London Tech Startup Raises Major Series B Funding Round From VCs

  • London-based realtime data provider Ably has raised $70 million in fresh funding. 
  • Founded in 2016, Ably works with businesses like Bloomberg, Hopin, and Tennis Australia.
  • The startup plans to use some of the new funds to hire an additional 125 staff.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A British startup that powers realtime chatbots, live scores, and event notifications has raised $70 million in fresh funding.

London-based Ably, which was founded in 2016, counts Bloomberg, virtual events firm Hopin, and US software developer HubSpot among its customers. The company provides a realtime platform to handle complex, behind-the-scenes communication for the likes of live chats, data analysis, and device management.

For example, smaller companies could use Ably’s cloud-based API to customize event experiences or offload the cost of supporting realtime messaging. Ably previously worked with Tennis Australia to provide live scores across its app and website for the Australian Open tennis championships.

“Everything has happened a lot quicker as there has been a shift from engineers at companies realising that the tech to build realtime solutions already exists,” Ably CEO Matthew O’Riordan told Insider.

“On the surface, it looks like an easy problem to solve but it unravels quickly as it becomes more complex. Our success lies in the fact we built from the ground up to solve these issues.”

Ably has secured a number of high-profile clients across a vast array of industries spanning everything from edtech and automotive, to gaming and media. Realtime connectivity is set to increase with 30% of data produced globally set to be in realtime, per IDC.

The $70 million Series B funding round was co-led by Insight Partners and Dawn Capital. Existing investors Triple Point, Digital Horizon, Forward Partners, and MMC, also participated in this new funding round.

“This is just the beginning of IoT because there is an immediate need for scale at the edge and there has been a surge in demand,” Norman Fiore, who led the investment for Dawn Capital, said. “No existing providers could provide that scale and this growth will will spawn new businesses that can live off of that.” 

Ably currently employs 65 people but will add a further 125 hires to strengthen its core UK team. O’Riordan said the company wanted grow a strong US presence over the next 15 months with an office on the East Coast given the majority of its customers are there. Ably claims that it is on track to reach one billion devices per month by 2023.

“Every funding round before this was arduous but this time we didn’t even officially go to market,” O’Riordan added. “We’re taking on more money than we thought originally after a lot more interest than we expected.”