10 UK Startups to Watch in 2023 and Beyond
Sarah Cheesman, 28 September 2023
The UK has long had an enviable history of successful startups, from finance firms such as Revolut and Starling Bank, to B2C food and retail companies such as Deliveroo and ASOS. Although Startup Genome reports that around 90% of startups fail within their first three years of business, those that are successful represent a huge opportunity for investors, venture capitalists and others.
This makes keeping up to date with what’s going on in the UK startup market incredibly important, giving you the chance to find out about startups that are doing particularly well before they reach the big time.
In this article, we’re taking a look at 10 of the most exciting startups companies in the UK (at the moment and how we can help you track these—and more—going forward.
What is a startup company?
Is every small company considered a startup?
Top UK startup companies to watch in 2023
Unaric are a team of experienced founders who buy high-potential Salesforce ISVs and help them to scale. Launched in 2021 by James Gasteen, Moritz Birke, Neil Crawford and Peter Lindholm, they have already raised £27.7m in equity fundraising to continue development of their Salesforce vendors’ software.
This included private investment from angel investors such as Sam Gutmann, Dave Kellogg, Daniel Waterhouse, Sujay Tyle, Philipp Triebel, Patrick Aisher and German football star Mario Gotze. They have also completed one acquisition to date, of Salesbolt, in June 2023, with a goal of further expanding their operations through more acquisitions.
Iconic Data Centres, also trading as Dataqube Global, provide data storage services for their clients, boasting disruptive technology infrastructure to change the face of the data centre landscape. Their podular edge system can be deployed internally or externally within a six-month timeframe, providing a 50% reduction in cost compared to conventional systems.
With CEO Stephen Pass heading up the company, they have so far raised £22.1m in equity fundraising through RGreen Invest, with the aim of accelerating the commercialisation of their data centre. They have also received two grants to date through Innovate UK, worth a total of £248k. This company is currently at Seed stage.
This biotechnology company is focused on developing living cells, with the aim of manufacturing mRNA therapeutics and vaccines in a cost-efficient way. Based in Oxford Brookes University’s Headington Hill Campus, they have secured £3.4m in equity fundraising to date. This was a combined contribution, received through Amino Collective, BlueYard Capital, Civilization Ventures, Recode Health Ventures, YCombinator, Zaka and an angel investor.
While currently at Seed stage, this investment was aimed at helping them to develop their cell-based mRNA manufacturing platform as well as their technology.
Context.ai has developed an analytics platform that aims to measure product performance and understand user behaviour using AI chat interfaces. The company was founded by Henry Scott-Green and Alex Gamble, and was incorporated in May 2023.
To date, they have received £2.8m in equity fundraising, secured through 20SALES, Google Ventures, Theory Ventures and a private angel investor. This funding was aimed at growing their operations and engineering team, largely focusing on job creation.
Gradient Labs have developed an AI chatbot that aims to support businesses in their management of customer queries. Their aim is to resolve up to 80% of all queries, enabling companies to scale with minimal human staff.
The business was founded by Dimitri Masin and Neal Lathia, and although at the time of writing this article, it’s only around 4 months old, they have already secured £2.7m in equity fundraising. This was raised through undisclosed investors for a 21.6% stake in the business.
Libraro develops a blockchain based platform which seeks to disrupt the largely unchanged book publishing industry by connecting undiscovered authors with publishers and a community of readers.
The company was founded in January 2023 by Arsim Shillova and Arion Krasniqi, and has so far secured £2.0m in equity fundraising. This was secured through nChain for a 9.8% stake, allowing them to further develop their platform, with a focus on security, scale and intellectual property considerations.
Beyond Work has developed a platform that aims to ‘humanise’ software interaction through the utilisation of Large Language Models (LLMs). It was founded in March 2023 by Christian Lanng, previous CEO and later Chairman at Tradeshift.
To date, this company has received £2.0m in equity fundraising, secured through E14 Fund and Moonfire Ventures in July 2023. These funds were targeted at accelerating the development of their platform. This company is currently at Seed stage.
Martian Lawyers Club develops computer games with a focus on making them personalised for users, generating unique player experiences. They were founded in 2023 by Kamen Brestnichki and Levi Fussell.
To date, this company has secured £1.7m in equity fundraising, aimed at hiring more staff to help them build out their cloud infrastructure. This was invested through Dyhan Capital, Fly Ventures, System.One and a private angel investor.
This fully managed data streaming service provides robust guarantees and eliminates the need for message brokers, background workers, producers and consumers. It was founded in February 2023 by Luis P Galeas, who has a long history in software engineering, although this is first company.
Ambar received £1.6m in May 2023, in exchange for a 24% stake in the business. This was contributed through undisclosed investors. Their post-money valuation was £6.8m. This company is currently at seed stage.
Skyrisks operates a managing general agent that provides risk management and aircraft insurance services for Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) businesses. Their CEO is Alistair Blundy, with other directors including Thomas Chamberlain, Charles Norton-Smith, Neville Ching and Michael Coles.
They have completed two fundraising rounds to date, the first of which was in March 2023. This was an equity investment for £400k from Convex Insurance. The second was another equity investment for a 23.1% stake, through undisclosed investors.
How to find the most promising startups in 2023
This is just one list of some of the most exciting startups appearing in the UK in 2023—and it’s forever changing. As new companies are founded and new fundraisings are announced, companies will come and go.
If you want to stay ahead of the game and be the first to hear of new opportunities that reach the market, the BeauhurstInvest platform is the ideal tool for you. Our database gives you the ability to scan over the whole UK private market using specific search criteria, data sources and growth triggers, to create a list of ideal investment opportunities.
Our alert tools also mean that you’ll always be made aware of any new or emerging companies that fit into your segmentation. With a team of 60+ data analysts working with the latest machine learning models and data extraction tools, we provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive view of the UK market available.
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