European companies sold spy tools to help build ‘Syria’s repressive surveillance state’

Technology-driven hedge fund manager Winton has named its second cohort from the Winton Labs accelerator, which will pitch at a Demo Day on 9 February. The second Winton Labs programme has been run in collaboration with The Alan Turing Institute, whose academics have provided the startups with technical mentorship.

Unlike other accelerators, Winton takes no equity from the companies who participate in the programme, instead offering each selected business a cash injection to help further their development, said a statement.

The programme involves companies meeting potential customers and over 70 leading industry experts including, investors, advisors and members of Winton's network. It culminates with a demo day where participants are invited to present their companies to attendees, comprising some of Europe's best-known investors.

Matt Ridley from Winton Ventures said: "London is home to world-class academics, start-ups, data scientists and innovators. By bringing these ingredients together into an organised acceleration programme, Winton Labs is helping entrepreneurs to build new, value-generating companies that are able to compete on a global scale."

Sir Alan Wilson FBA FRSE, chief executive of The Alan Turing Institute, added: "The SME landscape is a hotbed of innovation when it comes to algorithms, big data and artificial intelligence. As the national centre for data science, part of our role is to nurture the next generation of data science leaders and entrepreneurs and it is fantastic to see this work coming to life through the collaboration with Winton Labs. I look forward to seeing what these five start-ups go on to achieve, and I would like to thank my colleagues at The Alan Turing Institute for offering their support and expert advice throughout the process."

Startups from Winton Labs' first cohort have gone on to enjoy considerable enjoyed success. IntelligentX, a machine learning application for making AI beer, is currently raising a seed round of funding in New York and Cognism closed a $500K seed round in January 2017 from investors including FINTECH Circle and South Central Ventures. Meanwhile CheckRecipient, which received a £300K investment from Winton in July 2016, has now signed up its first FTSE 100 customer.

Tim Sadler, co-founder & CEO at CheckRecipient said: "Since being part of the first Winton Labs cohort in 2016, the Winton team have continued to offer invaluable advice which has helped us to more than double in size. We have increased our client base by over 300% and have won a number of awards and accolades including being named 'Best UK Security Startup' by WIRED UK and 'Best Machine Intelligence Startup' by LegalGeek."

The second cohort of Winton Labs are:

Cognitiv+, an artificial intelligence platform that automates knowledge extraction from legal data, which recently won a major grant with InnovateUK on the open-programme. Since starting on Winton Labs they have started five pilots in Q1 2017 alone. They have also been named Export Champion as part of the CommonwealthFirst programme.

SMAP Energy, who use energy consumption data collected via smart meters to innovate the energy sector, now manages data from 30,000 smart meters in Japan and will be starting engagement with a Middle Eastern client in March. The team launched AIswitch recently, a free smart energy switching service for UK customers, while co-founder Yohei Kiguchi was named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list.

Warwick Analytics, who automate predictive analytics even with heterogeneous data, have seen strong commercial progress with key enterprise companies, and will be moving from Winton Labs to the IAG accelerator: Hangar 51. Warwick have recently opened their US office, and current tech development will see a new release in Spark in under a month.

Terrabotics: Transform terabytes of satellite and aerial imagery into very high precision true 3D terrain data to model the Earth. This period of acceleration has brought in clients including a major mining company, a private equity fund and an investment research firm, as well as increasing business with existing customers in global oil & gas.

Alterest, a cloud platform providing institutional debt investors an efficient way to access the growing non-bank lending market, have seen further product developments, expansion of the team, and officially signed up institutional investors as engagement clients during the programme.