Wayra UK announces 2013 Demo Day results

Wayra, Telefónica’s global start-up accelerator, has announced a number of key successes from its London academy following UK Demo Day on Thursday 5 December.

The announcement is timely as it follows the joint British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) and Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT) Autumn Statement initiative to promote co-operation between business angel investors and venture capitalists. The initiative – which was developed by DFJ Esprit, a top three European venture capital firm – provides a standard “term sheet” for investors on deals that take advantage of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). The initiative is set to have a huge impact on the future success of many companies that take part in leading accelerator programmes like Wayra, especially when it comes to raising further funding and growth capital.

16 Wayra start-ups pitched their businesses to a room filled with over 200 investors, including Accel Partners, Balderton Capital, EC1 Capital and Passion Capital, announcing their many successes whilst part of Wayra in a bid to secure future investment interest.

Five Wayra startups have already received follow-on investment with the remainder of the current cohort in active discussion for second or third round funding. Six companies are already in revenue, including Crowd Reactive (formerly evenstagram), who enable you to display realtime Instagram feeds at events, having reached over £100,000 in revenue during the time that they have been in the Academy as well as becoming a permanent installation at The O2 . Emergency care network, iHelp, has also reached £75,000 in revenue since going live a few weeks ago.

Buzzmove, a real time comparison and online booking site for UK and European removals, has launched, raised £400K in investment from Michael and Simon Blakey (Avonmore), Justin Peters (Kabbee) and Dan McPhearson (Minicabster and others) and has signed deals with Zoopla, twenty ci and others.

Ensygnia, a secure mobile payment service, has signed a global teaming agreement with HP to jointly sell the solution to major retail brands and closed its seed funding rounds out at more than £2m – close to $3.5m – in cash and services.  This included a strategic cash raise at three times the valuation placed on the company at the time of the Wayra/Telefónica investment just five months earlier

Dattch, the first dating app with a user experience designed solely for women to meet women from the outset (rather than a re-skinned straight or gay male dating app), has raised £100K from three investors including founder of W3 Ltd, Yannick Pons and investor & chairman of YPlan Andy Phillipps.

JollyDeck, a persuasive learning platform for on boarding, sales and compliance training, reached profitability in November and clients now include Telefónica, British Gas and Slovenian gas and energy company, Petrol.

Narrato, the ultimate journal app for the iPhone, is experiencing strong traction with 50,000 registered users since going live 3 months ago, and now boast 40 per cent active monthly usage The company is currently working towards a series A investment and relocating to the US to capitalise on the interest in their offer.

Personalized listings and recommendations site for on-demand film and television, Tank Top TV, now supports 25 leading on-demand services including leading LoveFilm, Blinkbox and iPlayer since entering the programme, and have signed their first paying media research customer.

Peekster, an app that bridges together analogue printed media and the internet, has averaged 500 new downloads per day and now supports leading UK newspapers including The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, The Evening Standard, Metro and City A.M. 

Other startups to pitch at Demo Day included Blue Ronin, Delishery, EI Technologies, goCarShare, SAAS Insurance, Songdrop and Sponsorcraft.

Charmaine Eggberry, Wayra UK Director, said: “This 2013 cohort’s success has been remarkable and demonstrates the potential and talent of the UK start-up scene. Wayra, through the strong support of Telefónica, O2 and commercial partnerships with many world leading companies is able to offer digital start-ups unprecedented levels of support to ensure traction, commercial opportunities and market reach. The intense acceleration these start-ups have had during their time at Wayra leaves me very confident that we have created sustainable businesses that will continue to grow exponentially for years to come.”

It’s particularly exciting at this time to also hear about the joint initiative led by DFJ Esprit, with the BVCA and Her Majesty’s Treasury to create a standardised investment term sheet for angels and traditional VCs. We hope this move will further encourage future funding rounds for companies like those in Wayra.

Wayra is very proud to be an active investor in these companies as well as provide a place for exceptional entrepreneurial talent to make a considerable impact to the British economy.”

Wayra UK will announce its next accelerator cohort for 2014 in January.