Deals of the week March 15 to March 19 – GrowthBusiness roundup

Growth Business roundup of Deals of the Week, March 15 to March 19, listing seed funding, venture capital and crowdfunding deals of note

Small Pharma goes big with £33m reverse takeover

London-based biotech Small Pharma has raised C$58m (£33m) through US, UK and Canadian institutional investors to continue its work on developing psychedelics to treat depression. Canaccord Genuity Corp and Eight Capital led the funding, which will enable Small Pharma to close a reverse takeover of Unilock.

Cognism hits up £9m through existing investors

Cognism, the sales and marketing B2B lead-generation platform, has raised $12.5m (£9m) through existing investors AXA Venture Partners, Investiere and VentureFounders, as well as new investor Swisscom Ventures. The fundraise will help Cognism to expand into Europe as a leading provider of compliant B2B contact data. The company now has 200 employees based in seven countries including the UK, USA, Canada, South Africa, Croatia, Macedonia and Germany.

IW Capital puts its hand in Olive Jar Digital

IW Capital has facilitated a £6m management buyout and equity investment in digital consultancy Olive Jar Digital. Founded in 2015, Olive Jar Digital has worked with a number of public-sector clients including the Department for Education, the Government Digital Service and NHS Leadership Academy. Private clients include Victoria Beckham, Fabergé and Credit Suisse.

Estonian bank LHV goes north with B-North

Estonian banking group LHV Group has taken a 10 per cent stake in B-North, the planned regional small business lending bank, for £4.5m. B-North has nearly completed its £20m Series A fundraise, with other investors including Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Channel 4 Ventures. The SME lender plans to open its doors in Manchester later this year.

Healthcare solution Lilli closes £4.5m early round

Lilli, the health tech company using machine learning to revolutionise home care, has raised £4.5m in a pre-Series A funding round organised by West Hill Capital which was 50 per cent oversubscribed. Its software enables social care and healthcare providers to monitor older people living at home.

Diem seizes £4m in start-up funding

Diem, a start-up fintech which combines a Visa debit card with selling unwanted items online, has raised $5.5m (£4m) in seed funding. Fasanara Capital led the round supported by angel investors from the fashion industry. Users sell items including clothes, accessories, electronics and books through the app, which deposits cash back into their account.

Cytoseek finds £3.5m seed funding for cancer research

University of Bristol spin-out CytoSeek has raised a £3.5m seed round to develop new cell therapies to treat solid tumours in cancer patients. Science Creates Ventures (SCV), Bristol’s new deep tech EIS fund for science and engineering start-ups, led the round as its first investment. Other investors included Parkwalk Advisors, Meltwind, Luminous Ventures and several angel investors.

Guinness is good for Neighbourly

Neighbourly, a platform which connects businesses with local charities and good causes, has raised £3m in Series A funding from Guinness Asset Management.

The Neighbourly platform, launched in 2014, has worked with corporate partners including M&S, Aldi, Lidl and RSA Insurance to support over 16,000 local good causes across the UK and Ireland, helping disburse £13m in microgrants, deliver 70,000 hours of employee volunteering time and redistribute 50m meals.

Transreport books £2.3m for railway disability app

Blackfinch and Praetura Ventures have invested £2.3m in Transreport, an app which helps disabled passengers with train travel.

Transreport, which has offices in London and Glasgow, has designed an app which enables rail operators and station staff to respond to booked assistance requests. Its passenger assistance tool – which is already being trialled by rail operators including West Midlands Railway, Northwestern Railway and Govia Thameslink Railway – allows passengers to alert staff to their needs as part of their everyday journeys, making rail travel more accessible and socially inclusive.

MML Ireland closes second £115m SME fund

British Business Investments has invested €15m in the second MML Ireland €135m (£115m) SME investment fund for SMEs, which invests in businesses across Ireland. MML Ireland has made 15 investments to date in a range of Irish businesses, deploying €125m since its inception

Further reading

Deals of the Week, March 8 to March 12 – GrowthBusiness roundup