Synthace, Kick ICT and Hadrian Garner Funding

Latest funding developments comprise a life sciences software company, an independent IT services business, and a cybersecurity startup.

From London to Scotland, Synthace, Kick ICT and Hadrian have nabbed some tech funding. 

Synthace, a London-based life sciences software company, raised $35 million (£26 million) in Series C funding.

Over in Bellshill (near Glasgow), independent IT services business Kick ICT secured an £8.7 million investment from BGF.

London and Amsterdam-based cybersecurity startup Hadrian picked up a €2.5 million (£2.1 million) pre-seed investment round, co-led by Slimmer AI together with San Francisco-based Village Global, and a group of international angel investors and cybersecurity experts.

Synthace in Right Place

Biotech Synthace plans to expand its senior leadership team in the US, with new vice presidents of marketing and sales joining the US-based CEO.

Guy Levy-Yurista, Ph.D., CEO of Synthace, states: “This investment serves as a strong vote of confidence from world-class investors in the biopharmaceutical and innovation technology industries. With their support, we’ll be able to better deploy human and financial capital to help transform scientific dreams into drugs and alternative food sources.”

The company is naturally well aware of the zeitgeist and points to the development and rollout of COVID vaccines, booster shots and the recently announced COVID pill. These all highlight how “critical speed is to drug discovery and development”.

But the cost of doing so can be “massive”. According to McKinsey, the estimated average cost of bringing a drug to market (including drug failures) is now $2.6 billion (£1.9 billion).

Synthace senses money to be made and recently released the “first life sciences R&D cloud”, a no-code software platform.

According to the firm, seven of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies have also adopted Synthace’s R&D cloud platform for their experimentation processes – “and more are currently in evaluation”.

Alive and Kick ICT

Kick ICT has completed seven acquisitions to date with the most recent being Turnkey Business Software and Turnkey Infrastructure Solutions in August this year. These acquisitions were supported by HSBC, who will remain a “key” funding partner for the business.

The Scottish firm says revenue has grown to £18 million with a portfolio of over 900 customers spanning SMEs to larger organisations, across a variety of sectors.

Alongside BGF’s investment, Geoff Neville has been appointed as Chairman. He worked at Admira, Sx3 and Fujitsu Services.

Kick ICT CEO, Tom O’Hara, comments: “This year has been a particularly positive and eventful one for the business. In addition to growth through acquisitions, we have experienced increased demand for services such as ERP, cybersecurity and network environment support as businesses embrace and plan for the future world of working.”

BGF has plenty of experience in the tech sector, having invested over £530 million in nearly 90 businesses in the last 10 years. BGF typically backs companies with revenues from £1 million to £100 million+, across all sectors.

This year, BGF has invested more than £33 million across 11 businesses in Scotland, including a cornerstone investment which marked BGF’s second investment in a Scottish IPO in 12 months. Recent English examples covered at eWeek UK include techspert.io in Cambridge and Durham-based software platform Hicomply.

Hadrian’s Call

Hadrian was founded this year and says it is “built by hackers with love”. Sounds romantic. Its “hacker-first approach is a new way of looking at security platforms”. It probes and analyses the IT infrastructure of a company to provide real-time insight into its attack surface and digital risks.

The Anglo-Dutch cybersecurity startup is building a “fully autonomous proactive offensive security solution”.

The team at Hadrian has plenty of experience. Rogier Fischer and co-founder Olivier Beg have earned “substantial” white-hat hacking bounties from companies like PayPal, Yahoo, and major banks before they even turned 14. This is Fischer’s second venture – at age 17 he founded the crypto trading platform LiteBit.

They are joined by co-founders Tijl van Vliet, a cloud-architect and entrepreneur, and Maurice Clin, another entrepreneur.

Hadrian reckons cybercrime damages for 2020 (note the year) are estimated to reach $1 trillion (£743 billion).

“We simply do not have enough experts in the world to keep the criminals out,” warns Fischer.

JC Heyneke, CEO at Slimmer AI, adds: “Cybersecurity is a huge challenge with impact on all of society. Traditional technology approaches are not keeping pace – the only way to do so is through more autonomous solutions using machine learning. The Hadrian founders have the vision, drive, and experience to transform this industry.”

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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