Deals of the Week 14 March to 18 March – a Growth Business round-up

A language-learning platform for refugees, a digital ‘smelling’ platform, and an AI start-up which helps employees work at peak performance make up this week’s deals of the week

Linktree clicks on another £76m funding round

Linktree, which helps brands and influencers drive Instagram clicks through to e-commerce websites, has raised another $110m (£76m) in fresh funding. This latest funding round values Linktree at $1.3bn, giving it “unicorn” status. Index Ventures and tech-focused investment manager Coatue led the round. The company said that it had reached 24 million users, ranging from companies including TikTok and Red Bull to celebrities such as Jamie Oliver, Joe Wicks and Ellie Goulding to sports teams including Manchester City.

Vira Health in the pink with £9m funding round

Vira Health has secured $12m (£9.2m) in funding to improve older women’s health through digital capabilities. The new funding will allow Vira Health to expand access to its menopause solutions and introduce new services such as telehealth and prescription medications. The funding was led by Octopus Ventures, with participation from Optum Ventures and existing investors.

VR tech start-up closes £2 million seed investment round

VR tech start-up RETiniZE has closed a £2m seed round led by Sure Valley Ventures, the first investment from its recently announced £95 million UK Software Fund. The Belfast-based company is developing a software product called Animotive that allows VR headset users to create their own 3D animated content in a virtual environment.

Other investors that participated include TechStart Ventures, VGC Partners, Clarendon/Co-fund NI and Emmy award-winning producers Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri.

Chatterbox talks up £1.5m pre-seed investment

Chatterbox, an online language-learning platform which helps refugees and others learn business English and other languages, has raised over £1.5m investment in a pre-seed round led by GMG Ventures. Co-founded by Afghan refugee Mursal Hedayat MBE, the start-up helps companies engage with people from marginalised talent pools to offer them employment.

Kernel Capital leads £1.5m investment into drug discovery spinout

Causeway Sensors, a spinout from Queens University Belfast (QUB), has raised £1.5m through Kernel Capital. The start-up has developed a sensor that can unlock key drug development data in real time, with the aim to reduce risk, improve decision making and enable new drugs to be brought to market faster.

The investment comprised of £1.3m from the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Fund NI plus £250,000 from existing university seed fund QUBIS.

OW Smell Digital raises £1m in seed funding

Spinout start-up OW Smell Digital from the University of Sussex and UCL, has raised £1m in seed funding to develop its digital tech for scent and smell.

Founded by two leading scientists, this digitally controlled system can be used across the VR and healthcare industries to control and deliver scents. The funding was led with investment from Parkwalk Advisors.

NeuroCreate gets £150,000 boost for productivity platform

NeuroCreate, a start-up which aims to help employees achieve peak performance through its AI-driven platform, has raised £150,000 of Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) funding from investors including Jenson Funding Partners. The platform helps employees to achieve the state of “flow” – where you feel capable of overcoming challenges and perform at peak productivity – by detecting flow states during your workday, profiling your unique productivity patterns and highlighting the best time of day for deep thinking.

More Deals of the Week

Deals of the Week Mar 7 to Mar 11 – a Growth Business round-up 

Deals of the Week Feb 28 to Mar 4 – a Growth Business round-up 

Dom Walbanke

Dom Walbanke

Dom is a feature writer for Growth Business and Small Business, focused on matters concerning start-ups and scale-ups. He has also been published in the Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and various lifestyle...