Meet the Rising Stars 4.0 Regional Winners: Wales’ leading early-stage scaleups

Kane Fulton, December 3, 2021 6 min read

One year ago, we launched our inaugural ‘The 12 Days of Scaleups’ campaign to unveil our Rising Stars 3.0 Winners. This December, we’re revisiting the festive theme to announce and celebrate our Rising Stars 4.0 Regional Winners from across the UK as part of our latest 12 Days of Scaleups.

Now into its fourth year, Rising Stars remains the UK’s only national early-stage tech scaleup competition. It is once again fully virtual and our judges have selected not one, but five winners from each region.

Visit our 12 Days of Scaleups Map to discover more Rising Stars 4.0 Regional Winners as they are announced

We are excited to announce the Wales Regional Winners of Rising Stars 4.0: Cufflink, Go Banana, Kinderly, Kuva, and Wyser.


From Anglesey, Cufflink helps companies and individuals store and control access to their personal data in a more secure way. Their patent-pending architecture and easy to understand data licenses effectively limit the chances and impacts of cyber security attacks by categorically defining exactly what information is accessible to whom. CEO Billy Williams tells us more.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars regional winner?

We’re delighted and very proud to be selected as one of Tech Nation’s Wales’ Rising Stars 4.0 Regional Winners. We see it as a fantastic opportunity and platform to showcase Cufflink, our solutions and the wider cyber security community here in Wales. A personal data breach can be ruinous for businesses and can impact us all. By fundamentally changing the way personal data is stored and accessed, Cufflink makes business more secure, compliant, and trusted so that even if someone does manage to break in, there’s nothing there to steal.

How has your region supported you in your journey so far?

At Cufflink, we’re all immensely proud of our regional roots and see it as part of our mission to ensure Wales is at the forefront of the global cyber security and distributed technology marketplaces. We look forward to continuing to work with all our regional partners including Bangor University, NatWest, The Development Bank of Wales, Menai Science Park (M-SParc), The Welsh Government and Innovate UK. The wider Welsh startup ecosystem is continuing to thrive, and we look forward to benefitting and being part of this fantastic community across both North and South Wales with our Seed Investment round now open and our corporate SaaS offering about to launch.

Go Banana

Based in Cardiff, Go Banana is the UK’s first marketplace for building supplies, connecting building material sellers with trade professionals and DIY-ers, providing a convenient and cost-effective way to compare and buy the supplies you need. The GB platform also offers sellers an online selling solution, acting as a sales and marketing partner. Cofounder and CEO Phoebe Bull tells us more.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars regional winner?

Working with sellers nationwide, together we are creating the UK’s first marketplace for building supplies. Our mission is to provide tradespeople with a convenient and reliable one-stop-shop, saving them time and money. We offer quality products at the best prices and a range of items that are unmatched. We have huge growth plans for 2022 and we are excited to carve out our place in this industry. Thank you Tech Nation for your recognition and support. As a young founder, connecting me with other startups and tech professionals has been really valuable.

How has your region supported you in your journey so far?

Cardiff has provided a fantastic base for our new headquarters this year. The city’s startup ecosystem has really helped source exceptional people to start building out our team and has allowed us to connect with other startups and early-stage businesses to share ideas and offer support.


Newport-based Kinderly aims to give children the best start in life. It is an early years education technology and training company that supports childcare providers to be at their best, while also ensuring that parents are kept informed and engaged with their child’s early years and learning development. CEO Geraint Barton tells us more.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars regional winner?

Our mission at Kinderly is to support early childhood education practitioners to give the children in their care the very best start. That’s why we’ve created leading online child development tools and digital CPD solutions to ensure the highest standard of childcare and early years education. Despite the challenges faced by the sector over the last 18 months, Kinderly’s quick response, delivered through our digital platforms, enabled childcare businesses to remain open and connected to children. It is supported by parents with home learning and has helped motivate and up-skill childcare professionals through online training and expert webinars during lockdown and beyond. The new digital ‘norm’ has helped fast-track the adoption of digital practices in early years education and we’re excited to be at the heart of this evolution.

How has your region supported you in your journey so far?

The Development Bank of Wales and the Advanced Growth Programme provided by the Welsh Government has been fantastic support for Kinderly across a number of areas including helping with market analysis, creating partnership agreements and providing funding to develop Kinderly for international markets.


HQed in Newton, Kuva’s ethos is all about privacy. It’s hard to find your own private space online, but Kuva promises building one is easy with them via its comprehensive remote working solution for professionals that doesn’t collect, store or monetise information about you or your clients. Kuva builds technologies that deliver privacy in all online transactions. CEO Alexander Hogan tells us more.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars regional winner?

We are honoured to be included in such illustrious company as part of the Rising Stars programme. Tech Nation has regularly highlighted the strength and innovation of the UK’s tech scene and we hope we can live up to the billing as a part of this year’s cohort. Equally, the time for a genuinely private space for professional activity on the internet has come and we are excited that our ideas can now have the impact they need to have on the UK’s digital ecosystem. We cannot wait to get started.

How has your region supported you in your journey so far?

Kuva is a genuinely Welsh company, born of the particular Welsh entrepreneurial spirit and held fast in the values of openness, innovation and community spirit that are a central facet of the Welsh character. We have been supported by our community in mid-Wales and the Welsh Government throughout our journey and it is undoubted that if we weren’t who we are and where we are, Kuva would not exist.


Wyser Ltd’s suite of AI products and services enable law firms and ADR providers to process case data accurately, improve caseload cost efficiency, target new revenue streams and automate repetitive tasks. The Swansea-based company’s suite of AI-enabled services optimises the collection and assessment of case data for law firms, ombudsmen and dispute resolution providers. CEO Mark Pearce tells us more.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars regional winner?

We are delighted to be a Rising Star Regional Winner for Tech Nation. It means our profile will be raised both nationally and internationally, and we will get the opportunity to put our business in front of leading investors, influencers and corporates. Together with our strong market traction, this validates our strategy.

How has your region supported you in your journey so far?

It is fantastic being a Wales’ Regional Winner. London often takes the limelight but tech companies like us have woken up to the benefits of setting up in Wales because of the abundance of high-quality talent from the universities there, easier access to regional funding and a well-connected tech community.

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