Top London Startups 2022

Here, we’ll explore the 18 fastest-growing tech startups in London last year, based on annual headcount growth.

Which London startups should you be watching in 2022? Private equity firms and VCs are lining up to back the next generation of innovators in the Capital, widely known to have the best fintech ecosystem in Europe. This makes London a prime location for ambitious startups to set up shop, attracting large pools of talented entrepreneurs each year.

Indeed, London is already home to some of the biggest startups and scaleups in the UK: cryptocurrency site Blockchain.com, events platform Hopin, fintech frontrunners Checkout.com and Moneybox, car insurance unicorn Marshmallow, digital security firm Onfido, and all three of the UK’s leading challenger banks (Revolut, Monzo, Starling Bank). But it’s not just established businesses making waves in the city…

To be eligible for this ranking, a company has to meet the following criteria:

Startups able to expand their workforces to such a degree are especially impressive amidst the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. And thanks to a recent update to our platform, we even know which of them are actively hiring.

FodaBox

Growth in headcount:

464%

Location:

Southwark

Sectors:

E-commerce,
food outlets

Not currently hiring

FodaBox operates a website which connects consumers to hundreds of independent and artisan food and drink producers across the UK and beyond. FodaBox’s retail platform sends these small businesses’ products directly to customers’ doorsteps.

When FodaBox founder Andy Lawson saw the challenges faced by independent producers, being neglected in favour of mass-market suppliers, he made an alternative model. Putting people above profits, it provides customers with the best products from independents and strives to cater to all price points, with affordability at the heart. 

Since its inception in 2011, FodaBox has raised £4.02m in investment, across five funding rounds. It’s seen the greatest increase in headcount of any of the London startups on this list, going from 11 employees in 2020 to 62 in 2021an increase of 464%. It has also attended the Mayor’s International Business Programme accelerator, and now 1000s of customers use FodaBox.

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MXX

Growth in headcount:

460%

Location:

Lambeth

Sectors:

Artificial intelligence, music

Not currently hiring

MXX comes second, with its headcount increasing 460%, from 10 to 56 employees, between 2020 and 2021. MXX develops software which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology to edit and reconstruct music videos instantly. 

MXX was founded as Mashtraxx in 2015 and its automation of seamless audio editing for existing music, using the stereo file alone, is unique. MXX’s platform for finding and creating video edits, Edit Suite AI, allows people to interact and change their music experience based on shifting needs, attention opportunity, and current situation. 

The Lambeth-based startup has raised £1.86m to date, across three funding rounds. In 2019, MXX partnered with Epidemic Sound, bringing AI technology to over 10k YouTube creators a week, so they can create new sequences of music.

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Thirdfort

Growth in headcount:

400%

Location:

Westminster

Sectors:

Lawtech, proptech

Actively Hiring

Combining lawtech and proptech is Thirdfort, incorporated in 2017. It develops software which uses third-party management designed to increase the security and efficiency of property settlement transactions. It reduces the risk of fraud for lawyers and estate agents when dealing with clients, reducing the stress of moving house.

In 2018, Thirdfort entered Mishcon de Reya (MDR)’s LAB accelerator and attended Geovation’s PropTech programme. The company now works with over 550 property and legal businesses to streamline their processes, keeping security at the forefront. A total of six funding rounds has brought Thirdfort £3.7m in equity investment so far.

Expanding from 10 to 50 employees between 2020 and 2021, an increase of 400%, Thirdfort is looking to increase its numbers further. The company is currently hiring in its London, Manchester and Sri Lanka offices, from software engineers to people managers.

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Electric Gamebox

Growth in headcount:

240%

Location:

Southwark

Sectors:

Gamification

Actively Hiring

Electric Gamebox is an early-stage gamification company which uses video game mechanics and physical group activities to engage and motivate people in their goals. It combines projection mapping, touch screens, motion tracking, and surround sound technologies to create an immersive gaming experience.

Electric Gamebox was founded on the belief that technology should bring people together, rather than drive them apart, using best-in-class tech. It has raised £18.9m in investment to date, across four funding rounds.

Expanding its headcount from 15 in 2020 to 51 employees in 2021, up 240%, Electric Gamebox operates in both the US and the UK. And the company is still actively hiring, searching for new employees for its tech, operations, and content departments. The roles on offer include Game Developer, General Manager, and VP Software.

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DNA VR

Growth in headcount:

154%

Location:

Islington

Sectors:

Virtual reality

Actively Hiring

DNA VR operates the first permanent virtual reality entertainment spaces in London, with three venues: Camden, Hammersmith, and Battersea Power Station. Aiming to bring virtual reality (VR) to everyone, it offers games and interactive VR experiences. DNA VR can cater for groups of up to 25 people in its venues or more than 500 guests off-site.

Some of the experiences DNA VR offer include: VR arcade, where visitors can enjoy as many games as they like; free-roaming, where they can walk around freely in an incredible level of immersion; escape rooms, where groups solve puzzles together.

DNA VR has secured £150k in investment so far, in one funding round, yet has increased its headcount by 154% between 2020 and 2021. It now has 33 employees and is currently searching for a VR Games Master and Customer Service Representative. 

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Castore

Growth in headcount:

153%

Location:

Kensington and Chelsea

Sectors:

Clothing

Actively Hiring

Castore, which joined the Brands of Tomorrow accelerator programme in 2018, was incorporated in 2015. Castore designs sportswear for a variety of activities which it sells online and in clothing shops internationally. It has raised £13.4m in equity investment so far, across five funding rounds.

The premium sportswear that Castore develops is designed with specialist features, helping to optimise athletic performance in all conditions. It is light, durable, high-performing, and based on Castore’s ethos that “better never stops”.

The London startup grew from 15 employees in 2020 to 38 in 2021, marking an increase of 153%. Castore is looking to expand its team further at its new office in Manchester, including a Partnerships Executive, Designer for the mainline collection, and an Inbound Associate. Its Edinburgh store is also searching for a Supervisor.

oddbox

Oddbox

Growth in headcount:

143%

Location:

Merton

Sectors:

Distribution, food and drink

Actively Hiring

Oddbox was started in 2015 by co-founders Deepak Ravindran and Emilie Vanpoperinghe. It offers a fruit and vegetable delivery service to homes and businesses, providing misshapen produce which is rejected by most providers. The company was created when its founders discovered how up to 40% of all produce in the UK is wasted before leaving farms because it isn’t aesthetically pleasing. 

Oddbox joined Tech Nation’s Upscale accelerator programme in 2020 and NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator in 2018. And in 2019, the company was featured on NatWest’s SE100 high-growth list for the UK’s top social enterprises. It has secured £7.89m so far, in three funding rounds.

The company’s headcount increased by 143% between 2020 and 2021, from 23 to 56 employees. It is currently hiring in both London and Birmingham, offering a range of careers such as Chief Financial Officer, Customer Happiness Executive, and Engineering Manager.

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Reds10

Growth in headcount:

130%

Location:

Southwark

Sectors:

Property/ land management

Actively Hiring

Reds10 deals with property and land management, providing commercial building project consultancy services. Using data and modular technologies, Reds10 can plan, fund, build, and operate spaces with better organisational performance.

Sustainability is important to Reds10: it has recognised its responsibility to design and build low and zero-carbon buildings which will make a positive and sustainable impact on people and environments. Reds10 wishes to minimise its direct and indirect carbon footprint to help avert the climate emergency.

Reds10 has raised £40k in investment so far, from one funding round. The scaleup company grew its employee count from 23 in 2020 to 53 in 2021, marking a 130% rise. It is currently seeking a Health, Safety & Environment Leader and Senior Project Manager, among others, at its head office in Southwark. Other opportunities such as a Quantity Surveyor role are also available at its factory in Driffield, East Yorkshire.

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Cherryz

Growth in headcount:

117%

Location:

Hackney

Sectors:

E-commerce

Actively Hiring

Hackney-based Cherryz sells discount items online, including beauty products, toys, and food. It provides low prices on big brands and new products, delivering as soon as the next day, with a £1/month Delivery Pass offering unlimited standard deliveries on all orders.

Cherryz operates on three core principles: shopping should always be fun, nice things shouldn’t cost a fortune, and there should always be something for everyone. The company has raised £13.5m in investment to date, across two funding rounds.

Growing from a team of 18 to 39 between 2020 and 2021, Cherryz has seen an 117% increase in its employee count. The e-commerce startup is hiring for several roles in its London office right now, including Customer Care Representative, Graduate Buying Trainee and Retail Buyer.

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DocTap

Growth in headcount:

115%

Location:

Westminster

Sectors:

eHealth

Not currently hiring

Founded in 2015, ehealth company DocTap operates a GP consultation booking platform. The company has raised £324k in investment so far, across two funding rounds, and in 2018, it appeared on the Startups 100 high-growth list. It is regulated by the Care Quality Commission.

DocTap’s healthtech software allows users to book same-day appointments with private, accredited doctors. This is ideal for customers in London that are looking for flexible healthcare, offering both in-person and phone appointments. As a private GP practice, customers do not need to be registered with an NHS GP to use the surgery, meaning tourists and foreign visitors can also book immediate appointments.

The company saw a headcount increase of 115% between 2020 and 2021, growing from a team of 13 employees to 28. And its London clinics are currently looking for more Doctors to join the service.

muzmatch

muzmatch

Growth in headcount:

110%

Location:

Redbridge

Sectors:

Social network , mobile apps

Actively Hiring

Also featured on the Startups 100 (in 2019) was muzmatch, a dating website and smartphone app for the Muslim community. Over 4m people use the mobile app, which has been designed to respect its Muslim customers’ religious beliefs, unlike traditional dating apps. Users can also include a chaperone (a Wali) in their conversations for peace of mind.

Since founded in 2015, muzmatch has raised £7.6m worth of investment, across three funding rounds. It also claims to be responsible for over 100k Muslim weddings worldwide, with its members hailing from hundreds of countries, across America, Europe, and Asia.

Growing its headcount by 110% between 2020 and 2021, from 20 to 42 employees, muzmatch is still hiring into both its engineering and marketing teams. A variety of roles, from iOS Engineer to Product Marketing Specialist, are currently available in London and New York, with remote working also on offer.

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Andersen EV

Growth in headcount:

110%

Location:

City of London

Sectors:

Automotive, cleantech

Actively Hiring

Andersen EV, based in the City of London, develops electric vehicle (EV) charging points for residential users. Having noticed the shortage of charging points around the UK, Andersen EV provides home charge points to customers’ homes. 

The cleantech company offers two products: the Andersen A2, an intelligent and customisable charging point, and Kønnect+, a mobile app which can control and disable the charge point, and also tracks and remembers EV charging behaviour.

Andersen EV has raised £4.39m worth of investment to date, across five funding rounds. It also saw a headcount increase of 110% between 2020 and 2021, from just 10 employees to 21. The company has a range of career opportunities available right now, including In-House Installers in various locations, a Front End Developer and an Electronics Engineer, to name a few.

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Shipamax

Growth in headcount:

108%

Location:

Islington

Sectors:

Supply chain, SaaS

Actively Hiring

Technology company Shipamax develops software to facilitate the automation of data entry for logistics and supply chain organisations. It was founded by Jenna Brown (CEO) and Fabian Blaicher (CTO). 

Through its software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model, the London startup is on a mission to simplify data entry tasks for its subscribers, such as invoice processing, bills, and job creation. Shipamax aims to free businesses from time-consuming manual work, with clients able to reach 95% automation. 

The company attended Geovation’s GeoTech accelerator programme in 2016, and has now secured £7.4m in investment, across three funding rounds. Its headcount increased 108% between 2020 and 2021, from a team of 13 employees to one of 27.

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Karakuri

Growth in headcount:

100%

Location:

Hammersmith and Fulham

Sectors:

Robotics, food and drinks processors

Actively Hiring

Innovative London startup Karakuri operates in the high-growth robotics sector. The company develops robots and accompanying software for the food industry, designed to assist food preparation in restaurants. It seeks to make healthy, fresh options as convenient as fast food, offering tailored dishes with specific portion sizing which can still be mass-produced. 

Around the world, a third of food intended for human consumption is lost or wasted. But Karakuri’s smart kitchens are built for 100% accurate portion control, to optimise output and reduce waste. 

The company has raised £13.5m in investment so far, across three funding rounds, and attended the Founders Factory’s accelerator programme. Karakuri doubled its headcount between 2020 and 2021, growing to a team of 24 employees. At the moment, it is looking to hire a Chief of Staff, Mechanical Engineers, and a Kitchen Robot Caretaker.

trinny london

Trinny London

Growth in headcount:

86%

Location:

Kensington and Chelsea

Sectors:

Beauty

Actively Hiring

Created by Trinny Woodall (of Trinny & Susannah fame), Trinny London is one of two companies on this list of top London startups to be fully-founded by women. It also has the highest proportion of female key people on this ranking, at 71.4%. 

Trinny London operates a style and beauty blog, and sells a wide range of makeup products. These are portable and stackable, making them easy to apply on the go. In 2019, the company was featured on the Top 100: Britain’s Fastest-Growing Businesses. It sells its products in more than 160 countries, boasting over 500k customers, and has raised £6.94m in investment, across six funding rounds.

Increasing its headcount by 86% in 2021, from 58 to 108 employees, Trinny London is still actively hiring. The company has opportunities in several teams: technology, retail, marketing, digital product, and finance.

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Beam

Growth in headcount:

82%

Location:

Islington

Sectors:

Alternative finance, internet platform

Actively Hiring

Beam operates a crowdfunding site, focused on empowering homeless people in London. The platform aims to raise money to provide homeless people with opportunities to gain skills for employment. The ‘tech for good’ startup is funded by the Mayor of London and some of the world’s top tech entrepreneurs.

In 2021, Beam was featured on both the Startups 100 and NatWest’s SE100 high-growth lists, adding to the plethora of awards it’s won since its beginnings in 2017. 

Beam increased its headcount by 82% between February 2020 and 2021, growing from 11 to 20 employees. It is now searching for more people to join its team in a variety of departments: operations, partnerships, marketing, talent, finance, tech and product, and business development.

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Legl

Growth in headcount:

80%

Location:

City of London

Sectors:

Lawtech, alternative finance

Actively Hiring

Legl is another female-founded company amongst the ranks of London’s top startups. It is female entrepreneur Julia Salasky’s second lawtech venture to date, and develops operations software for law firms. 

The SaaS company has created a cloud-based task management platform for firms to streamline their compliance, onboarding and payment processes. It also operates CrowdJustice, a crowdfunding platform for legal cases.

Legl was selected for Tech Nation’s Upscale 7.0 accelerator for high-growth UK tech companies last year, and has three funding rounds under its belt, totalling £7.01m in investment. Between April 2020 and April 2021, the company saw an 80% increase in its headcount, growing from 15 to 27 employees. And it is currently hiring for its first Legal Counsel to join the team.

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Tymit

Growth in headcount:

80%

Location:

Westminster

Sectors:

Fintech

Actively Hiring

Last but not least, Tymit is a high-growth fintech company that provides digital credit cards. Tymit was founded in 2017 by two brothers searching for a better customer experience around credit cards, including fewer fees and more features. The company aims to make credit honest, safe and instantly accessible everywhere.

Tymit has raised £4.04m in investment so far, across three funding rounds. Together, the Tymit team has experience working with world-leading financial services companies such as AMEX, Citi and Santander.

Between 2020 and 2021, it increased its headcount by 80%, now with 27 employees. And the company is still actively hiring for a huge number of roles, including Product Manager, Head of Customer Operations, and Engineers.

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