Brexit has brought a wave of both hope and fear for London, the biggest tech hub in Europe. However, the country has remained a leader and has even shown signs of growth, despite all the talk about the UK leaving the European Union. Home of one of the biggest stock exchanges market in the world, London is the perfect place for startups.
The city has been shaping its culture to attract even more businesses in the future. In 2019, more than 900 companies raised funding and are rising as some of the most successful startups in London.
Even with the shadow of Brexit, London’s startup scene is still thriving.
It is noticeable that many startups from the tech sector are some of the companies that received more funding this year. In this article created by our team at TMS, will discuss some of the top London startups in 2019 that are aiming for big growth next year.
The best London startups to keep an eye on
Revolut aims to position itself as an online banking alternative with several innovative actions, including instant payment notifications and free international money transfers. The UK startup also launched a stock trading platform free of commissions, which allows users to negotiate stocks directly from their smartphones. Revolut is growing to become one of the best tech startups. Revolut has around 6 million users around the world and 18,000 new accounts are created daily.
Another one of these London startups is Snyk. It is a software that automates the process of finding and fixing errors in open-source software. Breaches are becoming more common and this security software is taking a position as a necessity for big companies to protect their code. This London startup raised $22 million and received a $100 million evaluation this year alone.
Wagestream wants to end the days where you are just waiting for the payday. This social impact tech startup developed an app that allows employees to receive part of their salary before the end of the month, for a fixed fee of £1.75.
This method is a great way to re-establish the link between work and reward. Employees can collect their pay for overtime shifts, for example, as soon as they are over, giving them better financial security.
Jaja is a part of the group of next-generation London startups that are disrupting the consumer finance field. According to the tech company, they created a basic credit card model, specially made for mobile. They guarantee their product to be fast, easy to use, smart and compatible with the best technology.
This London tech company created a price management and optimization cloud-based software. BlackCurve helps businesses grow their financial gains and promises to optimize the price of more than 1 million products. The company was founded in 2016 and recently raised £1.5m in funding.
Prowler.io is a UK startup focused on developing AI-powered systems for several industries. They create autonomous decision-making systems for several fields, like finance and city infrastructure. One of the top tech startups, Prowler.io has been stable on the market since 2016.
This UK startup created a mobile banking app that makes financial movements much easier. With Monzo, the need to physically go to a bank is suppressed. With its easy usage and transparent procedures, this platform has gained a large number of users recently. One of the best tech companies in London in 2019, Monzo is expected to grow exponentially in the upcoming years.
This tech company has been building an alternative to the urban commuter car since September 2015. FiveAI started testing their cars in 2016 in Bedfordshire. In 2018, they launched the first fully autonomous service route from Flitwick station to Millbrook. Since April 2019, they have taken their autonomous prototype to the streets of London.
Elder is the third fastest-growing company in the UK, according to Tech5. This London-based startup created an app that helps families to find professional caregivers. This allows the elderly to stay at their home for a longer time in a trustable and safe manner.
Since 2015, Elder has provided more than 250,000 days of care to those who need them.
Students who are getting ready for the university but do not know where to start can use BridgeU for that. This app gives students information on their hobbies, interests and preferred ways of learning. Based on the student’s preferences, BridgeU’s algorithm suggests institutions and courses that might be a good match for them. The software uses opinions from former students to make decisions and provide suggestions.
Part of the London startups scene, Snaptrip helps you to find the right holiday at reasonable prices. With this platform, is possible to find cottages all over Ireland and the United Kingdom, with a discount of up to 50%. Snaptrip was born in 2014, founded by Dan Harrison and Matthew Fox. Its ambition is to become the UK’s leading platform for last-minute breaks in private properties. The tech startup has already raised a total of $8.2 million.
Starling Bank Founded in 2014, this UK startup created a mobile-only bank software. In a recent funding round, it has raised more than £75 million and plans to double its workforce in 2020. The main areas for which is hiring are engineering and customer service, according to LinkedIn.
This workforce platform helps digital businesses to deliver faster and better results.
Created in 2017, the software uses machine learning to connect companies to ‘Elastic Teams’. These remote workers can perform digital tasks, without the need to scale the company’s internal team.
This tech startup is all about pets. ITCH’s first product is a flea subscription service, renovated every month, created with the help of veterinary experts. This service helps people with pets to easily prevent and treat flea infestation problems without leaving their houses. The company is currently working on other pet products, such as personalized products for animals’ skin, joints, and teeth.
Tandem’s mission is to free its users from stress-related issues that can occur with money and financing. It creates an easy way to manage banking and finances, even for those who are not used to dealing with these subjects.
Diffblue was created to make the life of developers easier. This London-based company was founded by AI experts from Oxford University. The software automates all the basic coding tasks. like writing tests, fixing bugs and code refactoring. The company is still growing and it continues to create products to improve the productivity of software engineers. It makes their life easier through the help of machine learning and AI processes.
Cytora helps insurers to deliver reasonable prices to their customers. The AI system learns risks of patterns over time and is able to predict situations based on those patterns. Created in 2014, the UK startup recently raised £25m in a funding round led by EQT Ventures. It had the participation from Cambridge Innovation Capital, Parkwalk, and angel investors. Among its customers, we can see Axa and Starr.
Chatterbox was created to help refugees, by sharing their native language skills with learners. This app connects learners with language natives to promote conversations and learning sessions. By using Chatterbox, refugees can earn a living wage, gain more confidence and invest in their professional future.
This company has gained its positions among the top tech companies in London. It created an app that opens the global securities lending market to current people. They aim to “democratize the securities lending market with Fintech.”
TransferWise allows people and businesses to transfer money abroad without any hidden charges.
This B2C startup had an impressive growth from a team of 2 founders to a business with more than 1,000 employees. It was created by Kristo Kaarmann and Taavet Hinrikus in 2010 and has more than 4 million users. A true unicorn among the London startups.
WorldRemit a competitor of TransferWise. This company owns an online platform that allows its users to make free international money transfers. Most used by immigrants and expats who wish to send money to their families abroad.
This tech company revolutionized the health system in the UK, having worked with the National Health Service. The platform allows patients to have video consultations with their doctors and uses AI to give a quick diagnosis based on symptoms.
Babylon is an estimated value of $2 billion, after a $550 million investment made by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.
LabGenius is a startup that is creating the world’s first autonomous scientist. This is being done with the help of a group of biologists, data scientists, and automation engineers. They are creating a system that uses AI to predict which mutations have the right biological design. This will allow for a more effective generation of antibodies and enzymes for the treatment of diseases or for industrial purposes.
Cortexica is a London-based startup that acts in the field of image research using Artificial Intelligence. It holds in its portfolio a Computer Vision, image recognition and research solutions. It also offers industry-specific consultancy. Their algorithm continues to develop to provide the latest responsive vision AI software.
CognitionX builds the bridge between companies with specific problems and AI specialists who are able to solve them. This London startup, founded by Charlie Muirhead and Tabitha Goldstaub, is an advice marketplace, targeting AI issues and queries. The two founders had the idea for the company after struggling with finding the right data science information they needed.
Kinteract is a learning app targeted toward students. This app is also built to allow parents and teachers to track the students’ progress across projects.
This app is also connectable to other popular teaching apps, gathering all the important information for easy access. The goal is to create a personalized learning journey, from the early stages of school to the university years.
Founded in 2014, Headean is a cloud-based operating system that allows developers to write, ship and scale applications. The London startup has recently raised £7m with help from several companies
BenevolentAI is a tech startup that is applying AI and machine learning to genomics. It has two branches: Benevolent Bio is focused on drug discovery. BenevolentTech, more focused on researching applications of AI to genomic data.
Formula E Holdings
This company is one of the top startups developing electric vehicles. They created the first fully electric,single-seater category in motorsport. They are now bringing its electric car series to capital all around the world, including Hong Kong, Rome, Paris, Zurich, and New York. They are always on the look for innovative and curious people who value sustainability.
Phrasee is a software that uses AI to create a marketing-focused copy. Its customers include The Times, Superdry and Domino’s. The algorithm analyses engagement results from previous campaigns and generates content for several formats. The company was born in 2015 and recently raised $4 million (£3 million) in funding led by Albion Capital.
This company created a robot, Marley, measuring 1.5 by 1.5 meters, composed of an arm and 12 ingredient dispensers. The robot can serve nearly 120 personalized meals per hour. Each meal can be customized according to portion size and nutritional indications.
Marley is an advancement in the field of low-cost robotics and can revolutionize the fast-food market. In May of 2019, the startup received a £7m investment.
ZenCargo is on a mission to simplify the logistics of the shipping industry, valued on multi-trillion-dollars. The startup has digitalized all the processes related to shipping, getting rid of all the pen, paper and fax machines involved. With the platform, shippers can now receive prices and make online bookings in just a few minutes. All the shipment documents and bills can be managed on the cloud.
The company 11:FS allows its employees to choose how and where to work. This is another company featured on LinkedIn’s index. It believes that a digital change is needed to improve banking systems and services. The company looks for people with passion, authenticity, and restlessness who wish to join its team.
Kopernio developed a browser add-on that helps to speed up research by cutting through paywalls and logins. It allows to legally download full documents with just one click. All the articles that are downloaded are kept in a safe “locker” for later reference, allowing for users to export references as needed.
Clarivate Analytics, a former division of Thomson Reuters, acquired Kopernio in 2018. The add-on is now part of its Web of Science Group.
Peak.ai is a pioneer in AI solutions for data analytics’ services, with a focus on businesses growth, using their data solutions. Peak is one of the 25 fastest-growing tech companies, according to GP Bullhound. It is one of the only 14 companies holding Amazon Web Services (AWS) Machine Learning Competency status. The startup engineering team is very skilled and creates data management services using Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.
what3words has changed the way we view location. The software divides the globe into 3m x 3m squares, each of them with a 3-word address.
Vidsy is a platform that gathers a network of more than 5,000 video-makers across 70 countries. The creators produce quality video ads for brands such as Sky, L’Oreal, and Vodafone, among other ones. The brands receive not only a video but several ones so they can test the best one. The platform also gathers performance data to get information on whether the ads are effective or not and ideas for future campaigns.
Nivaura creates digital investment platforms that ensure compliance for banks and financial institutions. Created in 2016, the startup recently raised $20m in a funding session organized by the London Stock Exchange Group and with several participant companies.
The last of these London startups mentioned in this article is Forward Health. It is a communication platform for health and care teams. It helps the teams to work more effectively together, with the optimization of old communication techniques. The platform potentiates the way things are done in the health services, resulting in a promotion of better care for patients.
FAQs about London startups
1. What are the most successful startups in London and what industries do they operate in?
Many successful businesses in fields like financial, cybersecurity, health tech, and e-commerce are based in London. Monzo, Deliveroo, Revolut, and Babylon Health are a few of the most prosperous businesses established in London.
These startups have revolutionized their respective businesses and seized a sizeable portion of the market; some have even started to operate internationally.
2. How is the startup ecosystem in London different from other major startup hubs like San Francisco or New York?
The startup community in London is renowned for its multicultural and cooperative nature as well as its emphasis on sustainability and social impact.
London’s startup scene is relatively new compared to other major startup hubs like San Francisco and New York, but it is expanding quickly thanks to the city’s access to a talented workforce, world-class universities, and a supportive government that has put forth a number of initiatives to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.
3. What funding options are available for startups in London, and what are the typical investment rounds?
Entrepreneurs in London have access to a variety of funding opportunities, including subsidies from the government, angel investors, and venture capital firms.
Starting with seed capital, the normal investment rounds for firms in London move on to Series A, Series B, and so forth.
Many firms have benefited from the flourishing venture capital market in London, with some even going on to become unicorns like TransferWise and Checkout.com.
4. What resources are available for entrepreneurs in London to help them start and grow their businesses?
Co-working spaces, accelerators, incubators, and mentorship programs are just a few of the resources and assistance available to entrepreneurs in London.
For entrepreneurs wanting to grow their businesses in London and abroad, several groups, like Tech London Advocates and London & Partners, offer networking opportunities, events, and guidance.
5. What are some of the challenges that London startups typically face, and how do they overcome them?
High operational costs, fierce competition, and trouble finding capital are a few of the difficulties London entrepreneurs encounter.
Startups frequently concentrate on creating cutting-edge products, forging solid alliances, and hiring top people by utilizing London’s diversified labor market to overcome these obstacles.
6. How does London’s regulatory environment affect startups, and what are some of the key regulations that startups need to be aware of?
The regulatory climate in London may be complicated and strict, especially for sectors like finance and healthcare. To prevent future legal concerns, startups must be aware of and assure compliance with rules including the GDPR, finance restrictions, and data protection legislation.
7. What are some of the most important networking opportunities for London startups to connect with investors, mentors, and potential customers?
Startups may network at a range of events in London, including conferences and meetups for certain industries, as well as occasions like London Tech Week and Innovate UK.
Via accelerators and incubators, startups can also establish relationships with investors and mentors. They can also use social media and online platforms to communicate with potential clients.
8. How does the talent pool in London compare to other major startup hubs, and what are some of the key skills that are in high demand?
London has a broad talent pool that is highly skilled, thanks to its premier colleges and multiethnic population. Digital marketing, data science, and software engineering are in-demand skills for startups in London.
To recruit and keep top personnel, startups frequently need to provide competitive pay, flexible work schedules, and other incentives due to the fierce competition for talent.
9. What are some of the notable exits and acquisitions of London-based startups in recent years?
In recent years, there have been a number of major exits and acquisitions in London, with bigger companies buying out smaller businesses including ARM, DeepMind, and Shazam.
Wise, Monzo, and Farfetch are just a few more prosperous London-based firms that have gone public, some of which have achieved unicorn status and substantial market capitalization.
10. How has Brexit impacted the London startup scene, and what are some of the opportunities and challenges it has created?
For the London startup scene, Brexit has produced both chances and obstacles. On the one hand, it has exacerbated ambiguity and produced barriers for businesses that depend on EU money and skills.
On the other hand, it has also given companies the chance to access new markets and the UK government the chance to develop more supportive policies for startups.
The entire effects of Brexit on the London startup sector are still unknown, therefore startups will need to adapt and innovate to survive in the new environment created by Brexit.
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