Deals of the week August 23 to August 27 – a GrowthBusiness roundup

This week’s deals include Tony Blair’s son Euan raising another £65m for his ed-tech start-up Multverse, Grind coffee chain closing £22m for expansion and Musiversal, a music production platform, raising £1.2m in seed funding

Multverse raises another £65m cash tranche

Multverse, the education start-up founded by Euan Blair, son of former prime minister Tony Blair, has raised another £65m tranche of cash. The investment is the first part of an upcoming financing round, which Pitchbook says now values Multverse at £520m (Multverse disputes this figure). The new funding comes just months after the company closed a round of £32m in January.

Multiverse provides apprenticeships and training to school leavers, embedding them in companies such as Google, Unilever and Morgan Stanely. The company claims to have more than 300 corporate clients and to have provided 3,000 apprenticeships. Multiverse has said that 88 per cent of its candidates end up with a job at their employer after their training.

Jungle calls to Livingbridge

Private equity firm Livingbridge has acquired a 51 per cent stake in social media publisher Jungle Creations for £30m. The investment came through Livingbridge’s Enterprise 3 fund, which invests in fast-growth SMEs. London-based Jungle Creations creates contents for media brands including Twisted, VT and Craft Factory distributed through platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat. Jungle also owns its own social-first digital agency, The Wild, whose clients include Heinz and Silverspoon.

Grind coffee percolates £22m equity round

Grind, the hipster coffee bar chain, has closed a £22m investment round. Richard Koch, bestselling author of The 80/20 Principle and founder of L.E.K. Consulting, led the round. Koch was the first investor in Betfair. The equity investment will be used to develop Grind’s B2C coffee business and also fund Grind’s expansion into America.

Monolith raises £9m Series A funding round

Monolith AI, an AI engineering software company, has raised £8.5m in Series A funding taking total capital raised to £10.6m. New York-based VC Insight Partners led the round with existing investors UK VC Pentech and Vietnamese VC Touchstone. The UK arm of Stanford Angels also supported the round. Monolith wants to accelerate AI through having engineers use its intuitive product development software. Clients include BMW, Honda, Siemens and BAE Systems.

Faber leads £2.1m seed round for Abtrace

Abtrace, a health tech start-up which uses machine learning to detect and treat chronic and long-term health conditions, has raised £2.1m of seed funding. Lisbon-based VC Faber led the round joined by Ganexa Capital and includes £1m in project funding from Innovate UK. The investment will be used to roll Abtrace out to GP practices across the UK and expand their engineering and data science teams.

Musiversal tracks £1.2m in seed investment

Musiversal, a platform where songwriters can collaborate with top-class session musicians and producers, has raised €1.36m (£1.17m) in seed funding. Shilling VC led the round alongside existing investors LC Ventures, REDangels and Best Horizon. Musiversal Studio, which only launched in October 2020, has nearly 40 musicians available and to date has recorded 3,000 recording sessions per month. By the end of 2021, the company aims to reach 100,000 studio sessions and hire 100 more musicians.

Ascension Ventures goes under the Bonnet

Bonnet, the electric vehicle charging platform, has raised £920,000 in total funding. Ascension Ventures led a £850,000 equity finance round alongside investors from Imperial College London and APX. The EV charging platform also won an additional £70,000 grant from Innovate UK and OZEV.

The Bonnet app gives drivers real-time data on charger availability and functionality across the UK network – drawn from multiple sources – and also simplifies how to pay. Since launch, Bonnet has aggregated charging points in 1,400 locations across the UK and aims to have integrated with 70 per cent of UK chargepoints by the end of 2021. There are currently over 40 different UK charging networks, each with its own unique payment system – Bonnet aims to unify that.

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Deals of the week August 16 to August 20 – a GrowthBusiness roundup



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Deals of the week