Deals of the Week, September 11 to 18 – Growth Business roundup

Growth Business roundup of the Deals of the Week September 11 to 18, listing every seed funding, venture capital and crowdfunding deal of note.

Allica launches £100m fund to continue CBLIS lending

Allica Bank, a business bank that loans to SMEs, is launching a £100m funding round so it can continue to lend through the Coronavirus Business Loans Interruption scheme and begin broadening its services and product lines.

The bank, which received full UK banking authorisation in late 2019, has had over £1bn of enquiries from businesses in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The launch comes as Allica successfully completes a follow-on investment of £26m led by existing majority shareholder, Warwick Capital Partners.

Shawbrook receives top tier support from BBI

British Business Investments Ltd has committed to a new £30m subscription in specialist lender Shawbrook Group plc’s £75m Tier 2 note issuance.

The capital raised from the Tier 2 issue will enable Shawbrook Bank to maintain a stable capital structure to support growth in its chosen specialist SME markets.

Praetura quick to invest £1m in cybersecurity company

RapidSpike, a tech company that helps businesses defend themselves against customer-focused cyberattacks, has received £1m in backing from Praetura Ventures.

The funding will allow the Leeds-based company to scale its product and expand its client base which already includes William Hill, Npower and US brand retailer Helen of Troy.

Praetura Ventures, which targets high-value sectors in the north of England, has invested in 13 businesses in the past 18 months, including investments into machine learning business Peak and online delivery platform Sorted, as well as a £1.5m investment into XR Games, a Leeds-based independent games studio and VR developer.

Kbox global cook up £12m funding round

Kbox Global, the food delivery system that utilises host kitchen technology, has raised £12m in a round led by Balderton Capital.

The investment will support Kbox’s UK planned international expansion and the establishment of a US base early next year.

Balderton Capital is a London-based venture firm focused on backing European-founded technology companies. In the two decades since its founding, it has raised eight funds totalling more than $3bn.

£4.4m investment breathes life into product launch

breathe ilo, an Austrian femtech startup specialising in breath tests to help track fertility and menstrual cycles, is launching its product after a £4.4M investment. Early backers of the device startup include Hans-Peter Haselsteiner, Leo Hillinger and Martin Rohla from the Austrian television show “2 Minuten 2 Millionen” who committed €500,000 (£470,000) in 2019.

MRM plans to go global with £2.6m investment

MRM Global, an Edinburgh-based provider of marketing technology to the global drinks and hospitality sector, has gained a £2.6m investment from BGF.

The investment will be used to fund MRM’s international growth with a focus on expanding its presence in North America including recruiting a local team in the USA and the development of its technology platform digital creator module, which was launched during the Coronavirus pandemic to help hospitality outlets adapt to the new trading environment.

This is BGF’s third new investment since lockdown began and follows another investment of £2.7m in Stirling-based business The Paint Shed.

KIDLY growing product range with £4m Series A round

KIDLY, a kids’ retailer of products for 0-5s, has raised a Series A round of over £4m from Hargreave Hale AIM VCT and a number of private investors.

The funding will be used to expand its current product range, further develop its own brand, KIDLY Label, and strengthen its bespoke platform and team for future growth.

Since the investment, KIDLY has also expanded its board to include Maria Hollins, joint MD of Ann Summers.

PiLon support package to keep pace with increase to demands

PiLON Ltd, a social housing renovations and maintenance specialist, has raised a £3.5m funding package from Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending (ABL).

The loan will mean PiLON can keep pace with the increasing intensity of customer demand. As part of the package, ABL helped PiLON secure a £500,000 Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme facility.

ABL is a specialist asset-based lender, focused on delivering facilities such as invoice discounting, stock finance, property and plant and machinery loans to SMEs.

Medefer provided with £10m in funding

Medefer, a b2b virtual healthcare provider, secured a £10m funding round led by Nickleby Capital.

The funding will be used to invest in people and technology to service new contracts, enable new product development and ensure scalable and robust growth.

Nickleby Capital is a private investment company providing capital and expertise to accelerate growth in high potential companies and specialises in alternative investments for experienced investors.

Chip investment round closed

Chip, the automatic saving app, raised a total of £10.7m from the crowdfunding and the government-backed Future Fund, as part of the company’s series A round. The amount was raised from 6,420 investors on the crowdfunding website Crowdcube.

White Oak secures greater role in CBLIS

White Oak, an independent business lender, has announced the completion of a securitisation facility from Barclays Bank, which is available to support the finance provider’s lending to SMEs through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

The British Business Bank has also agreed that White Oak can deploy more lending to SMEs in addition to the £70m it has already provided through the CBLIS.

White Oak provides business loans, equipment finance and asset-based lending solutions to SMEs and mid-corporate clients across the UK and offers CBILS loans from £75,000 to £5 million over either 12 or 24-month agreement terms.

Small Robot Company harvests £1.1m in backing

Small Robot Company, agtech startup building sustainable farming robots, closed its crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube having raised £1.1m from 600 investors.

7percent Ventures led the round, supported by a number of other professional investors, including previous lead investor Matt Jones, principal designer at Google AI.

The funds will be used to accelerate its time to market, which involves a series of hires to expand the capabilities of the engineering team, including head of innovation.

Mercia senses a good deal investing £1.1m in Tribosonics

Tribosonics, a Sheffield company specialising in smart sensing technology, has raised £1.1m from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

The investment will allow the company to expand its team with the addition of 10 new staff over the next 12 months, and invest further in product development. As part of the deal, Sarah Sandle who is the VP of strategy at Rolls-Royce, joins the company as chair.


Deals of the Week, September 4 to 11 – 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.

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