The Deloitte Fast 50 Winners | 2020

| Ryley Charlwood

Category: Uncategorized

In case you missed it, we recently hand-picked some of the 2018 Deloitte Fast 50 winners to answer the question: where are they now? This  week, we’re back with the freshly-released Technology Fast 50 ranking of 2020.

This is Deloitte’s 23rd year of ranking the country’s fastest-growing technology companies. The listing works by looking at company revenue data from the past four years and extracting the average three-year growth rate. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 10 winners of 2020, tell you exactly what each company does, look at their investment history, and consider some key factors behind the companies’ meteoric growth.

Key statistics on the 2020 cohort

Out of the 50 companies on this years list, 24% are fintech companies. Fintech is even more heavily-represented in the upper bracket, taking four of the top ten spots. Additionally, 46% of companies fall into the “software” category. 

78% of the winners are headquartered in London—which is up from 68% in 2019, implying that London’s dominance of the high-growth tech space is growing, rather than shrinking.

The 2020 cohort collectively employs over 10,400 employees, and averages a revenue growth rate of 2,898%. The cohort generates a total revenue of over £2.2b, as per 2019/2020 financials.

Impact of COVID-19 

Entrants to Fast 50 this year were required to submit account periods ending between June 2019 and May 2020, so the average growth rate will only reflect the initial impact of COVID-19, if at all.

However, in light of this year’s exceptional circumstances, Deloitte surveyed all Fast 50 entrants to assess the impact of COVID-19 on business operations. The results are as follows:

  • 95% of Fast 50 entrants made at least one change to their business as a result of the pandemic
  • 14% made changes to their underlying business model—over half of which expected business model changes to be permanent.
  • Companies surveyed ranked the most important factors that enabled their overall response to the pandemic: 75% cited remote working provisions, 70% the ability to quickly make decisions, and 70% the ability to serve customers through digital channels. 

Duncan Down, the lead partner of Deloitte’s UK Technology Fast 50 project, commented: “the impact of COVID-19 will continue to test businesses of all sizes for months to come, but those that act with agility and adaptability are most likely to achieve resilience, survive and thrive.” Duncan continued this positive outlook, remarking that the “impact of COVID-19 has accelerated transformation across the sector”, commending how growth in remote working has enabled recruitment in more varied regions. 

The Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 top 10 of 2020:

1. DivideBuy

Founded: 2012
Location: Newcastle-under-Lyme
Growth rate: 20,733%
Total funds raised: £63m

DivideBuy logo

This year’s winner of the Deloitte Fast 50 is DivideBuy, a company which develops web-based software that provides a credit lending service for retail businesses. The company’s credit payment technology allows users to checkout using credit at point of sale, integrating with shopping cart functions such as WooCommerce and Shopify.

Newcastle-under-Lyme-based DivideBuy is the only company in the top ten based outside of London. The company has now featured on the Deloitte Fast 50 list twice, placing third in 2019. Founded by Robert Flowers and Max Thowless-Reeves in 2012, this fast-growing fintech has grown at a rate of 20,733% over the past four years. 

DivideBuy works with over 500 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. 

2. Bulb

Founded: 2014
Location: City of London
Growth rate: 14,288%
Total funds raised: £65.3m

Bulb supplies energy to businesses and households, focussing on renewable sources of electricity and carbon neutral gas. The company, which operates out of the City of London, has grown at a rate of 14,288%. 

Founded in 2014, Bulb has been a startup success story from the beginning. It’s appeared on multiple high-growth lists, particularly since 2017—the London Tech 50, Startup 100, and Britain’s Fastest-Growing Businesses Top 100—along with attending prestigious accelerators such as Upscale and Future Fifty in 2017 and 2019 respectively. We featured Bulb in our unicorn report as a “soonicorn”—commenting on how the company grew from a £1.4m valuation in 2016 to £351m 2018—and anticipate that it is now worth well over $1b. 

In total, Bulb has raised £65.3m in investment across six rounds. Top investors have been Clearly Social Angels, JamJar Investments, Digital Sky Technologies, and Magnetar. 

In recent news, the company has announced the UK’s first 100% green smart pay-as-you-go meter, has entered into a renewable energy partnership with Nottingham Forest, and has announced plans to supply 100m households with energy by 2030. Bulb now has over 900 employees.

3. Popsa

Founded: 2015
Location: Kingston upon Thames
Growth rate: 10,576%
Total funds raised: £3.43m

Popsa company logo

Popsa develops an app that lets you design a photo album digitally on your phone and have it delivered to you in print. Founded in 2015 and operating out of Kingston upon Thames, the company has grown at a rate of 10,576% over the last four years.

The Popsa app is available in 10 languages and over 50 countries across the world. It’s most popular in the UK, Germany, and Italy—but is looking to expand into wider markets moving forward. So far, it has just under 50 employees.

Popsa’s unique offering is using proprietary AI technology—machine learning algorithms piece together the most appropriate photobook layouts for customers in an instant, while ensuring that photos are added in the right date, location, and order according to metadata. Plus, AI recognition means no cropped-out faces.

The company has raised £3.43m across three rounds to date. Investors include Guinness EIS Fund and Pembroke VCT.

4. Revolut

Founded: 2013
Location: Kingston upon Thames
Growth rate: 6,786%
Total funds raised: £690m

Revolut company logo

Digital-first challenger bank Revolut was founded in 2013 and has grown at a rate of 6,786% over the past four years. Through its mobile app, users can trade cryptocurrency, track and send money, and complete a range of other financial services. This is its second time topping Deloitte’s Fast 50, placing first in the ranking last year. 

Revolut has raised a total of £690m across nine rounds, backed by an extensive list of investors: Balderton Capital, Crowdcube, Draper Esprit, Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Seedcamp, Seedrs, Technology Crossover Ventures, Venrex Investment Management, Digital Sky Technologies, Point Nine Capital, Springs Capital, TriplePoint Capital, and TSG Consumer Partners. The company reached unicorn status in April 2018. 

Revolut now has over 2000 employees, with offices in London, Russia, North America, Australia, Singapore and Singapore—plus, many more dotted across European capitals. This year, the company added a premium version of its services, launched in Japan, and celebrated 500,000 customers.

5. iProov

Founded: 2011
Location: Lambeth
Growth rate: 6,351%
Total funds raised: £6.36m

iProov company logo

iProov has developed advanced biometric technology and software that is designed to streamline and secure user authentication, mainly through facial verification. It’s used for user authentication in industries such as banking, healthcare, enterprise access management, and border control. The company’s software has many patented verification technologies, such “Flashmark”—a process that flashes a certain sequence of colours onto a person’s face, confirming the real-time authenticity of users requesting access.  

Lambeth-based iProov was founded in 2011 and has grown at 6,351% over the past four years. The company has raised £6.36m across four rounds, and also received £2.67m through 20 grants (primarily from Innovate UK). It has attended two accelerators—the Tech Nation Cyber and the Microsoft London Scaleup—plus joined The Regtech 100 high-growth list in 2020. 

iProov has partnered with many organisations in recent months. It now provides facial authentication for the NHS and users of its app, works with Singapore’s government to implement facial verification access to digital governmental services, and is used by RegTech company NorthRow for onboarding and compliance purposes.

iProov has been expanding internationally throughout 2020, accelerated by many essential services moving online in response to social distancing measures. Earlier this year, the company opened its first North American headquarters in Maryland, US. iProov now has over 60 employees, with offices in London, the US and Singapore.

6. Landbay

Founded: 2013
Location: Westminster
Growth rate: 5,520%
Total funds raised: £17.4m

Landbay logo

Landbay develops an online marketplace for buy-to-let mortgages designed for borrowers, brokers, and investors. This fintech startup has achieved a 5,520% growth rate over four years. Landbay is a FCA-regulated mortgage lender and has lent over £600m to date, funding over 2500 mortgages.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Westminster, Landbay has raised £17.4m across 17 funding rounds. Major investments have come from crowdfunding platforms Crowcube and Seedrs, along with institutional investors Omni Partners and Zoopla Property Group. 

The company is currently in attendance at the Future Fifty accelerator, and has featured on numerous high-growth lists over the years—this is the company’s third year running on Deloitte’s Fast 50 list.

Landbay has continued to offer its services throughout COVID-19 restrictions, citing “significant investment in technology” as the reason it has had little to no disruption to working practices. This, plus the temporary reduction in stamp duty, has spelled a successful year for the company.

7. Moneybox

Founded: 2015
Location: Southwark
Growth rate: 5,270%
Total funds raised: £54.5m

Moneybox company logo

Moneybox is a mobile app that provides easy access to shares and savings ISAs.  It secured the seventh spot by growing at a rate of 5,270% over the past four years.  

Moneybox has raised £54.5m across five funding rounds. Investors include Crowdcube, Eight Roads Ventures, Oxford Capital, Samos Investments, Breega Capital, Open CNP, and Perscitus LLP. The company raised £37m of this in 2020 alone—Moneybox had to close its July crowdfunding campaign a month early, reaching its £7m upper limit in two days.

This year the company has been further expanding its offerings, launching a personal pension saving service and a “pension detective” service which tracks down old pension pots. The company has over 400,000 customers to date with over 150 employees. 

8. Patch

Founded: 2015
Location: Wandsworth
Growth rate: 4,499%
Total funds raised: £9.36m

Patch company log

Patch delivers plants to customers, as well as helping  set them up and offering personalised gardening tips. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Wandsworth, this is the company’s first appearance on the Deloitte Fast 50 ranking. It has grown at  a rate of 4,499% over the past four years. 

The company has raised £9.36m across six rounds. Investors include Crowdcube, Forward Partners, and London Co-Investment Fund.

Patch attended the Upscale accelerator in 2019, and has appeared on the Startups 100 high-growth list four years in a row. To date, it has over 25k customers—a mixture of B2C sales and B2B subscriptions—and over 50 employees. The company expanded its offerings to France last year, and is poised for further growth into Europe.

9. Goodlord

Founded: 2014
Location: Tower Hamlets
Growth rate: 3,678%
Total funds raised: £26.4m

Goodlord company logo

Goodlord develops an internet based system to simplify the house letting process. It allows the creation of tenancy agreements, collection of holding deposits, and digital contract signing. This Proptech company was founded in 2014 and is based in Tower Hamlets. It has grown at a rate of 3,678% over four years.

The company has raised £26.4m across six fundraising rounds, and won a £5k grant from Innovate UK. Investors include Charlotte Street Capital, Finch Capital, Global Founders Capital, LiFE Ventures, LocalGlobe, Oxx, Ribbit Capital, Rocket Internet, and Latitude Ventures.

In 2020 the company acquired Vouch, a high-growth startup that facilitates online tenant applications for the real estate industry. The companies are working to integrate their API and offer a tiered suite of services to letting agents and tenants alike.

Goodlord has attended the Upscale accelerator, is now partnered with over 750 agencies, and employs over 120 people.

10. Beamery

Founded: 2012
Location: Hackney
Growth rate: 3,541%
Total funds raised: £26.7m

Beamery Company logo

Beamery is a talent platform—it develops recruitment software that enables companies to actively search for, connect, and communicate with potential hires. It has grown at a rate of  3,541% over the past four years, ranking tenth. 

The company has raised £26.7m across four funding rounds. 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.

Investors include Edenred Capital Partners, Index Ventures, LocalGlobe, Microsoft Ventures, AngelPad, EQT Ventures, GP Ventures, Grupa Pracuj, and Workday Ventures. 

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, with CEO Abakar Saidov citing “accelerated and amplified digital transformation” as driving growth to their online recruitment platform.

 

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