Upscale is based around honest conversations, meetups and workshops, delivered by scale coaches and seasoned entrepreneurs who have been through it all. The six-month programme is designed to help fast-growth tech companies with fundamental growth challenges, from hiring and international expansion to maintaining company culture.
“I’m delighted to welcome this year’s companies onto the Upscale programme,” said Sinead Daly, Mid-Stage Programme Lead at Tech Nation. “As we enter our fourth year, Upscale has built an incredible network of over 100 alumni, who have a wealth of experience to share with the cohort.”
With a strong focus on peer-to-peer learning, alumni come out of the programme with invaluable knowledge on the pressing, practical and often painful issues founders face. Some of these insights can also be seen in Upscale: the book, which features honest advice from some of the UK’s leading technology entrepreneurs and investors.
This year’s programme kicked off with a launch event at the Farncombe Estate in the Cotswolds on 24–25 January, where companies and founders had the opportunity to network and hear from seasoned experts, including Aneesh Varma, Founder & CEO of Aire, Angie Ma, Co-founder & COO of ASI Data Science and Cherry Freeman, Founder of LoveCrafts, on the challenges of scaling and leadership.
“Our off-site launch event will bring our founders together for the first time,” explained Sinead. “We’ll embed those tight-knit connections upfront, think about what scaling really means and explore how leaders can thrive while managing such rapid growth.”
Leading the way in UK tech
The 30 companies that have been selected represent some of the finest mid-stage talent from across the UK, some of which will grow to be future leaders in the global tech economy.
Tessa Clarke, Co-Founder & CEO of London’s highly successful food sharing startup OLIO, and a member of this year’s cohort, said: “As OLIO transitions from closing our Series A to being Series B ready, we’ll need to take our performance to a new level – we can’t wait to benefit from being part of Upscale 4.0!”
Another new member, James Hadley, Founder & CEO of Bristol-based software company Immersive Labs, added: “Immersive Labs is proud to announce that it will be joining Upscale, We look forward to sharing experiences with other fast-growing companies, while learning from Upscale mentors about how to succeed in a competitive global market.”
Spanning different locations, sizes and levels of performance, Upscale 4.0 also represents companies from across a wide spectrum of sectors, and reflects the growth seen in areas like ecommerce and fintech.
The Upscale 4.0 cohort
Introducing our Upscale 4.0 companies:
London | Proptech | B2B | @Airsorted
Airsorted helps people host their homes on Airbnb and other platforms. Aimed at either landlords or travellers, the company provides a hassle-free service, including property listing, cleaning, linens, communication with guests, check-in, key exchange and more.
London | SaaS | B2B | @ApperioLtd
Apperio exists to make the world’s legal clear, connected and collaborative. Providing a single, real-time view of every firm, matter, task and billable hour involved through an intuitive platform, Apperio ensures general counsels and lawyers can access the information and insights they need.
London | Hardware, Devices & Internet of Things | B2B | @automata_tech
Automata’s mission is to empower people to automate the physical work they should no longer have to do. Its first product, Eva, is a simple, affordable, desktop robot arm built for professionals, helping to improve productivity on a production line or in a lab.
BookingLive Software Ltd
Bristol | Enterprise Software & Cloud Computing | B2B | @BookingLive
BookingLive provides powerful scheduling, reservation and purchasing experiences that create profitable customer relationships. Its leading secure data-driven platform is trusted by government departments, retailers, NHS trusts and large multinational organisations to manage their most important customer engagement journeys.
London | Fintech | B2C | @meet_cleo
Cleo exists to radically improve everyone’s relationship with money. For millions, money has been too difficult for too long. Cleo was built to change that. A personal champion and companion, Cleo helps people achieve their goals and feel genuinely good about money, while sharing or creating products and services that really work for them.
London | Healthcare & Biotech | B2B & B2C | @doctifyuk
Doctify allows patients to search, compare and book the best doctors near them. Its online booking tools, complete with patient reviews, enable users to make an informed decision about health professionals, and book an appointment, treatment or scan, from any device, 24 hours a day.
Coventry | Healthcare & Biotech | B2B & B2C | @OvuSense
OvuSense, from Fertility Focus, predicts ovulation 24 hours in advance, doubling the chance of pregnancy for each reproductive cycle. Comprised of a vaginal sensor, which measures core temperature, and a smartphone app for data upload, OvuSense can be used by all women, including those with ovulatory issues.
London | Fintech | B2B | @Fluidly
Fluidly addresses the biggest SME pain point, cashflow management. Its intelligent system, featuring automated cashflow forecasting and management, connects to accounting packages and bank accounts to optimise cashflow. Saving SMEs both time and money, it also ensures they have control, certainty and confidence about their financial future.
London | Fintech | B2B | @FundingOptions
Funding Options is the UK’s leading online comparison marketplace for SME finance. Using online comparison technologies previously only available to consumers, it makes it fast, easy and transparent for SMEs to access the right alternative finance. The company is also pioneering open banking technology, enabling it to fund small businesses in minutes.
Brighton & Hove | SaaS | B2B | @FUTRLI
FUTRLI solves the pain points of SMEs and the accountants that advise them, helping businesses get it right when it comes to their futures. Business owners can produce flexible, three-way forecasts built from P&Ls, balance sheets and cash flow statements, and prepare live business plans, budgets and reports, helping them get more visibility.
Cambridge | Healthcare & Biotech | B2B & B2C | @ourhealthera
Healthera connects patients to a network of hundreds of pharmacies and NHS GPs. Using the Healthera app, which is listed on the NHS Digital apps library, patients can order and track their prescriptions, access clinical services, and monitor their medication intake in one digital end-to-end solution.
London | Ecommerce & Marketplace | B2B | @Hubble
Hubble is London’s biggest online marketplace for renting flexible office space. Its platform enables large, flexible office brands, small independent brands and those with spare space to let their offices. Making it easy for businesses between 1 and 250 people to find and move into an office space, Hubble cuts the average move time from three months to three weeks.
Bristol | Data Analytics & Cybersecurity | B2B | @immersivelabsuk
Immersive Labs is enabling organisations to upskill and assess current cyber workforces, as well as identify and develop the talent they never knew existed. The company’s virtual hands-on learning platform features hundreds of browser-based labs and real-world security scenarios that allow organisations to upskill from within and be the best they can be.
Edinburgh | Fintech | B2B & B2C | @_lendingcrowd
LendingCrowd specialises in lending to SMEs across Britain by accessing finance from private investors to provide loans of up to £500,000. Borrowers can check their eligibility in just 60 seconds, and it takes less than 30 minutes to complete a loan application. Once the loan has been funded, the funds could be in the borrower’s account within two working days.
Bath | Ecommerce & Marketplace | B2C | @MoveGB
MoveGB is on a mission to enable lifelong health and happiness for all. The UK’s largest activity marketplace with 300,000 users and over 6,000 physical activity providers, MoveGB offers one membership to tens of thousands of activities, classes, gyms and studios, and gives members the daily freedom to mix up their activities.
OLIO Exchange Limited
London | Tech for Good | B2B & B2C | @OLIO_ex
OLIO is a free neighbour-to-neighbour food sharing app. Users simply snap a picture of their surplus food items and add them to OLIO, then neighbours receive customised alerts and can make requests. OLIO’s Food Waste Heroes programme also matches volunteers with their local retailer to collect unsold food and redistribute it to the local community via the app.
Oxford | Space | B2B | @Open_Cosmos
Open Cosmos provides simple and affordable space missions to help solve the world’s biggest challenges, enabling organisations from across a wide range of industries to use space technologies as a tool. Offering constellation, in-orbit demonstration, payload development and qualification services, Open Cosmos offers a one-stop-shop to orbit.
London | Proptech | B2B & B2C | @OpenRent
A rental community for landlords and tenants, OpenRent has thoroughly disrupted the market to become the country’s largest letting agent and make renting fairer, safer and cheaper for everyone. Landlords can advertise their properties on major property portals for just £29, saving them thousands, while tenants are never charged admin or agency fees.
Oxford | Healthcare & Biotech | B2B | @Oxehealth
Oxehealth’s Digital Care Assistant (DCA) gives staff caring for the elderly and vulnerable more time for hands on care where and when they are needed most. The DCA acts as an assistant, paying attention to every room when staff can’t be there, helping care facilities improve patient or resident outcomes and experiences, and reduce the cost of care.
Patch Gardens Ltd
London | Ecommerce & Marketplace | B2B & B2C | @patch_plants
In the seemingly endless drive towards urbanisation, there is no brand that speaks to urban gardens or urban gardeners. That’s where Patch comes in. The company allows customers to discover the right plants for their space, delivers them to their door, and helps them look after them through its in-house plant doctors and great content.
London | Fintech | B2B | @getsmepaid
Previse is transforming B2B commerce so that suppliers are paid instantly upon invoice. The company’s AI technology analyses companies’ data to predict the invoices unlikely to get paid, so Previse can pay the rest instantly. The 1% fee paid by suppliers who opt for instant payment is shared between the buyer, the funder and Previse, in a genuine win-win.
London | Edtech | B2C | @korukids
Koru Kids is building a new childcare system from scratch using modern technology. Now the UK’s biggest childcare brand, Koru Kids trains and deploys 100+ nannies each week, transforming the lives of thousands of families. The team builds seamless, comprehensive software and delivers high quality ongoing training and development for nannies.
London | Data Analytics & Cybersecurity | B2B | @AskShepper
Today, businesses use Google to find anything digitally and view pictures online. Shepper is the other side of the coin. Businesses use Shepper’s B2B inspection services to send a real person, from a managed network of local, trusted people, to a physical location to carry out checks and collect information, helping to drive down costs and speed up delivery.
London | Tech for Good | B2C | @Sweatcoin
Sweatcoin is a digital currency backed by the economic value of physical movement. Created with the mission to motivate people to be more physically active and fight the UK’s obesity problem, Sweatcoin’s tracker app converts steps into a virtual currency and includes an internal marketplace that lets users buy goods and services with their Sweatcoins.
London | SaaS | B2B | @Tessian
Tessian creates machine intelligence to secure enterprises from threats executed by humans, keeping the world’s sensitive data and systems secure. Used by large enterprises across the financial, legal and technology sectors, its email security platform automatically prevents security threats like misaddressed emails, data loss and non-compliance.
The Accountancy Cloud
London | Fintech | B2B | @theacloud
Designed with startup founders in mind, The Accountancy Cloud platform automates accounting, finance and cashflow tasks, eliminating back office admin. Using data to produce interactive financial statements, and integrating with accounting software, it acts as a hub for accounting operations where founders can access real-time advice from finance experts.
The Plum Guide
London | Ecommerce & Marketplace | B2C | @plumguide
The Plum Guide is on a mission to build a marketplace of the world’s best holiday homes. Solving the issue of quality control in the homestay market, it separates the good from the great using the Plum Test, which leverages an innovative combination of tech, data and expert human curation to determine if a home has what it takes to deliver a perfect stay.
Birmingham | Enterprise Software & Cloud Computing | B2B | @voxpopme
Voxpopme is the world’s number one video insight platform. Its unique technology platform enables fast and easy end-to-end video research through solutions that revolutionise the process of capturing, analysing and sharing video feedback. As a result, every data point businesses rely on to make decisions can be backed up by real human stories.
London | SaaS | B2B & B2C | @WazokuHq
Wazoku helps companies become everyday innovators, where innovation is a core, strategic capability. Passionate about enabling organisations to engage and collaborate with their workforce, ecosystem, customers and the world, Wazoku’s cloud-based idea management software enables users to crowdsource solutions to challenges that keep them up at night.
London | Agtech | B2B & B2C | @wefarm
WeFarm has built the world’s biggest farmer-to-farmer trusted knowledge network for the 1 billion small-scale farmers globally who have no access to the internet. Farmers can ask any question on agriculture, in any local language, for free and WeFarm gets them bespoke content back, using sophisticated machine learning and the knowledge of the crowd.
Running from January to July 2019, Upscale is a free, curated programme of workshops, mentoring sessions and peer-to-peer learning opportunities that unlock the key to scaling successfully, connecting founders and leadership teams from across the UK’s most promising tech companies. Visit the Upscale page for more information.
Upscale is made possible with the help and support of our programme partners, who share their expertise and experience, and help advise companies on a range of issues. We’d like to thank our partners Cooley, RSM and Silicon Valley Bank.