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 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 1 December; and the overall winner will be presented with an award sponsored by Barclays at the Fast Track 100 awards event in September.
|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|
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
Ones to Watch showcases a cross section of companies which fall short of the strict criteria for the main league table, but which 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 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 was 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 event in September.
|Company||HQ location||Year end||Sales £000s||Staff||Founded||Comment|
|Alpine Fire EngineersFire suppression system provider||Bury||Mar 19||*19,056||45||1992||Its systems protect 13m sq ft of floor space for clients including Jaguar Land Rover, DHL and Aldi. Received a £6.6m investment from Core Capital in 2018|
|Dock & BayTravel towel retailer||Central London||Feb 19||*4,200||11||2015||Sells its compact travel towels in Selfridges, and generates 50% of its revenue overseas. Secured £75,000 from Dragons’ Den investor Deborah Meaden in 2017|
|FullgreenPlant-based food maker||South London||Dec 18||†2,597||4||2013||Tesco, Asda, and Morrisons sell its rice alternatives, made using vegetables such as cauliflower. Raised $6.1m since 2014 across six crowdfunding rounds|
|Lounge UnderwearLingerie retailer||Solihull||Mar 19||*5,845||18||2016||Website features an online “fitting room” for customers buying its clothing, which has been worn by celebrities including Love Island runner-up Molly-Mae Hague|
|Maddox EventsDiversity events company||Southwest London||Jan 19||*4,047||22||2015||Organises events focused on diversity and inclusion in locations across the globe, such as Cape Town and Tel Aviv. Sponsors have included Amazon and Google|
|Oppo Ice CreamIce cream manufacturer||Southwest London||Mar 19||*5,239||14||2013||Founded by two brothers, this healthy ice cream company appeared on Dragons’ Den in 2016. It generates 75% of its sales overseas and has raised funds of £6.7m|
|PiccoloBaby food manufacturer||Central London||Dec 18||*2,600||14||2015||TV chef Prue Leith and the former chief executive of Pizza Express are investors. Has expanded to China, South Africa and the Middle East in the last year|
|RIXOFashion retailer||West London||Jun 19||*9,986||32||2015||Its hand-painted print dresses, accessories and swimwear are vintage-inspired, and stocked in retailers including Net-a-Porter, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Liberty|
|WhiteHatApprenticeship services||Central London||Mar 19||*2,000||65||2016||Provides more than 300 employers, including Zoopla, Warner Bros and Facebook, with apprentices through its placement portal. Has raised $20m from investors|
|WIT FitnessSportswear brand retailer||Central London||Jan 19||*3,400||22||2014||Its flagship sportswear store and gym in the City is popular with Team GB athletes. It raised £2m in VC funding this year and will open in New York in 2020|
* 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