Virgin Media Business Disruptors to Watch 10

Virgin Media Business and Fast Track have sought to identify 10 of the most disruptive private British companies. The 10 companies, drawn from over 200 identified initially, were selected from a shortlist of 14 following three pitching workshops in November by judges from Virgin Media Business, Fast Track and founders of last year’s inaugural ‘Disruptor 10’ companies. The 10 companies are recognised for having a business model, product or service on the cusp of creating a new market, or transforming existing markets.

The inaugural Virgin Media Business Disruptor 10 companies featured in the 2016 Fast Track 100 supplement in The Sunday Times.

Their directors were invited to the national awards dinner in May 2017 where each company received a certificate.

The 2016 winner was Blockchain, the bitcoin wallet provider.  Its co-founder, Nicolas Cary, was presented with an award by Peter Kelly, Managing Director of Virgin Media Business.

Virgin Media Business Disruptors to Watch 10

Company Disruptive activities
AgriProteinInsect-based animal feeds Supported by eight years of research and development, and more than $18m in funding, it says its insect-based animal feeds provide a more sustainable, cost-effective alternative to the current over-reliance on products such as fishmeal
babylonMobile healthcare app Aims to make healthcare more accessible through its AI-driven app, which allows users including NHS patients in London – to check symptoms and consult GPs; raised $60m in April, putting its value at about $200m
Cambridge Medical RoboticsSurgical robotics developer Is launching low-cost, portable surgical robots to replace expensive and large machines used by hospitals, and estimates it will make keyhole surgery more accessible to 7m patients a year — it has raised $46m
GrowUp Urban FarmsSustainable agriculture developer Plans to make food supply chains more sustainable with salad crops grown in water enriched by waste from fish farmed on site. It has developed a prototype farm capable of supplying 20 tons of greens and 4 tons of fish a year
Ieso Digital HealthOnline mental health therapy Aims to change how therapy for common mental health conditions is delivered; expects to cut treatment times and costs for 20,000 NHS patients by the end of 2017 through its online therapy rooms. It has raised £18m
MonzoMobile banking app Aims to help 1bn people better manage their finances with its app-only current account; raised £71m in November, gaining a valuation of £280m, and is planning one of the UK’s largest crowdfunding campaigns next year
Social ChainSocial media agency Its digital publishing model is changing how brands engage with people on social media, by selling advertising across its portfolio of 400 online communities to 386m viewers. The average age of its 105 employees is 22
TRXTelevision rights marketplace Its online marketplace for television rights aims to capture more than 20% of a largely offline $5bn market, with distributors such as BBC Worldwide signing up to sell content to more than 500 buyers; it has raised £10.8m
what3wordsGeographic location platform developer Aims to provide a more precise alternative to numerical postcodes for industries such as logistics by dividing the world into 57 trillion three-metre squares, each assigned a three-word code; has raised £15m
ZegoPay-as-you-go insurance Its pay-as-you-go insurance for gig economy workers at the likes of Deliveroo is an alternative to annual cover. It has insured drivers for 1.4m hours since August 2016, and raised £6m last month to launch overseas

Past stars

Fast Track Ones to Watch 10

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
BouncePing pong & bar venue Central London Sep 15 *6,500 200 2012 Backed by high-profile investors including Zoopla founder Alex Chesterman, it forecasts sales will double to £13.7m next year, when it plans to open in the US
Briggs Automotive CompanySports car manufacturer Liverpool Jun 15 *2,400 15 2009 Built 21 supercars this year after raising finance from international investors, and plans to produce 50 next year, with sales forecast to triple to £7.5m
BULK POWDERSSports nutrition brand Colchester Dec 14 10,686 100 2004 Originally an import business, it has brought manufacturing in-house and now exports to 12 countries, helping sales double over two years to £10.7m last year
Craggs EnergyFuel distributor West Yorkshire Dec 14 20,709 28 2011 This family firm will supply 50m litres of oil this year and says it has introduced online ordering and price transparency to a traditional industry
Five GuysBurger restaurant chain West London Dec 14 *23,812 445 2013 Has opened 40 restaurants in two years, with investment from Carphone Warehouse founder Sir Charles Dunstone, and has plans for a further 34 next year
GeniusGluten-free food manufacturer Edinburgh Jan 15 41,991 452 2009 Acquired two bakeries for £21m in 2013 and pie maker Chapel Foods for £3.5m last month, and is targeting £65m sales next year as it expands on the Continent
LintbellsPet nutritional supplements maker Hertfordshire Dec 14 *4,620 24 2006 Partners with UK universities to develop its pet supplements, which are sold in 15 countries. Sales are forecast to grow 56% to £7.2m this year
ME+EMFashion retailer Central London Feb 15 4,137 27 2009 Founded in 2009, this favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge secured funding in August from backers including Sir Charles Dunstone
Red’s True BarbecueBarbecue restaurant chain Leeds Mar 15 *7,100 304 2012 Secured £5m funding in May from investors including former Wagamama chairman Ian Neill, and plans to expand from six restaurants to 20 over four years
The Knowledge AcademyTraining provider Bracknell Mar 15 *16,620 126 2009 Run by a husband and wife team, it offers more than 50,000 courses in 200 countries to customers such as BAE Systems and Disney

* supplied by company   † annualised figure

Past stars