Top 5 UK Female-Founded AI Companies in 2024

Sarah Cheesman, 29 February 2024

Table of Contents

It’s no secret that artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a transformative force throughout many different sectors, permeating our lives in ways that weren’t even imaginable a decade ago. From personalised recommendations on streaming platforms, to cutting-edge advancements in healthcare and beyond, it’s safe to say this technology is everything.

As these capabilities continue to expand, so too does the landscape of AI-based companies. While it’s traditionally seen as a male-dominated field, the tide is turning as more and more visionary women are stepping into the forefront of innovation.

The UK stands as a hub for AI entrepreneurship, with a myriad of companies pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. Among these, many are female-founded, making significant strides and carving out their niche in the industry. These women-led ventures are not only challenging the status quo, but also reshaping perceptions and driving meaningful change.

What does the AI company landscape look like in the UK?

There are currently 2,585 active AI companies in the UK, which have turned over more than £8b in their latest financials and are hiring over 67k employees. The majority of these sit within the technology and IP-based business sectors, covering industries such as software-as-a-service (SaaS), internet platforms, and mobile apps.

The vast majority of these businesses would be considered startups—in the seed and venture stages (64%). While a huge 86.5% of founders within the AI sector are male, 12.7% are female (with 7% being either entirely or majority female). This is in comparison to 17.4% across every industry within the UK.

In fact, there are currently a total of 414 AI companies with female founders, accounting for a total of 900 fundraisings since 2011. These peaked in 2022, with £557m worth of funding raised for their businesses (149 fundraisings in total). While these are impressive figures, it was reported last year that female-founded AI startups win just 2% of funding deals in the UK, showing a clear gender imbalance within the sector.

In the latest edition of our flagship report, The Deal 2023, we detailed that of the 291 AI companies that received equity fundraising in 2023, just 8.9% were founded by an all-female or majority-female team. However, in 2023, we saw a marginal increase of 0.3% in the number of deals that went to all-female-founded companies overall, and while only a small incline, it’s still record-breaking support for female entrepreneurs.

The Deal 2023

Explore our annual equity market update for exclusive access to every deal in 2023, along with insightful analysis on what the story behind the data, and projections for 2024.

Why is there a gender imbalance in the AI sector?

While the industry continues to expand and innovate at an unprecedented pace, women remain underrepresented at the helm of AI startups. Understanding the reasons behind this gender disparity is crucial for fostering a more inclusive and diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Historically, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, including AI, have been predominantly male-dominated. This historical gender disparity in STEM education and career opportunities has created enduring barriers for women looking to enter and excel in tech-related industries. The lack of representation in these fields can deter aspiring female entrepreneurs from pursuing ventures in AI, perpetuating the gender gap in founding AI companies.

One of the persistent challenges women face in the AI industry is the underrepresentation in tech leadership roles. Despite advancements, women continue to encounter barriers in accessing leadership positions, mentorship, and visibility within the tech sector. The absence of visible role models and mentors can make it difficult for aspiring female entrepreneurs to envision themselves as leaders in the AI industry, impacting their confidence and willingness to launch startups.

Unconscious bias and gender stereotypes also play a significant role in perpetuating the gender imbalance of founders in the AI industry. Biases in hiring practices, investment decisions, and opportunities for advancement can create environments where women are undervalued or overlooked, hindering their ability to establish and grow AI startups. Additionally, societal expectations regarding caregiving responsibilities and work-life balance can pose unique challenges for women in entrepreneurship, influencing their decision to pursue ventures in AI.

Access to funding and resources is another critical factor contributing to the gender gap in AI entrepreneurship. Studies have consistently shown that women-led startups face challenges in accessing venture capital compared to their male counterparts. Limited access to funding can impede the growth and scalability of female-founded AI companies, limiting their ability to compete in the market and perpetuating the gender disparity in the industry.

The UK’s top 5 female-founded AI companies in 2024

We have ranked the UK’s top female-founded AI companies based on the amount of equity investment they have raised since they were founded, where the company’s most recent investment is since 2022 and beyond. We focused on companies in the seed, venture, or growth stage. Each of these companies is tracked by Beauhurst because they have hit at least one of our high-growth signals:


Total amount raised: £6.08m
Total equity rounds: 2
Established: 2022
Location: Islington

Complyance has developed an online platform that uses AI technology to automate a range of compliance processes for businesses. It offers a range of services including controls management, evidence centres, policy centres, risk management and vendor management. It was founded in 2022 by Richa Kaul, who was the previous Chief Strategy Officer at ContractPodAI—an AI-based legal management service.

In the past two years, the company has secured £6.08m through two rounds of equity fundraising; for £1.65m and £4.43m respectively. The most recent funding round was completed in October 2023 through undisclosed investors, giving them a post-money valuation of £21.0m.



Total amount raised: £7.08m
Total equity rounds: 8
Established: 2016
Location: Camden

AR and VR developers, Spinview, provide products for building and city management. With head offices in Camden, London, the company aims to enhance building health, compliance and safety by combining the power of visual digital twins with its unique human-centric approach (named Visual Intelligence).

The company was founded by Linda Wade, who previously held senior positions at world-leading technology companies such as Microsoft. It has appeared on the BusinessCloud PropTech 50 high-growth list in 2022 and 2023.

Since being founded in 2016, it has raised £7.08m in equity fundraising through eight rounds, the most recent of which was in February 2023 for £72.5k. They have also been granted a further £349k through Innovate UK in June 2021.

Read more about how our client uses our data to identify and validate new investment opportunities.



Total amount raised: £7.92m
Total equity rounds: 5
Established: 2015
Location: Westminster

syd creates personalised health plans using genetic profiling technology and academic research. Founder, Lorena Puica, was born in Romania to a physicist father and entrepreneur mother, and displayed an early talent for maths and computers.

She had five degrees and a book by the time she was 24, building a career in investment management alongside gaining two world records as an athlete. She later built a team to develop the AI-powered platform for personalised, science-based preventative health recommendations after being dissatisfied with the options available when she encountered her own health challenges.

The company was founded in 2015 and has gone through five rounds of equity fundraising, gaining a total of £7.92m. The largest of these was for £2.78m in March 2019, contributed to by undisclosed investors. It has been an attendee in two different accelerator programmes, including Applied AI and the Mayor’s International Business Programme.



Total amount raised: £19.5m
Total equity rounds: 8
Established: 2017
Location: City of London

proSapient has developed machine learning software designed to help clients conduct primary research via connecting users with industry experts for consultation or recruitment, as well as providing a bespoke survey creation and deployment service and managing research projects.

The business was founded in 2017 by Margaryta Polishchuk, from an Expert Networking background, and Jordan Cocksedge, who at the time was a client of hers. It has since raised £19.5m through eight rounds of equity fundraising, the most recent of which was in October 2023 for £1.5m. This investment gave them a post-money valuation of £46.0m.



Total amount raised: £19.9m
Total equity rounds: 10
Established: 2013
Location: Camden

Topping our list is the online educational platform, CENTURY. The AI-based software allows data on teaching and learning patterns to be efficiently collected and analysed by educators and institutions, boasting a 10x national average grade improvement for CAT scores, SATs, and GCSEs across international curricula.

The company was founded in 2013 by Priya Lakhani OBE, who was struck by the underachievement rates in schools and sought to try and help resolve the issue. Lakhani was awarded Business Entrepreneur of the Year by the Chancellor in 2009 and Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2014. She was a business advisor to the UK’s coalition government, and was appointed to the UK government’s AI Council in 2019.

The company has raised an impressive £19.9m through 10 rounds of fundraising so far, with the most recent being in September 2022 for £5.74m. They have also been granted a further £250k through Innovate UK.

The future of female-led AI companies in the UK

As this list indicates, there is plenty of cause for optimism when it comes to the future of female-led AI companies in the UK. Efforts to address systemic barriers and promote inclusivity are gaining momentum, with initiatives aimed at increasing representation, fostering supportive ecosystems, and providing access to funding and resources for women entrepreneurs. We’re currently witnessing a growing recognition of the value that diverse perspectives bring to innovation and problem-solving in the AI industry.

Anne Boden, MBE, and Chair of the Women-Led High-Growth Enterprise Taskforce recently published a report detailing its goal of encouraging the next generation of women entrepreneurs to start high-growth businesses. In her foreword, Boden states: ‘Combined with the immense capabilities of generative AI, women could be at the heart of disrupting these vital industries, well beyond the boundaries of previous technology waves. The more I looked into it, the more it seemed that the prospects for female entrepreneurs were aligning with what is coming next.’

With continued commitment to these efforts, we can expect to see significant strides in the representation and success of female-founded AI companies, driving forward not only gender equality but also unlocking new levels of creativity, ingenuity, and impact in the ever-evolving landscape of AI innovation.

Working with Beauhurst

Do you want to delve deeper into different industries within the UK market? With the BeauhurstInvest platform, we give you all the data and information you need to complete company screenings, valuations and benchmarking—all in one place. Our unrivalled data is kept up-to-date and accurate using a unique combination of AI and machine learning, alongside our 60+ data analysts.

Our dedicated team of account managers are also on hand to offer expert advice on building out your own lists and ensuring you get the most out of the platform at all times.

To find out more, book a demo with us today.

Recommended for you