Although Brexit may have closed the UK off more than in the past, both politically and economically, from the European mainland, as it strives for — in what Prime Minister Boris Johnson calls his “Global Britain” mantra — an expanded vision of its commercial and diplomatic future, other priorities have started to come to the fore. One of them, quite exciting really, is Westminster’s goal of becoming a world hub for Deep Tech. Already we can see this happening with initiatives like the Deep Tech Innovation Centre, powered by The University of Warwick and the National Quantum Computing Centre, based in Didcot, Oxfordshire. And though the country has a long way before it catches up with the US, the intentions are a good indicator of things to come.
We can also see a lot happening in Deep Tech in the startup scene, with the usual suspects of London, Cambridge and Oxford the epicentre of development. To highlight this, the Deep Tech Insider thought it relevant to draw the reader’s attention to nine companies breaking new ground here.
1. Signal AI
Founded in London in 2013 by David Benigson, Miguel Martinez and Wesley Hall, Signal AI is a decision augmentation company, turning the world’s data into knowledge and empowering business leaders across a range of industries to make informed and confident decisions. 40% of the Fortune 500 including Deloitte, Bank of America and Google use the Signal AI decision augmentation solution for real-time market and media intelligence to uncover trends, risks and opportunities and support critical decision-making.
Since its founding, Signal AI has raised a total of $51.6 million in funding over seven rounds.
Blippar is a technology company specializing in Augmented Reality (AR) and Computer Vision. Its vision is to enhance everyday life with AR and give you more from the world you see.
Another company from the UK capital, Blippar was founded in 2011 by Ambarish Mitra, Jessica Butcher, Omar Tayeb, and Steve Spencer. As far as funding goes for Blippar’s AR and Computer Vision technology, it has raised a total of $136.7 million in funding over six rounds. Blippar’s latest funding cycle, a $5-million Seed round in March of this year, was led by West Coast Capital.
We return to London again for our third startup on the list, Disperse, a company building productivity systems based on a class of AI-powered construction solutions designed to capture visual data from building projects and make them usable for productivity initiatives.
The startup was founded in 2015 by Denis Konoplev and Felix Neufeld and over five rounds has managed to raise a total of $16.7 million in funding.
4. Cambridge Epigenetix
With the name of the company giving away its location, Cambridge Epigenetix was founded by Bobby Yerramilli-Rao and Shankar Balasubramian in 2012.
A life sciences tools and analytics company that has created a technology platform delivering step changes in both the type of information that can be generated from DNA and the cost at which it is gathered, Cambridge Epigenetix has raised a total of $155.2 million in funding over five rounds. Coincidentally, its latest funding — led by Temasek Holdings — was raised just days ago on November 2nd from a Series D round, bringing some $88 million in cash to the Cambridge-based entity.
5. Fetch AI
Fetch AI has come up with the world’s first adaptive, self-organizing smart ledger with unrivalled performance and scalability that leverages the power of intelligent data sharing, ML and AI.
Another Cambridge-based startup founded in 2017 by Humayun Sheikh, Thomas Hain and Toby Simpson, Fetch.AI has raised a total of $26 million in funding over three rounds.
The third Cambridge startup in a row featured, CorrosionRADAR was founded in 2017 by Chiraz Ennaceur, Mehrdad Silatani and Prafull Sharma and wants to become a global leader in remote sensing technologies and advanced analytics for smart infrastructures. The primary focus of the company is on monitoring and predicting hidden asset integrity threats such as Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) that can cause catastrophic failures and significant downtime to the industry. CorrosionRADAR’s main mission is to support industrial asset owners and operators to have safe, reliable and cost-effective maintenance and inspection programs.
As of 2021, the startup has raised a total of £4.5 million in funding over seven rounds, with its most recent funding — a £2.9-million Series A round led by Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures — raised in February of this year.
What a surprise, another Cambridge-based deep tech startup to mention, proving Cambridge is — outside London — a thriving centre for advanced technology research and commercial enterprises. Xampla, a University of Cambridge spinoff founded in 2018, is a world leader in plant protein materials for commercial applications. Its next-generation material performs like synthetic polymers, but decomposes naturally and fully, without harming the environment.
Xampla has raised a total of $10.8 million in funding over two rounds. Its latest funding, a €6.8-million Seed round led by Horizons Ventures, will help the startup and its patented platform technology in plant-derived Supramolecular Engineered Protein (SEP) to reach its full potential in becoming a world leader in the development of plant protein as a material for commercial application.
Healx is a technology company and yet another one headquartered in Cambridge that is pioneering the next wave of drug discovery in order to bring novel, effective treatments to rare disease patients around the world. By combining frontier AI technology with deep drug discovery and development expertise, Healx can accelerate the pace, increase the scale and improve the chance of success of rare disease treatment development in order to meet this huge unmet need and have an unprecedented patient impact.
Founded in 2014 by Andreas Bender, David Brown, David Cavalla, and Tim Guilliams, in the seven years since it was established Healx has raised a healthy $67.9 million in funding over six rounds.
Nyobolt, to nobody’s surprise by now I’m sure, is a Cambridge startup only founded in 2020 by Kent Griffith and Martin Frost and is developing cutting-edge battery technology defining a new category of ultra-high-power tech. Nyobolt batteries deliver super high discharge power and ultrafast charge. The company grew out of years of research by world-renowned chemists and engineers at Cambridge University and now has built a presence in the UK, the US and Asia.
Impressively, Nyobolt has already managed to raise a total of $24.3 million in funding over three rounds since its founding. Nyobolt’s latest funding, a Venture — Series Unknown round, occurred in August of this year and raised £9 million for the startup.