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10 tech startups to watch at the EIE20 showcase

An insight into this year’s impressive cohort

Fifty high-growth data-driven companies will pitch to UK and international investors for funding at this year’s EIE20 tech investor showcase. EIE has supported around 500 tech startups and scale-ups since 2008 who have collectively raised over £700 million. EIE alumni include FanDuel, Mallzee, Current Health, ZoneFox, Two Big Ears, pureLiFi, Float and Amiqus.

In 2020, the EIE cohort contains innovative companies who are tackling real world problems with cutting edge solutions in sectors including energy, climate, cleantech, cybersecurity, fintech and digital health. The 2020 cohort is also characterised by the largest percentage to date of internationally founded ventures who are locating to Scotland.

Organiser Informatics Ventures has identified 10 startups to watch ahead of this year’s event on 23rd April in Edinburgh.

Machines With Vision in the Smart Cities and Mobility category was founded by serial tech founder Anthony Ashbrook in 2016. Machines with Vision Machines enables the owners of linear infrastructure (roads, railways, pipelines) to significantly reduce maintenance costs using millimetre-accurate condition mapping.

The company raised £1.3 million in its last funding round and is seeking around £3 million in its next raise.

Machines With Vision Founder and CEO Anthony Ashbrook said: “It has been a busy and successful year since EIE19 as we have been validating our solution with partners Deutsche Bahn, Network Rail and Jaguar Land Rover and expanding our core team. We are delighted to be back and are looking to raise £3 million seed funding to enable the next stage of product development and commercialisation.”

PolyDigi Tech, in the Fintech and Cyberscurity category, was founded in 2012 and now delivers a mobile authentication service that allows banks to protect their apps and online internet banking service in real-time. The business recently relocated its global headquarters to Edinburgh.

Chief information officer and co-founder Monika Ohashi said: “We are in the process of finalising a series A round with UK investor participation in the region of £5 million so EIE20 comes at an opportune time for the business.

“We are in talks with a number of banks that are interested in our latest proposition and, in Scotland, we have partnered with the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Napier University around product development.”

Gobbill is a fintech startup (also from the Fintech and Cybersecurity category) which began its life in Australia and is also part of the Microsoft for Startups programme, whose founding team are looking to relocate some of its operations to a base in Scotland. Gobbill, which is seeking in the region of £2 million from investors, develops account payment automation with built-in fraud checking and payment clearing functions.

Chanjoplus ( Digital Health and Med Tech category) is a startup on a mission to enable last-mile access to lifesaving vaccines for children using mobile technology. Founded in Kenya by Collince Osewe, the Chanjoplus team aims to lower the incidence of vaccine preventable disease.

American-born Danae Shell co-founded Valla ( AI and Data Science category) with Dr Kate Ho, with Shell and Ho bringing leadership and scale-up experience from FreeAgent, Care Sourcer and Skyscanner. Valla is currently trialing its data platform with employment lawyers and is seeking to raise around £1 million to add machine learning insights and take the product to market. Shell says:

“EIE has been in our calendar since we decided to start Valla. We knew that we’d need support and connections to raise our first investment round, and there’s no better way to get in front of high-calibre investors in Scotland than EIE. The part I didn’t realise was how much support and education we’d receive in the months before the event – this is an incredible programme for anyone looking to raise investment.”

Scotland’s space and satellite-related sector has taken off in recent years with notable success stories including Spire Global, an EIE alumnus which last year secured a £30 million-plus funding round led by GPO Fund, Perennial Value, Bessemer Ventures and including the Scottish Investment Bank and Qualcomm Ventures. This year’s crop of sector companies include Trade in Space ( Space and Satellite Tech category), which deploys satellite imagery and machine learning to help buyers, traders and farmers predict yield estimates and market prices.

ThermaFY , based in Kelso in the Borders, was founded by CEO Amanda Pickford, who saw a market opportunity to promote small but affordable thermal imaging cameras to support the global trend around more remote working, helping to enable people to live in more affordable locations with better work/life balance with the knock-on positive environmental impact. ThermaFY is included in the EIE20 Energy, Climate and Cleantech category.

Multi-award-winning Crover ( Robotics and Autonomy category), founded by CEO Lorenzo Conti, is on a mission to help grain-storekeepers reduce losses and maintain optimum storage conditions via the use of mini robots. Crover’s recent accolades include the Wild Card EDGE award from Scottish Edge and a 2018 Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future award.

Digitalnauts ( Creative Design and Media Tech category) is a Glasgow-based digital company that develops immersive learning solutions for businesses and offers a virtual reality (VR) platform which enables companies to save money and achieve scale while empowering developers to create and sell their own content.

One former alumnus company appearing again at this year’s EIE is Criton ( Internet of Things category), an Edinburgh-headquartered travel tech startup that is delivering digital technologies that optimise customer experience and maximise revenue for the hotel and serviced apartment industry. Criton, founded by CEO Julie Grieve, last featured at EIE17 and has decided to return to EIE20 as it embarks on its latest funding round later this year. Criton raised £5 million in October 2017, only a few months on from EIE17 and last week outlined plans to raise a “significant seven figure sum” in external investment later this year to develop its product offering and drive growth across international markets. Danny Helson, programme manager at Informatics Ventures, said:

“This year’s cohort, perhaps more than any EIE to date, has a high level of companies who are on a mission to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges – including around climate, health, agriculture, cybersecurity and robotics – and we’ve all been massively impressed with not only the purpose-led missions of so many of our companies this year but also with the amount of innovation that runs through the cohort.”

Danny HelsonProgramme Manager

Find out about all 50 companies at the EIE website.