The Top 28 SaaS Companies in the UK

| Alice Devoy

Category: Tech & innovation

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies operate on a technology distribution model, where software is accessed via the cloud. The SaaS market underlies a wide range of innovative, high-growth companies across the UK and beyond.

The importance of SaaS businesses is reflected in the attention they’re getting from investors: the sector received £11.8b of equity investment between 2011 and 2020, and this trend is by no means decelerating. So far in 2021, a massive 22% of announced equity fundraisings have been secured by SaaS companies, making it a critical cog in the UK’s high-growth startup ecosystem. 

But how does the SaaS model work, and why is it integral to discussions about today’s high-growth landscape? Before we take a deep dive into the top SaaS companies in this diverse industry, let’s quickly go over the fundamentals. 

What do SaaS companies do? 

The SaaS industry relies on cloud computing, as SaaS companies distribute software to users through a cloud platform. The SaaS sector encompasses software companies operating within a whole range of specialities, be it AI, fintech, big data, marketing automation, or e-commerce. SaaS applications offer the chance for businesses to scale rapidly, or update old systems, without having to build a software platform themselves.

SaaS technology is often licensed on a subscription basis, like the Beauhurst platform, for instance. But an increasing number of SaaS businesses are now also opting for a usage-based pricing model. This consumption-based business model, where users are charged in line with how much they use the SaaS product, enables SaaS companies to build the most powerful software they can, based on user feedback and needs.

Companies operating with a SaaS model offer their services in a huge range of sectors. The breadth of the SaaS industry is clear when looking at some of its key players: Adobe, Jira, e-commerce platform Shopify, messaging platform Slack, and customer support/customer relationship management (CRM) software companies Zendesk, Mailchimp, HubSpot and SAP. As we’ll see in this article, the UK has some extremely exciting fast-growth SaaS startups operating in these sectors.

Download our full report on the UK’s burgeoning SaaS industry.

How is the UK’s startup SaaS market faring in 2021?

Earlier this month, we released a collaborative report with our friends at Coadec, exploring the latest data on the UK’s SaaS industry. It uncovered the central, yet often-overlooked, role that SaaS companies play in the UK’s high-growth ecosystem, as well as the latest investment trends in the SaaS market, and regional SaaS hubs. 

Alongside this research, we also ranked the top SaaS companies in the country, according to three different metrics:

  • Amount of equity funding received between 2011 and 2020
  • Growth in turnover over the past three years
  • Growth in headcount over the past three years

Top 10 SaaS Companies by volume of equity raised (2011-2020)

Chart of the UK's top 10 SaaS companies, by volume of equity raised (2011-2020)

Top 10 SaaS Companies by turnover growth

These SaaS businesses are ranked by their compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in turnover, over the last three years. To be eligible, companies needed to have filed annual accounts, disclosing turnover in their base year (four years ago) and in their most recent financial year.

Chart of the UK's top 10 SaaS companies, by turnover growth (2019-2021)

Top 10 SaaS Companies by headcount growth

These 10 SaaS businesses are ranked by their CAGR in employee headcount, over the last three years. To be eligible, companies needed to have filed annual accounts, disclosing headcount in their base year (four years ago) and in their most recent financial year, as well as having at least five employees in their base year.

Chart of the UK's top 10 SaaS companies, by headcount growth (2019-2021)

Below, we profile each of these startups and scaleups, the 28 fastest-growing SaaS businesses in the UK. Spanning a broad range of sectors, these ambitious SaaS businesses are developing tech to transform the ways the business, healthcare, energy and transport sectors are working.

Top 28 SaaS Companies in the UK

OneTrust

Founded in 2016, OneTrust is the world leader in providing privacy management software solutions for companies. Their systems help companies conform to international data security laws and view how their own internal data is used. OneTrust is the fastest-growing company on the Inc. 500, and is now the most widely-used platform to operationalise privacy, security and data governance, with 8k business clients. 

OneTrust is the UK SaaS company with the most investment in the period 2011-2020, receiving £546m in equity funding. The Islington-based business continues to attract investors, with a Series C extension, in April 2021, bringing in a further $210m. This extension was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Franklin Templeton, and will help the business grow in Asia Pacific. M&A plans stemming from the investment include the acquisition of ethics company Convercent, and DocuVision’s data redaction tool, Redacted.ai.

Snyk

Snyk provides cloud-based security services for software development, with its Cloud Native Application Security Platform. Founded in 2015, the London-based company’s vision is to place security at the heart of software development, rather than adding security afterwards. Their cloud platform enables developers to do this by giving real-time feedback and automated suggestions for solutions within the development workflow. 

In March 2021, Snyk completed a $300m Series E round, valuing the company at $4.7b. New investors include Atlassian Ventures and Alkeon. The company has been backed from an early stage by Salesforce and Google, who also use their technology, an example of the company’s investor-client ecosystem.

Checkout.com

London-based fintech Checkout.com is Europe’s most valuable unicorn company, with a market value of $15b, following its Series C investment round, led by Tiger Global Management in early 2021. This valuation triples the $5.5b valuation it garnered back in 2020, following a $150m investment from Coatue Management. Founded in 2012, Checkout.com’s API-based SaaS products offer payments technology, as well as unified data analytics and security functionality. Clients of the cloud platform include Pizza Hut, Coinbase, Klarna, Wise, eToro, and Revolut. 

Following their Series C raise, Checkout.com has experienced rapid growth in employee headcount and C-Level hiring, with 800 employees set to join the company by the end of 2021. Just as the world has moved towards Zoom video conferencing during the pandemic, so too has e-commerce massively grown, and Checkout.com’s rapid development in the last two years demonstrates the effects of the pandemic on digital business.

Zepz

Formerly known as WorldRemit, prior to its acquisition of Sendwave in 2021, Zepz is a SaaS company specialising in P2P cross-border payments. Founded by Ismail Ahmed, a former United Nations Development Programme compliance advisor, the company is headquartered in London, and employs over 1.5k people across the world. 

Zepz runs the two payment brands, WorldRemit and Sendwave, which have a combined user base of 11m people, across 150 countries. In 2020, the fintech’s SaaS products were used for 50m transactions, amounting to $10b, and resulted in $338m in revenue. In the period 2011-2020, Zepz raised £281m in funding, going on to announce a $292m Series E funding in August 2021, which valued the company at $5b. The SaaS company is backed by Accel Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV).

Onfido

Onfido offers SaaS solutions for virtual identity verification and fraud security. The company’s automation software uses AI to assess whether government documents are valid, and then uses facial biometrics to match the verified ID. Their SaaS platform distinguishes itself through the speed and security with which companies can now verify identity. 

Spurred on by the need for digital services, such as secure virtual onboarding during the pandemic, the London-based company announced a record revenue year in 2020, with global annual recurring revenue increasing 82%. Their new clients in 2020 included Visa, Salesforce, and SecureKey. Onfido has so far raised £175m in funding, with its most recent round led by TPG Growth, who have previously backed Airbnb and Uber.

Radius Payment Solutions

Founded in 1990, Radius Payment Solutions is a SaaS company headquartered in Crewe, Cheshire. Operating globally, the business has expanded to cover a broad range of sectors, with software for the fleet and transport sector, as well as telecoms, payment, and insurance solutions. The startup’s SaaS products are market-leading for fleet payment processing and telematics, focusing on small and medium-sized fleets across Europe, North America and Asia. 

In November 2017, UK private equity fund Inflexion made a £150m minority investment into Radius Payment Solutions, helping it increase its customer base and aid its business development in the growing Asian and Indian markets. The company’s latest product development moves see it offer services to the electric vehicle (EV) and electric charging market, through its new division, Radius Energy.

Sonovate

Cardiff-headquartered Sonovate is a fintech lender that provides SaaS products for businesses working with freelance and contract workers. Their technology provides an embedded workspace management platform for dealing with invoices as well as running back office at scale. Sonovate does not only offer a SaaS product – the company provides loans to businesses to pay the invoices for their software solutions. 

In October 2021, the company announced it had passed the £2b mark in total funding for businesses, with half of this provided in the previous two years (October 2019-September 2021). From its foundation in 2013 until 2020, our analysis shows that Sonovate received £124m in investment. In September 2021, the SaaS business and lender gathered a further £67m in funding to continue its development as a leader in the lending-as-a-service market.

Currencycloud

London-based Currencycloud was founded in 2007 and provides a cloud-based platform for international B2B payments. The company offers remittance APIs which can be integrated into different platforms through the SaaS model. As of 2020, the business had processed more than $50b cross-border payments. 

Currencycloud’s services are common with challenger banks, such as Monzo, Starling and Revolut, but its SaaS applications are now being integrated into Visa’s platform. Visa’s SVP and Treasurer, Colleen Ostrowski, currently sits on Currencycloud’s board, following investment in 2020. In the period 2011-2020, the SaaS business received £124m in investment, with their 2020 Series E round led by BNP Paribas and their Series D by Google’s corporate venture fund, GV.

Allica Bank 

Granted its UK banking licence in 2019, Allica Bank is specifically designed to help SMEs develop. With offices in London and Milton Keynes, the B2B bank currently combines an offering of commercial mortgages and business relationship managers. In the future, it aims to provide an all-in-one banking SaaS product for small businesses.

Allica Bank raised £122m by 2020, and is currently backed by Warwick Capital Partners. In March 2021, Allica announced a five-year partnership with mortgage lending platform Landbay, worth £200m in originations per year. The digital challenger bank aimed to fill a gap in the market by lending to SMEs, and is now expected to exceed its £500m lending target for 2021.

Dext

Dext, a London-based cloud accounting ERP platform company, has raised £113m since its founding in 2010. The SaaS business provides a real-time, all-in-one workflow platform for accountants, and has grown to over 450 employees, globally. Its expenses data capture software was formerly known as Receipt Bank. 

Dext experienced significant growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, passing 1m users on its management platform. The company recorded a record-breaking Q1 in 2021. Whilst Dext had been backed by investors Kennet Partners, they cashed in on their stake in April 2021, as Hg made a £12.6m investment in the accountancy platform, making the European private equity firm a major shareholder.

Modulr

Founded in 2015, fintech company Modulr provides payments-as-a-service APIs for businesses. The SaaS company experienced huge growth in 2020, increasing from just 45 employees in 2019 to roughly 220 in 2020, with this figure set to reach 300 by the end of 2021. Beauhurst analysis shows that the three-year CAGR of the company (in the period until December 2019) was a staggering 435%, with a turnover of £6.3m. 

Having raised £9m from PayPal Ventures in November 2020, the company then received an undisclosed investment from FIS Ventures in April 2021. This investment comes off the back of a strong year for the company and now forms part of FIS’s strategic move towards real-time payments, with Modulr already a part of the Bacs and Bank of England Faster Payments scheme.

Perspectum 

Born out of a partnership with the University of Oxford in 2012, Perspectum is an Oxford-based medical software company. Focusing primarily on liver disease, the business has a number of products which use non-invasive medical imaging technology to improve diagnosis and treatment. These are available through its software platform, The Perspectum Portal. 

Perspectum won €3.4m worth of Horizon 2020 grant funding, in order to increase the availability of its product (LiverMultiScan) in the EU. This was on top of an additional €1.1m in funding from Eurostars (Eureka network) to develop further liver disease analytic tools with a Polish software company. 

In April 2020, the medtech company announced a $36m funding round, led by Blue Venture Fund and HealthQuest Capital in the US. According to our data, Perspectum’s three-year CAGR in turnover was an impressive 220% and, with its recent influx of capital, we can expect the SaaS company to continue its rapid growth journey next year.

Babble

Babble is a cloud communication technology company, with more than 200 employees across the UK. The SaaS company is currently pivoting towards a contact centre-as-a-service (CCaaS) business model, following investment from Graphite Capital at the end of 2020, which valued the company at £90m.

As of November 2021, Babble has made a series of nine mergers and acquisitions in the last year, most recently involving Halo Communications and Digital Communications Systems. The moves see the SaaS company expand its footprint across the UK, and diversify its software solutions portfolio. According to a recent report from Babble, it now has over 4k customers with 25k unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS), 34k mobile, and 4k CCaaS users.

Reactive Technologies

Reactive Technologies is a cleantech company, providing grid operators and renewable asset owners with SaaS software to accelerate the transition to clean energy. Based in London and Finland, their connectivity technology is used to manage the grid in periods of instability (caused by a loss of inertia from renewable sources). Their GridMetrix SaaS product measures the grid in real time, allowing operators to safely increase their capacity to use renewable energy sources. 

Reactive Technologies makes our list due to their 160% three-year CAGR in turnover. In August 2021, the SaaS company announced a $15m investment, backed by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Eaton. The investment is a serious validation of the company, as Breakthrough Energy Ventures only invests in technologies potentially capable of reducing greenhouse gases by at least 1% of global emissions.

Matillion

Matillion is a Manchester-based cloud computing company, providing data integration and digital transformation services for businesses to collect and use their data in cloud warehouses. The company offers the Matillion Data Loader software through a SaaS model for companies to aggregate their data, and also offers the Matillion ETL software to quickly transform this data into meaningful insights. 

Crucially, Matillion operates on a user-friendly, “low-code” approach, making it possible for the SaaS platform to be used by a broad range of users, not just trained data scientists. In September 2021, the SaaS unicorn announced a $150m Series E investment, led by General Atlantic, at a valuation of $1.5b. The investment comes off the back of an impressive year of growth, following their February 2021 Series D round.

tyntec

tyntec is a telecommunications software company headquartered in London, but operating worldwide. Founded in 2002, the business has a patented technology infrastructure which gives it direct access to the global mobile phone network. It sells its telecommunications products as SaaS solutions, allowing businesses to directly contact consumers via mobile channels through A2P (application to person) messaging. tyntec has supported APIs for many different mobile messaging services, including SMS, Telegram, and WhatsApp. 

tyntec makes our list due to its latest three-year annual growth rate of 102%. In June 2021, the SaaS applications startup was rated as the Tier One A2P Messaging provider by ROCCO Research, for the third year running. With more businesses now exploring ways to connect with their customers digitally, tyntec’s API services for instant messaging platforms position the company extremely well for future growth.

Physitrack

Founded in 2012, Physitrack is a digital healthcare company, and was in the first cohort of the NHS’s Digital London accelerator scheme. Their telehealth software provides connectivity solutions for patient engagement and outcome tracking, allowing healthcare professionals to have greater contact with patients through technology. 

Physitrack has two main business lines, which focus on B2B SaaS: subscription software which focuses on physiotherapy and musculoskeletal care, and a technology platform which supports in-house physiotherapists in the UK. Physitrack is now used by more than 1m patients each year, in over 100 countries worldwide. 

Alongside being part of the NHS Digital London accelerator program, Physitrack was invited to be part of Apple’s Mobility Partner Program in 2015. This program provides the company with technical guidance from Apple’s user interface and user experience experts in California. The company makes our list due to its 91% three year annual growth rate. The SaaS company completed its IPO in June 2021, with a market value of $21.1m.

WhereIsMyTransport

WhereIsMyTransport is a transport and mobility startup, which focuses on mapping public transport in real time, in emerging market megacities. With investment from the likes of Google and Toyota, the SaaS company is rapidly expanding its transport data services across the world, from its headquarters in London. 

In June 2021, WhereIsMyTransport raised $14.5m in a Series A extension round, led by Naspers Foundry (having already secured $7.5m in the initial Series A in 2020). The announcement of this funding coincides with the development of the company’s first consumer product, mobile app Rumbo. Designed for the Latin American market, Rumbo launched in November 2020 in Mexico City, and has already reached over 100k users—it will be expanding to Lima, Peru in 2021.

Takumi

Based in London and New York City, Takumi is a social media and brand influencer SaaS platform, founded in 2015. Focusing on inbound marketing, Takumi’s software encompasses the entire partnership process in influencer marketing, branding, payment processing, and legal services. Their AI software offers a real-time platform for content management, tracking, and predicting influencer sales, whilst using data to offer branding insights for business development. 

Takumi sits on our list due to its 87% compound annual growth rate. In August 2021, the SaaS company acquired media buying agency Unieed, as part of its expansion into the US market. The digital marketing platform will now look to expand its paid media offerings as part of the acquisition, and has made further hires to support their growth.

Twig

Twig is a digital media and education software company that provides teaching material and video content to schools, via a subscription service. Twig’s teaching materials centre around video, and draw on footage from worldwide archives. Based in London and Glasgow, the multimedia edtech startup already has global reach, with its services being used in 60 countries, in more than 25 languages. 

With increasingly digitised schooling, in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic, Twig’s strong position as a education subscription company suggests clear potential for further growth. They make our list due to a 79% increase in their compound annual growth rate, with a turnover of £17.1m in the year to December 2020.

Tessian

London-based Tessian, an email security SaaS company founded in 2013, has over 350 global customers. Its software platform is used to prevent human errors leading to security breaches or data loss. The company uses AI to monitor incoming and outgoing email in real time to “protect your employees from themselves”. 

In May 2021, Tessian raised $65m in Series C funding, valuing the company at $500m. As the pandemic pushed companies towards home-working, its services have been more crucial than ever. This is evident in the software company’s recent growthTessian tripled its Fortune 500 customer base in 2020, and has recently announced a partnership with cloud security company Okta.

Quantexa

Quantexa is a B2B SaaS company which helps businesses make decisions using their data analytics software. The London-based company was founded by Vishal Marria, after he identified a need for better data analysis tools whilst working as a Director at EY for clients dealing with money laundering issues.

Quantexa allows quick and effective parsing of both internal and external data, for faster insights and decision-making. The SaaS company began by working with financial companies but now also works with governments, healthcare providers, telcos, and in the insurance sector. 

In July 2021, Quantexa raised a growth round of $153m, to further diversify its offering, having increased its subscription revenue by 108% in the previous 12 months. This fundraising valued the company between $800m and $900m. The SaaS business increased its UK headcount by 168% in the three years to March 2020.

Parkopedia

Founded in 2007, Parkopedia is a leading parking software provider, collecting data through  computer vision and AI. Parkopedia’s software provides information on available parking spaces and their cost, and allows customers to pay for parking online. The SaaS company operates both on a B2C and a B2B basis, providing its services for car manufacturers and navigation system companies. It currently has data on 70m parking spaces, in 15k cities around the world. 

Parkopedia’s software is looking towards the future, with EV charging station integration, as well as research around automated parking. It also began a global partnership in 2020, with cloud-based automotive software company CloudCar. Parkopedia’s headcount in the UK increased by 156% over the three year period to July 2020, placing them on our list of fastest-growing SaaS companies in the UK.

ScreenCloud

ScreenCloud provides a digital signage software platform, available on a subscription service. Their app-based platform is used in a wide range of contexts, from workplace corporate communications, education, retail and hospitality, through to places of worship and events. The SaaS company, which now has offices in the US, UK and Thailand, was spun out of the ScreenCloud co-founders’ former digital agency in 2015.

Having raised seed funding in 2017 (in a round led by Walking Ventures), ScreenCloud then secured a ‘Super-Seed’ round in 2018, this time led by European SaaS specialists Point Nine Capital. As of September 2020, our data indicates a 144% headcount increase at the company, as it continues to grow its platform with sales teams.

CUBE 

CUBE is an international regtech firm, offering software solutions for financial institutions to solve and simplify regulatory compliance issues in a global market. The SaaS company applies machine learning and natural language processing to regulatory data to create its systems. 

Its software product, RegPlatform, is aimed at major financial institutions to provide an overall architecture for regulatory needs. In September 2021, the company launched RegAssure to help small businesses and medium-sized organisations comply with regulations as they grow. 

CUBE was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in London, with more than 200 employees, across 11 locations around the world. The SaaS business sits on our leaderboard due to its impressive headcount growth.

Hackajob

Hackajob is transforming the traditional agency approach to recruitment, using cloud-based technology to create an unbiased tech job marketplace. Unlike LinkedIn, the startup places privacy at the centre of its business model. The company offers a recruitment software platform which evaluates potential candidates based on their proven technical skills, rather than their CV, and then matches employers to candidates using machine learning and automation. 

The SaaS company prides itself on improving access to tech jobs, where technical skills are the key metric for its software’s algorithmic matching of candidates to roles. Founded in London in 2014, the company sits on our list due to its 139% headcount growth. It secured a £5m funding round in 2018, and recently organised their first Software Engineering conference, DevLab ‘21.

Form3

Form3 was set up in August 2016 by four banking and technology experts looking to update high-cost legacy payments infrastructures. The SaaS company builds software that provides end-to-end managed, real-time payment functionality for banks and fintech companies. 

Form3’s cloud-based payment technology is built using microservices, meaning that the platform is capable of massive scalability, whilst remaining highly resilient. Its software is combined with clearing and settlement systems, allowing companies to quickly access instant payment systems, such as the Bank of England’s Faster Payments scheme. 

The fintech startup’s recent clients include Lloyds, Mastercard, and Nationwide. In September 2021, Form3 completed its Series C fundraising, worth $160m, in a round led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

F2X Group 

F2X Group is the parent company of fast-growing insurtech Instanda. Built by a team of former CIO-level insurance experts, the Instanda SaaS product came about through their desire to update inefficient systems. Instanda is revolutionising the insurance industry by offering a “rapidly deployable, agile, low cost, innovative and self-configurable” software system, all based on the cloud. 

Using F2X Group’s SaaS platform, insurance companies can create, manage, and distribute their products. Instanda combines both software development and project management consultancy to build highly-customised systems for clients around the world. The software is aimed at both new insurance companies, as well as existing firms looking to update their legacy systems.

Grown as part of Microsoft’s 5th Accelerator Cohort in London, the Cambridge-based SaaS company now boasts a team of over 100. F2X Group continues to grow at pace, and its Instanda software solution has now been distributed to over 60 clients, across 16 countries.

Download our full report on the UK’s burgeoning SaaS industry.