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UK startups: 10 major acquisitions which took place recently

Vauban founders
Image credits: Vauban

Global tech deals continued at a quickened pace in 2021 despite the economic drag of the pandemic. It was estimated that the global tech M&A was valued at $3 trillion before the final quarter was calculated. Recently we wrote about the European startups which got acquired during these sputtering economic times.

Talking about 2022, early activities seem to suggest no slowing of big deals across the industry despite the predilection recession and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. But at the same time, with funding under pressure and its impact on valuations, more prominent startups are looking for mergers and are also diversifying into newer categories and increase capacity.

Relatively, TFN has today listed some notable UK tech startup acquisitions which took place in recent months.

Sabre acquired Conferma Pay

Manchester-based Conferma Pay, a global fintech with the mission to help businesses digitise payments, was acquired by Texas-based Sabre Corporation. Conferma Pay was founded by Simon Barker in 2005. With this acquisition, the UK company will help Sabre advance virtual card payments in travel and lay the foundations to develop technologies that will enable the future of B2B travel payments.

WeDo Business Services acquired Lucid Networks

WeDo Business Services acquired expanded Manchester-based IT services consultancy Lucid Networks. Post the acquisition, Lucid is integrated into the group’s WeDo Digital business. Lucid Networks was founded in 2010 by James Balderstone. As per WeDo, the acquisition will expand the capabilities of WeDo Digital and bolster the offering of the wider group.

Gilead Sciences acquired MiroBio

Gilead Sciences, a US-based pharmaceutical firm bought Oxford University biotech spinout MiroBio for $405 million in cash. As a part of the deal, MiroBio’s discovery technology and portfolio of immune inhibitory receptor agonists will be acquired by Gilead. MiroBio was founded in 2019 by Richard Cornall and Simon Davis and the insights by this platform have helped create antibodies that can leverage natural signalling mechanisms to restore immune system balance and control.

UiPath acquired Re:infer

UiPath, a Robotic Process Automation company operating from New York acquired London-based Re:infer, a Natural Language Processing (NLP) company. Founded in 2015 by Ph.D. scientists at University College London, Re:infer uses Machine Language to mine context from communication messages and transform them into actionable data.

Post this acquisition, Re:infer’s NLP model, and UiPath’s Automation platform will enable developers to build automation that optimises the customer experience and operational scalability of contact centres.

Carta acquired Vauban

A San Francisco-based fintech, Carta acquired London-based Vauban, an online platform that helps investors back private companies. Post this acquisition, Vauban’s team will join Carta and will result in the integration of the former’s fund establishment platform into the existing business offering of the latter. Rémy Astié and Ulric Musset founded Vauban in London in 2018 to make it easier, faster, and more cost-effective for anyone to co-invest in private companies.

Agreena acquired Hummingbird Technologies

Danish agtech Agreena has announced the acquisition of UK-based Hummingbird Technologies. This move reflects the influence of tech startups in fueling sustainability and green transition across Europe. Hummingbird Technologies was founded in 2016 by Will Wells to provide actionable insights to farmers and agri-businesses using deep learning and computer vision techniques.

This merger strengthens Agreena’s value chain, underlining the company’s position of being a global leader within the agricultural sector for soil carbon certification.

Flowbird acquired YourParkingSpace

Recently, a fast-growing parking technology provider in the UK, YourParkingSpace was acquired by the urban mobility company Flowbird. YourParkingSpace was founded in 2013 by Charles Cridland and Harrison Woods and has developed the world’s most customisable end-to-end digitally led parking solution. Post this acquisition, both the companies will join forces and accelerate the digital transformation of Flowbird.

Fiat Republic acquired Paybase

Fiat Republic, a web3 enabler assisting crypto platforms to access mainstream fiat services, has acquired London fintech Paybase. This acquisition will enable its platform to provide payment services and issue e-money to crypto platforms based in the UK. Paybase was established in 2013 by Anna Tsyupko and Chris Wessels as an end-to-end solution for payments, compliance and risk management in one unified API.

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