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23rd September 2019

Social media management platform Agorapulse secures £14.7m

Leading European social media management platform Agorapulse has announced a growth investment round of £14.7 million from three investors - Hi Inov Dentressangle, Cipio Partners and Entrepreneur Venture.

The company, headquartered in Paris, employs more than 65 highly skilled team members from all over the world and has rapidly grown a user base of over 22,500 users across 6,200 accounts to date. Agorapulse has been bootstrapped since its inception to achieve £9 million in ARR, with year-on-year growth exceeding 65%. Agorapulse marks one of the few European companies in the SMB sector that has excelled in the UK market. Agorapulse currently sees an annual UK revenue of  £500,000 and with this new investment Agorapulse plans to continue its expansion across the UK and Europe. 

23rd September 2019

Origin Capital invests in Cyclops Marine

Origin Capital has invested in Cyclops Marine, a specialist provider of load measurement instruments and technologies for sailing vessels. Cyclops has already secured several prestigious clients, not least the New Zealand America’s Cup team. Origin’s Mark Woodhams has joined the Cyclops board of directors.

23rd September 2019

Beauhurst Unicorns 2019: celebrating the UK's $1bn start ups

In a week that saw the announcement of CMR Surgical as the latest UK company to be valued at over $1b, there is hardly a more appropriate time to examine the state of the UK's unicorn herd. These companies, so named due to their coveted rarity (there are just 16 in the UK), are an exciting cohort to examine owing to the prospect of a multibillion dollar exit.

In this report, Beauhurst profiles the UK's billion dollar businesses, the fundraisings and investors that have supported them, and the founders leading them forward.

23rd September 2019

EdTech company Learning with Experts raisess £800k

Learning with Experts has just completed a latest funding round above target, raising £800k with an impressive group of High Net Worth (HNW) Angels. The investment followed an investor showcase pitch to The Oxford Opportunity Network (OION), at Rathbones. New investors joining this round via OION include Rupert Pennant-Rea, Learning with Expert’s New Chairman, former editor of The Economist and Deputy Governor of The Bank of England. 

CEO/Founder Elspeth Briscoe, formerly eBay, The Guardian, and ‘Skype Mafia’ explained: “The raise is enabling us to execute on our hiring plan, to scale our B to B, tech development and marketing teams and to hire new A list tutors for our consumer product.  We intend to drive the next education revolution beyond the MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), with our unique approach to community based, trusted, high quality, global interactive online learning.   MOOCs have 80% drop out rates.  Learning with Experts has 80% course completion rates.”

23rd September 2019

Ashfords LLP boosts tech team with partner promotion

Law firm Ashfords LLP has announced the promotion of IT and technology specialist Suzie Miles to its partnership, in the firm's Bristol office, in the latest round of internal promotions.

20th September 2019

GK8 raised $4 m seed funding led by Check Point

Israeli startup GK8, which provides secure end-to-end management of digital assets, has completed the development of a patented technology for sending transactions to the blockchain without any direct or indirect internet connection. GK8 is now emerging out of stealth mode having completed a seed funding round of $4 million, led by Check Point co-founder Marius Nachtand Israel Discount Capital, Israel Discount Bank Investments Arm, with the participation of investors such as the blockchain VC firm EdenBlock, iAngels, IDEAL-HLS, StratX and Israel Innovation Authority.

20th September 2019

87% of managers fail to acheive work life balance

The workplace is busier than ever before due to an ‘always-on’ culture that is leaving employees and managers with burnout. New research from global health service company Cigna reveals that 87% of managers admit to having their work phone on them outside of office hours and when on annual leave, setting an unhealthy precedent for staff. And holidays appear to be few and far between, with 62% of managers not taking their full annual leave – and over a third (37%) admitting to working whilst on holiday. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that Cigna’s annual global 360 Global Well-Being Survey revealed that 87% of workers feel stressed and 12% feel their stress is unmanageable.

20th September 2019

Red Sift announces $8.8m funding led by MMC

Red Sift, the cognitive data platform that provides cloud-based email security solutions, has closed a $8.8m investment round from research-led VC  MMC Ventures. New investor In-Q-Tel, Inc. (IQT) the US not-for-profit strategic investor, also invested alongside existing investors, White Star Capital and Oxford Capital. The news of the Series A funding comes as Red Sift plans to expand into the US and makes its latest product, OnINBOX, publicly available.

Founded in 2015 by Rahul Powar and Randal Pinto, Red Sift is a data-driven cybersecurity business that uses machine learning to analyse and synthesise data from core business processes, such as email, to help its global customer base better manage its online security. 

20th September 2019

British Business Investments provides £25m line to NW asset finance provider Kingsway

British Business Investments (BBI), a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, has announced a new £25m commitment to Cheshire-based asset finance specialist and alternative lender, Kingsway Finance Ltd.

The commitment is a revolving credit facility provided through BBI’s Investment Programme, which is designed to increase the supply and diversity of finance for smaller businesses by boosting the lending capacity of challenger banks and non-bank lenders.

The facility will be used to support Kingsway’s growth plans for the provision of lease finance, commercial loans and professions loans to smaller businesses across the UK.

20th September 2019

Triple Point launches new top-up offer on Triple Point VCT 2011

Triple Point, a leading UK alternative investment manager, today announced a top-up of its Venture Fund, a share class in the successful Triple Point VCT 2011 plc. The fund seeks to raise a further £10 million with an overallotment facility of an additional £10 million.

As Triple Point’s 20th VCT fundraise to date, this share class targets income and capital growth by drawing on its distinctive ‘Challenge-Led’ approach; driving returns for investors while looking to mitigate the risks of traditional venture capital investing.

19th September 2019

Environmental fund manager Earthworm expands client services team

Customers are at the heart of most businesses. With that in mind, environmental fund manager Earthworm has made two key appointments in its client services team: Jenni Howard as Client Services Manager and Michael Thompson as Client Services Specialist.

19th September 2019

Negative economic outlook amongst UK institutional investors, research shows

Negative sentiment towards the economic outlook for the UK over the next 18 to 24 months amongst the UK investment community has increased sharply from 49% in 2018 to 67% in 2019, according to the annual Investment 360 Index by CIL, the leading management consultancy. The Index is based on research amongst private equity investors, business management teams, corporate debt providers and business advisors in the UK and has been running for three years.

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