Top Startups / March 17, 2021
Avatar
Asaf Fybish

Asaf Fybish is a growth marketing professional. He likes all things organic, especially when it comes to growth. He's our Chief of Stash at StartupStash

Top UK Startups To Watch in 2021

The United Kingdom (UK) is one of the world's hot spots for startups and innovation with 89% of UK startups surviving their first year of trading and there are 1,059 businesses across the whole country per 10,000 people. Entrepreneurship is in the blood of British culture. The startup hotbed is particularly prevalent in the capital city of London and the general South-East area of the country with a third of businesses being located there.

Britain is known for its recognisable and innovative brands, with Rolls Royce, new challenger banks such as Monzo and Starling Bank, and many more.

A startup is born every minute in the UK, and in this article we take a look at the top 25 startups in the UK! These brands know how to create a great business proposal and how to attract investors.

You can check all of our startups lists by going to the Top Startup by Country section.

1. Revolut

Year Founded: 2014

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 1001-5000

Founder(s): Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko

Resolut Website

Revolut is a startup Fintech banking provider, providing banking services for GBP and EUR bank accounts. They also offer a range of currency exchange services, provide facilities for the trade of stocks and even offer a cryptocurrency exchange feature. Peer to peer payments is also worked into their platform. Revolut is looking poised to be the all-in-one finance provider of the future.

Revolut is an absolute behemoth in terms of attracting outside investment to fund the development of its platform. This United Kingdom startup has managed to secure $917 Million in outside investment funding from an eye-popping 36 investors. With such a large support network and level of funding, Revolut is going to take the coming year by storm.

2. Monzo

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 1001-5000

Founder(s): Gary Dolman, Jason Bates, Jonas Huckestine, Paul Rippon, Tom Blomfield.

Monzo Website

Monzo was one of the early adopters to the "challenger bank" frenzy that has erupted in the United Kingdom. They operate an app-only banking platform aimed at customers who are too busy to head into a local branch, financial tasks can be completed with a simple tap of a button and a wealth of useful features defeat the need for a branched bank. Another benefit is that Monzo does not charge fees for spending money outside of the UK.

Monzo has, at the time of writing managed to gain a jealousy-inducing amount of investment funding from a group of 30 investors, among these being Y Combinator and Stripe. The cumulative investment gained stands at £384.7 Million, which will help the company to gain even more ground in the UK's banking market going into 2021.

3. Darktrace

Year Founded: 2013

HQ: Cambridge, United Kingdom

Size: 1001-5000

Founder(s): Dave Palmer, Emily Orton, Jack Stockdale, Nicole Eagan, Poppy Gustaffson

Darktrace Website

Darktrace is an AI-driven cybersecurity company that uses its advanced technology to develop what is known as the "normal pattern of life" for network ecosystems. By understanding what is normal, their systems can then identify threats and then take action against them, which works for a variety of different network types.

Darktrace's advanced cybersecurity systems, driven by AI has allowed the company to gain significant attention from investors, with the company gaining $230.5 Million in funding from 12 investors at the time of writing. With this funding and this UK startup's growing reputation, you can expect them to be one of the most highly regarded cybersecurity startups of 2021.

4. TransferWise

Year Founded: 2011

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 1001-5000

Founder(s): Kristo Kaarmann, Taavet Hinrikus

TransferWise Website

TransferWise is a Fintech company based in London that specialises in the transfer of money between users. The business supports over 750 different currency routes and can also give users accounts dealing with multiple currency types. Their process avoids currency conversion and money crossing borders, whilst also managing to charge smaller fees than traditional currency transfers.

TransferWise has clearly wowed investors with their advanced Fintech offering, as the company has gained a truly monstrous level of support, standing at $1.1 Billion at the time of writing. This investment has come from a group of 36 investors. It's not often that companies gain this level of funding and I fully expect this UK startup to continue blazing their trail into the second year of the decade.

5. OakNorth

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 501-1000

Founder(s): Joel Perlman, Rhisi Khosla

OakNorth Website

OakNorth is a UK startup bank that specialises in banking and providing business and property loan facilities for Small-Medium-Enterprises (SMEs). They gained approval from regulators in 2015 and have since been featured at number one on the Financial Time's list of the fastest-growing European businesses. Don't be surprised if you hear more about OakNorth in the future.

OakNorth's advanced platform for small businesses has clearly turned the heads of investors, with a group of nine investors pledging a cumulative $1 Billion to the company's coffers. With the COVID-19 pandemic having a serious effect on small UK businesses they need all the support they can get and OakNorth will be able to provide this in 2021 and beyond.

6. Starling Bank

Year Founded: 2014

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 501-1000

Founder(s): Anne Boden

Starling Bank Website

 

Another early entrant into the UK's "challenger bank" arena, Starling Bank is also an app-only bank that provides almost all of their services through their banking app. Due to the fact that some customers will need to make deposits in cash, they have also partnered with the UK Post Offices who can process deposits and cheques into the customer's account. A dedicated 24/7 UK call centre also ensures that customer needs are always met.

Starling Bank was one of the earliest of the UK's challenger banks and it is also one of the most well-funded, with £363 Million being raised from a group of six investors. The challenger bank revolution among the United Kingdom startups is still going strong and this UK startup will continue to be one of the frontrunners in 2021 and further afield.

7. Bulb

Year Founded: 2014

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Amit Gudka, Hayden Wood

Bulb Website

Bulb has come into the oversaturated UK energy market and has differentiated themselves by providing their customers with 100% renewable energy and 10% renewable gas. So, for every unit of energy a Bulb customer uses, they will produce another unit and put it into the grid through renewable sources. Furthermore, the company tries to compete on price in the expensive industry and they have cornered 5% of the domestic energy market in the UK.

Bulb is primed and well-funded enough to cause some serious disruption in the UK energy market, with the company having raised a significant sum of money to fund its operations, with £61.4 Million being raised by a group of four investors. The UK energy market has traditionally been dominated by the "Big-Six" and in 2021, this UK startup could continue to make ground against them.

8. GraphCore

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Bristol, United Kingdom

Size: 251-500

Founder(s): Nigel Toon, Simon Knowles

Graphcore Website

Graphcore is a Bristol-based startup that creates and develops new accelerators for Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. They intend to be able to build an Intelligence Processing Unit within a processor. Currently, the company has offered three tech products, the Poplar Software Stack, The Colossus GC2 and the GC200.

GraphCore has managed to raise a significant level of funding to develop their own product offerings, with $682 Million being raised by a group of 29 investors, which includes tech giants like Microsoft and Dell Technologies Capital. With the backing of such well-known expert investors and an already proven product offering, this UK startup is poised to soar in 2021.

9. Babylon Health

Year Founded: 2013

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 1001-5000

Founder(s): Ali Parsa

Babylon Health Website

One business that is seeing its use case grow stronger than ever is the UK startup Babylon Health, which is a HealthTech company that provides remote health consultations between doctors and patients. This is provided either through text or video messaging that is facilitated through their mobile app. Currently, in the UK, over 40,000 NHS patients have registered their details with Babylon.

Babylon has already been getting a significant amount of attention from investors who believe in the business model and mission of the health-based startup. A group of five investors have, at the time of writing, pledged a collective $631.1 Million in startup funding and with COVID-19 necessitating remote contact with medical professionals, this could be a massive year for this UK startup.

10. Depop

Year Founded: 2011

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 251-500

Founder(s): Simon Beckerman

Depop Website

Depop is an E-commerce company that has been getting the attention of social media-loving millennials and Gen-Zs. The app itself provides a peer-to-peer e-commerce marketplace allowing users to buy and sell from their phone. The app has even attracted some celebrities to their ecosystem, with some setting up their own stores and donating the proceeds to charitable causes.

Depop's fashionable and popular clothing offering has led to the company amassing significant investment since being founded in 2011. A panel of 11 investors has collectively pledged a grand total $105.6 Million to the company to further its development at the time of writing. It's shaping up to be a good year for this new UK startup in the clothes e-commerce realm.

11. FiveAI

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: Cambridge, United Kingdom

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Ben Peters, John Redford, Simon Walker, Stan Boland

FiveAI Website

FiveAI is an AI-startup that is focused on the issues surrounding the technological development of self-driving vehicles. They have a particular interest in the arena of public transport and highly urban areas. The company designed its platform so that the software for self-driving vehicles can be more easily developed from machine learning and AI.

This UK startup has already gained a lot of investment funding to help develop their autonomous vehicle technology, with $78.7 Million being collected from a group of seven investors. With further development and interest in autonomous vehicle technology, the company should see increasing strides in 2021.

12. Trouva

Year Founded: 2013

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 51-100

Founder(s): Alex Loizou, Glen Walker, Mandeep Singh, Maxim Berglund

Trouva Website

Trouva is an interior design e-commerce platform that provides a marketplace for independent shops, which sells homeware and lifestyle products from a wide variety of different suppliers and boutiques. They work on both an online and offline model, allowing customers to collect their items physically, or having them delivered directly. They also offer worldwide shipping.

Trouva has already amassed a notable level of investment from a group of 12 investors who believe in the company's management team and business model. At the time of writing, the company has managed to successfully raise $35.8 Million to further their offering and their platform. With people less likely to be venturing outside at the moment, it could be a record-breaking year for the team at this UK startup.

13. Curve

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 251-500

Founder(s): Shachar Bialick

Curve Website

Curve is a London-based Fintech startup that provides their own payment card that combines all of a user's other payment cards through the company's own mobile app. This allows users to make payments and withdraw money from a single card, rather than making them worry about managing multiple cards. You can even switch the bank card you've used after each complete transaction.

Curve, much like the other Fintech companies on this list has managed to gain a significant level of funding to improve its platform and to help scale up its operations. In total, the company has amassed $169.3 Million from 32 investors, this group includes Vulcan Capital and Crowdcube and with 2021 just beginning, it's going to be a great year for the team at Curve.

14. Tractable

Year Founded: 2014

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Adrien Cohen, Alexandre Dalyac, Razvan Ranca

Tractable Website

Tractable provides AI-powered solutions for accident and disaster recovery. By taking photos of the damage to a vehicle, the system then gives you an estimation of the costs involved in the repair. By providing their systems to the largest insurance companies around the world, Tractable can make insurance claims quicker and less stressful by letting people know the costs almost immediately.

Tractable has already managed to gain a significant level of investment funding for its convenient insurance platform, which truly has the power to change the vehicle insurance industry. The company has gained $59.9 Million from a group of investors that is 16 in number and with their advanced offering, it would be shocking if the company didn't have a great experience in 2021.

15. DoctorLink

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 51-100

Founder(s): Andrew Gardner

Doctorlink Website

DoctorLink was established to help people have a better experience with their General Practitioner (GP) and to help GP surgeries cope with the growing level of patient demand. Their advanced medical triage and advice tool allows users to get help from their GP surgery in the comfort of their own home. Their system can also handle the process of booking an appointment with the user's GP, in the event that they need more specialist healthcare.

DoctorLink has already garnered notable attention from investors, with the company having raised £20 Million from Eight Road Ventures and in addition to this, was also acquired by fellow privately owned health company HealthHero in December 2020. With this investment and the backing of a larger company, this UK startup will continue to grow in 2021.

16. SalesTrip

Year Founded: 2017

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Manoj Ganapathy, Richard Goodall

SalesTrip Website

SalesTrip is a business expense and software startup that was founded in 2017 and is currently headquartered in London, United Kingdom. The company's platform operates on SalesForce and is an expense management and travel booking platform that makes it easier for companies to keep track of what they're spending and claim on their expenses.

SalesTrip has made steady and good progress since originally being founded, with the company successfully gaining $1.4 Million in investment funding from Floreat in the company's Seed Funding round on the 14th of January 2021. With this newfound investment, the company should be expected to have a big year in the rest of 2021.

17. Peptone

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 1-10

Founder(s): Kamil Tamiola, Matt Heberling

Peptone Website

Peptone is a biotechnology and pharmaceutical startup that is powered by artificial intelligence. The company was founded in 2016 and is currently headquartered in London. Peptone itself uses AI and machine learning technology to allow the computer to understand the complex nature of proteins, in an effort to let the AI decode data on proteins with the same effectiveness or even more than human researchers can.

Peptone has received a generous level of funding to develop their potentially groundbreaking research, with 2 Million Euros being pledged by a group of four investors. As their research and development continue in 2021, it will be exciting to see the breakthroughs that can be achieved in the field of protein analysis by Peptone.

18. Gousto

Year Founded: 2012

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 501-1000

Founder(s): James Carter, Timo Boldt

Gusto Website

Gousto is a subscription-based home-meal kit provider that prides itself on sending subscribers fresh produce and ingredients to make their own healthy and tasty meals. Each week their selection of recipes is updated to keep things fresh and the user gets to choose their own recipes so they know they're getting something they like. These kits are delivered directly once a week so that the user can decide when to cook.

Gousto has already been taking the food and beverage industry by storm, judging by the fact that the company has already managed to raise $211.3 Million at the time of writing. This investment was achieved by a group of 12 investors and with more people staying at home, people in 2021 may just be ordering even more meal-kits from this UK startup.

19. Second Home

Year Founded: 2014

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Rohan Silva, Samuel Aldenton

Second Home Website

Second Home is a Coworking space startup that operates and rents out its own office space to busy entrepreneurs and creatives across the United Kingdom, they even have space available in Lisbon, Portugal and Los Angeles, United States. Their spaces help people to get on with the work they need to do, in a relaxing and luxurious environment.

Despite the fact that there's a number of coworking startups in the world, Second Home has managed to stand out from the crowd, with the company gaining $73.2 Million in startup funding since being founded in 2014. This investment came from a group of 18 investors, which includes Goldman Sachs and Index Ventures and with this level of backing and their COVID-safe workspaces, this UK startup is likely to continue pushing forward in 2021.

20. Farewill

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 51-100

Founder(s): Dan Garrett, Tom Rogers

Farewill Website

Farewill is a LawTech services provider that aims to take the stress and legal jargon out of an already draining process in will-writing. With their services, you will be able to update and manage your will online, with around the clock customer service. The company is based in London and they also provide direct cremation and funeral provisions. Their offering helps to take some of the stress out of what is already a horrible time for people.

So far, Farewill has already seen notable attention in terms of startup funding and clearly, the business model and concept of the platform has been well received. A panel of 18 investors have cumulatively contributed £28 Million in funding to the company and it's likely that the company's positive momentum will continue in 2021.

21. Coconut

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: London, United Kingdom

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Adam Goodall, Sam O'Connor

Coconut Website

Coconut is a UK startup that acts as a fintech and banking provider that is designed for sole-traders, self-employed people and small business owners. Their system helps these people to handle their tax and accounting responsibilities, allowing them to focus on the more important matters, like gaining new customers and the other aspects of running their business.

Coconut has done exceedingly well to succeed in the already crowded Fintech space, with the company raising £4.4 Million to further the development of its system to help people with their accounting and tax needs. With COVID-19 causing stress for a lot of entrepreneurs, Coconut is likely to grow by virtue of people needing a simpler tax solution.

AvatarTop UK Startups To Watch...
Avatar
Asaf Fybish

Asaf Fybish is a growth marketing professional. He likes all things organic, especially when it comes to growth. He's our Chief of Stash at StartupStash

🚀 Stay ahead of the game

Subscribe to our weekly stash newsletter to receive the best resources, products and discounts!