Deals of the week January 31 to February 4 – a GrowthBusiness roundup

This week’s deals include graphene tech company Paragraf closing £44m funding, photo album app Popsa zooming in on £9m and sustainable activewear brand Tala working out a £4m investment

Investors write Paragraf £44m cheque

Paragraf, a Cambridge-based start-up aiming to commercialise the use of graphene in electrical devices, has raised $60m (£44m) partly through the Government’s Future Fund: Breakthrough scheme. Other investors include In-Q-Tel, Molten Ventures and Amadeus Capital Partners. The start-up has developed graphene materials with the thickness of a single atom that can be applied to a range of medical, electronic and energy devices. Graphene has been hailed by scientists and engineers for its extraordinary properties, from superb conductivity to great strength and flexibility.

CausaLens zooms in on £33m seed round

CausaLens, a London-based deep tech company which claims to deliver “the future of AI”, has raised a $45m (£33m) seed round. The start-up is developing “causal AI”, which it says leapfrogs current correlation-based AI technologies – basically, recognising patterns – and instead enables computers to ask, “What ifs?”. Molten Ventures (formerly Draper Esprit) and Dorilton Ventures led the oversubscribed round, alongside existing investors Generation Ventures, IQ Capital and GP Bullhound.

Popsa snaps up £9m investment round

Gresham House Ventures has led a £9m investment round for Popsa, a mobile app which uses AI to help create photobooks and products such as holiday or birthday albums and calendars.

Sova onboards another £7m from Octopus Ventures

Octopus Ventures has invested another $9m (£6.6m) in Sova Assessment, an HR talent assessment platform. Based in London with offices in Dubai and Melbourne, Sova is a SaaS platform which helps enterprise-level businesses with recruitment and staff training. Customers include Vodafone, John Lewis Partnership and Deloitte. Octopus previously invested $4m in Sova as recently as November 2020.

Tala activewear gets sweaty with £4m funding

Tala, a sustainable activewear brand founded by Grace Beverley, has raised £4.2m in funding co-led by Active Partners and Venrex. Others who participated in the oversubscribed round included Pembroke VCT and angel investors including Rapha bikewear founder Simon Mottram.

Insurtech Percayso closes £3.4m investment round

Insurance data intelligence provider Percayso Inform has raised £3.4m in investment led by Praetura Ventures. Percayso, which helps inform insurers about fraud and risk, is the brainchild of insurance industry veteran Simon James.

LemonEdge squeezes £3m funding round

LemonEdge, a low-code accounting platform used by private capital, has closed a $4m (£2.9m) funding round led by Blackstone Innovation Investments alongside Sidekick Partners and angel investors. The financing means that LemonEdge has raised $7m to date within one year of launch. The platform enables private equity firms to automate and digitise their end-to-end complex accounting processes, many of whom rely on older systems or spreadsheets.

Quantum chemistry platform Algorithmq crunches £3m seed round

Algorithmq, a quantum computing-enhanced drug discovery platform, has secured $4m (£2.9m) in seed funding from angel investors including Lord Jim O’Neill. The platform can boost the speed of chemical simulations on quantum computers by a factor of 100x.

Data company Queright collects £1.5m seed funding

Cambridge-based data company Queright, which collates data from complex diseases, has raised £1.5m seed funding led by Playfair Capital, with participation from life sciences funds Meltwind, Ascension and Cambridge Angels.

Talking Medicines talks up £1.5m investment

Glasgow-based Talking Medicines, which offers AI-driven insights to help pharmaceutical companies understand patient needs, has closed a £1.5m funding round. Boston-based life sciences investor Mark Bamforth of Thairm Bio joined existing investors Tern plc, impact investor SIS Ventures and Scottish Enterprise. This latest investment, which will be used to help Talking Medicines expand into the US, brings the total raised to £4m.

Cauldron bubbles up £1m investment

Gaming start-up Cauldron has raised $1.4m (£1m) for an immersive Web3 sci-fi project led by Playfair Capital, Seedcamp and IQ Capital together with angel investors. Cauldron span out of unicorn fintech Thought Machine, where it was the creative arm developing financial games and is now a standalone company. The creative team includes BAFTA-nominated games director Matt Hyde while its chief technology officer is Matthew Newcombe, who has worked for studios including usttwo games, Rare and King, where he worked on Monument Valley 2, Assemble With Care and Halo.

Odore scrubs up with £1m seed round

Odore, a platform for beauty brands to design and deliver product campaigns, has raised a £1m seed round led by Blackfinch Ventures. Additional participants in the oversubscribed round include SFC Capital, as well as angel investors including Alister Esam. Existing clients include LVMH and L’Oreal as well as new brands Naples Soap and Tata Harper.

Oodee smoothes way with £700,000 angel investment

Oodee, an allergy neutral skincare brand, has raised £700,000 supported by Angel Investment Network. Oodee is a skincare range for those who suffer allergies, intolerances and skin flare-ups – a group often overlooked by the beauty industry.

More Deals of the Week

Deals of the week January 24 to January 28 – a GrowthBusiness roundup

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