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On The Rise: Startups That Received Funding In January 2023

We’re back with the latest innovative startups! Alongside last month’s funding round-up, we switched things up with our first-ever Top 50 Tech Scale-Ups To Watch 2023 list – created in partnership with leading research analyst Ying Van de Walle. We found that, despite economic uncertainty in the final quarter of 2022, entrepreneurs remain resilient and new ventures are thriving.

And 2023 is now well underway. So, join us as we take a look at 12 startups that have had a promising start to the year – including a client of our own!

Photo by Markus Winkler

DASH Water

A self-proclaimed industry leader with a 39% market share, DASH Water produces zero-sugar, zero-calorie, fruit-infused water-based drinks direct to consumers. And it boasts that customers face ‘no queuing in the supermarkets either’, with the option to have your drinks delivered straight to your door. But this hasn’t stopped supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose – or others like Starbucks and British Airways – stocking DASH’s fresh take on the soft drink. The company’s latest funding round was led by Beringea and generated an £8.7 million contribution for their now £15.3 million total pot. The London-based B Corp plans to use this capital to scale its already growing presence in Australia and expand into Europe.

Doctify

‘Capturing the voice of patients’ is the Doctify promise, co-founded by CEO Stephanie Eltz. Dubbed the ‘TripAdvisor for healthcare’, this innovative healthtech brand gives patients the opportunity to leave in-depth reviews for doctors, dentists, hospitals, and care homes, empowering people to make better choices about their healthcare and encouraging providers to improve their services. So far, it’s managed to raise more than £22 million – $10 million of which was raised in the most recent funding round, again led by Beringea. Next on their horizon: capturing the voices of patients across the globe. Buckle up for the healthcare revolution.

Emperia

The metaverse has certainly been having its moment in recent years. Among the startups making moves within the emerging space is Emperia. Co-founded by current CEO Olga Dogadkina, Emperia is a creator of virtual storefronts for fashion brands. How does it work, exactly? It’s simple. The platform simulates the physical shopping experience to engage consumers. They can ‘walk’ around the store, browsing art or fashion items. Emperia already counts Lacoste, Dior Beauty, and Sunglass Hut among its users as well as Base10 Partners and Daphni among its lead investors. Originally operating out of London only, the frontier startup now has a secondary location in New York – and will channel their recent $10 million Series A into developing its SaaS offering and growing headcount simultaneously.

Gemba

Another metaverse venture, Gemba embraces the future of work by removing borders from learning. The unique VR platform delivers masterclasses across lean, supply chain, innovation, and future manufacturing, with immersive experiences like factory walks and live training carried out remotely. Household names like Amazon, Coca-Cola, and Nike are all Gemba users, and Parkway Venture Capital recently contributed $18 million in funding for their Series A. This will support Gemba’s North American expansion and EMEA growth – and puts the company’s value at $60 million.

Hack The Box

As cyber crime becomes increasingly sophisticated, businesses must level up their security measures – and that’s exactly what Hack The Box is designed to do. Described as the number-one cybersecurity upskilling playground, the gamified platform equips teams with the knowledge and tools they need to learn about cybersecurity best practices – it even has courses and a jobs portal. In terms of notable clients, EA Sports and Deloitte are fans of Hack The Box. The brand has raised $55 million in a Series B led by Carlyle to power research, development, and further overseas expansion into the US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

Kuai Commerce

Next on the list is Kuai Commerce, a marketing tech venture on a mission to enable western eCommerce brands to sell their products in China. Established in March last year, the eCommerce solution uses leading technology to help brands accelerate their market growth. It’s confident the model will help direct-to-consumer brands attract Chinese Gen-Z shoppers. The investor sharing this confidence is Playfair Capital, which led a $2.4 million pre-seed funding round. With a new website in the works, Kuai Commerce has definitely got some exciting things planned.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

Lucky Saint

Lucky Saint has created an award-winning range of non-alcoholic beers. Unfiltered for maximum flavour, the citrussy character of the beer gives it a refreshing, natural taste. You can find Lucky Saint on the shelves in Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, and Tesco – as well as on tap in 5,000 pubs, bars, and restaurants. Key investors include Beringea, JamJar Investments, and various angel investors – including Jonathan Warburton, the fifth generation of the Warburtons family business. In their latest funding round, £10 million was raised – the largest amount raised by an alcohol-free beer brand in Europe. The direct-to-consumer B Corp plans to open its first pub in Marylebone next year, which will also serve as headquarters.

onHand

Want to get your employees interested in the issues that matter but not sure where to start? Try onHand – the ultimate tool for employee engagement in volunteering and environmental impact. From youth mentoring, food poverty, and helping the elderly to tackling climate change with CO2-tracked eco pledges, this award-winning internet platform has been described as ‘Uber for volunteering’ and reports off-the-charts engagement stats. A recent funding round was led by 24Haymarket and involved Shazam co-founder Dhiraj Mukherjee to the tune of $4 million.

Peppy

Co-founded by Mridula Pore and Max Landry, the leading digital health app Peppy is designed to take care of your team’s wellbeing by supporting under-served matters like menopause, fertility, pregnancy, adoption, postpartum health and other conditions concerning working women and men. Employees can use the app’s live chat feature to connect with specialist healthcare experts. Fans of the healthtech brand include Accenture, Adobe, and Disney – as well as a range of investors like AlbionVC, Kathaka, and MTech Capital. With offices in London and New York, Peppy plans to channel its $43 million Series B funding to expand its platform to the US market.

The Edit LDN

Nicknamed ‘the Farfetch of sneakers’, The Edit LDN is a global marketplace for limited-edition sneakers and high-end streetwear. A world-leading consignment store, it was the first of its kind to enter the metaverse via Bloktopia – and it’s also the official global sneaker shop for the Chicago Bulls. Stockists include Galeries Lafayette and Harrods. Led by Regah Ventures with support from angel investors – including New York Giants captain Xavier McKinney and NBA superstar P.J. Tucker – its $4.8 million seed funding will power further expansion into the US and MENA region.

Tranch

You’ve heard of ‘Buy now, pay later’ (BNPL), but what about ‘Grow now, pay later’? That’s the model of Tranch – a B2B fintech that pays SaaS and other service providers upfront on behalf of customers, who can pay flexibly for up to 12 months. This fresh take on the BNPL offering was accepted into the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator programme in the summer of 2022 and has since established a US presence with a New York office. Originally based in London, Tranch will use its $100 million seed equity and debt funding raised by the likes of Soma Capital and FoundersX to pursue even greater overseas expansion. And did we mention Tranch is a Capsule client?

Raylo

Raylo has developed an online platform that allows consumers to lease new gadgets like phones, tablets, and laptops at affordable prices. By subscribing to Raylo instead of buying products outright, users can use top-of-the-range iPhones, MacBooks, and more with no credit loan or agreement required. The B Corp’s latest £100 million debt financing facility came from NatWest and growth investor Quilam Capital, among others. The capital will help expand its offering to include a wider range of gadgets, like e-bikes, and to continue investing in its existing tech – which includes AI to assess risk for each sale.

Ready to catapult your own idea?

It’s always refreshing to celebrate new levels of innovation – not to mention inspiring. If reading this round-up has got you thinking about supercharging your own big idea, you’ll be pleased to know that you’re in the right place.

At Capsule, we specialise in sourcing bespoke insurance for ambitious businesses and high-growth startups. No matter where you are in your journey, protect your business ideas with an insurance programme that keeps pace with your growth matches your pace. Speak to the team today.

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