To date, few British firms have managed to capitalise on this opportunity to the same extent as their Silicon Valley counterparts, but a new class of budding businesses are now paving the way for innovation in the UK.
In 2011, three taxi drivers and three digital entrepreneurs came together to form Hailo, an innovative smartphone app to connect passengers with the nearest available taxi in their city. Just three years later, the London-based firm has grown its global customer base to achieve sales in excess of $100 million, recently topping The Next Web’s list of Britain’s fastest growing young tech companies.
Co-founded by British neuroscientists Ed Cooke and Greg Detre in 2010, Memrise uses the principles of cognitive science to create a more effective online learning platform, focussing on language learning in particular. Thanks to the site’s pioneering approach, Memrise were one of several growing UK businesses invited on Chancellor George Osborne’s recent trade mission to China.
SongKick was formed in 2007 by three friends with a passion for live music. The site, and associated mobile application, offer personalised updates on the tour schedules of each user’s favourite musical artists, as well as providing a social platform to share photos and comments following an event. As of November, the business had reached a monthly UK audience base of 8.5 million, with plans for global expansion.
Less than two years since its launch in 2012, online currency transfer service Azimo has already begun to make the news, with the Financial Times mentioning the business amongst those Facebook had been researching in the online payments space. By linking individuals directly, Azimo is able to offer preferential rates over traditional high street currency transfer services.
Having served as President of the Oxford Entrepreneurs society while at university, Enternships founder Rajeeb Dey was determined to offer students an, ‘alternative to the corporate grind.’ His online portal, Enternships, connects students with businesses for practical, empowering work experience opportunities, including those with smaller businesses and startups.
Aldermore hopes to see a number of new British technology companies join this list in the months and years to come, enabling the UK’s burgeoning technology industry to compete on an international scale.
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