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Keeping up with the latest News about our portfolio companies.

UKTN: Metaverse fashion storefront Emperia raises £8m Series A

Emperia, a London-base metaverse startup that develops virtual stores for fashion brands, has raised $10m (£8m) in a Series A funding round. Founded in 2019, Emperia creates virtual storefronts to simulate physical shopping experiences when purchasing art and fashion products. It has worked with brands including Lacoste, Dior Beauty and Sunglass Hut.

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Evening Standard: Teaching that bridges tech’s gender gap

Anna Brailsford wants Code First Girls to become the world’s first edtech unicorn dedicated to women. She was inspired by the fact that the UK’s tech job market is projected to grow to six times its current value to be worth £30 billion by 2025. And the second was that only one in five people in the current tech workforce are women.

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Sifted: Screenloop raises $7m to stop companies making bad hires

London-based hiring intelligence platform Screenloop — which offers candidate sourcing, interview analysis and reference automation — has raised $7m in seed funding led by Stride VC.

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Forbes: 15 U.K.-Based Venture Capital Investors Supporting Underrepresented Founders

Let’s be honest, when it comes to female founders or people of color fundraising, it’s always been hard. It doesn’t matter if we are in the middle of a tech renaissance or in a market downturn, if you are a woman, a BIPOC founder, an LGBTQIA+ founder, or a founder with a disability, you’ll kiss a lot of frogs before you get that cheque.

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TechCrunch: Twig takes $35M to turn stuff you own into a way to pay

Twig, a London-based fintech targeting Gen Z and younger millennial consumers with an e-money account that gives them instant cash-outs on fashion and electronics they want to sell, has closed a $35 million Series A round of funding.

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Vogue: Exclusive with Diipa Büller-Khosla on indē wild finally arriving in India

The global influencer and entrepreneur talks to Vogue about a life led by ayurveda, her inspirations, and the journey ahead for indē wild in India. The first Indian beauty brand to launch in four countries within nine months.

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UK BAA: Women Angel Insights: The impact of female angels on the UK economy

is the continuing low proportion of female angel investors, which limits the pool of equity capital available to support entrepreneurial growth and innovation. Notably, our research and experience has shown that growing the number of female angels will directly increase the level of investment in female entrepreneurs

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Sifted: Google for Startups has backed 40 Black founders to the tune of £3m

Includes two of our portfolio companies; Yuty and Sojo. The new fund will be invested across 40 startups, one third of which are led by women. The Google team says they screened 700 startups from 18 countries in Europe and met with 120 of them, before whittling the cohort down to the final 40.

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Tech EU: This sister-duo platform for Gen Z women wires in $2.2 million to make financial education inclusive

London-based Your Juno has raised $2.2 million funding to close the gender gap in financial education and make it inclusive and accessible

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Forbes: The Lowdown, U.K.’s Leading Sexual And Reproductive Health Platform, Raises $2.5 Million In Seed Investment

London-based femtech startup The Lowdown has closed a $2.5 million seed round to supercharge its community-centered female health platform. The round is led by Speedinvest who is joining existing investors Nina Capital, Calm/Storm VC, Entrepreneur First (which program first backed the company in 2020), and four Atomico Angels.

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Tech EU: Bladder care startup rakes in £2 million to tackle issue impacting one in three women

The 28-year-old founder of Jude, Peony Li is smashing one of Britain’s biggest taboos to bring bladder care into the mainstream conversation

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Tech Crunch: FLOWN raises £2.5million to combine Calm-meets-Peloton-meets ‘deep work’ in a B2B platform

With individuals and teams transitioning to a fully remote or hybrid working models, post-pandemic, there’s a theory that employees still desire the structure and accountability that working in an office used to provide. Not everyone likes working remotely full-time, right? There’s a lack of “community”. Plus, sometimes it’s hard to get into state of “deep work”.

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UKTN: Ada Ventures fund closes £36m to back early-stage startups

Early-stage investor Ada Ventures has reached a first close of £36m for its second fund that will target early-stage startups focusing on areas including climate, healthcare, ageing and economic empowerment.

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Tech Crunch: Athleisure icon Ty Haney raises $9.8M in fresh funding for her blockchain rewards startup

The 33-year-old entrepreneur is betting she can bring together another underrated duo — consumer brands and crypto. Her latest venture uses blockchain technology to help brands build customer loyalty without having to reply on buying up pricey ads on third-party social media platforms.

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UKTN: Sales platform Trumpet scores funding to tune of £1.6m

Trumpet, a B2B sales platform used by companies such as Google, has raised £1.6m in a pre-seed funding round led by Lightbird Ventures. The London-based startup said it will use the capital to increase its headcount and prepare for international growth.

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WWD: Sunglass Hut’s New Virtual Reality Store

Global retailer Sunglass Hut is partnering with virtual reality technology developer Emperia — creating a virtual reality store called “Sunglass Hut Utopia.” The virtual store features a gaming moment and try-on technology, showcasing six exclusive products.

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TechCrunch: Private Chef parties at home startup Yhangry raises $1.5M seed from VC angels and Ollie Locke

Founders Heinin Zhang and Siddhi Mittal created the startup Yhangry before the pandemic, which lets people order a made-to-measure dinner party online. They have now raised $1.5 million seed round from notable angels, including UK VCs as well as a Made in Chelsea star.

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Reuters: Britain’s Asda invests in start up Lean Kitchen Network

British supermarket group Asda said it had made an equity investment in digital food service start up Lean Kitchen Network (LKN), the latest collaboration of a partnership strategy partly designed to repurpose excess space at its stores.

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