More staffing agencies and faster startup M&As – plus Adam Neumann’s next move, all in this week’s MaddyMoney

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AbbeyCross, the trading and compliance marketplace for emerging currencies, raises £2m in pre-seed funding

Based in London AbbeyCross is the world’s first B2B trading and compliance marketplace focused on improving the underlying market infrastructure for emerging market (“EM”) currencies. It raised $2.47 million in a funding round led by Third Prime, with additional investment from Communitas Capital.

AbbeyCross will use the funds for its primary mission. As Keith Hamlin, founding partner of Third Prime, commented: “While currencies can be efficiently traded between developed markets, in emerging markets cross-border payment ecosystems are opaque and lack competitive pricing.

“AbbeyCross’ cross-border EM payment platform will revolutionize the space by reducing costs and enabling demonstrable regulatory compliance.”

Foundy, the online marketplace changing the acquisition and investment process for startups, secures £1.25m funding

foundry announced a £1.25m funding round led by Fuel companies as it aims to capitalize on strong market demand from startups interested in full and secondary buyouts or fundraising.

Foundy’s platform gives technology startups, including SaaS, eCommerce and Web3, affordable access to networks of UK and international buyers and investors. Foundy’s marketplace allows buyers and investors to discover and compare startup profiles, then immediately engage in conversations on the platform. Meanwhile, sellers avoid feeling overwhelmed by relying on fragmented information sources and unverified advisors.

Foundy is using the funding to grow its engineering, marketing, and account management teams while expanding its platform’s product offerings and international presence.

Recruitment platform Smart Recruit Online set to double in size after £2m investment

Recruit smart online got the investment from MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fundwhich is managed by Mercia and is part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), Mercia’s EIS funds and private investors.

Smart Recruit Online aims to enable companies to find and hire suitable staff online while reducing costs. The system provides the necessary infrastructure to conduct recruitment campaigns: from the publication of job offers to the selection and appointment of candidates. Clients include Next, Securitas, Cap Gemini, Oak Furnitureland and Whistl. It claims an average cost per rental of less than £295 and an average time to offer of 16 days.

The Milton Keynes-based company, which currently employs 14 people, is set to open a digital sales office in the East Midlands and expects to create 15 new jobs over the next two years. The latest funding will also allow it to improve and grow its platform with the prospect of raising a Series A investment next year.

Aero secures £53.7m Series B funding to improve premium air travel

Aero Technologies, Inc, the premium airline serves the United States and Europe, announced total funding of $65 million, including $50 million in Series B and the rest in convertible notes. The cycle was co-directed by Albacore Capital Groupand return investors Expa and Keyframe Capital.

Aero offers premium seating on direct flights between private terminals using custom-designed 16-seater aircraft, while also offering private concierge and curated travel experiences. This model improves the cost and efficiency of a private aviation experience.

The Series B financing will be used to drive the company’s global market expansion and meet increased demand on existing routes. Currently, Aero offers flights to Aspen, Los Cabos and Sun Valley from private US terminals in Los Angeles (Van Nuys) and San Francisco (SFO), as well as Ibiza, Mykonos and Nice from London’s Farnborough Airport.

Tech recruitment platform raises £500,000 to expand into US market

Haystack, which aims to reform tech recruitment, has raised £500,000 from the North East Venture Fund (NEVF), backed by the European Regional Development Fund, as it seeks to expand into the US market.

Newcastle-based Haystack uses an algorithm to match individuals with suitable roles, removing reliance on recruitment agencies. The platform allows developers, data engineers and other technology professionals to confidently view job opportunities, research companies or assess the job market. The platform now has over 130 customers, including Experian, Skyscanner and Lloyds Banking Group, and over 30,000 registered users.

The latest investment will allow it to further improve the platform and create a dedicated site in the United States in response to customer requests. The company, which currently employs 18 people, also plans to create at least seven new positions in the next six months.

Higher education institution, University Academy 92 (UA92), is raising £1.25m to close the digital skills gap

Property company Bruntwood has invested £1.25m in Gary Neville’s UA92, a joint venture between Lancaster University and the ‘Class of ’92’, which includes former Manchester United football players Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville.

Located in Old Trafford, Manchester, the partnership will equip young people in the North West with industrial skills and give start-ups and businesses access to local talent. Opened in 2019, it provides training in the fields of business, sport, media and digital.

Gary Neville, co-founder of UA92, said, “Bruntwood’s commitment to bringing real change to their communities and their support of groundbreaking organizations aligns perfectly with our ethos. This is a great opportunity for us to strengthen access to higher education for as many young people as possible in our region.

Fintech Super emerged with a £22.5m pre-seed round to compete with PayPal and Klarna for cash payments

Based in London GreatThe pre-seed cycle was led by Accel for its online payment service. The round attracted well-known angel investors including former WorldPay CEO Sir Ron Kalifa OBE and Betfair co-founder Edward Wray.

Super was founded earlier this year by Samir Desai CBE, the former CEO and co-founder of commercial lender Funding Circle. Super is launching an online payment alternative to the likes of PayPal, Klarna and Apple Pay. Instead of charging merchants a transaction fee of anywhere from 1-5%, businesses operating the Super Payments service will only pay a commission if it leads to increased sales.

Harry Nelis, Partner at Accel, said, “Samir and the team at Super are solving a problem that has been under the radar for too long and allowing everyone to keep more of their money.

In the news of international investment

WeWork founder’s new startup gets major backing from Andreessen Horowitz

The prominent venture capital firm has been reported to have backed Adam Neumann’s latest startup Flow. This follows the spectacular journey of the founders of WeWork.

The investment in Flow, a residential real estate company led by Neumann, is estimated at $350 million. If true, the support will be the biggest check written for a single round of support in the fund’s history, according to The New York Times, which first reported on the deal.

Information about Flow is limited, but the company aims to tackle the housing crisis in the United States, in part by providing community-focused services in apartments.

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