March was a challenging month for businesses around the world, as we adjust to an unprecedented and challenging environment.  In times of difficulty and uncertainty, we feel it’s important to recognise the achievements of our portfolio companies, whether this be commercially or in helping the wider community. This March round-up includes Courier, Hiyacar, Paysend, Aseptium, Oddbox, allplants, SpiceBox, Mr Lee’s, Fleet, Cheeky Panda and StoryTerrace. 

Mailchimp acquires Courier

Mailchimp has acquired Courier, the British magazine that focuses on educating entrepreneurs and small businesses. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the deal will help Mailchimp expand internationally. 

Paysend hits 1.5 million customers 

The international money transfer startup hit the 1.5 million customers milestone, three years after being founded.  Paysend’s international transfer platform lets users send money to over 80 countries worldwide for a flat fee of £1. 

Hiyacar offers free car rides to NHS staff and key workers 

Hiyacar has mobilised its community of car owners to offer free rides in vehicles that otherwise would have been unused. This is to help NHS staff and key workers avoid using public transport. 

Aseptium starts work on 1,000 face shields to help protect local doctors and nurses

Collaborating with tech consultancy 4c Engineering, Aseptium have delivered the first 200 units of a 1,000-unit order to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. This is after a prototype face shield was tested by intensive care and infection control in recent weeks.

Oddbox secures  £3.2m funding from the Northern Venture Capital Trust 

The sustainable fruit and vegetable box delivery service plan to expand nationwide after securing approximately €3.2 million from the Northern Venture Capital Trust (VCT) Funds which are managed by Mercia.

allplants hires 24 more chefs to keep up with demand 

The vegan delivery service has seen a huge spike in orders since the UK lockdown began, with deliveries even being made to No. 10! This brings the total number of chefs at the Walthamstow commercial kitchen to 70. 

Fresh Thinking Business names Spice Box and Mr Lee’s as ‘doing their bit’

Plant-based Indian restaurant, Spice Box, are now providing delivery for all customers in the E17 area. With healthy instant noodles brand, Mr Lee’s, offering 20% discount on all orders and free delivery across the UK. 

Fleet secures £3m valuation 

The peer-to-peer software platform that allows motorists to earn extra money by hiring out their private cars when they are not using them, has secured a £3m valuation after closing a £350,000 funding round.

The Resident names Cheeky Panda  one of the best eco-friendly loo roll delivery companies in London 

The high-quality sustainable toilet tissue and biodegradable wipes provider have experienced huge demand for their products, offering delivery right to your door with no plastic and no fuss.

StoryTerrace share their tips for how to get writing with Ideal Magazine 

Recently securing investment on BBC’2 Dragon’s Den, the biography writing service shared their tips on how to get writing.