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General Interest

Biotech company Benevolent AI is cutting half of its workforce in a cost-reduction strategy that will affect 180 staff. The AI drug discovery firm, run by a former advisor to David Cameron, Baroness Shields, is looking to save around £45m with the strategic shift, which includes layoffs as well as scaling back its lab facilities. […]

Australia-headquartered design software company Canva is opening its first London office, a vote of confidence in the capital at a time when the founders of Revolut and Monzo have questioned the attractiveness of the UK for businesses. Canva’s UK expansion, its first base in Europe, comes after the software firm acquired London-based data visualisation platform […]

Barclays has invested £3m into the London-based fintech platform Trade Ledger in an equity deal that will also see the bank integrate the company’s tech. Founded in 2016, Trade Ledger’s software slots into lenders’ existing technology to provide oversight of loan products, analysing data to provide information such as credit risk. Barclays is looking to […]

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced a £650m funding package for the UK’s life sciences ecosystem. The life science funding will see £250m allocated to encourage investment in science and tech businesses from pension schemes. Another focus of the fund is using £154m to expand the UK’s biological data bank and £121m to speed up clinical […]

James Draper is the CEO and founder of Bidstack, an in-game advertising technology company. Draper founded Bidstack in 2015. The company layers company logos and products natively into games to drive extra revenue for gaming companies. The London-headquartered company has worked with brands including Marriott Bonvoy, Paco Rabanne, and Doritos, along with game publishers including […]

A selection of this year’s most innovative product producers reveal how they got here, and what’s next

Venture capital firm Antler has invested more than £1.4m across 11 early-stage tech startups. Almost half the investments, shared exclusively with UKTN, are deeptech companies operating in the enterprise software space. Seven of the investments are at the pre-seed stage, while four are seed investments. Jed Rose, partner at Antler, said: “Working alongside hundreds of […]

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has met with leaders from OpenAI, Google DeepMind and Anthropic to discuss AI regulation. Sunak met yesterday with the AI executives, which included OpenAI’s Sam Altman. Sunak said that AI was the “defining technology of our time with the potential to positively transform humanity”. The prime minister, who has previously outlined […]

Last week, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) marked 100 days since its launch in February. The government created DSIT to “drive innovation” and focus solely on supporting the UK’s science and tech sectors. But what has it achieved so far, and where do UK tech stakeholders think it can do more? The […]

Starling Bank founder Anne Boden will step down as chief executive next month after nearly 10 years at the helm of the British fintech. The neobank founder said it was the right time to step aside off the back of a record pre-tax profit of £195m, a major increase from the year prior in which […]

Kristina Pereckaite, the founder of South East Angels, believes the current slowdown in financing provides a strong opportunity for non-venture capital (VC) firm investors. “Angel investors – if they weren’t investing through SEIS [seed enterprise investment scheme] funds – were kind of left behind a little bit because say we found a great company we […]

Tech is firmly in its generative AI era. “The generative AI frenzy shows no signs of abating,” says Frances Karamouzis, distinguished VP analyst at IT research firm and consultancy Gartner. “Organisations are scrambling to determine how much cash to pour into generative AI solutions, which products are worth the investment, when to get started and how […]

The Bank of England is planning to reject Revolut’s long-running application for a UK banking licence, according to reports, in a move that would strike a major blow to Britain’s most valuable fintech company. No official decision has been announced, and both Revolut and regulators are remaining tight-lipped. But what are Revolut’s options should confirmation […]

Molten Ventures is leading a £12.7m Series A extension round into Satellite Vu ahead of its first launch next month. The firm plans to provide energy monitoring services for equipment, buildings and water via satellites. “This funding round puts us in a strong position to hit our commercialisation goals over the next 12 months and […]

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit has shut down following the sale of its assets to rival companies for $36m (£29m). The sale is a fraction of the $3.7bn the company was valued at in 2021 and comes months after Virgin Orbit attempted the UK’s first orbital satellite launch. Cosmic Girl, a modified Boeing 747 used to […]

London-based medtech startup Acurable is expanding to the US following regulatory clearance for its sleep-tracking device. Acurable is based on more than 10 years of research conducted by Professor Esther Rodriguez-Villegas at Imperial College London’s Wearable Technologies Lab. The AcuPebble can now diagnose obstructive sleep apnoea by monitoring respiratory biomarkers. Acurable said it will launch […]

Shutterstock will acquire the animated image provider Giphy for $53m after UK regulators forced current owner Meta to sell its stake in the company. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) last year declared that Meta’s ownership of Giphy was harmful to the competitiveness of the online advertising space. The CMA also said there was a […]

London-based automated software development platform Builder.ai has secured $250m (£201.4m) in a Series D round that included backing from Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund. The significant cash injection comes at a time when institutional investors are scrambling to make the most out of the current AI gold rush. Builder.ai, which recently sold a stake to Microsoft, […]

London-based startup Konfir has raised a £2m seed round to develop and expand its employment and income verification tools. Konfir’s platform provides businesses with access to instant employment and income verification services, with the aim of streamlining the onboarding process for employers, landlords and lenders. The company combines proprietary data sources and algorithms to provide […]

Atomico co-founder Mattias Ljungman’s investment firm Moonfire Ventures has closed $90m (£72.6m) for its second fund that is supported by AI for investment decisions. Moonfire Ventures has created “proprietary AI models” to assist in finding new companies to back, as well as providing signals on the best time to exit. The VC firm states it […]

Fintech-focused VC firm QED Investors has closed two new funds with combined capital commitments of $925m (£745m). Based in the US, QED Investors will deploy the capital raised for Fund VIII ($650m) and Growth II ($275m) towards fintech startups in the UK, Europe, US, Africa, Asia, and South America. Both funds will target fintech companies […]

The London Stock Exchange could next year launch a new stock market for private companies as it explores ways to encourage liquidity in UK markets. The LSE’s chief executive said yesterday that the private exchange, currently called Intermittent Trading Venue, would allow companies to auction off shares whilst remaining in private ownership. Julia Hoggett, CEO […]

UK identity verification scaleup Onfido has acquired American digital ID company Airside Mobile for an undisclosed sum. The deal will combine Virginia, US-headquartered Airside Mobile’s digital identity-sharing technology with Onfido’s biometric ID verification. For example, a traveller will be able to verify their digital ID using Onfido’s technology to share with airport security, then using […]

Online car marketplace Cazoo is looking at ways to restructure its noteholders’ debt as it continues to shore up its balance sheet following an exit from the European market. The firm has around $630m (£507.5m) in 2% convertible senior notes – which offer the investors the ability to earn interest – required in 2027. In […]

Navigation software company What3words has shrunk its losses by nearly £12m according to its latest financial results. What3words cited fair value adjustment of convertible loan notes for the decrease in post-tax losses, which fell from £43.3m in 2021 to £31.5m in 2022. The London-based company’s loan notes now stand at £17m, compared to £64m the […]

The UKTN Podcast is back for season three. In the first episode, Eccie Newton, co-founder and CEO of Karma Kitchen, addresses some of the misconceptions surrounding dark kitchens, explains how the sites are “closer to a co-working space” and shares ways to minimise courier traffic in local areas.    Newton co-founded Karma Kitchen with her […]

Since 2017, the programme has supported almost 50 high-growth businesses

On the final day of the Future Worlds 2023 cohort’s trip across the San Francisco Bay Area, the UK founders had the opportunity to tour the campus of one of the world’s largest tech firms: Google. After a week of learning from fellow founders and major investors, along with pitching their companies at Thursday’s networking […]

The University of Bradford is creating an AI hub focusing on transitioning university projects into spinouts. Starting in September, the University of Bradford AI innovation hub will provide business resources to students such as legal responsibilities, pitching and financing. Professor Zahir Irani, deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Bradford, said: “Our MSc programme has landed […]

The finance chief of London-based fintech Wise is stepping down, coming just weeks after its CEO announced he will take a three-month paternity leave in September. Wise CFO Matt Briers, who has worked with the international remittance company for eight years, will step down to support his recovery from injuries sustained in a bicycle crash […]

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