Tech City UK, the government quango tasked with supporting fast-growing UK tech companies, today announced the next cohort of companies that will join its Future Fifty scheme.
The programme, designed to support tech firms with revenues in excess of £10 million, was announced in April 2013 by then CEO Joanna Shields but it has received mixed reviews to date.
Half of the new 12-strong cohort hail from the fintech sector, while others come from adtech, edtech and ecommerce. The startups - selected by 17 judges via an open competition - includes the likes of TransferWise, GoCardless and JustGiving. A full list can be found below.
A dozen of the original Futury Fifty companies will graduate today to make room for the new cohort. They include Box, ao.com, Horizon Discovery, Just-Eat, Masternaut, matchesfashion.com, mimecast, Neomobile, OrderDynamics, Photobox, Skyscanner and Zoopla.
Philipp Stoeckl, director of the Tech City UK Future Fifty programme, said: “The new companies selected for the Future Fifty programme represent some of the nation’s most exciting and innovative digital businesses. The Future Fifty team looks forward to working closely with these new companies to help them reach the next stage of their growth journey. We also wish to congratulate the graduating companies who collectively have achieved outstanding and inspirational milestones.”
According to Tech City UK, members of Future Fifty programme receive bespoke support, including guidance on policy, recruitment and global expansion.
Over the last year, the agency, which is funded by close to £2 million of taxpayer's money, claims that the Future Fifty team has provided support on more than 250 individual matters.
However, the initiative has been heavily criticised by some of its initial members. For example, Huddle told Techworld earlier this year that Future Fifty was of "little to no use".
"The fear we all had about about the Future Fifty has kind of come true and I think they realise that they probably haven’t done enough beyond the initial launch and the marketing," Huddle co-founder Andy McLoughlin told Techworld last week.
"When you think about the Future Fifty and you think about Tech City, there are great people that work there and they have great intentions, it’s just that programatically they haven’t done enough to really push it. If you go to them and say this is what we want then that’s fine and to a degree it’s concierge service but it shouldn’t need us to have to go and say this is what we need to be successful. They should be able to recognise what they can do to help startups. Right now it’s not very descriptive."
Meanwhile, OneFineStay co-founder Greg Marsh said: “It’s a little bit announce first, figure out the plans second in the eyes of some people.”
Huddle claimed that the programme has been flawed from the start because it included companies based outside the UK and Europe, including rival storage firm Box.
None of the graduates were immediately available for comment.
The new cohort will join the remaining Future Fifty members.
- Adzuna: Adzuna is a search engine for job ads that lists every job, everywhere.
- Algomi: Algomi creates the network that enables all market participants to securely and intelligently harness data to make valuable financial trading connections. Algomi’s revolutionary technology empowers fixed income professionals to fulfill their precise needs, for both sides of the market.
- busuu: With over 50 million users, busuu is the world's largest platform for language learning providing interactive language courses, combined with social interaction with native speakers of the community.
- GoCardless: GoCardless is the UK’s leading Direct Debit provider, collecting more than half a billion pounds each year for thousands of businesses across the UK including The Guardian, Crowd Cube, and Funding Circle.
- JustGiving: JustGiving is the world’s social platform for giving, connecting causes with people who care.
- LMAX Exchange: LMAX Exchange is the leading FCA regulated MTF for global FX trading and the UK’s fastest growing technology company; delivering a neutral, transparent trading environment and consistent exchange quality execution to financial institutions and banks.
- Performance Horizon: Performance Horizon Group provides a world-class affiliate marketing and partner management platform that enables large enterprises to connect directly with their online and mobile publishers at scale, globally.
- Qubit: Qubit empowers businesses to customise and optimise websites in real-time using qualitative and quantitative visitor data to deliver the right content to the right users at the right time.
- Ratesetter: RateSetter is the one of the largest P2P lending platforms in the UK, offering a ground-breaking proposition that cuts out the middle man and shares the savings with everyday borrowers and lenders desperate for a better deal.
- Rockabox: Rockabox is on a mission to improve the quality of digital brand marketing. They've spent the last three years building a world leading content creation and distribution platform which hands control back to brands, agencies and publishers, helping them create, deliver and analyse video and rich media campaigns programmatically, at scale.
- TransferWise: TransferWise is an international money transfer platform - it makes it up to 10 times cheaper to send money abroad compared to using a bank.
- WorldRemit: WorldRemit is a global money transfer service – making sending simpler for friends and family in more than 110 countries.