Hello and welcome to The Week in Tech, your roundup of the latest top tech news from across the UK.
This week, we bring you the latest on Uber’s colossal hack, Seedcamp’s £41m fundraise and much more.
Zego’s Series A
Zego, a pay-as-you go insurance provider, raised a £6m Series A from Balderton Capital.
The London-based startup also drew support from existing backer LocalGlobe and angel investors from the insurance sector.
Currently, Zego provides specialist insurance cover to delivery drivers using cars and scooters.
Peanut’s funding round
London-based Peanut, an app which seeks to connect new mums based on common interests, raised a Seed round co-led by Sweet Capital Investment and Female Founders Fund.
AccessFintech secures $17.5m in series A funding
Peanut also received cash from Greycroft and Sound Ventures, the venture capital firm founded by Hollywood A-lister Ashton Kutcher.
Details of the raise are not being disclosed, but the company says it will use the funds to grow its team and expand its community of users.
Zeelo scores £1.2m
Zeelo, a London-based startup which leverages AI to predict demand for coach travel, raised £1.2m.
Founded by university friends who sold their previous startup to Addison Lee in 2014, Zeelo is backed by lead investor Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures and also received the support of TFL board member Michael Leibreich and Yo! Sushi co-founder Simon Woodroffe.
Lifesize creates lifelike video conferencing
“People want new, more convenient ways to travel between cities, to events and to work,” said Barney Williams, one of the co-founders.
Seedcamp closes investment fund
European investor Seedcamp raised £41m to continue backing early-stage technology startups.
At first close, this fund – Seedcamp’s fourth – is already two times larger than its last investment vehicle, which closed at €20m in 2014.
Seedcamp’s fund is backed by 60 corporates, venture capitalists and fund of funds from across the world.
BuffaloGrid brings mobile power to rural India
Investors include Investec, Unilever Ventures, Thomas Cook Money, MassMutual Ventures, ADV, Draper Esprit, Index Ventures, Atomico, Idinvest Partners, Underscore Ventures, Speedinvest and the UK-government backed British Business Bank.
Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his Budget earlier this week, highlighting that Britain was, for the first time in decades, at the forefront of a technological revolution.
“But we must invest to secure that bright future for Britain,” he noted, acknowledging the government should continue to invest in the skills and infrastructure that will support the jobs of the future.
As part of his speech, Hammond confirmed the government will be investing more than £500m “in a range of activities from artificial intelligence, to 5G and full fibre broadband”.
Other announcements so far include a further £2.3bn for investment in R&D, an increase of R&D Tax credit to 12%, extra cash to increase the numbers of students taking maths after the age of 16, support for electric cars – including a £400m charging infrastructure fund – and £300m to connect HS2 with rail improvements in the North England.
Uber’s colossal hack
Authorities in the UK are investigating a hack suffered by Uber, which exposed the data of more than 50 million users from across the world.
The Independent Commissioner’s Office (ICO), an independent body established to uphold information rights, released a statement noting how Uber’s concealed data breach raised “huge concerns around its data protection policies and ethics”.
A spokesperson for the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) also highlighted the need for companies to report cyber attacks.
The breach took place last year and was concealed by Uber, which paid hackers $100,000 (£75,000) to erase all the stolen data, including names, email address and phone numbers.
It’s believed that the personal information of approximately 7 million drivers was also accessed – including US driver license numbers. Social security numbers and credit card details have not been comprised, Uber said.
Download of the Week
Our ‘Download of the Week’ is Tetra. Available on iOS, Tetra uses AI to take notes on phone calls.
Users can dial through the app and Tetra will capture conversations by using speech recognition.
You’ll be able to highlight action items with a single tap when you hear them and receive call notes minutes after you hang up.
You could soon get your hands on your very own NeoXCraft flying car.
The British-made vehicle will have foldable wings and an airbone speed of 210mph and could be in the air as soon as 2020.
But there’s a catch. The car is set to retail for eye watering £1.5m.
On the plus side, if you don’t feel the need to fly anywhere, you’ll be able to fold the fans into wheels to help you reach your destination by land.