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Wednesday 23 June 2021

HPE unveils GreenLake additions at Discover

hpeHPE Discover is currently underway and yesterday the firm used the event to announce new GreenLake capabilities.

GreenLake is platform for cloud services that can be hosted in data centres, colocation facilities and at the edge. Announcements coming out of Discover include HPE GreenLake Lighthouse, which addresses the complexities around running and managing different workloads - wherever they are located. The firm also announced Project Aurora, a foundation for GreenLake’s "zero-trust architecture”. It will be embedded into the HPE GreenLake platform to “automatically and continuously” provide verification for the integrity of hardware, firmware, operating systems, platforms, and workloads.

Also interesting was HPE’s launch of “silicon-on-demand”, developed in partnership with Intel. It removes the need to order or install new processors so that users can instantly activate and pay for more capacity with a click.

At the beginning of May, Dell formally launched its APEX portfolio of as-a-Service offerings. However, HPE was ahead of the curve when it introduced GreenLake back in 2017 - a strategy that appears to be paying off (see HPE Q2 up 11% on a year ago).

Posted by: Kate Hanaghan at 09:30

Tags: cloud   consumption  

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Wednesday 23 June 2021

Accenture takes Imburse under its wing

ImburseAccenture Ventures has made a strategic investment in Swiss-based payments startup, Imburse. The fintech is developing a Payments-as-a-Service offering targeted at global financial services providers and has an established partnership with Italian insurance giant, Generali.

Founded in 2018, with offices in Zurich and London, Imburse aims to help firms simplify access to the emerging global payments ecosystem via API connectivity. As a result of the investment, it will become part of Accenture’s “Project Spotlight”, an incubator programme aimed at connecting emerging technologies with major corporates to help fill strategic innovation gaps.

As the vast global payments ecosystem continues to evolve the disruptive newcomers are bringing significant cost and efficiency advantages to bear (see: Payments Innovation - New Kids on the Block). Whilst there is already a myriad of innovative new players in this marketplace, with Accenture having taken it under its wing, Imburse may well be set for a bright future.

Posted by: Jon C Davies at 09:29

Tags: funding   payments  

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Wednesday 23 June 2021

VR Education: £7.7m placing to fund corporate digital city

VR Education logoAs the role of virtual reality comes closer into focus, AIM and Euronext Growth listed VR technology company VR Education has raised c.£7.7m gross from a share placing. The funds will be used to develop the next generation of its VR platform, known as ENGAGE Oasis, which is planned for launch in H122.

What’s intriguing about ENGAGE Oasis is VR Education’s aim for it to be an always-on, fully persistent virtual world that will allow users to meet and sell products and services directly to each other. The Irish supplier describes it as a “cloud based digital city where actual business can be done”. It will be designed for a broad swath of users - business professionals, corporations, young professionals, and college students.

As organisations apply the internal and external communication and interaction lessons learned during lockdown to post lockdown operations, and consider climate change alongside, the proposed corporate metaverse and VR/immersive technology in general provides food for thought. They are prospective parts of the toolkit organisations can access as they build the ‘workplace of the now’. VR also aligns with the ever increasing focus on providing both the appropriate and the quality of experience for all stakeholders. It won’t be the complete answer but should form part of the wider interaction landscape.

It’s an ambitious play by VR Education, who recently secured the 100th customer for its existing ENGAGE VR platform. It reported FY20 revenue that increased 38% to €1.4m (see here), having substantially expanded its customer base across the pandemic dominated year with 60 commercial deals signed, including many blue chip names, compared to three in the prior year. The company will need partners to make the corporate metaverse a thriving reality. 

Posted by: Angela Eager at 09:29

Tags: software   placing   VR   immersivetechnologies  

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Wednesday 23 June 2021

£1.1m to help Aveni address the challenge of remote working

Aveni logoEdinburgh based startup, Aveni, has secured £1.1m in funding to help develop its speech analytics technology targeted at financial services firms. The investment was led by the TRICAPITAL Angel syndicate and supported by Scottish Enterprise’s Growth Investments, Old College Capital and Wallace Equity.

Founded in 2018, Aveni is developing AI solutions and that can automate processes within the financial services industry. The latest investment will help fund the fintech’s activities around its fledgling platform, using NLP and AI to convert voice-based interactions into text.

The pandemic has created opportunities in this area of technology as remote working has presented new challenges. With many employees no longer based in offices, firms operating in regulated industries are increasingly seeking effective ways to monitor interactions between staff and customers, both from a compliance and a welfare perspective.

Posted by: Jon C Davies at 08:55

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Wednesday 23 June 2021

Kiteline secures funds to support people with chronic conditions

Kiteline logoKiteline, formerly known as Liminal Health, has raised £370,000 in a funding round led by SFC Capital with additional participation from Antler and angel investors.

The London-based healthtech start-up combines health coaching with on-demand wellbeing content to support those living with chronic conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, IBS, heart disease, arthritis, autoimmune diseases and long COVID.

The company was founded by CEO Candice Hampson and CMO Christine Beardsell in 2020. Its mission was inspired by Candice's own experience of being diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in 2015 at age 32, with a recurrence two years later. Although she is now healthy, like many people with long-term health conditions, Candice found her mental health suffered during her illness.

The company works with employers to provide remote health coaching and self-managed care through learning modules to staff. It is designed to help people make sustainable and realistic lifestyle choices and supports them to improve their health and wellbeing. The new funds, will be used to accelerate its smart coach matching service to connect users to an accredited coach and appropriate content offerings.

Digital employee wellbeing is a crowded market (e.g. The Happiness Index, The Personal Group, Tictrac, Unmind, and Spill); however, Kiteline believes its holistic approach to mental and physical health can help it stand out from the crowd. Many businesses are now exploring the use of digital technologies to help support employees to return to the workplace (see Priority Software for COVID-19 Business Recovery) and the demand for this type of solution will grow.

Posted by: Dale Peters at 08:44

Tags: funding   startup   health   wellbeing  

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Wednesday 23 June 2021

“GROW” outgrows AIM

logoHaving signalled its intent only last week to move from AIM to the London Stock Exchange Main Market “within the next couple of months”, prolific London-headquartered, pan-European tech investor Draper Esprit has now put the wheels in motion, announcing its delisting from AIM.

The VC listed on AIM as “GROW” almost five years to the day under the leadership of then CEO, Simon Cook (see Cooking up an IPO for Draper Esprit). Cook founded the business (as DFJEsprit) in 2006 and handed over the reins to current CEO, Martin Davis, at the end of 2019 (see Draper Esprit cooks up new CEO).

Draper Esprit is also moving its secondary listing on Euronext Dublin (aka the Irish Stock Exchange) to a full listing.

Well done them!

Posted by: Anthony Miller at 08:27

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Wednesday 23 June 2021

Turing on new £50 note

Today the new £50 note featuring Alan Turing enters circulation. So I thought I’d republish my HotView’s article of 15th July 19 when this was first announced.

TuringFor so many reasons, it is really great to see Alan Turing - The Father of Modern Computing - featured on the new £50 note. The note features technical drawings of the ‘British Bombe’ designed by Turing in WW2 to help break the code, used in the German Enigma machines, at Bletchley Park.

The note features a Turing quote from The Times of 11th June 1949  “This is only a foretaste of what is to come and only a shadow of what is going to be”. Well, how true that turned out to be! Particularly as machines now routinely pass the ‘Turing Test’ where people cannot tell the difference between human or machine generated answers.

As well as his famous work at Bletchley Park, Turing played a major role in the development of modern computing both at the National Physical Laboratory and Manchester University. He pioneered the use of algorithms and of AI.

Of course, the Turing story had a darker side with the disgraceful treatment he received from the authorities just for being gay. Leading to his suicide in 1954 at the age of just 41. In 2013, the Queen signed a posthumous pardon for him.

Posted by: Richard Holway at 08:13

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Wednesday 23 June 2021

Profitable companies can be Unicorns too!

VictorianI got a large and positive response to my ‘Let’s ensure a warm welcome to profitable IPOs’ post last week. I made the point that online furniture reseller had never made a profit but that Victorian Plumbing had been profitable since its formation in 2000 and had grown 40% in the last six months. So really delighted that, after its AIM IPO yesterday valued it at £850m, its shares popped 25% on day one pushing its valuation into Unicorn territory of >£1 billion. It was also the largest IPO ever on AIM.

This reception is well deserved and I hope will give greater impetus for other profitable and high growth companies (Yes, the two can go together!) to IPO in London

Posted by: Richard Holway at 08:01

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Tuesday 22 June 2021

*UKHotViewsExtra* A new data strategy for health and care

DHSC logoThe Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHSX have published a new draft data strategy for health and care. The Data saves lives: reshaping health and social care with data strategy is intended to help unite the health data ecosystem and has important implications for software and IT services suppliers operating across health and local government.

The strategy is underpinned by three key priorities: 1) to build understanding on how data is used and the potential for data-driven innovation, improving transparency so the public has control over how their data is being used; 2) to make appropriate data sharing the norm and not the exception across health, adult social care and public health, to provide the best care possible to citizens, and to support staff throughout the health and care system; and 3) to build the right foundations—technical, legal, regulatory—to make that possible. More...

TechMarketView subscribers, including those signed up to UKHotViewsPremium can read more about the new draft data strategy here. If you are not yet a subscriber, please contact Deb Seth to find out how to access this and much more.

Posted by: Dale Peters at 10:16

Tags: nhs   strategy   government   healthcare   public+sector  

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Tuesday 22 June 2021

Losses double at Revolut as crypto helps plug the hole

RevolutThe latest full-year results from Revolut reveal that the UK fintech’s losses rose sharply in 2020, whilst the surge in popularity of crypto helped to significantly boost the company’s fortunes in the latter part of the fiscal.

For the 12 months to 31 December, Revolut reported a pre-tax loss of £208m compared to £108m in 2019. Meanwhile, Revolut made £39m via crypto investments, as demand for its trading services in this area helped drive overall revenues up 34% to £222m. Helped by the volatility of crypto assets, Revolut has indicated that it traded profitably in the final two months of 2020.

The latest financials reveal that Revolut’s admin costs reached £266m in FY20. That figure compares to £125m in 2019. The increase was largely driven by staff costs of £170m, nearly three times the figure for the prior year.

Founded by its Ukrainian CEO, Nik Storonksy, Revolut provides a range of banking services, including payment cards, currency exchange, and payments in a variety of currencies. In 2020 retail customers grew by 45% to more than 14.5m, whilst Revolut's commercial customer base doubled to more than 500k.

In February 2020, Revolut secured a cash injection of $500m via a Series D round (see: Revolut secures $500m to fund global push) however, the firm recently denied rumours that it is once again seeking funding. Meanwhile, Revolut’s latest private valuation put a price tag of $5.5bn on the company. A figure that is interesting to consider in comparison to others, (see Richard Holway's recent post: Let’s ensure a warm welcome to profitable IPOs).

Posted by: Jon C Davies at 09:41

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Tuesday 22 June 2021

HPE acquires Determined AI

hpeHewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has acquired San Francisco-based Determined AI. Terms were not made public.

The startup has developed an open source Machine Learning (ML) platform that can train AI models at speed. HPE will bring Determined AI’s software together with its High Performance Computing (HPC) offerings to enable engineers to rapidly build models to get to the business outcome sooner. det

The speed at which ML models can be trained materially impacts the overall process undertaken by researchers, for example. In pharmaceuticals, for example, faster training can bring down drug discovery times from days to hours. A platform such as Determined AI, combined with very formidable compute power can reduce complexities and cost enabling the users to focus more so on innovation and time to delivery.

The newly acquired platform fits nicely with HPE’s HPC infrastructure. Customers can also tap into HPE’s HPC capabilities via its GreenLake cloud services, which make what are relatively expensive services more accessible/affordable.

In its most recently announced quarterly results (Q2), HPE saw High Performance Compute & Mission Critical Systems revenue increase 11% to $685m. GreenLake offerings are also building momentum.

Posted by: Kate Hanaghan at 09:30

Tags: acquisition  

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Tuesday 22 June 2021

Caura drives more dosh so motorists can pay their dues

logoIn an interview with TechCrunch in September last year, not long after entrepreneur Sai Lakshmi launched his new venture, Caura, he was asked how the start-up generates revenue. “Right now, we don’t,” came the refreshingly frank reply.

That may (or may not) change now that Caura has added car insurance to its app, which was developed to provide a single interface for car owners to pay the various on-road tolls, taxes and charges they incur.

Founded in 2018, Caura has raised £3m in a seed funding round led by TwinFocus Capital Partners, with participation from InMotion Ventures (the CVC arm of Jaguar Land Rover), Road Ventures, Pareto Holdings and Quiet Capital, along with assorted rich motorheads. This brings total funding to date to £4.4m (Source: CrunchBase).

It seems that Lakshmi may have hit some bumps in the road with Caura’s development, with future plans including “re-introducing payments for parking”. I assume that trying to build interfaces to the panoply of UK parking apps (I have five on my phone) originally proved too much of a challenge.

While Caura’s app and website look very polished, I am distinctly unmoved to become a user. For one thing, I ‘autopay’ the London Congestion Charge for the rare occasions I drive into town, and I get online reminders to pay my road tax and MOT. And I prefer to use a ‘big screen’ device to check out insurance quotes. All of these I only do once a year.

Caura, which is currently iOS only – Android on the way – claims “tens of thousands” of car owners are using the app. I just wonder how often, though?

Posted by: Anthony Miller at 09:13

Tags: funding   startup  

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Tuesday 22 June 2021

Forcepoint expands UK presence with Deep Secure buy

Forcepoint expands UK presence with Deep Secure buyForcepoint’s acquisition of Deep Secure adds a cloud-hosted threat removal tool to its portfolio and expands its UK customer base. It’s also the second Forcepoint acquisition since the Texan firm was purchased by private equity firm Francisco Partners in January this year, and is another example of investment firms going all in on the cyber security market (see STG expands security portfolio with FireEye buy and Thoma Bravo snaps up US$12.3bn Proofpoint).

Founded in 2010 Malvern-headquartered Deep Secure employs around 42 people in the UK from two offices in Worcestershire and London. The former TechMarketView Little British Battler arguably looks like a much more attractive purchase proposition now than it did 18 months ago. The company grew its revenue 35% year on year to £6.6m in the twelve month period ending December 2020, boosted by a mass migration to home working that saw more customers shift to cloud-based security, email and collaboration tools. Its total comprehensive loss for the year shrank from £1m in FY19 to just £65k in FY20, after operating profits jumped from £150k to £2.2m in the same period.

The timing of Deep Secure’s portfolio revamp also looks fortuitous. It launched its AWS-hosted DS Cloud Threat Removal as a Service proposition in late 2019, just before the start of the pandemic after which the ease of remote deployment, configuration and management significantly accelerated enterprise migration to cloud security platforms (subscribers to TechSectorViews can read more in our Cyber Security Market Trends and Forecasts to 2023 report here). The firm then received its first three year subscription from a public sector client in Q120 before going on to sign its largest threat removal contract yet for an interoperability gateway to service the needs of a large UK government department.

Formerly owned by Raytheon Technologies, Forcepoint was created in 2015 by the merger of Raytheon and Websense, later expanding through the acquisition of UK firewall manufacturer Stonesoft Networks. The subsequent capital injection delivered by Francisco Partners appears to be funding a buying spree, with Forcepoint having acquired remote browser isolation specialist Cyberinc just last month.

Where that investment stops we can’t predict but we do know that Forcepoint now has a bigger UK presence and the backing to expand further if it wants to.

Posted by: Martin Courtney at 09:03

Tags: acquisition   privateequity   cybersecurity   threatremoval  

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Tuesday 22 June 2021

Foundries secures £5.8m for IoT OS, DevOps logoCambridge-based, whose cloud service is built to manage the development, testing, deployment and maintenance of IoT and Edge products, has secured funding of £5.8m in a round led by IQ Capital, with participation from Crane Venture Partners and Backed VC

The startup (founded in 2017) brings a DevOps approach for IoT and edge devices to the embedded industry through Linux-based FoundryFactory, its horizontal, cloud-native, hardware-agnostic operating system and device management platform. Its ambition is to create an OS for “Things” and the funding (the second since 2019) will be used to support its expansion plans and extend its reach to more companies in the UK and internationally. 

There’s no shortage of activity in the DevOps area, or around IoT. The combination generates chatter but practical solutions are not as common and that, alongside the interesting hardware agnostic aspect, is what makes Foundries notable. 

Posted by: Angela Eager at 08:49

Tags: funding   startup   software   iot  

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Tuesday 22 June 2021

*UKHotViewsExtra* EIS discovers an industry eager to change

Until recently, it was perhaps true to say that the insurance sector was somewhere around 2 or 3 years behind the curve in terms of digital transformation relative to initiatives occurring in the banking sector. However, driven in part by the pandemic, the pace of change in the insurance sector has accelerated considerably and the gap has closed markedly.

Alec MiloslavskyTo discuss the recent uptick in transformation initiatives, I caught up with Alec Miloslavsky (pictured), the founder and CEO of SaaS insurance software specialist EIS. Following its rapid growth in the US, the vendor has been attracting attention in the UK, having recently secured a number of high-profile new clients and partners.

Alec is a technology entrepreneur with an impressive record of success. Alec co-founded Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, a company he helped lead through a successful IPO and subsequent sale to Alcatel for $1.9bn at a 30x premium. Prior to EIS, Alec was Chairman and CEO of Return on Intelligence, a company he also helped found and that has since grown to an enterprise with revenue exceeding $70m.

HVPTechMarketView clients including subscribers to FinancialServicesViews and UKHotViews Premium can learn more via UKHotViewsExtra (see: EIS discovers an industry eager to change).

If you are not already a subscriber but would like access to this content, please contact Deb Seth for more information.

Posted by: Jon C Davies at 08:42

Tags: financialservices   insurance   EIS  

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Tuesday 22 June 2021

Backers add dosh to help Oxwash make stains Vanish

logoSo I nip on to their website to check out the latest news on ‘green’ laundry service, Oxwash, and, lo and behold, on their home page is the logo for Vanish stain remover, which apparently ‘powers’ the start-up. I can only assume that “ozone and biodegradable disinfectants (PAP) and quaternary ammonium compounds” were not quite enough to remove those stubborn stains.

Following last November’s raise (see More dosh for Oxwash), Oxwash has raised a further £2.1m in a seed funding round backed by Future Positive Capital, Clean Ventures, Conduit-Ascension EIS Impact Fund, along with various worthies.

As previously signalled, Oxford-based Oxwash has since opened in London, where you can now get an 8kg mixed bag of whites or mixed bag of colours laundered for £16.95 (I assume using the appropriate type of Vanish). This is a couple of quid more than London-based Laundryheap (see Backers heap more dosh into Laundryheap) charges (albeit for a 6kg load), though I don’t know which brand of stain remover they use.

Posted by: Anthony Miller at 08:33

Tags: funding   startup  

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Tuesday 22 June 2021

Did you know our Corporate Subscriptions are for...

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Plus when you sign up you immediately get access to every piece of research we’ve ever published in your chosen research stream/s and the searchable archive of over 20,000 UKHotViews and UKHotViewsExtra articles – a treasure trove of insight on tech suppliers and trends.

As a corporate subscription client you can also take advantage of unmetered analyst access – half hour calls or short email exchanges with our analysts to quiz them about what the research means to you are ‘all part of the service’.

Want to know more? Check out the Corporate Subscriptions area on our website and email our friendly Client Services team via for a quote that’s tailored to your organisation.

Posted by: HotViews Editor at 00:00

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Monday 21 June 2021

Dev Clever spreads its wings with TILG acquisition

Dev Clever logoUK online and immersive experience developer Dev Clever continues to spread its wings, this time with the acquisition of UK educational business The Inspirational Learning Group Limited (TILG)

The proposed acquisition will complement Dev Clever's existing career guidance and development platforms and enhance its content offering. It follows the acquisition of Veative Labs Pte Ltd (VLPL) the Indian subsidiary of Dev Clever’s strategic partner Veative (see here), and Phenix Digital which boosted the top line of the Tamworth-based company. The TILG transaction includes a cash consideration of £200,000 and the issue of 6,000,000 new ordinary shares in Dev Clever. It is expected to complete by the end of August 2021 and be earnings accretive from year one. 

TILG (founded in 2016) runs programmes to engage, inspire and motivate young people, including The National Enterprise Challenge (TNEC) which is sponsored by organisations such as PWC and NatWest Bank and whose aim is to inspire career aspirationse Dev Clever aims to build on this foundation and following completion of the transaction plans to launch the National Career Challenge (NCC) initiative that will combine TNEC with virtual work experience and assessments.

The NCC will enable organisations to deliver bespoke post talent assessment with immediate work experience programmes, using Dev Clever's platform. Those who participate in the NCC gain guaranteed apprenticeship placements and scholarships with the sponsoring companies. Available to UK students from late Q4 2021,  Dev Clever intends to expand it to India in H1 2022 via its partnership with the National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA).  The wider plan for the Career Challenge is to use it to enter additional emerging markets over the next three years.

A separate announcement reveals a tactical partnership with Aldebaron DMCC, a Dubai based organisation focused on the distribution, delivery and implementation of “consumer facing technology and next generation impactful digital solutions” into emerging markets across the world, that will bring sizable, guaranteed revenue from now through FY24.

Posted by: Angela Eager at 09:48

Tags: acquisition   education   software   immersivetechnologies  

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