Spring sprang and then Winter made a rather overenthusiastic return – it’s been an eventful few weeks since I was last in touch with the monthly equity funding update and not just in the weather watching world. It’s also been a pretty extraordinary period from an investment perspective with nearly £198million equity investment secured by companies across the South West ranging from education to catering, asset management software to experience recommendations. 

For these updates, I use our data partners, Beauhurst, a great platform which enables me to generate a quick list of everyone who has raised investment and distil those that have got press coverage already. This month, in March, there were a total of 16 companies that raised equity investment and nine that shared the news publicly raising well over £190million between them. Two of the companies disclosed that they had raised, but didn’t specify how much but I think we can fairly confidently say that companies in the South West raised over £200million in March. 

As always, I have compiled a quick summary of those companies that have raised equity investment and shared the news in the public domain, and I hope it will inspire and equip you to do the same, or to support these great local companies in some way. 

LifeScore

AI music technology company and adaptive music platform LifeScore has raised a further £11 million in funding as it seeks to ‘soundtrack your life’ in a Series A round joined by Octopus Ventures and Warner Music Group. LifeScore creates adaptive music that is algorithmically tailored to the context and needs of the listener – whether that be to relax, focus or energise, or to support the emotional narrative of a performance or immersive experience.

ClearBank

A UK fintech that has built a new set of cloud-based financial rails that allows banks and other customers real-time clearance on payment transactions and other financial services — has closed a big round of funding, money it will be using to take its services beyond its home market and move into newer areas such as cryptocurrency exchanges. The company has raised £175 million ($230 million at today’s conversion rates), from a single investor, the PE firm Apax Partners.

Yuup

Bristol businesses have sold more than 20,000 experiences in the city over the last 12 months, generating more than £500,000 of income for local people and small independent businesses, all thanks to Yuup. Yuup, the local experiences platform founded by Bristol entrepreneur Dominic Mills, revealed the numbers as the business announced an investment round that values the company at more than £4.5m.

Siloton

Quantum Exponential Group plc (AQUIS:QBIT), a company focused on investing in quantum technology announced in a statement that it invested c.£300,000 as part of a c.£470,000 seed funding round in Siloton Limited, a technology company that uses quantum techniques and photonic integrated circuits (‘PICs’) for use in sub-surface optical scanning devices with applications across healthcare, and non-destructive testing. This is Quantum Exponential’s first quantum technology equity investment since listing in November 2021, according to the statement.

Glaia

Green Angel Syndicate, the UK’s largest network of specialist investors fighting climate change, is delighted to welcome Glaia to its portfolio. Glaia, the startup founded in 2019 by two former University of Bristol scientists, Dr. David Benito and Dr Imke Sittel, has discovered how to supercharge crop growth without increasing greenhouse gases, using ground-breaking, carbon-based technology that reduces farming’s climate footprint.

Glassette

Glassette, a London, UK-based provider of online platform curating homeware from independent brands, raised £1.2M in funding. The company, registered in Weston Super Mare, raised the round into the company, which is now valued at £8M, led by Nigel Wray with participation from Stephanie Phair, Michelle Kennedy, Whitney Hawkings, Peter Hawkings, Adam Levine, and Fred Kooij.

Cakesmiths

A Bristol-headquartered manufacturer and supplier of artisan cakes has secured investment from mid-market private equity firm LDC to support the next stage of its growth plans. Cakesmiths supplies its range to independent customers across the UK through its direct-to-market online platform.

LDC is backing the management team, led by managing director Simon Harris and newly-appointed chief executive Chris Ormrod, to build on its success to date. The investment was led by LDC investment director in the South West Stefan Gunn and investment manager James Garland, both of who will also join the board.

Global Vans

A Bristol-headquartered light commercial vehicle (LCV) broker has secured investment from H2 Equity Partners as part of the company’s growth plans. The deal was advised on by KPMG. Global Vans – which has nationwide coverage – organises light commercial vehicles on behalf of its SME customer base. It is also one of the largest procurers of LCVs in the UK.

Sennen

Whether it is wind farms in Taiwan, or solar farms in the UK, Sennen’s technology is used globally by some of the largest operators of renewable energy assets in the world including global operators such as EDF. Clients who use Sennen’s cloud-edge technology can get more granular, real-time data insights, make more informed decisions, improve safety and enhance project efficiency and outputs. All in all, it’s a win-win. More clean energy from more efficient renewable energy projects at a lower price and fewer emissions, prompting Vala Capital’s recent investment.

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, West of England Combined Authority, UWE, Sanderson, Engine Shed and Rocketmakers. Find out more about the IAP here.

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the investment activator programme is supported by: Engine Shed, delaware, rocketmakers, sanderson, TLT, WECA and UWE Bristol
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