South West News #20

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.

Immersive Labs raises $75m to accelerate cybersecurity training platform

Source: TechSPARK 2021

Immersive Labs, the company empowering organisations to measure and improve cybersecurity skills across technical and non-technical teams, today announced it has closed $75m in Series C funding led by new investors Insight Partners alongside Menlo VenturesCiti Ventures and existing investor Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

The investment will accelerate the delivery of a progressive new Cyber Workforce Optimization platform. With cyber risk no longer confined to technical specialists, expert skills are now required across the entire organisation.

From crisis management with executives to secure software development amongst engineers and ensuring compliance in legal teams, the platform will use data insights to understand where skills are required and inject role-specific training.  It will also enable board-level metrics and benchmarking.

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SETsquared launches programme to support sustainable tech businesses in the West of England

Source: TechSPARK 2021

SETsquared, the world-leading business incubator, alongside the University of Bath has launched a new business support programme aimed at small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the West of England interested in exploring how innovation to become more sustainable can benefit their business or who are already developing a sustainable technology.

The new West of England Sustainable Technologies Scale-Up Programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and will help accelerate the growth of 155 SMEs over the next 3 years.

The primary support will be provided through a Sustainability Workout – an online workshop which will help SMEs scrutinise their existing business model, understand their sustainability challenges and use sustainability and circular economy principles as key drivers for innovation.

There are many business benefits to taking this approach including reduced costs, strengthened customer relationships and improved supply chain resilience.

Source: TechSPARK 2021

Bristol tech platform Neighbourly set to double workforce after £3m investment

Source: Business Live 2021

A Bristol-based tech firm has voiced aspirations for global expansion after securing a multi-million pound investment with which it plans to double its current headcount in the UK.

Neighbourly is an online platform that helps businesses connect with charitable causes in the local communities they operate in, allowing them to donate money and surplus food, and offer their staff for volunteering opportunities. The company counts Aldi, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Samsung and Co-op among its business partners. It also recently helped telecommunications giants O2 and Virgin Media mark their merger by facilitating the launch of a £500,000 community engagement fund. The fast-growing business, which was among the first in the UK to win B-Corp accreditation, has helped to enable the delivery of more than two million meals to people since the start of the pandemic.

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Bristol quantum computing cybersecurity company raises £3.1m in latest funding round

Source: TechSPARK 2021

A Bristol company specialising in quantum technology has secured £3.1m in its latest fundraising round.

KETS Quantum Security said it would use the investment to accelerate the development and production of its chip-based hardware and bring it to market. The funding round was co-led by Quantonation, an early-stage venture fund dedicated to deep physics start-ups, and Speedinvest, a European venture capital fund with more than 40 investors working from Berlin, London, Munich, Paris, Vienna and San Francisco.

Mustard Seed MAZE, an impact venture capital fund investing in entrepreneurs with sustainable business models, also participated in the round.

KETS’ technology, which was developed over a decade at the University of Bristol, protects data from quantum computer cyber attacks.

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