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
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   † annualised figure

Past stars