The United States is considered one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. However, SMBs – the backbone of a healthy economy – must handle significant bureaucratic burdens that stall their growth.

This is why we are excited to partner with Vance, an AI back-office service for startups and SMBs, that handles business obligations like a top-tier admin and ops manager. Founded by serial entrepreneur Simon Holland, the New York City company’s mission is to eliminate the admin burden for America’s 33 million small and medium businesses (SMBs).

By leveraging advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, Vance aims to automate 95% of tedious, time-consuming back-office tasks, enabling Admin and Ops Managers to effectively put the back office on autopilot so they can focus on growing their core business, specifically more differentiated tasks or customer-focused priorities. 

The team that includes Richard Davies, CTO; Clementine Clough, Head of Partnerships and Community; and James Devlin, Head of Growth will tackle the most challenging part of back-office business administration first: managing government obligations.

Simon Holland, Founder and CEO of Vance highlights:

“It should be so much simpler to run a business. We want to liberate startups and SMBs from admin burdens so they can focus on achieving their true potential.

“It’s hard to succeed as a small business. As a multi-time founder, I know firsthand how painful administrative and government obligations can be. They’re a constant distraction, and neglecting them can be costly.” 

Vance connects a company’s existing back-office tools—PEO, HRIS, and Accounting—and compares up-to-date business data with over 200 fragmented government sources to inform them about their mandatory government obligations. Additionally, two core features, “Ask Vance” and “Quick Actions,” enable companies to get support with queries about requirements, retrieve key data from company documents, and proactively keep them on track with government deadlines, thus avoiding fines.

On why we backed Vance, our Managing Partner Carlos Espinal comments:

“We are delighted to partner up with Vance and support their mission of empowering SMBs across the US to focus on their core business rather than tedious admin work. Simon’s experience as a multi-time founder, paired with a strong vision and proprietary technology are the kind of bold, innovative play we get excited about.”

We are excited to participate in Vance’s $1.5 million oversubscribed pre-seed funding round led by ViIlage Global, alongside Anamcara, Foreword, Visionary Ventures, and angel investors.

The new funds will be used to onboard small businesses across the United States and develop a proprietary recommendation engine that informs them of their obligations, while AI agents perform administrative tasks. 

Sign up for early access here

For more information, visit hirevance.com.

Code maintenance accounts for around 30% of all software engineering time spent globally. Especially in big enterprises that have custom systems and many repositories with 1000s of lines of code, 100k+ Java files, software engineers face the gargantuan task of understanding how these interlock or using a reinforcement learning model to understand it. 

This is why we are excited to partner with Recurse ML, a UK-based startup on a mission to fully abstract mundane tasks (e.g. complex refactors or cleaning up old tech debt) away from software engineers. 

Founders Jack Jackson and Armins Stepanjans, met at Entrepreneur First in London in September 2023. They both have strong engineering backgrounds and are deeply passionate about helping software engineers push the boundaries of what’s possible unencumbered by bottlenecks –  Jack read for a DPhil in Cyber Security from the University of Oxford before suspending it to found Recurse ML and Armins earned an MPhil with distinction from the University of Cambridge.

Recurse ML’s vision is to create a new programming paradigm, where codebase maintenance is fully abstracted away from developers by ML agents. Built for enterprise environments, the platform streamlines the development process by seamlessly integrating into the workflow, automating tedious tasks, and allowing software engineers to maintain the codebase with a single command.

On why we partnered with Recurse ML, our Partner Tom Wilson comments:

“Code maintenance is a huge challenge, particularly for large complex organisations. Recurse is on a mission to abstract away the mundane work involved in this area to free up software engineers to focus on more high value and rewarding work. We’ve loved every interaction with Jack and Armins from the first intro call onwards and very much looking forward to seeing them put their ambitious plans into action.”

We are excited to co-lead Recurse ML’s £2.5 million funding round alongside Playfair, with additional support from Ventures Together and angel investors.

Currently, in closed beta, Recurse ML is piloting with a number of large financial institutions. 

To learn more, sign up for early access, or check out their latest job openings, visit https://recurse.ml.

With the current advances in AI technology, there is a high demand for improving energy consumption and performance in chips. Reversible computing – an alternative to classic computing that performs calculations while generating a relatively negligible amount of heat – has the potential to reduce energy consumption and the need for cooling. 

This is why we are excited to back Vaire Computing, a London- and Seattle-based company that leverages reversible computing to create near zero-energy silicon chips. 

Founded in 2021 by serial entrepreneur Rodolfo Rosini and scientist Hannah Earley –  a well-known reversible computing researcher from the University of Cambridge – Vaire Computing aims to solve the global chip crisis as the end of Moore’s Law approaches amid the current AI boom.

Rodolfo Rosini, founder and CEO, highlights:

“Moore’s Law will be obsolete within the next four years – perhaps sooner given the rapid pace of AI innovation. In order to increase the world’s computing power, we need chips that offer more power without consuming more energy. Vaire Computing’s near zero-energy chips promise advanced AI at a fraction of the energy cost with an architecture that can scale for decades. We are excited about this next phase of our company’s development and look forward to delivering our first chip in the next twelve months.”

On why we invested in Vaire Computing, our Managing Director Carlos Espinal comments:

“We are incredibly excited to be working with Rodolfo, Hannah and the rest of the Vaire team building the future of compute. Transistor performance is approaching its limit. Fabs have always positioned processors closer and closer together to improve performance, generating more and more heat. This energy dissipates inefficiently, warming the chip. The heat creates a limit or ‘thermal wall’, past which chips warp and throttle. Vaire solves this problem with reversible computing which reuses the energy as work, unlocking the next frontier of chip density concentration and extending Moore’s Law decades into the future. Reversible computing was actually discovered in 1961, and the resonator – the missing piece of the stack – was designed last year; we can’t wait to support the journey and work with the best from AMD, Arm and Sandia Labs. “

We are excited to participate in Vaire’s $4 million Seed funding round co-led by 7percent Ventures and Jude Gomila, an early investor in multiple unicorns including Astranis and Solugen, together with Clim8, and angel investors. The company had previously raised $500,000, bringing its total funding to $4.5 million.

Vaire Computing also hired Mike Frank, the world’s leading researcher in reversible computing, as Senior Scientist. Vaire Computing now has the highest concentration of reversible computing talent in the world. 

The company aims to hire additional engineering talent and fast track the company’s first prototype. Vaire was also recently one of only ten companies named to the second UK cohort of Intel Ignite, Intel’s global startup accelerator program for early-stage deep tech startups.  

For more information visit www.vaire.co