Programmatic Lunch

Investment Round: Babylon, Farmdrop, Nauta, LoveCrafts

Alex Spencer

Investment Round is our weekly update on which firms have secured new funding, which areas are seeing the most financing, and who is putting up the cash that enables these firms to pushing the capabilities of mobile marketing further.

Babylon is in good health with latest funding
Babylon has landed $60m investment to build an AI healthcare platform for medical diagnosis and health outcome predictions.

Since January 2016, when the UK-based firm raised $25m, its app has been downloaded 1m times and it has tripled global registrations, to 800,000 patients.

“Cutting-edge AI together with ever increasing advances in medicine means that the promise of global good health is nearer than most people realise,” said Dr Ali Parsa, founder and CEO of Babylon. “This significant international investment is a great vote of confidence in Britain’s continued ability to be a global leader in developing innovative technological solutions to worldwide problems.”

Farmdrop gets £7m to cut out the grocery middleman
Farmdrop, an online grocery platform which enables farmers to sell direct to customers, has secured £7m Series A funding.

The round was led by Atomico, the VC fund set up by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, alongside angel investors including founders of SwiftKey, Zoopla and Asos.

Farmdrop is positioned as an alternative to supermarkets, on both sides of the equation: it offers farmers, growers and producers a 75 per cent cut of the final sale price, and customers access to fresher, locally-sourced food.

Nauta offering extra $100m to software startups
Early-stage VC firm Nauta Capital has expanded its Series A fund for software companies, from $70m to $170m.

Since its foundation last year, the fund has already invested in eight companies: CloudIQ, BeMyEye and ChannelSight in the UK and Ireland; Nextail, Geoblink and Lodgify in Spain; Content Raven and Connected2Fiber in the Boston area.

Nauta plans to use the expanded to fund in invest in around 25 companies, with particular interest in ‘B2B software propositions, disruptive digital media companies, and enabling technologies for mobile and the internet’.

LoveCrafts lands £26m for crafts community
LoveCrafts, an online community for arts and crafts, has closed a £26m funding round, led by Scottish Equity Partners (SEP), along with current investors Balderton and Highland Europe.

LoveCrafts says it will use to funding to scale its operations, including the launch of more sites under its umbrella brand.

As part of the deal, SEP partner Stuart Paterson has joined the company’s board of directors.

Founded in the UK in 2012, LoveCrafts has this year appeared in Sunday Times Tech Track 100, and been named the 20th fastest growing company in Europe by the FT1000.