Deals of the Week 2 May to 6 May – a Growth Business round-up

Deals this week include a university spinout fighting rare diseases, a start-up tackling transport poverty and a fintech trying to bring crypto to the masses

iPro chasing £100m fundraise

Kent-based sports drink brand iPro wants to raise £100m through borrowing and selling a minority stake in its business. iPro, which expects revenues of £43m this year, has turned down three bids by private equity companies to buy the company. Chairman Sir Eric Peacock told the Times that it was “premature to sell a controlling interest … if you go down the PE route too early the dilution is huge”.

iPro has signed deals with more than 50 sports organisations to promote its brand, including the Scottish national rugby team and Crystal Palace football club, and signed a six-year sponsorship of the Parkrun 5km community races in October.

Oxford spinout secures £75m

OMass Therapeutics, an Oxford University med-tech spinout, has raised £75.5m in Series B funding. The spinout develops small molecule drugs to treat rare diseases and immunological conditions. OMass uses a drug discovery platform that it says can “more accurately interrogate the target and how it interacts with its native ecosystem”, which increases the chance of finding highly effective small molecule medicines.

Northpond Ventures and Sanofi Ventures led the round with participation from existing investors Syncona, Oxford Science Enterprises and Oxford University, bringing the total amount raised to £119m.

Banking platform provider banks £2.5m

SaaScada, a core banking platform provider, has raised £2.5m in seed funding from over 10 investors. SaaScada’s cloud native platform allows financial institutions, fintechs and challenger banks to create and launch innovative banking services quickly and at scale.

The platform also allows financial institutions to create their own ecosystems, bringing together existing and new suppliers in a fully integrated platform.

RideTandem pedals away with £1.75m investment

RideTandem, a mobility-as-a-service start-up providing affordable transport solutions for people unable to afford public transport, has raised £1.75m in seed funding. 1818 Venture Capital led the round, alongside Conduit Connect, Low Carbon Innovation Fund, several angels, and previous investors Ascension and Seedrs.

RideTandem works with taxi, minicab and coach companies to help staff share rides, who would otherwise be unable to work because of the cost, inconvenience, or lack of existing public transport options. The app-based platform operates outside of cities and urban centres.

The model is built on employers subsidising the cost of fares as an investment in broadening their talent pool.

Fintech cashes £1.6m to bring crypto to the masses  

Cheq, a fintech enabling easier cryptocurrency payments, raised £1.6m ($2m) in a pre-seed round led by Connect Ventures, with participation from Semantic Ventures, firstminute Capital and 30 angels.

The fintech aims to make crypto transactions easier by accepting stablecoins, which are tied to the US dollar through its platform, removing price volatility for both merchant and consumer. The platform also creates payment links that can be embedded on a website or shared on social media so customers can pay with crypto in a single click.

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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...

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Deals of the week