London Demo Day’s top equity-backed startups

| Jayshiv Rewal

Category: Uncategorized

A few months ago, we profiled promising startups that attended King’s20 Accelerator. On September 12th 2019, King’s20 attendees joined startups from the UCL Hatchery Incubator and Imperial’s Venture Catalyst Challenge at the inaugural London Demo Day. The event showcased some of the most innovative technologies developed by leading London university students, staff and alumni. 15 pitches were presented at Bush House to an audience of approximately 400, mainly consisting of prospective investors – some travelling from overseas – and interested students. We’ve profiled the most exciting startups that presented on the day, that have already raised equity finance to fuel their growth. 

New Motion Labs 

University programme: King’s20 Accelerator 

Funds raised: £505k

Sector: Manufacturing and engineering

Founders: Marcel Fowler (CEO), AbdulShakur Abdullah (COO) 

Founded: December 2015

New Motion Labs are a mechanical and industrial engineering startup that have created new chain technology designed to be more efficient than traditional styles. The new chain design is called The Link Drive and uses a doubler roller mechanism which increases efficiency, is lighter in weight and is more sustainable than traditional mechanisms. The Link Drive can be used in areas such as agriculture, robotics and bikes. New Motion Labs currently has six pilots running, two international patents and a world-class group of advisors supporting them. Having secured £505k in equity, they are now seeking a £3 million investment to scale their production and licencing activities.

Polipop

University programme: Imperial’s Venture Catalyst Challenge

Funds raised: £435k

Sector: Healthcare products

Founders: Aaron Koshy (CEO), Olivia Ahn (CRO)

Founded:  June 2017

Polipop offers flushable and biodegradable sanitary pads, designed to offer women more convenience and reduce the 200,000 tonnes of sanitary waste that is produced in the UK per year. Polipop pads are able to be safely flushed and disintegrate within minutes, whilst leaving zero micro plastics. They have already raised £435k in funds, and are now accepting pre-orders and trials, ahead of their full roll-out. 

WorldLabs

University programme: UCL’s Hatchery 

Funds raised: £942k

Sector: Professional services for businesses 

Founders: Max Lehnus (CEO), Flavio Signorelli Mendes (CTO), Andreas Feller (COO)

Founded: March 2016 

WorldLabs provides a platform which uses artificial intelligence to match and connect individuals, start-ups, accelerators, universities and public institutions to help them achieve their innovation goals. This network database allows users to access the global innovation ecosystem and showcase their products and ideas. It has also launched a contest creation tool which allows users to design, promote and manage bespoke competitions and challenges. WorldLabs has already raised £942k over two fundraising rounds and is continuing to develop and enhance its platform. 

TRACK

University programme: Imperial’s Venture Catalyst Challenge

Funds raised: £165k

Sector: Consumer banking and financial services

Founders: Henry Oakes (CEO), Byron McCaughey (COO)

Founded: October 2017  

TRACK is a money manager designed for homeowners. Through the TRACK app, users can access a platform where all household and property related finances are conveniently displayed. Some features that TRACK offers are property valuations and projections – including post-renovation valuations – and ongoing values of the homeowners’ mortgage balance. Designed to offer simplicity, especially for households with multiple homeowners, TRACK uses the latest AI technology and machine learning for its property valuations. TRACK has already raised £165k and has won the Imperial Business Pitch 2017 award. It is now pursuing the goal of attaining 10,000 users.  

FungiAlert

University programme: Imperial’s Venture Catalyst Challenge

Funds raised: £1.02m

Sector: Agriculture and farming

Founders: Kerry O’Donnelly Weaver (CEO), Angela de Manzanos Guinot (CTO)

Founded: June 2015 

FungiAlert is an agritech business which has developed a device for monitoring the levels of fungi spores in soils. The company offers a soil-health analysis through their patented SporSenZ sensors, which is able to detect active microbes in soil within 3-5 days, rather than the usual 3-4 weeks. This early detection aims to reduce crop disease and, as a result, crop-loss. FungiAlert has received £239k from four grants and is seeking investment in 2020 to help them increase their product range and expand globally.

Jelly Drops

University programme: Imperial’s Venture Catalyst Challenge

Funds raised: £225k 

Sector: Healthcare products

Founder: Lewis Hornby 

Founded: June 2018 

Many dementia patients do not drink enough water due to memory problems and because their brains do not recognise that they are thirsty, which often leads to dehydration. Jelly Drops are hoping to rectify this by producing sweets that consist of 90% water and other electrolytes, with a full box of jelly drops the equivalent of three cups of water. Jelly Drops have partnered with Alzheimer’s Society and are now aiming to offer trials to 2,500 care-homes across the UK. They have already received two grants, worth £19.5k, and are seeking investment to aid their scaling efforts in 2020.