20 UK-based tech startups you should know about


1. ACE Consensus

Based in: Oxford and London

Founder: Alex Money. A former City fund manager who spent ten years working as an investor relations consultant to some of Europe’s largest listed companies.

Disruptive idea: Detailed, high-quality insight into market expectations through collated forecasts from financial analysts on a consistent, comprehensive and timely basis.

2. Adthena

Based in: London

Founder: Ian O’Rourke. A seasoned entrepreneur who co-founded Oovie, a business that was acquired by Australia’s largest entertainment group, Hoyts.

Disruptive idea: Patent-pending software to help companies dominate search-engine marketing by understanding their competitors’ budgets and strategies.

3. Care Systems Integration

Based in: Cardiff

Founder: John Griffiths. Implemented the first Android/cloud care support system for Bournemouth Borough Council.

Disruptive idea: A platform that allows true interoperability inside the NHS network, and allows the data from this to be delivered to relatives and carers, giving peace of mind that their loved ones are safe.

4. Contentment

Based in: London

Founder: Michael Kowalski. Has 15 years experience designing and developing editorial systems for media and publishing organisations.

Disruptive idea: A cloud-hosted platform that syncs content into well-designed and interactive mobile apps, and publishes them to iOS, Android and web.

5. Crowd Vision

Based in: London

Founder: Fiona Strens (co-founder). Was a well-respected strategy and technology consultant in the security sector before meeting Dr Anders Johansson and his crowd-measurement software in 2009.

Disruptive idea: Accurately and automatically measures the numbers and dynamics of people, whether in extensive unstructured outdoor public plazas or managed airport queuing environments.

6. DevOpsGuys

Based in: Surrey

Founder: Stephen Thair (co-founder). Nearly 25 years of experience in web operations.

Disruptive idea: Pioneering a new market segment of ‘application management providers’ that complement cloud-hosting services by providing web-application management for e-businesses.

7. ERN Global

Based in: London and Singapore

Founder: Dan Brassington (co-founder). Over 20 years of international experience holding senior managerial technical roles for some of the world’s largest investment banks.

Disruptive idea: A unique big data technology platform that brings together card payment and merchant data in real time to create value from every single transaction.

8. Essentia Analytics

Based in: London

Founder: Clare Flynn Levy. Also serves as a non-executive director of Team Grasshopper (a purveyor of all-natural convenience foods), acts as an advisor to the board of City Lounge Ventures (operators of Central flexible workhubs), and sits on the European regional board of YPO-WPO (network of young CEOs).

Disruptive idea: A secure, cloud-based platform for the capture and analysis of data in order to generate relevant analysis and insights for fund managers.

9. Ether Books

Based in: Bath

Founder: Maureen Scott. Ran one of the world’s first mobile application developer programmes for Openwave, the Silicon Valley company whose technology enabled the mobile internet.

Disruptive idea: A global marketplace connecting writers and readers on their smartphone and tablet devices.

10. LyteSpark

Based in: London

Founder: Alexander Hunte. Managed the production department at Sportal and served as head of production in UEFA’s media and technology division in Geneva.

Disruptive idea: A browser-embedded video conferencing platform with peer-to-peer connections – hosted in the cloud and uses open-source WebRTC.

11. Mash Machine

Based in: UK, Estonia and Lithuania

Founder: Guy Gross. Ventures include MyMusicMonday and co-writing the winning tender for the NHS National Shared Decision-Making Programme.

Disruptive idea: A self-contained, plug-and-play unit with an internalised computer and audio, lighting, video and image activation to create new concepts for marketers

12. PingTune

Based in: London

Founder: Henry Firth. Has 12 years experience in mobile and digital – launching products for some of the biggest companies in the UK. Most recently he launched all of Arcadia Group’s mobile sites and apps.

Disruptive idea: A private, social way to connect with friends and artists about music online, built on a fast, enterprise-level instant messaging platform.

13. Q App

Based in: London

Founder:  Serge Taborin. Spent a decade holding senior positions in digital media, including strategy director at Perform Group and managing director at Archant Digital Ventures.

Disruptive idea: A proprietary mobile-ordering platform that removes the need to queue at busy entertainment and hospitality venues by enabling customer to order and pay from their smartphones.

14. Qwince

Based in: London

Founder: Gianmarco Troia (co-founder). Experience in manufacturing, IT security, auditing (DNV) and consulting (Accenture and Deloitte). Sold his IT consulting firm in 2007 to concentrate on building QWINCE.

Disruptive idea: A mobile-centric solution able to enrich photos with geographic information and metadata in order to guarantee security and data integrity.


Based in: London and Barcelona

Founder: Jordi de los Pinos. Worked for eight years at Qualcomm, designing chips for cell phones and planes, and three years at Telefonica.

Disruptive idea: A mobile DSP with proprietary real-time bidding technology and machine-learning optimisation algorithms designed for performance and branding campaigns.

16. SOMA Analytics

Based in: London and Munich

Founder: Johann Huber (co-founder). A digital health entrepreneur who was awarded HSG entrepreneur of the year 2013 in Switzerland. Founded two business prior to SOMA.

Disruptive idea: World patent-pending technology built into a mobile app that is able to gauge the user’s stress level on a scientifically validated basis by using the smartphone’s sensors.

17. The Backscratchers

Based in: London

Founder: Jody Osborn (co-founder). An entertainment professional with more than ten years experience. Has organised events for brands like Microsoft and Toyota.

Disruptive idea: An online platform to connect companies with hand-picked freelance talent or agencies for event projects.

18. Twizoo

Based in: London

Founder: Madeline Parra (co-founder). Held a variety of roles at GlaxoSmithKline, most recently heading up the global digital strategy for an HIV product launch.

Disruptive idea: A mobile app that uses data visualisation to give restaurant recommendations based on what people are saying on Twitter.

19. We Are Pop Up

Based in: London

Founder: Nicholas Russell. Has advised multinationals in consumer goods, finance and retail on new economic models.

Disruptive idea: An online marketplace for short-term commercial property, which automates transactions to make the process easier for tenants and lower-risk for landlords.

20. Yossarian Lives

Based in: London

Founder: J. Paul Neeley (co-founder). A service designer and researcher with an MA in design interactions from the Royal College of Art.

Disruptive idea: An antidote to the creativity-prohibiting literal search results of Google by using natural language processing and computational linguistics to return lateral results that help users see new perspectives.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...