Disruptors / Ones to Watch

Fast Track researches and compiles two annual sub-tables, published in our Fast Track 100 supplement with The Sunday Times, featuring promising private British companies from a cross-section of industries that do not qualify for the main league table but deserve special recognition. The Disruptors to Watch focuses on companies with the potential to disrupt their market; and the Ones to Watch features companies that are set to grow rapidly.

The 10 finalists for each programme are selected by a judging panel and are featured in the Sunday Times supplement. Their senior directors are also invited to the awards dinner, where they receive a certificate, with one overall winner presented with an award.

Disruptors to Watch

Disruptors to Watch highlights 10 companies with disruptive potential from a cross-section of industries, rather than claiming to identify the 10 companies with the most disruptive potential.

The research takes into account factors such as business model, management team and investor credibility, as well as total funds raised.

Past winners include Babylon Health, the healthcare app company whose investors include the founders of DeepMind, and last year’s winner Graphcore, the chip manufacturer backed by Sequoia Capital and the co-founder of ARM Holdings.

This year’s Disruptors to Watch 10 will be published in the Fast Track 100 supplement in the Sunday Times on the 1 December; and the overall winner will be presented with an award sponsored by Barclays at the Fast Track 100 dinner in May.

Company HQ Location Disruptive activities
AlphaSightsBusiness information services Central London 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 East London 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 Aberdeenshire 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 Exeter 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 Gloucestershire 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 Central London 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 Central London 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 Richmond 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 Leeds 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 East London 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

Ones to Watch

Ones to Watch showcases a cross section of companies whose sales growth falls short of the strict criteria for the main league table, but who are set to grow rapidly in the future. The research takes into account factors such as past sales, growth forecasts, international expansion and external investment.

Last year’s judging panel included senior representatives from our sponsors and Fast Track’s founder, Hamish Stevenson.

Past winners include the burger chain Five Guys, which has achieved rapid growth, and Loungers, the café and bar operator which floated; and last year’s winner Huel, the fast-growth powdered food nutrition brand.

This year’s Ones to Watch 10 will be published in the Fast Track 100 supplement in The Sunday Times on the 1 December; and the overall winner will be presented with an award sponsored by Virgin at the Fast Track 100 awards dinner in May.

Company HQ location Year end Sales £000s Staff Founded Comment
Chilly’s BottlesReusable bottle brand Central London Jul 18 *11,880 10 2010 Has quadrupled sales to £11.9m this year and forecasts £40m in 2019. Its colourful reusable water bottles are sold online and stocked by the likes of Urban Outfitters
Childs FarmChildren's toiletries maker Hampshire Nov 17 †5,291 18 2010 With a 20% market share, it is the UK No 2 in baby and child toiletries behind Johnson & Johnson. Its products are now available in more than 6,000 stores nationwide
Torsion GroupDeveloper & construction contractor Leeds Dec 17 29,588 53 2015 Founder and management bring experience from big construction firms and sales grew to £29.5m in its third year of trading; won a £28m contract in March
Craft Gin ClubGin subscription service Central London Jan 18 *6,520 20 2015 Sources gins exclusively for its 42,000 members in the UK and plans to roll out in Ireland and Germany. Secured £75,000 from Dragons’ Den investor Sarah Willingham
Freddie’s FlowersFlower delivery Central London Aug 18 *10,039 90 2014 Has helped to create a new market around regular flower delivery for the home and plans to test its model in America next year. Is backed by Keith Abel of Abel & Cole
HuelComplete food brand Buckinghamshire Jan 18 *14,024 29 2015 Launched in 2015, it has grown sales to £14m and attracted £20m funding. Co-founder and serial entrepreneur Julian Hearn is aiming for a £1bn valuation in four years
Little FreddieBaby food manufacturer Central London Dec 17 *17,250 106 2014 This organic baby food brand is gaining popularity in China and the UK, selling through retailers such as Ocado and Boots. Forecasts sales of £38m this year
Micro-FreshAntibacterial coating manufacturer Leicester Jun 18 *10,000 7 2006 Sells through the likes of John Lewis — and plans to add three overseas offices to its existing seven. Founder Byron Dixon was appointed an OBE this year
MousPhone case designer Central London Mar 18 *5,417 31 2014 Viral marketing helped sales grow sixfold to £5.4m this year. Has raised $2.4m from crowdfunding and generates 85% of sales overseas
Sykes Holiday CottagesHoliday cottage rental Chester Sep 18 *49,600 504 1991 Offers 13,500 holiday cottages to rent in the UK and Ireland. Backed by private equity firm Livingbridge, it aims to take 2.5m customers on holiday a year by 2020

* supplied by company   † annualised figure