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 companies to keep pushing the capabilities of mobile marketing further.
UiPath raises $153m for ‘software robots’ creation
Robotic process automation (RPA) software may sound like it belongs on the factory floor, but this growing area of software development actually focuses on creating digital workers that can perfectly emulate and execute repetitive admin processes, boosting business productivity. UiPath, one of the leading firms in the RPA software world, has just followed up on a year of record-breaking growth with a Series B funding round that will bring in $153m (£110m).
Led by previous investor Accel, and with contributions from new investors including CapitalG and Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, the new financing will be used to accelerate the company’s product roadmap, particularly innovations that integrate machine learning and AI algorithms within customers’ digital business operations. The company is also planning to continue expansion of its global operations, with new officers in Amsterdam, Houston, Munich, Paris, Seoul and Washington DC, all within this quarter. The firm now employs more than 590 professionals across 14 countries.
Launched in 2015, UiPath has become one of the most widely adopted Enterprise RPA platforms, enabling the rapid design and deployment of software robots that can help ensure compliance and enhance customer service across both back-office and front-office operations. In 2017, the company’s customer base grew from less than 100 to over 700, with new customers including the BMW Group, Dentsu, Huawei and Dairy Farm Group. UiPath also supports a community of more than 120,000 RPA developers worldwide.
“I am thrilled to have such a strong set of investors and thought leaders supporting UiPath, and I am especially grateful for the continued support of Accel,” said Daniel Dines, co-founder and CEO of UiPath. “RPA is proving to be an unrivalled technology for driving real digital transformation and delivering better business outcomes incredibly fast.
“With our tremendous growth in 2017, it is now clear that every organisation in the world can benefit significantly from RPA. With the substantial commitment today by Accel, CapitalG and Kleiner Perkins, we are deepening our resolve to accelerate the delivery of AI through the UiPath platform, helping organisations and workers quickly become more sophisticated in everything they do.”
Native ad platform Dianomi closes funding round and appoints new board member
UK-based small business investor BGF has led a funding round for native content marketing platform Dianomi, investing £6.3m in the company alongside New York-based Kelly Newman Ventures. The investment will be used to drive international expansion and support the growth of the firm’s team, with KNV’s Mike Kelly joining the company’s board as non-executive chair.
Dianomi’s proprietary technology platform matches premium sponsored content with relevant and engaged audiences across tier one business publications including Reuters, MarketWatch and MSN. The platform provides a brand-safe monetisation solution for publishers’ editorial content and data-driven distribution for advertisers, improving both return on investment and transparency.
In the past two years, the company has seen its turnover more than treble, driven by the trend towards ‘content in context’ and online brand protection. The new funding will allow the firm to capitalise on this, with expansion in North America, Germany and the APAC region, as well as increases in the size of its sales and data analyst teams.
“Dianomi has become a major player in the native ad space because we provide marketers with the native trifecta of context, brand safety and scale, and publishers with the content that’s most relevant to their readers. The investment from BGF will help us address the growing demand for Dianomi’s current products and new products, and help us expand in new markets.”
Wearable maker Whoop announces $25m Series C round of financing
Whoop, a Boston-based wearable manufacturer, has closed a $25m round of investment thanks to UAE71 Capital, alongside the National Football League Players Association, Thursday Ventures, Durant Company and existing investors including Accomplice, Mousse Partners and Two Sigma Ventures. Individuals including Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter, and several noted sports personalities were also involved in the round.
Last year, Whoop’s wearable device was approved for in-game use by Major League Baseball, and landed a partnership as the official recovery wearable of the National Football League Players Association. The device, which measures strain on the body, was also become the go-to performance optimisation system for many NBA stars including LeBron James, and has expanded into multiple collegiate teams.
“We are at a unique moment in time in that humans are just now discovering what allows them to perform at the highest level,” said Will Ahmed, founder and CEO of Whoop. “Our mission at Whoop remains focused on unlocking human performance. We welcome our new and returning investors who see the massive opportunity to bring our human performance technology to the world.”
Edgybees brings in $5.5m to save lives with augmented reality
Motorola Solutions Venture Capital and Verizon Ventures were two of the biggest firms contributing to a $5.5m seed funding round for Edgybees, a firm whose technology enables AR on high speed platforms like drones and cars. The company’s First Response app has been used by emergency teams responding to the Northern California wildfires and post-hurricane flooding in Florida, and with the new funding, it is aiming to bring its AR tech to new verticals including defence, smart cities, automotive and broadcast media.
Edgybees enables developers to create realistic, immersive experiences that layer 3D visuals over live video from fast-moving cameras. Its patent-pending algorithms stream video and date from cameras mounted on cars, aerial platforms or body-worn accessories, and can maintain virtual overlays locked against the real world. The firm originally used the technology in an AR racing game for drones, but quickly expanded to create a drone-flying app for emergency responders.
“What started as technology powering a racing game is now saving lives around the world,” said co-founder and CEO Adam Kaplan. “The overwhelming reponse by commercial and industrial drone users looking to leverage AR, and partner with us in the fields of fire, public safety, and search & rescue has been amazing, and we can’t wait to expand the next set of drone applications into new markets.”
3Radical gets £3m from UK tech investors
3Radical, the martech firm behind consumer engagement platform Voco, has raised £3m in funding as it aims to expand its presence in South East Asia, the UK and Australia, as well as enter new markets. Investors in the company, which was founded by UK tech entrepreneurs David Eldridge and Mike Talbot, include fund manager David Newton and Christopher McCann.
“The future holds exciting opportunities for us to continue our rapid growth in the UK, Asia Pacific and – in time – the US,” said Eldridge. “We look forward to driving continued innovation with both our existing and new customers, supported by this recent funding round and a hugely strengthened leadership team. Our technology is enabling brands to change the way their messages are communicated to motivate response and build true ongoing engagement.”
3Radical’s Voco software platform enables brands to create interactive, rewarding digital content and deliver it via a variety of channels to consumers, employees or citizens, and aims to deliver a social media-style personal touch to brand messaging. In addition to the new funding, 3Radical has announced a series of hires to its management team, including chief marketing officer David Newberry and European commercial director Rachel Swann.
Virtualitics’ Series B round raises $7 to unlock big data
Data analytics and visualisation firm Virtualitics has announced the completion of a $7m Series B round of equity funding led by global investment platform Centricus. The investment brings Virtualitics’ total funding to over $11m, supporting its mission to make big data more useful and effective for all enterprises through the use of VR, AR and AI. The company’s technology has already been implemented by several major businesses across multiple sectors, including consumer goods, healthcare, energy and finance.
“Turning big and complex data into useful insights requires new ways to analyse and interact with it,” said Ciro Donalek, chief technology officer and co-founder of Virtualitics. “We’ve solved for this by coupling AI with immersive environments. Moreover, business intelligence platforms need to be 3D and collaborative by design in order to help companies gain a deeper level of understanding in the stories being told by the raw data. This is how we’re approaching big data, and helping evolve the next generation of data analytics and intelligence platforms.”
Alongside Centricus, existing investor the Venture Reality Fund and other private investors also contributed to the financing round. This new level of funding will enable Virtualitics to enter its next phase of development, continuing its work to unlock the potential of big data through the power of virtual reality, augmented reality and AI.