Brex - The first corporate card for startups

Pedro Franceschi (left) and Henrique Dubugras are the cofounders of Brex. 

Pedro Franceschi (left) and Henrique Dubugras are the cofounders of Brex. 

Brex is the new San Fransisco based startup providing corporate credit cards to startups. The startup has raised a total of $57 million in funding from Peter Thiel, Y Combinator and early Facebook investor Yuri Milner. 



Apple will contribute over $350 billion into US economy over the next five years

Earlier this year Apple announced that it will be contributing $350 billion into the US economy over the next five years. 

The investments will concentrate on three areas: direct employment by Apple, spending and investment with Apple’s domestic suppliers and manufacturers, and the digital App Store economy.

Ony $75 billion of that total number will come from capital expenditures, new investments in manufacturing, and its repatriation tax payment. The rest of the number is due to normal growth and spending.

Apple CEO Tim Cook commented in the announcement that “We believe deeply in the power of American ingenuity, and we are focusing our investments in areas where we can have a direct impact on job creation and job preparedness. We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who help make our success possible.”

Drone Startup Raises $20million

Photo Credit: Peter Linehan

San Francisco based startup DroneDeploy secured $20 of investment to fund the expansion of their drone data management platform. The firm aims to help businesses get drones into the air. DroneDeploy’s technology is already used in 130 countries, across various sectors. The platform allows users to plan flights, pilot drones and create detailed 3-D maps.

Scale Venture Partners led the investments and founding partner Rory O’Driscoll will take a board seat with DroneDeploy. “DroneDeploy’s software can enable anyone from the smallest business to the largest corporation in the world to get commercial value out of drones” the investor said.


Cambridge Startup Investment Firm Raises £75m before IPO

Photo Credit:  llee_wu

Photo Credit: llee_wu

The Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) was founded in 2013 and aims to commercialise science and technology from Cambridge university. The CIC has already invested £33m in university companies, as well as projects from the wider Cambridge technology cluster. Investments have been evenly divided between healthcare and technology sectors, included a company developing computer programs to decode genetic diseases and further artificial intelligence ventures. It aims to make individual investments of between £2-5m and predicts it will invest a total of £95m over the next 2-3 years. CEO Victor Christou, says that the business plans an initial public offering (IPO) the next 12-18 months, depending on market conditions.




NZ startup receives $10m in funding to setup shop in Oz

Cloud-based video production platform, 90 Seconds, closed a funding deal with Sequoia Capital in April worth $10 million. Connecting brands and agencies with various video professionals from directors and editors through to drone operators, 90 Seconds is using the funds to further expand the company into new territory. With offices already setup worldwide, it seemed like a natural progression for the company to set up a base in Australia. 90 Seconds’ Australian managing director, Daniel Littlepage says, “We saw that Australia was a strong market for us to open in … Every video project that flows through our platform is managed from an in-house resource. It’ll make it easier with feet on the ground to manage these projects.”


New tech startup plans to change British politics

Photo Credit:  Liberal Democrats

Photo Credit: Liberal Democrats

Paddy Ashdown, former Liberal Democrat leader launched a tech startup, called The startup aims to use crowdfunding methods in order to raise money and finance parliamentary candidates across all parties and constituencies, as long as they agree to abide by a ‘set of principles’ if they are elected. Any UK voter or UK-based organisation can register on Within hours of launching, the political startup already had 5,000 pledge their support including cofounder, Martha Lane-Fox; Stemettes founder, Anne-Marie Imafidon; TechCrunch editor, Mike Butcher; and philosopher, Anthony Grayling. If sufficient support is generated, plans to begin crowdfunding in September.


London-based, WeSwap raises £6.5m

Photo Credit:  William Murphy

Photo Credit: William Murphy

London-based, peer-to-peer travel money startup, WeSwap has raised £6.5 million in an investment round led by Ascot Capital Partners. On the same day that its main competitor, Revolut announced it had raised £6.75 million, the success of these fintech companies is a clear indication of the positivity surrounding the startup scene in the UK, even after Brexit. Founded in 2013, WeSwap lets people exchange money directly with other travellers looking to buy the corresponding currency. At the moment, WeSwap supports 18 currencies, allowing people from 10 different countries to exchange money over the platform, also supplying a prepaid Mastercard linked to its app that travellers can use abroad. WeSwap takes a 1% cut of exchanges and aims to be profitable by next year.


Start Up Loans funds what the banks won’t

Photo Credit:  Number 10

Photo Credit: Number 10

Chief Executive of Start Up Loans, Tim Sawyer says that amid the economic uncertainty around the UK’s vote to leave the EU, banks may be more reluctant than ever to lend to new small businesses. There are more entrepreneurs in the UK than ever before, with majority of them employing only one individual (the founder). Start Up Loans has lent more than £220 million in government-backed personal loans to 38,000 businesses since it started in 2012, lending to “who would not get credit elsewhere”. With a 6% interest rate, loans are capped at £25,000 per person in the business, up to £75,000 in total. From a dog grooming parlour that is now a national franchise to a brewery in Salford that is run by seven brothers, Start Up Loans’ clients are diverse and no matter what your background or lack of credit score, they are only interested in supporting concepts with good potential for success. 


Revolut breaks crowdfunding record

Photo Credit:  Pictures of Money

Photo Credit: Pictures of Money

Revolut, a fintech startup designed to instantly send and spend money globally, as well as challenge traditional banks and their obscure transaction fees, launched its Crowdcube campaign on Monday 11th July, 2016. After just 24 hours, Revolut’s campaign had pledges from 6,627 people worth up to £12.9 million. Justpark who raised £3.7 million, is the second largest figure that’s been raised by another crowdfunding initiative in the UK this year. In response to the unexpected reaction, founder and CEO of Revolut, Nic Storonsky said, “It’s great to know that our users believe as strongly in our product as we do. That’s why we launched this campaign, to thank our users for their dedication and to give people the same opportunity to invest as professional VCs get.”


Self-driving startup secures $2.7m in funding

After reporting that experts were predicting self-driving startups would benefit from the Tesla incident, UK self-driving startup, FiveAI has secured $2.7 million in a funding round led by Amadeus Capital Partners with participation from Spring Partners and Notion Capital. FiveAI’s software, coupled with an array of sensors/cameras, aims to enable autonomous vehicles to safely and accurately navigate complex urban environments with much simpler maps than current, highly detailed, 3D mapping. FiveAI plans to use the funding to get to the simulator stage where supervised road testing can take place, after which, Co-founder and CEO Stand Boland will begin working with vehicle OEMs to develop production-ready software.


Entrepreneur raises $1m in a month with new concept

Photo Credit:  Sebastiaan ter Burg

Photo Credit: Sebastiaan ter Burg

Christchurch businessman, Tom Gozney may not have been top of his classes at school but he is certainly leading the outdoor cooking industry at the moment with his new, lightweight, stone-bake oven, Roccbox. Through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, Roccbox exceeded its fundraising goal by 1001%, totalling $1 million in just one month. From countries all over Europe, the USA and beyond, Roccbox received over 2,000 orders, including one from entrepreneur Richard Banson, as well as French celebrity chef, Jean-Christophe Novelli. Roccbox can be fuelled by wood or gas, reaches 500 degrees Celsius in 15 minutes, can bake bread, pizza, fish, meat and vegetables, and is completely portable.