Some of the UK's fastest growing technology companies have been selected to join a government-backed programme designed to help British businesses scale rapidly and encourage them to list on UK stock markets.
Tech City UK today announced the first 25 companies that it wants to work with on its Future Fifty programme.
The organisation, which is funded in part by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills(BIS), describes Future Fifty as a fast-track programme of public and private sector support designed to catalyse growth, create jobs and deliver economic impact to the UK.
In order to be considered for the programme, companies need to be based in the UK with an annual revenue of at least £10m, increasing by 30 percent year-on-year over the last two years. The year-long programme was announced by chancellor George Osborne and Tech City CEO Joanna Shields in April.
Shields said: "The Future Fifty programme will help the most promising companies make the UK their home and solidify London as the world's digital capital – the most attractive destination for entrepreneurs, startups and their investors.”
The first cohort consists of technology businesses in fashion, leisure, consumer goods, property and financial services. It features companies such as Zoopla, MADE.com, Skyscanner, One Fine Stay, and Just Eat.
The selection process was conducted by a panel of industry experts, investors, advisors and successful entrepreneurs.
Tech City UK claims the programme will give the companies the support they need to address business needs along with a continuous programme of press and promotional backing, modular 'opt-in' business support and educational content and events.
Commenting on the news today, prime minister David Cameron said: “The Future Fifty programme is action that will help these businesses to grow and achieve their potential, and help us to compete and thrive in the global race.”
The heads of Just Eat, Zoopla Property Group and Mind Candy welcomed the fact that they had been selected for the Future Fifty programme.
Mind Candy CEO Michael Acton-Smith said: "Mind Candy is delighted to be part of the Future Fifty and feel it's a great initiative for the rapidly growing Tech City community and around the rest of the UK."
London Stock Exchange chief executive Xavier Rolet said he believes the Future Fifty programme will help the UK to provide the right mix of finance for every stage in a company’s development to make doing business and accessing capital markets in Britain as simple as possible.
The Future Fifty programme comes after reforms were introduced by the London Stock Exchange and the government designed to make UK equity markets more attractive so that British companies didn't turn to New York's NASDAQ or other global markets when it came to listing.
The reforms included the creation of a new High Growth Segment with tailored eligibility criteria to improve access to the public markets for high-growth companies. However, Richard Holway, chairman of analyst firm TechMarketView, told Techworld in July that the High Growth Segment had been ineffective.
“If it had [been effective], we would be seeing some IPOs by now and those like Shazam and Sophos wouldn't be thinking NASDAQ,” he said at the time. “The London stock market is just not attractive for larger floats. They need an infrastructure of lawyers, PR people, reporting accountants, analysts, knowledgeable press etc. The US has these in spade loads. We don’t…anymore."
The Future Fifty: first cohort
The first group of high-growth companies to successfully join the Future Fifty programme are:
- Zoopla Property Group - owns and operates leading online property brands including Zoopla.co.uk and Primelocation.com. Its websites attract over 40 million visits each month.
- Skyscanner – the world’s fastest growing international travel search company.
- Onefinestay – a service that helps city travellers stay in beautiful homes appointed with all the creature comforts of a hotel in London, Paris, New York and Los Angeles.
- Omnifone – an independent business-to-business provider of global cloud-based digital music services.
- Neomobile – a global Mobile Commerce Group providing mobile payment and advertising services.
- Mind Candy – an entertainment business delivering experiences both online and offline including toys, books, magazines, music, trading cards and movies.
- MADE.com – an online designer furniture retailer working with 40 world-wide established designers and collaborators to create exclusive designs.
- Lyst – a personalised fashion marketplace that gives millions of people that personalised shopping experience every month.
- Just Eat – a site which uses proprietary technology to offer an efficient on-line ordering service for the restaurant industry in thirteen countries around the world.
- HouseTrip – one of the largest holiday rental websites in the world, offering holidaymakers and holiday home owners a safe and easy-to-use platform to find, book and list holiday apartments, houses and villas.
- Green Man Gaming – the fastest growing social commerce platform for core gamers which combines an automated game tracking community with a robust digital E-commerce platform.
- Farfetch – an online fashion brand and shopping site which brings together a network of global partners including European and North American multi-brand designer boutique.
- Box – a cloud based data provider that makes businesses more competitive, productive, and powerful by connecting people with their most important information.
- Acturis – an innovative, cloud based Software as a Service platform transforming the commercial insurance industry.
- Calastone Limited – an independent cross-border transaction network for the global funds industry.
- Hailo – a free smartphone app which is revolutionising the way taxis are ‘hailed’, putting people just two taps away from licensed taxis at all times.
- Horizon Discovery – a UK biotechnology company that combines a long scientific heritage in translational research with a world-leading gene-editing platform.
- Huddle – a cloud content collaboration service used by government organisations and enterprises worldwide.
- Lumimobile – employs world class patented technology to empower business insight and engagement through mobile devices.
- Mimecast Services – delivers cloud-based email management for Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Office 365, including archiving, continuity and security.
- Repknight – the fastest open source intelligence (OSINT) platform in the world, sold only to government security services and police forces.
- Zopa – the UK’s leading peer to peer lender, matching smart borrowers looking for low rate loans with savers who want higher interest rates on their returns.
- Secret Escapes – the UK’s largest flash sales site for luxury travel, saving members up to 70 percent on luxury hotels and holidays.
- Skimlinks – creates native monetisation solutions for publishers, rewarding them for any e-commerce they drive by turning product links and product references into easily tracked affiliate links.
- Synthesio – a leader in global social media monitoring, helping brands and agencies listen to, understand and engage with consumers.