Finance Friday: Who raised funding this week? January 1-5

Just one week into the new year, start-ups and investors alike are picking up exactly where they left off. Read below for the first UK funding rounds of 2018

London fintech “revamping insurance for young people” raises £1m seed funding

Who: Urban Jungle
How much: £1m seed funding
Who are the investors: Led by Rob Devey, ex CEO of Prudential UK and HBOS insurance, the round included a range of angel investors
For what: Urban Jungle will use the fresh funds to launch several new products and further build its relationship with distribution partners
What they said:

Jimmy Williams, co-founder of Urban Jungle, said:

“This investment marks a big step towards our mission to build an insurance provider that customers love. Through 2017, we focused on building a business that our customers can rely on 100% when something goes wrong.

“In 2018 we’ll vastly increase the choice of products for our customers, and make all of our products even easier to use.”

AI-infused ‘expertise finder' ProFinda raises £4.8m

Who: London-based ProFinda, an AI-infused platform that helps businesses identify existing, but unidentified, skills among current employees  
How much: £4.8m
Who are the investors: Investors included Notion Capital, Nextlaw Ventures, and a range of angels
For what: The fresh injection of cash will help the start-up “change the way that organisations discover and tap into internal expertise and knowledge”
What they said:

Roger Gorman, CEO of ProFinda, said:

“Our work is helping to disrupt the future of work landscape. ProFinda’s latest investment puts us in a powerful position to continue to deliver our fast-paced and ambitious roadmap.”

Luxury resale service Cudoni raises £425,000 following 2017 re-launch

Who: Cudoni (previosuly called SellSprint)
How much: £425,000
Who are the investors: Investors included Startups Awards 2017 judge and CEO of Vita Coco EMEA Giles Brook, founder of Capital One and chairman of Octopus Investments Matt Cooper, global head of product at Exane BNP Paribas Paul Schneider, and Keith MacDonald, a partner at Ernst & Young, amongst others.
For what: To employ seven new members of staff
What they said:

James Harford-Tyrer, founder of Cudoni, said:

“This is a fantastic way to start 2018.

“Previously, our focus had remained predominantly on London, but with the help of this investment we will be able to expand the business nationwide, starting in my home town of Manchester, as well other major UK cities such as Cambridge, Oxford and Edinburgh.”

Online estate agents HouseSimple bags £20m to challenge the likes of PurpleBricks

Who: The UK’s second largest online estate agency HouseSimple
How much: £20m
Who are the investors: The funding round was led by existing investors Toscafund Asset Management and Freston Ventures, the private investment vehicle of Carphone Warehouse founder Sir Charles Dunstone and his business partner Roger Taylor. A number of high net worth individuals also participated
For what: To invest in developing its platform
What they said:

Alex Gosling, co-founder and CEO of HouseSimple, said:

“This latest funding is not just about capital and marketing investment, it is also sending a clear message of intent from our investors.

“As we move into new, larger offices in Colchester, it will help us continue rapid expansion and make 2018 our best year ever. We are focusing on our performance-driven, cost-effective and scalable online model.

“Whatever we do, our priority will always be on delivering the best results for our customers.”

Start-up that allows consumers earn money by selling excess energy raises £5.5m

Who: Manchester-based Upside Energy
How much: £5.5m
Who are the investors: Backers included Legal & General Capital and SYSTEMIQ
For what: The energy start-up says it will use the fresh injection of cash to drive recruitment and speed up the commercialisation and deployment of its cloud-based smart-grid platform.
What they said:

Dr Graham Oakes, co-founder of Upside Energy, said:

“This is the culmination of four years of hard work since we entered the Nesta Dynamic Demand Challenge, sponsored by National Grid back in 2013.

“We’ve taken Upside Energy’s cloud platform from a wild and speculative idea to a solid, innovative solution to help people harness the opportunities created by the confluence of two trends: the growth of renewable generation and the rise of smart devices.

“Our vision is to create a new, cleaner and more equitable, energy system.”

Insurtech app Dinghy, which offers flexible insurance for freelance professionals, raises $1.2m seed funding

Who: London-based insurtech Dinghy
How much: $1.2m seed funding (approx £886,000)
Who are the investors: The seed funding round was led by Balderton Capital, and also included participation from various industry angel investors, and insurance investment company ReSolution
For what: To aid its launch
What they said:

Rob Hartley, co-founder of Dinghy, said:

“Traditional insurance is a slow and tedious process, that is not designed for freelancers.

“Also, traditional insurers do not give freelancers the ability to change their insurance when they are not working, so freelancers either pay for coverage they don’t need, or worse, cancel their policy and throw away the insurance coverage they just paid for.

“We know that freelancers rely on their equipment to work, so we wanted a solution to meet their expectations of being served as quickly as possible,”