Hokodo, ESG Book, BotsAndUs and KIT-AR Get Tech Funding in London

BNPL, ESG, AI, AR... success for acronyms and tech firms in the capital.

It’s all happening in London with Hokodo, ESG Book, BotsAndUs and KIT-AR picking up tech funding.

Hokodo, a buy now pay later (BNPL) solution for B2B, has announced a Series B fundraise of $40 million (£32.5 million).

ESG Book, a sustainability data and technology provider, has closed $35 million (£28.5 million) in Series B funding.

BotsAndUs has secured $13 million (£10.5 million) in seed financing led by humans at Lakestar for its warehouse data intelligence platform.

KIT-AR, an augmented worker platform for the manufacturing industry, has completed a €2 million (£1.7 million) seed stage funding round.

The House of Hokodo

Hokodo is a UK tech entity with European dreams. (Its name might be derived from the Maori word ‘hoko’, which means ‘buy’ in English.) The firm’s Series B funding round was led by Notion Capital, a VC fund who participated in its Series A raise last year.

Patrick Norris, General Partner at Notion Capital, explains: “There’s a lot of excitement around B2B BNPL at the moment, and rightly so because the B2B e-commerce market is at least twice as large as B2C.”

Further investment comes from continental European investors Korelya Capital (France), Mundi Ventures (Spain) and Opera Tech Ventures (France). Additional funding was sourced from existing investors including Anthemis and Mosaic Ventures.

Hokodo launched its BNPL solution in 2019. The fintech firm says more than 30,000 businesses have chosen to pay later while shopping with the 30+ merchants and marketplaces that use its solution integrated into their online checkout. The company has a proprietary underwriting engine that allows it to offer instant credit decisions, and has an internal collections team.

Hokodo is live and operational in six European markets, following launches in Belgium and the Netherlands earlier this year. It will use the funding to target European expansion and to develop new B2B BNPL products and solutions for telesales and in-store purchases.

An Open ESG Book

As its name indicates, ESG Book provides technology capabilities for clients who need to meet sustainability requirements.

The round was led by Energy Impact Partners, Meridiam and Allianz X, the digital investment arm of insurer and asset manager Allianz.

ESG Book provides a cloud-based platform for ESG data. It covers over 25,000 companies globally. After having a look, it was discovered that names listed on its website include HSBC, Google Cloud, Accenture, AWS, Citi and BNY Mellon.

Incubated by financial services firm Arabesque in 2018, ESG Book has offices in London, Frankfurt, Boston, Singapore, Delhi and Tokyo.

Watch This Space with BotsAndUs

BotsAndUs says the round included participation from Maersk Growth, Kindred Capital and Capnamic.

The tech firm is looking for action in the realm of warehousing. It reckons there is a demand for near-instantaneous storage, dispatch and delivery of goods.

BotsAndUs offers an AI and robotics platform, which collects real-time insights using autonomous, mobile robots to process pallets during their journey throughout a warehouse. Triggered by the arrival of goods, the robots capture the volume and condition as they enter and leave the warehouse. The same robots scan goods on shelves and record their location and quantity. These robots can “operate without human intervention”.

In addition to Maersk and Huboo, BotsAndUs works with Menzies Aviation, an air cargo company that services more than 200 airport locations.

With the fresh capital, BotsAndUs is targeting markets including Germany, France, Nordics, US and Canada.

No Hassle(hoff) for KIT-AR

With a name that inspires memories of that clever and snooty car from 80’s TV show Knight Rider, KIT-AR has been making progress since its inception in 2018.

The tech startup points out that the investment was co-led by Armilar Venture Partners and Caixa Capital Risc, with participation from others.

“We hear about the perils of automation and the rise of the robots, but reality is less drastic. Augmented workers are already developing synergies between man and machine to harness new strengths and overcome their shortcomings,” says Manuel Oliveira, CEO of KIT-AR.

The tech company is incorporated in the UK, with a subsidiary in Portugal. KIT-AR was spun out of UCL (University College London) and SINTEF, a research institute in Norway.

KIT-AR’s patent-pending solution uses augmented reality and AI for production, logistics and quality control for customers in the automotive industry, aerospace and electronics manufacturing.

Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton is the Editor of eWeek UK. He has 18 years' journalism and writing experience. His career has taken him to China, Japan and the UK - covering tech, fintech and business. Follow on Twitter @TonyFintech.
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