Deals of the Week June 6 to June 10 – a Growth Business round-up

Deals this week include Europe’s latest ed-tech unicorn, a cannabis distributor, and a platform to help manage remote workers

Multiverse raises £176m to become latest ed-tech unicorn

Multiverse, the start-up founded by Euan Blair, the son of former prime minister Tony Blair, has raised £176m ($220m) in Series D funding to become Europe’s latest ed-tech unicorn.

Multiverse provides apprenticeship programmes to young, diverse talent without degrees – often from underprivileged ethnic backgrounds – in partnership with employers.

The round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and General Catalyst with Founders Circle Capital Audacious Ventures, BOND, D1 Capital Partners, GV and Index Ventures also participating.

>See also: Tech unicorns UK: complete guide to the billion-dollar club

Peptone secures £32m to discover protein drugs

Peptone, a biophysics company focused on protein drug discovery, completed a £32m ($40m) Series A funding round.

Peptone creates an accurate representation of disordered proteins, predicting the best way to target them with drugs. The technology has been tested through partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies.

The round was led by F-Prime Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from Walden Catalyst Ventures and existing investors, including Hoxton Ventures and dRX Capital.

Digital learning provider makes the grade with £12m funding

BibliU, a provider of digital textbooks and learning content, has raised £12m ($15m) in Series B funding.

London-based BibliU addresses the hidden costs involved in higher education such as textbooks by allowing universities and colleges to digitise course materials.

All existing institutional Series A investors – Stonehage Fleming, Oxford Science Enterprises, Guinness Ventures, and Nesta Impact Investments – participated in the round.

Quantum computing start-up processes £12m

ORCA Computing, a quantum computing company based in London, closed a £12m ($15m) funding round.

ORCA has developed a quantum computing system that can be integrated with applications and technologies to develop future data processing capabilities such as machine learning.

The funding was led by a syndicate of investors including Octopus Ventures, Oxford Science Enterprises, Quantonation, and Verve Ventures. The company also secured significant project-based funding from Innovate UK.

Cannabis distributor supplied with £7.4m funding  

A specialist London-based cannabis distributor, Sana Life Science, completed a £7.4m fundraise.

Sana is one of only a handful of licensed medical cannabis distributors in the UK. The business aims to improve the industry’s supply chain and provide much-needed medical cannabis to patients with life-threatening illnesses. The backers of the deal were not disclosed.

HR platform that helps manage remote workers raises further £3m

Leicester-based StaffCircle, an HR software platform which helps firms manage the performance of employees in different locations, has raised a further £3m from existing investors.

The platform enables companies to create staff experiences, maximise productivity by engaging remote employees and build a strong company culture.

The round was led by Blackfinch Ventures and the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund. The latest investment round brings the total funding raised by the company to date to £5m.

Dry cleaning start-up cleans up with £550,000

A Stamford-based start-up has raised £550,000 to install dry-cleaning drop-off points in shopping centres and railway stations.

Peters’ Cleaning allows customers to drop off and collect their dry cleaning at any time by using automated pods. The company currently has two dry cleaning pods in operation – at Peterborough train station and a local shopping centre.

The investment was from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund as part of a syndicate which also included Seedrs, members of Lincolnshire Business Angels and other angels.

More Deals of the Week

Deals of the week 30 May to 3 June – a Growth Business round-up

Deals of the Week 21 May to 27 May – 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...

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