80 UK venture capital investments of over £10m that will make every entrepreneur envious

We've analysed the biggest VC funding rounds in UK businesses over the last 18 months. These are the sectors you should be starting a business in...

With the UK's decision to leave the European Union and a snap general election, which lost the Conservatives their majority, the last 18 months have been rife with political turmoil.

And this fuelled speculation that the UK's investment scene would suffer in an uncertain climate.

On the contrary, over 80 UK-based companies managed to secure more than £10m in venture capital (VC) investment from January 1 2016 to June 1 2017.

This total includes a recent round for a Cambridge-based virtual reality start-up (see below) which topped a staggering £389m; thought to be the largest ever venture funding round for a private UK company.

Unsurprisingly, the UK's technology sector has been responsible for some of the biggest funding rounds. 2016 saw a 40% increase in tech sector investment on 2015, while the industry has laughed in the face of Brexit to rake in more investment than any other European country last year.

Without further ado, read on to find out which fast-growth UK businesses raised the largest venture capital funding rounds over the past 18 months…

WeSwap: £10m

Company: WeSwap
Description: Peer-to-peer money exchange service
Founders: Jared Jesner and Simon Sacerdoti
Based in: London
Raised: £10m in July 2016
Investors: Ascot Capital Partners, EC1 Capital, IW Capital

They said:

Jesner, CEO of WeSwap: “This year we have seen thousands of users swap millions of pounds each month. Our strong focus on building a sustainable, profitable business has enabled this funding despite the uncertain climate.”

David Page, CEO of Asco Capital: “Businesses such as WeSwap, with its customer centric value proposition and fast growing revenues, will be the driving force behind the UK’s continued growth.”

GoCardless: £10m

Company: GoCardless
Description: Payments platform
Founders: Matt Robinson, Hiroki Takeuchi
Based in: London
Raised: £10m in March 2016
Investors: Notion Capital, Balderton Capital, Accel Partners, Passion Capital

They said:

Hiroki Takeuchi, GoCardless co-founder: “While our early years focused on helping UK small businesses get access to direct debit, our recent growth has been driven by increasing demand from larger corporates and new markets like France and Germany.”

Stephen Chandler, Notion Capital managing partner: “The reason we’ve invested is pretty straightforward: the world is moving toward subscription models and Direct Debit is the most efficient and cost effective way to process them.”

Dealflo: £10m

Company: Dealflo
Description: Financial agreement automation services
Founder: Abe Smith
Based in: London
Raised: £10m in February 2017
Investors: Holtzbrinck Ventures, Notion Capital, Frog Capital

They said:

Abe Smith, founder of Dealflo: “We have seen phenomenal growth since we founded the business in 2012 and this investment will enable us to deliver to global clients on a global scale.”

Barbod Namini, principal at Holtzbrinck Ventures: “We saw a talented team with deep sector knowledge, a clear product vision and a proven track record of delivering into large enterprises. We are very excited to work with Dealflo to continue to scale their business in both new and existing sectors and territories.”

Gousto: £10m

Company: Gousto
Description: Recipe box subscription service
Founders: Timo Boldt and James Carter
Based in: London
Raised: £10m in November 2016
Investors: BGF Ventures, Unilever Ventures, MMC Ventures, Angel CoFund, Barclays

They said:

Boldt, CEO of Gousto: “Gousto is on a mission to eliminate food waste. We can only achieve our mission if we make customers’ lives easier, better and more natural. This means giving customers the most recipe choice and discovery of new cuisines.

Azimo: £10.3m

Company: Azimo
Description: Money transfer service
Founder: Michael Kent 
Based in: London
Raised: £10.3m in May 2016
Investors: Ratuken, eVentures, Frog Capital, Greycroft, Accion, MCI

They said:

Michael Kent, CEO of Azimo: “While we weren’t actively looking for additional capital, the approach from Rakuten really appealed because of their presence in markets core to our long-term ambitions.”

Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel, managing partner at the Rakuten FinTech Fund: “Rakuten prides itself on being a catalyst for digital innovation. In Azimo we see a scalable business model, technical expertise, and a strong social mission we believe will make them even more successful in the future.”

The funding followed an earlier £14m Series C round in 2015.

OpenGamma: £10.4m


Company: OpenGamma
Description: Risk management platform
Founders: Kirk Wylie
Based in: London
Raised: £10.4m in October 2016
Investors: Accel, ICAP, Cristóbal Conde

They said:

Peter Rippon, CEO of OpenGamma: “This investment now lets us build from these solid foundations to become a world-class partner and provider of benchmark industry solutions.”

Bruce Golden, partner at Accel, added: “By focusing on delivering the best-in-class cloud-based, modular solutions for the financial markets, the firm is positioning itself to become the market standard for derivatives risk analytics.”

Digital Shadows: £10.8m

Company: Digital Shadows
Description: Cyber security
Founders: Alistair Paterson and James Chappell
Based in: London
Raised: £10.8m in February 2016
Investors: Trinity Ventures, Storm Ventures, TenEleven Ventures, Passion Capital, Paladin Capital Group

They said:

Fred Wang, Trinity Ventures’ general partner: “Digital Shadows’ remarkable growth and the rapid adoption of its SearchLight offering by large enterprises has impressed us, as did its strong management team.”

Eileen Burbidge, partner at Passion Capital: “We first invested in Digital Shadows at its seed stage because of its unique approach to the market, providing truly relevant threat intelligence as part of a much broader offering that reduces the risk and burden of its customers.”

Ogury: £11.2m

Company: Ogury
Description: Advertising technology
Founders: Jean Canzoneri and Thomas Pasquet
Based in: London
Raised: £11.2m in September 2016
Investors: Idinvest Partners, alongside existing investors Ventech, CoVent Partners

They said:

Jean Canzoneri, CEO of Ogury: “At Ogury, we provide the right data solution because we don’t guess, we know. The only way to truly verify data, reach the right users and enhance ad relevance is to know exactly what users are doing on their phones.”

Benoist Grossmann, managing partner at Idinvest Partners: “Since our first investment in Criteo in 2006, we have seen many companies emerge in the advertising industry. Ogury is the only one that actually stood out.”

VST Enterprises: £11.4m

Company: VST Enterprises
Description: Cyber security
Founders: Louis-James Davis
Based in: Manchester
Raised: £11.4m in May 2017
Investors: Chris Lightbody, Guy Weaver, Humberto de Armas

They said:

Louis-James Davis, CEO of VST Enterprises: “VST Enterprises has come a long way in the last year, and the investment we have received will make the business prosper, enabling the founders to realise our vision, using VCode® Technology to solve growing and ever more complex cyber security issues such as ID theft and counterfeiting of digital assets across sectors, channels and geographies.”

Investor Chris Lightbody: “VST Enterprises prides itself on offering infinite possibilities through simple secure, ubiquitous technology. I was proud to offer capital to help the company realise this vision, and to assist them in reaching the right contacts and sectors which is now happening at pace.”

Songkick: £11.4m

Company: Songkick
Description: Ticketing platform
Founders: Adam Schiffer, Pete Smith, Michelle You, Ian Hogarth, Matt Jones
Based in: London
Raised: £11.4m in August 2016
Investors: Access Industries

They said:

Matt Jones, chief executive of Songkick: “The biggest myth in live music is that ticket scalping is somehow impossible to prevent, but with the right focus and the right tools, these issues can be solved, and Songkick is at the leading edge of solving them.”

Weaveworks: £11.6m

Company: Weaveworks
Description: Software developers
Founders: Matthias Radestock and Alexis Richardson
Based in: London
Raised: £11.6m in May 2016
Investors: GV, Accel

They said:

Alex Richardson, co-founder of Weaveworks: “We’re delighted to welcome GV as a new investor, and Accel as a repeat investor in Weaveworks.

Tom Hulme, GV general partner: “A category leader will emerge in microservices management, and Weaveworks’ traction, team and vision position them well to become that leader.”

Performance Horizon: £11.9m

Company: Performance Horizon
Description: Digital marketing
Founders: Paul Fellows, Pete Cheyne, Malcolm Cowley, Paul Newton, Sean Sewell
Based in: Newcastle
Raised: £11.9m in June 2016
Investors: The Greycroft Growth fund, Mithril and DN Capital

They said:

Malcolm Cowley, CEO of Performance Horizon: “By leveraging our global technology and services platform, our customers can rapidly build out revenue-generating partnerships around the world. This financing allows us to invest even faster in this huge market opportunity and execute on the next phase of our vision.”

Ian Sigalow, partner at Greycroft Partners: “In the last five years, Performance Horizon has positioned itself very well as the only provider that can really serve large, global enterprises through a highly scalable SaaS solution.”

Ecrebo: £12m

Company: Ecrebo
Description: Retail marketing
Founders: David Vernon and Hassan Hajji
Based in: Reading
Raised: £12m in February 2017
Investors: Sir Keith Mills, Joseph Schull

They said:

Hassan Hajji, Ecrebo co-founder: “We’re really excited about the impact this investment will have on our customers, employees and our technology in helping us to reach our full potential.”

Sir Keith Mills, investor: “I am delighted to announce this investment in Ecrebo, who impressed me with their firmly-established credentials and leadership within the retail technology sector.”

Garrison Technology: £12m

Company: Garrison Technology
Description: Cyber security
Founders: Henry Harrison and David Garfield
Based in: London
Raised: £12m in March 2017
Investors: Touchstone Innovations 

They said:

Jon Edington, director of technology ventures at Touchstone Innovations: “Almost daily we read how major enterprises and governments are suffering from targeted and high-impact cyber-crime.

“Garrison’s solution directly addresses this problem with an innovative and differentiated technology that has been shown to effectively remove whole classes of cyber threat.”

MPP Global: £12m

Company: MPP Global
Description: Digital monetisation platform
Founders: Chris Cheney, Jim Johnson and Paul Johnson
Based in: Warrington
Raised: £12m in May 2017
Investors: Albion Ventures, Grafton Capital

They said:

Paul Johnson, MPP Global’s CEO: “We are incredibly excited to be embarking on the next chapter of MPP Global’s evolution, embracing new markets and launching a stream of new eSuite features.”

Ed Lascelles, partner at Albion Ventures: “We see the market for paid over-the-top content growing rapidly over the medium term and MPP Global is well placed to consolidate its position as the category leader.”

carwow: £12.5m

Company: carwow
Description: Car comparison site
Founders: James Hind, Alexandra Margolis and David Santoro
Based in: London
Raised: £12.5m in January 2016
Investors: Accel Partners, Balderton Capital, Samos Investments

They said:

James Hind, CEO of carwow: “At carwow, we enjoy working with the industry to make things simpler and more efficient for all involved. This new round of funding gives us the firepower we need to change the way the UK buys cars.”

Fred Destin, Accel Partners: “carwow reminds me of Zoopla in the early days – they’re changing the discovery experience through a superb online platform and better information and are creating a win-win for consumers and dealers, brought to you by a wonderful founding team.”

Telensa: £12.5m

Company: Telensa
Description: Smart city control applications
Founders: Will Gibson and Timothy Jackson
Based in: Essex
Raised: £12.5m in January 2016
Investors: Environmental Technologies Fund, Silicon Valley Bank

They said:

Will Gibson, CEO Telensa: “This investment is recognition of Telensa’s success and enables us to expand to meet the growing demand for our solutions.”

Patrick Sheehan, founder and partner at Environmental Technologies Fund: “Telensa’s success is built on robust wireless technology and an application business case that works for the whole ecosystem. We look forward to helping the team accelerate the growth of this thriving business.”

HouseSimple: £13m

Company: HouseSimple
Description: Online estate agency
Founders: Alex Gosling and Sophie Gosling
Based in: London
Raised: £13m in June 2016
Investors: Sir Charles Dunstone, Roger Taylor

They said:

Alex Gosling, managing director of HouseSimple: “These are exciting times for HouseSimple. We are relentlessly focused on delivering the best selling results for our customers, and with this latest funding round we are confident we can increase our selling success rate and achieved selling price even further.”

RateSetter: £13m

Company: RateSetter
Description: Peer-to-peer lender
Founders: Rhydian Lewis and Peter Behrens
Based in: London
Raised: £13m in June 2017
Investors: Neil Woodford, Artemis

They said:

Rhydian Lewis, CEO of RateSetter: “It is important to keep up the momentum of investing in our platform and this further injection of capital, coupled with the appointment of Manduca as chairman, lays the ground for an important new phase of development for our business.”

Hibob: £13.6m


Company: Hibob
Description: Human resources platform
Founders: Amit KnaaniRonni ZehaviIsrael David and Andy Bellass
Based in: London
Raised: £13.6m in April 2017
Investors: Battery Ventures, Eight Road Ventures, Arbor Ventures, Bessemer Ventures

They said:

Ronni Zehavi, co-founder and CEO of Hibob: “We are honoured to have raised additional investment from VCs who were part of our seed round and welcome new visionaries on our journey to reshape the way businesses understand and interact with their employees.”

Scott Tobin, general partner at Battery Ventures: “HR needs to be able to consolidate and simplify its administrative responsibilities so that it can be freed up to convert the energy and passion that young people arrive with into long-term engagement.

Origami Energy: £13.7m

Company: Origami Energy
Description: Energy technology
Founder: Peter Bance
Based in: Cambridge
Raised: £13.7m in April 2016
Investors: Cambridge Innovation Capital, Octopus Ventures

They said:

Peter Bance, Origami Energy’s CEO: “The additional funding we’ve just raised will help fuel our next phase of growth as we transition from our current customer field trials to scalable deployment of our solution on a commercial basis.”

Victor Christou, CEO of Cambridge Innovation Capital, added:

“At a time when demands on the energy grid are intensifying we believe Origami’s ‘shaping’ approach to energy management is the next step towards the creation of a viable solution in an energy-constrained world. We are pleased to support the company in the next phase of its journey.”

eve Sleep: £13.9m

Company: eve Sleep
Description: E-commerce mattress provider
Founders: Jas Bagniewski, James Fryer, Kuba Wieczorek and Felix Lobkovich
Based in: London
Raised: £13.9m in October 2016
Investors: Led by Woodford Investment Management

They said:

Jas Bagniewski, CEO and co-founder of eve Sleep:“Closing our third funding round at almost £14m is a testament to the tireless work of the whole team here, the quality of our product and relevance of our proposition and the transformational effects on happiness, health and productivity to be found from a good night’s sleep.

“Consumers and investors alike are backing our vision and we are pleased to welcome Paul to the board and his guidance, experience and support will be crucial in delivering our ambitious growth plans.”

Seven months after this multi-million pound round, eve – named the top new business in the Startups 100 2017 index – announced its IPO on the Alternative Investment Market. The IPO gave it a market valuation of £140m! 

Starship Technologies: £14.3m

Company: Starship Technologies
Description: Delivery robots
Founder: Ahti Heinla
Based in: London
Raised: £14.3m in January 2017
Investors: Daimler AG, Shasta Ventures, Matrix Partners, ZX Ventures, Morpheus Ventures, Grishin Robotics, Playfair Capital 

They said:

Ahti Heinla, Starship CEO: “Starship is reinventing the last mile transportation process, allowing convenient and sustainable robotic delivery.

Cambridge Epigenetix: £14.5m


Company: Cambridge Epigenetix (CEGX)
Description: DNA modification analysis tools
Founders: Bobby Yerramilli-Rao, Shankar Balasubramian
Based in: Cambridge
Raised: £14.5m in March 2016
Investors: GV, Sequoia Capital, New Science Ventures, Syncona Partners, Cambridge University

They said:

Dr. Yerramilli-Rao, co-founder of CEGX: “CEGX’s mission is to promote better health through continuous measurement of the epigenome. CEGX’s novel technologies are allowing scientists to begin unlocking the tremendous potential of epigenetics.”

Tom Hulme, GV general partner: “Cambridge Epigenetix is one of the few teams on the planet with the skills and experience to break new ground here, and we look forward to supporting them on that journey.”

Bboxx: £15m

Company: Bboxx
Description: Solar energy
Founders: Mansoor Hamayun
Based in: London
Raised: £15m in September 2016
Investors: Engie, MacKinnon, Bennet & Company, KawiSafi Ventures

They said:

Mansoor Hamayun, CEO of Bboxx: “We want to provide the on-grid experience in the off-grid world. We’re as much an appliance business as we are an electric business.”

Laure Vincotte, managing director of Engie Rassembleurs d’Energies: “We are excited about the growth potential for the African off-grid solar market and delighted with Bboxx’s rapid development.”

Property Partner: £15.9m

Company: Property Partner
Description: Property crowdfunding site
Founders: Daniel Gandesha
Based in: London
Raised: £15.9m in March 2016
Investors: Octopus Ventures, Index Ventures, Dawn Capital, Silicon Valley Bank

They said:

Daniel Gandesha: “This significant investment is a huge vote of confidence in our business model, and our vision for making the property market better for everyone. These funds will help propel us towards our ultimate goal – that of being a global stock exchange for property.”

Jo Oliver, Octopus Ventures: “The £5.75 trillion UK property market, with the exception of pioneers such as Zoopla, has been slow to embrace technology.

Job Today: £15.9m

Company: Job Today
Description: Hospitality and retail job marketplace
Founders: Eugene Mizin and Polina Montano
Based in: London
Raised: £15.9m in November 2016
Investors: Flint Capital, Channel 4, German Media Pool VC, Atresmedia

They said:

Eugene Mizin, Job Today’s CEO: “We believe that as someone looking for a job, you're better off speaking with a prospective employer directly and that’s exactly what Job Today enables you to do in a matter of minutes.”

Andrew Gershfeld, partner at Flint Capital: “Job Today is solving a vital problem for millions of people, matching job seekers with employers in 24 hours. We’re thrilled to partner with Job Today and to support the company’s ambitious vision.”

YOPA: £16m

Company: YOPA
Description: Property technology platform
Founders: Daniel Attia, Andrew Barclay, Alistair Barclay, Pradeep Tagare, David Jacobs
Based in: London
Raised: £16m in June 2016
Investors: Grosvenor Hill Ventures (the investment arm of Savills plc)

They said:

Daniel Attia, CEO of YOPA: “We are immensely proud to have received investment from such a well established company. Savills is the UK’s leading brand in property services with substantial global operations and is known for its entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to innovation.

Jeremy Helsby, Savills Group CEO: “This investment broadens the group’s access to the UK residential sector by enabling us to take an interest in the high volume segment of the market, comprising over one million transactions annually, to which Savills has had little exposure to date.”

YOPA: £16m

Company: YOPA
Description: Property technology platform
Founders: Daniel Attia, Andrew Barclay, Alistair Barclay, Pradeep Tagare, David Jacobs
Based in: London
Raised: £16m in May 2016
Investors: Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), Grosvenor Hill Ventures (the investment arm of Savills plc)

They said:

Daniel Attia, CEO of YOPA: “Having two industry giants backing our vision is not only a testament to our model of estate agency, but to the team at YOPA who are the driving force behind the business.”

Paul Zwillenberg, CEO of DMGT: “We have been impressed by YOPA, which has quickly established itself as a key player in a new market that has exciting growth potential, and look forward to seeing the progress of the team’s expansion plans.”

Culture Trip: £16.3m

Company: Culture Trip
Description: Cultural media technology
Founders: Dr. Kris Naudts
Based in: London
Raised: £16.3m in October 2016
Investors: The PFF Group

They said:

Dr. Kris Naudts, founder of Culture Trip: “This investment will enable us to further this technology, and also expand our presence in new hubs around the world, to continue to develop our content offering.”

Ladislav Chvatal, chief officer for strategic projects of PPF Group: “The company is taking a non-traditional approach to delivering cultural information, all while integrating some of today’s leading technologies.”

LendInvest: £17m

Company: LendInvest
Description: Peer-two-peer
Founders: Christian Faes and Ian Thomas
Based in: London
Raised: £17m in May 2016
Investors: Atomico

They said:

Christian Faes, co-founder: “To receive this backing from Atomico is an awesome opportunity for LendInvest. We have only scratched the surface of how technology will make mortgages a better, faster and more transparent consumer experience for borrowers and investors.”

Mattias Ljungman, Atomico: “LendInvest is a great example of what can be achieved through fintech technology, opening up the world of lending and mortgages to a new generation of tech savvy consumers.

Velocity: £17m

Company: Velocity
Description: Lifestyle app
Founders: Alex Macdonald and Zia Yusuf
Based in: London
Raised: £17m in August 2016
Investors: DIG Investments, Barry Sternlicht

They said:

 Alex Macdonald, chairman of Velocity: “Unlike years past when luxury goods dominated the market, affluent consumers are now spending approximately the same amount on upscale hospitality experiences.

“As a result of our Series B financing, we now have the resources we need to keep Velocity at the forefront of this movement.”

Bynder: £17.2m

Company: Bynder
Description: Branding automation
Founders: Chris Hall
Based in: London
Raised: £17.2m in August 2016
Investors: Insight Venture Partners

They said:

Chris Hall, CEO of Bynder: “What Salesforce did for sales tech, Bynder can do for brands. The cloud is allowing marketers to work faster and smarter, freeing up time for creative and strategic initiatives instead of repetitive administrative tasks.”

Jeff Horing, managing director at Insight Venture Partners: “We share their vision for comprehensive brand management technology that enables teams to seamlessly communicate as they create content. We are pleased to partner with Bynder’s executive leadership team in this new phase of growth.”

CompareEuropeGroup: £17.3m

Company: CompareEuropeGroup
Description: Financial management platform
Founders: Antonio Gagliardi, Thomas Munk and Mads Faurholt-Jorgensen
Based in: London
Raised: £17.3m in January 2017
Investors: ACE & Company, Pacific Century Group, Nova Founders Capital, SBI Holdings (formerly Softbank Investments), Mark Pincus, Peter Thiel

They said:

Thomas Munk, chief marketing officer of CompareEuropeGroup: “Today, consumers are forced to either spend an incredible amount of time to collect the product information from many sites or branches, or rely on the advice of agents and brokers whose incentives are often misaligned with theirs. That’s simply not acceptable in 2017.”

Blis: £17.5m

Company: Blis
Description: Location data tech
Founder: Greg Isbister
Based in: London
Raised: £17.5m in April 2016
Investors: Endeit Capital, Beringea US and Unilever Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank

They said:

Greg Isbister, founder and CEO of Blis: “We firmly believe that location technology is the future of digital advertising and we’re delighted to have received significant funding to support our expansion.”

Rob Hodgkinson, investment director of Beringea: ” We have long been excited about the potential for Blis since we originally invested in 2008 and are absolutely delighted to continue to support Greg and the team for this next phase of growth.”

Onfido: £17.6m

Company: Onfido
Description: Identity identification services
Founders: Husayn Kassai, Eamon Jubbawy and Ruhul Amin
Based in: London
Raised: £17.6m in April 2016
Investors: Wellington Partners, Idinvest Partners, and Crunchfund

They said:

Onfido CEO Kassai: “[Our] model has made Onfido the leading European provider of background checks to the FinTech and Sharing Economy and its ambition is now to bring this to the world.”

Matthieu Baret, partner at Idinvest Partners: “Onfido solves a fundamental problem for the digital economy: How do I know somebody is who they claim to be, and can I trust them?”

TransferWise: £18m

Company: TransferWise
Description: Money transfer service
Founders: Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann
Based in: London
Raised: £18m in May 2016
Investors: Baillie Gifford

They said:

Nilan Peiris, TransferWise’s vice president of growth: “We’ve listened to what businesses want, and created a tailored, easy-to-use product for businesses with fast registration, easy reporting and dedicated business customer support teams.”

PragmatIC: £18m

Company: PragmatIC
Description: Integrated electronics circuits
Founders: Scott White
Based in: Cambridge
Raised: £18m in October 2016
Investors: Avery Dennison, ARM and healthcare investor Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC)

They said:

Scott White, CEO of PragmatIC: “The funding provides full support for our next stage of evolution, moving from pilot scale production to enable volume manufacturing with the FlexLogIC equipment.”

Victor Christou, CEO of CIC: “This funding allows PragmatIC to deliver into the market a tool for producing flexible integrated circuits at an unprecedentedly low unit price point. We believe this is an important step forward to commercially affordable smart packaging.”

Praetura: £18m

Company: Praetura
Description: Alternative finance platform
Founder: Mike Hartley
Based in: Manchester
Raised: £18m in September 2016
Investors: British Business Bank

They said:

Mike Hartley, managing director of Praetura Asset Finance: “We are continuously looking for opportunities to further our capabilities and are delighted to be partnering with British Business Bank Investments Ltd.”

Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Business Bank Investments, said: “We are keen to support the growing demand for this type of finance and are pleased to be making this investment in Praetura Asset Finance.”

ROLI: £18.6m

Company: ROLI
Description: Music technology
Founder: Roland Lamb
Based in: London
Raised: £18.6m in May 2016
Investors: Business Growth Fund (BGF), Founders Fund

They said:

Roland Lamb, founder and CEO of ROLI: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with some of the world’s most experienced investors as we revolutionize how people express themselves through music.”

Ryan McIntyre, partner at Foundry Group: “We’re tremendously excited to be working with Roland and the ROLI team to transform and connect how people make music. The Seaboard is a truly expressive new instrument, and we believe this is just the first step in a breakthrough road-map for connected music.”

Monzo: £19.5m

Company: Monzo
Description: Smartphone-based bank
Founders: Tom Blomfield, Jonas Huckestein, Jason Bates, Paul Rippon and Gary Dolman
Based in: London
Raised: £19.5m in February 2017
Investors: Thrive Capital, Orange Digital Ventures, Passion Capital

They said:

Miles Grimshaw, Thrive Capital: “Building a modern banking experience from front to back is an incredible challenge and we haven’t met a better team to take it on.”

Sertec: £20m

Company: Sertec
Description: Car parts manufacturer
Founders: The Mosedale family
Based in: Birmingham
Raised: £20m in February 2016
Investors: Business Growth Fund (BGF), Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking

They said:

Grant Adams, CEO of Sertec: “Bringing the BGF on board compliments the strong partnership we have enjoyed with Lloyds Bank for over 50 years and allows us additional flexibility for our ambitious growth plans. The combination provides a well balanced source of support and funding, both now and in the future.”

Ian Downing, BGF: “Sertec is an established and highly regarded Midlands-based business. We are delighted to be supporting the company as it moves to its next stage of growth.”

Currencycloud: £20m

Company: Currencycloud
Description: International money transfer
Founder: Nigel Verdon
Based in: London
Raised: £20m in March 2017
Investors: GV, Notion Capital, Sapphire Ventures, Rakuten FinTech Fund, Anthemis

They said:

Mike Laven, CEO of Currencycloud: “Currencycloud provides a set of multi-currency payment and conversion tools that are helping hundreds of companies globalise fast. We are seeing massive and increasing demand for these services, with volumes growing over 150% last year.”

Tom Hulme, GV general partner: “Currencycloud is the leader in providing cross-border payment services in this manner, a real need as companies globalise.”

Quiqup: £20m

Company: Quiqup
Description: Logistics services
Founders: Bassel El-Koussa, Federico Ferraro, Danny Hawkins , Rami Idriss and Tim Linssen
Based in: London
Raised: £20m in May 2017
Investors: JOBI Capital, Transmed

They said:

Bassel El Koussa, Quiqup’s CEO: “Today’s investment brings us one step closer to our goal of bringing on-demand delivery to the mass market, and we’re thrilled to have JOBI and Transmed join us on this venture, as well as to have the continued support of our existing investors.”

Bilal Mekkaoui, managing partner at JOBI Capital: “Quiqup has developed an exceptional portfolio of on-demand delivery products, and has already implemented its last-mile logistics offering very successfully across a wide range of retail sectors.


Description: Internet-of-Things (IoT) smart products platform
Founders: Niall Murphy, Andy Hobsbawm, Dominique Guinard, Vlad Trifa
Based in: London
Raised: £20m in March 2017
Investors: Sway Ventures, Generation Ventures Bloc Ventures, Cisco Investments, Samsung, BHLP, Atomico, Dawn Capital, Advance Vixeid Partners

They said:

Niall Murphy, CEO of EVRYTHNG: “We are pleased to be working with world-class investors and enterprise partners to realise our vision of ‘Every Thing Connected’ as the trillions of products made and sold across the world become instrumented and a part of the digital ecosystem.”

Brian Nugent, founding general partner at Sway Ventures: “We are excited to be supporting the company’s growth and realisation of its vision, which is both category-defining and playing a critical role in the digital transformation of the consumer product brand market.”

NewVoiceMedia: £21m

Company: NewVoiceMedia
Description: Cloud-based specialist
Founders: Ashley Unitt and Richard Pickering
Based in: London
Raised: £21m in January 2016
Investors: BGF Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Eden Ventures, Highland Capital Partners Europe, Salesforce Ventures, Technology Crossover Ventures

They said:

Jonathan Gale, NewVoiceMedia CEO: “We are delighted to join BGF Ventures’ portfolio. The additional capital from Salesforce Ventures reinforces our position within the Salesforce ecosystem and gives us access to the most experienced and innovative cloud executives, ecosystem and customers to ensure we maintain our impressive growth rate.”

Rory Stirling BGF Ventures: “NewVoiceMedia’s platform allows organisations to transform the way they engage and interact with their customers, making communication more personal and valuable. I’ve known Gale and his team for several years and we couldn’t be more excited to be backing them.”

Notonthehighstreet.com: £21m

Company: Notonthehighstreet.com (NOTHS)
Description: Online marketplace for independent retailers
Founders: Sophie Cornish MBE and Holly Tucker MBE
Based in: London
Raised: £21m in August 2016
Investors: Hubert Burda Media, Index Ventures, Industry Ventures, Eight Roads Ventures

They said:

Simon Belsham, CEO of NOTHS: “Notonthehighstreet.com was born out of the belief that customers want products that are more thoughtful, unique and personal and that, through technology, we could connect thousands of independent businesses – the makers of these great products – with customers around the world.”

Martin Weiss, managing director at Burda Principal Investments: “We see significant growth potential for this unique business, both in and outside the UK, making it an obvious partner for us as we continue to grow our portfolio of consumer and technology brands internationally.”

Condeco: £23m

Company: Condeco
Description: Workplace management software provider
Founder: Paul Statham
Based in: London
Raised: £23m in June 2016
Investors: Highland Europe 

They said:

Paul Statham, founder: “This investment comes at the perfect time for Condeco, as it will fuel our growth as we pursue further strategic acquisitions across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. We will also invest in our solutions for the vitally important small business market.”

Laurence Garrett, partner at Highland Europe: “In Condeco, we are teaming up with an established, proven business, whose success is matched by their hunger and vision for innovation and further market development.”

Pulmocide: £24.5m

Company: Pulmocide
Description: Biotechnology
Founders: Garth Rapeport and Pete Strong
Based in: London
Raised: £24.5m in March 2017
Investors: SV Life Sciences, Johnson & Johnson

They said:

Garth Rapeport, CEO of Pulmocide: “We are delighted by the interest we’ve received in this round and would like to thank our new and existing shareholders for their support and continued commitment to Pulmocide.”

Matthew Foy, partner at SR One: “SR One is excited to be joining such a strong syndicate of investors to support Pulmocide as it progresses both programmes towards clinical proof of concept.”

Graphcore: £24.6m

Company: Graphcore
Description: Computer chip
Founders: Simon Knowles and Nigel Toon
Based in: Bristol
Raised: £24.6m in October 2016
Investors: Bosch, Samsung, Amadeus Capital, C4 Ventures, Draper Espirit, Foundation Capital, Pitango Capital

They said:

Nigel Toon, CEO of Graphcore: ““The IPU is the first system specifically designed for machine intelligence.”

Dr Hongquan Jiang, partner at Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH: “Graphcore has a unique technology that has massive potential in the fast emerging market for deep learning.”

Gilo Industries: £24.9m

Company: Gilo Industries
Description: Aerospace technology
Founders: Gilo Cardozo
Based in: Dorset
Raised: £24.9m in January 2017
Investors: Kuang-Chi Group

They said:

Gilo Cardozo, chief technology officer of Gilo: “The support from Kuang-Chi is exactly what we need to continue to expand our production capabilities and embrace exciting new manufacturing technologies to help us grow and succeed in the global marketplace.”

Dr. Ruopeng Liu, chairman of Kuang-Chi: “We are delighted to make our first UK investment in Gilo, which we hope to be the first of many investments in the coming years.”

LoveCrafts: £26m

Company: LoveCrafts
Description: Online craft communities
Founders: Edward Griffith, Nigel Whiteoak and Cherry Freeman
Based in: London
Raised: £26m in April 2017
Investors: Scottish Equity Partners (SEP), Balderton, Highland Europe

They said:

Edward Griffith, co-founder of LoveCrafts: “It’s always been our goal to connect makers, designers and creatives across the world in a social and accessible way, and this investment will help us to do this in more markets, with greater scale and better tools.”

Stuart Paterson, partner at SEP: “Crafting is the world’s largest hobby. LoveCrafts has built an impressive, scalable, digital community-based platform targeting an international market worth $100 billion per annum.”

BillFront: £27.8m

Company: BillFront
Description: Digital media
Founders: Gregor Dimitriou and Christopher Vogt
Based in: London
Raised: £27.8m in December 2016
Investors: 4finance, NIBC Bank, FinLeap

They said:

Christopher Vogt, BillFront co-founder: “There is a clear need for growth capital within advertising technology (adtech), and our solution provides an attractive alternative to expensive equity capital on one hand, and often inflexible debt financings on the other.

Thom Rasser, CEO of NIBC Bank Deutschlands: “BillFront’s expertise within the fast growing adtech market, combined with their excellent tech-enabled risk methodology, convinced us to start a partnership with an international fintech for the first time.”

Atlas Genetics: £28m

Company: Atlas Genetics
Description: Health technology
Founder: John Clarkson
Based in: Bath
Raised: £28m in January 2017
Investors: RMI Partners, Novartis Venture Funds, Consort Medical plc, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, LSP, BB Biotech Ventures, the South West Ventures Fund, Wondfo Biotech

They said:

Dr John Clarkson, CEO of Atlas Genetics: “We have continued to make excellent progress and are delighted to have raised significant funds to allow us to complete clinical trials, registration and launch in Europe and the US launch of our flagship product […]. 

Qubit: £28.2m

Company: Qubit
Description: Data analytics
Founders: Graham Cooke, Daniel Shellard and Ian McCaig
Based in: London
Raised: £28.2m in February 2016
Investors: Goldman Sachs, Sapphire Ventures, Accel, Salesforce Ventures

They said:

Graham Cooke, co-founder: “Our investors will see that Qubit continues to benefit from a long-term commitment to a sustainable business model in a rapidly growing market.”

David Reis, head of technology at Goldman Sachs: “Qubit saw early how powerful a lever customer experience is going to be for businesses and built an infrastructure that starts with the data and allows its clients to engage with their customers based on a richer and deeper understanding of their behaviours and needs.”

Nutmeg: £30m

Company: Nutmeg
Description: Online investment manager
Founders: Nick Hungerford
Based in: London
Raised: £30m in November 2016
Investors: Convoy 

They said:

Martin Stead, CEO of Nutmeg: “This investment cements our position as Europe’s leading digital wealth manager. We are delighted to welcome our friends at Convoy to our board.

Howard Palmer, corporate technology partner at Taylor Wessing: “We are delighted for Nutmeg on the outcome of this investment, which will further position them as an ambitious and innovative player in the competitive wealth management industry.”

WorldRemit: £30.9m

Company: WorldRemit
Description: Money transfer
Founder: Ismail Ahmed
Based in: London
Raised: £30.9m in February 2016
Investors: TriplePoint Venture Growth BDC Corp and Silicon Valley Bank

They said:

Ismail Ahmed, WorldRemit founder: “We want to give people the power to share money anytime, anywhere. WorldRemit will continue to build partnerships with mobile money services, banks and payout networks around the world so that our service becomes universal.”

Sajal Srivastava, TriplePoint Venture Growth BDC Corp. president: “It is exciting to be involved with a service that delivers real benefits to people around the world while demonstrating impressive business growth. WorldRemit represents what the fintech revolution has to offer: – innovation, empowerment to individuals and new opportunities to the financial services industry.”

StarLeaf: £31m

Company: StarLeaf
Description: Video conferencing
Founders: William MacDonald, Mark Loney, and Mark Richer
Based in: Cambridge
Raised: £31m in May 2017
Investors: Highland Europe and Grafton Capital

They said:

Mark Loney, StarLeaf’s CEO: “This new funding will take us through our investment phase and give us the working capital we need to reach our potential in markets around the world.”

Laurence Garrett, partner at Highland Europe: “I am so thrilled to be investing in StarLeaf today as I have followed Richer and the team for 12 years and have been a StarLeaf customer since 2013.”

Zopa: £32m

Company: Zopa
Description: Peer-to-peer lender
Founders: Tim Parlett, James Alexander, Giles Andrews, Richard Duvall, David Nicholson
Based in: London
Raised: £32m in June 2017
Investors: Wadhawan Global Capital Pvt Ltd, Northzone

They said:

Jaidev Janardana, Zopa CEO: “This investment gives us additional resources to continue our growth, support the launch of our next generation bank, and bring our award-winning products to even more people in the UK.”

HighQ: £35m

Company: HighQ
Description: Software-as-a-Service provider
Founders: Ajay Patel, Amit Patel, Stuart Barr and Saviz Izadpanah
Based in: London
Raised: £35m in January 2016
Investors: One Peak Partners, Morgan Stanley Merchant Banking, Goldman Sachs Private Capital

They said:

Ajay Patel, CEO of HighQ: “This is a significant milestone in HighQ’s history and the beginning of an exciting new era for the company.

Humbert de Liedekerke and David Klein, co-founders and managing partners of One Peak: “We look forward to building on the considerable success already achieved by the management team, and to supporting HighQ in its next phase of growth.”

Blippar: £38m

Company: Blippar
Description: Augmented reality app
Founders: Ambarish Mitra, Omar Tayeb and Steve Spencer
Based in: London
Raised: £38m in March 2016
Investors: The strategic investment arm of the government of Malaysia; Khazanah Nasional Berhad

They said:

Ambarish Mitra, CEO of Blippar: “We’ll not only expand our breadth and depth as a business – across our team, technology capabilities and product offerings – but also reach new heights with our vision to become a true visual discovery engine for the physical world.”

Citymapper: £40m

Company: Citymapper
Description: Public transport app
Founder: Azmat Usuf
Based in: London
Raised: £40m in January 2016
Investors: Index Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Michael Lynton, Yuri Milner, Tom Stafford

They said:

Citymapper: “We believe smartphones and city data change how city dwellers get access to knowledge when and where they need it, and interact with their cities. Also.. now we can stock up the fridge.. and buy some robots.”

LendInvest: £40m

Company: LendInvest
Description: Online property finance
Founders: Christian Faes and Ian Thomas
Based in: London
Raised: £40m in April 2016
Investors: Macquarie

They said:

Christian Faes, CEO of LendInvest: “We look forward to working with the Macquarie team as we expand our product range with longer term loans that are attractive to them and other capital markets investors.”

Student.com: £41.5m

Company: Student.com
Description: Student accommodation booking platform
Founder: Luke Nolan  
Based in: London
Raised: £41.5m in February 2016
Investors: VY Capital, Spotify founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, Horizon Ventures, Expa

They said:

Luke Nolan, CEO of Student.com: “This round of funding, and what we’ve got in store for Student.com over the next few years, should enable us to help millions of students have the best possible study abroad experience.”

Alexander Tamas of VY Capital, said: “Student.com has built a platform that will truly revolutionise this market by bringing choice, access and a high-quality living experience to students around the world.”

MarketInvoice: £45m

Company: MarketInvoice
Description: Peer-to-peer lender
Founders: Charles Delingpole and Anil Stocker
Based in: London
Raised: £45m in May 2017
Investors: Banco BNI Europa

They said:

Anil Stocker, CEO of MarketInvoice: “This new commitment from BNI is further proof of our ability to provide finance to high growth businesses across the country, we’re excited by their support of our mission.”

Pedro Coelho, executive chairman of Banco BNI Europa: “MarketInvoice has consistently delivered these values over the years. The MarketInvoice Pro service is now a further means to build on our relationship as it provides a longer-term arrangement.”

iwoca: £46m

Company: iwoca
Description: Small business lender
Founders: Christoph Rieche and James Dear
Based in: London
Raised: £46m in October 2016
Investors: Prime Ventures, Shawbrook Bank

They said:

Christoph Rieche, co-founder and CEO of iwoca: “We’ve already been able to support 7,000 small businesses but we aim to finance at least a million customers over the next decade. This investment gives us the firepower we need to achieve our mission.”

Sake Bosch, managing partner at Prime Ventures: “We invest in growing firms with the objective of making leaders out of them. iwoca has tremendous potential to overtake traditional banking models and scale-up to become the European market leader.”

Starling Bank: £48m

Company: Starling Bank
Description: App-only bank
Founders: Anne Boden
Based in: London
Raised: £48m in April 2017
Investors: Harald McPike

They said:

Speaking about the deal to Business Insider, Boden said: “We’re now able to move forward with our mission, to provide a step change in banking and help more people to have a healthy financial life.”

Darktrace: £49.3m

Company: Darktrace
Description: Cyber security specialist
Founder: Nicole Eagen
Based in: Cambridge
Raised: £49.3m in July 2016
Investors: KKR, Summit Partners, TenEleven Ventures, SoftBank

Timico: £50m

Company: Timico
Description: Cloud service provider
Founder: Tim Radford
Based in: Newark-on-Trent
Raised: £50m in February 2017
Investors: Lyceum Capital

They said:

Ben Marnham, CEO of Timico: “I am delighted we can now realise our plan to enrich our proposition and service portfolio so we can better serve our clients’ needs and fulfil our ambition to become a market-leading, end-to-end provider of IT and cloud solutions.”

Simon Hitchcock, Lyceum Capital: “Timico is led by a highly capable and impressive team, with a very well-defined strategy to take the business to the next stage in its development as a managed cloud service provider.”

Hired.com: £56.4m

Company: Hired.com
Description: Online engineering talent marketplace
Founders: Mehul Patel, Matt Mickiewicz, Douglas Feirstein and Allan Grant
Based in: London
Raised: £56.4m in November 2016
Investors: Ontario Pension Board, Glenmede Trust

They said:

Mehul Patel, CEO of Hired: “The financial resources from this Series C round will allow us to continue to invest in new technologies, enhance our data science capabilities, and continue to build an outstanding global team that will enable us to keep growing.”

Babylon: £61m

Company: Babylon
Description: Digital healthcare
Founders: Ali Parsa
Based in: London in January 2016 and April 2017
Raised: £61m across two rounds (a £17.3m Series D round and a £46.7m Series E round)
Investors: AB Kinnevik, Innocent Drinks, Google’s DeepMind, Hoxton Ventures, undisclosed investors

Ali Parsa, CEO of Babylon: “The potentials of digital health have come a long way since we launched Babylon. We can now do much more than just connecting a patient to a doctor on their mobile. We are building a platform that can significantly augment clinicians’ reach, accuracy, analytical powers and scalability.

Chris Bischoff, senior investment director of Kinnevik, added:

“We have been impressed by the initial success of Babylon and look forward to building a global leader in digital healthcare over the long-term.”

Anaplan: £62.4m

Company: Anaplan
Description: Business planning platform
Based in: Yorkshire (since moved to Silicon Valley)
Raised: £62.4m in January 2016
Investors: Premji Invest, Baillie Gifford, Founders Circle Capital, Harmony Partners, Brookside Capital, Coatue Management, DFJ Growth, Granite Ventures, Meritech Capital Partners, Salesforce, Sands Capital Management, Shasta Venture

They said:

Fred Laluyaux, Anaplan president and CEO: “We are thrilled to welcome our new investors and Budge to the company. With Budge’s tremendous track record we now have an outstanding finance executive on our team to guide our continued growth.”

Farfetch: £75.9m

Company: Farfetch
Description: Fashion technology 
Founder: Jose Neves
Based in: London
Raised: £75.9m in May 2016
Investors: Temesex, IDG Capital Partners, Eurazeo, Vitruvian Partners

Just this week (26 June), Farfetch closed a whopping $397m round from China's second largest e-commerce business.

Founder Neves said: “This partnership addresses the market’s challenges by combining the Farfetch brand and curation with the scale and influence of the foremost Chinese e-commerce giant.

Atom Bank: £83m

Company: Atom Bank
Description: Mobile-only bank
Founder: Anthony Thomson
Based in: Durham
Raised: £83m in March 2017
Investors: BBVA, Woodford Investment Management, Toscafund Asset Management

They said:

Anthony Thomson, chairman of Atom: “We are very pleased with the response we have had from investors. Our customers benefit from the backing of highly reputable investors who are supportive of what we are doing.

BrewDog: £100m

Company: BrewDog
Description: Craft beer
Founders: James Watt and Martin Dickie
Based in: Aberdeenshire
Raised: £100m in April 2017
Investors: TSG Consumer Partners

They said:

James Watt, CEO of BrewDog: “All of these projects are immediate opportunities and they all link completely back into our core mission of making other people as passionate about great craft beer as we are.

“This deal will enable us to take our business, and our community’s investment in BrewDog, to the next level.”

Future Finance: £119m

Company: Future Finance
Description: Student loans business
Founders: Vishal Garg, Brian Norton
Based in: Dublin
Raised: £119m in March 2016
Investors: QED Investors, Blackstone Strategic Opportunity Fund, Colchis Capital, Invus Opportunities, KCK, DW Partners, Fenway Summer Ventures, Ridge Road Partners, 1/0 Capital

They said:

Brian Norton, chief executive of Future Finance: “We are delighted to have the support of such experienced investors in high-growth financial technology (fintech) companies like Future Finance whose insights will be invaluable as we look to expand into new products and geographies.”

Nigel Morris, managing partner of QED Investors: “We are very impressed with Norton and his team and see enormous potential for the business in what is still a nascent market for student finance in the UK.”

Funding Circle: £120m

Company: Funding Circle
Description: Peer-to-peer lender
Founders: Andrew Mullinger, Samir Desai, and James Meekings
Based in: London
Raised: £120m over two rounds (£40m and £80m) in January 2017
Investors: The UK government, 
Accel, Funding Circle, Baillie Gifford, DST Global, Index Ventures, Temasek

They said:

Philip Hammond, chancellor of the exchequer: “This is another vote of confidence in a UK firm that plays an important role in our economy – helping businesses to grow and create jobs.”

Deliveroo: £210.4m

Company: Deliveroo
Description: Restaurant meal delivery
Founders: Will Shu and Greg Orlowski (Orlowski has since exited the company)
Based in: London
Raised: £210.4m in August 2016
Investors: Bridgepoint, DST Global, General Catalyst, Greenoaks Capital

They said:

Will Shu, CEO of Deliveroo: “After seeing strong growth in the markets we launched in November, our new focus is to drive further innovation in food delivery.

“In particular, I’m excited about exploring completely new ways to solve the hardest problems restaurants face when offering delivery.”

Improbable: £389m

Company: Improbable
Description: Virtual reality (VR)
Founders: Herman Narula and Rob Whitehead
Based in: London (originally a University of Cambridge spin-out)
Raised: £389m in May 2017
Investors: SoftBank

We finish our round-up of the largest funding rounds in UK businesses of the last 18 months with five-year-old VR start-up Improbable.

In May 2017, the business secured £389m which gave it unicorn status – a business valued at over $1bn – and will help it develop its cloud technology offering to create hyper realistic digital worlds.

The investment followed a $20m funding round in 2015 which was led by American venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz.

Key take-aways for start-ups and small businesses from our investment round-up:

  • Businesses based in London are more likely to secure large funding rounds, and attract high-profile investors.
  • Virtual reality, finance and lending, fashtech (fashion technology) and mobile banking are among the most popular investment sectors.
  • You don't have to look to UK investors for funding. Several of the businesses in this list have secured backing from investors in China, America, Sweden and more.
  • Innovative companies and those businesses disrupting an established industry are likely to bag the big money. Take a look at BrewDog, Atom Bank, and Deliveroo, for example.
  • But that doesn't mean your business USP has to be ‘sexy'. Investment management platforms like Nutmeg, money transfer services like WorldRemit, and risk management platforms like OpenGamma are all ‘unsexy businesses' yet investors have dug deep in their pockets to help them scale!


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