Nested’s £36m, Amazon’s delivery plans, iPhoneX pre-orders and more in your Week in Tech


Welcome to The Week in Tech, your roundup of the latest top tech news.

This week, we bring you Nested’s £36m investment round, the latest on Amazon’s delivery plans and more.

Nested closes £36m round

PropTech firm Nested, which provides loans to home buyers, closed a £36m round led by Rocket Internet’s Global Founders Capital.

The company, which announced a £8m round led by Passion Capital in March, has now raised just under £50m to date.

Nested provides home sellers with a maximum advanced loan of 97% of their property’s value before they sell their house, so that they can purchase a new one without having to enter into a chain.

The firm was founded by Matt Robinson, who previously co-founded GoCardless, an online payments company.

Winnow’s $7.4m round

London-based Winnow raised $7.4m (£5.6m) to boost its overseas expansion.

The firm received funding in a round co-led by Circularity Capital, Mustard Seed and D-Ax.

It comes after Winnow, which seeks to reduce food waste, closed a $3.3m Series A in January 2016.

Echo raises again

HealthTech startup Echo, a winner of UKTN’s Elevator Pitch LIVE 2016, raised a £7m Series A led by White Star Capital.

The NHS-focused medication management app also drew support from MMC Ventures, LocalGlobe, Global Founders Capital and Public.io.

Today’s news comes after the London-based firm closed a £1.8m round in 2016.

Homelyfe closes £2.4m Seed

InsurTech startup Homelyfe raised £2.4m in a Seed round led by Tallis Capital and Peterson Ventures.

Homelyfe will use the money to continue developing its proprietary technology and to grow its team.

“Our vision for Homelyfe is to build an insurance solution around the needs of the modern consumer,” said CEO and co-founder of Homelyfe, Peter Goodman.

HeadBox raises £1.6m

HeadBox, a SaaS-enabled marketplace for inspiring meeting, off-site and event spaces, raised £1.6m.

Egora Holding, a Munich-based tech investment group, led the round by contributing €1m (£890,000).

Founded in the UK in June 2015, HeadBox claims to serve other well-known tech companies such as Farfetch and Expedia.

HeadBox will use the money to speed up its international roll-out.

A $1m funding round

Genus AI, a London-based artificial intelligence company, landed $1m in Seed funding.

The round was led by early-stage technology investment firm Picus Capital.

Andy Chung at AngelList; Charlie Songhurst, investor in Onfido; Matt Robinson, founder of GoCardless and Nested; also invested.

Genus AI will use the money to expand its technology team in London and boost its sales operations in the US – its primary market.

Bud raises from Banco Sabadell

Bud, a UK FinTech startup which has created a financial aggregation platform, scored £1.5m in a round co-led by Banco Sabadell and Investec.

Bud also drew the support of Force Over Mass Capital.

Founded two years ago, Bud recently struck a partnership with HSBC, which will see both entities work together on a six month trial.

Countingup gets $750,000

Countingup, a banking and accountancy app targeting SMEs, raised $750,000 (£569,000) in a round led by Frontline Ventures.

Will ​Neale, founder ​of ​Fonix ​& ​Grabyo; ​Ben ​Grol, partner ​at ​Atomico; ​Ben ​Heald, chair of ​Sift, ​Edo, ​eFiling ​and ​Bristol ​Pound; ​and Andy ​Chung, AngelList; also invested.

Countingup seeks to allow small businesses to open a current account using a smartphone. Customers will also be able to do their accounting using the app.

ROLI and Pharell

ROLI, a London-based music technology startup known for its Seaboard keyboard, has landed investment from Pharell Williams.

The size of the investment remains undisclosed, but Williams will also be joining the startup as chief creative officer.

It comes after ROLI closed a $27m Series B last year, preceded by a $3.7m round in 2014.

Amazon’s delivery plans

Amazon has unveiled plans to deliver packages directly into consumers’ homes.

The online retailer announced Amazon Key, a camera and lock system that will enable customers to remotely allow couriers into their houses.

Amazon has reportedly been working on the technology for more than a year.

Apple’s iPhoneX

Apple’s hotly anticipated iPhoneX went on sale today, but it’s become clear that the demand for it far exceeded the initial supply.

The tech giant started accepting orders for the $999 device at midnight (in California).

Approximately 10 minutes after it first became available to consumers, customers were notified that they would have to wait a few weeks to receive the smartphone.

WhatsApp and the EU

The European Union’s data regulator is focusing on WhatsApp after the messaging app shared user data with Facebook, its parent company.

The EU watchdog has launched a taskforce to implement “a clear, comprehensive resolution” to comply with the law set out by the European Union.

Download of the Week

Our ‘Download of the Week’ is AppyParking, available in London and 11 other major cities in the UK.

The app, which does what it says on the tin, makes it easier for consumers to find and pay for parking.

And finally

In somewhat stranger news, Saudi Arabia became the first country ever to give a robot citizenship.

The move, whether serious or a PR stunt, has been seen as an attempt to promote the nation as a place to create and develop AI.

Sophia, as the robot is called, was confirmed as a Saudi citizen during an event in Riyadh.

Commentators criticised the country and pointed out that citizenship rights aren’t granted to many humans in the country.

Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash