Welcome to The Week in Tech, your roundup of the latest top tech news.
This week, we bring you the latest investment figures on UK FinTech, a £4m EdTech raise, Draper Esprit’s plans to back Seedcamp and Episode 1 and much more.
‘Record-breaking’ UK FinTech investment
UK FinTech companies have raised more than $1bn (£825m) so far this year, with double the amount raised when compared to the same period in 2016.
That’s according to the latest Pitchbook data sourced by London & Partners, which also shows that, despite Brexit, London and the UK are attracting more FinTech investment than any other European city or country.
According to the data, 2017 is set to be a record year for venture capital investment into both London and UK FinTech.
A £4m EdTech raise
EdTech startup BridgeU closed a £4m Series A led by Octopus Ventures.
Fashion tech startup The Drop lands £500,000
The London and Hong Kong-based company also drew support from existing backer Fresco Capital and new investor Downing Ventures.
Founded in the UK in 2014, BridgeU has created a university preparation and careers guidance software, which leverages big data.
Draper Esprit backs Seedcamp and Episode 1
The move is part of Draper Esprit’s wider strategy to invest up to £75m in top Seed funds across Europe over the next five years.
Nauta Capital leads retail tech startup’s Mercaux £3.5m Series A
Additionally, the London-based VC firm will continue to invest approximately £100m a year in technology companies at Series A, B and C+ rounds.
GMG announces £42m investment fund
Guardian Media Group has announced the launch of a new £42m media tech investment fund.
GMG Ventures, as the fund will be known, will seek to support early-stage startups working on developing the next generation of media technology.
The fund will consider investments in a wide range of areas including artificial intelligence and machine learning tools for journalism; advertising technology, including new formats and fraud detection; technology used to enrich reader and customer experiences; payment technologies; and new forms of content distribution using VR, AR, audio and voice platforms.
Moving the needle: The power in connecting communities
SoftBank, which invested in UK technology firm Improbable, is reportedly looking to raise a bigger investment fund.
Recode reports that multiple sources have said the Japanese conglomerate, which has already raised a $93bn fund, is in early-stage discussions to raise more money.
One source close to the situation told Recode that the plans were “conceptual, but serious”.
In other news
Jinn shuts down
Jinn, an on-demand delivery service, has shut down after it ceased operations outside London in August.
According to Business Insider, Jinn couriers were told via a Telegram message earlier this week that the service had permanently shut down.
The company, which made a series of redundancies this year, is going into administration.
Uber halts UK expansion
Uber has reportedly abandoned its plans to expand into nine towns and cities across the UK.
According to The Sunday Times, the popular ride-hailing app may also lose its license in Brighton after failing to fulfill promises to only use local vehicles and drivers.
Uber has reportedly withdrawn its applications for operating licenses in Oxford, Hull, Bournemouth, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sandwell (West Midlands).
Download of the Week
Are you struggling to keep on top of your to-do lists? Download Nine.
The app, available on iOS, allows people to use their cameras to create reminders.
Once you’ve taken a photo, you can easily tag “buy”, “watch” and “go” to make sure you know exactly what your call to action is.
Nine also geotags photos, so that you can remember exactly where you were when you snapped.
Ever wondered what would happen if you spun a fidget spinner in space? Luckily for you astronaut Randy Bresnik shared a video on Twitter showing his experiments with a fidget spinner aboard the International Space Station.
A fidget spinner in space! How long does it spin? I’m not sure, but it’s a great way to experiment with Newton’s laws of motion! pic.twitter.com/5xIJDs2544
— Randy Bresnik (@AstroKomrade) October 13, 2017
Unsurprisingly, the figdet spinner is set off on a continuous spin and can be seen floating with the Earth as its backdrop.