50 of the fastest-growing companies in London to accelerate your career in 2021. Vetted by investors & technology leaders. We include curated insight into why they're great places to work.
Jobs at all the companies on this year's Rocket List are available on Otta. We provide you with only relevant recomendations and in-depth insights to help you put your best foot forward
The Rocket List was personally vetted by a group of individuals who nurture and fund technology companies
Ably provides an infrastructure layer to handle complex, behind-the-scenes realtime communication that powers things like chat, live updates in maps or apps, IoT device control, and more. There's no infrastructure to provision or manage - just simple yet powerful and versatile SDKs and APIs that let you quickly add innovative realtime capabilities to your application with a few lines of code.
Ably secures €6.4 million to help developers create real-time ‘live’ experiences
Ably wins Best API Debut award
Introducing the Ably Hub: An easier way to share realtime data
Making a wearable live caption display using Azure Cognitive Services and Ably
Serial entrepreneur with a web engineering background. Founded Econsultancy which was sold to Centaur in 2012 as well as Lemon Digital, a digital production house
Earned an MA in Mathematics from Cambridge before pursuing a career as a software technologist including as a CTO at Tao Group and Founder of UbiApps
In 2020 we've seen a 3x increase in usage of our platform, and we now reach 100m unique devices every month. Looking to 2021 and beyond we're got a slew of new features in our roadmap that will make it even simpler for developers to build the scalable digital realtime experiences that we all rely on everyday.
Ably's realtime APIs expose the entire Ably infrastructure to developers, making it easier to integrate real-time data flows and therefore to power realtime functionality at any scale.
Developers are increasingly looking to utilise real-time data to facilitate new kinds of services e.g in the Internet of Things or monitoring stock prices. Introducing massive flows of realtime data has previously been technically difficult.
The company believes their product is set apart from other real-time platform as-a-service providers because it features out-the-box products that are developer-friendly as well as secure.
The company expresses this developer-friendly approach through a variety of channels, including masterclasses as well as products like their unique offering of reliable message ordering.
We're on a mission to bring patients and their healthcare teams together, to make patients healthier and the healthcare workforce happier.
Last updated Dec 2020
accuRx raises £8.8M for messaging app for medical teams
Coronavirus: The tech minnows changing the NHS
Telemedicine arrives in the UK - "10 years of change in 1 week"
Started his career in healthcare consulting with Newton Europe and Outcomes Based Healthcare. Joined Entrepreneur First where he started accuRx
3 years experience as a software developer before joining Entrepreneur First and meeting Jacob. Studied Physics at Cambridge University
accuRx has already grown from 50% of GPs and 25 team members to being used daily in 99% of GPs, 15% of hospital trusts and a team of nearly 60 through 2020. We have massive ambitions for 2021 - further expanding across hospital trusts and joining up communication between different care settings.
We're incredibly excited to build on top of the communication platform we've built so far, and deliver better patient care as a result. To support this we will be growing the team by an estimated 100 people in 2021.
Communication between patients and nurses/doctors has typically happened via telephone call or post. This outdated technology is costly and does not provide a great experience.
accuRx are building the tools that allow GPs and other healthcare providers to communicate more efficiently with their patients and with each other in order to deliver top quality care. Their products are now used in over 95% of GP practices.
This product has been hugely important through Coronavirus and has driven massive growth for accuRx. They have facilitated video appointments where in-person consultations would put people at risk, and they are now supporting with the UK's vaccination efforts.
accuRx is building a world-leading healthcare communication platform. The mission is simple - to change lives by bringing patients and their healthcare teams together. accuRx is one of the UK's fastest-growing tech startups. In two years, they grew from only a few GP practices using them to over 50% of practices in England.
Today, 99% of GP practices rely on accuRx to communicate with their patients. They’ve just launched in hospitals and are already used by over 15% of hospitals in England. In response to COVID-19, they worked tirelessly to release new features to help frontline staff including a video consultation solution that went from 0 to 35k daily consultations in the space of 8 weeks.
Bark's mission is to provide a smarter way to hire local professionals. Whether you’re looking to plan a wedding, renovate your house, or become a master of karate: they can help.
Skills Marketplace Skillpages Acquired By Buyer-Focused Bark.com
My working day – Kai Feller – Co-Founder of Bark.com
Kai Feller: Bark.com and the "Amazon for services"
Previously Founder & CEO of Fasthosts Internet and Livedrive
Studied Engineering at Cardiff University. Previously Co-founder of Get Socialite
2020 was a fantastic year for the business driven by some phenomenal growth during very challenging times - in 2020 we actually grew more YoY than we did in 2019 which is a massive result. We doubled in pretty much every metric including headcount that went from 40 to 85 by the end of the year. We also launched in the APAC region and opened our first satellite office in Melbourne, with the initiative being our most successful yet.
On top of this, we had our debut in the The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 coming in as the 6th fastest growing technology company in the UK. 2021 is going to be a very exciting year for the business. We have big ambitions to revolutionise the product and be firmly cemented with the next-generation of the platform. Alongside this, we plan to continue the same level of growth both financially and operationally with all metrics expected to double again. To achieve this ambition, we are building a development centre of excellence to accelerate our journey towards becoming the Amazon of Services.
Bark is the UK's largest & fastest growing services marketplace, connecting consumers and businesses with the right professional for their project in over 1,000 unique categories. A customer can simply post a service requirement (they call this a Bark!) and their technology goes out and finds relevant professionals instantly.
Professionals who are interested in quoting for the work can post their responses to the customer. The customer can then speak to the seller, view their profile and read Bark reviews before choosing the best pro for their job.
As of January 2020, Bark had 5 million users booking pros stretching from gardeners and cleaners to counsellors and accountants. Their turnover doubled in the last year to £20 million, so they're clearly growing fast and have a big opportunity ahead of them.
Beacon’s mission is to become a global leader in logistics and trade finance by making trade simpler, more transparent and reliable. Their platform provides real-time data of cargo delivery and a marketplace view of global shipping costs and prices.
Last updated Dec 2020
Amazon's Jeff Bezos invests in UK digital freight forwarder Beacon
Beacon Closes $15 Million Series A Fundraise
Beacon will disrupt 'slow and inefficient' forwarding market with Bezos cash
Prior to Co-Founding Beacon, Fraser led Uber’s Business in EMEA and before that held senior roles in technology and e-commerce startups for over two decades.
Prior to Co-Founding Beacon, Dmitri was the General Manager of Uber in Russia and prior to that worked as a Management Consultant in New York.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced how central a resilient supply chain is to our customers’ business success. We aim to give customers greater visibility & control as we move their freight – and provide deeper data-driven insights into their supply chain. 2020 has been an extremely busy year for Beacon; we have quadrupled the size of our team and our customer numbers have also grown significantly.
In addition to our London office, we recently opened a new office in Hong Kong in an important strategic development for the company: a large proportion of our cargo originates in Asia and it is important for us to have a local presence to provide better service to our customers. In 2021, we are aiming to substantially grow our team, further develop our technology, as well as, expanding our global footprint – to offer exceptional service, reliability and transparency to our ever-growing customer base.
Beacon is aimed at the trillion-dollar freight forwarding industry - the booking agents between importers and exporters. With the top 10 forwarders controlling just 43% of the market and being slow to digitise, the industry is ripe for disruption.
Beacon has an established customer base and offers a full range of services across ocean, air and trucking, as well as supply chain finance – all managed on a single platform, using AI, data science, cloud and automation technologies.
Investment from Jeff Bezos highlights the significant potential that Beacon holds to benefit both Amazon and the industry as a whole. The technology of Beacon could help Amazon tackle a number of the logistics challenges it has faced.
Behavox is on a mission to help companies in the financial industry and beyond discover what’s really happening at the deepest levels of their organisation. Behavox leverages the power of AI to help companies understand, analyse, and interpret the attitudes and actions taking place within their walls, and use that information to become better than ever before.
Last updated Dec 2020
SoftBank Fund Invests $100 Million in Compliance Software Firm
Behavox Awarded “Best AI Solution”
Behavox Expands Global Operations in Tokyo to Demonstrate Commitment to Japanese Market and Customers
Co-manager of a hedge fund focusing on financial technology companies. Previously a research analyst at Goldman Sachs
Principal engineer at Oracle and senior engineer at Sun Microsystems
Engineering manager at Oracle and senior engineer at Sun Microsystems. He worked with Roman at both companies
Previously a corporate finance executive, also trained as a software developer
We started the year by closing a $100 million round of funding with SoftBank and that has helped us to focus on and invest in the needs of our customers. We’ve doubled our headcount, expanded our global presence and worked with some of the world’s largest financial institutions to help them transform their compliance function. 2021 is already shaping up to be a great year for Behavox.
We are going to invest heavily in research and development in order to continue to innovate and update our product offerings to drive more value to our customers. We’ve also got some new products set to launch next year that we’re looking forward to unveiling. It’s going to be a transformative year for both Behavox and our customers. Our collective journey is just beginning.
The volume of communications in the workplace is going up. Not only do people send emails but now employees are communicating all day through internal chat platforms like Slack.
Behavox helps companies make sense of the vast amount of data being produced from all of these messages. They use AI and machine learning to aggregate and analyse large volumes of unstructured communications.
The data they produced can be used to create actionable insights on employees' performance and also help risk and compliance teams in financial services companies.
Regulation is high for financial services companies, and it's likely to grow in other industries, increasing Behavox's potential addressable market.
Blink's mission is to empower frontline workers to maximise their impact.
London’s Blink launches app for frontline employees who don’t work at a desk, raises £8.2 million from Partech
Blink: An Alternative Mode of Employee Collaboration
How to Map, Monitor, and Improve the Employee Journey
Previously worked as Network & Security Engineer at Morse for 2 years and co-founded Tomorrow Communications
2020 was a huge year for Blink. Since our official launch in May, we’ve tripled our team; opened offices in New York and Sydney; and grown our user base to 80,000+ frontline workers with a DAU of 99%. We’re thrilled this growth looks set to increase in 2021, as we build out our international teams, hire another 100 employees, and continue to empower key workers with the powerful technology they deserve.
Blink is a digital workplace app giving employees a single portal to all enterprise applications.
With Blink, you can instantly reach everyone in your organization with company updates in the Feed, share all policy and training documents and software shortcuts in the Hub via cloud storage and, also, increase productivity by harnessing actionable employee insights through their Micro-apps marketplace.
Blink aims to develop the best workplace app and meet the high standards that today's employees expect from their workplace software. Introducing Blink has been shown to reduce employee turnover by 26% and double engagement rates.
The company reported its highest growth in April 2020, driven by healthcare employers who adopted the app as part of a COVID-19 response. Employees were protected by Blink through the fact that the app reduced transference risks from paper by introducing digital forms. The company has raised £8.2 million in their recent funding in order to help get Covid-19 updates to frontline staff.
Capdesk enables a clear overview of your company ownership and employee option pools. They empower administrative teams to do-away with the chaos of spreadsheets and spend more time on the important details of equity reporting and capital management.
Last updated Dec 2020
Capdesk raises £3m Series A funding
Capdesk Secures USD 3.7 Million in Series A
COVID-19 Impact on Equity Management Software Market Research | Trends | Recovery
While studying Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen, Christian worked in business management, marketing and strategy roles part-time before graduating in 2015 and launching Capdesk
Over a decade's experience as an IT Analyst and Consultant, before founding Accurate (an IT consultancy) in 2012, and Capdesk in 2015
Background in IT consultancy, founded Accurate with Mikkel in 2012
At Capdesk we’ve always believed that employees deserve not just a salary, but a stake in the company they’re helping build – as well as access to a market for selling that stake. 2020 has led fast-growing companies to realise that in the face of an economic crisis, equity is a powerful way to motivate and reward employees. This trend has resulted in a breakthrough year for Capdesk. We’ve raised our series A round, partnered with some of the world’s largest investment platforms, attracted some of Europe’s best tech leaders and almost doubled our team.
In 2021 our focus turns to European expansion. Capdesk is a UK-centric platform; however, armed with additional funding and new talent, we’ll be expanding our offering across Europe. After years of preparation, the time has now come. In 2021 we will cement Capdesk as the preferred platform for managing equity in Europe and, together with our partners, enable the first marketplace for pan-European employee share plans. The future looks bright.
2018 regulatory changes introduced a huge volume of admin into capital management and reporting for investors and firms. Capdesk, like the investment banks, has tapped into a rapid trend: the automation of repetitive, spreadsheet-based equity reports.
Reporting on employee options and equity to shareholders is often an arduous task. This data-gathering can take thousands of hours and drain revenue from a business, and it's no surprise that Capdesk's competitive pricing and rapid implementation was quickly adopted by fast-growing companies such as Privitar.
Capdesk differentiates itself in a crowded space by focusing on the UK market. Taking on British clients like MarketInvoice has enabled it to compete with equity reporting technologies tailored to US regulatory and formatting standards. They have recently raised £3 million, used to launch their own secondaries feature in partnership with Seedrs and Shieldpay, aiming to become Europe’s first platform that democratises the secondary private equity market for all classes of shareholders.
US-based Carta and Capshare have proven the demand for an easy-to-use equity ownership management platform. This is why it’s promising and exciting to see Capdesk fill this same market demand in Europe. 1,000 customers throughout Europe, including scale-ups like Nutmeg and Secret Escapes, are already using the platform.
In 2020, the Capdesk team raised a £3 million Series A round, which has enabled them to nearly double their team and attract some of Europe’s top tech talent. This sets Capdesk up well for European expansion. Their goal for 2021 is to enable the first marketplace for pan-European employee share plans — it’s an ambitious but worthwhile and highly promising endeavor.
Cazoo realised that whilst people love their cars, they don’t like the process of buying and selling them. So they're creating a totally new way, providing transparency, convenience and peace of mind. Their mission is to transform the way people buy used cars in the UK with an aim to make buying a car no different to any other product online today
Last updated Dec 2020
Cazoo, the UK used car sales platform, raises another $311M, now valued at over $2.5B
Cazoo becomes fastest-ever British unicorn
Cazoo acquires Drover to offer subscription services
Serial entrepreneur. Alex founded Zoopla (sold to Silverlake for $3bn) and co-founded LOVEFiLM (sold to Amazon)
We have had a very busy time since our launch one year ago. We have grown our team to over 850 people, raised significant funding and sold over 10,000 cars, generating revenues of over £150m in our first year. Like many other online retailers, we have seen strong demand and consumers all across the UK have embraced our proposition of buying their next car entirely online and having it delivered to their door, much like any other product. Consumer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we have ambitious growth plans for next year as we continue our mission of turning Cazoo into a household name and delivering the best experience in terms of selection, value, quality and convenience for UK car buyers.
Through the Cazoo platform customers are able to buy, finance or rent a used car online and have it delivered to their door within 48 hours. This is a big step change vs. other used car websites, where you often still have to travel 25+ miles to see and pick up your new car.
The UK used car market is worth over £50 billion per annum, so the potential for Cazoo is large. Cazoo argue the market will grow even more when it goes through digital transformation, which they want to drive
While the market is large, there are a lot of established players, most notably Auto Trader. There are also new, well-financed startups like Heycar (backed by VW and Daimler), so the product will need to be a lot better to cut through the noise.
The CEO is a very experienced entrepreneur and used to taking on large incumbents, which should stand him in good stead. Alex introduced Zoopla to the market when Rightmove had a monopoly and managed to create a very successful company
We're Checkout.com. We're building the connected finance businesses deserve. Unleashing them with tomorrow's technology, today. Our flexible payments solutions help global enterprises — like Samsung, Deliveroo and Adidas — launch new products and create experiences customers love.
Checkout.com Nearly Triples Value to $15 Billion After Funding
Checkout wants to be Rapyd and Fast
Checkout.com in major hiring spree amid online payments boom
Previously founded NetMerchant, which sold European currencies to US merchants. Background in mathematical engineering
We’ve always believed in the shift to e-commerce but couldn’t have predicted the huge acceleration in this trend caused by a global pandemic. More businesses than ever before need to be able to transact online and together with an expansion in the products that we are offering and the geographies we cover, this has meant rapid growth for Checkout.com in 2020.
To meet this demand, we continued to hire in 2020 adding 500 people to the organisation and we’ll add another 500 or more people to our global teams in 2021. One of our values is Unite, and whilst our ability to get together in person has been severely impacted this year, our team spirit and collaboration across our departments and offices is as good as it has ever been. Our people are at the heart of our business - I firmly believe in investing in their future and I’m incredibly excited about what we will build together in 2021.
The payments industry has exploded in the last decade as eCommerce continues to grow as the use of cash falls. Checkout.com are building the go-to platform for all things related to payments, e.g. accepting transactions, processing them and detecting fraud. It focuses on large merchants and tries to make its product as customisable as possible so that companies integrate it as an infrastructure partner in their product. This increases the stickiness of the product and create many opportunities for them to generate revenue.
Checkout.com have high quality proprietary technology (their platform has been designed from the outset so they can easily deliver incremental services as they expand their offering) and claim to offer the most comprehensive cross-border payment solution for digital commerce.
Checkout.com exploded into the cross-border payments public-eye when it announced its $230m Series A round in 2019. This has been topped up by adding a further $150m in June 2020 and $450m in January 2021.
By offering a universal platform that integrates with all key international payments providers, it provides a single low cost set of rails for international e-commerce companies, such as The Hut Group, which announced the adoption of Checkout in December 2020.
THG claimed they did a comprehensive review of the market and that Checkout.com’s unified digital payments platform, offering global coverage, and granular transaction-level data enables them to fuel THG’s business growth.
Payments will remain a battleground internationally, with different competitors focussing on defined segments. Checkout’s positioning as a low-cost, robust, yet comprehensive service provider with a global footprint is currently defensible because of its scale – but it needs to maintain its market leadership. Other players may try to carve out niches, or insert themselves between Checkout’s ‘rails’ and the merchant.
With a savvy leadership (having built themselves up in stealth mode since 2012) and smart deep-pocketed investors, I would expect to see Checkout deepen and broaden its product offering to defend against becoming a ’dumb pipe’, while redirecting all the payments flow across its low-cost infrastructure. To help with this, it is both acquiring and investing as a VC in the next generation of fintech start-ups which will increase the moat within which it operates.
Cleo’s mission is to fight for the world’s financial health.
Last updated Dec 2020
Cleo, the AI-powered ‘financial assistant’, raises $44M Series B led by EQT Ventures
Cleo, a digital platform that simplifies Gen-Z’s finances nets £33.2M funding from EQT Ventures
Five questions for Barney Hussey-Yeo
Data Scientist at Wonga, one of the companies that pioneered the smart use of data for loan decisions. Joined Entrepreneur First where Cleo was formed
We’re building Cleo to become the financial advisor that a billion people need. One that talks to you like a real person, able to build trust and relationships like a bank never could. The work we do at Cleo has never been more urgent. We’ve grown our revenue by 400% in the last 12 months and secured £44M in our Series B funding round.
Today we have an outstanding machine learning department but just as importantly is the behavioural researchers and writers at Cleo. We know this is the combination that makes Cleo special and, I hope, will eventually lead to us being the financial advisor for a billion people.
People are increasingly not satisfied with the products being offered by traditional banks, who have proven slow to react to the needs of younger consumers who expect more from their everyday experiences.
Cleo was one of the first companies to make great use of chatbots that sit within Facebook's messenger app. This chatbot-first approach and Gen Z user base has given them strong virality. They now have 4m registered users, 96% of which are based in the US.
Financial advice delivered via bots is a crowded space, so Cleo is benefiting from being a strong brand in the space. They’ve gone for very bold, fun, millennial-focused messaging which helps them stand out from the rest.
They’re experimenting with cash advances (an alternative to overdrafts) and premium accounts. Cleo is in a trickier position than some other fintechs who hold customer deposits, as these are much easier to monetise (even though a lot of the challenger banks say they don’t want to make money in the same way as a traditional bank!).
Codat's mission is to make life easier for small businesses. They are the pipes that connect small business data, whether that’s a lender pulling information from a company’s cloud accounting package, or a payment terminal immediately pushing sales information into company accounts. By allowing small businesses to share their accounting data with a click of a button, they save them valuable time and money and give them easy access to financial products.
Codat partners with Visa to give European banks access to SME financial data
Codat Pulls SMB Accounting Into The Open Banking Fold
Codat receives $10m from Index Ventures
After graduating with a degree in Computer Science, Peter joined Credit Suisse as a Software Engineer but quickly became frustrated with the speed of development. Wanting experience working in a start-up, he joined MarketInvoice and gained experience that would later spark the idea for Codat
Upon graduating from university where he studied Computer Science, David joined MarketInvoice as a Software Engineer. There he built the platform infrastructure and an integration with Barclays that moves several billion pounds per year
Alex graduated with a degree in Classics. At MarketInvoice he built the investor product from scratch, taking it to a portfolio of £35m with £0 marketing spend. Before co-founding Codat, Alex was part of both the strategy and institutional investor teams at RateSetter.
Our growth in 2020 from 42 to 100, as well as opening an office in NYC, leaves us well placed to help banks and fintechs alike during 2021 as they look to play their part in re-building and fortifying the small business economy. More than ever - access to bespoke and innovative products powered by open data and connectivity, will be vital to small businesses survival. Codat is poised as the platform for small business data to be able to facilitate this as we continue this scale of growth into 2021, building out our team and client base globally.
Codat offers a single API, so financial service providers can easily access accurate contributed accounting data from their small business customers.
They're making the most of the Open Banking movement with a specific focus on accounting. Taking an ‘Open Accounting’ approach enables banks to have greater access to real-time accounting data, which helps banks provide faster and more accurate lending decisions for small businesses, while managing risk effectively.
With the ability for banks to make quick lending decisions based on real-time insights, small businesses feel valued, and long paper-based vetting processes are avoided.
Codat are one of the fastest growing companies in the UK right now, having landed on a problem that many businesses come up against. They're scaling fast and are now expanding their proposition to the US.
Credit Kudos' mission is to make credit scoring easier for both borrower and lenders, so everyone can get a better deal.
Credit Kudos raises £5M Series A to use open banking for credit scoring
Zilch teams up with Credit Kudos to shake up credit assessment for buy-now-pay-later
Credit Kudos CEO: What coronavirus means for open banking
Credit Kudos is an FCA-authorised credit bureau that uses financial behaviour to measure creditworthiness.
They aim to provide lenders, brokers and financial institutions with a highly accurate and transparent scoring system based on consumer consented data, providing a fairer representation of an individual’s creditworthiness. Credit Kudos’ solution enables lenders to make better decisions, whilst simultaneously helping previously overlooked individuals access credit.
Credit Kudos goes beyond traditional scoring, providing a comprehensive view of a borrower’s creditworthiness. They transform complex sets of information in their easy-to-use, digital first tools to help everyone make better lending decisions.
Credit Kudos is a challenger credit scoring platform, but is now finding considerable traction by integrating its open banking platform with lenders. These could be financial services companies that are all digital like Koodoo – or legacy providers like Admiral.
While it has only raised <$10m to date it counts among its angel investors some of the savviest fintech investors in Europe such as Tom Stafford at DST, and Christian Faes of LendInvest.
The original proposition was for Credit Kudos to use consumer transaction data to build highly accurate and transparent credit score-cards and affordability metrics. This makes credit decision-making possible for the ~8m previously “unbanked” as well as those with non-existent or “thin” credit files. But the AI technology upon which Credit Kudos is built can not only expand the market for lenders, it can improve scoring accuracy, which reduces default rates, and speeds up decision-making which benefits both sides.
The opportunities for Credit Kudos are enormous because increasing the underlying data set constantly improves insight. Once established in the UK it would make sense for Credit Kudos to embark on international expansion albeit country by country, since financial services remains one of the most fragmented and yet regulated industries world-wide.
Cutover's mission is to revolutionise work by providing machine automation in a new model of working known as Work Orchestration and Observability. Their platform enables teams to plan, orchestrate, and analyse complex work faster, smarter, and with greater visibility by bring machine activity and automation together with human expertise.
Barclays joins Cutover’s $17 million Series A round; startup gives organisations insights on their ‘flows of work’
Cutover’s IT Work Orchestration and Observability Platform Is Now Available in AWS Marketplace
Success Story: Cutover
Cutover has become a global leader in the new category of work orchestration and observability. Their platform currently has over 10,000 users around the world and is used by 14 global financial service companies. Cutover is also used by the telecommunications, pharmaceutical, insurance and energy industries.
Cutover optimises machine automation whilst safeguarding customer-facing operations. The platform allows for end to end planning, management and analysis of complex work activities as well as virtual team collaboration, which is a growing and increasingly important market.
The company recently raised £13.6m in its Series A round. The funding will support Cutover’s offering to solve some of the most important challenges for enterprises such as migrating to a hybrid cloud model, wider digital transformation, automating and evolving operational resilience practices and managing ongoing tech change without failures.
Duffel is on a mission to unravel travel — simplifying systems and building the tools that will make the future of travel effortless. Duffel is rethinking travel from the ground up. Their platform helps bring new experiences to life so that travelling feels like a seamless part of your journey instead of a chore.
Last updated Dec 2020
Duffel raises $30M led by Index Ventures
Duffel accelerating efforts to reinvent airline distribution
London’s Duffel opens New York office, adds new hire from Uber
In the same way that challenger banks have come along to re-invent legacy banking software from the ground up, Duffel is doing the same in the travel market, linking up airlines directly with travel agents with a modern platform.
Duffel's system connects with airlines’ booking channels more extensively than those of incumbent operators, like Amadeus and Sabre, meaning they can facilitate selling not just seats on a plane, but also other products such as speedy boarding, airport transfer and seat selection.
Add-on products make up an increasing part of airline revenues (currently 10% for European low-cost carriers, up 105% over the past four years in Europe) but are mostly sold through airlines own websites at the moment (whereas bookings are increasingly being made via intermediaries like Skyscanner). Duffel's technology will make it easier for airlines to sell more of these ancillary services, which is what makes them so attractive to airline customers.
Their main competitor in Europe, Amadeus, has $5bn+ revenue and 19,000 employees, so there's a big challenge ahead, but a big prize if they succeed in capturing some of that market.
Eigen's mission is to help individuals and organisations make the right decisions, and they do this by unlocking the value of their qualitative data.
Last updated Dec 2020
Eigen nabs $37M to help banks and others parse huge documents using natural language and ‘small data’
How artificial intelligence is changing the game for banks
Eigen Technologies funding round reaches £33m
Eigen Technologies uses its machine learning engine to helps banks and other businesses that need to extract information and insights from large and complex documents like contracts.
Most of their customers today are in the financial sector, but they are planning to move into other verticals like insurance and healthcare (both areas that deal with lengthy documentation full of important fine print).
They currently sell services to 25% of the world's biggest banks as well as professional services firms like Allen & Overy and Deloitte. Between their Series A in June 2018 and the Series B in November 2019, revenues grew 6x.
Eigen's system is unique because typically machine learning and training and AI requires hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of examples to “teach” a system before it can make decisions that you hope will mimic those of a human. Eigen requires a couple of examples, so this is their differentiator.
Eigen’s founder Lewis Liu has pushed the boundaries of AI by using his understanding of the physics of lasers. It is exactly the convergence of such diverse fields as physics and data science that can yield the potential to take a leap forward in applications rather than simply incremental progress.
His business acumen has helped him to focus on high value applications in the financial and legal domains. The key advantage of the Eigen approach is to be able to train Natural Language Processing techniques on very small data sets, which enables NLP to be used in high value, low volume niche applications.
In September Eigen Technologies was named in CB insights Fintech 250 list of fastest-growing fintech start-ups. Later, in November 2020 the FT named Lewis LIu as one of the six top change-makers of 2020, and Eigen Technologies itself won the FT Intelligent Business Award for financial Services for its work with ING on the LIBOR transition. We are only seeing the tip of what this innovation iceberg could enable.
Elvie's mission is to improve women's lives through smarter technology. In their own words: 'Women shouldn’t have to make do with shoddy design or pink spin-offs when there are self-driving cars in the world.'
Last updated Dec 2020
Elvie raises $42M to become destination for women’s health
Elvie adds a non-electric breast pump and cups to its growing femtech portfolio
Tania Boler, founder of Elvie, will speak at the EU-Startups Summit on how femtech is tackling taboos and reinventing healthcare
12 years experience working for NGOs and the UN before founding Elvie in 2013. Internationally recognised women's health expert with a PhD in sexual health.
Founded Jawbone in 1998 (tech company that produced bluetooth earpieces). Also runs VC firm Zulu, which has made investments in companies like Improbable and Juul.
Like many businesses in 2020, we weren’t immune to supply chain issues during the early stages of the pandemic. But innovation and creative thinking allowed us to launch digital-first in seven European markets this year and expand our breast-feeding range with two new products, Elvie Curve and Elvie Catch.
Despite dealing with the additional complexities of onboarding new staff members remotely – on top of home working for the majority of employees - our team remains as mission-driven as ever. Our employee headcount has tripled in 2020, and US revenues have doubled this year. We opened the doors to our second R&D base in Bristol this year – the first significant investment in the area from any femtech business.
The digital health boom during the pandemic, increased focus on female founders, and a new awareness of the femtech space are all driving interest in Elvie and our brand ethos. Going into the new year, we have big plans to drive our international expansion and continue to design and deliver game-changing products that women love.
It's now being recognised that women's health has been underinvested in for too long. That is changing, with the Femtech market (including fertility apps, maternal health and sexual wellbeing products) projected to be worth $50bn by 2025 (according to research by Frost & Sullivan).
Elvie are one of the only companies out there dedicating world class industrial engineering resources to making great products for women.
They've made great hires, and the team is full of super experienced people with varied backgrounds (Dyson, Bosch, McKinsey, PepsiCo, Pernod Ricard).
Women’s issues have traditionally been shied away from in the male-dominated tech industry, but the global women’s health market is expected to be worth $51.3 billion by 2025. Elvie has worked hard to break taboos, creating women’s health hardware products. Founded in 2013, and led by Tania Boler, an internationally recognized women’s health expert, Elvie has started a much-needed conversation around women’s health issues, challenging everyday stigma experienced by women.
This work couldn’t be more important as technology becomes increasingly integrated into all parts of our everyday lives. In April 2019, Elvie announced its third private financing, a $42 million Series B led by IPGL to support the release of additional women’s health products. Their long-term plan is to develop products to support women at every stage of life.
Farewill's mission is to change the way the world deals with death. Farewill was set up in 2015 to make everything to do with death fairer, simpler and cheaper. Since then, they’ve become the biggest will writer in the UK, writing over 30,000 wills and raising over £100 million for charity along the way.
Last updated Dec 2020
UK’s Farewill raises $25M for its new approach online will writing, funerals and other death services
Farewill wants to give will-writing a web-based makeover
Farewill: the funeral and will-writing start-up on a mission to change how we deal with death
Studied Global Innovation Design at the Royal College of Art
2 years experience as a software engineer. Studied Mathematics at Oxford
After raising our Series B and more than doubling our team last year, we've got an exciting year ahead in 2021. We're investing in furthering our lead as the UK's favourite & largest will writer, and carry on transforming the probate and funerals industry with our newer product lines. As ever, exceptional customer experience lies at the heart of our approach, with an NPS of 82 across all of our services. We're hiring across the board - building three new product teams, as well as more than doubling headcount in every other function.
In the UK, the majority of wills are made by solicitors or will-writing firms, with prices normally around £200-300 on the high street and £850-£5000s with established firms.
There have been DIY will services for the last 5 years, but most have poor user experience and no real support beyond the form itself. Customers are required to read 10-20 pages of legal documents and decide what applies to them.
Farewill's technology asks simple questions and generates the legal text. Wills are important legal documents, and so every will still gets checked by a specialist and phone lines are open 7 days a week and 12 hours a day. Farewill are also cheaper than alternatives, with a cost of just £90 for an individual.
A competitor in the US (Willing) has taken the freemium route, referring customers to funeral services to make money. However, Farewill believes they can provide a better experience if the product is paid for. Farewell is also partnering with UK companies to provide the service as a perk to their employees, a novel distribution method.
The global payments ecosystem is highly complex, and often opaque, hampering payments-led product innovation. Fidel builds APIs for developers, allowing them to unlock the value of payment cards for consumers, businesses and merchants around the world.
Fidel raises $18M to let developers build on top of payment data from Visa, Mastercard and Amex
Fidel is tapped by Google Pay to power more rewarding payment experiences
UK fintech Fidel API expands North American presence with US move
Started out at Badoo as an early employee and played a crucial role in growing its revenue from £0 to £220 million in just over 4 years. He, along with Co-Founder Andre Elias, started Fidel in 2013
Holds a Masters degree in software engineering, and has published several scientific papers on big data architectures, before co-founding and joining Fidel as CTO
2020 has been a really positive year for Fidel, despite challenging circumstances. We continued to grow at a healthy pace; we opened our first US office in New York, signed and launched some of our biggest client programs yet, including Google Pay and doubled our team size, even as the world shifted to remote working.
One of the greatest aspects of Fidel is our culture of inclusivity, transparency and dedication, and I’m proud to say that we have maintained these traits through these times of change. 2021 is set to be another record year in Fidel history. We will continue to build on Fidel’s mission - connecting innovators to the world of payments, to continue to deliver on the promises we’ve made to our clients, and keep providing the tools that they need to build innovative user experience
Fidel is tackling the obstacles to accessing customer payment data, making it easier for developers to create smart solutions customers love, without the burden of complex integrations, cost or compliance.
They have developed a suite of APIs that make it easy to link a user's payment card to an app and securely access real-time transactional data through a single access point. A key application is loyalty programs, where users can sign up, earn points rewards and cash back when using their registered card.
By partnering with Mastercard, Visa and Amex card-linking is possible for the majority of customers, opening up a mass of opportunities in a variety of different industries.
To connect regulated businesses to payment schemes all over the world so that they can deliver amazing products for their customers. When you look around at how the world has changed, there’s this big divergence. The real economy has moved into being fast-paced, digital & real-time.
UK fintech company Form3 closes $33 million Series C round from strategic investors
Mastercard takes stake in Form3
Form3 and Barclays enable access to the SEPA Instant payment scheme for FinTechs, with Ebury as the launch client
Previously a member of Barclays' Corporate Banking Executive Committee
Form3 provides a complete end-to-end Payments-as-a-Service for financial institutions and regulated fintechs. Its software enables businesses to offer direct payment services via a simple interface- modernising their payments technology to make it more reliable and secure.
In the modern day, people expect their user experience with financial transactions to be fast and secure. Modern businesses require money to be transmitted instantly, securely and with the promise of being available worldwide in real-time. Form3 has capitalised on this modern demand, offering a comprehensive but straightforward service which gives customers greater control of their payments.
The company recently raised an additional £26m, with investment from traditional banks like Lloyds and Nationwide. The funding will be used to strengthen Form3's cloud-native payment technology, build significant functional enhancements and accelerate its global expansion plans.
Freetrade is a next-generation investment tech startup, bringing free stock investing to the UK and Europe for the first time. Their mission is to build a totally new culture around investing: millennial-friendly, innovative, customer-first and universally accessible.
Last updated Dec 2020
Freetrade: UK challenger stockbroker launches commission-free investment app in Sweden
Freetrade launches self-invested personal pension (SIPP)
Meet Freetrade, The Challenger Stockbroker
Started his career at Google where he worked for 7 years. Most recently Head of Growth for Notey, a blogging company based in Hong Kong
Started his career in KPMG, where he worked for 6 years in Audit before starting Freetrade
Nearly 20 years of experience in software engineering. Most recently worked in engineering management roles at Amazon, Trailsuite and Snapchat
Freetrade is aiming to democratise investing. Investing in stocks has traditionally been restricted to a more wealthy generation who can afford the commissions of £10-£12 per trade and have the money to pay for financial advice. Freetrade are trying to make investing accessible for all (according to them, there are 16m millennials in the UK who have never invested in stocks before).
Freetrade have strong customer loyalty. This enabled them to raise nearly all of their early investment through record crowdfunding founds (they also recently raised £12m from VC Draper Esprit). Crowdfunding tends to work particularly well when the investors active in crowdfunding communities can relate to the product, which is certainly the case here!
They've also created an active community where potential investors can share advice and learn about company stocks, which has helped fuel engagement and growth. Freetrade are in a market with a lot of well capitalised incumbents (such as the big banks and brokerages) and some big disrupters (like Robinhood and Revolut, who are both £bn+ companies already). The key to continued customer growth will be finding marketing strategies that don't rely on them outspending deep-pocketed rivals.
On the product side, Freetrade have built a brokerage platform from scratch using serverless technologies. This will help them scale their product in a cost-effective way, as they're not reliant on a 3rd party broker.
Goodlord's software improves the renting process for agents, landlords and tenants alike, while integrating market-leading products and services at the optimal time. Goodlord's mission is to provide the best renting experience in the world.
Last updated Dec 2020
Goodlord, the proptech startup that offers a SaaS for rentals, has raised £10M in Series B funding
Goodlord appoints William Reeve as CEO
PropTech: Referencing platform snapped up by Goodlord
Tom co-founded Goodlord as a renter in 2014 after becoming frustrated with the inefficiencies in the tenancy process and discovering letting agents were fed up with it, too!
William's got the grey hairs. And lots of experience, including board and/or operating roles at Fletcher Research, Graze.com, LOVEFiLM.com, Paddy Power, Secret Escapes and Zoopla.
For Goodlord, 2020 was - despite all its challenges - a year we managed to grow by over 300%. Growth is not easy, and we are aggressively seeking talent to help us maintain this momentum, as we strive to make renting better with our award-winning technology platform
Renting is a frustrating experience for many, and there are a number of startups in the space that are trying to improve it, but most others are trying to replace the letting agent.
Goodlord is not trying to disrupt traditional letting agents, but their product aims to make the letting journey smoother for the property owner, letting agent and the tenant.
When you have a product that is helping everyone in the value chain it makes the sell easier and should enable them to scale. The company recently raised a £10m Series B, which is powering growth across their engineering, product and customer facing teams.
Goodlord is building the software platform that streamlines the rental process for agents, landlords and tenants. Their product enables a smoother, paper-free lettings process and facilitates easy offer generation, fast contract creation, and referencing as well as easy signing and payments.
The traditional rental onboarding and transaction flow is a high complexity, high friction, low customer satisfaction process. This creates the opportunity for a single vertical software tool which offers transparency, control and efficiencies in time and cost, resulting in a new renting experience. Moving house is a valuable moment to own as renters rebuild their personal infrastructure, opening the opportunity for a number of additional services alongside managing the core rental transaction.
On a mission to build an amazing product that has positive impact. On customers' lives. On the environment. On employee's lives. A data company that happens to trade in food. Tech sits at the heart of everything they do.
Last updated Dec 2020
Gousto becomes latest UK tech 'unicorn' after lockdown surge
Gousto, a UK meal-kit service, raises another $41M as business booms under lockdown
The hungry 26-year-old who set up a £100m food firm
Spent 4 years in Finance at Rothschild and a hedge fund before founding Gousto in 2012. Sits on the Digital Advisory Board at Unilever, which will help him stay on the pulse of one of the largest consumer good companies in the world
Whilst we've experienced incredible growth over recent years, 2020 saw unprecedented demand for our recipe boxes. In the space of just six months, we doubled the number of monthly meals delivered, from two and a half million to five million. I've been so inspired by our teams who have gone above and beyond to serve nutritious meals to as many homes as possible across the country.
To keep up with the growing demand, we will triple capacity by 2022. This means hiring more brilliant talent to the team, mainly in tech and data, and bringing forward the opening of our new fulfillment centres across the UK. With 500 passionate people having joined the team in 2020 alone, we're absolutely dedicated to scaling our culture in line with the rapid growth of the business. It is our culture that is truly the foundation of our success.
The food space has seen significant disruption in the last few years, whether it's the rapid expansion of takeaway delivery (thanks to JustEat, Deliveroo and UberEats), online groceries (thanks to Ocado and AmazonFresh) or meal boxes (thanks to Gousto and HelloFresh).
Consumer tastes are changing and there has been lots of innovation to try and get quality food in front of people more easily. Gousto is one of the drivers of that trend.
Gousto have made smart partnerships, notably with Joe Wicks 'the body coach', who has 2.6m instagram followers and very high engagement (Joe also invested in their latest investment round). On the technology side, they're seen as leading in machine learning and factory automation.
Gousto has seen a significant increase in orders since the outbreak of COVID-19, as people have increased their dependence on food delivery services. The company has recently secured £25m from existing investors Perwyn and BGF, which it will use to open three new customer fulfilment centres and create over 1,000 jobs.
Harbr aims to unlock the full value of the world’s data.
Harbr emerges from stealth to help build online data marketplaces
Harbr raises $38.5M to help enterprises exchange and share big data troves securely
Harbr Enterprise Data Exchange Platform Makes It Easy To Find, Use, Manage, And Monetize Data
Co-founded multiple other companies, most recently including E9Data
Previously Strategic Intelligence Analyst for the Ministry of Defence, subsequently held various roles at HSBC including Global Head of Intelligence Technology
2020 was a huge year for Harbr. We experienced a rapid increase in demand for our enterprise data exchange platform in 2020, which led to a $36M Series A investment round co-led by investors Dawn Capital and Tiger Global Management in November. 2021 promises to be even more exciting as we use this new investment to scale our team so we can onboard new enterprise customers at an accelerated rate.
After doubling in size in 2020, we plan to triple our number of employees in 2021. Customer growth, sales and marketing will be centered in the US, while the UK remains the hub for engineering and R&D investment. At the same time, it's equally important to us to retain and cultivate the culture that makes Harbr such a special place to work, built on acting with integrity and, as we like to say, knowing what matters.
Harbr's platform enables companies to securely share data both internally and externally, across all data stakeholders – employees, customers, partners or suppliers. The platform enables businesses to convert any digital content into ready-to-use, monetizable products that are easily accessed through a custom-branded data exchange.
With over 15 years experience in data, co-founder Anthony Cosgrove founded Harbr from his belief that existing systems were too slow, too expensive and too risky. Typically, big data businesses generally lack the agility to package data in ways that make sense for each customer, a problem Harbr seeks to solve. Instead of just sending raw data, Harbr customers are able to leverage it to sell services, models or insights – which are far more useful to end users and customers.
Earlier this year Harbr opened offices in the US as it left stealth and publicly launched its platform. For now, the company is concentrating on large data vendors, helping them package and monetise the data they produce as a business more efficiently. Harbr has recently raised an impressive £30.8 million for their Series A – just six months after leaving stealth. The funds will be spent on R&D and team growth as the business scales.
From the start, the founding team at Harbr have shown that they had the necessary background to transform how the largest companies in the world find, use, manage and monetise data. Led by serial entrepreneur Gary Butler & former Global Head of Intelligence Technology at HSBC Anthony Cosgrove, the team has shown exponential year-on-year growth.
Recently out of stealth mode, their unique enterprise data exchange platform is becoming adopted by an increasing number of Fortune 500 companies. With Snowflake’s recent IPO validating the market's need for better solutions across the data value chain, Harbr have built a truly differentiated product that enables their customers to collaborate freely with partners and customers in a secure manner. This places Harbr at the top of the list for companies aiming to become more proactive with their data.
With their recent Series A raise of $38.5m led by Dawn Capital & Tiger Global Management giving them the necessary fuel to accelerate their growth, 2021 provides the opportunity to continue to take this market by storm.
The mission at Hopin is to address environmental damage and inaccessibility in the event industry by providing a sustainable solution that is accessible to everyone. Hopin builds events that are sustainable, carbon-neutral and 100% online.
Hopin raises $125M for its online events platform on the back of surging growth
Hopin acquires Topi to drive hybrid events
Hopin buys livestreaming startup StreamYard for $250M as it looks to expand its product lineup
Previously co-founded Readory, an online blogging platform and worked as an M&E Engineer at Multiplex
To meet the significant demand for our platform, we’ve had to ramp up hiring significantly - Hopin has grown from eight employees to over 200 across 38 countries in the same time. Hopin has over 60,000 event organizers including The Atlantic, Miro, Disney, NATO, TNW, Wildlife Conservation, TechCrunch, Twitch, UCLA, and The University of Notre Dame.
Because of the pandemic, there’s been a significant increase in demand for Hopin. Our recent $125 million Series B round will be used to help scale our platform and team to support the exponential amount of business we’ve seen over the past six months, to ensure we can meet the needs of our current — and future — customers.
At Hopin, our mission is to empower people to gather together in a way that is sustainable and accessible to everyone. Our platform is made to give our customers the freedom to create a fully customized event experience and empower event attendees to explore events the way they would in-person, while in a virtual environment.
Ultimately, we want Hopin to make the world smaller — by connecting people in meaningful ways so that geography no longer becomes a barrier to memorable live events and experiences. Virtual events have proved to be a cost-effective means to bring communities and attendees together. And as companies seek to expand their presence to meet demand due to stay-at-home measures, there will be significant growth opportunities for organizers and those in the event space. This opportunity will continue to grow after the pandemic, as businesses recognize the value of reaching larger audiences for their events through a hybrid approach — organizing events simultaneously online and in the real world.
The market for virtual conferencing platforms is flourishing. In a time of increased consideration of sustainability and environmental impact, the event industry is being forced to adapt. Coronavirus has been a huge accelerant in shifting the event industry online, and has driven Hopin to be one of the fastest growing companies of all time.
Hopin is bringing something new to the table in order to reflect the same great benefits of offline events. They provide the tools to collaborate and network with larger groups, features that other video conferencing platforms might lack.
The demand is high, with a 10,000 strong wait list of event organisers and new investments they will continue to scale quickly to develop the platform and keep up with their growing customer base. They've hosted some huge events on the platform already (like TechCrunch Disrupt), and show no signs of slowing down.
Hopin has become one of the fastest-growing European startups ever, having grown from a team of 4 to over 200 employees and a £2billion+ valuation only nine months after launch. Its virtual events technology caught a tailwind when COVID-19 cancelled travel and in-person events all around the world.
After growing annual recurring revenue from $0 to $20 million in nine months and having reached more than 3.5million users, Hopin's Founder Johnny Boufarhat intends to continue to hire rapidly into 2021, allowing the business to double-down on investing in its product. In November of this year, off the back of this incredible growth, Hopin announced a $125m Series B led by IVP and Tiger Global, along with participation from earlier investors such as Accel and Seedcamp.
Our vision is to make every travel experience perfect. By building a future in which travel is seamlessly connected and relentlessly inventive.
Last updated Dec 2020
Backing Impala — the universal hotel API
Jobs @ Impala: What the hell is Impala anyway?
Travel tech startup Impala raises $20m just four months after raising $11m
Our Culture Deck
Previously worked as a software engineer
Previously worked in Sales at Patch Plants, and in various other sales roles
We're adding hundreds of hotels every month at Impala and are excited for that to become tens of thousands in 2021, backed by an every growing, extremely talented team of Impalans. We'll be making even more significant steps in 2021 towards our vision to make every travel experience perfect, by enabling innovation.
Impala wants to be as simple as Stripe or Twilio but for hotels. With a few lines of code, any developer should be able to get started with Impala before diving deeper.
Hotels use Property Management Systems to manage rooms, room types, extras, pricing, taxes etc. These systems are old, and providers to hotels need a load of integrations to connect to all the different hotel systems to get the data they need. Impala wants to make this easier by building a standardised API for anyone building services on top of hotel systems.
They're also building a direct booking API. Right now, many hotels manually upload booking data to websites like Booking.com, or use a middle-man to do this. Their API could cut out all of that and the commissions to middle-men along the way.
Impala is building the future rails of the hotel industry - a vast but architecturally archaic