Meet The UK's 5 Fastest Growing Tech Start-Ups

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Meet The UK's 5 Fastest Growing Tech Start-Ups
November 20, 2018

Who are Britain’s fastest-growing start-up technology businesses? New data from Beauhurst, the research group that specialises in privately-owned companies, purports to have the answer – and while some of the names on its list will be familiar, others may be less so.

 

Much of Beauhurst’s research tracks the investment funding raised by fast-growing companies, as well as M&A transactions, but as the company points out, all the cash in the world is ultimately no good to a business that isn’t increasing its sales. For this exercise, then, Beauhurst looked at revenue growth, ranking companies on the basis of how quickly their turnover has been growing.

 

It’s a crude yardstick, of course, not least because the turnover data doesn’t tell you how quickly the business is moving down the path towards profitability. Nevertheless, these are the businesses that are translating their theoretical business model into hard sales with the greatest speed. On this basis, Beauhurst  ranks the five fastest-growing technology companies in the UK as follows:

 

1. Darktrace

Darktrace made sales of almost £31m last year, pretty impressive for a business founded in 2013 by a team of mathematicians from Cambridge University who teamed up with government cyber intelligence experts from the UK and the US. The company is now widely recognised as amongst the world leaders in exploiting artificial intelligence technologies for cyber security. Big contract wins in recent months have included deals with the city authority of Las Vegas and a leading university in Hong Kong.

 

2. Improbable

What could be more ambitious than a desire to build new worlds? Improbable says its mission is to do exactly that, harnessing virtual reality technologies for multi-player gaming. The company set up shop in London in 2012 and now employs more than 300 people, having opened offices in North America and China. Sales last year were just short of £8m. Like Darktrace, Improbable has its roots in Cambridge University, where CEO Herman Narula met the business’s co-founder Rob Whitehead.

 

3. Revolut

Revolut is one of relatively few fintech start-ups that is breaking through into the mainstream of retail finance. While many technology-enabled banks have threatened to disrupt Britain’s notoriously conservative financial services market, Revolut appears to be actually winning business. Its revenues increased more than fourfold last year, reaching almost £13m. Revolut offers several relatively basic financial services products, including a current account you can manage via app and good value money transfer services. But it is also experimenting with a range of new offerings, including cryptocurrency trading and investment services.

 

4. Transferwise

Unlike the other businesses on this ranking, Transferwise is on the verge of profitability. Its losses last year were just £56,000, having been in the red to the tune of more than £17m in 2016. That was achieved through substantial revenue growth, with sales up 140% to £67m during 2017. The company is probably the UK’s best-known fintech start-up, having launched eight years ago to provide much-needed competition to banks providing international money transfer services at very high cost.

 

5. Deliveroo

Deliveroo’s bikes will be a familiar sight to anyone who’s spent any time in the UK’s largest towns and cities over the past couple of years – its team of delivery staff are giving more and more high street restaurants access to the takeaway market by facilitating home orders. Sales continue to grow at a rapid pace, hitting £277m this year, a 114% increase on the previous 12-month period – that has seen Deliveroo attract bid interest from Uber, for whom it could be a natural fit.

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