Kao Data, Huboo Technologies and techspert.io Get Funding

Excellent news for a developer & operator of data centres, an e-commerce order fulfilment provider and an AI-powered expert network.

It’s another mixed bag of UK-based tech firms as Kao Data, Huboo Technologies and techspert.io have garnered some funding this week.

Infratil Limited, a New Zealand-based listed infrastructure business, has agreed to invest up to £120-130 million in Kao Data, a developer and operator of data centres based in Harlow, Essex.

Following the close of its Series B funding, led by Emirati-based Mubadala Capital, Bristol-based e-commerce order fulfilment provider Huboo has raised £60 million in investment.

techspert.io is a startup based in Cambridge and has built AI-driven technology to index, identify and source knowledge within the healthcare and life sciences sectors. It raised $12 million (£8.8 million) from BGF and Nauta Capital.

Kao-ism

Since commencing operations in 2018, Kao Data says it has created digital infrastructure systems that deliver colocation services for enterprise, cloud, HPC and AI organisations. It provides services to the life sciences and financial services sectors, amongst others.

As part of its expansion, Kao Data has recently signed an agreement to acquire two UK prime location data centres with a long-term anchor lease from a “large financial services business”.

This purchase will enable Kao Data to deliver multi-site services for its clients and expand potential capacity to c. 55MW.

Infratil’s initial investment will fund this growth, after which Infratil will hold 40% of Kao Data, alongside current shareholders, Legal & General Group, and Goldacre, founder of Kao Data and part of the Noé group.

Infratil CEO Jason Boyes says: “With global demand for connectivity continuing to rise, this is an excellent opportunity to expand our digital infrastructure portfolio and build on our successful data centre platform investment in Australia and New Zealand.”

Lee Myall, CEO at Kao Data, explains that the investment will see the firm “accelerate its growth, underpinning the UK Government’s National AI Strategy, and its One Government Cloud Strategy (OGCS), with sustainable, high performance infrastructure, while expanding our operations across new locations”.

Huboo Feeling Fulfilled

Huboo’s round was joined by existing investors including Stride, Ada Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Episode 1 and Maersk Growth, and takes its total funding raised to nearly £80 million since April 2019.

The investment will be used for expansion across continental Europe. It has already opened its first mainland European base in Eindhoven – and it will soon be opening its first Spanish fulfilment centre in Madrid. The funding will also be used for software development and recruitment.

The company is in a good mood and says its revenues grew 10x in 2020.

Martin Bysh, Huboo’s CEO and co-founder, comments: “Scores of new and existing retail businesses now see their future in e-commerce, but while anyone can set up an online store-front and start selling within hours, the infrastructure powering e-commerce is alarmingly outdated, inefficient, inflexible and expensive.”

With that in mind, the firm offers a hub model. Huboo’s order fulfilment solution integrates with various e-commerce sales channels, marketplaces and systems. Names include Shopify, eBay and Amazon.

Huboo also has an open API and in-house development team. According to its site, it has 1,000+ clients.

Insight on techspert.io

techspert.io explains: “The volume of online data, information and misinformation is growing exponentially, as is the speed with which markets and products evolve. It is therefore increasingly challenging and important for businesses to cut through all the noise and get the rapid insights they need for smart decision making.”

The firm maps and predicts expertise across over 200 million experts worldwide, using a knowledge graph covering millions of expertise areas. This enables businesses to access expert insight, such as understanding the treatment landscape for a rare disease or the latest application of drones in agriculture.

Currently growing at 150%+ year-on-year, techspert.io will use the new investment for platform development and expanding into new sectors including consumer goods, technology, media and telecommunications.

The business will also be recruiting for its international project management team and business development teams.

During the year, the tech startup grew to over 50 people, and the company opened a new office in Houston, Texas.

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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