Deals of the Week, October 2 to 9 – Growth Business roundup

Growth Business roundup of Deals of the Week, October 2 to 9, listing seed funding, venture capital and crowdfunding deal of note

Condense Reality sees successful £800,000 seed round

Condense Reality, a virtual reality start-up, has raised more than £800,000 in a seed round led by SFC Capital which made a £220,000 contribution, with the remaining funds coming from two grants, worth almost £500,000, as well as commitments from RLC Ventures and angel investors.

The funds will mean Condense Reality can increase its R&D capabilities and commercialise its technology over the next 12 months.

This investment comes as SFC Capital plans to back 20 early-stage companies by the end of 2020 – and a total of 50 over the next 12 months.

Burning interest in IoT startup leads to £1.6m investment

Dryad Networks, an environmental internet of things (IoT) startup, has secured a €1.8m (£1.6m) seed fund round to develop a large-scale IoT network for the early detection of wildfires.

Four investors participated in the seed round with STIHL Digital, German energy firm LEAG, impact investor ISAR AG and the VC firm Brandenburg Kapital investing.

Humley’s growth assisted by £700,000 investment

Humley, a company which develops conversational AI assistants, has raised £700,000 from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF).

The funding will allow the Northampton-based company to grow its customer base and revenue ahead of a planned Series A funding round next year.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund invests in debt finance, small business loans, proof of concept and equity finance funds, ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium-sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.

Winningtemp gets funding leap from Frog Capital and Bonnier Ventures

Winningtemp, a Swedish employee engagement start-up, has secured a €15.1m (£13.7m) series B funding round co-led by London’s Frog Capital and Stockholm-based Bonnier Ventures.

The funding will be used to maintain its international growth and to capitalise on changing workplace priorities.

Frog is a specialist software scale-up investor providing growth equity & operational expertise to Europe’s high growth entrepreneurially led companies and has recently completed its third successful exit.

Licklist to host funding round after rebrand

Licklist, a social platform with an international directory of nightclubs, bars and music has rebranded its B2B arm to Booked it ahead of a £1.75m funding round.

The change comes in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The round will follow Licklist’s £103,288 in Seedrs funding in November 2016 and £140,727 through an Angels Den funding round in January 2020.

Simply’s fund increase makes SME lending easy

Simply, the non-bank SME lender, announced a fourth financing tranche from the British Business Bank to add to its existing ENABLE funding facility, making £230m of funding available to smaller businesses across the UK.

Simply provides finance to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK to help them purchase equipment, free up working capital and invest in growth.

Spoon Guru scoop up £2.2m in funding

Spoon Guru, the London-based AI-powered food search and discovery technology start-up, secured an AU$4m (£2.2m) Series A funding round with W23, the venture capital arm of Australian retailer, Woolworths Group.

The investment will be used to expand Spoon Guru across APAC, North America and Europe.

W23 was established to partner with innovative start-ups as part of Woolworths’ “retail ecosystem” strategy. Investments to date include Marley Spoon, Sherpa, Eucalyptus and Longtail UX.

B-North bank on £1m in extra funding

B-North, the firm building an SME lending bank for the UK, has raised a further £1m as part of its £20m series A fundraising round from fintech specialist, Growth Capital Ventures.

This comes as B-North moves closer to obtaining regulatory approval.

Manchester-based B-North will deliver loans of between £500,000 and £5m through its regional ‘lending pods’, which include underwriters, valuers, and account managers, across the UK.

Nu Quantum gains £2.1m investment

Nu Quantum, the quantum photonics company, has raised £2.1m in seed funding in a round led by Amadeus Capital Partners, with Ahren Innovation Capital, IQ Capital, Cambridge Enterprise and Martlet Capital also following-on from the company’s pre-seed investment round last September and Seraphim Capital joining as a new investor.

The funding will go towards a state-of-the-art photonics lab and a recruitment drive for scientists and product team members.

Amadeus Capital Partners is a global technology investor. Since 1997, the firm has raised over $1bn (£774m) in venture and growth capital and supported 160 companies.

The Energy Check fuels growth with £2.1m loan

The Energy Check, a business energy-saving consultancy, has closed a £2.1m six-year fully unsecured growth loan from alternative SME credit specialist, Caple.

The Energy Check will use the loan to meet increasing demand and grow into new markets.

Caple offers companies with limited physical assets access to long-term unsecured funding of up to £5m based on the future cash flows of the SME.

Further reading

Deals of the Week, September 25 to October 2 – Growth Business roundup

Rory Bennett

Rory Bennett

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