20VC signs on the Tripledot line
London-based Tripledot Studios, which makes smartphone games such as Wooduku, a woodblock-style puzzle, has raised $116m (£85m) in a round led by 20VC. The round gives the games developer “unicorn” status at a valuation of $1.4bn. 20VC is the venture capital firm that emerged from the podcast run by Harry Stebbings. Unusually for a fast-growing, venture capital-backed business, Tripledot is profitable, recording a pre-tax profit of $21.1m in its last financial year, up from $3.3m the previous year.
Tencent sees the First Light Fusion
First Light Fusion, an Oxford-based start-up working on nuclear fusion technology, has raised $45m (£33m) through investors including Chinese tech giant Tencent, IP Group and Oxford Science Enterprises. First Light Fusion is planning a “first-of-its-kind commercial fusion energy power plant”, which would offer a virtually limitless source of clean energy.
Plum Guide pulls out £23m Series B round
Plum Guide, which lists the world’s most desirable holiday homes, has extended its Series B funding round to raise a total of $31m (£23m). The investment builds on a £9m cash injection led by Beringea late last year. Existing investors Talis Capital, Hearst Ventures and LocalGlobe also participated. The travel guide curates the top 3 per cent of holiday homes at any destination using data, technology and reviews.
Gaia gives birth to £15m funding round
Gaia, a start-up aiming to broaden access to fertility treatment, has closed a £20m (£14.7m) funding round to help it expand in Britain and to launch in the USA. Atomico, the VC firm led by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom and whose previous investments include Klarna and Stripe, led the round. Gaia says that it has developed a new way to pay for fertility care based around a personalised insurance scheme with payment plans that can be spread over up to five years.
Netacea zeroes in on £9m Series A investment
Netacea, a cybersecurity firm which specialises in bot detection, has closed $12m (£9m) in Series A, its largest investment to date. As well as existing backer Mercia Asset Management, investors included angel investors who have worked for some of the biggest names in cybersecurity.
Lottie rates £2.5m investment round
Lottie, the first comparison website for elderly care, has raised £2.5m in a round led by early stage venture capital firm Kindred. The six-month-old start-up has raised £3m to date, giving it a £28m valuation. Lottie’s fresh injection of capital comes just days after American counterpart, A Place for Mom, announced a $175m funding round, led by Insight Partners, giving it a billion-dollar valuation. The UK elderly care sector comprises 12,500 care homes with a combined total of 480,000 registered beds.
Novus trebles crowdfunding target with £2m raise
UK challenger bank Novus has raised over $3m (£2.2m) through crowdfunding – beating its initial target of $1.2m by over 250 per cent. The “impact” banking app, co-founded by 27-year-old Hristian Nedyalkov, has raised $5m in total to date and is now onboarding users across Britain.
Electric Car Scheme charges up with £1m investment
The Electric Car Scheme, a salary sacrifice scheme which offers up to 60 per cent savings on any electric car lease, has raised £1m through Seedcamp and angel investors including Tom Blomfeld (Monzo), Henry do Zoete (Look After My Bills) and Samir Desai (Funding Circle). This new staff benefit is a Government tax incentive that saves employees between 30-60% on an electric car of their choice.