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News

Cytora, a provider of AI-powered solutions for the commercial insurance industry has announced its £25 million Series B funding round led by EQT Ventures. Other participants include existing investors Cambridge Innovation Capital, Parkwalk and a number of angel investors.

 

The company applies AI to public and proprietary data, including property construction features, company financials, and local weather – combined with an insurance company’s internal data – to better predict risk and ensure more transparent pricing.

 

The funding will be used to accelerate the expansion of Cytora’s product suite and scaling into new geographies.

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LendInvest, the marketplace for mortgages, has secured funding of up to £200 million from HSBC UK, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations, bringing further institutional capital to its platform.

 

This new funding will enable LendInvest to enter the regulated home loan market for the first time, marking the company’s next step towards achieving its ambition of becoming a whole-of-market mortgage provider. Launching in 2019, LendInvest’s first home loan product will be available to homeowners that require short-term bridging finance for terms up to 12 months.

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Jumia, a Nigerian e-commerce platform which counts Rocket Internet and Pernod Ricard among its shareholders, launched its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange on 12th April, a first for an African startup. Now valued at $1.9 billion, the company has raised $200 million to fund its development.

 

Launched in 2012, the platform has already completed a series of funding rounds totalling several million dollars. Following its IPO, the company's shares jumped 75% to $25.46 from $14.50 at launch.

 

The "African Amazon" reported $147.5 million in revenues last year, a 40% increase year over year, having recorded around $10 million in transactions (up 63%) in 2018. The company's management claims that the site has over 4 million active users and 81,000 sellers. 

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R8 Limited, a UK FinTech group, has raised in excess of $5 million in an oversubscribed fundraising round.

 

The funding will be used to facilitate the group’s expansion and the development of its subsidiary companies, as well as seek a listing on the London Stock Exchange.

 

R8, which was divested out of the Redwood Bank Group in 2017, is building modern financial services needed to support the growing decentralised economy. The company was launched by Jonathan Rowland, Co-founder and Director of UK challenger bank Redwood Bank. Redwood Bank became the UK’s first 100% ‘born in the cloud’ business bank using Microsoft Azure Platform.

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London is on track to become home to the same number of fintech unicorns as San Francisco, the world's current leader.

 

Out of the 29 fintech unicorns globally – companies with a valuation of more than $1bn (£765.5m) – nine are based in the Californian hub, while seven are housed in the UK capital.

 

Over a third of European fintech venture capital funding was invested in London firms in 2018, according to data from recruitment consultancy Robert Walters and market analysis firm Vacancy Soft. The report predicts London will catch up with San Francisco as early as this year.

 

At 39% the city had almost double the funding of runner-up Berlin, which took in 21% of total investment.

 

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Arxan Technologies’ latest research reveals widespread security inadequacies and protection failures among consumer financial apps, leading to the exposure of source code, sensitive data stored in apps, access to back-end servers via APIs, and more.

 

Key findings from the research include:

  • Lack of binary protections – 97% of all apps tested lacked binary code protection, making it possible to reverse engineer or decompile the apps exposing source code to analysis and tampering.
  • Unintended data leakage – 90% of the apps tested shared services with other applications on the device, leaving data from the FI’s app accessible to any other application on the device.
  • Insecure data storage – 83% of the apps tested insecurely stored data outside of the apps control, for example, in a device’s local file system, external storage, and copied data to the clipboard allowing shared access with other apps; and, exposed a new attack surface via APIs.
  • Weak encryption – 80% of the apps tested implemented weak encryption algorithms or the incorrect implementation of a strong cipher, allowing adversaries to decrypt sensitive data and manipulate or steal it as needed.
  • Insecure Random-Number Generation – 70% of the apps use an insecure random-number generator, a security measure that relies on random values to restrict access to a sensitive resource, making the values easily guessed and hackable.

 

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The ‘great work’ taking place at Europe’s first dedicated 5G health and social care pilot, Liverpool 5G Health and Social Care, has been recognised with an extra year’s funding.

 

Eleven organisations from Liverpool’s hospitals, council, universities and technology SMEs have created new 5G supported health technologies to help people in Liverpool’s Kensington to manage long-term health conditions like diabetes and epilepsy themselves at home. This frees up urgently needed health and social care resources to be used where they are critically needed.

 

The project has also designed a new ‘Adoption Readiness Level’ (ARL) tool, which has helped the project team better understand how useful and easily adopted health technologies are by the health and social care services using them.

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ManoMano, an online French DIY marketplace, has raised €110 million in funding. The round was led by Eurazeo, Aglaé Venture and Bpifrance, and they were joined by existing investors CM-CIC, Partech, Piton and General Atlantic.

 

The startup was founded in 2013 and had previously raised €76 million. ManoMano reports having 2.5 million customers and attracting 20 million visits per month. It currently operates in France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Germany and the UK.

 

The company will use the funds to strengthen its position within the markets it currently operates in as well as further develop its recently launched platform for construction professionals - ManoMano Pro.

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Monzo, the digital bank, is on track to double its valuation to almost £2bn after securing strong backing in its most recent fundraising round.

 

The bank will reportedly close a £100m funding round, led by a new US investor, that will take its valuation to £1.9bn and make it the UK’s second-largest fintech startup.

 

Despite the growing appetite among investors, the challenger bank is still yet to turn a profit and is looking for new ways to expand its services.

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NHS Digital's latest data sharing initiative hinges on standardising the data that is collected from patients, as well as vastly raising the level of detail in this data. Its vision, according to consultation papers, is to clean up the data that is collected, and open this up to commissioners, researchers, and public health planners. 

 

Clinicians and others will be expected to collect "granular" levels of data about their patients using the SNOMED CT standard, and link this with other NHS data to support direct care. This process comprises the first phase of the journey.

 

This SNOMED CT standard is a worldwide process for recording highly detailed clinical information about a patient that would allow data to be shared across the health and social care landscape. It was rolled out in a phased approach in primary care units from last year, with secondary care units expected to use the system by 1 April 2020. This would also pave the way for advanced analytics to improve the quality of healthcare outcomes.

 

Phases two and three, meanwhile, will involve first improving the insights that can be extracted from SNOMED CT coded patient data, and secondly to establish the workflows that can channel this data into a format accessible by external parties such as researchers.

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