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Top 10 tech startups clicking in Cardiff and Wales

Older than the Great Pyramid and Stonehinge, Cardiff carries the startup banner for most of Wales


First settled over 6,000 years ago, while the Great Pyramid was still 1,500 years from construction, Cardiff has powered Wales for centuries, from the Iron Age forward. Romans couldn’t stay on top, nor could the Normans, Finally, in 1081, King William the First of England began building Cardiff Castle which still sits in the heart of the city. The Cardiff Docks were constructed during the early 1800s, and by the 1830’s the momentum became unstoppable.

Docks mean shipping and shipping in the 1800s meant the town became a trade and manufacturing hub. Coal from the South Wales Valleys grew in demand. Even today, shipping matters, along with media (over 600 TV and production companies). Four universities keep the Cardiff students buried in assignments.

Add in almost 250,000  people in the city, plus a total of 1.1 million in the area, and you have some startup options. With over 18 million tourists each year coming to see the Welsh capital, Cardiff might do well with guided startup tours.

Diurnal

Photo courtesy: Diurnal

Dedicated to developing high-quality hormone therapeutics to aid rare and chronic endocrine conditions, Diurnal should have their Infacort product on the market in Europe sometime during 2017. Plans for the US market have an estimated aplproval date of 2019.

Starting quietly back in 2004, Diurnal got 600k pounds debt financing in late 2009 and another 335k pounds in early 2012. But the startup magic happened in August 2014 with 6 million pounds from IP Group Plc and 44.6 million more in January 2016. Best exit detail? An IPO in December 2015. So far, the total is close to $56.5 million.

 MedaPhor Limited

Photo courtesy: MedaPhor

Dedicated to providing training materials for postgraduate medical professionals, MedaPhor Limited offers ultrasound simulators that has been called a game changer in this market. Better trained medical professionals sounds like a noble goal for every company in that market.

Starting before simulator technology had matured, in 2004, MedaPhor received two relatively small placements in 2009 and 2010. August 2012 say a little more interest with 1.06 million pounds in an undisclosed placement. But the startup mojo really kicked into gear in August 2014 when Arthurian Life Sciences dropped in with 4.7 million pounds in August 2014. A post IPO equity boost in April 2016 brought another 3.2 million pounds. To date, they’ve stimulated nearly $15 million in venture funding.

Nanotether Discovery Services (NDS)

Photo courtesy: Nanotether

Who has all the medicines they need? Nobody, and Nanotether Discovery Services created unique technology to drastically accelerate the progression of potential drug compounds for faster development and testing.

Doors opened and research started in 2012, along with 2.2 million pounds in seed money from Andres Black and Fusion IP in August. That’s just about $3.5 million.

Prosperr

Photo courtesy: Prosperr

Local economies rise and fall with housing sales, so when paperwork and hassles slow the transaction buyer and seller aren’t the only ones inconvenienced. So Prosperr, known to clients as TrackMyMove.com, developed on easy to use cloud app accessible from almost all mobile devices and more.

Starting at the beginning of 2015, Prosperr received 315k pounds of seed money in October of that year. October 2016 was 1 million pounds arrive. The last seed round, done by Finance Wales and Ashley Cooper, netted 850k pounds. Tidied up, we’re talking over $2.75 million.

Wealthify

Photo courtesy: Wealthify

Wanting to make money is an old and constant desire, but new ways to invest are usually out of reach for the 99 percent. Enter Wealthify, offering to put client’s money to work using plans from Cautious to Tentative to Confident to Ambitious to Adventurous. In 2016, those plans returned 8.86 to 28.5 percent depending on the choice of the client.

Brand new, there was some early research starting in the middle of 2014 but doors opened for real in 2016 with 1.12 million pounds of Equity Crowdfunding from Seedrs. July 2017 say another 665k pounds for an Angel round. So far that puts the meter close to $2.4 million.

Sure Chill

Photo courtesy: Sure Chill

Whether the climate is getting warmer or it’s just summer, we need a way to keep food and medicines and more cool. Say hello to Sure Chill and their “unique new cooling technology” the company believes can help people all around the world, especially where power fluctuates. The trick? Water at 4 degrees Centigrade.

Research began in 2002, far out of startup territory. But the first money they received, a grand for $100k in March 2013, came from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the anointer of startups in the social progress space. Another $1.4 million arrived in May 2014, for a total of about $1.5 million.

Riversimple Movement

Photo courtesy: Riversimple

People love cars but we’re getting tired of gasoline. But batteries are not the only gas-replacement option. Riversimple Movement offers their Rasa car that runs on a small hydrogen fuel cell, recharges in three minutes, and covers 300 miles between charges. Rollout planned for 2018 from their Llandrindod Wells, Powys facility.

The horn first honked in 2013 as founder Hugo Spowers stared to work. Each wheel in the lightweight carbon fibre car gets an electric motor, which may be one reason Equity crowdfunding brought in 1.14 million pounds. That’s over $1.41 million so far.

Acuitas Medical

Photo courtesy: Acuitas

Patients get MRIs (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) constantly to give their doctors a good inside look at what’s happening with those insides. Acuitas Medical is developing their “Fine Structure Analysis” tools to highlight anatomical details not normally visible.

Development of the patented FSA tools began in 2006 but funders didn’t take careful notice until Finance Wales took a closer look and place 700k pounds in July 2010. Altima Partners placed an undisclosed amount of see money in June 2011, so the investment total is well over $1 million by now.

Curapel

Photo courtesy: Curapel

Trivia bit: your largest organ is your skin. Once company helping you take care of your largest organ is Curapel. Spun out of the University of Manchester, Curapel is developing three patent-protected products named Histimex, Melidex, and Olidex.

Founded in 2011 by Neil Gibbs, Finance Wales and Lancaster Capital got together and placed 350k pounds as a venture round. In dollars, they broke the $500k mark.

Pwinty

Photo courtesy: Pwinty

Many more photos are taken every day than a decade ago because smartphones make it simple and quick. When you get tired of passing your expensive phone around the table for people to look at the photo, talk to Pwinty and their service to print and deliver photo prints, wall art, photobooks, and photos on merchandise. Young people need posters on their walls again, and Pwinty can help.

Snapping into existence in 2011, Pwinty toiled away out of sight until David Hulston and Indycube Ventures make a group photo of them handing over 125k pounds in March of 2014. That’s close to $150k dollars.

Photo courtesy: Pixabay.com

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