23 of the best UK technology companies in 2014

For the second year in a row GrowthBusiness has taken a fine-tooth comb to the technology sector and selected the very best for your browsing pleasure – enter Tech Innovators 2014.

the best UK technology companies

Since our maiden Tech Innovators listing last year the British technology sector has gone from strength to strength, driven forward by a powerful entrepreneurial fortitude.

This feature, put together in partnership with our Tech Invest forum, looks at businesses from across the nation to discover what has gone into building such promising growth businesses and what is in store for the future.

Below we’ve provided a brief introduction to each and we encourage you then to visit each company’s designated profile page where our team has gone into more detail through a personal one-to-one interview with a founding entrepreneur.

The technology sector spans wide, incorporating financial services, retail, entertainment and business services. At GrowthBusiness, we’ve been sure to reflect this diversity in Tech Innovators 2014.

Tech Invest events partners:

UKTI, Edwards Wildman, Welsh Government, Bird & Bird, Crowdcube

Based in: Oxford and London

Founded in: 2013

No. of employees: 2 full time and 5 contractors

Company founder: Alex Money

ACE Consensus founder Alex Money

Founder profile:

Formerly a city fund manager, Alex Money spent ten years working as an investor relations consultant to some of Europe’s largest listed companies, addressing the various challenges presented by low quality information on market expectations; before developing ACE as a solution to the problems he’d encountered.

Background business profile:

ACE Consensus produces detailed, high quality insight into market expectations. It does so by collating forecasts from financial analysts on a consistent, comprehensive and timely basis. By using a bespoke template for each company on the platform, ACE also delivers an unparalleled depth of segmental forecast information.

Find out more about ACE Consensus through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: London

Founded in:  2012

No. of employees: 20

Company founder: Ian O’Rourke

Adthena founder Ian O'Rourke

Founder profile:

Ian O’Rourke is a seasoned entrepreneur, most recently as the co-founder of Oovie a business that disrupted the Australian home entertainment market and was acquired by Australia’s largest entertainment group Hoyts. Prior to this, based in San Francisco and Hong Kong, O’Rourke built and ran the Asian operations of Intershop, an enterprise software vendor in e-commerce, and grew revenues to $8 million in under three years.

Background business profile:

The Adthena business is a patent-pending software to help companies dominate search engine marketing by understanding their competitors’ budgets and strategies. Its mission is to empower marketers to fully understand their competitive landscape through unique insights that enable action.

Find out more about Adthena through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: Oxfordshire

Founded in: 2002

No. of employees: 25

Company founder: Julie Purves

 B2M Solutions founder Julie Purves

Founder profile:

Julie Purves is an international entrepreneur with 25 years of leadership success. Purves leads a senior-level team of professionals focused on developing and deploying mobile solutions that deliver value to the enterprise. She has extensive experience in establishing businesses, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, staff empowerment and company-wide change management.

Background business profile:

B2M Solutions delivers software services that provide valuable insight and actionable analytics for the mobile enterprise. These real-time, business centric analytics can be acted upon immediately to optimise operational efficiencies, increase employee productivity and improve customer satisfaction.

Find out more about B2M Solutions through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Further reading:

B2M Solutions picks corporate venture route

The female technology entrepreneur making a mint out of mobile

Based in: London

Founded in: 2011

No. of employees: 6

Company founder: Emily Brooke

Blaze founder Emily Brooke

Founder profile:

Emily Brooke began reading Physics at Oxford University but left to pursue product design in Brighton. There she created the Laserlight, a radical innovation to save cyclists’ lives and started her own company, Blaze, to realise it. Laserlight tackles the greatest cause of fatality – the blind spot and is the first in a range of products for urban cyclists worldwide.

Background business profile:

Blaze began as founder Brooke’s university project. After her final year exhibition, the concept for their launch product, the Laserlight appeared on every cycling blog in the UK and in the Sydney Morning Herald by the end of the year. Just two years later they are in full scale production in China and shipping around the world. The press interest in the company and product has been continued and incoming.

Find out more about Blaze through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

See also:

Branson family and Index Ventures invest in Blaze

The Kickstarter campaign now taking its product to the masses

Based in: Cardiff

Founded in: 2011

No. of employees: 6

Company founder: John Griffiths

Care Systems Integration founder John Griffiths

Founder profile:

Before setting up Care Systems Integration, John Griffiths implemented the first Android/cloud care support system for Bournemouth Borough Council. With an extensive background in business and ICT, his expertise includes e-health innovations and public sector primary and secondary social care. Griffiths also spent 12 years as an ICT European specialist for the Welsh Government, a role which included representing Wales on telecare and teleheath developments both in the UK and globally.

Background business profile:

Care Systems Integration (CSI) specialises in cloud-based mobile applications for improving efficiencies in social care, through its products MOCAD and Caring Cloud. MOCAD uses Android tablets and cloud databases inside the NHS N3 environment and interfacing a range of consumer hardware through the Caring Cloud App and website – delivering a complete personalised care system for the ageing population.

Find out more about Care Systems Integration through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: London

Founded in: 2011

No. of employees: 14

Company founder: Michael Kowalski

Contentment founder Michael Kowalski

Founder profile:

Michael Kowalski has over 15 years experience designing and developing editorial systems for media and publishing organisations including The Guardian, Newscorp, and London 2012. He frequently speaks at publishing industry events, including the CMA Breakfast Briefing, PPA Reinvented conference and was international judge for FIPP’s Media Hackday in Berlin this March.

Background business profile:

Contentment connects people with the content they love – on any device. Its cloud-hosted platform makes it simple to sync content from anywhere, remix it into beautiful interactive apps, and publish them to iOS, Android and web. Additional features include print bundling, data capture, and per-page in-app purchase.

Find out more about Contentment through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: Surrey

Founded in: 2013

No. of employees: 2 full time and 2 contractors

Company founder: Stephen Thair

DevOpsGuys founder Stephen Thair

Founder profile:

With nearly 25 years of IT experience, Steve Thair claims to have done pretty much done every web operations job from pulling thin-ethernet cabling through floor spaces, racking servers, deploying websites, load testing through to managing high-performing web operations teams. He’s a regular speaker on web performance and dev ops at conferences like O’Reilly Velocity.

Background business profile:

DevOpsGuys offer ‘web application management without the worry’. It is pioneering a new market segment of application management providers, which complement cloud hosting services by providing web application management for e-businesses. The company helps its customers launch, maintain and optimise online applications, allowing each to accelerate time-to-market and to focus on adding value to the business instead of worrying about day-to-day website operations.

Find out more about DevOpsGuys through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: London and Singapore

Founded in: 2011

No. of employees: 14

Company founder: Dan Brassington

Founder profile:

A seasoned IT professional specializing in IT management and service delivery, Dan Brassington has over 20 years of international experience holding senior managerial technical roles for some of the world’s largest investment banks including JPMorgan, Citigroup, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, Mizuho Corporate Bank, and most recently RBS in Asia Pacific.

Background business profile:

Big data start-up ERN Global has developed a system providing card issuers and merchants with a way to increase the value of each card transaction made. Since being set up in 2011, the company has assembled an advisory board that includes a former president of Citibank Japan, Brian Thom, and Hans Beck, chairman and co-founder of Torch Partners Investment Bank and the former CEO of Deutsche Bank Japan.

Find out more about ERN Global through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Further reading

Angels continue to plough money into big data business

Based in: London

Founded in: 2013

No. of employees: 12

Company founder: Clare Flynn Levy

Essentia Analytics founder Clare Flynn Levy

Founder profile:

Prior to founding Essentia, Clare Flynn Levy spent ten years as a fund manager, both active equity (running over $1 billion of pension funds for Deutsche Asset Management) and hedge (as CIO of Avocet Capital Management, a specialist tech fund manager). She ultimately ‘went native’ into the software space as the president of Beauchamp Financial Technology, a provider of portfolio management systems to hedge funds that was acquired by Linedata Services.

Background business profile:

Essentia Analytics is effectively a ‘digital mirror’ for fund managers, collecting data on their investment behaviour and its context – identifying patterns in that behaviour that can help them understand how to do more of what they are good at and less of what they are not. Created by fund managers for fund managers, Essentia applies the same process that is used by professional athletes: using technology, data analysis, and coaching to create a feedback loop, with the goal of continuous performance improvement.

Find out more about Essentia Analytics through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: Bath

Founded in: 2010

No. of employees: 3

Company founder: Maureen Scott

Founder profile:

Maureen Scott’s career has been dominated by mobile. She ran one of the world’s first mobile application developer programmes for Openwave, a Silicon Valley company whose technology enabled the mobile internet. Ether Books combines her deep mobile and consumer app expertise with her love of reading.

Background business profile:

Ether Books has built a global marketplace connecting writers and readers on their smartphone and tablet devices. Ether takes the reading and publishing experience mobile and social by enabling content publishing, content monetisation and communications between all Ether users.

Find out more about Ether Books through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: London

Founded in: 2011

No. of employees:

Company founder: Neven Murugen

Fanmode founder Neven Murugen

Founder profile:

Durban-born engineer Neven Murugan built a computer network that helped his uncle, a pathologist, overcome restrictions on black medical staff entering hospitals. He developed a love and understanding of networks and the internet – now he wants to use his skills to help the world to unite through sport.

In 2001, Murugan helped bring the internet to South Africa using undersea cables for the ISP Internet Solutions. He left Internet Solutions in 2012 to start Fanmode.

Background business profile:

Fanmode was created by Neven Murugan to enhance his experience of following his favourite club, Manchester United, by giving him and global fans a representation in the Stadium. In today’s increasingly globalised world of sports the leading clubs often has more fans far away than in their local markets. Fanmode’s services offer fans the opportunity to connect with each-other, to their clubs and to the players. For the clubs, Fanmode is a toll to activate and gain insights about their global fan-base. 

Find out more about Fanmode through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: London

Founded in: 2001

No. of employees: 50

Company founder: Mitesh Patel

Fifosys founder Mitesh Patel

Founder profile:

Mitesh Patel founded Fifosys in 2001 whilst at university completing a masters degree in computing. In 2010 he completed the Cranfield University Business Growth Programme for entrepreneurs. Patel leads the Fifosys business strategy and and experienced management team dedicated to driving the company forward.

Background business profile:

Fifosys is an established, rapidly expanding, IT support and outsourcing company, focusing on cloud services. It is cash positive and expects to double in size organically in the next five years.

Find out more about Fifosys through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: London

Founded in: 2013

No. of employees: 4

Company founder: Alex Hunte

LyteSpark founder Alex Hunte

Founder profile:

With media, technology and broadcasting experience built up over 15 years experience, Alex Hunte previously managed the production department at Sportal and served as head of production in UEFA’s Media and Technology division in Geneva. Hunte has an MBA from Hult International Business School in Boston Massachusetts and studied business analysis and valuation at Harvard.

Background business profile:

LyteSpark is a fast, flexible video conferencing platform that provides an alternative to Skype, GoToMeeting or Webex. By intuitively combining video with other tools and services, LyteSpark makes it easier for businesses to operate in a connected yet distributed global economy.

Find out more about LyteSpark through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: London

Founded in: 2013

No. of employees: 7

Company founder: Guy Gross

Founder profile:

Entertainment and healthcare entrepreneur Guy Gross has built companies inside many large organisations over 15 years. His own ventures include MyMusicMonday (developing talent such as Jessie J and Amy Winehouse) and co-writing and winning the tender for the NHS National Shared Decision-Making Programme with the ex-CEO of Bupa Health Dialog.

Background business profile:

Rapid growth and proven demand has taken Mash Machine from idea to £150,000 turnover and multinational presence within ten months. Its product serves as a new media player, bringing together sound, lighting, and video controls into a single user interface. The product is available as hardware and as an app.

Find out more about Mash Machine through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: London

Founded in: 2012

No. of employees: 5

Company founder: Serge Taborin

Q App founder Serge Taborin

Founder profile:

Before co-founding Q App, Serge Taborin spent the past decade holding senior positions in digital media. He was the strategy director at Perform Group as it grew to a £600 million and subsequent IPO befpre, more recently, becoming the managing director of Archant Digital Ventures. Taborin holds an engineering degree from Oxford and an MBA from INSEAD.

Background business profile:

Q App enables customers to order and pay from their smartphones. Operating in busy entertainment and hospitality venues, the platform removes the need to queue, enables venues to process more orders, increase average order value and gather rich customer data and enables brands to access the customer at the point of purchase.

Find out more about Q App through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: London and Palermo

Founded in: 2013

No. of employees: 1 in London and 10 in   Palermo

Company founder: Gianmarco Troia

Qwince founder Gianmarco Troia

Founder profile:

Gianmarco Troia is an entrepreneur and founder of Qwince, as well as its Italian subsidiary Securproject. He has experience in the manufacturing sector, as well as through work as an IT Security specialist, in auditing (DNV) and consulting (Accenture and Deloitte). Troia started his own IT consulting firm and sold it in 2007 to concentrate on building Qwince. The business builder leads overall company vision, technology and product strategy.

Background business profile:

The company’s journey dates back to 2007, when its Italian subsidiary was founded as a spin-off from the University of Palermo. The team then launched Qwince in the UK in 2013 targeting the European market. Qwince enables any organisation to use new technologies to move information quickly, safely and in a cost efficient way.

Find out more about Qwince through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: London

Founded in: 2012

No. of employees: 15

Company founder: Rose Adkins

ScreenHits founder Rose Adkins

Founder profile:

Rose Adkins has worked in senior executive positions at The Hollywood Reporter, Sundance Institute and Universal Pictures. After Universal Pictures, she oversaw all foreign distribution for Ralph Farquhar, producer of TV shows such as Married with Children and the Real Husbands of Hollywood. Since 2008, she launched her own production company called TAG, The Adkins Group and most recently, ScreenHits. She studied at the University of Southern California and California State University, Northridge, where she received a degree in Business Administration.

Background business profile:

ScreenHits was created to make the world of finding content, easy and simple. Through a curated and filtered platform, broadcast/cable acquisition execs and consumers looking for content can come to one place to find a curated list of the best TV shows and films from around the world. 

Find out more about ScreenHits through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Further reading:

Picking West London over the Hollywood Hills for a film and TV business

Angel round for ScreenHits as it builds on new distribution deals

Based in: London and Barcelona

Founded in: 2011

No. of employees: 17

Company founder: Jordi de los Pinos

Smadex founder Jordi de los Pinos

Founder profile:

Jordi de los Pinos is founder, CEO and chief scientist at Smadex. He holds business and engineering degrees from MIT, Telecom Paris, and Politecnic University at Barcelona. He worked for eight years at Qualcomm, designing chips for cell phones and planes, as well as three years at Telefonica, where he was in charge of the development of Giffgaff (UK based MVNO) and of the Telefonica CDN.

Background business profile:

Smadex is a mobile DSP with proprietary real-time bidding technology and machine learning optimization algorithms designed for performance and branding campaigns. It provides a way for: global mobile media buying to place ads in mobile devices globally; include rich media and video ad formats; connect to the major RTB exchanges and provide self-service and managed service options.

Find out more about Smadex through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: London and Munich

Founded in: 2012

No. of employees: 6 full time

Company founder: Johann Huber

SOMA Analytics founder Johann Huber

Founder profile:

Johann Huber is a digital health entrepreneur who was awarded the status of HSG entrepreneur of the year 2013 in Switzerland and holds a masters in business innovation (St. Gallen) as well as a bachelor in engineering (Germany). Alongside that, Huber secured several merit based scholarships and founded two business prior to SOMA.

Background business profile:

SOMA Analytics is a London-based B2B digital health start-up. The company’s world patent-pending technology is able to gauge the user’s stress level on a scientifically validated basis by using smartphone’s sensors only. SOMA assists individuals in dealing with work-induced stress by providing tailored feedback and helps companies to improve the workplace by providing stress-data. SOMA Analytics took part in the Healthbox Accelerator programme 2013 in London and closed its first equity financing later that year.

Find out more about SOMA Analytics through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: London

Founded in: 2012

No. of employees: 3

Company founder: Jody Orsborn

The Backscratchers founder Jody Orsborn

Founder profile:

Jody Orsborn is an entertainment industry professional with over ten years of experience. She was previously head of marketing and promotions for Squeak E. Clean Productions. Orsborn has organised events for brands like Microsoft and Toyota, worked with artists like Kanye West and Mumford and Sons and is a judge for Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Competition.

Background business profile:

Companies are finding an increased demand for staff skills beyond their core business. Finding the team or freelancer with the right skills is often time-consuming, costly and inefficient. The Backscratchers have stepped in to solve that problem by connecting companies with hand-picked freelance talent or agencies for projects. The talent is industry-approved and covers 40+ creative and technical disciplines.

Find out more about The Backscratchers through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: London

Founded in: 2013

No. of employees: 2

Company founder: Madeline Parra

Twizoo founder Madeline Parra

Founder profile:

Before setting up and becoming CEO of Twizoo, Madeline Parra held a variety of roles at GlaxoSmithKline, most recently heading up the global digital strategy for an HIV product launch. She received her BSc in Mathematics from Davidson College, a top ten liberal arts university in the US.

Background business profile:

Twizoo is an app that gives restaurant recommendations based on what people are saying on Twitter. Using a fun and easy to understand data visualization, users can quickly see what’s hot and what’s not when deciding where to eat or drink on-the-go.

Find out more about Twizoo through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: London

Founded in: 2012

No. of employees: 8

Company founder: Nicholas Russell

Founder profile:

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

Background business profile:

The existing business model of agency cannot support the needs of tomorrow’s retailers. Enter We Are Pop Up – an online marketplace for short-term commercial property. We Are Pop Up automates short-term property transactions, making the process much easier for tenants, and lower-risk for landlords.

Find out more about We Are Pop Up through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Based in: London

Founded in: 2011

No. of employees: 4

Company founder: J. Paul Neeley

Yossarian Lives founder J. Paul Neeley

Founder profile:

J. Paul Neeley is a service designer and researcher based in London. He founded Yossarian Lives with Daniel Foster-Smith to build creative problem solving tools for the Internet through metaphorical association technologies. Neeley holds an MA in design interactions from the Royal College of Art, and studied communication studies, economics, and cello performance at Northwestern.

Background business profile:

Traditional search engines, like Google, are problematic for creativity, because they return literal results, which reinforce existing ideas. Yossarian Lives algorithms return lateral results that help users see new perspectives, and expand understandings of the world. If Google is the internet’s logical brain, Yossarian is the internet’s creative brain.

Find out more about Yossarian Lives through our in-depth examination, where we provide details on its recent and upcoming milestones.

Further reading:

British businesses on display at Dublin Web Summit 2012

 

Comments (0)