Fast Track researches and compiles two annual sub-tables, published in our Fast Track 100 supplement with The Sunday Times, featuring 10 of the most promising private British companies from a cross-section of industries that do not qualify for the main league table but deserve special recognition. One table focuses on companies with the potential to disrupt their market and the other on companies that are set to grow rapidly in the future.
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 aims to highlight 10 companies with disruptive potential from a cross-section of industries, rather than claiming to identify the 10 companies with the most disruptive potential.
This year’s judges included Fast Track and past Disruptors to Watch finalists Tom Blomfield, founder of Monzo, the mobile banking app and Peter Roberts, founder of PureGym, the low-cost gym chain; and the overall winner in 2017, Ali Parsa, founder of Babylon Health, the mobile health care app, who was presented with its award at our national awards dinner.
|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 whose sales growth falls short of the strict criteria for 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. Last year’s judging panel included senior representatives from our sponsors Barclays and BDO, and Fast Track’s founder, Hamish Stevenson.
The 2017 winner was Pip & Nut, the nut butter brand, with its founder & chief executive Pippa Murray presented with its awards at our national awards dinner. The two runners-up were Wattbike and Filmore & Union.
|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
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