finance

Scottish healthtech firm selected as early-stage 'rising star'



A Scottish healthcare technology company has been selected as a member of this year’s Tech Nation Rising Stars cohort.

The UK network for tech entrepreneurs has announced the 10 early-stage scale-up winners of its nationwide competition.

Founded in 2016, Aberdeen-based LiberEat aims to make life easier for people with dietary restrictions by providing bespoke menus, supermarket grocery options and recipes to users, helping businesses such as restaurants and supermarkets become more accessible.

Managing director Barry Leaper said: “We’re really excited to be named as a winner of Tech Nation Rising Stars, especially given the impressive group of finalists.

“The team at Libereat have achieved a huge amount in the last year despite the difficult environment and it’s great to have this opportunity from Tech Nation to raise awareness of our story, just as we have begun growing the business rapidly and have several exciting announcements coming.”

The Rising Stars competition is designed to showcase the most exciting companies at seed to pre-Series A funding stage from all areas of the country.

The 10 winners were selected through a rigorous process, with more than 330 applications received.

On average, Rising Stars winners go on to raise £352,000 after the competition, growing their workforce by 70%.

For instance, 2019 winners Tickr went on to raise £1m through Seedrs, while SeedLegals went on to raise Series A funding of more than £3m led by SeedCamp and Kima Ventures.

The announcement comes as new data reveals the resilience of the early-stage UK tech sector over the past year.

Pre-Series A investments have grown by 10% to $481m in 2020, with healthtech and fintech raising the most money by subsector at pre-series A.

Investment into pre-Series A fintech increased by 58% to $70m, while investment in early stage educational tech companies reached $28m last year.

London, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Nottingham were the locations which raised the most pre-Series A investment in 2020.

Esme Caulfield, competitions lead at Tech Nation, comments: “It’s incredibly exciting to see the 2020 Rising Stars winners across a broad mix of sectors like healthtech and edtech, as well as representing the most diverse Rising Stars cohort yet, with 50% of the winning companies having women founders, while 80% of the winners are from outside London.”

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