There’s no denying it, UK tech startups are on an incredible growth trajectory. In 2021 alone, £19.1b worth of announced equity deals were raised by UK startups in the technology industry, compared to £8.56b in 2020—a massive 123% surge in pounds invested.
Despite taking on the double incursion of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Kingdom (specifically London) remains a top startup hub and the best tech ecosystem in Europe. The UK has a particularly large number of high-growth SaaS or software-as-a-service businesses (3,417), as well as those operating in fintech (1,163) and artificial intelligence (1,299).
In London especially, startups have access to leading venture capital funds, alongside some of the most active angel investors in the world. Tech entrepreneurs in the UK also benefit from an excellent network of accelerator programmes and grant schemes aimed at small businesses.
Indeed, the UK offers an early-stage ecosystem that gives even Silicon Valley a run for its money. So which UK tech startups should you be watching this year? Read on to find out.
Ranking the UK’s
top tech startups
There are many ways to measure startup success. Here, we’ve chosen to rank the top 50 UK tech companies by the amount of equity investment they’ve received to date.
Each of these businesses is currently operating at the seed or venture stages of evolution, and was founded since the start of 2020.
They won’t boast billion-dollar unicorn valuations like Hopin or Revolut, nor will they have expanded to multiple offices around the world. Instead, this list reveals some of the most promising businesses in the country, still in the early stages of their growth journeys.
It’s clear that investors see bright futures for these tech companies, having provided them with the capital to realise their potential. So, if you work with ambitious tech startups and scaleups, then these 50 companies should all be on your radar.
Sector: Food delivery
Total amount raised: £181m
Part of the rapid online grocery delivery revolution, Zapp is a mobile app that promises to deliver groceries, snacks and other essential products to doorsteps in 20 minutes or less. Zapp’s edge is that, unlike other grocery delivery companies like Getir and Gorillas, Zapp is available 24/7. Zapp is expanding rapidly and now operates in London, Manchester, Cambridge, Bristol, Paris, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
Zapp was launched in November 2020 by Joe Falter, along with his co-founder Navid Hadzaad, a former product leader at Amazon’s Seattle HQ. Since then, the company has secured £181m in funding, with investors including Lightspeed, Atomico, 468 Capital and Burda.
Total amount raised: 150m
Flexion Energy develops and operates energy storage assets, specifically large-scale batteries that service the grid. The cleantech startup aims to supply storage solutions that counter problems facing the sector, such as grid volatility and system imbalance, at utility scale.
Co-founded by Dan Taylor and Hassen Bali in 2020, Flexion Energy’s flexible business model was built to withstand future changes in the energy sector and aims to help the UK achieve net zero emissions. The company has undergone one funding round so far, totalling £150m.
Sector: Internet and networking hardware
Location: South West
Total amount raised: £123m
Founded in 2019, Netomnia provides fibre broadband to businesses and homes across the United Kingdom. Much of the UK still relies on a copper network, which is unsuitable for internet use today. But Netomnia plans to upgrade the network to fibre, using light particles to carry data. It’s secured an impressive £123m in investment so far, in just one funding round.
The company aims to first serve areas across the country which, historically, have had to contend with poor internet speeds and connections, and create a network which lasts long term. By 2023, it aims to connect 1m homes and all company types, from small businesses to larger enterprises, and 2m nationwide by 2024. The team has decades of experience in the industry between them, and is led by Jeremy Chelot as CEO.
Total amount raised: £45.0m
University of Bristol spinout Purespring is a medtech startup that develops renal-related gene therapies. It aims to transform the lives of the 8m people in the UK who suffer from kidney diseases.
Launched in November 2020, Purespring’s approach is based on the pioneering work of Professor Moin Saleem, Professor of Paediatric Renal Medicine at the university. The research focuses on the podocyte, a cell type vital to kidney functioning.
All of Purespring’s £45.0m in total funding so far has come from Syncona, a life science investment company with a proven track-record in building innovative gene therapy companies.
raised in total
Sector: Internet platforms
Total amount raised: £30.4m
HeyGo provides live stream tours of tourist locations, allowing guides to share their favourite places with a global audience. Users explore the world together, and can interact with their guides (and each other) in real time. Currently streaming tours from 95+ countries, the platform is home to over 1k guides from 910 locations.
HeyGo was created by co-founders John Tertan and Liam Garrison, as a way for them to keep exploring new places during the pandemic. Now that the world is opening up to tourism and travel again, it allows users to explore sites in an accessible, environmentally-conscious way.
The company’s platform is free to join and funded by tips, with users encouraged to tip whatever they can afford after a tour. It’s also developing an app, which is currently in beta mode. The tech startup has raised £30.4m to date, across two funding rounds.
Total amount raised: £29.9m
Twig operates a circular economy banking app that acts like a modern pawnbroker. The fintech company allows consumers to instantly convert unwanted items into credit, with its app valuing items in nanoseconds through a market-based pricing algorithm. Twig has also launched its For the Earth by Twig platform, which allows customers to support climate projects through carbon offsetting and tree planting programmes.
Twig is now a certified B-corp, in recognition of its commitment to combating climate change through alternative finance and green payment infrastructure. It was also recently awarded the Best Personal Finance App in the British Bank Awards. The innovative tech startup is expanding rapidly, and has raised £29.9m in funding so far, across two funding rounds.
Total amount raised: £28.3m
Another eco-focused tech startup in the ranking, Sylvera is a SaaS company that develops software for companies to garner market insights into carbon offsetting projects. The cleantech startup uses satellite images and machine learning technology to produce these insights, alongside public data (such as from NASA and the European Space Agency).
Through its forensic analysis, Sylvera is creating accountability at a critical time for the oft-criticised carbon markets. The company’s investors include Seedcamp, Index Ventures, Revent, Insight Partners, LocalGlobe and Salesforce Ventures. It has raised a total of £28.3m, across three funding rounds.
Sector: Collaboration tools
Total amount raised: £23.3m
Built to foster efficient teamwork, Cord is another SaaS company, which develops collaboration software for boosting workplace productivity. Cord offers a single API to add Slack-like collaboration features to any app.
With remote working now here to stay, Cord’s platform provides a place for teams to easily work together, as well as a tool for communicating with clients. The company’s users already include big names like Adobe, Google and Facebook. It’s raised £23.3m so far, across three funding rounds, with investors such as NFX and Stride.VC.
Total amount raised: £23.2m
Q-commerce (quick commerce) startup Jiffy is an online supermarket with an ultra-fast delivery service. Customers can order produce and household essentials through the Jiffy app. The orders are packed at smart fulfilment centres (located throughout London) and delivered straight away, meaning customers receive them within minutes of ordering.
Founded in 2020, the company is part of the grocery services-on-demand sector, which has seen rapid growth since the start of the pandemic. Co-founders Vladimir Kholiaznikov and Artus Shamalov are taking a measured approach to growing the food delivery startup, at odds with a number of competitors in the e-commerce space. Jiffy has secured two funding rounds since its launch, totalling £23.2m.
Sector: Analytics, insights, tools
Total amount raised: £21.7m
m3ter develops software for other software businesses, allowing them to introduce effective, usage-based pricing. The SaaS company has designed a metering engine and a rating engine, plus an intelligence suite for exploring usage data and optimising pricing.
Co-founded by entrepreneurs Griffin Parry (CEO) and John Griffin (Director) in 2020, m3ter has raised £21.7m in investment to date, from three funding rounds. It has secured investment from venture capital funds Kindred Capital, Union Square Ventures and Insight Partners.
Location: South East
Total amount raised: £20.0m
Precision medicine company ThirtyFiveBio discovers and develops treatments to target cancers of the digestive system. It aims to treat the disease by developing novel modulators of the genetically validated GPCR, GPR35 (integral proteins that are found in various tissues throughout the body).
The seed-stage startup was founded at the beginning of 2022, making it one of the youngest companies on our list of top UK tech companies. Based in Oxford, the team is currently undergoing a drug discovery programme, to identify novel small-molecule modulators. It expects to use these as part of the treatment of a broad range of digestive system cancers. ThirtyFiveBio has raised just shy of £20m so far, across two funding rounds.
Location: South East
Total amount raised: £15.7m
Also headquartered in Oxford is Orbit Discovery. The innovative healthcare startup develops drug discovery platforms based on peptide therapeutics, to identify effective and biologically-relevant treatments for chronic diseases.
Orbit Discovery was co-founded in 2015 by Terry Rabbitts and Professor Graham Ogg. Ogg was elected as the Academy of Medical Sciences Fellow in 2021, in recognition of his research into COVID-19 immune responses during the pandemic.
The company has raised a total of £15.7m so far, across four funding rounds. Orbit Discovery’s latest funding round was in July of last year, with the medtech company receiving investment from Borealis Ventures and Perivoli Innovations, among others.
Sector: Betting establishments
Location: East of Scotland
Total amount raised: £15.6m
BetDEX Labs operates a sports betting platform which uses blockchain technology, specialising in the Solana network. Traditionally, sports betting companies have high prices and hold onto player funds for as long as possible, which heightens counterparty risk. By using blockchain, BetDEX aims to deliver faster times and lower transaction costs, while lessening counterparty risk.
BetDEX Labs launched last year, with a mission to build a global decentralised sports betting protocol. Its team (formerly of FanDuel) secured a £15.6m seed investment, led by cryptocurrency investment firm Paradigm and Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
Total amount raised: £14.5m
Dunad Therapeutics is part of a growing number of precision medicine healthtech startups. The seed-stage healthcare company develops small molecule therapeutics to treat a range of diseases. Its platform, which enables selective degradation via direct target modification, allows for a more effective drug discovery and development path. This should allow scientists to develop new treatments for previously untreatable conditions.
Co-founders Patrick Gunning and Diana Kraskouskaya lead the team at Dunad Therapeutics, as CEO and COO. Since incorporating in 2020, the company has raised a total of £14.5m, across two funding rounds with investors including Epidarex Capital.
Sector: Business banking and financial services
Total amount raised: £13.9m
United Fintech acquires and scales fintech companies in the capital market space. It is creating a single, centralised platform for banks, hedge funds and asset managers to find tailored solutions that help them move into the digital space.
The seed-stage company was founded in 2020, and already has over 100 employees worldwide, in eight offices. So far, it’s acquired four fintech companies, and has raised £13.9m in funding.
Sector: Analytics, insights, tools
Location: North West
Total amount raised: £13.4m
Venture-stage startup Raycast develops software for developers to access, prioritise, and control their tools, tasks, and programmes. Raycast is one of many UK-based workplace SaaS tools growing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic—including larger-scale companies like Wagestream, Onfido, and Ripjar.
Raycast is a Mac-only tool that works in a similar way to macOS Spotlight, allowing developers to work across multiple platforms, seamlessly integrating and automating workflows. The goal is to simplify developers’ tech stack.
Petr Nikolaev founded Raycast at the beginning of 2020, with the company securing its first fundraising in October that year. To date, the company has secured a total of £13.4m in funding, from Accel, Chapter One Ventures, Coatue Management and YCombinator.
Sector: Outsourcing and shared services
Total amount raised: £12.9m
Founded in 2020, UK startup Hofy was created amidst the rise of home-working during the pandemic. It helps organisations to manage remote and hybrid workplaces, by centralising and automating workplace management processes. Hofy combines functions such as asset tracking and mobile device management to allow companies to equip new employees anywhere in the world with IT and office furniture.
Entrepreneurs Sami Bouremoum and Michael Ginzo co-founded the business, now operating at the venture stage. Hofy has secured two funding rounds so far, totalling £12.9m. The company has over 70 employees and its investors include Stride.VC and Day One Ventures.
Location: South East
Total amount raised: £12.0m
With consumers increasingly choosing electric options for transport these days, Lunaz Design aims to balance the energy transition and style in the car market. The Silverstone-based tech startup sells a range of legacy vehicles that have been re-engineered as electric cars (think Aston Martins, Rolls-Royces and Bentleys), with prices ranging between £295k and £1m.
And Lunaz Designs doesn’t just focus on passenger vehicles, but also commercial and industrial vehicles. Founded last year, it’s one the youngest of the top startups in this list. So far, the green automotive company has raised £12.0m in investment, across four funding rounds. Notably, footballer-turned-entrepreneur David Beckham also has a 10% stake in the business.
Total amount raised: £11.4m
Your Fintech App is a London-based startup which enables businesses across the UK and Europe to operate their own cloud-based fintech applications. Users can curate personalised banking experiences, creating customised current accounts and debit cards, as well as cashback rewards. Businesses can also organise payrolls through the app and make bank transfers.
The fintech company has raised a total of £11.4m in investment so far, across three funding rounds. The latest of these was an unannounced deal (or stealth round) worth £3.27m, secured in October 2018.
using SaaS models
Sector: Property/land development
Total amount raised: £11.2m
FYLD is a digital platform for businesses in the construction industry. It uses machine learning to transform video and audio footage into real-time workflows, visual risk assessments and analytics dashboards. By lessening the amount of paperwork that managers have to work through, the platform improves the efficiency and safety of the job.
The scaleup company has partnerships with major companies such as British Gas and Ferrovial, and projects such as HS2. Powered by artificial intelligence technology, FYLD’s platform delivers benefits to managers, field workers, contractors and civil engineers.
Led by CEO and Director Shelley Copsey, FYLD’s team has a background in disruptive technologies, spanning BCG, Ticketmaster and Shazam. It’s raised £11.2m in investment so far, across two funding rounds, with Koru and SGN.
Total amount raised: £11.1m
Pneumagen develops antiviral and antibacterial medications for the treatment of infectious respiratory tract infections. Having spun-out of the University of St Andrew’s in 2015, it is one of several biotech companies in this ranking which grew during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company’s research centres around carbohydrate-binding molecules. Pneumagen’s lead product—Neumifil—is an intranasal product which provides pan-antiviral protection against respiratory viruses such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and coronaviruses. Neumifil acts by stopping viruses at the site of infection, reducing their ability both to enter cells and to migrate to the lungs.
The innovative UK startup has so far raised £11.1m in investment, across six funding rounds. Its investors include Equity Gap, Scottish Enterprise and Thairm Bio.
Total amount raised: £10.7m
Fintern develops AI-driven credit software which disrupts the traditional model of mainstream lenders. Rather than using credit scores, Fintern instead uses artificial intelligence and a borrower’s live financial data which can be easily linked to its app.
The fintech company aims to remove the stress and anxiety of borrowing, and allows users to take control of their lending by dictating their own repayment amounts. Its latest funding round in February 2022 was led by Hambro Perks, and brought the startup’s total fundraisings to £10.7m.
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Sector: Property/land development
Total amount raised: £11.2m
Vira Health was created to plug the gender gap within research surrounding menopause-related medicine and treatments. Its flagship app, Stella, allows those experiencing menopause to monitor their symptoms. Most recently, it has also moved into providing digital therapies to users, by suggesting personalised and evidence-based solutions to common symptoms.
The femtech startup has raised a total of £10.7m in investment so far, across two funding rounds. In 2019, Vira Health also took part in the Zinc Mission 3 (Later Life) accelerator programme, focused on startups aiming to provide a higher quality of life to people over 70. The company is now aiming to expand into the United States.
Total amount raised: £10.2m
Field aims to finance, build, operate, and monetise the renewable energy infrastructure required for the world to reach net zero. By creating profitable infrastructure, Field aims to show there’s a way to invest that is beneficial for both the planet and for investors. The company is led by Luke Gibson and Bulb co-founder Amit Gudka.
Starting with energy storage, Field aims to produce 1.3 GW UK and EU batteries by 2023. It then plans to move into other infrastructure projects. To date, Field has secured two funding rounds with Giant Ventures and angel investors, worth £10.2m in total.
Location: South East
Total amount raised: £9.34m
Spun-out from fellow top UK tech startup Orbit Discovery in August 2020, pharmaceuticals company T-Cypher Bio develops T-Cell receptor (or TCR) discovery software. T-Cell receptors function to correctly identify specific antigens from potentially harmful pathogens, and trigger the appropriate response from the body. Identifying TCRs allows for the treatment of tumours and other diseases.
T-Cypher Bio aims to advance the treatment of solid tumours, as well as autoimmune, inflammatory and infectious diseases. Its discovery platform is the foundation of the company’s pipeline, which includes an end-to-end approach to cell therapy development and patient treatment.
The company is led by CEO Thomas Lars Anderson. Anderson has founded several successful life sciences companies already and won the Elite Research Prize from the Danish Ministry of Science. T-Cypher Bio has secured two funding rounds so far, worth £9.34m in total, with investors including Oxford Science Enterprises and RT Ventures.
Total amount raised: £9.21m
Healthcare-focused tech startup Duke Street Bio produces cancer treatments. The company develops molecules that modulate the activity of key enzymes in immune-resistant tumours. It focuses on reprogramming cancer cell and tumour microenvironment biology to use the power of the immune system to fight cancers.
So far, Duke Street Bio has raised £9.21m to fund its research, across two funding rounds. Its management team, chaired by Peter Trill, is experienced in delivering clinical molecules across therapeutic areas.
Location: South East
Total amount raised: £9.03m
Also on this year’s list is Gardin, a tech startup aiming to revolutionise food production and supply chains. Gardin is developing optical phenotyping technology to help farmers deliver superior yields with higher nutrition and quality. It allows growers to monitor photosynthesis in real time, and uses machine learning to optimise their agricultural processes. The company hopes to become a data marketplace for the global food supply chain.
Last year, Gardin was featured on the 2021 Game Changers high-growth list. It has also raised a total of £9.03m in funding, and received a grant worth £160k. Gardin’s investors include Molten Ventures, LDV capital, Seedcamp and MMC Ventures.
Total amount raised: £8.83m
Fintech startup Tulipshare is an investment platform for activist investors. Its users invest their money into publicly-listed organisations, while allowing Tulipshare to leverage their shareholder rights to promote social change. The company’s research analysts identify opportunities for change and then build campaigns based around impact rather than short-term returns. This allows individual users to work together to change the way public companies are run from within.
Tulipshare was founded in 2020 and is based in Hackney. The company’s users recently accumulated enough shares in Apple for it to launch a campaign. Founded by Antoine Argouges, the financial services firm has a small team of less than 10 employees, but has already raised £8.83m via two funding rounds. Tulipshare’s investors include Speedinvest, a venture capital fund specialising in pre-seed, seed and early-stage tech startups.
1 in 4
Total amount raised: £8.50m
E1 Series is the world’s first electric powerboat racing series. It was developed to create a new sporting event that inspires the use of electric vehicles in the water and contributes to the environmental health of the ocean. The series will feature 12 teams, competing on short courses around the world. Each will purchase two powerboats, one to be based in Europe, and one to be based in St. Helena.
In September last year, E1 Series revealed a full-size model of the powerboat due to be used in the race. Prototype testing is due to take place in 2022, ahead of the first season, currently scheduled for 2023.
E1 Series was launched in the United Kingdom in 2020, by Alejandro Agag (a pioneer of sustainable motorsport) and Rodi Basso (a motorsport engineer with a background in Formula 1). It aims to inspire a sustainable future in the marine transportation industry.
Sector: Digital security
Total amount raised: £8.41m
Enterprises are increasingly investing in and using cloud services for their operations. This means there’s a heightened risk of cloud-based attacks, as well as the potential severity of these attacks being greater. As more and more organisations are making this switch to the cloud, Cado Security was founded to tackle this danger. It claims to be the world’s first cloud-native digital forensics platform.
The SaaS cybersecurity company aims to make its platform as simple and straightforward as possible for security teams to use. It automates data capture and processing which so often slows teams down when responding to a cyber attack. Co-founders James Campbell and Chris Doman created the platform in 2020, since which they have raised £8.41m of funding.
Location: South East
Total amount raised: £8.00m
Healthcare company Dark Blue Therapeutics develops medical therapies for cancer treatment. The medtech startup converts novel biological insights into therapeutics which treat DNA damage. It has a starting portfolio of four original programmes.
Founded in 2020, Dark Blue Therapeutics is a spinout from the University of Oxford. It has secured £8.00m worth of investment to date.
Sector: Analytics, insight, tools
Total amount raised: £7.59m
UK tech company DataOps.live operates an online platform which is effectively an enterprise-ready cloud data warehouse. It aims to improve the efficiency of a range of data operations, including pipeline development and automation.
Founded in 2018, DataOps.live has been around longer than most top tech startups in the UK’s high-growth ecosystem. Co-founders Justin Mullen and Guy Adams developed the business to address common data problems, and drew on their software development backgrounds to create a new approach for applying DevOps to data.
Total amount raised: £7.56m
Haruko develops a platform which connects institutional investors with cryptocurrency markets and blockchain opportunities. The company’s API-driven platform offers portfolio management and risk management, as well as detailed analytics, and allows users to explore opportunities with institutional DeFi (decentralised finance).
Founded in May 2021, Haruko aims to be the go-to interface between institutions and the blockchain world. It announced a £7.56m seed funding round this year, led by Portage Ventures and White Star Capital.
Total amount raised: £7.51m
WeVee was created by leasing-industry expert Paul Fagan in 2019, to meet the growing demand for eco-friendly transport solutions. WeVee is an online marketplace for leasing electric vehicles in the UK, and the cleantech startup has exciting plans to offer clients even more forms of electric transport: e-bicycles, e-scooters, e-cars, vans, buses, and even sea and air travel.
WeVee’s customer-focused platform has a broad range of vehicles from big names like Tesla and Smart to lesser-known brands like Rivian. Since launching, the company has raised £7.51m from investors, across three funding rounds. And it is now taking steps to expand the business across Europe.
Total amount raised: £7.50m
Metaphysic develops software that uses artificial intelligence to create synthetic and deepfake media content. Users apply AI to create a hyperreal avatar, which can then be used to create content without having to film in-person. The product can be used in content marketing, content creation across major social media platforms like YouTube, Tiktok and LinkedIn, and in the film industry.
The AI startup’s only funding round to date was a £7.5m deal with the likes of venture capital firms 8VC and Winklevoss Capital. It has also received investment from YouTube star Logan Paul. Metaphysic has been featured in major publications such as Forbes, Business Insider, The Guardian and The New York Times. The company also runs SyntheticFutures, a community which celebrates ethical avatar creation and addresses harmful uses.
Total amount raised: £7.23m
Superfluid is a London-based fintech company that develops software to allow businesses to transfer money through open streams rather than lump-sums. The idea behind this is to allow businesses to liberate cash flows by making use of idle money. Superfluid does this by using cryptocurrencies and stablecoins to enable recurring payments.
Unlike blockchain transfers which are normally settled in a sequence, superfluid streams are a constant flow of transactions that are executed automatically every time a new block is minted on the blockchain. This also facilitates wallets with the ability to display real-time balances. The company has raised £7.23m in investment so far, across two funding rounds.
Total amount raised: £7.16m
Lightyear is a fintech startup which processes global investments without account fees, trading fees or foreign exchange fees (up to a certain point). The company aims to target consumers in the European market, offering commission-free multi-currency accounts for trading. Its app was launched in September 2021, and was just awarded the Altfi One to Watch award.
Lightyear co-founders Martin Sokk and Mihkel Aamer met while working at unicorn fintech Wise, which has developed a platform for sending money across currencies. Their old boss, Wise co-founder Taaver Hinrikus, has even invested in their new startup, alongside early Monzo backer Eileen Burbidge. So far, Lightyear has secured a total of £7.16m in funding.
Total amount raised: £6.85m
Toqio develops a SaaS fintech platform which enables businesses to create financial services and solutions that can be quickly deployed to their customers. The no-code, fully customisable platform allows companies to embed their products within weeks. Solutions include digital banking, card programmes and financing, whilst it also offers products to help with digital onboarding, accounts and payments, debit cards and expenses.
Founded in March 2021, Toqio already has over 60 employees, based in five locations around the world and three office hubs within London, Madrid and Nairobi. The venture-stage company has undergone one fundraising so far, worth £6.85m, and is part of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.
Total amount raised: £6.62m
Fintech startup Nous helps households understand how their finances will be impacted by the cost-of-living crisis. Households provide their address and bank details, and its tool tracks prices and inflation to identify the increase in costs the user will experience. Nouse then generates a free, personalised report which has steps the user can take to mitigate these changes.
Ultimately, the fast-growing SaaS company aims to use its technology to support households and ensure they do not bear the brunt of the crisis. Founded by entrepreneurs Greg Marsh (who previously founded onefinestay) and Christian Hølmer (ex-Facebook), Nous has raised £6.62m through one funding round. Investors include Mosaic Ventures and Tom Blomfield (Founder and CEO of Monzo).
Sector: Payment processing
Location: South East
Total amount raised: £6.58m
pawaPay develops a mobile payment processing API for businesses. It plans to provide mobile money payments infrastructure for people and organisations in Africa to make and accept mobile account payments. The software takes just one to two days to integrate, and creates a checkout flow for African mobile money accounts. The company believes that mobile money is the future of payments in Africa, with debit or credit cards and banks playing a secondary role.
pawaPay has processed 257.4m transactions and is available in 10 of the biggest markets in Africa. The fintech company was originally the payments unit of PawaTech, a UK software company which builds mobile money solutions for African markets. It was spun-out in early 2020, and is now led by Kresten Buch (as Chairman of the Board) and Nikolai Barnwell (as CEO).
Total amount raised: £6.50m
E-commerce company Sproutl is a UK tech startup that aims to make gardening accessible to all. It partners with suppliers and garden centres around the UK to create a centralised marketplace where users can buy plants and accessories, and access information and advice about gardening. The company also runs an online community on Instagram, offering gardening tips and support.
The seed stage company has undergone one fundraising round so far, totalling £6.50m. Its co-founders, Anni Noel-Johnson and Andy Done, are ex-Farfetch and teamed up to create Sproutl after Noel-Johnson wanted to plant her London garden. They have plans to partner with more independent garden centres around the UK, and release more exclusive products and collaborations in the future.
Total amount raised: £6.41m
Euler develops a trading platform and app, using a non-custodial protocol on Ethereum which allows users to lend and borrow almost any crypto asset. The blockchain startup’s standout features include permissionless listing, asset tiers, reactive interest rates, MEV-resistant liquidations, protected collateral and multi-collateral stability pools.
Euler aims to bring decentralised finance to the masses, and is led by a team of four: co-founders Dr Michael Bentley (CEO), Doug Hoyte (blockchain developer), Jack Prior (full-stack developer) and Brandon Neal (COO). The seed-stage company is backed by leading investors such as Paradigm, Lemniscap and Launchub Ventures, and has undergone two funding rounds, worth a combined £6.41m.
Total amount raised: £6.27m
Insurtech startup BondAval operates a digital credit security platform. BondAval’s product MicroBonds has the benefit of removing barriers that currently exist between large corporations and small businesses in supply chains, using B2B credit security rather than traditional collateral-based instruments.
Last year, BondAval was selected to be part of Tech Nation’s Fintech 4.0 cohort, which is their list of the UK’s most promising fintech startups. The company is currently live in both the UK and the US, and has so far raised £6.27m, across two funding rounds. Its investors include Octopus Ventures, Expa, InsurTech Gateway and TrueSight Ventures.
Location: South East
Total amount raised: £6.00m
Alethiomics develops therapies that aim to treat forms of chronic blood cancer known as myeloproliferative neoplasms, or MPNs. Current treatments bring symptomatic relief but do not eliminate the stem cells that cause the disease. Alethiomics identifies new drug targets within these stem cells. Its platform uses multi-omic information from single cells to provide deeper understanding of the disease, and more intelligent target identification.
Incorporated in July last year, Alethiomics is a spinout of the University of Oxford. The precision medicine startup has secured £6.00m in seed financing from Oxford Science Enterprises.
based in London
Sector: Internet and networking hardware
Location: North West
Total amount raised: £6.00m
Telecommunications tech startup Freedom Fibre provides fibre broadband services. It aims to reach hard-to-service locations in the UK, so that everyone—households, SMEs and larger businesses—can access high-speed broadband at an affordable price. The company runs its fibre underground and along poles, and each network is immune to noise, which increases speed. It uses splitters to service as many homes as possible, and its kerbside boxes can serve thousands of homes each.
Based in Manchester, Freedome Fibre boasts a management team that’s highly experienced in the UK telecoms industry. Since its inception in 2020, the company has secured one funding round, worth just shy of £6m.
Total amount raised: £5.87m
Supermarket shopping is a time-consuming chore but Lollipop is aiming to change that, by creating an AI-assisted platform for people to do their grocery shop. Partnered with BBC GoodFood and Sainsbury’s, Lollipop’s online platform is recipe-led, with the idea of speeding up the process by automatically suggesting and assembling a shopping basket.
The company’s founder, Tom Foster-Carter, had the idea for Lollipop after becoming a new father and finding himself with less time for simple chores. Beyond speeding up shopping, Lollipop’s artificial intelligence technology also aims to reduce food waste and promote healthy eating. Its investors include JamJar and Speedinvest, with the company securing £5.87m so far, across two funding rounds.
Total amount raised: £5.85m
Ranking next on our list of top startups is Yonder, which develops a credit card built for expats living in the UK. Users do not need a credit score to have one, can earn points to spend on handpicked experiences in London, and can also use it outside of the United Kingdom with no foreign exchange fees. The Yonder app can be used to receive payment notifications, and to browse and redeem experiences.
Incorporated in 2020, Yonder has been built by a team from prestigious fintech companies such as Wise, ClearScore and Monzo. It is currently operating at the seed stage of evolution, having undergone two fundraisings so far, totalling £5.85m.
Location: Northern Ireland
Total amount raised: £5.84m
Seed-stage company Responsible develops software called Buy Back. The software enables customers at e-commerce and retail partners to return clothing items even after they’ve been used, in exchange for store credit. The customer answers questions to determine the value of the item after use and, once confirmed, Responsible will then either refurbish and resell it or recycle the materials.
The tech startup, which also operates its own online streetwear store, aims to promote circularity in the fashion ecosystem. Responsible has undergone two fundraisings so far, worth £5.84m in total, and has been featured by the BBC, Drapers, and more. It currently has partnerships with brands such as Supreme, Palace and Aires.
Total amount raised: £5.60m
Fintech company Rvvup develops a platform that provides users with a range of centralised and decentralised payment options. It aims to build a global infrastructure that will allow the centralised and Web3 decentralised financial systems to operate in conjunction with one another.
Essentially, Rvvup’s technology will allow buyers to pay for things with either traditional currency or cryptocurrencies, as well as to settle business faster and with fewer costs. Founded in 2020, the seed-stage company already has investment from HV Capital and venture capital firm Lakestar. It has raised £5.60m so far, from one funding round.
Total amount raised: £5.51m
London-based startup DiiD describes itself as a ‘one-stop shop’ for fans. Using DiiD’s software, musicians, artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and brands can create microapps for connecting to their audiences directly via QR codes, without the need for websites.
The attraction of DiiD’s direct-to-fan apps is that they’re completely separate from social media and also free from adverts, giving users more control over their content. DiiD has raised a total of £5.51m in investment so far, across five funding rounds.
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