Decoding #MaddyMoney
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25 December 2020
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Locking down deals in time for Christmas, the final MaddyMoney for 2020

Every week, Maddyness brings you the latest investment news from the UK startup ecosystem. Here's a final recap of investments in this last week of 2021.

Number of deals

Hero raises £825K from the heroes at NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance

Based in Leeds, Hero works to support physical, mental, financial and social and wellbeing via its software platform. With better communities and healthier employees, workplaces can – Hero indicates – see better performance.

The healthtech solution has just secured £825K in investment from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. The money will be channeled into meeting ambitious growth targets, via an improved platform and marketing strategy.

The funding will allow hero to further enhance its software platform and develop its marketing strategy. Joe Gaunt, CEO of Hero, said:

“We have enjoyed a successful two years since our launch in 2018 but this funding will allow us to further enhance our products, accelerate growth and continue to build out our team.”

HumanForest crowdfunds £1.3M Seed Follow On

HumanForest‘s bottle green bikes lined the streets of Camden and Islington throughout lockdown, taking advantage of a cycling surge. In general, micro mobility is set to grown 20% per year to $150B by 2030 – and there’s evidence of this in the sustainable mobility organisation’s recent Crowdcube fund.

HumanForest’s zero-emissions e-bikes run entirely on renewable energy and were designed to “get our great city moving again” in the most affordable, efficient and sustainable way possible. Following an earlier funding round, where HumanForest garnered £1.8M from figures including Juan de Antonio and Vicente Pascual, who founded Cabify, it’s raised £1.3M to get on with its next stage of growth.


Tradefeedr banks £2.2M to build global data connectivity 

Following a £2M+ early-stage investment from IPGL, Tradefeedr looks set to continue helping companies smash their analytics while it handles their data engineering. The cash from the top fintech investor will go towards further modernisation of analytics workflows.

With Tradefeedr, organisations can ‘connect to 16 of the largest FX liquidity providers, ECNs & trading platforms over a single Data API.’ They can therefore query trading data, analyse, and collaborate – without friction.


Supercity Aparthotels closes £10M late VC

Supercity Aparthotels has six aparthotels across the UK and – with this £10M cash injection – will be adding more properties to its portfolio.

According to Roger Walters, Chairman of Supercity Aparthotels,

“Despite a challenging year for the industry, by owning our real estate, brand and operating company we have been able to quickly adapt our business and maximise the trading performance of each location. We have continued to invest in the business, ensuring that all properties maintain our high standards.”

Better Dairy raises £1.6M Seed for dairy minus cruelty

Animal-based agriculture emits around 1.7B tonnes of CO2 each year, it takes 650 litres of water to produce just 1 litre of milk. Moving away from animal products is commonly understood as a key tenet of our sustainable future, but how can we get there?

Better Dairy thinks it can facilitate the move away from dairy – in the most delicious way possible. The company, born from Entrepreneur First, has just raised £1.6M in seed funding to continue developing products molecularly identical to dairy – outside of animal exploitation. It hopes to start selling around the start of 2022.

The round was led by Happiness Capital, and saw participation fromCPT Capital, Stray Dog Capital and Veg Capital, and several unnamed angels.

£8M Series A for Greenback Recycling

As we reach peak plastic capacity, Greenback Recycling might be here to save the day. The circular economy solution has just raised £8M to continue with its ecoVeritas packaging certification, data and compliance systems.

Greenback Recycling traces the origin of plastic waste with blockchain tech, and creates its own sustainable and recycled packaging.

Greenback founder and CEO Philippe von Stauffenberg said:

“In the recycling industry, we are beginning to see how impactful advanced plastics recycling can be for food contact packaging. Greenback is helping the world’s major consumer goods companies meet their ambitious targets to reduce the virgin plastic content in their packaging, without compromising its quality and availability.

“By creating additional local collection, sorting and recycling jobs, we are also contributing to many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The completed round of funding from our private investors and the UK government will enable us to accelerate our programme of lighthouse projects that demonstrate shelf-to-shelf circularity of packaging.”

Led by Amadeus Capital Partners, V7 Labs closes £2.2M Seed

V7 Labs has just raised £2.2M in Seed capital from Amadeus Capital Partners – along with Partech, Air Street Capital, and Miele Venture. The platform helps create top-notch training data, speeding up the process by up to 100x; it does this by allowing customers to build automated image and video data pipelines, organise and version datasets and deploy vision AI models.

V7 Labs is doing particularly well in the field of healthcare data at the moment – because of what it can do with medical imaging. In 2021, with this monetary boost, it hopes to grow its team and features to further support its range of successful customers.

Liberis garners £70M to help SMEs

Located in London, Liberis is an embedded business finance tool, which has provided over £500M in financing to 16,000 SMEs across the UK, Europe and the US since 2007.

It has just raised £70M from Silicon Valley Bank, British Business Investments, BCI Europe and Paragon Bank to help SMEs struggling to adjust following COVID-19’s widespread impact. SMEs, according to the platform, provide 60% of UK jobs – three quarters of which have been negatively affected by the pandemic.

The money will go towards reaching new areas, novel products and markets, and extra customer financing solutions. Rob Straathof, CEO of Liberis, said:

“Our significant growth in the past two years has highlighted the need in the market for SME support, especially during uncertain times. As an SME ourselves, we understand the plight and have survived an economic downturn.”

“With uncertainty in the market, funding can be hard to access from more risk averse institutions. We are thrilled to have extra resources to help our partners support SMEs’ survival through COVID and beyond.”

Ripple’s latest crowdfund campaign hits £390K

Ripple was Seedrs’ startup of the year in 2019 and is wrapping up a crowdfund on the platform – which had an initial £350K target.

As the UK’s first ever clean energy ownership platform, Ripple will be tapping into the $11T global wind and solar market in a manner thus far unprecedented in the UK. It allows household and business users to part-own wind farms – thus actively increasing the amount of renewable energy on the national grid, and reducing electricity bills at the same time.

Ripple works in partnership with Co-op Energy and Octopus Energy. It launched its first pilot wind farm in summer this year, and has since June handled £1M+ of transactions. Looking to the future, Ripple hopes to expand into the B2B market.