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 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|
|AgriProteinInsect-based animal feeds||Southwest London||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|
|Babylon HealthMobile healthcare app||Central London||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|
|CMR SurgicalSurgical robotics developer||Cambridge||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||East London||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||Cambridge||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||Central London||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||Manchester||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||Central London||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||West London||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||Central London||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|
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 dinner in May.
|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