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.
|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|
I’m really proud to be recognised with all these other incredible entrepreneurs Nicolas Cary, co-founder & president, Blockchain
To run a disruptive business you’ve got to be prepared to be resilient. The whole nature of disruption is that you are changing people's lives Humphrey Cobbold, CEO, PureGym
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|
|CornerstoneShaving subscription service||Central London||Dec 16||*4,039||15||2014||Launched in 2014 by a 25-year-old serial entrepreneur, this shaving subscription service has raised £8m. Sales rose sixfold to £4m in 2016 and are forecast to double in 2017|
|Filmore & UnionHealth food restaurant chain||West Yorkshire||Mar 17||*3,989||195||2012||Serves healthy food at 14 eateries in the north of England. A £3.5m investment from BGF will finance new store openings in northern England and the Midlands next year|
|Green Sheep GroupBaby products manufacturer||Stratford-upon-Avon||Sep 17||*5,177||25||2006||Sells its high-end baby products online and in retailers such as John Lewis, and has tripled sales in three years to £5.2m in 2017. It plans to launch new products and expand exports|
|In The StyleOnline fashion retailer||Salford||Mar 17||*9,218||80||2013||Set up in 2013 from the founder’s bedroom, this online retailer had sales of £9.2m in 2017. It raised private equity funding from Livingbridge in April to expand at home and abroad|
|ISO SpacesModular buildings designer||Truro||Sep 17||*2,500||23||2013||Converts shipping containers into pop-up bars and portable stages for clients such as Tesco and Nissan. Demand for social housing is expected to increase production by 400% in 2018|
|One Retail GroupConsumer products supplier||Northwest London||Dec 16||†*5,915||4||2013||Set up in 2013 by a 24-year-old, this firm owns six consumer brands, sold in seven countries. It forecasts £15m sales in 2017, and plans to expand into high-street stores and China|
|Pip + NutNut butter brand||Central London||Dec 16||*3,100||6||2015||Sells natural nut butters and milks online and in 4,000 stores, including Sainsbury’s. Is expanding overseas and launched in 900 supermarkets in Holland in September|
|Pizza PilgrimsPizzeria operator||Central London||Jun 17||*5,985||200||2012||Inspired by their Italian travels, two brothers set up this pizza business in 2012 and have gone from a market stall to eight restaurants, with sales forecast to hit £9m in 2018|
|Tile MountainOnline tile retailer||Stoke-on-Trent||Dec 16||*8,800||31||2013||Set up in 2013 by former Topps Tiles executives, this online retailer doubled sales in two years to £8.8m in 2016. It opened a £10m facility in May and this year forecasts £11m sales|
|WattbikeStatic bike manufacturer||Nottingham||Sep 17||*11,500||46||2000||Its hi-tech indoor bikes are used by elite athletes such as Jessica Ennis-Hill and the England rugby team. It exports to 50 countries and recently launched a bike for home gyms|
* supplied by company † annualised figure
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 growth Mike Loggie, Saltire Energy
It is a great honour and privilege to have been selected for the Fast Track Ones to Watch Robert 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 way Mike Forrester, Orchard Valley Foods