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Technology & Media

‘Our $55 million company went bust overnight’

Married couple Radha Vyas and Lee Thompson built up their travel business, Flash Pack, from scratch in 2014, bootstrapping it from bedroom startup to a multinational enterprise with 55 staff and a £20 million turnover. Then Covid hit. At their lowest point the family had £200 left in their bank account and a one-year-old baby but they re-built the company. Here’s what happened.


Amazon abandons plans for Visa credit card ban

The ban on using the cards to pay for goods on its UK site was due to take effect on 19 January


London tech start-ups to watch in 2022: Screenloop, AudioMob and more

London’s biggest VCs and investors tell the Standard which of the brightest start-ups they are watching this year


London fintech hits blockbuster $40 billion valuation is now Europe’s second most valuable private startup and the third most valuable private fintech in the world after raising $1 billion


Mental health ‘coaching’ startup Sanctus raises £4.25 million

Sanctus was founded by James Routledge in 2016 after battling with his own mental health issues

Leisure & Retail

Amazon’s London grocery shop expansion continues with three new sites

Amazon Fresh has launched three more grocery stores in London, bringing its estate in the capital to 15 branches


Female investor, 29, to spearhead Europe expansion for US VC Sapphire

Annalise Dragic, 29, is now one of the youngest female venture capital partners in Europe


Government ‘monitoring’ BT as Patrick Drahi’s Altice ups stake to 18%

Altice UK, a group owned by French telecoms billionaire Patrick Drahi, bought another 585 million shares in BT worth just over £1 billion


Patrick Drahi: The secretive French billionaire stalking BT

Drahi is well known for corporate swashbuckling and is now free to start targeting BT: 10 December marks the expiry of a six month, no-bid clause triggered when Drahi spent £2.2 billion snapping up 12.1% of BT in June


Pento: London payroll startup led by 28-year-old raises $35 million

The news came as the latest annual “State of European Tech” report revealed investment in the sector is set to exceed $100 billion a year


Startup Showpiece sells £1m of stakes in ‘Mona Lisa of stamps’

Showpiece, which was spun out of rare stamp specialists Stanley Gibbons, lets people buy a digital slice of rare stamps, similar to NFT investments


ITV ups drama output in streaming wars with Netflix and Disney

The broadcaster plans to double the amount of high-end scripted dramas it produces each year by 2026 and wants to make a quarter of its revenue from streaming by then


As BenevolentAI goes Dutch, is London at risk of becoming a bone yard?

Money manager Paul Marshall has warned that London is at risk of becoming a “Jurassic Park” — a graveyard for legacy businesses


The London pair taking on Peloton with homegrown bike Apex Rides

Simon Cook and Charlie Lucas knew nothing about the fitness market before they launched Peloton competitor Apex Rides last year but the startup has grown rapidly

Business buys two exchanges from IG for $216 million recently paid a reported $700 million for the naming rights of the Los Angeles Lakers stadium


NHS automation firm Blue Prism backs new £1.24bn takeover bid

US tech business SS&C has made a £1.24 billion bid for Blue Prism, trumping private equity firm Vista Partner’s £1.22 billion bid