Top 19 Blockchain Companies in the UK

| Lucy Wilson

Blockchain is a digital ledger which enables transactions to be validated and recorded securely, without the need for a central authority or intermediary. Blockchain technology was first created to record the transactions of cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Such is the efficiency and security of the Bitcoin blockchain, however, that blockchain is now being applied far beyond crypto trading. We’ll take a closer look at the UK’s innovation landscape and the high-growth blockchain startups that look poised to grow this year. But first, what exactly is blockchain? 

What is blockchain and how does it work?

A ‘block’ is an online file which contains a group of transactions. Blocks are strung together in a chronological and linear ‘chain’ of records. Each block contains three main pieces of information: data about the transactions themselves, a unique ‘hash code’ which is used to identify the block, and the hash code of the previous block in the chain. Once a block has been added to the chain, it is immutable, meaning it cannot be removed or modified in any way. Any attempt to change the block will lead to a new hash code being created, and this new hash will conflict with the hash in the following block. This explains how blockchain technology works to ensure data is held securely and cannot be tampered with.

Despite scalability issues (blockchain systems require massive amounts of computing power), alongside concerns over its lack of regulation and environmental costs, blockchain adoption is increasing rapidly across the high-growth ecosystem

The UK’s blockchain business landscape

The UK is currently home to 221 private companies that are developing blockchain-driven software and blockchain services. The vast majority (67%) of these companies are currently in the seed stage of growth—a reflection of how new the sector is. 

Whilst blockchain has a broad range of use cases, 41% of blockchain-based tech companies are operating in the Business and Professional Services industry, primarily in banking and financial services, but also security services, analytics, payment processing, insurance and law. In comparison, 2% operate in the Supply Chain sector, 2% in Leisure and Entertainment, and just 1% in Retail and 1% in Industrials. This illustrates the growing use of blockchain technology by UK startups to disrupt traditional business processes

We explain blockchain’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) in greater detail for you here, alongside how the Bitcoin blockchain works, and which industries blockchain looks set to disrupt in the future. 

Meanwhile, here’s a rundown of the most exciting blockchain companies to watch in 2021…

19 top-funded blockchain companies in the UK

Rank Company name Funds raised Number of deals
1
Blockchain.com
£356m
4
2
Elliptic
£35.4m
6
3
Everledger
£23.5m
3
4
Shivom
£22.9m
1
5
VAKT Global
£22.7m
3
6
Marine Transport International
£22.4m
4
7
Blockhouse
£21.9m
2
8
Nivaura
£17.8m
3
9
Wintermute
£17.6m
4
10
iov42
£16.5m
3
11
Billon
£15.2m
6
12
Fetch.AI
£14.8m
2
13
Cobalt DL
£13.2m
8
14
Argent
£12.3m
2
15
Adhara
£11.4m
1
16
Globacap
£11.2m
4
17
Sprout.ai
£10.5m
3
18
Clearmatics
£9.92m
2
19
Zamna
£8.41m
5

 1. Blockchain.com

Blockchain.com has developed an online crypto wallet, enabling users to buy tokens instantly and on the go via debit or credit card, and provides a range of search tools, statistics and charts for the cryptocurrency market. It’s the best-funded of all blockchain technology companies in the UK, having secured a staggering £356m in equity fundraisings since launching in 2014, £218m of which it raised in a single funding round in March 2021. 

In 2019, the company attended Tech Nation’s two-year Future Fifty accelerator programme. It has also successfully completed two acquisitions—of sports trading analytics company Strategem Technologies in 2018 and, most recently, trading broker AiX in May 2021. 

2. Elliptic

Elliptic develops cryptoasset compliance solutions for crypto businesses, financial institutions, and regulators. Its anti-money laundering software uses blockchain analytics (across more than 100 cryptoassets) to help businesses mitigate risk, and detect and guard against financial crime. Elliptic’s current clients include Binance, BitGo, Coinbase, and Genesis. 

Since being founded in 2013, the company has been named on three high-growth lists and completed two accelerator programmes: Seedcamp’s and the NCSC Cyber Accelerator. To date, it’s raised £35.4m in equity fundraisings and one Innovate UK grant. Investors include Octopus Ventures, Seedcamp, Wells Fargo, and AlbionVC.

3. Everledger

Founded in 2015, Everledger aims to make asset information more transparent for high-value products, like diamonds, wine, and art. The Everledger platform uses blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and internet of things (IoT) technologies to create secure digital records for products. These enable manufacturers and retailers to easily evidence the origin, ownership, and characteristics of their products. 

The company attended Barclays’ London accelerator (managed by Techstars) in 2015, as well as the Mayor’s International Business Programme (London & Partners) and Upscale (Tech Nation). It’s also been named on the FinTech50 high-growth list four times already, most recently in 2020. To date, Everledger has raised three rounds of equity funding, amounting to £23.5m. 

4. Shivom

Shivom is a healthcare data analytics company, using AI and blockchain technology to make precision medicine and drug discovery faster, more efficient, and collaborative. It operates a multi-omics database which can be used in various research areas, from genetic studies to disease and virology. The company secured a £22.9m equity funding round in April 2018, followed by a £275k Horizon 2020 grant, in September 2019.

5. VAKT Global

VAKT Global has developed a secure, blockchain-based platform to make commodities trading more efficient. VAKT aims to transform the entire post-trade lifecycle, by bringing together all stakeholders (including trading parties, terminals, surveyors, agents, brokers, and banks) in a single system. Founded in 2018, it has so far raised £22.7m in equity investment, across three rounds, with investors including Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures. 

6. Marine Transport International

First founded back in 2013, Marine Transport International provides a range of supply chain services to businesses, specialising in commodity shipping and logistics. It is now using public blockchain technology to better connect the highly-fragmented transport industry, by increasing the efficiency and security of processing transactions. The company has secured four rounds of equity funding to date, amounting to £22.4m.

7. Blockhouse

Founded in 2018, Blockhouse (TBTL) builds blockchain applications for increased data protection and security in banking, government, and identity systems. It aims to make blockchain systems that are more environmentally friendly (less energy-consuming) and trustworthy (pro-regulation) than existing technologies. 

Following an initial £18k equity fundraising in December 2018, the company went on to raise a further £21.9m in its most recent funding round in April 2019.

8. Nivaura

Nivaura is leveraging blockchain technology to develop software for businesses in the financial sector. Through its low-code platform, Aurora, the company aims to digitise and automate (and thus simplify) capital market workflows, such as bond issuance and post-trade data management.

 Alongside being listed on the FinTech50 in 2019, Nivaura has attended five accelerators since launching in 2016, including programmes run by Microsoft, Accenture, and Tech Nation. The company has also secured three rounds of equity funding so far, amounting to £17.8m. 

9. Wintermute

Wintermute is an algorithmic market maker in digital assets. Essentially, the company provides liquidity to crypto markets to make them more efficient. It currently supports over 50 exchanges and platforms for trading cryptocurrencies, including Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, and Huobi. 

Since being founded in 2017, Wintermute has secured £17.6m in equity investment, across four funding rounds. It raised the majority of this in January 2021, when it secured an impressive £14.7m. 

10. iov42

Founded in 2017, iov42 sought to overcome the constraints to wide-scale DLT adoption, by combining elements of blockchain technology with internet principles and Cloud computing. Its blockchain platform is aimed at both the public and private sectors, and uses simple building blocks to create efficient, secure applications. 

The blockchain development company has since raised £16.5m in equity fundraisings, across three rounds, the latest of which was a £3.62m round in September 2020.

11. Billon 

Billon has been developing blockchain solutions for enterprise since 2015, with a focus on payments and data storage. The company has created scalable DLT architecture, and a new protocol for encrypting national currencies, documents, and personal data, in compliance with existing regulations. 

Billon has offices in London and Warsaw, and its backers include angel network Envestors and the Government’s Future Fund. It’s secured £15.2m in investment, through six equity fundraisings, alongside a £50k Innovate UK grant in June 2020. Billon has been using the grant to develop fraud-resistant COVID-19 immunity and back-to-work certificates during the pandemic.  

12. Fetch.AI

Fetch.AI is building a tokenised DLT network, using machine learning and blockchain technology. Its open-source platform will enable smart contracts and infrastructure to be built in a decentralised digital economy. 

Fetch.AI held an initial coin offering (ICO) of its FET token on Binance Launchpad in February 2019. The Cambridge-based company has secured £14.8m in equity investment to date, across two funding rounds, the latest of which took place in March 2021. 

13. Cobalt DL 

Founded in 2015, Cobalt DL is using blockchain to make processing trades in the Foreign Exchange (FX) and Digital Assets markets more efficient. Its decentralised network technology automatically creates a single version of each trade, streamlining the otherwise-complex trade processing required by legacy systems. 

The company serves several big-name financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered, and Citi. It has raised £13.2m in equity fundraisings, having secured its latest round of funding in March 2021an unannounced deal worth £500k.

14. Argent

Argent has developed a mobile app which acts as a secure, non-custodial (no third parties) wallet for Ethereum. Like Bitcoin, Ethereum is a blockchain network built for trading digital currencies. Argent is built on the Ethereum blockchain, and supports over 240 different Ethereum-based tokens, including ETH (Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency), DAI, MKR, BAT, and Wrapped Bitcoin

To date, the company has secured £12.3m in equity investment, across two funding rounds. Investors include Index Ventures, Firstminute Capital, and Atomico. 

15. Adhara

Adhara develops payment processing software for decentralised financial networks. It offers real-time solutions and smart contracts for multi-currency liquidity management, FX, and international payments based on tokenised money. 

Adhara’s clients include corporates, financial institutions, and both commercial and central banks. It has secured £11.4m in equity funding, from just one round in 2018 (the year it was founded), backed by New York-based investor ConsenSys. 

16. Globacap

Founded in late 2017, Globacap develops web-based equity management software to support SMEs in raising and managing capital. It uses blockchain infrastructure to ensure that data is accurate and held securely, without intermediaries, removing any conflict of interest that’s inherent to traditional capital raising processes. 

The company attended Accenture’s three-month accelerator, Fintech Innovation Lab London, at the start of 2020. Globacap has secured four rounds of equity investment to date, amounting to £11.2m, and its latest fundraising, in February 2021, totalled £6.55m.

17. Sprout.ai

Sprout.ai is an insurance software development company that uses AI and blockchain technologies to deliver both claims automation and fraud filtering to its customers. The insurtech (previously BlockClaim) rebranded in April 2020, following new funding from Amadeus Capital Partners, Playfair Capital, and TechStars Ventures. Meanwhile, the company’s most recent £8m raise, in May 2021, takes total equity investment to £10.5m, secured across three funding rounds. 

18. Clearmatics

Founded in 2015, Clearmatics uses the Ethereum blockchain network to develop trading platforms for OTC (over-the-counter) securities. OTC trading involves bilateral transactions made directly between parties, without a stock exchange or other intermediaries. The fintech company’s clearing software matches buyers and sellers, and allows them to settle their trades.

Clearmatics was named on the Deloitte Fast 50 high-growth list in 2019, and has raised £9.92m in equity funding to date. Its latest fundraising in 2018, with Route 66 Ventures, TNF Capital, and XTX Markets, totalled £9.09m ($12m).

19. Zamna

Founded in 2016, Zamna develops secure infrastructure for organisations and individuals to verify, manage, and share identity data, primarily in the travel industry. It works with airlines and border authorities, using a combination of blockchain technology, machine learning, big data, and biometrics to verify digital identity and securely share passenger data. 

To date, Zamna has secured £8.41m in equity funding, across five rounds. Investors include LocalGlobe, Oxford Capital, Seedcamp, and London Co-Investment Fund. In November 2020, the company received a £303k grant from Innovate UK, to research and test the extension of its blockchain-powered technology to solve GDPR challenges and put passengers in control of their data. 

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