London and Oxford are full of vigour with Elwood Technologies, Salience Labs and Wellbees securing tech funding.
Elwood, a provider of digital assets trading infrastructure for institutional investors, has closed a $70 million (£57 million) Series A funding round with interest from such notable names as Goldman Sachs and Barclays.
Salience Labs has got plenty of attention and raised a seed round of $11.5 million (£9.4 million) to develop a multi-chip processor combining photonics and electronics for AI.
Employee wellbeing platform Wellbees has received $2.2 million (£1.8 million) investment led by 212, a B2B technology specialist VC.
Life’s Good for Elwood
London-based Elwood says the round was co-led by B2B investor Dawn Capital and Goldman Sachs. There was additional participation from investors, including Barclays, BlockFi Ventures, Chimera Ventures, CommerzVentures, Digital Currency Group, Flow Traders and Galaxy Digital Ventures.
James Stickland, CEO of Elwood Technologies, comments: “The rich mix of investors participating in this raise reaffirms the movement of financial institutions working closely with their native digital asset technology providers.”
Like quite a few others, Elwood is hunting for action in the “mass market” for digital assets and cryptocurrency. Its platform connects to crypto exchanges, custodians and liquidity providers, via an API. According to its website, it is being used by 31 digital asset exchanges and liquidity venues.
Elwood will deploy the funds to expands its product offerings and global operations.
Salience Labs is headquartered in Oxford and was spun out of the University of Oxford and the University of Münster in 2021.
The funding round was led by Cambridge Innovation Capital and Oxford Science Enterprises, with Oxford Investment Consultants, former CEO of Dialog Semiconductor Jalal Bagherli, Silicon Catalyst, the Goh Family Office from Singapore and Arm-backed Deeptech Labs participating.
Vaysh Kewada, CEO and Co-Founder of Salience Labs, says: “The world needs ever faster chips to grow AI capability, but the semiconductor industry cannot keep pace with this demand. We’re solving this with our proprietary ‘on-memory compute’ architecture which combines the ultra-fast speed of photonics, the flexibility of electronics and the manufacturability of CMOS.”
According to the tech startup, the speed of AI computation doubles every 3.4 months. Its technology is capable of stacking up to 64 vectors into a beam of light. Salience Labs uses a proprietary amplitude-based approach to photonics, resulting in dense computing chips clocking at tens of GHz.
The company also uses multi-chip design, with the photonic processing mapping directly on top of the Static Random Access Memory (SRAM). Its architecture can be adapted to the “application-specific requirements of different market verticals”. The firm mentions such AI use-cases as communications, robotics, vision systems and healthcare.
All’s Well at Wellbees
HRtech firm Wellbees is based in London and will use the investment for expansion in the UK and international markets (e.g., MENA); and to establish a data science team.
The tech firm was founded in 2013 and its platform is used by more than 100,000 employees in 40+ companies in 17 countries. Clients include DHL, Bayer, Vodafone, Unilever, Toyota, Shell, Pfizer, IKEA, Nestlé, Mercedes-Benz, Lufthansa, Goodyear, AstraZeneca and Allianz.
According to Wellbees, investment in HR technology started to accelerate during the pandemic – and over $14 billion (£11.4 billion) was invested in 2021 globally with benefits and employee wellbeing ranking second for these investments. Deloitte Insights 2021 predict that by 2040 two thirds of all health spending will be in wellbeing.
Wellbees offers support to the staff of companies via competitions, content, seminars and events on a digital platform.
The tech firm reckons that 20% of all startups globally have a female founder, yet only 2.3% of them get institutional investment.
Wellbees’ Founder Melis Abacioğlu adds: “We are happy to contribute to the other side of this metric. We are proudly a 62% female led company, including in our tech team, and strive to continue with a balanced recruitment strategy.”