The 12 Fastest-Growing Startup Companies in the UK 2021

| Hannah Skingle

The UK’s fastest-growing companies are an exciting cohort in the best of times, but especially during an economic downturn. Through the highs and lows of Brexit and multiple COVID lockdowns last year, these high-growth businesses have demonstrated an enviable growth rate between 2019 and 2020. Together, they’re driving economic growth and shaping the technologies of the future, and doing so at an astonishing rate.

At Beauhurst we track 32k of the UK’s high-growth, disruptive startups and scaleups on our searchable platform. We’ve used this data to compile a list of the UK’s 12 fastest-growing companies by change in turnover, from fintechs to green energy suppliers

There are lots of different ways you could choose to measure growth, but to make it onto this league table, each company must meet the following criteria:

  • Raised equity funding
  • In the seed, venture or growth stage of evolution
  • Reported a turnover of at least £100k in 2019
  • Be a private company headquartered in the United Kingdom
  • Have comparable accounting periods between 2019 and 2020
So which is the UK’s fastest-growing company? Here’s our ranking for 2021.

The UK's Fastest-Growing Companies 2021

Rank Company Name Turnover (2020) Growth in Turnover (2019-20)
1
The Ralph
£4.56m
1483%
2
Panaseer
£2.39m
234%
3
Yumi Nutrition
£471k
173%
4
AllBright
£2.81m
143%
5
Moneybox
£2.81m
143%
6
Challenge-trg Group
£87.8m
124%
7
Insurwave
£239k
119%
8
TransferGo
£15.2m
117%
9
Bank of Telecom
£120m
92%
10
Habito
£5.12m
88%
11
Bulb
£1.52b
85%
12
Capital on Tap
£72.5m
85%

1. The Ralph

Not your typical high-growth company, The Ralph is a veterinary hospital that vets can refer dogs and cats to for emergency and critical care. The healthcare company is based in Buckinghamshire and was first registered in 2015, although it only opened its doors to the public in 2019. 

The company is backed by significant amounts of venture capital, which is not unusual for healthcare startups, because they often have large technology, R&D and property costs. The company has raised £6.98m over seven rounds so far. 

Founded by Cambridge graduate and clinical director Shailen Jasani, The Ralph was named after his rescue cat, who he treated in 2008 and lived with for two years before Ralph passed away in 2010. 

According to The Ralph’s Reports and Accounts 2020, “The next financial year will be focussed on bedding in the culture and values from the founding vision of the hospital, recruiting and developing our staff, improving efficiency in systems & processes and the continuing implementation and maintenance of appropriate Corporate Governance.”

The coronavirus pandemic caused a slowdown in case load for the hospital, but it still managed to grow its turnover by a staggering 1,483%, from £288k in 2019 to £4.5m by the end of the 2020 accounting period.

2. Panaseer

Panaseer has developed software to assist businesses analysing the security of their data. The Panaseer platform offers continuous controls monitoring, showing every asset, application, user, and dataset across customers’ IT estate in real-time. It can then carry out automated risk assessments and security compliance monitoring. 

The tech company is headquartered in Surrey with an additional office in New York. Panaseer’s founding team previously worked together at international consultancy BAE Systems. The product was born out of the founder’s own need for visibility of IT and security systems. Seven years later, Panaseer has secured  £13.5m of investment across six rounds, reached 20% scaleup status, and has featured on high-growth lists Mishcon The Leap (2017) and Startups 100 (2019).

The digital security sector fared well through COVID, seeing record levels of investment in terms of both volume and value. The move to WFH caused a surge in demand for cybersecurity solutions, and Panaseer was no exception. The company has been creating job opportunities in the past year, and grown its turnover 234%, from £714k in 2019 to £2.37m in 2020.

3. Yumi Nutrition

Yumi Nutrition produces a range of chewable supplements and vitamins. The company was established in 2017 and has already shown substantial revenue growth, from just £11.7k in 2018 to £173k in 2019, and £471k in 2020. 

Based in Manchester, the company offers various gummy vitamins to aid health and wellbeing, and claims to have sold 10m gummies in more than 100 countries to over 200k customers. Products are now available in high-street retailers TK Maxx and Holland & Barrett. 

Yumi Nutrition was founded by a trio of twenty-somethings: CEO Sebastien Vanderlinden (who was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year for 2020 at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards), Adam Barker, and Creative Director Joshua Margetts. In October 2018, they raised £110k of equity investment in return for a 21% stake in the business. Judging from ownership filings, this was a friends, family and angel round.

Holland & Barrett store front

4. AllBright

Fast-approaching its fifth birthday, AllBright was founded by Debbie Wosskow OBE (Founder of LoveHomeSwap) and Anna Jones (Former CEO of Hearst), who both recently featured as two of the UK’s top female entrepreneurs to watch in 2021.

The company provides business training programmes for female entrepreneurs at all stages of their careers, focussing on skills, startups, and space, as well as sourcing venture capital and private equity investors. This includes clubs in Mayfair and West Hollywood, over 170 online training courses as well as regular workshops and curated content. The company previously ran an angel network, backing female-led companies such as femtech Elvie, and artificial intelligence platform Sparrho. 

AllBright has itself secured £23.9m of equity investment across four funding rounds, with backers including Cain International and Galliard Homes. Between 2019 and 2020, the company increased turnover by 143%, from £1.15m to £2.81m. 

And in the spirit of establishing itself as a global community for women and careers, the company has begun to make international acquisitions in order to expand its footprint and support women in every business ecosystem. Just last month, AllBright made an asset acquisition of US digital hub EvolveHer. Co-founder Debbie Wosskow said that the company’s “global expansion plans, which include the acquisition of EvolveHer, allow us to further invest in our US network to promote our mission of female resilience, and upskill and support our community at scale.”

5. Moneybox

Moneybox is a personal investment tool that provides easy access to shares and savings ISAs through its mobile app. Wealth management and investment services typically have a minimum investment, but Moneybox allows consumers to invest as little as £1 in the stock markets, with an annual fee of just 0.45%. Moneybox isn’t alone in this market, rival Nutmeg offers a similar service with competitive fees. But one of the features unique to Moneybox is the ability to round-up everyday payments to the nearest pound, making regular contributions easy. 

The financial services company has been active since 2015 and raised £54.5m of equity finance over five funding rounds. Investors include Eight Road Ventures, Oxford Capital, and Samos Investments. Notably, the company raised £30m from a number of VCs on 17 July 2020, and went on to raise a further £7.07m via Crowdcube shortly after on 30 July. Also in 2020, the company featured on both the Deloitte Fast 50 and Linkedin Top Startup lists, and grew its turnover 128% to £2.51m.

6. Challenge-trg Group

Headquartered in Wigan, Challenge-trg Group provides temporary staffing, training and haulage services to the logistics and warehouse sector. Founded in 2011, by CEO Tom Cropper and COO Richard Cropper, the company now operates across the United Kingdom and is backed by £550k in venture capital

The uptick in online orders during the coronavirus pandemic appears to have created good business for Challenge-trg Group. The rise in unemployment figures may have also increased the pool of staff, as people look for temporary work between jobs. The company has grown its turnover from £39.2m in 2019 to £87.8m in 2020. It is also one of the few businesses on this ranking to be turning a profit, with £1.06m recorded in 2020. 

Now in its Growth stage of evolution, Challenge-trg Group has over 1,000 employees, up from 260 in 2019. In May 2019, the business acquired TRG Logistics and Phoenix Training Services in order to expand its offering.

Warehouse staff

7. Insurwave

Incorporated in 2018, insurtech startup Insurwave is a software platform that connects insurance buyers, brokers, and reinsurers. It also supports the placement, administration, and servicing of specialty insurance. The company’s aim is to streamline the insurance buying process by developing a fully-automated product. The platform’s latest update allows users to track their assets’ (such as cargo ships) last known location on a ‘risk map’.

Insurwave is based in London and is currently a Venture-stage business, having raised £9.23m of capital over three funding rounds. It was founded by a team of three: CEO David Power (former CTO of Wonga), Oxford graduate and CCO Stefan Schrijnen, and Chairman Shaun Crawford, who is also Global Vice Chair of Industry at EY. 

Whilst the world ground to a halt in 2020, insurers had an incredibly busy year, and it seems Insurwave was able to ride that surge in demand for insurtech, growing its turnover 119% from £109k in 2019 to £239k in 2020.

8. TransferGo

TransferGo is a London-based fintech firm that has created an online payment system to allow its users to transfer money internationally. Established in 2013, TransferGo follows in the footsteps of fintech giant Wise, which is rumoured to be approaching an IPO. Still, TransferGo has taken a healthy market share with 2.5m customers worldwide, and 117% growth in revenues in the last year, from £7.03m in 2019 to £15.2m in 2020. 

TransferGo focuses on the consumer market, offering mid-market exchange rates and low fees. It costs just £2.99 to send money to arrive in the next 30 minutes, £1.99 for the same day, and £0.99 for the next day. In December 2020, it announced a partnership with Mastercard, allowing customers to make international transfers from any bank account directly to a Mastercard debit or credit card. 

The company was founded by CEO Daumantas Dvilinskas, who was just 24 at the time, making him one of the youngest founders in the UK’s high-growth ecosystem. TransferGo has raised an impressive £40.6m across eight funding rounds, including a €5m loan from Silicon Valley Bank in November 2020.

9. Bank of Telecom

Bank of Telecom operates a platform for voice and SMS trading, with the aim of improving security, efficiency, and performance for its users. The bank is headquartered in Chelmsford and operated by Internet Mobile Communications (IMC), which has been around since 2012. The bank itself was launched in 2015.

In September 2019, the company was featured in The Sunday Times Fast Track Tech 100, a well-deserved award given its 92% growth in turnover between 2019 and 2020, jumping from £62.4m to £120m in just one year. It is currently operating at a profit of £6.68m and has raised £4.16m of equity investment across five rounds. Nevertheless, the company remains small, with just 38 employees, according to Linkedin. 

Founder and CEO Mark Stewart has a long history in the telecoms industry, having worked all over the world for a variety of technology companies. The business is now in its Growth stage of evolution, with no signs of slowing.

10. Habito

Proptech startup Habito is a website that allows consumers to compare and apply for mortgages. The London-based company has secured more than £80m in debt and equity fundraising, with backing from Atomico, Augmentum Capital and Mosaic Ventures. This includes a £35m round in August 2020, which was backed by the Government’s Future Fund

Habito has been quickly expanding its offering over the past few years, launching a homebuying service in March 2020 and lifetime fixed-rate mortgages in March 2021. In December 2020, Habito announced that it had partnered with fellow fast-growing company Moneybox. Customers who successfully take out a mortgage through Habito can now earn a reward of up to £600 in their Moneybox account. 

The company has evolved significantly from its inception in 2015 as ‘Mortgage Genius’. It then became ‘Hey Habitoh’ before landing on Hey Habito in November 2015. Now branded as just Habito, the company has featured on numerous high-growth lists, from Startups 100 to London Tech 50 and The FinTech50. Founder and CEO Daniel Hegarty has led the company from the beginning, and achieved an 88% growth in turnover between 2019 and 2020, from £2.72m to £5.12m.

Proptech startup

11. Bulb

Green energy provider Bulb supplies energy from renewable sources and carbon-neutral gas to businesses and households. Its Co-Founders, Hayden Wood and Amit Gudka, both have backgrounds in the energy industry, and are now committed to making energy simpler, cheaper and greener. 

In 2016, Bulb became a B Corp, a certification awarded to companies who use business for good. It has raised £65.3m to date, £60m of which was raised during its latest fundraising in June 2018. This fundraising saw the company’s valuation reach £351m pre-money. Considering its sustained sales growth since then, it’s likely that it has now reached unicorn status, although this will only be confirmed through a new funding round or an exit event. 

Customers of the renewable energy supplier are provided with 100% renewable electricity and 100% carbon-neutral gas. Bulb customers all pay the same tariff and can switch from their old provider in two minutes. To simplify the process, Bulb will inform the old energy supplier of the switch and pay any exit fees. Bulb users also have access to an app to keep track of their account, an online community which informs how the business develops, and can also use Bulb to power their businesses.

12. Capital on Tap

Fintech startup and challenger bank Capital on Tap provides online service through which SMEs can obtain business credit cards and loans of up to £100k. To date, it has provided £2b of funding to 120,000 SMEs across the UK. The private company has raised a total of £164m in investment, including £140m of debt in 2018. Backers include Pollen Street Capital, Triple Point, Citigroup and M&G Investments. Based in London, Capital on Tap now has over 100 employees and counting. 

Founders David Luck (CEO), Jan Farrarons and George Karibian believe that today’s banking systems do not serve SMEs, as traditionally applying for funding is a slow, arduous process with strict fees and criteria. Farrarons and Karibian were also part of the founding team of fellow fast-growth fintech Paymentsense

Capital on Tap’s new technology allows small UK businesses to make a two minute application online. A decision is instantly made, allowing the small business to access a loan immediately. The lender has featured on various high-growth lists, from The Sunday Times Fast Track Tech 100 in 2017 to the FT 1000 in 2021.

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