CultureAI, METCLOUD and BankiFi Secure Funding

Great news in two cities for a cybersecurity platform, a cloud and cybersecurity provider, and a banking technology platform.

There are ambitions and action in Manchester and Birmingham with CultureAI, METCLOUD and BankiFi bagging some useful tech funding.

CultureAI, a “human cybersecurity platform founded by professional hackers”, has announced the closing of a $4 million (£3 million) Seed round.

Cloud and cybersecurity provider METCLOUD has secured a £1 million investment from Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF).

Banking technology platform provider BankiFi has announced a co-development deal with the Co-operative Bank. This will see the bank invest an initial £500,000 with the funding to be used to co-develop a range of products for the SME market, with the initial focus being on cash management.

Chosen Time for CultureAI 

Manchester-based CultureAI says the investment was led by Senovo and saw participation from new investors Conviction alongside existing investors Passion Capital. Angel investors Paul Forster (Co-Founder, Indeed) and Guntram Friede (Head of Marketing, EMEA Salesforce & MuleSoft) also joined the round.

James Moore, Founder and CEO of CultureAI, explains: “We successfully gain access to organisations’ data and systems every time and it’s almost always as a result of human behaviour or error. As an example, multi-factor authentication (MFA) is often touted as a key cyber defence – yet we find that an average of 32% of employees accept MFA authentication requests sent by attackers, essentially opening the door for them. The traditional awareness training approach simply doesn’t improve behaviours like this – hacking people is still too easy.”

Moore believes security coaching, not training, is key.

The firm’s platform detects human security incidents across an organisation and combines those events with machine learning to automatically provide cybersecurity coaching programmes that are tailored to each employees’ cyber strengths, weaknesses and job role.

CultureAI will use the new funding for product development and will expand its commercial and technical teams in its Manchester city centre office.


Launched in 2017, Birmingham-based METCLOUD explains that through the investment it will increase its sales and marketing capacity, as well as make multiple technical hires. In addition, the investment will allow METCLOUD to add senior appointments to the board to support CEO Ian Vickers and his management team.

METCLOUD offers cybersecurity packages, predominantly targeted at SMEs which include MSSP (managed security service provider), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), SaaS (Software as a Service), edge computing, and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML).

The firm is doing pretty well. It recently secured an Innovate UK grant to undertake a two-year project, in partnership with Birmingham City University, to develop AI and ML deep learning algorithms.

In May 2020, the company also became a member of the World Economic Forum Global Innovators Community, an invitation-only group for startups.

Bliss for BankiFi 

It’s back to Manchester as fintech firm BankiFi says its co-development deal with the Co-operative Bank follows the delivery of two projects, including the bank’s SME mobile banking service and a new Request to Pay (RTP) app, Incomeing, allowing SMEs to manage invoices, link their accounting software and receive payments.

Mark Hartley, Founder and CEO of BankiFi, notes: “With the UK home to approximately 5.5 million micro business owners, we’re delighted that the Co-operative Bank have not only recognised the need to improve the banking services offering to the SME market, but have also chosen us as their technology partner to deliver those solutions.”

This latest investment follows a recent funding round of £2.2 million led by Manchester-based Praetura Ventures with participation from Greater Manchester Combined Authority, in addition to previous investment by Nationwide – already on the board.

BankiFi explains that the Co-operative Bank will be the first to take any products developed to market, but those services will then be made available to banks worldwide.

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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