The hottest startups in London

London’s startups haven’t solely weathered a yr that mixed Brexit and a worldwide pandemic, additionally they attracted extra funding than ever earlier than. According to figures from Tech Nation’s annual report, UK startups attracted a document $15 billion in VC funding in 2020, with London now fourth globally for tech VC funding, behind San Francisco, Beijing and New York.

When the pandemic hit, there was panic, adopted by a interval of stability from the primary lockdown by to the tip of the yr, says Gerard Grech, chief government of Tech Nation. Entrepreneurial ecosystems and the federal government stepped up. “And clearly VCs invested,” he says. “But actual funding has began to occur from this yr onwards. We’re already seeing over half of what was invested final yr in 1 / 4 of the time.”


Jonathan Wolf, co-founder of vitamin biotech startup ZOE, says the corporate doesn’t consider in energy: “We assume it’s nonsense.” Rather than weight-reduction plan, ZOE leverages information so that folks can alter their vitamin in a sustainable method. Users are despatched a package and requested to supply a stool pattern, use a steady glucose monitor and do a finger-prick blood check to realize insights into their intestine microbes, blood sugar and blood fats.

Wolf and his co-founders George Hadjigeorgiou and Tim Spector, an epidemiologist at King’s College London, based ZOE in 2017 however operated in stealth mode for 3 years. When the pandemic shut down the UK in March 2020, ZOE sprang into motion, launching a Covid research to find hotspots of the virus by gathering information from round 4.5 million customers in a government-backed mission to assist the NHS. In May, ZOE raised $20m in a Series B spherical.


Online occasions startup Hopin was based in 2018, and demand for its companies soared in 2020. “When the pandemic began, we had about 10,000 clients on a waitlist,” says founder Johnny Boufarhat. Now, Hopin is in 42 nations, using over 500 folks, and has 95,000 clients. “Our mission is to make the world really feel smaller and join folks,” Boufarhat says. When he based the enterprise, his intention was to democratise entry to networking and information occasions, in order that customers may make enterprise connections no matter their location.

Hopin raised $150m in 2020 and has since raised an additional $400m Series C spherical, cementing its unicorn standing. Its subsequent mission is to supply occasions designed for the hybrid office.

Alex Stephany, social entrepreneur and founding father of Beam

Dan Burn-Forti


Social impression enterprise Beam crowdfunds profession alternatives for homeless folks and helps them within the path to discovering and preserving new jobs. Founded by Alex Stephany in 2017, the startup has helped safe work for greater than 300 folks, some in key employee positions, comparable to in supermarkets, supply corporations and the NHS, in the course of the pandemic.

Stephany says he created Beam as a result of he needed to construct “world-class know-how for essentially the most deprived folks on the earth”. In the final yr, the issue of homelessness has change into much more necessary, so Beam repurposed its crowdfunding know-how to supply emergency provides comparable to sanitary merchandise, meals, textbooks and tablets for youngsters. “Our most necessary KPIs usually are not our monetary KPIs. They are what we name our social KPIs: folks beginning jobs, and likewise folks being housed,” Stephany says.


Biotech startup FabricNano is designing synthetic cells that produce chemical compounds 100 instances quicker, with the intention of ditching lots of the chemical processes that make manufacturing one of the vital polluting industries on the earth. Its objective is to exchange all fermented and petrochemical merchandise, comparable to plastics, with biomanufactured alternate options. FabricNano was based in 2018 by Grant Aarons and Ferdinando Randisi, who’ve backgrounds in mechanical engineering and DNA.


Why purchase a brand new toy when you possibly can borrow one as an alternative? That’s the philosophy behind Whirli, a toy subscription service based in 2019 by Nigel Phan which goals to advertise sustainable consumerism. Whirli purchases toys immediately from main producers, which subscribers can borrow after which swap for one thing new each time their little one will get bored. Whirli has raised £4 million in a 2020 seed spherical led by Octopus Ventures.


Last-mile supply startup Dija formally launched its on-demand grocery service in March 2021 after elevating £20 million in seed funding in December 2020. Founded by former Deliveroo workers Alberto Menolascina and Yusuf Saban, the startup provides comfort and contemporary meals supply utilizing a “darkish” comfort retailer mannequin, seeing it construct out hyper-local fulfilment centres in city high-population areas for super-quick supply.


Founded by an identical twin brothers Alexander and Oliver Kent-Braham in 2018, Marshmallow brings reasonably priced automobile insurance coverage to underserved teams comparable to immigrants, low-income and unemployed folks, or college students, who pay greater than common as a result of they do not match into conventional insurance coverage underwriting. At the tip of 2020, the insurtech firm reached a $300 million (£231m) valuation following a $30m Series A funding spherical.

Hoxton Farms

As the race for the right lab-made steak continues, Hoxton Farms co-founders Max Jamilly and Ed Steele assume they’ve the important thing to tasty meat alternate options: cultivated fats. The startup goals to supply animal fats with out utilizing animals, and has raised £2.7 million in seed funding to finance the R&D to do it. The spherical was led by Founders Fund, the Silicon Valley enterprise capital agency based by Peter Thiel.

Greyparrot co-founders Mikela Druckman and Ambarish Mitra

Dan Burn-Forti


In the age of distant working, expertise may be present in all areas, however employers are nonetheless delay using distant groups due to purple tape. Omnipresent co-founders Matthew Wilson and Guenther Eisinger say their tech leaves corporations “extra time to do what issues, and fewer of the boring admin”. In January 2021, the corporate closed a $15.8 million Series A funding spherical to broaden its presence globally.


Sixty per cent of the 2 billion tonnes of municipal strong waste (AKA garbage) produced globally annually leads to open dumps and landfill. AI waste recognition startup Greyparrot gives software program to observe and kind waste at scale. The firm was based in 2019 by Mikela Druckman, Marco Paladini and Nikola Sivacki, and focuses on constructing software program that may work on primary {hardware} that’s accessible to rising markets, the place many gadgets are despatched for recycling.

Recommended For You

About the Author: Adrian

Leave a Reply