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.

Machinery downtime in the heavy machinery industry leads to significant financial and opportunity costs, factoring in late penalties, idle labor, equipment rentals, and administrative expenses. Furthermore, Right to Repair laws require manufacturers and dealerships to provide technical support and parts for machines for up to 10 years. 

This is why we are excited to back, Digital Iron, a copilot for dealerships that leverages AI models trained on CAD schematics, machine manuals, and telematics data. The platform offers intelligent diagnostics and parts sourcing to respond faster to breakdowns. 

Co-founded by Ciaran Gillen (CEO), a second-time founder, with 18 years of experience in the material processing and equipment sales industry, and Salina Brown (CPO), previously Director of User Experience at HP, Digital Iron automates order processing and summarization, thus helping reduce errors and improving operational efficiency. The integration of enriched dealership, customer, and machine data speeds up diagnostics and increases parts sales, boosting revenue at dealerships.

Ciaran Gillen, Co-founder and CEO of Digital Iron comments:

“Machines break down on average 600 hours every year and there’s an extremely manual process involved in trying to get them back in action. This is because each machine can have anywhere between 50 to 200 documents attached to it and as dealerships could be selling up to 1,000 machines a year they can find it difficult to answer questions to find out what has gone wrong.

“Down time for machines obviously means lost revenue but our platform addresses this by ingesting all the manuals so that when questions come in we know exactly what documents to access to get answers to problems in seconds rather than in days.

On why we backed Digital Iron, Kate McGinn from our investment team comments:

“Digital Iron is tapping an immense opportunity to disrupt a large, underserved, and undigitised market. We’re thrilled to back two heavy machinery wizards, Salina and Ciaran, as they help dealerships offer 10x better diagnostics and parts sourcing.”

We are excited to lead Digital Iron’s $2 million pre-seed round alongside our friends at Concept Ventures, RTP Global, and FJ Labs.

For more information, visit digitaliron.com

Cash flow management is the primary reason why SMBs go out of business. Business owners and financial professionals still rely on a burdensome system of financial tools to manage money transferred in and out. For SMBs outside the SaaS and e-commerce payment systems, the challenges are particularly significant.

This is why we are excited to back Mimo – which stands for ‘Money In, Money Out’ – a platform simplifying global payments, cash flow, and financial management for SMBs and finance professionals

Founded in 2023 by CEO Henrik Grim (former General Manager of Europe at Capchase and Investment Manager at Northzone), Alexander Gernandt Segerby (CPO), and Andreas Meisingseth (CTO), the London and Stockholm-based company provides a suite of financial tools that bundles the features needed for SMBs to better understand and control their cash flow.

Mimo gives businesses, accountants, and bookkeepers a single tool for easier administration and better financial decisions. The platform’s credit offering helps minimise risk and optimise working capital, enabling businesses to send and receive payments on their own terms. Trading SMBs and finance professionals can pay suppliers with a click, access working capital, and get paid faster by customers, in any currency. 

For businesses that hold inventory or trade internationally (e.g. those in consumer goods, retail, hospitality, or wholesale) and require a substantial number of invoices and multi-currency management, Mimo’s financial management solution solves the painstaking, time-consuming issues that are synonymous with these sectors. 

Mimo already works with 50+ SMBs and finance professionals and processes several million GBP every month via its early access offering.

Henrik Grim, co-founder and CEO of Mimo, comments:

I’ve seen first-hand the time-consuming and fragmented processes SMBs must deal with when managing money. SMBs and financial professionals have to jump between apps and spreadsheets to pay invoices or make and chase international payments, all while trying to keep track of and manage cash flow. Mimo bundles this into a single tool so that businesses can easily manage the movement of their money and receive payments in any currency, faster. We’re delighted to be backed by our investors to help give SMBs full control of their finances.

On why we invested, our Partner Sia Houchangnia comments:

“We’re seeing a step-change in how SMBs are equipping themselves with technology to become more astute and proactively-minded businesses. From their work at iZettle, Hedvig, and Capchase,  Henrik, Alex, and Andreas are deeply entrenched into the financial management needs of SMBs which they are now solving for with Mimo. We are thrilled to partner with them on this journey.”

We are excited to participate in Mimo’s £15.5M (€18M) funding round led by our friends at Northzone and joined by Cocoa Ventures, Upfin VC. The round also includes an asset-backed facility arranged by Fost and participation from angel investors including founders and early operators from Stripe, GoCardless, Wayflyer, and Anyfin. 

Mimo aims to continue to build out its B2B payments solution for SMBs and expand its headcount which now includes 14 employees, of five nationalities, across the company’s two locations.

For more information, visit mimohq.com.

From our own experience investing in many startups building in financial services, we know only too well that ongoing due diligence (ODD) tends to be a manual and inefficient process, even more so for companies that must adhere to rules and laws across different markets. Fortunately, some new approaches and solutions go beyond seeing ongoing due diligence as a mere cost center. They enable compliance professionals to use ODD for regulatory purposes and also to scale their businesses into commercial success.

This is why we are excited to back spektr‘s mission to change ongoing due diligence processes in the financial sector. The Copenhagen-based fintech is founded by a team of experienced serial entrepreneurs, including CEO Mikkel Skarnager, Ciprian Florescu, Jérémy Joly, and Jan-Erik Wagner. We are especially delighted to be working with Mikkel and Cip again, having backed their first startup HelloFlow in 2021 (sold to Canadian company Trulioo in 2022). They’ve assembled a dream team that spent years building simple, easy-to-use, solutions to complex problems at HelloFlow and subsequently Truiloo. We firmly believe they have the ideal combination of skills and experience to build a market-defining company with spektr. 

Spektr’s customizable, no-code platform offers financial companies an automated solution for client monitoring and risk control while completely automating all parts of the ongoing due diligence cycle. Recognizing the exponential growth of the compliance field globally, spektr aims to simplify risk-based monitoring with an automation-focused platform that does not require specialised IT skills for the user.

Spektr’s four main solutions provide the ability to:

These solutions help customers

Co-founder and CEO Mikkel Skarnager highlights:

“With the spektr platform, we can make ongoing due diligence an efficient function with commercial value for companies rather than being a costly expense. When looking at the explosion in the number of employees and expenses, I am convinced that there is great potential in making compliance a better business.

“We’re off to an incredible start, thanks to both the platform and the generous support from our investors. This journey brings back memories of our success with HelloFlow, but this time, we’re aiming for something even bigger and long-lasting.”

On why we invested, our Partner Tom Wilson comments

“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to back Mikkel and Ciprian as they go again with spektr. The HelloFlow journey gave us a taste of  the market-leading products they can build and we’re excited to see where they can take spektr, building on that experience.”

We are excited to participate in spektr’s € 5 million round, alongside our friends at Northzone and PreSeed Ventures.

For more information, visit spektr.com.

With a multi-trillion dollar valuation, the global Real Estate industry has been slow in embracing digital transformation. It remains one of the most document-heavy and data-filled industries, with enormous potential for automation and talent upskilling. 

This is why we are excited to back Fifth Dimension AI, a London-based startup on a mission to amplify the exceptional in real estate professionals. Coming out of a pilot phase, the company launched its flagship product Ellie, a first of its kind AI co-partner developed to improve productivity and amplify exceptional teams in industries that deal with a lot of documents and data. It automates time-consuming tasks such as data analysis and industry research, thus freeing people up to focus on bringing value to their business and fully using their expertise and insights.  

Founded in January 2023 by Johnny Morris and Dr. Kate Jarvis, Fifth Dimension AI leverages their wealth of expertise across real estate, finance, and technology. Dr. Kate Jarvis, a large language model wizard with a PhD in Linguistics from Stanford University, has spent over a decade designing Machine Learning-powered products and bringing them to market. Johnny Morris brings more than a decade of real estate experience, in roles such as Chief Operating Officer at Wayhome and Analytics Director at Countrywide. The founders believe that Large Language Models (LLMs) can unlock the exceptional in people, taking away the time-consuming and often boring task of reviewing large quantities of information locked away in disparate documents, and instead producing outputs in a fraction of the time. 

Dr. Kate Jarvis, Co-Founder & CEO of Fifth Dimension AI, comments, “This investment is a testament to the recognition of Ellie’s ability to redefine the world of work beginning with the real estate industry. We solve the issue of lifting employees out of time-consuming, repetitive and boring work, working with natural language that is designed to ensure people from all backgrounds can use it in the way that is most productive for them. Ellie empowers knowledge workers to do their best work and lead happier, purposeful, and more fulfilled lives.” 

Johnny Morris, Co-Founder & CPO, Fifth Dimension AI, adds, “We designed Ellie to provide real estate professionals with a competitive advantage by providing a partner to help them get done in minutes what usually takes hours. Across our clients, we’ve been amazed by the impact that Ellie has on the newest generation of real estate professionals. These young and ambitious individuals are able to increase their output and amplify their expertise in the industry – in a fraction of the time. With Ellie as their partner, we believe the next generation will have the power to truly move the industry forward.”

Following the completion of an initial pilot scheme running since April, Fifth Dimension AI already boasts nearly 10 major real estate firms as clients, including big names such as Hamptons.

On why we invested in Fifth Dimension AI, our Managing Partner Carlos Espinal comments:

With their wealth of expertise across AI, Real Estate, and Finance, Johnny Morris and Dr. Kate Jarvis are a world-class founding team taking on a massive opportunity to innovate the real estate industry. We love their emphasis on the human element, i.e. enabling real estate professionals to fully leverage their talent and knowledge, and thus focus on high-impact activities that create more business value.

We are excited to co-lead Fifth Dimension AI’s £2.3 Million pre-seed alongside Anthemis’ Female Innovators Lab Fund, with support from Ascension Ventures Ltd, Concrete VC, Love Ventures, Twin Path Ventures, and Sie Ventures. With the new funds the company aims to scale the business’ sales and marketing functions and focus on product development to enhance the tool’s capabilities for an expanding audience across the real estate industry

For more information visit fifthdimensionai.com.

To successfully navigate today’s uncertain macroeconomic climate, companies of all sizes need real-time visibility and management of their financials and cash flow. Even more so, SMEs, who constitute the backbone of the economy and need to be financially resilient and self-reliant.  

This is why we are excited to back Trezy, a Franco-Dutch fintech that provides an AI-driven suite of real-time financial forecasting tools for SMEs. The platform, based on 14 million accounting entries and two million cash transactions, simplifies financial management and supports business owners in overcoming challenges, allowing them to thrive in today’s competitive business landscape. 

Founded in 2020 by Quentin Lacointa and Pierre Houdyer, Trezy aims to help 10 million small business owners around the world steer their companies toward success by making automated financial predictions and insights available and understandable regardless of financial literacy. 

Currently present in France, the Netherlands, and the UK, Trezy provides real-time financial performance insights, predominantly through smart AI-based classification of bank transactions, receipts, and invoices. Engineered to be a balance of detail and abstraction, combining bank transaction data with accounting data, it provides financial analysis and financial health predictions. 

“Smart Forecasts, Trezy’s predictive tool, allows business owners to automatically project cash flow into the future. The automated onboarding enables new users to see their historical and future cash flows within 30 seconds.

Quentin Lacointa, Co-Founder and CEO at Trezy, emphasizes:

“69% of SME owners say they lose sleep at night because they worry about their cash flow. It’s their number one concern and with good reason. With inflation reducing margins, economic conditions hitting growth and financial processes becoming increasingly complicated there is a huge burden on SMEs. Our goal is to support business owners by giving them easy to access, real time financial insights that will help them to manage their cash flow and, regardless of their financial literacy, make better decisions. 

“Accountancy software has really helped with day-to-day admin and compliance, but it doesn’t provide intelligent support for financial decision making. This is where Trezy comes in and with this funding we will be able to further develop our platform to help thousands of SMEs across Europe.”

To further automate the administrative tasks of data analysis and the presentation of insights, and especially to empower business owners to go from business questions to meaningful action more quickly, Trezy is currently working on leveraging generative AI technology.  

On why we invested, our Principal Felix Martinez comments:

“Quentin and Pierre’s experiences as bootstrapped founders and operators give them an edge in going to market, which stood out to us. Their cutting-edge technology that automates the enrichment and categorisation of bank transactions sets them apart in the financial management landscape. Bank transactions, being the main source of financial data today, often lack crucial information for actionable insights.”

We are excited to co-lead Trezy’s Seed round of €3 million with Playfair, joined by Kima Ventures and Discovery Ventures.

Trezy plans to use the funding to support the growth of its customer base to 10,000 small businesses by the end of 2024, expand its product offering to include features such as generative-AI-enabled automation, and grow its teams in the Netherlands, France, and the UK. 

Plant-based foods are becoming a key part of a more sustainable and ethical food chain. In recent years, consumer demand has increased significantly but so have their expectations for taste, texture, and nutritional value. Especially for alternative, dairy-free products, consumers are looking for high-quality, flavourful options.

This is why we are excited to double down on our investment in JULIENNE BRUNO.

Founded by Axel Katalan (previously concept developer for Alan Yau MBE and Co-Founder of deep location tech brand Pointr), a food lover passionate about recreating the boundless eating experiences one usually has with dairy and meat options, JULIENNE BRUNO offers a different perspective on plant-based food, creating familiar but new products for people to enjoy due to the quality of them, not because they’re vegan.

Since we first met Axel and the team and invested in early 2021, the creative food developer and producer has successfully developed “Collection 01,” a dairy-free experience consisting of three products: Burrella, Crematta, and Superstraccia. Inspired by classics, each product has been given an easily recognisable name yet allowing it to establish its own identity, making the vegan prefix obsolete – aligned with the brand’s belief in the power of both taste and the language used to describe food. 

Axel Katalan, Founder of JULIENNE BRUNO, highlights:

“I’d like to take this opportunity to give a warm welcome to everyone who is just hearing about us for the first time. We are one heart and many hands. Always curious and always hungry. The kitchen is our creative workshop and hospitality is our culture. Now, let’s sit & eat.”

The JULIENNE BRUNO team has grown to 16 employees with an entire production space in a London warehouse. Built from scratch, the HQ oversees the whole process from start to finish, including goods in, production, storage, and dispatch. The sourcing, processing, packing, and shipping of all of the products take place under one roof – ‘Kitchen 01’.

The team behind the brand includes Head of Product Development Albert Adria (a gastronomer with multiple Michelin Star awards, previously Head of Creativity at El Bulli, Founder Tickets Restaurant, Hoja Santa and Enigma), Head of Food Chi San (previously Head of Food for Alan Yau Projects, starting with Head Chef at Wagamama (1992) and following through to all projects such as Hakkasan, Busaba etc), Chief Commercial Officer Sunjiv Shah (previously General Manager of Uber Eats UK & Ireland and part of the founding team) and Board Advisor Alan Yau MBE (renowned for founding numerous ventures in gastronomy such as Hakkasan, Wagamama, Busaba Eathai and Park Chinois).

JULIENNE BRUNO products are available online at juliennebruno.com, in-store in the Foodhall at Selfridges London, and on the menu at select restaurants in London, such as the Big Mamma Group. The brand will also be launching in 45 Holland & Barrett stores nationwide and in 7 Whole Foods Market stores early this month. 

On why we invested, our Managing Partner Carlos Espinal comments:

“JULIENNE BRUNO’s “Collection 01” is not only a more sustainable and ethical alternative to dairy products but also tastes even better! Axel and his team are elevating the plant-based food experience without compromising on taste, texture, or nutritional value!”

We are thrilled to participate in the recent funding round led by Cherry Ventures, with participation from Outsized Ventures and Nicoya. The fresh funds will fuel the expansion of the brand and its larger vision for transforming the food industry. It will also support the partnerships with nationwide retailers, Selfridges London, Holland & Barrett, and Whole Foods Market, the expansion of the team, and the creation of the sweet side of ‘Collection 01’. 

To get a real taste of the JULIENNE BRUNO experience, visit/place an order  juliennebruno.com.

To learn more about our growing portfolio in the sustainability space, read The Future of Sustainability, and the Tech Companies out to Improve it