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Who are the UK’s hottest start-up businesses? Startups.co.uk claims to have the answer: for the past 11 years, it has been publishing an annual ranking of fast-growing, innovative start-up companies with the potential to become major brands – many have gone on to become household names or attract sizeable valuations.
Today’s publication of the Startups Index 2019 will therefore be closely watched. While the index defines “start-up” relatively widely – businesses must be privately-owned and have been launched in the past five years – it provides a good starting point for those trying to identify exciting young British businesses with a bright future.
This year’s index is notable for a number of emerging trends, with technology businesses again dominating the listing – not least in the top five (see below).
In particular, augmented reality and artificial intelligence are focuses for several businesses in the ranking. For example, Factory 42 (ranked 82 on the list) offers immersive virtual reality experiences, while Holome (90) creates human holograms and BIOS (96) promises an interface between the human nervous system and computer software. Scape Technologies (66), which was singled out for praise by the judges, uses AI to enable camera devices to recognize their surroundings, outdoors and at an infinite scale.
Health-related technologies also loom large. Birdie (ranked 31), Echo (14) and Baby2Body (98) offer features ranging from inclusive workouts to on-demand prescriptions, typically provided through apps as the healthcare sector continues to digitize.
Startups.co.uk compiles its ranking using a range of criteria to judge businesses. These include the quality of the start-up’s founders, the growth and funding achieved so far, employee numbers and the extent to which the business has global aspirations.
As such, the ranking is inevitably arbitrary – different judges might have picked different businesses. Still, many of the start-ups featuring in previous years have gone on to achieve great things. The first ever ranking, published in 2019, included the online marketplace Notonthehighstreet.com, which now processes transactions in excess of £165m each year, as well as design company MOO, now making sales of £75m. The Dragon’s Den-backed pound Reggae Reggae Sauce also made the cut.
Other index alumni include Ella’s Kitchen, the organic food company subsequently bought by the US food giant Hain Celestial, and BrewDog, whose most recent financing round valued it at £1bn. Food delivery giant Deliveroo, the travel specialist Onefinestay and the online estate agent Purplebricks have also appeared in previous editions of the ranking.
You can see the full listing of all 100 companies in the 2019 ranking here, but the top five companies this year are:
Revolut – The digital bank increasing seen as the most credible of the new challenger brands taking on the UK’s biggest banks with technology
Igloo – A challenger brand in the smart energy sector offering a range of services via its app
Trouva – An online marketplace that enables independent boutiques to reach much large audiences
Soldo – An online financial services provider offering a range of business products, from pre-paid cards to an automated expense platform
Elder – An online matching service that enables families to quickly find professional, vetted, live-in carers.
July 1, 2019 at 08:08AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs