On The Rise: Startups That Received Funding In September 2022
Despite the uncertainty of the VC market right now, startup leaders are continuing to champion innovation and get their concepts off the ground.
As you know, the Capsule team is all about protecting and celebrating pioneering ideas. So, we’re back with another round-up of the startups that successfully carved out a space in their industries last month – securing funding and support from notable investors.
Without further ado, here are the startups that made some noise (and raised some cash) in September 2022…
Self-defined as SaaS management for ‘dreamers, doers and freedom seekers’, Cledara is a software management platform designed to give businesses optimum control of, and insights into, their SaaS subscriptions. Female-founded, the software startup has raised £20.5 million in total – with a staggering £17.1 million generated in September alone. Cledara’s backers include CommerzVentures, Carbide Ventures, Massive, Nauta Capital, and Notion Capital – and the fresh cash flow will accelerate their growth in the US (their second-largest market).
Code First Girls
The tech industry is crying out for diversity, and Capsule client Code First Girls is on a mission to achieve just that – by equipping women and non-binary individuals with the skills, confidence, and inspiration they need to succeed in the tech world. Code First Girls’ Series A funding attracted £4.5 million from investors including Active Partners – as well as angel investors Rosaleen Blair, Michelle Kennedy, and Rona Ruthen. Led by entrepreneurial trailblazer Anna Brailsford, the startup aims to provide one million free opportunities for women to learn to code within the next five years.
The Datamaran team doesn’t just come up with great puns, they’ve also achieved one-of-a-kind status as the world’s only software platform with the ability to identify and monitor external risks – including those related to ESG issues. Trusted by blue-chip companies and backed by some very big names such as Fortive, American Electric Power, PepsiCo, Dell Technologies Capital and Walgreens, they’ve managed to raise £19.3 million to date – with more than half (£11.7m) generated in September’s Series B round. This will ultimately allow them to increase their US presence and meet an evolving ESG insights market. As a fellow B Corp-certified company, we loved learning more about this one!
NFT sales are continuing to skyrocket, and leading this growth is Exchange Art – better known as the most innovative NFT marketplace on Solana. Connect your Solana wallet to Exchange Art to collect and sell digital fine art, boosting your market status as you go. The platform even has leaderboards so you can keep track of top collectors. In its first ever funding round, the modern marketplace attracted £2.8 million in investment from Layer One Ventures, Big Brain Holdings, Cultur3 Capital, and Vandelay Capital, which it plans to channel into growing its artist base while supporting existing users.
OwneraLed by a group of 70 financial institutions and fintechs, Ownera is uniting the global financial industry with a digital private market. Their FinP2P protocol is described as a ‘thin, stateless routing network – interconnecting multiple distributed ledger submarkets’, and the platform enables institutions to launch and share assets, as well as route atomic transactions, using open APIs. Its next step is to expedite its deployment of a global interoperability network – and with an additional £17.3 million raised recently by investors including JP Morgan, LRC Group, and Accomplice Blockchain, they’re well on their way.
UK-based fintech Sequence is setting the standard for B2B payments. In the summer of 2021, co-founders Riya Grover and Eamon Jubbawy (of Feedr and Onfido fame) set out on their quest to rid businesses of late and missed payments once and for all – developing a hyper-growth fin-stack designed to handle the complete end-to-end billing process, as well as collections and beyond. While the company has yet to launch, their latest funding round of £16.7 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Salesforce Ventures, Dig Ventures, and more will enable them to hire more talent and refine their products. Keep an eye out!
Next up is Tesseract Energy – the team challenging big energy companies with their commission-free energy. It’s 10x cheaper, 10x better, and 100% renewable – what’s not to love? September saw the Tesseract team get £67.7 million closer to their goal of building a ‘terawatt of renewable capacity to power the world’ as they strive to help solve climate change. They’ve gained the support of Balderton Capital, Lakestar, Accel, and Creandum to name a few – plus Formula 1 world champion and sustainability entrepreneur Nico Rosberg. And let’s just say that their presence among startups is almost as big as their plans!
Founded by two former Revolut employees, Tilt is a thriving social shopping app that adds an element of gamification to the experience. Both brands and users have a profile page; brands can livestream or post videos of their products, and users can buy them in-app – getting a collectible badge with every purchase. In their own words, Tilt’s mission is to ‘create a category-defining shopping experience for digital natives’ – and funding this mission are Earlybird Venture Capital, Seedcamp, and TQ Ventures, with £2.7 million raised in September.
Toqio is another startup making moves in the fintech space, founded by serial entrepreneurs Eduardo Martínez Garcia and Michael Galvin. They know their stuff, and already they’ve raised £23.6 million – the bulk of which (£16.5m) was secured just last month. With offices in Nairobi and Madrid, Toqio has grown from 17 people to 100 in the past year and a half, expanding into the Spanish market along the way. Now they’re exploring more opportunities in Europe with the backing of AlbionVC, Speedinvest, and Aldea Ventures, among other investors.
Unlikely Artificial Intelligence – aka Unlikely AI – is a London-based venture founded by pioneering software engineer William Tunstall-Pedoe. Taking a fresh approach to artificial intelligence, this is a team breaking new ground by developing products that achieve things never before possible for computers. Their work is both ambitious and exciting, and it’s caught the attention of Amadeus Capital Partners, Octopus Ventures, and Cambridge Innovation Capital, as well as Skype founder Jaan Tallinn’s Metaplanet to the tune of £16 million.
If you’re looking for unbridled innovation, look no further than Wazoku and their brainchild, Innovation 360. Innovation 360 brings together all your relevant activities and data in one place – empowering you to manage your projects from idea to impact, making informed decisions at every step. Led by Octopus Ventures (with further contributions from Calculus Capital, Cambridge Angels, Fig, and SaaS Capital), last month’s funding round added another £8.5 million to their pot – and this year has seen them boost their annual turnover by almost £2 million. Not bad at all!
Over to you
There you have it – another eclectic mix of businesses that we’re sure we’ll be seeing a lot more from before the year’s out. If that hasn’t boosted your entrepreneurial spirit, then we don’t know what will!
And if you are feeling inspired, let’s talk. At Capsule, we champion next-level thinking – ensuring startups and scale-ups have strong foundations for growth in place, with an insurance programme they can rely on as they disrupt industries and change the world.