Deals of the week September 6-10 – a GrowthBusiness roundup

This week’s deals include PetMedix raising £27m to develop antibody pet medicine and insurtech Marshmallow become the UK’s latest unicorn

Marshmallow becomes the UK’s latest tech unicorn

Marshmallow, the car insurance startup, has become the UK’s latest tech unicorn having raised another $85m (£61m) in its Series B funding round, valuing the business at $1.3bn. Backers include Passion Capital, Investec Bank and reinsurance group Scor. Marshmallow uses data to provide more affordable insurance to more than 100,000 drivers to date who fall outside the typical “good risk” profile.

Marshmallow’s Series B raise closely follows its $30m Series A round in November 2020. The company has raised a total of $120m since it was founded.

OLIO feeds on £31m Series B round

OLIO, the food waste redistribution app, has raised $43m (£31m) Series B to continue expanding around the world. OLIO counts Pret A Manger, Tesco and Costa Coffee among its corporate clients distributing unsold food. VNV Global and Lugard Road Capital led the Series B round, alongside existing investors Accel, Octopus Ventures and Rubio. Angel investors include Grimsby Town FC chairman Jason Lockwood and media entrepreneur and politician Lord Alli.

Investors inject £27m into PetMedix pet medicine

PetMedix, which develops cat and dog-specific antibodies, has closed an oversubscribed $37m (£27m) Series B round to help create pet medicine. China’s Tencent and Kyoritsu Holdings in Japan have invested alongside British funds Parkwalk Advisors and Cambridge Innovation Capital, as well US investor Digitalis Ventures.

Veremark clears £2m seed funding round

Veremark, the pre-employment screening service, has raised a $2.8m (£2m) seed round in follow-on investment from ACF Investors, Triple Point Ventures and SOV Ventures. This brings the total funding to $3.8m. Launched in late 2019, Veremark provides an automated digital solution that instantly lets companies check employment history, as well as academic, criminal and credit records.

According to Veremark, fraudulent employee credentials have become a problem for organisations – a quarter of all CVs are fraudulent in some way, with almost half of all people who claim to have a new PhD having a fake degree.

Perceptual Robotics powers up with £1.6m funding

Perceptual Robotics, which uses drones to detect damage to wind turbines, has raised £1.6m in extra funding. TSP Ventures, a VC focused on environmental technologies, led the round. The company’s founders, who met at the University of Bristol, believe their drone technology is two thirds cheaper than existing methods of detection and can reduce the total cost of wind turbine blade maintenance by up to 30 per cent.

Culture Shift reports £1.5m fundraise

Manchester-based Culture Shift has secured £1.5m investment in a funding round led by Praetura Ventures and Blackfinch Ventures. Founded in 2018, Culture Shift offers a platform for people to confidentially and safely report workplace harassment. A report from Breathe HR earlier this year suggested almost one third of people in the UK quit their jobs due to toxic workplace culture. The report said that this churn costs the UK economy £15.7bn per year.

Cypher cracks £422,000 seed round

Children’s coding school start-up Cypher has closed a £422,000 seed round, with the majority of investors coming from crowdfunding platform Seedrs. Cypher offers coding courses for children aged between 6 and 12 and recently became a STEM-accredited provider alongside Apple and Disney.

More Deals of the Week

Deals of the week August 31 to September 3 – a GrowthBusiness roundup