
Deliveroo’s £285m Series F
On-demand delivery firm Deliveroo raised an additional £285m from investors including Fidelity and T Rowe Price.
Deliveroo’s valuation is set to rise to $2bn (£1.48bn) as a result of the deal.
The news served to alight rumours about Deliveroo’s potential IPO the investors in this round both backed Facebook and Snap before they went public.
Blow gets £7.5m from Debenhams
UK retailer Debenhams has invested a reported £7.5m in Blow LTD, an on-demand beauty services provider.
UK FinTech firms ‘raised more VC money than their European counterparts’
As a result, Debenhams will receive a minority stake in the business co-founded by VC Dharmash Mistry and Fiona McIntosh, the former editor of Elle and Grazia magazines.
Blow has also received investment from Unilever Ventures in the past.
Tantalum’s £2.5m round
Tantalum Corporation, a company working in the connected car industry, has raised £2.5m from Disruptive Capital Investments.
It will use the new funds to boost its expansion in the US and open offices in Silicon Valley.
Treatment, training and therapy: VR in healthcare
Tantalum will also benefit from a £1.4m grant from the UK government to trial its Air.Car system across London and other UK cities suffering from pollution.
Hoop’s £2.4m raise
Hoop, an app which allows parents to discover and book events for their children, has raised £2.4m in a round led by BGF Ventures.
Co-founder Daniel Bower said: “Parents want to find interesting, fun and affordable things their kids will love to do. Until now it’s been easy to miss great things happening locally because there’s no easy way to uncover new events and activities. Hoop solves this problem.”
Picfair lands £1.5m
London-based startup Picfair has raised £1.5m in a round led by the Claverley Group.
Guardian Media Group announces £42m investment fund to support early-stage tech startups
Founded by ex journalist Benji Lanyado, the startup operates an ‘open-to-all image licensing marketplace’ to provide publishers, agencies, startups and large firms with authentic photographs.
Twitter’s character update
Twitter kicked off a storm this week when it announced it would be upping the length of its classic 140-character limit to 280.
The US tech firm, which is yet to turn a profit, said it would be doubling the number of characters allowed as part of an experimental rollout.
Twitter’s announcement divided opinion among its users, despite the update only being available for a select number of them.
Download of the Week
Our ‘Download of the Week’ is SQUID app, a “smart, dynamic and an eclectic animal” providing you with the best way to keep up-to-date with the latest news.
The app allows users to select topics they are passionate about and follow the latest news in their selected country and language.
And finally, technology may have started to blur the lines between man and machine, but this ‘lifelike android woman’ will make you consider whether the line has disappeared altogether.
The footage of a female robot at this year’s Tokyo Game Show has received more than three million views on social media platforms as people can’t quite make up their minds as to whether she’s real or a PR prop.
Creepy or cool? You decide…!