The United Nations estimates that 17% of the food available to consumers goes directly into the bin. Globally 923 million tonnes of food is wasted each year. 60% of this wastage happens in the home. Addressing this massive societal problem is London startup OLIO, a food sharing marketplace that lets neighbours share excess food by taking a photo, which is then available on the platform for neighbors to pick up. The simplicity of the app has made it quite popular; OLIO has handled 25 million+ portions of food and three million non-food household items that would have ended up wasted. The pandemic has served as a tailwind for the company, with a 5x increase in listing, as people reconsidered their relationship to the environment and sustainable choices. London TechWatch caught up with OLIO CEO and Founder Tessa Clarke to learn more about the genesis of the company, strategic plans, latest round of funding from investors that include VNV Global, Lugard Road Capital, DX Ventures (the venture arm of Delivery Hero), Accel, Octopus Ventures, and Rubio.
Funded in London
KYC and AML requirements typically require financial institutions to rely on numerous third-party data providers for both onboarding and ongoing monitoring. PassFort streamlines this process into a single robust dashboard that integrates 25+ different data providers, mitigating the chance of fraud and security vulnerabilities. Digitally-focused financial institutions (neo-banks, fintech startups, global banks, and platform banks) can now deliver real-time, risk-based decisioning combined with fast, customer-friendly experiences. PassFort consolidates and streamlines both the onboarding process and ongoing customer management to meet ever-changing regulatory requirements, leaving institutions protected with detailed audit trails. London TechWatch caught up with PassFort CEO and Founder Donald Gillies to learn more about the genesis of the business, strategic plans, latest round of funding Level Equity, OpenOcean, Episode 1, and Entrepreneur First.
Everything you need to need to know about the largest London startup funding rounds of August 2021; broken down by industry, stage, investors, and more…
There are countless workforce management applications and tools for workers that spend most of their time in front of a computer. But for members of the workforce that don’t sit at a desk, there’s a dearth of options to do simple administrative tasks, creating a bottleneck in communication between employers and employees. Sona is a workforce platform designed specifically for the needs of frontline workers (often deskless) like those working in retail, healthcare, logistics, and even manufacturing. The platform, founded earlier this year, focuses on shift scheduling, company communications, holiday leave scheduling, and feedback to ensure that both employees and employers are on the same page. London TechWatch caught up with Cofounder Steffen Wulff Petersen to learn more about building a timely solution for an economy where the concept of work is evolving, the company’s strategic plans, and recent round of funding from Speedinvest, Andy Leaver of Notion Capital, Lorenzo Franzi of Flash Ventures, and several partners from Novator.
Despite most code being built on logic and syntax, the perception of someone else’s code is usually very subjective. Differences in style, documentation, and aesthetics are usually issues that come up but one of the most challenging aspects when working with code developed by others is truly understanding how the code functions and affects the application. CRANQ is a low-code integrated development that visually represents how each individual element in code affects the application’s functionality. By working in a unified environment where code intent is visually represented and searchable, developers are able to confidently integrate third-party components including APIs, cutting down development time and cost. London TechWatch caught up with Cofounder and serial entrepreneur Toby Rowland (cofounded King.com) to learn more about the inspiration for CRANQ, building the company remotely, strategic plans, and recent round of funding led by Mark Esiri of Venrex Capital and Rogan Angelini-Hurll of PROfounders Capital.
Sleep apnea and snoring affect one and three people. If not addressed, obstructed sleep apnea can lead to serious health issues including diabetes, heart attack, hypertension, and glaucoma. Most therapy to address sleep apnea has been centered around invasive CPAP machines. Signifier Medical Technologies is a med-tech startup focused on non-invasive solutions for sleep-disordered breathing conditions. In February, the company received FDA approval for eXciteOSA, a medical device that provides neuromuscular stimulation to the tongue to address the conditions causing sleep apnea. Unlike other treatments, the device is used during the day and not while the patient is sleeping, resulting in increased comfort and convenience. 2- minute treatments have been shown to drastically improve the quality of sleep and reduce obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. There is a connected app for the device that encourages patient adherence and also provides valuable data to clinicians. London TechWatch caught up with CFO Alastair Maxwell to learn more about the company’s groundbreaking treatment, strategic plans, and latest round of funding from investors that include Alan Howard, Segulah Medical Acceleration, Pioneer Healthcare Partners, and Angelus Partners.
Normally, when a startup matures it brings to consider inorganic growth paths of growth. Startups that acquire a number of businesses may soon be operating a holding company across several lines of business. Palta shakes this model up from the onset by focusing on building several brands concurrently focused on the health and wellbeing space. Approaching it this way has several advantages: products within the portfolio are able to benefit from shared user bases, knowledge transfer from what’s working and not working, funding, shared infrastructure, and shared resources. The company currently operates Flo.Health, Zing Fitness Coach, Voir, Prisma Labs, and Simple Fasting; boasting more than 2.4M paid users with the plans to launch and acquire new applications covering more segments. This fluid model allows Palta to operate at the intersection of private equity, venture studio, incubator, and app maker. London TechWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Yuri Gurski to learn more about building a vertically integrated health and wellness cofounding company, the startup’s future plans, recent round of funding from investors that include VNV Global and Target Global.
The mental health crisis has a hidden toll on employers; depressed employees miss an increased number of workdays every year, employees with depressions lose 8% of work productivity on average, employees experiencing depression are two times more likely to leave a company than their non-depressed counterparts. With performance, engagement, and absenteeism all affected, companies are addressing the importance of providing mental health services to employees. Oliva is an online mental health platform that is designed for the needs of employers so that they can adequately address the mental well-being of their employees. The company uses a research-backed care model to provide service to employees rather than just connecting them with a therapy provider. Sessions can seamlessly be booked, with a slack integration, in just a few clicks where the employee is connected to a vetted specialist that is a part of the Oliva network and the employee is further supported by an in-house care team. Oliva also provides management training so that potential mental health issues can be detected early before they have a significant impact on operations. London TechWatch caught up with CEO, serial entrepreneur, and Cofounder Javier Suarez to learn how his personal experience running a startup led to founding this company, the importance of investing in employee mental health, the company’s strategic plans, recent round of funding, and much, much more.
mRNA science has shown the power of using an operating system framework for drug discovery and development with the successful COVID vaccine developments from Pfizer and Moderna. Integrating technology into the drug design process introduces unparalleled speed and flexibility. Kuano is using AI, quantum chemistry, and medical science to focus on enzyme reactions, a key factor in drug development, to develop novel therapeutics. The company is able to model enzyme reactions with unprecedented specificity allowing the drug makers to acquire the building blocks for pharmaceuticals that will address some of our most pressing and challenging diseases. London TechWatch caught up with Cofounder and CEO Vid Stojevic to learn more about how the Kuano changes the paradigm of drug development, the company’s strategic plans, and recent round of funding from ACF Investors, o2h Ventures, and a syndicate of Cambridge, London and UK-based angel investors.
The meteoric rise of the newest social networks is largely because of the work of creators rather than the network itself, which has many creators questioning the dependency on individual platforms. Creators spend countless hours developing content with little reward and face the constant risk of algorithm changes, policy shifts, bans, and monetization restrictions when they opt to build their followings on one of the popular social networks. Disciple Media is a SaaS platform that lets these individuals own the access to their audiences by allowing creators to build their own digital communities. The platform offers branded social spaces on the web, iOS, and Android that are easy to set up and maintain. Functions available include unlimited groups, messaging, push notifications, live streaming, and a host of monetization options including subscription, selling courses, and exclusive content. Disciple currently hosts over 2M users across 500 communities. London TechWatch caught up with CEO and Founder Benji Vaughan to learn more about how his own experience in the music business inspired the platform, the company’s strategic plans, and latest round of funding, which brings the total funding raised to $6.14M.