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February 2, 2016updated 04 Sep 2016 10:42pm

Fintech, Education, omnichannel retail, cybersecurity: 7 UK tech firms attracting big investment

List: A look at some of the key recent investments in UK tech.

By Charlotte Henry

The UK is fast becoming something of a beacon for tech investment, with major investors putting their money into a wide range of software and digital firms based here.

Indeed, $1.4bn was invested into the tech sector in the UK between January and October 2015, with £1bn going to London alone, according to data from London and Partners, who seek to promote London as an investment destination.

Major rounds in that time period include £46m Series C round from Deliveroo led by Greenoaks Capital and Index Ventures, £39m for Secret Escapes led by Google Ventures and Octopus Investments, and £39m for Made.com led by Fidelity Partners.

In the time that has passed since that data was released, other major funding rounds have been announced by a variety of UK tech firms. Here are some you should know about.

cash

Starling

App based challenger bank Starling prepared for its UK launch by announcing £70m of funds from Harald McPike in January 2016. McPike is based in the Bahamas, and founded the quantative investment firm QuantRes.

At the same time the bank, which will provide current accounts and access to third party financial services, announced some heavyweight appointments to its board. These included Financial Conduct Authority veteran of two decades Victoria Raffé, and Marcus Traill and Craig Mawdsley

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Avecto

Manchester based endpoint security software maker Avecto announced it had brought in its first outside investment on December 2nd 2015.

The investment totalled £32m, and was from Growth Equity Firm JMI Security. At the time of the funding announcement the firm’s co-ceo Mark Austin said that one of the things the firm would use money for was for R&D.

As well as its UK headquarters, Avecto has offices in Boston, Melbourne and Frankfurt, and boasts 600 enterprise customers.

Sonovate

Sonovate raised a total of £20m in capital funding towards the end of Janaury 2016. This was made up of a £5m Series A Round which was led by Dawn Capital with a further £15m of debt funding raised from Shawbrook Business Credit.

The firm endeavours to provide high-tech working capital solutions to UK recruitment companies, and remove cashflow and administrative burdens from recruiters who work with contractors.

Amplience

Amplience is a British eCommerce software firm, providing a digital content platform for online and omni-channel retailers. It announced an $8m funding round from Silicon Valley Bank and Columbia Lake Partners in December 2015. It had previously raised a Series B round of funding in March 2015, totalling $10.5m and led by Octopus Ventures.

The firm’s Big Content Platform has been used by major retail brands including Saks Fifth Avenue, Mark Jacobs, and Panasonic North America, and the investment will be used to drive growth.

Sendachi

Sendachi, a technology services firm that aims to facilitate software development announced $30m of investment from Columbia Capital in January 2016.

The deal was a merged between Seattle based firm Clutch, and London based develops consultancy firm, Contino. Clutch CEO Steven Anderson will take the helm at the merged entity.

The firm aims to help clients to accelerate deployment of new services in an agile and speedy manner so that they can become more entrepreneurial and customer focussed, and teach them how to use stack technologies to make use of the latest software.

BridgeU

The Educational startup was only founded in January 2015, and announced it had raised a seed round of $2.5m in November of the same year. The round was led by Octopus Investments, with Fresco Capital and Seedcamp also involved.

Other notable investors involved included Jonnie Goodwin of Lepe Partners and Founders Forum, and Deborah Quazzo. The latter said that she will contribute her personal investment in BridgeU to GSV Capital’s new fund which is focused on Edtech.

BridgeU has a SaaS based university preparation and careers guidance platform, which uses machine learning to guide students towards courses and appropriate Universities. It offers a collection of cloud-based application strategy, research and builder tools.

Curve

Curve raised $2m in investment from a veritable who’s who of fintech. These included co- founder of unicorn firm Transferwise Taavet Hinriku, and online bookmaker Betfair’s Ed Wray, as well as former members of the Google Wallet team, and Rick Knox of Tandem.

Despite bringing in cash, the firm has still not actually announced what its product is. All that is known is that the firm will operate in the fintech sector, and that it says it will not be a card provider, even though there is a picture of one on the website it is using to promote itself.

 

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