George Glover highlights five start-ups that are taking the capital by storm
Despite fears over the anti-business impact of Brexit, London continues to reign as Europe’s tech capital. Old Street’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’ is a thriving start-up hub, home to over 2,000 new businesses and 50,000 digital tech employees, and global powerhouses including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and EE all have a strong presence in East London’s ‘Tech City’. Here are five new, exciting London start-ups that you could be seeing significantly more of over the next few years:
Founded in 2013, Deliveroo is probably the most famous brand on this list, but the online food-delivery company has plenty of room to expand; Deloitte recently named Deliveroo as Europe’s fastest-growing tech firm, with more than 15,000 self-employed drivers in over 150 cities and a four-year revenue growth of an astonishing 107,117%. As opposed to its nearest competitor Just Eat, Deliveroo has obtained a USP by focussing on ‘premium’ restaurants that have traditionally lacked delivery options. Having previously possessed a lower U.S profile, Deliveroo acquired Manhattan-based start-up Maple in 2017, and their business should continue to expand significantly.
Billing itself as ‘The bank of the future’, Monzo was founded in 2015 with the aim of challenging the traditional commercial banking industry. The company is digital and mobile-only, and has pledged to do away with chequebooks and physical branches, which it sees as obsolete. Over 600,000 people use Monzo debit cards worldwide, and recent banking scandals such as TSB’s IT crisis will provide an opportunity for this start-up to expand its customer base in the coming years.
The cryptocurrency boom has aided organised crime syndicates in shifting their products, particularly drugs, via the Dark Web. Elliptic have carved a niche from this new type of money laundering: the cyber-security firm traces transactions across Bitcoin blockchain to stop criminal activities, including terrorist financing, arms trafficking, child pornography, and blackmail. With plenty of room for expansion, the firm already count the Metropolitan police, the FBI and Europol as important clients.
SHOT (a backronym of Simple, Healthy, Organic, Tasty) is a London restaurant targeting health-conscious City millennials. Faring well in an ultra-competitive location in St Paul’s, SHOT sells breakfast, lunch, smoothies and juices, with 85% raw ingredients and no artificial additives and natural sugars only. Studies suggest that over 50% of millennials have consulted nutritionists or dieticians about their food choices, leaving SHOT well-placed to target a growing percentage of London’s population.
As well as being increasingly health-conscious, younger people today are aware of the environment, and this is what motivates the mission statement of Spitalfields-based Bulb, a gas and electricity supplier promising 100% renewable energy. Bulb’s usual monthly tariff of £855 is £280 cheaper than the average ‘Big Six’ (British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, Npower, Scottish Power, and SSE) rate, so their business model is strong even before factoring in their USP. As climate change awareness continues to increase, many households will decide to switch to clean energy, and Bulb are at the forefront of this movement.
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