May investment news

Briony Phillips, Investment Activator Blog by Briony Phillips, Investment Activator

This month saw 21 companies raise £44 million between them; more than half of what had been raised so far this year.

Of those 21 companies, 11 disclosed their investments via the press and that means I can tell you a little more about them in this article – that said, three of those 11 haven’t mentioned how much they raised, but I’ll leave it to you to work out which ones.

eXmoor Pharma Concepts

eXmoor pharma, the end-to-end cell and gene therapy (CGT) manufacturing partner, announced the close of a $35 million Series A financing round, from new investor Kineticos Ventures and existing investor MVM Partners. The funding will help launch eXmoor’s Cell and Gene Therapy Centre, a 65,000 sq ft GMP manufacturing facility, purpose-built to develop and manufacture autologous and allogeneic cell therapies, as well as viral vectors.

Halo Therapeutics

Clinical trials of a home therapeutic treatment for SARS-CoV-2 (coronaviruses) are underway following a £1.52m investment. The investment was led by the Development Bank of Wales alongside Science Angel Syndicate members and the KBA Group, an angel consortium of high net worth individuals.


Bristol-based startup, Kurve, has announced a £250k investment to expedite its mission in the hospitality industry. Kurve develops software utilised in self-service kiosks that you’d find in restaurants and takeaways. Its electronic self-service POS (Point of Sale) solutions has secured this seed capital to kickstart an ambitious growth of 500% by 2027.


Odin, a platform that makes it easier for startups and fund managers to raise cash from investors, has picked up a $3m seed round. 220 angels were involved in the deal — almost all of them from Odin’s own community of investors. The startup plans to use the money to roll out a marketplace for people raising money to find investors.


OpenTrade has raised an oversubscribed funding round led by Sino Global Capital, with participation from other leading Web3 organizations including Circle Ventures, Kronos Research, Kyber Ventures, Polygon Ventures, and Outlier Ventures.

OpenTrade’s platform will provide users seamless access to a suite of on-chain structured financial products that are backed by investment grade, liquid financial assets.

Rosa Biotech

A ​​University of Bristol spin-out and SETsquared Bristol company has raised £415,000 to develop technology that it says could be used to help detect life-threatening diseases at an early stage. Rosa Biotech said it would use money from its seed funding round to accelerate testing of its platform, called Pandra, which acts as a biosensor on patient blood samples.

Scarlet Therapeutics

Scarlet Therapeutics (“Scarlet”), a leader in red blood cell-based therapeutics, announces that it has raised seed funding from Science Creates Ventures and Meltwind to enable it to advance the development of its pioneering platform and build a pipeline of novel therapies to treat rare diseases. Therapeutic red blood cells (tRBCs) are very similar to standard red blood cells but carry additional proteins within them to provide a therapeutic benefit.

The Barrister Group

Private equity investors have injected at least £10m into a barristers’ chambers looking to turn the traditional model on its head. LDC, part of the Lloyds Banking Group, has committed an ‘eight-figure’ minority investment into The Barrister Group in what is believed to be the first time private equity has turned to the barristers’ profession.


Crowley announced a new investment in Tugdock, developers of the world’s first road-transportable floating dry dock known as the Tugdock Submersible Platform (TSP), to help advance offshore wind energy in the U.S. Crowley, a U.S.-based supply chain solutions company serving the offshore wind sector, and Tugdock will explore potential use of the platforms in locations, such as the U.S. West Coast, where depth and conventional dry docks may be ill-suited for the logistics required.

Urban Intelligence

Planning and development consultancy Iceni Projects has invested in an early-stage business focussed on the digitisation of the planning system. Bristol-based Urban Intelligence (UI) has a track record of innovation, working with a range of clients within the public sector.

As part of the investment, Iceni will partner with UI to provide strategic support, allowing it to further enhance its offerings and expand its reach within local government.


Bristol-based digital marketplace Yuup has secured a further £200,000 investment. The funding has come from local impact investors Bristol & Bath Regional Capital and will help the company continue growing its presence in Bristol and strengthen its expansion in Birmingham, where it launched last year. Yuup’s online platform launched in Bristol in 2021 offers bookable, in-person events, workshops and fun group activities organised and hosted by local people, charities, or businesses.


This article is written as part of the Investment Activator Programme (IAP) in the West of England. This programme is run by techSPARK and is kindly sponsored by TLT LLP, delaware, West of England Combined Authority, UWE, Sanderson, Engine Shed and Rocketmakers.

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