South West News #13

Our South West tech news round-up aims to give you an insight into the latest tech news specifically in the South West. If you enjoy this, make sure to sign up to our email list to receive updates on more content like this!

We also do a weekly tech update, which you can find here.

FocalPoint raises £6m to accelerate roll-out of high accuracy GPS

Source: TechSPARK 2021

FocalPoint Positioning, the deep tech company revolutionising the accuracy of GPS and other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), has announced £6m Series B funding from Draper Esprit. Operating out of Bristol and Cambridge, with the team drawn from Cambridge University’s Experimental and Theoretical Physics department,  BAE Systems and the European Space Agency, FocalPoint’s world-leading IP solves the fundamental limitations of satellite positioning systems such as GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and BeiDou.

The new round follows a £4 million Series A round raised in February 2017.

FocalPoint CEO Ramsey Faragher says, “This is an important moment for our team. Signing our first deal with u-blox to integrate Supercorrelation into a commercial chip has increased the demand for our products from a multitude of different industries and use cases. This funding will help us to meet that demand and enable Supercorrelation and D-Tail to improve the lives and businesses of people across the globe.”

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Source: TechSPARK 2021

Exeter likely to become a leading UK tech hub

B Daily News 2021

According to Tech Nation, Exeter, Belfast and Dundee are the most likely cities to become leading UK tech hubs in 2021. Tech Nation have compiled in UK cities, discovering it was best to have half the companies be at the earliest seed stage, a third at “early growth” and the remainder at “late-stage growth”, where they were raising significant amounts of cash. The Exeter Tech eco system has come alive more than ever over the last 6 months, as people have reached out in different ways to connect, form partnerships and generally helping each other to build their businesses, however big or small.

Lindsay Lucas, Managing Director at Software Solved, explains: “The pandemic has attracted a lot of talent to the region. Many people have realised they can work from anywhere during the pandemic and they now place even more value on the outdoor space and access to coast and countryside. With connectivity improving all of the time, the rest of the country seem to have woken up to the fact there’s more to Devon than a good cream tea.

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Source: B Daily News 2021

‘Agile’ regional law firms helping to grow Bristol legaltech hub, says report

Source: Global Legal Post 2021

Small and medium size law firms (SMEs) are contributing to the growth of Bristol and Bath’s burgeoning legal technology sector, a new report says. 

The Bristol & Bath LegalTech Report 2021, published by strategic research consultancy firm Whitecap, reveals that collaboration between SME firms and local legal tech companies is playing a role in the region’s journey to becoming one of the UK’s standout hubs thanks to ‘higher-than-anticipated’ rates of tech adoption despite these firms not being core targets for legal tech providers. More than 30 legal tech firms, including tech companies working in the legal sector and legal tech arms operating within the region’s law firms, have a significant presence in the West of England, marking the region as a standout after London, the country’s primary hub. 

The report was commissioned by a group of regional stakeholders including the Bristol Law Society, the West of England Combined Authority and legal tech innovation and community group Bristol+BathLegalTech.

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Source: Global Legal Post 2021

Agri-tech giant CNH Industrial buys stake in Cornish biofuel pioneer

Business Live 2021

Global agri-tech company CNH Industrial has bought into Cornish biofuel pioneer Bennamann Ltd in a deal which will accelerate its growth. Bennamann, based at Newquay’s Aerohub, develops and markets technology to capture and repurpose methane gas emissions from agricultural and other sectors. It prevents this harmful greenhouse gas entering the atmosphere and processes it into liquid methane for distribution and use as an energy-rich renewable biofuel. CNH Industrial is a global leader in the capital good sector and manufacturer of agricultural equipment, whose brands include New Holland Agriculture, Case IH, CASE Construction Equipment and IVECO commercial vehicles.

Also a global leader in sustainability and in the commercialisation of products that can be powered by renewable fuel sources, it has acquired a minority stake in Bennamann.

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Source: Business Live 2021