Fast Track research identified some of the UK’s most disruptive private companies, and worked with Virgin Media Business to select the best 10. The ten companies are recognised for having a business model, product or service that is creating a new market, or transforming existing markets and rapidly taking market share from competitors.
The inaugural Virgin Media Business Disruptor 10 companies featured in the supplement in The Sunday Times. Their directors were invited to the national awards dinner in May where they received a certificate, and the winner, Blockchain, was presented with an award.
|AlphaSightsBusiness information services||Connects experienced experts with companies that require their specialist knowledge, challenging the business models of established consultancies and changing top-level corporate decision-making|
|BlockchainBitcoin wallet provider||Says its platform hosts 10m “Bitcoin wallets” and services 50% of the digital currency’s global transactions. Secured $31m (£25m) in 2014, which, at the time, was the largest first-round digital currency fundraising|
|BrewDogBrewery||Sells its craft beer in more than 60 countries. About 6,000 of its beer-loving investors attended the company’s annual meeting in Aberdeen in April and it has raised £30m from 53,000 “equity punks”|
|CrowdcubeCrowdfunding platform||More than 10% of the UK’s public equity fundraisings were completed via this crowdsourcing platform in the first half of this year, including challenger bank Monzo, which raised £1m from 1,800 investors in 96 seconds|
|EcotricityGreen energy supplier||Says it was the world’s first green energy company and that its “electric highway” of 300 charging points at UK service stations is Europe’s largest. It is now pioneering carbon neutral gas production|
|LendInvestOnline property finance lender||Its online finance platform is reinventing the £1.3 trillion mortgage market by cutting completion time to as little as seven days. Has taken a 10% share of the short-term mortgage market|
|Made.comOnline furniture retailer||Raised £50m to develop its pioneering ecommerce model for designer furniture and, with almost 40% of its customers in Europe, it is now expanding its profitable UK business overseas|
|Notonthehighstreet.comOnline retail marketplace||Has raised £33m to develop its ground-breaking online marketplace, which was launched in 2006 and is now used by more than 5,000 creative small businesses to sell their wares|
|PureGymGym operator||With more than 800,000 contract-free members, it has taken a 37% share of the value gym sector in just eight years, with its innovative low-cost model and 24/7 gyms|
|TransferWiseCurrency transfer platform||Says its faster, more transparent currency exchange system handles more than £800m each month and saves customers £1m in fees every day. Valued at more than $1bn after raising $117m|
The Fast Track Ones to Watch 10 represents the best of the rest of the companies whose sales growth falls just short of the main league table, but who are set to grow rapidly in the future. All shortlisted companies are visited by the Fast Track research team and assessed for inclusion.
The top ten companies are featured in the supplement in The Sunday Times and are invited to the national awards dinner.
They receive a certificate, and one national winner, selected by a judging panel, is announced on the night and presented with an award.
This year’s winner was Olivia Burton, the watch and jewellery maker.
|Company||HQ location||Year end||Sales £000s||Staff||Founded||Comment|
|Chi Chi LondonOnline fashion retailer||Central London||Feb-16||*8,091||38||2008||This online fashion label has tripled sales to £8.1m in three years, and plans to expand in the US next year|
|Direct Online ServicesOnline furniture retailer||Gloucestershire||Dec-15||18,173||141||2008||Started on eBay in 2008. Is forecasting £22m sales in 2016 after securing £3m from BGF to drive growth|
|FrugiChildren's clothing retailer||Cornwall||May-16||*6,685||70||2004||Exports organic clothing for children to 40 countries. Sales have doubled in three years to £6.7m this year|
|MEATliquorBurger restaurant operator||Central London||Jun-16||*11,000||283||2011||Has gone from one burger van to 10 restaurants, with sales forecast to rise 55% to £17m in 2017|
|Olivia BurtonWatch and jewellery maker||Northeast London||Mar-16||*9,202||13||2012||In 2016 this brand, sold in Harvey Nichols among others, launched in 27 countries and increased sales 154% to £9.2m|
|Pots & Co.Dessert manufacturer||West London||Dec-15||2,716||18||2012||Its luxury puddings are stocked by Waitrose and Selfridges and are available on airlines. Is forecasting £6.5m sales in 2016|
|PropercornSnack maker||Northeast London||Dec-15||*9,500||28||2011||Has raised £7m from Piper Private Equity and the Innocent Drinks founders. Sales forecast to rise 37% to £13m this year|
|Rude HealthHealthy food producer||Southwest London||Mar-16||*8,800||25||2005||This health food brand has doubled sales every two years since 2011, and forecasts £12.5m sales next year|
|The Coaching Inn GroupInns operator||Lincolnshire||Mar-16||*13,000||450||1996||Has grown from six to 12 inns since BGF invested £4.5m in 2015 and plans to double its estate in five years|
|Union Hand-Roasted CoffeeCoffee producer||North London||Aug-16||*11,300||71||2001||Sells ethically sourced coffee online, to top restaurants and via Waitrose. Plans to double in size in three years|
* supplied by company
Sitting next to Sir Richard Branson at dinner and bouncing around ideas is something I’d never have imagined I’d be doing!Lesa Bennett, Olivia Burton
Being named ‘one to watch’ is a great achievement and recognises the hard work of our entire team who have contributed to our significant growthMike Loggie, Saltire Energy
It is a great honour and privilege to have been selected for the Fast Track Ones to WatchRobert Jakobi, Metcalfe’s Food Company
The first people we shared the news with were the staff. We are delighted that we have been recognised in this wayMike Forrester, Orchard Valley Foods