Entrepreneur

Biggest winners, brightest futures: 10 young tech startups from UK ready to own 2021


Want to know which UK tech startups gained maximum popularity in 2020? Or raised the maximum funding? Which one has the most eminent future?

Many startups that stepped into the gap of legacy companies have been scaleups: fast-growth enterprises on an upwards trajectory. Think of the likes of Cazoo, Monzo and Deliveroo. But to launch before the global pandemic and then sustain through it successfully is a very different game.

While the question also remains, will they continue to grow in the post-pandemic world with the same rate or not? While we have to give them some more time to prove sustainable growth, we take a close look at 10 young UK startups in the tech space which were founded around 2019 or 2020 and looks like they’ll continue to grow in 2021 and beyond. They have received good fundings and have really ambitious plans for the future.

Ki Insurance
Picture credits: Ki Insurance

Ki Insurance

CEO: Mark Allan
Founded year: 2020
Total Funding: £411M

Ki Insurance is a first-of-its-kind digital insurance model, which touts to deliver a unique advantage to its business partners. Notably, this company is the first fully-digital and automatically-driven Lloyd’s of London Syndicate.

The London-based insurtech startup bagged $500M (nearly £366M) in September 2020. The investment round was led by Tactical Opportunities, the investment division of Blackstone along with participation from Fairfax Financial Holdings.

Hopin
Image credits: Hopin

Hopin

Founder/s: Johnny Boufarhat
Founded year: 2019
Total Funding: £141M

Hopin is a London-based live online events platform, an arch-rival to Zoom and now also known as the ‘Covid unicorn’- is basically now a double unicorn since launched in 2019.

The virtual events platform secured $6m (nearly £4.4M) seed funding in February, $40M (nearly £29.3M) Series A funding in November and $125M (nearly £91.6M) Series B funding in June 2020. As a result of investments from Accel, Seedcamp, Northzone, Salesforce Ventures, DFJ Growth and others, Hopin hit a stunning $2.1bn valuation only 8 months after launch. Zoom took around 3 years to attain the same revenue growth.

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Hereos
Image credits: Hereos

Heroes

Founder/s: Alessio Bruni, Riccardo Bruni
Founded year: 2020
Total Funding: £50M

Heroes, a UK-based e-commerce company, which buys, operates and scales Amazon businesses is another bright startup in the list. Founded by identical twin brothers Riccardo and Alessio Bruni in June 2020, the startup secured $65M (nearly £50M) in November 2020. The investment came from Fuel Ventures and 360 Capital Partners along with participation from Upper90 and angel investors including Matt Robinson and Carlos Gonzales.

In 2021, they aim to deploy the investment to finance further acquisitions, grow the brand and expand the team.

Collective
Image credits: Collective

Collective

Founder/s: Hooman Radfar, Ugur Kaner, Bugra Akcay
Founded year: 2020
Total Funding: £81.3M

Collective, an online back office platform designed for businesses secured $8.7m (nearly £6.4M) in September. The round was led by General Catalyst and QED Investors alongside participation from Google’s Gradient Ventures and Expa. Also, individual investors such as Garrett Camp, Vitor Lourenco, Darian Shirazi, Scott Belsky, Dylan Field, Gokul Rajaram, Jared Hecht, Dan Lewis, and Topher Conway took part in the round. Collective has been using the investment to bring the product to market, develop new products and technologies, and build additional community features among others.

Fnality
Image credits: Fnality

Fnality International

CEO: Rhomaios Ram
Founded year: 2019
Total Funding: £54.2M

Fnality announced that it raised £50M in June 2019 in a Series A funding round. It was founded by a group of banks including Banco Barclays and Santander and aims to design a digital cash system, which will enable safe and affordable cross-border payments. The company has been using the investment to continue developing its Utility Settlement Coin, a tool to set financial transactions.

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Quell Therapeutics
Image credits: Quell Therapeutics

Quell Therapeutics

Founder/s: Alberto Sanchez-Fueyo, Emma Morris, Elmar Jaeckel, Hans Stauss, Marc Martinez-Llordella
Founded year: 2019
Total Funding: £38M

Quell Therapeutics was established with the aim of developing engineered T regulatory cell therapies. Tregs are a subset of T cells that provide a regulatory function that harnesses their strong immune-suppressive capacity. Further, they can be used to advance therapies for the management and treatment of a range of conditions such as solid organ transplant rejection, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

In May 2019, the London-based cell therapy startup raised £35M Series A funding led by Syncona along with participation from UCL Technology Fund. As a result of the funding round, Martin Murphy, the CEO of Syncona was appointed Chairman of Quell Therapeutics. Also, Elisa Petris and Freddie Dear, Syncona Partners became the Director and Observer on the Board respectively. The company used this investment to initiate the development of its first program.

Uncapped
Image credits: Uncapped

Uncapped

Founder/s: Asher Ismail, Piotr Pisarz
Founded year: 2019
Total Funding: £20M

Uncapped, Europe’s first revenue-based finance provider aims to help founders raise working capital without giving up control of their business.

Headquartered in London with offices in Warsaw, the growth finance company secured €34M (nearly £31M) debt and equity funding in September 2020. The funding round was led by Mouro Capital along with All Iron Ventures and existing investors Seedcamp, Global Founders Capital, and White Star Capital. Also, angel investors – Taavet Hinrikus and Carlos Gonzales took part in the investment round.

MicrBio
Image credits: MicroBio

MiroBio

Founder/s: Richard Cornall, Simon Davis
Founded year: 2019
Total Funding: £27M

Oxford-based MicroBio, a spin-out of the University of Oxford, MicroBio intends to develop treatments for auto-immune diseases that do not disrupt the entire immune system.

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The UK startup secured €30M (nearly £27M) Series A funding in 2019 co-led by Oxford Sciences Innovation, the University’s investor partner and US investor Samsara Biocapital. The investment was utilised to fund preclinical development of antibody drugs for unknown autoimmune diseases, expand its drug discovery efforts to unspecified diseases and grow its management team.

Knoma
Image credits: Knoma

Knoma

Founder/s: Brett Shanley
Founded year: 2019
Total Funding: £23.5M

London-based Knoma helps lifelong learners finance their tech courses by spreading the cost via loans. In October last year, the company secured £21M debt and equity funding from Global Founders Capital, Fasanara Capital, Rocket Internet and Seedrs and angel investors including Christian Faes. Currently, the company plans to focus on the UK market initially but has global expansion plans in mind.

Primer
Image credits: Primer

Primer

Founder/s: Gabriel Le Roux, Paul Anthony
Founded year: 2020
Total Funding: £20M

Primer is a London startup that enables e-commerce merchants and online payments facilitators to consolidate their payments services stack and connect third-party services seamlessly. The company announced that it raised £14M Series A funding in November last year led by Accel and existing investors SpeedInvest, Balderton, and Seedcamp along with RTP Global. This was followed by a £3.8M raise in May 2020. Primer has been using the funds to expand business development efforts globally and scale its remote-first product and engineering organisation.





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