September’s name originates from the Latin word septem, meaning “seven” as this month was originally the seventh month of the early Roman calendar. Loosely following that theme and always a fan of a novelty structure, I decided to share 7 interesting investment themed insights for this month’s investment update. 

1 – Investment success for three local companies 

Three companies have successfully raised equity investment this month, totalling a little over £14.5million. Two of those companies have shared their positive news in the press.

2 – Huboo raises £14million

Bristol-based Huboo, the UK full-stack, software-driven fulfilment provider, is today announcing it has raised £14 million, led by European technology VC Stride. Founded in 2017, Huboo uses unique ‘micro hub’ technology to enable online retailers of all sizes – a £27bn market – to access a complete end-to-end fulfilment operation within minutes.

Read more.

3 – Ceryx Medical closes a £575,000 seed round

Ceryx Medical, a bioelectronics startup working towards the world’s first curative therapy for heart failure, announced a £575,000 seed round. The funding was made up of a £250,000 commitment from the Development Bank of Wales, £225,000 from angel investors, and £100,000 from the University of Bristol’s Enterprise Investment Fund. The funds will enable the company to grow its management and technology teams.

Read more.

4 – Quarterly Investment Briefing Q3 – people-powered investment

This month also saw the third Quarterly Investment Briefing of 2020 take place virtually. The event brought together investors and enablers of investment to network, learn and share.

As has become tradition, the theme for the September event was ‘people-powered investment’ – a phrase intended to capture the important role that a real variety of people play in successful equity transactions. We heard from Jenny Tooth (CEO at UK Business Angels Association) and Irene Graham (CEO at Scaleup Institute) about the work they are doing to understand and invigorate the creative industries investor community locally. We also heard about Charles Fallon’s perspective on creative industries investment both from his experience at SI Partners and his personal experience as an angel investor.

Read more & watch the full lightning talk

5 – Silicon Gorge Autumn edition sees huge uplift in investment need

Silicon Gorge aka the best pitch competition in the West, saw 66 applications from companies raising between £100k and £2m this month, in total seeking £39million between them. That’s almost double the amount requested at the last Silicon Gorge in March. Twenty four of these companies have been shortlisted to pitch in front of a panel of experts who will select the final 12 to pitch for a virtual room of investors.

Investors interested in hearing these pitches can apply to attend the final Silicon Gorge pitch session 12 November.

6 – PitchMe – from vans to code

The Investment Activator Programme also ran PitchMe on the 9th September, PitchMe is an event that invites startup founders to pitch their business to an audience of ‘pitch listeners’ who will share their feedback, advice and questions to support the progress of the business. The September event included pitches from Van Heroes, a nascent startup called ‘Shortlist’ and from

This event runs monthly so if you would like to practice your pitch, do contact to book a slot at the next event. 

7 – UWE £1m Digital Innovation Fund open until Tuesday 10 November 2020

It’s not often that we see grant funding available locally so I thought I’d finish on a funding high – UWE Bristol’s Digital Innovation Fund is open for its second round. This fund is designed to help support SMEs in the West of England that are seeking to innovate and solve new challenges created by the pandemic whilst also creating new employment opportunities. Grants of between £10,000 to £40,000 are available to fund 35% of project costs and UWE is offering a dedicated team to support eligible SMEs in developing projects and applications.

Read more

This article is written as part of the Investment Activator Programme (IAP) in the West of England. This programme is run by TechSPARK and is kindly sponsored by TLT LLP, delaware, Smith & Williamson, West of England Combined Authority, UWE, Sanderson, Engine Shed and Rocketmakers.

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Briony Phillips

Briony is Scaleup Lead at Rocketmakers, a software development agency that designs, develops and deploys technology for startups, scaleups and corporations. Briony champions the scale-up business ecosystem and works with partners across the public and private sector to deliver content, events and resources that help to overcome challenges faced by fast-growth companies such as access to investment and office space availability.