Delio, BKwai and Sparkbox Secure Funding

A private markets tech provider, a construction data company, and a retail planning & insights platform make progress across the UK.

There’s good news in Cardiff, London and Manchester with Delio, BKwai and Sparkbox grabbing tech funding.

Private markets tech provider Delio has raised $8.3 million (£6 million) from Octopus Ventures.

BKwai, a construction data company, has received £2.2 million in Seed funding. The round was led by Octopus Ventures, with participation from Deeptech Labs and Cambridge Enterprise (the investment arm of the University of Cambridge).

Sparkbox, a retail planning, price optimisation and insights platform powered by machine learning, has secured £1.5 million from Praetura Ventures.

Delio Delighted 

Cardiff-based Delio says additional investment from early-backers Maven Capital Partners brings the total equity funding raised to $15.5 million (£11.6 million).

The fintech company was founded in 2015 and digitises the private markets strategies of banks, wealth managers and other financial firms. It works with 90 financial institutions worldwide, including Barclays, UBS and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank. It has offices in Europe, New York, Dubai and Sydney.

Gareth Lewis, CEO and Co-Founder of Delio, comments: “With investor demand at an all-time high, there is a lot of noise around how institutions overcome the traditional barriers to private markets. We’ve taken a different approach, creating white-labelled technology that acts as the digital building blocks on which firms can scale their propositions.”

The latest investment will be used for its international operations and “lay the foundations of its non-conflicted private markets infrastructure”. This digital network will connect capital raisers, financial institutions and investors.

Backing for BKwai 

BKwai is based in London. Its software platform combines data from multiple sources (on site sensors, environmental data and remote satellite data) giving a view of the asset, as well as its surrounding environment.

The tech startup deploys data techniques to help engineers sift through volumes of data to find patterns, predict what is going to happen and identify early warning signs.

BKwai was founded in 2019 and its current customers include Thames Tideway, Laing O’Rourke, Kier, WSP and Highways England. BKwai’s founder, Sakthy Selvakumaran, has over a decade of international experience in design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure assets, and she combines this with a PhD and academic research in satellite monitoring and data analysis methods in the University of Cambridge Engineering Department. The company is also supported by Geovation, part of Ordnance Survey, UK.

Selvakumaran comments: “The proliferation of new sensors and satellite technology has the potential to fuel a revolution in the way the built environment can be monitored. Data can be used to make smarter, safer, more economical decisions across all aspects of the process – from planning to construction to operation and maintenance.”

Akriti Dokania, Investor at Octopus Ventures, adds: “Construction is one of the world economy’s largest sectors, worth £7 trillion. McKinsey estimates that if the productivity levels were to catch up with the progress made by other sectors over the past 20 years or with the total economy, it could increase the industry’s value added by £1.2 trillion a year.”

The investment in BKwai will be used to scale operations and build out its roadmap.

Sparkbox Sparkles

Manchester-based Sparkbox will use the funding for recruitment and to launch new products.

The firm was established in 2018 and provides merchandising teams with the data for pricing and inventory decisions. Sparkbox’s team comprises former retail data scientists and merchandisers.

With the investment the tech company gets two new board members – Colin Greene, a Praetura Operational Partner and former director of US Consumer Retail at Apple, and Louise Chapman who will join as Investor Director.

Greene notes: “Sparkbox’s approach to inventory optimisation has the power to bring about massive changes in fashion and home retail, which is clearly behind the times when it comes to technology adoption within merchandising.”

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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