Web3 Companies UK

Top Web3 Companies in the UK | 2022

16 June 2022

By James Coward

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The topic of Web3 companies is becoming increasingly prevalent in tech news these days, as much for its controversies as for its opportunities. First coined by computer scientist Gavin Wood in 2014, the term Web3 has since become something of a buzzword, with the likes of Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk using it. 

The World Wide Web’s newest iteration encompasses many of modern technology’s biggest talking points, including blockchain, cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and the metaverse. And with demand for decentralisation continuing to soar, hundreds of companies are flocking to Web3, with employees at tech giants like Amazon, Facebook and Google also leaving their jobs to join a raft of emerging Web3 companies. 

Despite its popularity and potential, the world of Web3 has not been without its challenges. After the initial explosion of non-fungible tokens onto the Web3 scene, many owners have lost their digital assets to phishing scams or seen the value of their NFTs plummet. What’s more, the value of cryptocurrency giants such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Solana have remained unpredictable since their launch, with all seeing dramatic downturns in recent years, while some cryptocurrencies have even been outed as fraudulent.

Nonetheless, Web3 developers are continuing to work hard to bring increased security and opportunity to the internet’s newest frontier. But what is Web3 exactly and how does it work? Here, we explore all things Web3, including different Web3 applications and some of the UK’s most promising Web3 companies, from payment platforms and DeFi disruptors to e-commerce and video game startups.

What is Web3?

Before we explore the UK’s top Web3 companies, it’s important to understand exactly what Web3 is and why it’s shaking up the tech world.

In its early days, the internet was focused largely on providing a medium through which businesses could broadcast key information to the public. This is known as Web1 or the “read-only web”. Later, Web2 brought a greater emphasis to user-generated content, primarily through the introduction and innovation of social media. But now, technologists are working to push the envelope further, creating a third web that exists outside of the control of governments and large corporationsan internet defined by decentralisation.

Web3 uses new advancements in technology to store and share information securely. The most important of these technologies is blockchain. Blockchain is un-editable, meaning data stored on it can’t be tampered with or changed by individuals, companies or governments. As such, blockchain technology acts as a vital infrastructure upon which Web3 developers and startups can build. 

Naturally, with its lack of centralised regulation, there are many questions over the security and stability of Web3. There have been significant advancements in this field, however, chiefly with the evolution of decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs). DAOs are responsible for governing Web3 protocols or communities to monitor and regulate digital interactions, with rules often coded into smart contracts. DAOs are typically made up of individuals who buy into the organisation, usually using digital assets such as cryptocurrency or NFTs, and vote on decisions as a flat hierarchy.

Web3 applications

Web3 is still in its infancy and its full potential remains unknown. At this time, Web3’s biggest applications are in hosting NFTs and cryptocurrencies. NFTs are digital assets stored on a blockchain, in which the blockchain acts as a shared digital ledger, where NFT ownership data can be recorded, and the assets sold and traded like a digital currency. NFT marketplaces and apps, such as OpenSea which is built on the ethereum blockchain, allow users to trade digital assets across multiple channels.

Cryptocurrencies also rely on Web3’s decentralised infrastructure and blockchain technology. As the name suggests, cryptocurrencies act as a form of digital currency, but exist outside of central regulation. As with NFTs, all cryptocurrency transactions are recorded publicly on a blockchain. Unlike NFTs, however, crypto assets are fungible (i.e. they’re not unique and can be replaced by and traded with identical tokens). Individuals who own crypto assets (the oldest and most popular of which is Bitcoin) can store them in crypto wallets and exchange them on crypto trading platforms like Coinbase. This entire cryptocurrency ecosystem is facilitated by Web3 technologies.

Web3 is also deeply connected to “the metaverse”, a new concept that has attracted major media attention in the last year, thanks in large part to Mark Zuckerberg. The metaverse is a vision of the internet as an immersive and unified virtual ecosystem, where users interact with their environment and each other via digital avatars. The metaverse will use technology such as virtual reality (VR) to make the experience of using the internet more interactive and more social. 

The idea is that, in the near future, the metaverse will define how we interact with tools and apps on Web3. For now, many blockchain-powered apps exist and operate outside of the metaverse, but tech heavyweights such as Microsoft and Zuckerberg’s newly rebranded Meta are investing heavily in its development. Web3 is central to this, as cryptocurrencies could become the metaverse’s native currency and NFTs could represent ownership of assets like virtual land or an item of clothing. 

15 of the top web3 companies in the UK

Now that we’ve established what Web3 really is and its most common applications, let’s talk about which Web3 companies you should be watching right now. Read on to discover 15 companies that are headquartered in the UK and currently operating in the Web3 sector, each of which have hit at least one of our high-growth tracking triggers.

01.

Rvvup

Sector: Fintech
Location: London
Year founded: 2020

Rvvup’s founding team were drawn from the ranks of PayPal, Airbnb and Square, and this enviable ensemble of tech talent are working hard to bring traditional finance to the world of Web3. Its platform will enable users to make purchases using cards, Apple Pay and bank transfer, but also with their preferred cryptocurrencies and digital assets. Unlike many other companies in this space, the fintech company is not looking to replace traditional finance but to build a solution that allows it to co-exist alongside Web3. 

Rvvup sees enormous potential in bridging this generational payment gap. By improving interoperability between all three payment generations use cases, its platform promises businesses improved conversion rates and revenue. So far, Rvvup has raised £5.60m worth of equity investment, in a single funding round with Lakestar and HV Capital. Despite securing just one fundraising to date, Rvvup is the best-funded Web3 startup on this list.

02.

Mailchain

Sector: Telecommunications
Location: London
Year founded: 2021

Mailchain is hoping to build Web3’s biggest and best communications platform. It enables users who interact across Web3 apps to send and receive messages. With Mailchain, blockchain accounts can message each other and fellow Web3 businesses can communicate directly with their customers. What’s more, the messages are encrypted, making them far more secure than most traditional digital communication tools. 

Mailchain’s interface prioritises accessibility, resembling a familiar email format for ease of use. The company’s software is also entirely open-source, allowing users within the community to build on top of it. With over £3.90m in equity funding now behind it, Mailchain could well become a crucial part of blockchain technology communications infrastructure in the years to come.

03.

Playmint

Sector: Online games publishing
Location: Brighton
Year founded: 2021

Brighton-based video game developer Playmint is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of Web3 and blockchain technology. Led by a team of experienced video game veterans and developers from EA, Disney and Epic Games, Playmint’s flagship game The Crypt is already making waves in the world of Web3. 

The company is set to release a new title, Relics, on OpenSea, which aims to push blockchain development to its limits, in order to create a truly immersive gaming experience for players. The company’s MMOCG (Massively Multiplayer On Chain Game) could well mark the future of video gaming, one of the world’s fastest-growing industries. Playmint has raised £3.62m in equity investment so far, across two funding rounds.

04.

Beyond

Sector: Blockchain
Location: London
Year founded: 2021

Beyond offers fellow Web3 businesses the means to better build and manage their communities. The top tech startup has a particular focus on NFT businesses, integrating with their existing tokens and facilitating the launch of new ones. What’s more, Beyond removes the need for code and connects seamlessly with Discord servers, making Web3 more accessible to new and emerging businesses. 

Beyond claims that its blockchain technology marks a significant step forward in this space, aiming to improve interaction, ownership and participation on Web3. And with £3.42m in funding now behind it, following its first equity round in May 2022, Beyond will be better able to pursue its vision.

05.

Footium

Sector: Online games publishing
Location: London
Year founded: 2021

This boutique startup studio brings the power of blockchain technology to sports gaming. Footium’s Web3-based football management game allows players to design, build and play their own NFT football team. Users compete against one another on a vast multiplayer platform, harnessing the interactive potential of blockchain. 

The company’s biggest challenger will be the wildly popular Football Manager, but Footium is hoping its emphasis on giving users digital ownership of their clubs and players will put it leagues ahead of the competition. Confidence in Footium is riding high at the moment, having raised £2.55m in its first funding round this year, with investors such as Backed VC, RLC Ventures and Animoca Brands.

06.

hundo

Sector: Internet platform
Location: London
Year founded: 2020

London-based recruitment startup hundo is working to end youth unemployment using the power of Web3. Its on-chain platform is powered by utility tokens, a form of cryptocurrency, and uses the metaverse to create an immersive and interactive careers service. hundo describes itself as an “online campus” where young people earn incentives to learn from Web3 professionals. 

hundo’s platform is built on Polygon, a level 2 blockchain that uses far less energy than Ethereum. This future-forward career platform is already backed by Ascension, Outlier Ventures and Moscar Capital, having raised £1.78m across two equity funding rounds. It was also awarded a £96.2k Innovate UK grant in November 2020, to help the company scale its gamified recruitment platform.

07.

CRANQ

Sector: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
Location: London
Year founded: 2019

CRANQ’s visual coding platform is designed to help Web3 developers to build apps faster. With CRANQ, developers can access wrapped Web3 APIs like Moralis and Pinata, no matter their coding experience. Thanks to its graphic, low-code nature, CRANQ allows for easier and more productive collaboration between technical and non-technical teams. 

With offices in London and Budapest, the SaaS company has been able to recruit leading coders and developers across Europe. CRANQ’s focus on improving accessibility and efficiency in development has evidently struck a chord with investors, with the company securing £1.16m in backing so far, across two equity funding rounds.

08.

Cauldron

Sector: Online games publishing
Location: London
Year founded: 2021

Web3 games studio Cauldron is set to release its first title Nightshade (working title) in 2022. The studio’s aim is to use Web3’s worldbuilding potential to allow players to lose themselves in interactive experiences. Cauldron was spun out of unicorn company Thought Machine in 2021, and has since drawn attention for its progressive working practices, such as four-day working weeks and the encouragement of personal projects. 

Cauldron is made up of a passionate team of sci-fi and fantasy fans, and, though the company is still in its early stages, this passion has proven contagious with investors. Cauldron has raised over £1m so far, from IQ Capital, Seedcamp and Playfair Capital, accelerating the release of its debut game.

09.

Crucible

Sector: Blockchain
Location: London
Year founded: 2020

Crucible is a London-based blockchain company that’s developing an “Open Metaverse” pilot, an open-source metaverse with a strong focus on seamless interoperability and connectivity. The company wants to empower metaverse users to use the same avatar across multiple platforms, removing the need to develop and optimise experiences for different apps. This concept is far removed from the so-called “walled garden” approach of companies like Meta and Microsoft, and could well make Crucible the go-to network for brands on Web3. Despite being in its alpha phase, Crucible has already received over £800k in equity funding.

10.

Digital Fashion Framework

Sector: Fashion
Location: Cornwall
Year founded: 2020

Digital Fashion Framework believes that Web3 is the future of fashion. The innovative AI company is harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and augmented reality (AR) to empower future fashion designers and creators, giving them access to immersive technology. Based in Cornwall and founded in 2020, Digital Fashion Framework has secured £211k worth of equity investment so far, in a single unannounced round.

11.

Tapmydata

Sector: Digital security
Location: Powys
Year founded: 2018

Tapmydata is a Welsh mobile apps startup that empowers users to gain more control over their data, with a strong emphasis on accessibility and security. The company is built on the Polygon network, and aims to connect Web3 users with blockchain businesses. Users mint their own Glitch NFT to act as their identity within the app, and then choose what data they want to share in return for monthly rewards. 

With rising public interest in unlocking the value of personal data, Tapmydata is well-positioned to see impressive growth in the next five years. In 2020, it was named on Business Cloud’s South West Tech 50 high-growth list and has since gone on to secure £203k in equity investment.

12.

Gangbusters

Sector: Online games publishing
Location: London
Year founded: 2018

Founded in 2018, multiplayer gaming studio Gangbusters is one of the oldest startups on this list, highlightlight how nascent a sector Web3 really is. Gangbusters aims to provide players with a frictionless Web3 gaming experience, meaning they can join games wherever they are and however they want to. The accessibility of its games has proven popular, with one title alone boasting over 1m players worldwide. 

Like many other Web3 game studios, Gangbusters gives players more digital ownership over their in-game economies. The company has secured £200k in equity funding so far, and is expected to soon ramp up the release of its next title.

13.

eDrinks

Sector: Food & drink
Location: Greater Manchester
Year founded: 2020

Salford-based eDrinks develops mobile apps that allow users to buy drinks with cryptocurrency tokens: one eDrink is equivalent to one drink at a bar, and can be stored in a digital crypto wallet. The tokens are currently redeemable in participating venues around the world, and the company is working hard to further develop its product. The Greater Manchester tech startup is also preparing to launch its first foray into metaverse hospitality and plans to give users the chance to earn eDrinks through VR gaming experiences. It’s secured £105k in equity investment so far via Crowdcube.

14.

Bottlebits

Sector: E-commerce
Location: London
Year founded: 2020

London-based Bottlebits wants to reinvent the way the world buys artisanal whiskies. Through the Web3 company’s online platform, users can buy and trade single servings of rare whiskies. Users gain an ownership stake in a rare bottle by buying a “Dram”, which resembles a cryptocurrency that has the potential to accumulate value over time. In this way, Bottlebits aims to democratise access to the closed-off world of whisky trading. It’s raised £99.0k in equity investment so far, having secured its first funding round in February 2022.

15.

Catapult Labs

Sector:  Internet & networking hardware
Location: London
Year founded: 2021

Headed up by an experienced co-founder team of Facebook and Cambridge University alumni, Catapult Labs is working to further develop Web3 infrastructure, by building an onboarding platform for DAOs. The company believes that many community members in DAOs are sidelined due to a lack of knowledge or confidence. With £40.0k in equity funding already and the launch of its DAO onboarding software hotly anticipated, Catapult Labs is primed to expand its team this year.

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