Great news in Durham, London and Manchester with Atom Bank, 5ire, Sharegain and Netacea securing tech funding.
App-based Atom Bank in Durham has raised more than £75 million in new equity and has an IPO on its mind. Together with Toscafund and Infinity Investment Partners, BBVA led this round.
5ire, a London-based blockchain network, has secured a $100 million (£74 million) capital commitment from GEM Global Yield as it seeks to file for an IPO.
London-headquartered Sharegain, a capital markets infrastructure fintech company, has raised $64 million (£47 million) in a series B round led by WestCap and joined by Citi, EJF Capital and Optiver PSI.
Netacea, a Manchester-based bot detection specialist, has received $12 million (£9 million) in Series A funding, its largest investment to date.
No Room for the Week at Atom
BBVA says it has once again shown its support for the Atom project and team, of which it has been a shareholder since 2015 and which it has supported in all its share capital increases. BBVA is currently the main shareholder, with a 39% holding.
As it announced last year, Atom intends to do an IPO. The mobile bank has raised capital totaling £115 million in the last year, factoring in the previous £40 million round, which closed in April 2021.
It seems Atom’s four-day working week, announced in November 2021, has done it no harm.
Atom reels off the stats to show things are going well. In 2021 Atom passed £3 billion of mortgage completions since the bank began to operate. Lending to small businesses also surpassed £1 billion during 2021.
Meanwhile, 2021 saw total customer deposits grow by 16% to £2.5 billion, with £1 billion of savings held in Atom’s Instant Saver. Atom will seek to grow deposits by a further £2 billion in FY23.
5ire’s International Intentions
5ire was established by Pratik Gauri, Prateek Dwivedi and crypto financier Vilma Mattila. The firm describes itself as a blockchain platform for impact and SDG-related development, management and investment.
Prior to this funding, 5ire’s valuation stood at $110 million (£81 million) upon receiving funding of $21 million (£15.5 million) in its seed round from private and institutional investors.
According to 5ire, the funds will be used for liaising with government stakeholders in India and upcoming international markets; and for recruitment of tech developers, and sales, marketing and product development staff.
The firm offers its 5ireChain infrastructure which is targeted at governments, Fortune 500 companies, family offices, universities and civic bodies
By signing MOUs, 5ire says it has taken a “first step” in public-private partnerships in India, Nigeria and the US.
Sharegain says participating existing investors include Maverick Ventures Israel, Blumberg Capital, SixThirty, Rhodium and the Kessler family office.
The fintech company was founded in 2015 and offers an SLaaS (Securities Lending as a Service) solution.
Sharegain’s solution enables online brokers, private banks, asset managers and custodians to lend their stocks, bonds and ETFs for their own business and their clients.
Boaz Yaari, Founder and CEO of Sharegain, notes: “We believe that lending your stocks, bonds and ETFs is a basic ownership right that should be made available to all. As private investor participation increases in capital markets, we are leveling the playing field so that private investors, through their brokers and banks, can benefit from income generating solutions that have been largely restricted to big financial institutions.”
Netacea Detects American Adventures
According to Netacea, investors in this Series A round include long-term backer Mercia Asset Management; Rupert Cook, Chairman, Netacea; and plenty of cybersecurity professionals.
Jeremy Gidlow, CEO and Co-Founder, Netacea, comments: “We have already won some big US customers, such as Shutterstock, and look forward to continuing our push into the US market.”
Netacea is a cybersecurity business founded in 2018. It detects and mitigates against bot attacks that target mobile, website and API applications. It uses threat intelligence and machine learning in near real-time.
The firm says its agentless approach does not require code to be inserted on customers’ web pages, allowing it to stay hidden from attackers while also protecting mobile apps and APIs.
Half of Netacea’s sales team is now based in the US and plans are in place for this proportion to grow. It will also grow its technical team, specifically in development, data science, data analysis and threat research.