There’s some blooming good news as Bloom, ShardSecure, OpenDialog and Kapaga have netted tech funding in London and beyond.
Revenue-based lender Bloom has secured £300 million of funding firepower led by Credo Capital Partners and funds managed by Fortress Investment Group.
Data security firm ShardSecure has secured $11 million (£8.7 million) in Series A Funding from Grotech Ventures, Gula Tech Adventures, Tom Noonan, KPMG and existing venture investors.
OpenDialog, a conversational AI technology provider, has raised $5 million (£4 million) in its initial seed round of funding.
SME-focused cross-border payment platform Kapaga has announced a £1.5 million funding round led by Target Global and with participation from angel investors in the fintech space.
Founded by James Hickson in 2019, the Bloom team includes Werner Kruger, the former head of data science at Klarna.
Christopher Dailey, Co-Managing Partner of Credo, will join the Bloom board as part of the funding deal.
London-based Bloom says the funding will be used to support e-commerce and recurring revenue businesses. It offers funding via an AI-generated method.
According to the tech firm, its product charges customers for only what they use. The capital from Bloom is not designed for stock, marketing or any other specific purpose as Bloom “believes business owners who have growing companies should be free to use capital in the best way that suits them”.
Brands that Bloom works with include Stripe, Shopify, eBay, Amazon and Magento.
ShardSecure’s European Dream
ShardSecure’s HQ is in New York, but the firm spoke with eWeek UK about its interest over here. It recently announced a partnership with Praesidium Cyber in London as its first channel partner in Europe. ShardSecure will also have its first full-time sales leader in Europe starting on 1 June.
The Series A funding will be used for product development and third-party product integrations – and expand its sales and marketing operations in North America.
The US company explains that it is the inventor of Microshard technology – that deals with data security and privacy risks in the cloud. The three-step Microshard process to shred, mix and distribute data renders data “unintelligible and of no value to attackers”. This data protection can be added to SaaS applications such as Microsoft 365 or for cold storage migration from on-premises to the cloud.
ShardSecure is feeling secure as it notes that its (undisclosed) valuation continues to double every year
Its customers include financial firms, healthcare and pharmaceutical organisations, technology businesses, and companies in other regulated industries.
OpenDialog Open for Business
OpenDialog (aka OpenDialog AI) is based in London and was founded in 2019.
The tech startup is in a chatty mood and says the funding was secured in four weeks, with an oversubscription of potential investors.
The investment will be used for product development and to support expansion plans in the UK and other (unspecified) markets globally.
The founding team behind OpenDialog includes Terry Walby, Founder and CEO of Thoughtonomy, which sold to Blue Prism for $100 million (£79 million) in 2019; Dean Chapman, who was previously the Chief Commercial Officer of Thoughtonomy; and Dr. Ronald Ashri who led the research on which OpenDialog’s capabilities are built.
Dr. Ashri comments: “For the last 40 years, the way people interact with machines has remained the same – a keyboard, a mouse and a screen. We have to understand how to use the machines in a way that fits into their very narrow and limited capabilities for interaction. But we’re turning this on its head, putting the onus on technology to understand humans.”
OpenDialog’s customers include BDO (finance sector), Peppercorn Insurance, Brunel University London and The Cyber Helpline.
Kapaga Knows When
Kapaga (the Cebuano word for ‘when’) was founded in 2020 – and launched in 2021 – by Katya Dorofejeva. Her experience includes Clear Junction, Bloomberg and PwC.
The fintech startup offers B2B payment services for SMEs and fellow startups. Kapaga’s cloud architecture allows firms to send and bill money to 190+ countries in various currencies via one application.
Dorofejeva says: “We aim to board and activate customers in under 48 hours, start to finish.”
Kapaga has more than 150 clients. Along with London, it has a presence in Latvia and Spain.
Its team comprises more than 20 employees, and Kapaga will be expanding its operations across the EU this summer. It mentions that it will unveil virtual cards in the coming months.
Since 2012, Target has invested in companies including Delivery Hero, Revolut, Auto 1 Group, Copper, Rapyd, Wefox, Flink, Cazoo. Target has backed 15 unicorns, had 21 exits and seven realised IPOs.