The government is aiming to unlock £75 billion of investment for UK tech companies from the nation’s pension funds. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has secured a deal with nine major pension funds to invest at least 5% of their assets into startups, scaleups and venture capital firms by 2030. Naureen Zahid welcomed the pension reforms as well as the creation of a new trading platform for private companies.
The Evening Standard article featuring Naureen Zahid's comments covers all of the key announcements expected at Mansion House and discusses what the pensions reforms could mean for the UK’s investment scene.
The article discusses proposed pension reforms in the UK aimed at boosting funding for start-ups and enhancing the attractiveness of UK capital markets. Naureen Zahid, Director of Investor Relations at OpenOcean, welcomed the move, emphasizing the need for decisive action to implement these proposals and encourage active participation from the private sector.
The European Organisation for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, is opening access to some of its cutting-edge technologies to selected deeptech startups as part of a new programme dubbed CERN Venture Connect (CVC). Ekaterina Almasque notes that the programme’s attempts to solve challenges at different stages will be particularly beneficial. “Many founders will be particularly gratified by Venture Connect giving them the tools to meet multiple needs at once,” she tells Sifted.
The articles featuring comments by Ekaterina Almasque cover the decrease in venture capital funding for startups and the rise of CVCs as an alternative source of funding. It highlights how CVCs offer strategic value, industry knowledge, and resources to startups but can also be less tolerant of growing pains and quick to withdraw support. It presents you as a reputable figure with expertise in the field of venture capital, highlighting your knowledge and experience in the industry.
In the article, OpenOcean General Partner Ekaterina Almasque discussed the need for strategic R&D funding in the UK to boost the tech sector and startup ecosystem. With the lack of clear government backing for R&D, UK startups often seek growth capital abroad, leading to a loss for the UK market.
OpenOcean Investor Relations Director, Naureen Zahid, was interviewed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) to discuss the possibility of the UK’s first "superfund", and the potential benefits it could bring to UK businesses, and the wider domestic economy.
When GDPR was first brought in just over five years ago, it unleashed seismic changes upon the industry – forcing businesses to completely change the way in which they collected customer data. OpenOcean General Partner Tom Henriksson has shared his thoughts on the impact of the regulation in Marketing Beat.
OpenOcean General Partner Ekaterina Almasque shared her insights with Sifted on how on the importance of a board's "helicopter view" in steering startups toward their goals. Almasque emphasizes how the focus of board meetings shifts as startups mature. In early stages, meetings concentrate on finding the product-market fit, whereas post-Series B, the focus is on capital-efficient scaling and leadership in their fields.
In a article published by Business Leader, Naureen Zahid, our Director of Investor Relations outlines some of the reasons why the US has historically been winning the race, and what measures should be taken by UK regulators and policymakers to help turn this around.
In the Business Leader article, OpenOcean’s Director of Investor Relations Naureen Zahid shares her insights anticipating strong performance from VC funds and startups that seek investors with similar values of transparency, technical expertise, and risk-reward appetites.
The article by OpenOcean General Partner Tom Henriksson delves into the critical role of data in the contemporary tech landscape and its potential to revolutionize industry operations. Despite 83% of CEOs desiring their organizations to be data-driven, only 25% of firms are at the forefront of data utilization, indicating a gap startups could exploit.
The article by Ekaterina Almasque explores the current state and potential of quantum computing, comparing it to the development of technologies like 5G, with industry professionals eagerly developing software in anticipation of hardware advances. Quantum computing holds immense potential for tasks like precision medicine and logistics, where it can process large datasets more efficiently than classical computing.
Quantum computing is operating at a higher and more commercially viable level in 2023. More than 91% of global CEOs say they're steering cash toward quantum computing, and 70% say they're generating real-life use cases for the technology, according to the OpenOcean–IQM-Lakestar State of Quantum 2022 report. "Our research confirms that we are on a one-way journey to enter the quantum era," says Ekaterina Almasque, general partner at OpenOcean, which coauthored the State of Quantum 2022 Report released in November.
Our Director of Investor Relations, Naureen Zahid, shares her insights on Forbes about the recent changes proposed by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). These changes aim to make London Stock Exchange (LSE) listings more attractive for early-stage companies.
Tech Nation is no more. The decision to withdraw Tech Nation’s funding is undoubtedly controversial. However, hopes remain high that the UK will continue to grow as a global tech hub. Amid the controversy surrounding the decision, Ekaterina Almasque, General Partner at OpenOcean, comments that the UK tech sector needs long-term planning, targeted incentives, and sustained government funding to progress.
The article by OpenOcean General Partner Patrik Backman discusses the growing importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies in today's business environment. With increased pressure from regulatory bodies, investors, customers, and employees, businesses are being prompted to consider ESG factors seriously. The author highlights the need for an honest self-assessment, focusing on various aspects such as the company’s carbon footprint, gender pay gap, diversity, compliance, cybersecurity infrastructure, and labor practices.
The Competition Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a full review into the market for foundation AI models including large language models and chat tools like ChatGPT. Ekaterina Almasque, general partner OpenOcean told Tech Monitor the review was welcomed as fair competition will always have a positive effect on innovation, warning that “steps must be taken to make it easier for early-stage AI start-ups” to compete with the hyperscale cloud providers, which currently host the most popular AI models on their platforms.
Britain's competition watchdog is to cast an eye over the development and use of AI, saying it wants to ensure that innovation in the field proceeds in a way that benefits consumers, businesses and the wider UK economy. In the US, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) appears to be thinking along similar lines. Ekaterina Almasque, General Partner at venture capital investors OpenOcean, told us that the CMA review is "welcome news for the UK tech sector," and that "barriers to entry – such as skilled workers and the high compute costs to train or fine-tune models – risk stifling our domestic startup ecosystem if we do not find a new way forward".
In this opinion piece, OpenOcean's General Partner, Tom Henriksson, analyzes the volatile tech market in 2023, stating that despite market instability due to issues like regulatory pressures and chip shortages, startups with innovative ideas, financial sustainability, low burn rates, and high growth strategies can still attract investment and customers.
In this op-ed piece by OpenOcean's Director of Investor Relations Naureen Zahid, she puts 2022 under the microscope and distills what happened and what it means for the venture capital community.
A new £100m fund has been established by Innovate UK to help UK businesses prepare for and deploy artificial intelligence technologies. The focus is on companies operating in agriculture, construction, transportation and creative industries. Ekaterina Almasque says this funding will be a key factor in building the infrastructure of the data economy in the UK, but disagreed with the assessment that creative, agriculture, construction and transport are the best sectors of the economy to direct focus. “The UK’s real competitive advantage will come from overinvestment in domestic start-ups tackling data infrastructure, datasets, and efficient collaboration,” she said.
Quantum technology companies attracted more than $2.35bn in private investment last year, slightly breaking the record set in 2021. Ekaterina Almasque told Tech Monitor the quantum industry was “in its growth phase”, making it extremely challenging to find talent with the necessary skills across a range of technologies and services. “Most individuals working in the industry today were introduced to the concept of quantum computing at a relatively late stage," Almasque says. "While this will change naturally as the industry becomes more established, the private and public sector stakeholders of quantum computing must work together to improve this.”
In this op-ed by OpenOcean General Partner Tom Henriksson, he lays out his thoughts on how, when, where, and why Europe needs to get in while it can.
According to investors, the lack of late-stage capital and risk appetite are hindering the growth of domestic Deep Tech leaders, despite European governments committing substantial amounts of capital to boost regional startups focused on tangible engineering innovation or scientific advances with the potential to disrupt various industries.
Our General Partner, Ekaterina Almasque, shared insights on AI opportunities (31-minute time stamp) alongside Reshma Sohoni of Seedcamp in a Bloomberg TV interview.
This article by Tom Henriksson, General Partner at OpenOcean, discusses the volatile state of tech market stocks in 2023 and its potential impact on startups and private investment. He outlines the challenges facing the tech sector, such as regulatory pressure, chip shortages, and the threat of inflation, while emphasizing that startups built on strong, innovative ideas and financial sustainability will continue to attract investment despite the uncertainties.
OpenOcean portfolio company Hygraph has raised $30 million. The startup now has around 400 customers, which include major brands like Samsung, Philips and the FMCG conglomerate Dr Oetker, and the plan is to use the funding to continue developing the platform and how and where it can be used, as well as expand into new geographies. The round is a Series B and was led by European investor One Peak, with previous backers OpenOcean and SquareOne, as well as new individual investor Boris Lokschin (cofounder and CEO of Spryker Systems) also participating.
Berlin-based Hygraph has raised $30 million in a Series B funding round. Based upon its frontend and backend agnostic platform that cuts out the middleware and connects siloed data from a wide range of sources into a single API, the fresh capital will help the company push the boundaries of federated content even further. In tandem with continued product development, the startup will scale its go-to-market plans, particularly eyeing North America.
European governments are committing large amounts of capital to boost regional deep-tech startups, but investors say a lack of late-stage capital and risk appetite are preventing more domestic deep-tech leaders. Ekaterina Almasque has observed more VCs move into deep-tech investing, but deal sizes remain small. As opposed to a SaaS or ecommerce company, deep tech requires significantly more capital and time to produce a product due to the complex nature of the technology, which may present too much of a risk for a generalist investor.
According to Tom Henriksson's remarks on the recent FT-Statista ranking of Europe's fastest-growing companies, businesses can still receive investments if they demonstrate strong business fundamentals and prioritize resolving practical issues, as the dry powder is currently at an all-time high.
The new AI sandbox will be multi-regulatory and designed to help developers ensure products are safe, transparent and ethical. Ekaterina Almasque told Tech Monitor being able to access a high volume of high-quality data and access it without transgressing IP law or individual privacy is essential when training AI models. “If the new AI sandbox results in changes that make it easier for AI start-ups to train their models and bring solutions to the enterprises that need them, then that will have a positive effect on the UK start-up scene in the long run”.
The U.K. government has delivered its spring budget, which includes provisions to invest in AI technologies and research. Ekaterina Almasque, general partner at early-stage European VC OpenOcean, argued however that the budget “underdelivers for the U.K. tech sector.” The introduction of new R&D tax support is certainly welcome, but many SMEs in the tech sector will still be left out in the cold. Whilst billions in funding for quantum computing and AI will certainly boost research in the area, many SMEs may still struggle to compete with larger corporates for the lion’s share of the benefits.”
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is announced a new £2.5bn national quantum computing programme. The decade-long project is aimed at keeping the UK competitive in an area of technology expected to dominate over the next 20 years. Ekaterina Almasque told Tech Monitor that this level of investment was a “welcome boost” to the ecosystem. “Quantum remains a thriving area of UK tech, with surging interest from investors and industry partners in backing its continued development. This pledge represents a commitment to maintaining the growth of the UK quantum sector – full of category leaders in centres of excellence like London, Oxford and Cambridge.”
Ekaterina Almasque, our General Partner, has been recognized as one of Europe's most influential women in the startup and venture capital industry.
A new report says the UK needs more compute power to match its tech ambitions and should build sovereign capability to support researchers. Ekaterina Almasque, general partner at deep technology venture capital company OpenOcean, said the plea to support the compute ecosystem through public investment will have support across the technology sector, explaining that creating such an ecosystem with access to high-performance computing will make it easier for start-ups and founders to bring resources to bear in exploring new frontiers like quantum computing, as well as develop AI solutions and tools.
The government has announced a 10 point framework for science and technology, which it describes as part of an "ambitious plan" to become "the most innovative economy in the world."
Ekaterina Almasque, General Partner at early-stage VC investment firm OpenOcean, believes if the UK government wishes to turn Britain into a new Silicon Valley, the industry needs grassroots support. “Deep-tech firms in fields like quantum technology, for example, have timelines measured in decades – and rely on targeted incentives and funding from government to ensure they continue to make progress.
Ekaterina Almasque, general partner at early-stage venture capital company OpenOcean, says: “Quantum Motion’s latest round shows that the ‘quantum winter’ predicted by some is not materialising. In fact, quantum remains a thriving area of tech, with surging interest from investors and industry partners in backing its continued development. It also sends a strong signal that the UK quantum sector is in robust health, with Quantum Motion joining an ecosystem full of category leaders in centres of excellence like London, Oxford, and Cambridge.”
2022 has been a dynamic year for quantum computing. With commercial breakthroughs such as the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) investing in its first quantum computer, the launch of the world’s first quantum computer capable of advantage over the cloud and the Nobel Prize in Physics awarded for ground-breaking experiments with entangled photons, the industry is making progress.
Microsoft is taking a large-scale approach to quantum development as the US looks to develop its leadership in the technology. Ekaterina Almasque, general partner at venture capital company OpenOcean, an early investor in quantum computing start-up IQM, said quantum computing is a long-term play that relies heavily on government and Big Tech research budgets, including from far-thinking organisations that plant early seeds and nurture ecosystems.
Following the withdrawal of a £12 million government grant, Tech Nation is set to cease running at the end of next month. Ekaterina Almasque, General Partner at OpenOcean, said: “This is a difficult day for the UK tech industry. Tech Nation was founded to spearhead the UK’s digital industry during its “Silicon Roundabout” heyday. So, it’s a troubling sign of the times that this body, which has overseen growth programmes for start-ups, digital academies, and international expansion efforts, has been forced to close its doors.
Tech chiefs have sounded the alarm over the future of Tech Nation’s lauded visa programme today after the start-up body announced it would wind down after controversially losing a major government contract. Ekaterina Almasque, general partner at early-stage VC firm OpenOcean, added the global talent visa had become “almost synonymous with Tech Nation”.
Sunlight, a Cambridge, UK-based edge infrastructure company, raised an undisclosed amount in funding. The round, which brought total funding raised to date to $20M, was led by Valedor Partners, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, and OpenOcean.
The latest Venture Pulse report shows a significant decline in VC investment worldwide, reaching its lowest levels since 2019. Tom Henriksson, general partner at early-stage VC company OpenOcean, said it is not all “doom and gloom” as there are hopeful trends in the VC market, such as continued investment in renewable energy companies.
The reignited quantum debate in the pages of the FT, sparked by the publication of a Chinese research paper, an analysis piece from Richard Waters (Report, January 12), John Thornhill’s column “Quantum computing is harder than herding kittens” (Opinion, January 13) and the editorial “The dawning of the quantum age” (FT View, January 14) is missing one nuance.
Oxford Ionics announced this morning it has raised £30 million in Series A funding. That’s an auspicious start to 2023, in which progress in quantum computing will be defined “by researchers consolidating years of hard work, getting chips to talk to one another, and shifting away from trying to make do with noise as the field gets ever more international in scope,” says MIT Technology Review.
In 2022, I had the privilege of chairing an OpenOcean roundtable on automation with a robust line-up of leading thinkers and business leaders. One of the central takeaways from the event was that stories of automation and AI’s failure are very often the result of the same mistakes in implementation being made repeatedly. However, there are a few key areas that organizations need to focus on to ensure they can avoid these common pitfalls and introduce automation successfully.
The UK becomes the first country apart from the US and China whose tech sector is worth more than a trillion dollars.
Ireland/California-based cloud database company MariaDB has finalised its public listing on the New York Stock Exchange through its merger with the SPAC vehicle Angel Pond Holdings, to be renamed MariaDB.
Report shows that 91% of business leaders surveyed are already investing or planning to invest in quantum computing. 61% of business leaders are planning to invest $1 million or more into quantum over the next three years.
Amongst the 2022 Apple Store Awards winners, Gentler Streak emerged as the Apple Watch App of the year. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, the app — designed for iPhone and Apple Watch use — is a workout and fitness tracker that comes with a twist: a self-compassionate approach to exercise.
Report shows that 91% of business leaders surveyed are already investing or planning to invest in quantum computing. 61% of business leaders are planning to invest $1 million or more into quantum over the next three years.
OpenOcean, a European venture capital firm, IQM Quantum Computers, a European leader in quantum computers, and Lakestar, a European technology investor, have released the OpenOcean–IQM-Lakestar State of Quantum 2022 Report, in association with The Quantum Insider (TQI).
Business leaders expect to see commercialised quantum computing within the next five years, a new study has revealed, with 61% of those responding saying they plan to invest $1m or more in the technology within the next three years and 10% planning to pump more than $20m into quantum resources.
In the early stages of entrepreneurship, time can feel tight. With all the setting up, meeting new people, finding product-market fit and establishing a client base, there can feel like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. This phase, with all its busyness and figuring out, is arguably the most glorious. The most self-aware entrepreneurs will know which aspects of what they are doing are making the most difference. If they were gifted one additional hour, therefore, the decision on where to spend it would be obvious.
LatticeFlow, a startup that was spun out of Zurich’s ETH in 2020, helps machine learning teams improve their AI vision models by automatically diagnosing issues and improving both the data and the models themselves. The company today announced that it has raised a $12 million Series A funding round led by Atlantic Bridge and OpenOcean, with participation from FPV Ventures.
Early-stage venture capital firm OpenOcean returns with an updated version of its interactive market map for automation, adding some 600+ companies.
Significant challenges remain, but quantum computing is advancing faster than its classical counterpart.
"Quantum computing today is where combustion-powered automobiles were in the early 1900s. And the stage is set for the next Ford. The gamechanger will be the firm that can bridge the gap between the cutting-edge quantum hardware and the software in development."
Analytics Insight has engaged in an exclusive interview with Patrick Backman, General Partner, OpenOcean.
Nina Gunell, Investment Associate at OpenOcean shared her thoughts on sustainability and profitability – and how companies with better sustainability practices also have better operational performance and lower risk.
Tom Henriksson, general partner at OpenOcean, identifies four ways in which automation experts have achieved project management success.
OpenOcean's General Partner Tom Henriksson shared his thoughts about building truly successful VC-founder relationships with City AM.
Tom Henriksson, GP at OpenOcean, shared his thoughts on Europe’s startup scene's positive growth and opportunities with the Silicon Republic.
Workfellow, the software product company with the first plug-and-play tool that provides a holistic view of the impact of digital transformation on team work, today announced that it has raised 3.12 million USD in its Series A funding round. The investment will support Workfellow’s growth by ramping up its product and commercial operation.
Finland-based startup Workfellow that develops an AI-powered task mining software that identifies company-wide manual business activities, and recommends digital solutions, has announced the completion of a $3 million Series A round, ArcticStartup reports.
Workfellow, the software product company with the first plug-and-play tool that provides a holistic view of the impact of digital transformation on team work, today announced that it has raised $3.12m in its Series A funding round. The investment will support Workfellow’s growth by ramping up its product and commercial operation.
Workfellow, the software product company with the first plug-and-play tool that provides a holistic view of the impact of digital transformation on team work, has announced that it has raised $3.12 million in its Series A funding round.
Workfellow, the software program product firm with the primary plug-and-play software that gives a holistic view of the impression of digital transformation on workforce work, has introduced that it has raised $3.12 million in its Collection A funding spherical.
Ekaterina Almasque, General Partner at OpenOcean shares her thoughts on the key traits for a successful Founder-VC relationship.
Tom Henriksson, General Partner at OpenOcean, said: “London’s raising of $25.5bn in funding over the past year is indicative of how quickly the United Kingdom, and Europe, are becoming eminent players within global technology. London is now a magnet for investment as it currently holds a total number of 75 “unicorns”. Its strong foundations and diverse mix of talents ensure that investment will continue to pour in at a rapid scale.”
Operations1, the cloud software company for adaptive employee-led production processes, has just announced a new €11.1 million funding boost. The investment which was led by OpenOcean will scale the solution that is enabling manufacturers to analyse and optimise work and processes, freeing up teams to focus on more complex and innovative activities.
Operations1, the cloud software company for adaptive employee-led production processes, recently announced it has raised $12.5 million in its Series A funding round. The investment, which was led by OpenOcean, a European venture capital firm, will support Operations1 to double its team size, expand internationally, and invest further in product development.
Investment from a VC fund is fundamental for many start-ups. However, even with this added financial support, not all businesses are successful. Article by Ekaterina Almasque, General Partner at OpenOcean.
With cybercrime statistics causing enterprises to jump faster than a cat on a hot tin roof, equally, we’ve seen a number of startups springing to their defenses. And so is the case with Estonia’s entry, Binalyze.
Binalyze, the Enterprise Forensics platform which enables enterprises to respond faster and more effectively to cyber threats, today announced it has raised $10 million in its Seed funding round.
Enterprise forensics platform Binalyze has just raised €9.1 million in its mission to enable companies to respond more efficiently to cyber threats. The funding was led by OpenOcean with participation from Earlybird Digital East which led Binalyze’s pre-seed round last year.
Enterprise forensics platform Binalyze has just raised €8.7 million in its mission to enable companies to respond more efficiently to cyber threats. The funding was led by OpenOcean with participation from Earlybird Digital East which led Binalyze’s pre-seed round last year.
Estonia-based Binalyze, a cybersecurity startup developing digital forensic tools for enterprises to better understand cyber breaches and respond effectively, raised USD 10 million on 4th February 2022.
Emerging Europe brings a round-up of the region’s start-ups that recently closed financing rounds, sealed partnerships, or dropped new innovations.
OpenOcean has led an €8.7 million investment in Binalyze, with participation from Earlybird Digital East. The Estonian startup offers digital forensic tools to help companies conduct incident response investigations. The funds will be used for product development and its international expansion in Europe and the US.
2018. aastal asutatud ja ettevõtetele mõeldud kohtuekspertiisi platvorm Binalyze kaasas hiljuti 9,1 miljonit eurot, et aidata firmadel küberohtudele tõhusamalt reageerida. Rahastusringi juhtisid Open Ocean ja Earlybird Digital, kes võttis eelmisel aastal osa ka Binalyze’i eelseemnevoorust.
Binalyze secures $10.4million in seed funding to develop its real-time enterprise forensics platform. The investment will also accelerate Binalyze’s expansion in the US, Europe, and other key global markets. The investment, led by OpenOcean, brings total funding to date to $11.7million.
Binalyze, an enterprise forensics platform that arms clients against cyber threats, has bagged $10m in its seed funding round.
EU-Startups caught up with Ekaterina to talk about her impressive career, the Invest in Women NOW project, and how we can increase diversity in VC.
Estonia is termed Europe’s most entrepreneurial country by the World Economic Forum. Living up to this name, the country is home to popular companies including Skype, Wise, Bolt and Pipedrive.
Hazlewoods’s research sent a clear message to readers: start-ups are the beating heart of the UK economy. Unsurprisingly, Hazlewoods found startups make up a quarter of all high-growth firms.
‘Soonicorn Club of Finland Tech 2022’– an exclusive list of the most promising Finland tech startups that have also reached significant valuation milestones over the previous few years.
Venture capital (VC) investment was relatively busy in Ireland during the first quarter of 2022, according to KPMG’s latest quarterly Venture Pulse report.
Pitchbook’s analysis reveals one thing very clearly: VCs in the UK are full steam ahead in 2022. VCs in Britain and Ireland have committed nearly £7bn in the last few months, nearly a third of total European investment. The world of venture capital moves fast. A flurry of investment draws eyes, and eager entrepreneurs.
Tech investors remain optimistic about the future despite market meltdowns. Some even suggest it could benefit the industry in the long run. However, they urge startups to prepare for leaner times.