The Week in Tech

Hello and welcome to the Week in Tech, your weekly roundup of the top technology news stories from across the globe.

This week, we bring you the latest UK tech investment news, the implications of Amber Rudd’s resignation as Home Secretary and much more.

Investments

Concentra Analytics nabs £41m

Concentra Analytics, which created a SaaS platform for business data visualisation, has raised £41m in equity investment in a round led by One Peak Partners.

Co-investors Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, Joseph Schull, Connected Capital, as well as existing shareholder, City Securities, also participated.

Concentra will use the cash to expand internationally and boost its investment in its SaaS solutions.

Cera’s $17m Series A

Tech-enabled startup Cera announced the closure of a $17m Series A round days after reports suggested it had posted fake reviews online.

According to Bloomberg, which cited anonymous sources, Cera did not hold partnerships with some of the firms it claimed to do so. Additionally, the outlet said that approximately a dozen of reviews on third-party websites had been crafted by either Cera’s employees or people close to them.

The startup, which launched just over a year and half ago, says it’s raised from Guinness Asset Management, which oversees $1.7bn, through its EIS fund; Yabeo, who are the lead investor in Germany’s biggest care supply company Pflegebox; and Kairos, who aim to transform broken industries, such as elderly care, using technology.

Several investors from Cera’s Seed round, including Peter Sands, formerly CEO of Standard Chartered and chairman of Davos, have also followed-on.

Poq’s Series B

Poq, an app commerce company, has raised £9.5m in a Series B round led by Smedvig Capital.

With £16.5m in funding under its belt, Poq has built a SaaS platform which allows retailers to launch and maintain an app in ‘record’ time and ‘at a fraction of the cost’.

Poq claims to be working with clients including House of Fraser, Missguided, Pretty Little Thing, Holland & Barrett, Hotel Chocolat, Fragrance Direct and Made.com.

The firm, which closed a Series A in 2016, claims to have grown its annual recurring revenue by 400% since then.

This set of funding will be used to grow the company in the UK, Europe and the US. Interestingly, the company says the US accounts for 20% of its revenue.

Other investments

Tails.com acquired by nestle Purina Petcare

Nestle Purina Petcare has acquired a majority stake in dog food subscription service Tails.com.

Surrey-based Tails.com offers personalised dog nutrition, sent direct to consumers. The company uses an algorithm developed by vets, nutritionists and software engineers to develop a dog’s diet plan based on factors such as its age, breed, size and level of activity.

The move has been described as offering ‘significant growth opportunities’ for both companies, with Purina benefiting from the technology of Tails.com, and Tails.com benefiting from Purina’s experience and size.

Launched in 2014, Tails.com claims it now feeds more than 100,000 dogs in the UK. It offers home delivery for customers, and has an in-house nutrition support team.

Amber Rudd’s resignation as Home Secretary

Conservative party member Amber Rudd has resigned as Home Secretary. The announcement came following the Windrush immigration scandal, during which Rudd claimed to not have set deportation targets.

Yet on Sunday, The Guardian published a letter addressed to Theresa May in which Rudd did indeed set out targets to deport 10% more illegal immigrants over the “next few years”.

Fellow Conservative Sajid Javid will replace Rudd. Whilst the Home Secretary’s main focus is on immigration and citizenship, they also have remit over policing and national security, which often feature tech in some way.

So, what did Rudd do for the UK’s burgeoning technology industry, and what can we expect from her successor? Take a look at this.

Cambridge Analytica shuts down

Cambridge Analytica, the political consultancy firm at the centre of the Facebook data scandal, is shutting down.

Facebook says that data of up to 87 million of its users was harvested by a quiz app and then passed on to Cambridge Analytica. It’s also said its probe into the scandal will go ahead.

“This doesn’t change our commitment and determination to understand exactly what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said a spokesman.

“We are continuing with our investigation in cooperation with the relevant authorities.”

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