Get in Touch

Who made it from London into WIRED’s 100 Hottest European Startups 2015

by on August 13, 2015 in featured item, Lead Article, Nuggets, Retail, Rock 'n Roll, Small Business, Startups

“London’s tech sector is flourishing,” said Mayor Boris Johnson at the launch of an £85 million London Co-Investment Fund .

The numbers back him up: startups in the capital secured a record £437 million in funding in Q1 2015, according to analysis by London & Partners, with total VC investment expected to surpass £1 billion this year. A vibrant cultural scene, international workforce and wide network of tech hubs and accelerators also help the UK’s capital continue to attract young businesses.

“What’s so special about London’s tech scene is that it’s transforming other industries – finance, fashion, advertising,” says Rohan Silva, David Cameron’s former tech adviser. “It’s a collision of fields and disciplines which isn’t happening anywhere else.”


76-78 Charlotte Street,
London W1T 4QS

Deliveroo isn’t just a food-delivery service. “We’re also a logistics platform,” says 36-year-old Will Shu, who co-founded the startup in 2013 with his childhood friend Greg Orlowski.

It lets customers order food from local restaurants such as Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Nando’s and Gaucho, not just takeaways like rivals Just Eat and Hungryhouse. Deliveroo drivers collect the food and deliver it “usually seven to eight minutes after it leaves the kitchen”. “We provide them with a tablet and an android app,” says Shu.

Now in ten UK cities — as well as Dublin, Paris and Berlin — Deliveroo raised £16m in January and plans to expand into 30 cities and launch a consumer smartphone app this year.


3 Dorset Rise, London

Even in the buzzing peer-to-peer lending market, Funding Circle is making waves. The five-year-old company has overseen more than £600 million in loans from 40,000 investors to more than 8,000 UK businesses – £100 million in the first quarter of 2015 alone. In April, it closed a $150 million (£95m)round led by DST Global, and has set a target of $1 billion in loans in 2015.


66 Hammersmith Road,
London W14 8UD

The World Bank estimates that international money transfers will hit $646 billion in 2015. WorldRemit makes the process easier while charging lower commission than high-street banks. Founded in 2010 by former UN adviser Ismail Ahmed, it raised $100 million in February from Technology Crossover Ventures and Accel, with plans to expand into the US and worldwide.


20 Farringdon Road,
London EC1M 3HE

Improbable is taking the kind of distributed systems used in high-frequency trading and applying them to video games. Co-founded by Cambridge graduates Herman Narula and Rob Whitehead in 2012, the company recently announced $20 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz. Its vision: create vast online games with thousands of players in persistent online worlds.*


Westminster Business Square, Durham Street, London SE11 5JH

Co-founded in 2012 by Jules Coleman, Alex Depledge and Tom Nimmo, Hassle helps its customers find and book a pre-vetted home cleaner for £10 an hour. A graduate of TechStars London, the company secured $6m in funding from Accel partners in 2014, with plans to expand into providing services such as carers, tutors and personal trainers.


48 Hoxton Square,
London N1 6PB

Lyst aggregates items from multiple luxury e-commerce sites into a personalised feed and universal shopping cart. The five-year-old company’s sales have grown by 300 per cent every 12 months for the last three years. It secured $40m funding in April 2015. Its secret: using data scientists to comb 4.5 million data points per hour to better target individual users.

Qubit – a cool new base in King Street in the heart of Covent Garden


20 Broadwick Street,
London W1F 8HT

Founded by ex-Googlers Graham Cooke, Emre Baran, Daniel Shellard and Ian McCaig, Qubit lets businesses create websites that optimise data-targeting and A/B testing. Clients so far include Topshop, Emirates and Thomas Cook. In September 2014, it raised $26 million led by Accel Ventures and Balderton Capital to expand in the US and Europe.


Knyttan helps its customers design and produce high-quality knitwear. Founded by RCA graduates Ben Alun-Jones, Kirsty Emery and Hal Watts in April 2013, its Somerset House factory knits its designs in a matter of hours before shipping. Knyttan has partnered with designers such as Nicolas Sassoon and Studio Moross. Next up, it aims to sell its API to retailers.*


207 Old Street,
London EC1V 9NR

Jukedeck uses AI to generate unique, copyright-free music for everything from YouTube videos to games and lifts. Founded by Cambridge graduates Ed Rex and Patrick Stobbs, it lets its clients pick a genre before software composes the piece. The company won both HRH The Duke of York’s Pitch@Palace and Le Web in 2014, and raised £500,000 in seed funding.


53-79 Highgate Road,
London NW5 1TL

JustPark is an Airbnb for parking spaces. Customers can rent out spots at their homes or businesses, which drivers can book using an app. In August 2014, it announced a partnership with BMW, whose cars — including MINIs and soon Rolls-Royces — will have a JustPark dashboard app built in. In January 2015, the startup raised £3.7m on Crowdcube.

*WIRED Editor David Rowan is a personal investor in Improbable and Knyttan and was not involved in UK company selection


Print article