37 of the UK’s fastest growing Tech Companies join Upscale 2018

Jos Smart, January 25, 2018 6 min read

This article was originally posted on the Tech City UK website.

Today we’re announcing the new 37 companies joining Upscale for 2018. The Upscale Programme from Tech City UK, now in its third year, powers some of the fastest growing tech companies in the country.

Upscale is Tech City UK’s six month programme which provides world-class advice and mentorship to some of the fastest growing UK tech companies, from some of the UK’s most successful tech entrepreneurs and investors. They include: Niklas Zennstrom (CEO, Atomico/Founder, Skype); Saul Klein (Co-founder, LocalGlobe), Jess Butcher (Co-founder, Blippar), Anthony Fletcher (CEO, Graze) and Lesley Eccles (Co-founder, FanDuel).

The 37 companies that have been selected represent some of the finest early stage talent from across the UK and some of which will grow into the next generation of digital household names. Companies joining the programme have on average 33 employees and revenues of more than £1.7m a year. The funding raised by the companies ranges from £17m to £470,000.

Upscale 3.0 in numbers:

• Average number of employees: 33

• Average funding raised: £5.9m

• Average revenues per year: £1.7m

• Average company age: 4.5 years

• Business to Business companies: 43%

• Companies addressing both consumer/ business markets: 38%

• Consumer facing companies: 19%

• Regional representation: 10/37 companies

• % of companies with female founder/co-founder: 24%

What sectors have joined Upscale?

Tech City UK’s Upscale programme for 2018 represents companies from across a wide spectrum of sectors, and reflects the growing importance of certain areas like data analytics, Fintech and Cybersecurity.

  1. App & Software Development: JustPark, Vita Mojo
  2. Cybersecurity: AimBrain, B-Secur, Garrison Technology, Panaseer
  3. Data & Analytics: ASI Data Science, Decibel Insight, Peak
  4. Fintech: Aire, Bought By Many, Cryptopay, Flyt, Monese, Neos, VoxSmart
  5. Digital Entertainment: Azoomee, nDreams, VirtTrade
  6. eCommerce & Marketplace: BorrowMyDoggy, Cornerstone, Prezola
  7. EdTech: BridgeU, Makers Academy, MyTutor
  8. SaaS: Attest, Beamery, Veeqo, Winnow
  9. HealthTech: Elder, Vida
  10. InsurTech: Zego
  11. Robotics, AR, Connected Devices: Emotech, Reach Robotics, Senseye
  12. Al, Machine Learning & Automation: Prowler, Rainbird


Jos Smart, Upscale Team Lead, said: “We’re excited to launch Upscale 3.0 and welcome 37 of the UK’s leading scaleups to the programme. Over the next 6 months we’ll be working alongside founders and leadership teams to uncover the secrets of successful scaling through a series of deep dive workshops led by our world class Scale Coaches.

In addition to the workshops, we’re also passionate about building the UK’s most powerful scaling network. We have welcomed 100 companies to Upscale since we began in 2016 and we firmly believe that by connecting the UK’s leading scaleup founders their companies will grow faster, smarter and stronger together.”

Margot James, Minister for Creative and Digital industries, said: “We’ve recently announced a £21m investment to turn Tech City UK into a national organisation and boost the tech sector’s strong regional growth. Its Upscale programme helps companies with significant potential to succeed and I congratulate all those selected for the scheme. By supporting these pioneering firms we will make sure we can achieve our aim of making the UK the best place to start or grow a digital business, with the benefits spread across the country.”

Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK, said: “Upscale is an important programme because it is a crucial showcase for some of the UK’s most promising startups. This country is fortunate to have an amazing number of companies embarking on this journey but we need to make sure that we keep supporting those who make the bold decision to start or grow a business here in the UK.

Now more than ever we have to keep backing this community of ambitious entrepreneurs because this pipeline of emerging businesses that are capable of making a difference on the world stage is essential to keeping the UK at the forefront of a global industry that creates high-value, high-paying jobs right across the country.”

BorrowMyDoggy CEO and Founder Rikke Rosenlund, who is based in London, said: “I am excited for us to get access to great mentors, coaching and a strong community of founders where we can learn new skills to help us scale BorrowMyDoggy.”

Manchester-based Peak Co-founders Atul Sharma, David Leitch and Richard Potter said: “Being part of Upscale 3.0 will be pivotal in the next phase of Peak’s scale-up plans. Not only will the programme help our team to gain more experience through workshops, mentoring and peer-to-peer learning, but will also give us a platform to network with like-minded businesses.”

Winnow Founder Marc Zornes said: “It is a real privilege to be part of Upscale 3.0. and excited to learn from talented entrepreneurs and industry experts the challenges that come with scaling up a startup.”


Lucy Stonehill, CEO and Co-founder of BridgeU: “At BridgeU, we’re dedicated to building a solution for the complex and fragmented post-secondary education landscape, empowering schools to prepare the students of today for the world of tomorrow. Working with the team at Upscale will help BridgeU to scale faster and smarter as we move into post-Series A growth, and I’m delighted that we will be joining the programme in 2018.”

Norwich-based Rainbird Co-founders Ben Taylor and James Duez, said: “With such strong alumni, being selected for the Upscale 3.0 programme is a huge privilege. I am delighted that Rainbird has again been recognised as one of the most compelling scale-ups in the UK. A great start to what will be an amazing 2018, for us and our clients.”

The programme:

Upscale connects founders and leadership teams from across the UK’s most promising tech companies with world class Scale Coaches.

Through a series of curated workshops and mentoring sessions, the selected 37 companies will have the opportunity to learn from some of the most influential tech entrepreneurs from the UK and beyond, as well as access the most powerful advice on how to address the growth barriers they’re facing.

Upscale 4.0 Applications

Any companies planning on raising series A funding in 2018, you can now sign up to show your interest in being a part of Upscale 4.0.

To register, click on the link here and you will receive an email when applications open in the autumn.

Upscale supporters:

The Upscale programme is made possible with the help and support of our programme partners. A big thank you to Cooley, Founders Keepers, Founders Pledge, OracleNetsuite and Silicon Valley Bank.


Full list of Upscale 2018 companies:

AimBrain – A Biometric Identity as-a-Service platform for global financial institutions.

Aire – Creating equitable outcomes for all participants of the credit ecosystem.

ASI Data Science – Empowers clients to use AI to solve business problems.

Attest – Platform bringing target consumers into business decision-making.

Azoomee –  A kids’ digital TV and game app which includes 1,000+ games and videos.

B-Secur – Makes individual’s heartbeat the connection between them and their devices.

Beamery – Software for companies that want the best talent without applications.

BorrowMyDoggy– Matches dog owners with borrowers for walks, sitting and holiday care.

Bought By Many – Creates better insurance for everyone.

BridgeU – Empowering schools to provide smart, modern university and careers guidance.

Cornerstone – Quality men’s toiletries via an online subscription model.

Cryptopay  – Digital currency banking made easy.

Decibel Insight  – Reveals how users behave online, making it easy to improve experience.

Elder – Platform providing bespoke live-in carers tailored to the customer.

Emotech – AI startup that aims to improve the relationship between human and technology.

Flyt –  Connects consumer apps with physical venues.

Garrison Technology – Secure web access with scalability, performance and affordability.

JustPark – Empowers drivers to find, reserve and pay for a space in seconds.

Makers Academy – Helps beginners learn to code and get their first job in tech.

Monese – Monese makes it easy to bank like a local in 20 countries.

MyTutor – Connecting secondary school learners with university students.

nDreams – VR games and experiences.

Neos – Helps consumers protect and insure their homes all through an app.

Panaseer – Measures security automatically.

Peak – A data analytics-as-a-service that allows businesses to grow using data and AI.

Prezola – Online wedding gift list company.

Prowler – The world’s first principled AI platform for generalised decision-making.

Rainbird – AI-powered automated decision-making platform.

Reach Robotics – Robotics, Gaming and Augmented Reality.

Senseye – Machine failure forecasting without the need for expert manual analysis.

Veeqo – Streamlines your retail operation so you focus on rapidly growing your business.

Vida – Building technology to deliver a new model and standard of care.

VirtTrade – Leading publisher of Digital Trading Cards

Vita Mojo – Restaurant chain and software company.

VoxSmart – Provides secure software solutions for highly regulated industries.

Winnow – Making cutting-edge technology to help chefs reduce food waste.

Zego – Flexible insurance policies so workers can choose how, when and where they work.


Full list of Scale Coaches:

Saul Klein, Co-founder Local Globe

Verne Harnish, Author Scaling Up

Jess Butcher, Co-founder & Director Blippar

Brent Hoberman, Executive Chairman Founders Factory

Suranga Chandratillake, Partner Balderton Capital

Tracy Doree, Founding Partner Kindred Capital

Simon Calver, Partner BGF

Siraj Khaliq, Partner Atomico

Thor Mitchell, CPO Crowdcube

Greg Marsh, Co-founder One Fine Stay

Asi Sherabi, Founder & CEO Wonderbly

Shane Corstrophini, General Manager Skyscanner

Divina Knowles, COO & Director Pact

Benjamin Grohl, Investment Partner Head of Growth

Toby Moore, Co-founder & CTO Space Ape

Patrick Campbell, Co-founder & CEO Price Intelligently

Amir Kfir, Board Member Million Peacemakers

Anthony Fletcher, CEO Graze

Joel Gasgione, Co-founder & CEO Buffer

Matt Buckland, Head of Talent Lyst

Steven Rose, Sales Coach Commvault

Louise Plamer, CEO & Board Advisor Kornferry

Simon Wright, Founder Simon Wright Associates

Andrew Graham, Non-Executive Director/Advisor Movement Strategies

Luke Lang, CMO Crowdcube

Alex Gayer, CFO Receipt Bank

Placid Jover, VP HR, UK & Ireland Unilever

Meri Williams, CTO Moo

Ian Sutherland, CFO Wonderbly

scaling, Mid Stage