Top 50 AI Startups and Scaleups in the UK 2021

| John Davis

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is about applying computer science—specifically through algorithms—to build machinery and software capable of completing complex tasks. For instance, tasks that require emotion, ‘human-like’ contextual problem-solving, or the use of real-time neural network analysis to recognise variables and relationships. Key applications of AI include facial recognition, self-driving cars, and AI assistants (such as chatbots). Important subsections of AI include deep learning and machine learning. 

Since 2011, AI has been a consistently top-performing sector in the United Kingdom. There are 1,412 high-growth AI startups and scaleups operating in the UK, which have collectively raised £19.6b of equity investment across 6,123 funding rounds, employ an estimated 23.8k people and generate £1.62b in reported turnover. 61% of these businesses are based in London. 

The use of this technology doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Instead, AI solutions span almost every discipline and sector that we track— from fintech, to mobile apps, healthcare and digital security. The leading application of AI is in Software-as-a-Service (saas), closely followed by analytics, insights, and tools.

Our data shows that 74% of artificial intelligence companies secure equity fundraising, which is slightly behind fintech’s rate of 88%, but above the UK average of 55%. 

We’ve decided to take a more comprehensive view of the top AI companies driving growth in the UK. We’ve profiled 50 high-growth companies that have each attracted at least £20m in investment—providing jobs, generating turnover, and creating innovative technology along the way. Let’s get started!

Top AI startups and scale-ups: 1 - 10

OneTrust logo

1. OneTrust

Total funds raised: £546m

OneTrust develops software that helps users to manage and secure their cybersecurity, privacy and third-party risk. More than 7,500 customers use the platform to comply with the world’s privacy and security laws. It is one of the UK’s leading unicorn companies. 

One trust has raised £546m across 3 rounds. All of their rounds have been megadeals (worth over £50m), with its most recent and largest round totalling an impressive £224m. Investors into the company include Insight Partners, Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), and Coatue Management. OneTrust has also acquired two companies, DataGuidance and Optanon, to integrate their privacy and security compliance technology into the OneTrust platform. 

The company is co-headquartered in London and Atlanta, with other key offices in locations such as Bangalore, San Francisco, Paris, Melbourne, New York, São Paulo, Munich, Hong Kong and Bangkok. It has over 7500 users, employing over 1300 people across the globe. Most recently, OneTrust appeared on The Regtech 100 high-growth listing of 2021. 

Graphcore company logo

2. Graphcore

Total funds raised: £528m

Bristol-based superstar Graphcore has grown from strength-to-strength since 2016, raising seven funding rounds and reaching unicorn status after just four years of trading. Graphcore is in the semiconductor processing chip industry, developing and manufacturing chips made specifically to accelerate artificial intelligence and machine learning tasks. 

Graphcore’s chips utilise Intelligence Process Unit (IPU) technology, with unique architecture that is designed specifically for large and complex machine learning tasks that were impossible using former technology. These chips house 1,472 separate IPU-Cores, capable of executing 8,832 separate parallel computing threads.

The chip-maker has raised the largest round of 2021 so far, totalling £162m from Baillie Gifford, Draper Esprit, Fidelity International, Schroders, and Teacher’s Innovation Platform (TIP). The company is also partnered with large technology companies such as Microsoft and Dell Technologies, supplying them with computer chips. 

Graphcore has over 400 employees in offices in Bristol, London, Cambridge, Oslo, Beijing, Hsinchu, Seoul, and across the US. As we mentioned in our Bristol ranking, the company is expected to IPO as early as 2020. 

Babylon company logo

3. Babylon

Total funds raised: £518m

Babylon has developed an app that enables a patient to book and conduct a remote video consultation with a GP and send prescriptions to their specified location. The app employs artificial intelligence, enabling patients to talk to a virtual nurse about symptoms. GPs can also consult patients virtually through the app rather than at a clinic. 

The company has secured £518m across three funding rounds, the majority of which was raised in 2019. Kinnevik, Munich Re’s Ergo Fund, Public Investment Fund, Vostok New Ventures invested a monumental amount of £454m into Babylon that year, which has helped to develop its R&D capabilities and support expansion into the US and Asia.

The company leads the market of app and AI-based healthcare, serving millions of members and over 170 global partners across four continents. Babylon services are now offered in partnership with the NHS, and in 2020 it partnered with Mount Sinai Health Partners in the US to provide virtual consultations for people insured through Medicaid.

BenevolentAI Logo

4. BenevolentAI

Total funds raised: £246m

BenevolentAI develops artificial intelligence and machine learning technology that aims to speed up scientific discovery through mass analysis of scientific data.

The company was the third British startup to ever achieve unicorn status, following Zoopla and JustEat. It has raised £246m across six rounds to date, with investment from Woodford Investment Management and Temasek.

BenevolentAI entered the Future 50 accelerator last year and is due to graduate in 2022.  It has recently appeared on several high-growth lists, including The London Tech 50 and the Alantra Pharma Fast 50, both in 2020. The company now has over 280 employees in London, Cambridge, and New York.

Darktrace Company Logo

5. Darktrace

Total funds raised: £173m

Darktrace has developed security software that identifies behavioural anomalies, alerting clients to potential security threats. Its software is deeply intertwined with AI-powered machine learning, and Darktrace was the first company to develop an AI system for cybersecurity purposes. It has released a number of additional technologies since its inception in 2013, such as Darktrace Antigena, an autonomous response technology that reacts to cyber-attacks in real-time.

The company has secured £173m across nine funding rounds from a long list of investors, including Hoxton Ventures, Insight Partners, Invoke Capital, Summit Partners, and TenEleven Ventures.

The University of Cambridge spinout has over 1300 employees with 44 offices globally. The company doubled its customer base in 2020, with solid growth across Asia Pacific. Darktrace attended the Future 50 accelerator in 2018 and has appeared on over 20 high-growth lists over the year, such as the Fast Track Tech 100 and FT 1000.

Thought Machine logo

6. Thought Machine

Total funds raised: £123m

Thought Machine  develops the retail banking software Vault which provides a cloud-based end-to-end operating system, enabling banks and financial providers to centrally manage a range of financial products.

It develops core banking platforms that can be used to run day-to-day operations, improving cost, speed, and adaptability compared to legacy systems. Much of the platform can be automated, too. The software is accessed through API and has a large artificial intelligence component. 

The company has secured £123m across six funding rounds, with investment contributed by Backed VC, Draper Esprit, IQ Capital Fund, Playfair Capital, British Patient Capital, Eurazeo, SEB Venture Capital, and Eurazeo. Its latest fundraising, raised in July 2020, valued the company at £221m pre-money.

Exscientia Logo

7. Exscientia

Total funds raised: £91.0m

Exscientia uses artificial intelligence to design millions of potential small molecule drugs. It then predicts their potency and effects, providing an indication of which molecules are most likely to make successful drugs. By focussing the analytical power of AI toward scientific data and clinical trials, the company accelerates discoveries and treatments.

Investors into the company include Novo Holdings, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Evotec, and GT Healthcare. It has also received two grants, totalling £4.31m. One grant came from Horizon 2020, and one from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—granted to develop new discoveries and leads for malaria and tuberculosis treatments, alongside non-hormonal contraception.

Exscientia is a University of Dundee spinout and featured on the Fast Track Tech 100 in 2020. In 2021, the company launched its first office in Miami as part of its continued expansion. The company now has offices in the UK, US, and Japan.

Feature Space logo

8. Featurespace

Total funds raised: £83.5m

Featurespace has developed analytics software that aims to profile online customer activity and predict future individual behaviour. It also aims to prevent and intercept online fraud and optimise marketing conversions in real-time. The company’s primary technology is a platform called Adaptive Behaviour Analytics, which discerns between real customers and fraudulent entities. 

Featurespace is a spinout from the University of Cambridge. It attended the prestigious Future Fifty Accelerator in 2018 and appeared on the Deloitte Fast 50 thrice, alongside a host of other high-growth lists, including the Fast Track Tech 100 in 2020.

The company has raised £83.5m across eight rounds, with backers including some of the UK’s leading spinout investors, such as IP Group. Other backers include local Cambridge investors like Cambridge Angels and Cambridge Capital Group, alongside some larger-scale firms like Insight Partners and Merian Chrysalis Investments.

ComplyAdvantage Logo

9. ComplyAdvantge

Total funds raised: £77.1m

ComplyAdvantage has created a cloud-based risk analysis platform. The software draws from a large database of financial crime information, flagging possible risks to companies in real-time. The company works particularly closely with banks, working to combat financial crime, such as money laundering and cases of financing terrorism. It also ensures compliance with regulations such as Sanctions, AML and CTF.

The company has attended two accelerators: the Future Fifty accelerator and AG Elevate accelerator. ComplyAdvantage has been named in numerous high growth lists, most recently the Deloitte Fast 50 in 2019 and the Fast Track Tech Track 100 in 2020.

Named investors into ComplyAdvanatage are Balderton Capital, Index Ventures, and Teacher’ Innovation Platform.

Roborace logo

10. Roborace

Total funds raised: £72.7m

Roborace organises motor racing championship for AI-powered, self-driving cars, all of which are electric. In December 2020 the company held its Season One Beta at Thruxton in the UK, live-streamed through popular platforms such as Twitch. Teams that raced in the tournament included Arrival Racing—powered by UK unicorn Arrival—MIT Driverless, and Carnegie-Mellon University. The hardware for each car is standardised, meaning that the only differentiator is the AI technology developed by each team.

The cars operate physically on the racing track, but also within a mixed ‘computer reality’, where obstacles and rewards are overlaid on the track virtually. The algorithms driving the cars must react to virtual obstacles and go out of their way to collect items—such as coins—which will add penalties or reduction to their overall racing time. This ensures variety in the races, as the AI algorithms developed by each team calculate the ‘cost’ of routes in real-time, working out the path of least resistance. 

Roborace is operating in stealth mode, raising all of its £72.7m funding from unannounced sources. 

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Top AI startups and scale-ups: 11 - 20

Partnerize Logo

11. Partnerize

Total funds raised: £72.1m

Partnerize  has developed software that aims to allow clients to track, manage and optimise their online advertising through pay-for-performance partnerships. The Partnerize platform allows you to manage partnerships with other brands and influencers—think of affiliate marketing—capturing the huge advertising industry of partner payments. 

Through Partnerize, companies organise commission rates, automate payments, detect partnership fraud, and view data insights. By reducing the need for manual intervention and clarifying data and spending around partnered advertising, it aims to optimise spend and improve ROI.

The company has raised £72.2m across 12 fundraising rounds from investors DN Capital, GP Bullhound Asset Management, Accel-KKR, Commercial Banking Loans, Greycroft Partners, and Mithril. It also secured one grant amounting to £97.2k from Innovate UK.

Partnerize is a 20% scale-up and has attended the Future 50 accelerator, along with making frequent appearances on high-growth lists like Deloitte Fast 50 and The Northern Tech 100. The company has over 1,800 clients that account for over $7b in annual sales and $600m in partner payments. Partnerize has over 200 employees working across the world, including London, Newcastle, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Sydney, and New York.

Quantexa Logo

12. Quantexa

Total funds raised: £71.7m

Quantexa is a cybersecurity firm that develops technology to secure organisations’ data and flag potential illegal activity. It works closely with industries that handle large volumes of data, such as banking, public sector, and e-commerce to create analytical models that uncover data risk, reveal opportunities, and enhance decision making.

The company has secured £71.7m of funding in total, with investment from AlbionVC, Dawn Capital, HSBC Enterprise Fund, ABN AMRO, Accenture, British Patient Capital, Evolution Equity Partners, and HSBC Innovation Investment. The bulk of this funding came from a £50.8m raise in July 2020, invested for the purpose of expanding into new markets.

Quantexa has attended both the Microsoft ScaleUp (London) accelerator and Tech Nation’s Future Fifty accelerator. It has also appeared on lists including the Telegraph Tech Hot 100, Fast Track Tech Track 100 in 2020, and the 2021 edition of The Regtech 100.

DivideBuy Logo

13. DivideBuy

Total funds raised: £63.0m

DivideBuy has built software that can be integrated into e-commerce checkouts, facilitating payment with lent credit options. Purchases up to £3,500 can be spent using credit, following a brief online credit check and agreement to repayment scheduling. 

The Newcastle-based company made headlines in 2020 for ranking first place in the Deloitte Fast 50, a spot that is usually taken by startups based in London. The company averaged a three-year revenue growth rate of 20,733% overall. 

The software works with leading platforms such as Shopify, WordPress, and WooCommerce, using machine learning to quickly assess applications, creditworthiness, and fraud. DivideBuy services over 600 retailers and employs just short of 50 people. It has raised £63m across five funding rounds to date, from investors such as Paragon Bank Business Finance, Shawbrook Business Finance, and Souter Investments.

Oxbotica Logo

14. Oxbotica

Total funds raised: £61.1m

Oxbotica develops software designed to power self-driving cars, with technology that uses features such as cameras and lasers to sense and navigate the surrounding environment. The company’s product draws heavily on AI and is deployed across sectors from mining and construction to general consumer.

Oxbotica was spun-out from the University of Oxford—the most active university for spinouts in the UK—in 2014 by professors Paul Newman and Ingmar Posner. Oxbotica led the first-ever fleet trial of autonomous vehicles in public London streets in 2019. It is still investing heavily in its product, and negotiated several partnerships in 2020—one with Navtech to collaborate on radar-based navigation and perception systems, and one with Cisco to pioneer the OpenRoaming platform.

The tech company has raised £17.8m across 13 rounds from investors BGF Growth Capital, BP Ventures, IP Group, University of Oxford Innovation Fund, Axa, Doxa, Halma, Hostplus, Tencent, and Venture Science. Oxbotica also secured £17.8m from 13 grants, granted exclusively from Innovate UK.

It has appeared on the 50 Game Changers high-growth list in both 2018 and 2020, and has over 150 employees to date.

Huma Logo

15. Huma

Total funds raised: £57.3m

Huma—previously trading as Medopad—develops a web-based portal that works with hospitals and healthcare professionals to contain, manage, and collect health records. This data is then accessible to patients through their mobiles. 

Alongside its main goal of managing health data, Huma also works on digital health insights and has developed wearable technology to detect digital biomarkers and assess health in real-time. Huma has been working with many organisations around the world—including the NHS—to monitor COVID-19 patients remotely with this solution.

The app contains a symptom tracker and a telemedicine feature, which allows clinicians to quickly speak to patients if and when they need to. 

The company has secured £57.3m in fundraising to date from investors Healthbox, Nexus Investments, Bayer, and NWS Holdings. Last year, the company acquired two businesses: BioBeats, stress and productivity biometric startup, and Tarilian, an optoelectronic sensor company that makes technology for measuring blood pressure and heart monitoring. Additionally, the company has attended three accelerators: the Sports Tech Hub, Healthbox London 2012, and the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator in 2020.

Healx Logo

16. Healx

Total funds raised: £53.3m

University of Cambridge spinout Healx develops web-research based software to help find potential treatments for rare diseases by matching them to existing compounds. Healx is a drug discovery company, similar to BenevolentAi and Exscientia, but focuses particularly on treatments for rare diseases.

The company has raised £53.3m across four fundraising rounds. The capital mainly comes from large venture capital investors: Amadeus Capital Partners, Atomico, Balderton Capital, Intel Capital, Btov, and Global Brain Corporation, as well as investment from Cambridge Angels. Its latest round, which totalled £43.9m in October 2019, valued the company at £133m pre-money.

Healx has ranked on numerous high-growth lists, including Tallt Disrupt 100 in 2017 and Britain’s Fasting Growing Businesses Top 100 in 2018 and 2019. It also attended the Future 50 accelerator in 2017. 

Cambridge Quantum Computing logo

17. Cambridge Quantum Computing

Total funds raised: £53.0m

Cambridge Quantum Computing has built a quantum computer operating system called “t|ket>”, which the company is currently working to commercialise and bring to market. The computer utilises algorithms run through the exponential computing processing of quantum to solve issues surrounding big data. It offers services to a wide variety of users, in sectors such as corporate and government.

The company has raised £53.0m across eight funding rounds and £152k from grants. Its most recent and largest round to date was for £33.6m on the 9th December, invested by Alvarium Investments, Honeywell Ventures, IBM, JSR Corporation, Serendipity Capital, and Talipot Holdings. The round valued the company at £226m pre-money, up 52% in valuation compared to its previous round.

Decibel Logo

18. Decibel

Total funds raised: £52.7m

Decibel provides businesses with software that analyses how consumers use and interact with the company’s websites and apps. It analyses data points collated by user journeys on-site, pinpointing where the digital experience is lacking through session replays, heat maps and more.

The company uses AI-driven algorithms to grant a ‘Digital Experience Score’, telling the client how they can improve and streamline their website for customers—aiming to improve engagement, conversion rate, and return rate.

Decibel has raised £52.7m in equity fundraising across three rounds. Its investors are Draper Esprit Eight Roads Ventures, Perwyn, and Ventureforgood.

In March 2020 it was announced that Decibel would be joining the Future Fifty Accelerator. This is the third accelerator it has attended, following Upscale and the Mayor’s International Business Programme. To date, it has worked with large household names like Lego, Adidas, and Sony.

Streetbees logo

19. Streetbees

Total funds raised: £51.1m

Streetbees is a platform that collects data through media submitted by online users. These users submit snippets of their everyday life in exchange for a small fee, either through photo, video, or message. Through large-scale machine learning analysis, this media is turned into analytics that can reveal trends and insights, allowing clients to better understand their customers. Clients can also commission Streetbees to ask users specific questions about brands, feelings, and actions.

The company terms itself as the ‘first human intelligence platform’, and has over 3.5m users signed up from 190 countries. It was featured on the Deloitte Fast 50 ranking last year and also worked with the NHS to assess the public’s mood during lockdown. Other top clients include Unilever, Pepsi Co, Sony, and Danone.The company has now raised £51.1m across eight rounds from Atomico, Lakestar, LocalGlobe, Octopus Ventures, JamJar Investments, and BGF Ventures. This included a £30.7m round late last year, which was one of the largest investments of Q4 2020.

Five logo

20. FiveAI

Total funds raised: £48.0m

FiveAI is developing artificial intelligence software to be used in autonomous-driving technology. It has completed its own self-driving technology, which has been tested on London public roads. Now, the company is looking to bring the technology to the public.

FiveAi has raised £48.0m from three funding rounds. Investors are as follows: Amadeus Capital Partners, Kindred Capital VC, Notion Capital, Direct Line Insurance Group, Lakestar, Sistema Venture Capital, Spring Partners, and Trustbridge Partners. It also won the grant project ‘Connected and autonomous vehicles‘, receiving a sizeable £9.95m to fund further development of autonomous personal mobility solutions.

Top AI startups and scale-ups: 21 - 30

Bizagi Logo

21. Bizagi

Total funds raised: £48.0m

Bizagi is a process automation platform, offering enterprise software designed to transform its clients into digital organisations. Its platform is used by organisations that handle a large volume of requests—like banks, insurance, and public sector organisations—to automate workflows such as insurance requests, disability claims, and compensation evaluation.

Bizagi has raised £48.0m from just one funding round, and from one investor: Invus, an evergreen equity investment fund with over $8b under management. This was invested in September 2017 to accelerate Buzagi’s growth into focus markets, the US and Europe. 

Today, the company has offices in the US, Spain, and Latin America, with over 430 employees. Corporations such as Adidas, BAE Systems, and Kaiser Permanente use the Bizagi platform to automate digital processes and connect their organisation.

ContractPodAI Logo

22. ContractPodAI

Total funds raised: £47.1m

ContractPodAI develops contract management software. It uses a blend of AI and machine learning to power legal contract management, reading, analysing, and interpreting the legal languagea and stipulations within—all through the cloud. The product is targeted toward law firms and corporations, to automate their contract processing and management.

ContractPodAi’s is scaling rapidly, and already saves time and labour for some of the world’s largest corporations, including as EY, Total Petroleum, and Bosch Siemens.

The company has raised £47.1m in total, which mainly came from a July 2019 equity investment of £44.3m. Investors are Crowdcube, Insight Partners, and Eagle Investment. In 2021, the company is looking to expand into the Asia Pacific region, and has made several C-Suite hires to support this. 

Eigen Technologies Logo

23. Eigen Technologies

Total funds raised: £46.0m

Eigen Technologies provides a document intelligence platform, utilising natural language processing to take the most important and required data from contacts and paperwork. It also makes structured profiles from the extracted information, so that key pieces and summaries can be read without having to go through long documents. 

The Eigen platform makes use of Natural Language Processing technology, able to parse and understand different documents, and become more efficient at recognising patterns over time.

Eigen Technologies has raised £46.0m from five funding rounds, backed by Dawn Capital, Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments, ING Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Lakestar, and Temasek. It has secured £46.0m in fundraising. The most recent was a £4.01m equity investment in March 2020, contributed entirely by ING Ventures. 

The company is currently attending the Future Fifty Accelerator until March 2020. In 2020 it featured on several key high-growth lists, including The Regtech 100 and The FinTech 50. It has over 150 employees in London and New York offices. 

Image of Tessian Logo

24. Tessian

Total funds raised: £44.4m

Tessian develops AI-powered software designed to detect phishing, unauthorised and misdirected emails, aiming to prevent cybersecurity threats. The software works specifically on email security to avoid human error, without disrupting workflow. By detecting unauthorised data sharing and flagging potential security threats, Tessian reduces operational risk and prevents data breaches for numerous clients across the financial services, law, and technology sectors.

Tessian has raised £44.4m in fundraisings from Accel, Amadeus Capital, Balderton Capital, Crane Ventures, LocalGlobe, Walking Ventures, Winton Investment, Latitude Investment, and Sequoia Capital. It also received a  £100k grant from the UK project for Artificial Intelligence Email Security.

The company has just over 150 employees and is actively expanding currently, with offices in London, Boston, and San Francisco.

Tractable Logo

25. Tractable

Total funds raised: £40.8m

Tractable develops AI software designed to analyse photos of accidents and disasters— from car accidents to natural disasters—so that data-based estimations for repair costs can be calculated. The idea is that, by increasing the speed of damage assessment, the next steps of rebuilding and settling claims can be that much quicker. 

Tractable estimates that AI could power responses that are 10x faster than traditional services. Initially, the company is focussing on damages to automobiles. It is working with leading insurers across the world—such as Admiral and Ageas—to provide damage assessments. 

The company has raised £40.8m across four funding rounds, from Insight Partners, Acequia Capital, Entrepreneurs First,  Georgian Partners, Ignition Partners, Plug and Play Tech Center, and Zetta Venture Partners. Tractable is headquartered in Islington, with offices in New York City and Tokyo and around 170 full-time employees.

Signal AI logo

26. Signal AI

Total funds raised: £39.4m

Signal AI is a media monitoring solution that uses algorithms to get the most valuable, tailored news and information to its respective clients. Other use cases for Signal AI include reputation management, spotting PR opportunities, regulatory compliance, and market intelligence. 

Its software monitors and analyses millions of information sources online, crawling the web and social media, and then filtering and disseminating the most crucial parts. Large-scale customers such as Deloitte, Experian, and TalkTalk use Signal AI to stay on top of news in their sector without wasting time. 

The company has raised £39.4m across five rounds in total, with investment from Frontline Ventures, GMG Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Kreos Capital, LocalGlobe, MMC Ventures, Redline Capital, REV, and Scale-Up Fund.

To date, Signal Ai has over 170 employees across offices in London, New York, and Hong Kong. It has attended a couple of accelerators: the PwC Scale Programme and Fintech Innovation Lab London.

Envisics logo

27. Envisics

Total funds raised: £38.8m

Envisics develops Dynamic Holography technology, that overlays information through augmented reality onto HUDs (head-up displays) in vehicles. This grants the driver key, real-time information—think navigation, stopping distance, and hazard warnings.  

The company raised equity investment for the first time in 2020, an impressive first time-round of £38.8m from General Motors Ventures, Hyundai, SAIC Capital, and Van Tuyl Companies. The investors intend to employ Envisics’ holographic tech in the next generation of vehicles. 

Envisics now has over 60 employees, all based in its Milton Keynes office. It is currently working on developing its technology and preparing to scale, with the production of the vehicles forecast for 2023.

Secondmind Logo

28. Secondmind

Total funds raised: £38.7m

Secondmind develops machine learning algorithms that improve the decision-making of their artificial intelligence robots, used in applications such as smart-city simulations and games. The company was founded in 2016 and is created by a team of researchers, data scientists, and machine learning engineers to improve decision making through the application of artificial intelligence

The company’s platform is called Secondmind Decision Engine. It can predict, plan, influence outcomes, manage risk, and make complex decisions. For example, one application of Secondmind platform would be using it to forecast demand, implement dynamic pricing, and optimise inventory stock levels. Essentially, the platform uses big data, AI, and visualisations to optimise business decisions.

It is employed across a variety of sectors such as supply chain management and the automotive industry with well-known clients including Mazda, Brambles, and Keuhne+Nagel.

Secondmind has raised £38.7m across five funding rounds. This capital was invested by a long list of varied investors: Amadeus Capital, Atlantic Bridge, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Passion Capital, Reefknot Investments, Mandatum Life, RB Capital, SGInnovate, and Tencent.

Cytora logo

29. Cytora

Total funds raised: £36.8m

Cytora has developed a platform to power commercial insurance and underwriting. The Cyrora platform crawls the web for information, collating data and building risk profiles for insurance sectors and locations. For example, it analyses mentions of natural disasters and fires, to determine where risk areas are. This ultimately means that the company can provide underwriters with a better, more data-driven view of insurable assets, determining revenue loss and risks.

Essentially, Cytora uses data to inform insurance—using data to identify loss trends, locate where risk is distributed by location and sector, and in turn optimise and inform underwriting, risk selection, and pricing.

The company has raised £36.8m in equity investment through six rounds. Its primary investors are Cambridge Innovation Capital, Parkwalk Opportunities EIS Fund, The University of Cambridge Enterprise Fund, University of Cambridge Seed Funds, and Starr Investment. 

Founded and spun-out from the University of Cambridge in 2014, the Insurtech works with leading global insurers such as Starr Insurance and AXA XL. The company has attended many accelerators: Mayor’s International Business Programme, Future Fifty, Accelerate, Fintech Innovation Lab, and MassChallenge UK. It has also appeared on a number of high-growth lists, such as The Insurtech Impact 25 in 2018 and Britain’s Fastest-Growing Businesses in 2019. 

Patsnap logo

30. Patsnap

Total funds raised: £35.4m

Patsnap has created a web-based platform that aids clients in assessing intellectual property patents. Through the platform, one can access patent expiry dates, licensing, renewal, and legal information.

Patsnap is powered by AI algorithms that parse patents and IP to extract critical information and cross-match them. It can even analyse more complex documents, like clinical trials, chemical structures patents, and litigation records. It then translates them into insights that users extract in seconds rather than poring over everything first-hand.

The company has over 8,000 customers—including the likes of Tesla, Dyson, and NASA—in over 40 countries.

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Top AI startups and scale-ups: 31 - 40

Ripjar Logo

31. Ripjar

Total funds raised: £34.7m

Ripjar develops software for large-scale data analysis. It was built by a team of data scientists, analysts, and technologists, with co-founders Jeremy Annis and Tom Griffin previously working at the GCHQ. The platform aims to improve risk screening, bolster cybersecurity, and to prevent financial crime.

Ripjar’s primary offering is called Labyrinth, which uses natural language processing to analyse and monitor clients’ data and activity. It can flag fraudulent transactions and expose high-risk individuals (such as politically exposed persons) or organisations (such as those associated with financial crime or terrorism).

The company has raised £34.7m in funding across three rounds from investors Winton Investment Management, Accenture, and Long Ridge Equity Partners. Its most recent investment, in September 2020, was invested to help Ripjar expand its customer base and further develop its platform.

Ripjar had its biggest year for revenue so far in 2020, owing to increases in remote working and digitalisation throughout COVID-19. It has around 20,000 clients across the globe, and just over 60 employees so far. The company has attended Cylon and Fintech Innovation Lab accelerators in London.

Realeyes logo

32. Realeyes

Total funds raised: £34.5m

Realeyes develops facial recognition software which collects and analyses customers’ expressions, providing feedback on their response to online advertising. The company uses computer vision and artificial intelligence to pinpoint where digital experience can be optimised, ultimately aiming to create customer experiences that drive growth and conversions.

The company is a spinout from the University of Oxford. It works with some of the largest global brands, such as eBay, AT&T, and Coca-Cola, to help them optimise their advertising. Along with working with big brands, it also works with leading advertising agencies to maximise creative performance and results through emotion-driven AI. Users can implement A/B testing, watch real-time emotional engagement of their content, and monitor and improve campaign effectiveness.

Realeyes has raised £34.5m across eight equity rounds, drawing interest from a long list of investors: Draper Esprit, Bellusega, Global Brain Corporation, Karma Ventures, Mobile Internet Capital, Smart Cap, Harbert European Growth Capital, and The Entrepreneurs Fund. it has also received two grants totalling £424k—one from the European Regional Development Fund, and one from the Correct and Efficient Accelerator Programming project.

The company has appeared on numerous high-growth lists over the years, including the Deloitte Fast 50 twice and the FT 1000 once. It has just over 70 employees to date with offices in London, New York, Tokyo, and Budapest.

Harbr Logo

33. Harbr

Total funds raised: £34.3m

Harbr develops an internet-based platform designed to make big data more accessible. It is a data exchange platform, which means that it helps companies tap into data that another organisation owns for analytics and business intelligence. It secures and organises the data into an accessible format, preparing it for exchange between enterprises (or just for sharing data between internal departments in a safe, structured way). 

Harbr can also help organisations commercialise and sell their data and to unlock data-driven business opportunities—think of branded data analysis and collaboration as a paid service. Additionally, the platform has many visualisation and granular analytics tools, so that companies can extract value and better understand the data they have.

The company has raised £34.3m across three fundraising rounds. Investors are Dawn Capital, Backed VC, Crane Ventures, Seedcamp, BoldStart Ventures, and Tiger Global Management. The company is relatively young, being founded in 2017, and received its first equity investment just six months after exiting stealth mode. It will use its recent fundraising to continue hiring, reach more enterprise customers, and invest in R&D. 

Harbr is headquartered in Hackney and is currently expanding, with just under 60 employees. 

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34. Healthily

Total funds raised: £33.7m

Healthily has created a health assistant app that allows the user to diagnose health issues by inputting details such as symptoms and age. Similarly to Babylon, the Healthily app utilises artificial intelligence to dynamically check symptoms against health conditions, helping patients to suggest whether a visit to the doctor is necessary. It does not aim to diagnose patients, but rather to let me know whether an appointment is the required course of action.

The healthcare company has raised £33.7m in total, contributed by investors Smedvig Capital, Orkla Ventures, and Reckitt Benckiser. The most recent investment totalled £22.7m, invested entirely by global health company Reckitt Benckiser. 

The company saw a 350% increase in usage throughout 2020, largely owing to its COVID-19 symptom-checking tool. It has over 100 employees and it partnered with large UK research organisations, such as Imperial College London, the Royal College of General Practitioners, and the NHS.

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35. Velocity

Total funds raised: £32.8m

Velocity has developed a luxury lifestyle app. It makes recommendations—such as for restaurants and venues—that users can book and pay for services through their mobile. Clients receive personalised recommendations based on previous purchases, with the app underpinned by AI and machine learning algorithms that become more tailored and precise over time. It also offers a range of features for members, such as 24/7 live chat and guaranteed upgrades at specified resorts. Users can sign up to their waiting list here.

The company has secured £32.8m from seven funding rounds. Investors are DIG Investments, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Spark Capital. Additionally, Velocity has acquired three companies over the years: Uncover, Tab, and Cover Inc. Uncover was an app that allowed users to purchase cancelled reservations across London; Tab was a restaurant ordering and payment mobile app; Cover was a restaurant payment app. By acquiring these companies, Velocity has consolidated their expertise and technology into their own platform.

The company has appeared on a number of high-growth lists, most notably ranking 12th on the Deloitte Fast 50 in 2020, achieving a 3,107% growth rate. Velocity has offices in London, New York, LA and Miami, and offers experiences all across the world. It has around 50 employees to date.

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36. Concirrus

Total funds raised: £31.6m

Concirrus develops Quest, an analytical software that uses real-time behavioural data to provide risk assessments for insurance providers and markets. The company operates in the insurance industry, and specifically with marine and commercial automotive insurance companies. Quest uses big data and machine learning to analyse datasets, helping insurers to assess risk, reduce loss, and provide better services.

The company has raised £31.6m across six funding rounds from investors AlbionVC, Eos Venture Partners, IQ Capital Fund, Touchstone Innovations, and CommerzVentures. Its latest fundraising totalled £4.80m in exchange for a 5.7% stake, valuing the company at £48.6m. The company has also secured three grants totalling £596k, awarded by Horizon and Innovate UK.

The company is currently focussing on expanding internationally, broadening its product offering, and diversifying across multiple business sectors. It has just over 100 employees to date with offices in London and Delhi. 

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37. LoopMe

Total funds raised: £30.7m

LoopMe sells Whitelabel adtech software. This means that clients can purchase LoopMe’s technology as an unbranded product and use it in their own apps and services. The platform works by monetising mobile apps; LoopMe powers more effective advertisement delivery through artificial intelligence and data analytics, aiming to increase conversions and optimise campaigns for results. 

LoopMe adapts to data in real-time, ensuring that the ads shown to users are in line with supply and demand and stay targeted. The technology also facilitates advertising insights and analytics. Additionally, the AI software can be integrated with various forms of advertising, such as podcasts, smart TV, and mobile. 

Investors Ballpark Ventures, BGF Growth Capital, Harbert European Growth Capital, Open Ocean, Holtzbrinck Ventures, and Impulse VC have invested a total of £30.7m into the company across seven funding rounds.

The company has been scaling quickly, appearing on high-growth lists such on the Deloitte Fast 50 in 2017 and 2018, alongside others like 1000 companies to inspire Britain in 2019. 

LoopMe is headquartered in Camden, and also has 11 global offices across countries such as the US, Canada, Singapore, and Ukraine. It has over 220 employees to date.

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38. Thread

Total funds raised: £29.4m

Thread operates a fashion stylist service that uses a combination of algorithms and human stylists to recommend outfits. It also allows consumers to purchase items. It uses a combination of AI-powered technology and a team of in-house stylists to curate clothing recommendations for men. Users complete a style quiz and are then paired with a human stylist to filter and return a list of appropriate items. Users can filter by style, size, and budget—plus the algorithm learns from purchases and makes more specific recommendations.

The company has raised £29.4m across five funding rounds between 2014-2018. Investors are Balderton Capital, Beringea, Crowdcube, Forward Partners, H&M CO:LAB, and YCombinator.

Thread has attended the Future Fifty accelerator and the Upscale Accelerator, along with ranking on the Fast Track tech Track 100 high-growth list in 2018 and 2019. The platform has partnered with hundreds of brands, including Hugo Boss and Levi’s. To date, it has around 110 employees and over one million users.

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39. SafeToNet

Total funds raised: £29.0m

SafeToNet develops software that aims to prevent children from being harmed online, particularly by detecting changes in online activity. The digital safeguarding startup uses patented, AI-driven technology to analyse text and language, looking for signs of cyberbullying, grooming, and abuse. By analysing these behaviours, it can offer parents and children advice and alerts in real-time. The software is also available as a mobile app.

SafeToNet has raised £29.0m across eight funding rounds. Its named investors are crowdfunding platform Seedrs, and venture capital firms West Hill Capital and DuKlaw Ventures.

The company has attended the ELITE and Wayra London accelerators, in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Also, the company has acquired two startups: Visr, a Canadian online psychological analytics company, and Content Watch, a US-based online content-filtering software company. SafeToNet just recently reached 40 employees, who all work in its Westminster office. 

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40. Ravelin

Total funds raised: £28.5m

Ravelin has developed fraud prevention software, which processes transaction data from businesses and uses machine-learning to help them identify fraud attempts. it is used by customers such as, Deliveroo, and JustEat to accept and authenticate payments, block fraudulent orders, and automate security processes (such as account security and promotion code abuse).

Ravelin has secured £28.5m of equity fundraising through six rounds. Investors are Amadeus Capital, Draper Esprit, Passion Capital, Playfair Capital, Barclays, and Blackfin. It raised its most recent and largest investment in July 2020: £15.9m in exchange for a 19.7% stake.

The company has attended two accelerators: Barclays Accelerator (powered by Techstars), and the Mayor’s International Business Programme accelerator. It has also placed on various lists, such as the Startups 100 and Top Britain’s Fastest-Growing Businesses—both in 2019. Ravelin has just under 90 employees working in offices in London and New York, serving clients in 185 countries.

Top AI startups and scale-ups: 41 - 50

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41. Pupil

Total funds raised: £28.1m

Pupil develops software which reconstructs 3D, real-word spaces digitally which can then be used to provide more accurate information for asset management and those with an interest in real estate. By documenting reality in 3D, the platform allows. The platform is cloud-native and is powered by Amazon Web Services.

Around 10 million square feet of real estate has been captured using the ai-driven software. Some use-cases of Pupil include: creating marketing assets, visualising design for architects and engineers, and providing hyper-accurate digital assets.

Pupil has raised £28.1m across four funding rounds. The company’s only named investor is City Development Limited. It has also secured two grants in 2019 and 2020, totalling £338k from Innovate UK.

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42. Beamery

Total funds raised: £26.7m

Beamery is a talent platform. It develops recruitment software that enables companies to actively search for, connect, and communicate with potential employees. The Beamery platform works as an all-in-one package for the talent hiring journey, with clients able to post roles, view available talent, arrange interviews and offer roles.

The company has raised £26.7m across four funding rounds. Investors include Edenred Capital Partners, Index Ventures, LocalGlobe, Microsoft Ventures, AngelPad, EQT Ventures, GP Ventures, Grupa Pracuj, and Workday Ventures.

Based out of Hackney and founded in 2012, it is currently in attendance at the Future Fifty Accelerator, and graduated from the Upscale accelerator in 2018. In 2020, the company ranked in tenth place on the Deloitte Fast 50 list, having grown its revenue at an impressive rate of 3,541% over the past four years. 

Beamery has offices in London, San Francisco, and Austin, with over 180 employees. The company achieved a record quarter in Q2 2020 during COVID-19, following accelerated and amplified digital transformation of recruitment and remote working.

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43. Chip

Total funds raised: £26.0m

Chip has developed a savings account app that connects to current accounts and uses AI to determine how much users can afford to save, automatically putting this amount aside. One of Chip’s USPs is offering competitive interest rates on savings, with Chip continually working with banks on the clients’ behalf to negotiate better rates.

Founded in 2016 and based in London, Chip has raised £26.0m to date across six funding rounds—almost exclusively from crowdfunding campaigns on Crowdcube. Its most recent investment was in September 2020, when Chip secured a £10.7m equity and loan fundraising via Crowdcube and the government’s Future Fund. The Crowdcube campaign reached its target after just an hour.

Chip has automated £150m over 300,000 customers so far. The company now has just over 100 employees.

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44. ZOE

Total funds raised: £25.3m

ZOE is a nutrition and personal health startup. It utilises machine learning to provide users with personalised dietary recommendations, based on their biological data, taking both the genome and microbiome of the individual into account.

Users are sent out home tests which determine the presence of certain gut microbiomes and blood sugar responses. Users then use the ZOE app to track and understand the right foods for them. It aims to improve mood and wellbeing by making recommendations that eliminate food-driven inflammation and improve gut health.

Last year, the startup helped the NHS and other healthcare services to understand the effects and spread of COVID-19. ZOE launched a COVID Symptom Study to over 4.5m users to gather data on COVID-19, using algorithms to predict hotspots, analysing the link between nutrition and the virus, and identifying lesser known symptoms. 

The company has raised £25.3m across three funding rounds. It is operating entirely in stealth mode, with all investors remaining undisclosed. Since 2017 the team has grown from five people to over 60 employees, with offices in London and Boston. 

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45. Metail

Total funds raised: £24.3m

Metail  has developed 3D clothing software, which can be used in online fitting rooms to allow users to try on clothes virtually. It can also integrate with other retailers‘ websites. The augmented reality try-before-you-buy solution allows customers to shop online with more confidence, with Metail claiming 94-96% accuracy calculating clothing size through 3D modelling. 

Alongside use in virtual fitting rooms, brands can also use the 3D software to model their clothing internally and approve design and fit changes without physical samples being shipped across the world. In doing so, Metail aims to use digital modelling and visualisation to streamline product development, create marketing assets, and enhance selling capabilities. 

It has raised £24.3m across seven fundraising rounds, with named investors New World Private Equity and TAL Apparel contributing the bulk of funding. It has also won £1.12m through seven grants, each awarded by Innovate UK.

Metail has attended three accelerators: Upscale, Microsoft ScaleUp, and the Business Growth Programme. It also appeared on the Createch Ones to Watch high-growth list in 2019. The company has around 20 employees with offices in London, Cambridge, and Singapore.  

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46. WeFarm

Total funds raised: £24.2m

WeFarm develops technology that allows farmers in the developing world to access farming information from their mobile phones. WeFarm functions as a marketplace and networking community, primarily for small-scale farmers. One of its unique offerings is that WeFarm can be accessed without internet connection, through SMS instead. Farmers can access local suppliers, sell their excess harvest, and ask for advice. 

The company has attended the Upscale accelerator, Wayra London Accelerator, and the “Go to Grow” Urban Infrastructure Business Programme. It has also ranked on various high-growth lists over the years, such as the Tallt Disrupt 100, and the Start-Up 101. 

WeFarm is being picked up quicker in developing countries, where small-scale farming is much more common. To date, over two million small-scale farmers, retailers, and brands have signed up to WeFarm.

WeFarm has raised £24.2m in equity investment, invested by LocalGlobe, AgFunder, Accelerated Digital Ventures, June Fund, Norrsken Foundation, and True Ventures. 

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47. DigitalGenius

Total funds raised: £23.8m

DigitalGenius develops customer AI service chatbots using machine learning to integrate with existing messaging applications and CRM software. It also develops Fingenius, a speech recognition software for banks that allows customers to ask questions vocally or by text, and can be used in a variety of ways such as through ATMs, live chat, or mobile apps

The company uses deep learning to understand conversations and automatically send appropriate messages, and automate parts of customer support in a way that understands customer objectives and how to resolve them. It can connect with backend systems to carry out tasks with complexity, such as approving and processing refunds. DigitalGenius aims to increase customer satisfaction scores while reducing operational costs.

The company has raised £23.8m across five funding rounds from an extensive list of investors. This includes Global Founders Capital, Lumia Capital, MMC Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, and Lowercase Capital.

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48. EverLedger

Total funds raised: £23.5m

Everledger develops technology to facilitate transparent trade of assets and information on high-value products such as diamonds, jewellery, wine and art. The platform can be used to buy and search for assets, connect with brands and partners, and sell assets securely. Everledger requires sellers to display evidence of quality and compliance to industry standards. It is, essentially, a more secure and verifiable marketplace for trading high-value assets.

The company uses a combination of technologies for security and efficiency, such as blockchain, AI, and IoT, aiming to bring more clarity, transparency, and confidence to the marketplace of high-value goods. Sellers can prove the provenance of their items with digital certificates and exchange receipts, information about the characteristics, and ownership of assets, and even earn badges for trust markers such as Environmental Compliance and Chain of Custody.

Everledger has secured £23.5m from three funding rounds. Investors are follows: BBVA, Bloomberg Beta, Fenbushi, Fidelity Investments, FuturePerfect Ventures, GMP Securities, Graphene Ventures, Rakuten, and Tencent.

The company is used by top organisations such as The World Economic Forum, Tencent, and Moyo Gems. It has around 70 employees to date. 

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49. Kheiron Medical

Total funds raised: £23.4m

Kheiron Medical develops machine learning based medical imaging tools for the medical sector, specifically radiology and imaging centres. Its primary mission is to aid doctors and radiologists to detect breast cancers earlier through deep learning technology. More technically, Kheiron Medical helps medical professionals locate malignancies in mammograms faster and with greater accuracy. It’s software, Mia, received European regulatory clearance in 2018, having demonstrated state-of-the-art performance in an independent, multi-centre clinical study in Europe.

The company has raised £23.4m across six equity fundraisings, from investors Atomico, Connect Ventures, Hoxton Ventures, Entrepreneur First, Exor Seeds, and Greycroft Partners. Additionally, Innovate UK has awarded seven grants to Kheiron Medical, totalling £1.59m.

The technology company has attended the Entrepreneur First and Upscale accelerators in 2016 and 2020 respectively, and has just over 60 employees to date. logo


Total funds raised: £22.6m uses AI technology and developers to help clients build their own software products without requiring in-depth technology knowledge. It allows users to turn ideas into specialised mobile apps, websites, and other technologies (such as wearables) using their proprietary software builder. It offers completely pre-packaged apps, too, aimed towards e-commerce businesses.

The company also provides cloud computing services, claiming to have saved customers over $4.5m in cloud spending in 2020. Builder Ai is partnered with a number of top organisations, such as AWS and Microsoft Cloud to provide cloud solutions to its clients. has secured £22.6m in fundraising, which was raised in just one round. Deepcore, Jungle Ventures, and Lakestar made the investment in November 2018. This was one of Europe’s largest ever Series A funding rounds at the time.

Today, the company has just under 250 employees so far, with offices in London, San Francisco, and Gurgaon, India.

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