Amber Group, Automata and OCR Labs Get Funding

Life progresses well for a digital asset platform, an automation company and a digital identity verification firm.

Vowels and Series B rounds rule with Amber Group, Automata and OCR Labs securing tech funding.

Digital asset platform Amber Group has announced a $200 million (£147 million) Series B+ round led by investment company Temasek, with participation from existing shareholders including Sequoia China, Pantera Capital, Tiger Global Management, Tru Arrow Partners and Coinbase Ventures.

Automata, a London-based automation company focusing on the life sciences sector, has raised $50 million (£37 million) in Series B funding. The investment round was led by Octopus Ventures with participation from returning investors Hummingbird, Latitude Ventures, ABB Technology Ventures, Isomer Capital and others.

Also in London, digital identity verification firm OCR Labs has announced a $30 million (£22 million) Series B round led by New York-based Equable Capital to expand its team in North America and EMEA.

The Chronicles of Amber

Amber says this round is a follow-up to its $100 million (£73.5 million) Series B in 2021. This Series B+ is the largest investment in Amber, valuing the company at $3 billion (£2.2 billion). Total capital raised at Amber now stands at $328 million (£241 million).

The fintech company is headquartered in Singapore, and has a presence in London, Athens, Chicago, Geneva, Dubai, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Mexico City, New York, Salt Lake City, Seoul, Taipei, Tokyo, Vancouver and Zurich.

Founded in 2017, Amber works in both institutional and consumer markets. It is a liquidity provider, offering clients services that include algorithmic execution, electronic and OTC market-making derivatives, structured products and advisory services. Amber also offers a consumer app, WhaleFin, and a set of “creative services” and infrastructure in its OpenVerse business.

Amber seems to be enjoying golden days and says its cumulative transaction volume has surpassed $1 trillion (£735.3 billion) and assets under management have grown to over $5 billion (£3.6 billion) since its inception.

The company has also extended its list of licences after securing regulatory approvals from in-market financial authorities in Australia, the UK, Japan and Switzerland. Amber is now expanding into new markets through regulatory licensing and acquisitions, such as the company’s latest acquisition of Japanese crypto exchange, DeCurret Inc.

Automata in Good Health

Automata says the investment will enable development, in the UK and beyond, of Automata Labs for scientists working across diagnostics, drug discovery and biotech.

The tech firm’s lab automation comprises proprietary hardware and cloud-based management software. For instance, Automata Labs makes it possible to automate multiple protocols and workflows running simultaneously.

This Series B investment is on the back of growth for Automata, which saw nearly a million tests conducted by scientists and clinicians in recent months. Automata’s systems have been used by NHS pathology labs for diagnostics, with one of these labs running 40 fully automated stations 24/7.

Other clients listed on Automata’s website include Novartis and Imperial College London.

OCR Labs’ American Dream

OCR Labs deals with identity fraud and regulatory compliance, using its proprietary technology. Its solution supports anti money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) regulations.

Its technology is an accredited, biometric solution that combines optical character recognition (OCR), document fraud assessment, liveness detection, video fraud assessment and face matching.

The company was founded in 2016 by Matthew Adams and Daniel Aiello, and launched its first product in 2018.

OCR Labs says its deep learning engines allow it to control the identity verification flow without human intervention.

As part of its Series B, it plans a new office in North America, a direct sales force and hiring a global Chief Revenue Officer. OCR Labs has raised $46 million (£34 million) through its combined Series A and B. Previous investors include OYAK and Halkin Ventures.

The past year has seen OCR Labs grow its customer base, with a 500% increase in new clients and doubling its growth rate every year in the last three years.

OCR Labs has clients across industries including financial services, government, telco, crypto and a variety of platform-based businesses, such as SaaS providers. Customers include the Australian Government, Vodafone, ZIP and BMW.

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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