UK startups raise $161 million in October, more than doubling September investments


British startups saw a strong showing in venture capital deals in October 2016 with $161.2 million (£130.2 million) raised according to local tech scene tracker Tech City News. The numbers represent a 142 percent increase on the month of September.

The biggest round was from Bristol chip startup Graphcore’s $30 million score with participation from major investors like Bosh, Samsung, Pitango, C4 Ventures, Draper Espirit, and Foundation Capital. There were nine Series As with one each for the Series B, C, and D rounds. Lending startup iwoca bagged £21 million while PragmatIC grabbed £18 million.

OpenGamma’s $13.3 million Series D, Sonovate’s $11.07 million Series B, and ComplyAdvantage’s $8.2 million Series A were also strong showings.

Among investors, Amadeus also showed up to invest in AI startup Ravelin and healthtech company Healx. Draper Esprit was active in a $3.4 million round for Resolver and led a $3.05 million round in HR tech startup Perkbox.

Overall, an usually strong August gave way to a typically slow September, which as expected sped up in October. Despite this jump, it remains difficult to ascertain if the British ecosystem has begun to feel any significant impact on investments following the vote on Brexit, at least according to the numbers gathered by Tech City.

Startups still struggle outside London

Twenty of the rounds tallied by the report were for London-based companies.

Graphcore was Bristol’s fourth round of the year following investments in AI startup FiveAI, health company Micrima and retail platform Brightpearl. Cambridge and Scotland each saw two rounds over the course of the month.

Glasgow’s Swipii and Edinburgh’s Snap40 represented the Scottish startup ecosystem with $2.5 million and $2.4 million seed rounds respectively. But those two rounds sound like flashes in the pan according to Tech City’s data, which shows only four other rounds between the two cities – all in Edinburgh – for the previous nine months. Dundee’s eeGeo raised a round earlier this year as well.

The largest round outside London so far this year is Cambridge-based security company Darktrace’s $65 million (50 million GBP) Series C led by KKR. The Graphcore round now takes second place in those rankings, followed by Basingstoke’s Bessemer-backed NewVoiceMedia.


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