Deals of the week July 2-9 – Growth Business roundup

Growth Business roundup of the Deals of the Week, July 2-9, listing every seed funding and venture capital deals of note.

OakNorth pours £2.6m for Red Oak Taverns

OakNorth Bank has arranged a loan worth £2.6m for Red Oak Taverns to help the pub operator keep serving through the coronavirus crisis.

The loan will ensure that the national pub operator has enough cash in case it requires emergency funds for any of the 180 pubs it runs. Red Oak Taverns has acquired 19 new locations since it became an OakNorth client in 2016.

OakNorth provides debt finance from £500,000 to £50m for fast-growth businesses, established property developers and investors.

OurPeople closes £1.6m in Series A funding

Bristol-based communications and engagement platform OurPeople has raised £1.6m in Series A investment, bringing its total amount raised to £2.4m.

The two lead investors are Alpine Meridian, an investment firm which specialises in digital media, e-commerce and healthcare, and entrepreneur Robert Neveu, who also joins OurPeople as managing partner.

OurPeople primarily works in industries with large numbers of desk-less workers, with clients including West Ham United Foundation, Virgin Active UK, Paulton’s Park and Serco Leisure.

At the start of the crisis OurPeople launched OurPeople NOW, a free version of its software specifically for the NHS, which is being used by local authority and NHS-funded residential care provider Sirona Care and Health.

Farewill signs another £20m for will writing service

Highland Europe has led a £20m funding round for will-writing company Farewill, which aims to simplify the estate planning process.

Farewill will use the investment to expand its services in the UK and expand product development.

A large portion of the new funding comes from Highland Europe, which invests in growth-stage software and internet companies, alongside companies Keen Ventures, Rich Pierson of Headspace, Broadhaven Ventures, and Venture Founders.

This latest funding round sees growth-stage investor Highland Europe join previous investors Augmentum Fintech, Taavet Hinrikus (TransferWise) and Kindred Capital, and takes the total raised to £30 million.

Since its launch in 2015, Farewill has grown to become the largest will writer in the UK, responsible for 1 in 10 wills, and has expanded its remit to probate and funerals.

Colvin grows £13m investment round

Spanish florist company Colvin will use the €14m (£12.6m) it has raised through from Italian investment fund Milano Investment Partners (MIP), P101 sgr, and Samaipata to continue to disrupt the plant and flower market.

Colvin will use the money to expand its technology team, increase marketing in existing markets – especially in Germany – and increase its plant range, as part of its mission to capture part of the €100 billion industry.

Octopus embraces Permutive with £19m Series B round

Octopus Ventures has led an £18.5m Series B funding round for publisher-focused data management platform Permutive.

EQT Ventures and other earlier investors also took part in this funding round.

Permutive enables publishers including The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Economist, BuzzFeed, Condé Nast International, Hubert Burda Media, and Immediate Media to monetise increased internet traffic, as online visitors spike during the time of the coronavirus.

Octopus Ventures invests in health, property, publishing and finance. Typically, it invests between £1m for Seed to £10m for Series B and can follow up investments with up to £25m in extra funding.

The new capital will be used to expand internationally as the company continues to grow market share in North America. The company recently appointed  Steve Francolla as head of partnerships.

BBI bridges funding gap with €120m commitment

British Business Investments Ltd (BBI), a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, will commit up to €120m (£107m) to alternative investment specialist LGT Capital Partners. This is the third commitment BBI has made through its £500m Managed Funds Programme and is the largest to date.

Launched in 2018, the Managed Funds Programme forms part of the government’s response to the patient capital funding gap in the UK.

The funds will support LGT Capital Partners’ first investment vehicles, dedicated solely to venture and growth capital in Europe.

Traplight plays well with investors receiving €8m in funding

The mobile games studio Traplight has announced its secured €8m in funding round led by EQT Ventures, to support the launch of multiplayer Battle Legion worldwide.

The Finnish games company was also supported by Play Ventures and existing investors Initial Capital and Heartcore Capital.

EQT Ventures has had successful exits with Finnish mobile gaming studios before, when Small Giant was acquired by Zynga Inc. in a deal worth $700m.

Rory Bennett

Rory Bennett

Rory was a reporter from 2020 to 2021 before moving on to write for MyLondon and then Reach plc.