London and Sheffield are on track with Opteran, Rotageek, InvestEngine and Singletrack nabbing tech funding.
Natural intelligence company Opteran has secured $12 million (£9.7 million) in funding for its insect-inspired ambitions in AI.
Rotageek, a workforce scheduling company, has closed a £3 million funding round led by Volution, Calculus Capital and Gresham House Ventures.
Fintech firm InvestEngine has crowdfunded £1.4 million, giving it a pre-money valuation of £15.6 million.
Singletrack, a capital markets solutions provider, has announced a “significant” investment from Accel-KKR, a private equity firm.
Opteran Plays it Natural
Opteran is based in Sheffield and featured in our ‘Seven Tech Companies in Yorkshire to Watch’ here.
The tech firm’s approach to AI is to re-engineer insect brain patterns and “introduce the third wave of AI: genuine brain biomimicry”.
The funding was led by Join Capital, with additional funding from IQ Capital, Northern Gritstone, Seraphim, Episode 1 and Schauenburg Ventures.
Opteran will use this funding for product development and international expansion. It will open offices in the US to support a number of customer pilots, and in 2023, it will add natural brain decision-making for machines. It is also working to deliver hyperspectral vision, natural brain image recognition and dynamic learning based on inputs from the surrounding environment.
“By mimicking Nature’s genius to enable machines to move like natural creatures we are redefining the global market for machine autonomy,” explains David Rajan, CEO, Opteran.
The company was launched in 2020 and has piloted its technology with customers in the US, South Africa and Europe, who are developing collision avoidance and navigation capabilities in cobot arms, drones and mining robots.
Rotageek Shifts Up a Gear
Rotageek is based in London. Its retail clients include Caffè Nero, McColl’s, White Stuff and Charlotte Tilbury. While in the healthcare sector, names include Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust.
The tech company provides an employee scheduling solution for rotas in the retail, entertainment, hospitality and healthcare sectors. Its solution uses cloud-based, AI-driven technology to help businesses manage and schedule staff to meet demand, forecast footfall and optimise rotas.
The new round of funding will be used for product development, sales and marketing.
Rotageek was founded by CEO Dr Chris McCullough, CTO Nick Mann and Professor Roy Pounder. Dr McCullough trained as a medical doctor, spending 16 years in the NHS and eight years as an emergency medicine physician at several London-based hospitals. The experiences of managing a shift-based mobile workforce provided him with the motivation to establish Rotageek.
Attention for InvestEngine
London-based InvestEngine offers commission-free ETF investing for individuals and small businesses. Its crowdfunding was targeting £700,000 – and as is quite common in fintech it went way beyond that goal.
InvestEngine sees itself as a DIY investment platform and offers automated investing features. As its name indicates, it provides access to ETFs from iShares, Vanguard and other investment brands.
The company was built by Simon Crookall, the co-founder of Gumtree.
The fintech startup was established in 2019 and launched its platform in July 2021. It now has over 6,000 active customers and £30 million+ in client assets.
Singletrack Seeks M&A
Singletrack’s HQ is in London and it was founded in 2009. It describes itself as purpose-built CRM solution for capital markets. It was set up by Stuart Berwick (CEO) and Paul Dyson (CTO).
It is targeting banks, brokers and IRPs with its relationship management, research distribution and research evaluation solutions.
There are no financial details about the investment but Singletrack will be looking for M&A action.
The fintech firm’s sell side platform uses assets and information for sales and trading, research, events and corporate finance, via tools including AI and machine learning to get at client behaviour insights.
On the buy side, the company offers a vendor relationship platform that captures interactions with brokers and other research providers, handles voting, manages contracts and more. The resultant data could be used for research acquisition strategies, vendor management and allocation of research finance.
Singletrack’s customers include D. A. Davidson, Liberum, Peel Hunt and Seaport Global Securities.