Fast Track 100

10 Fast Track Ones to Watch / 10 Disruptors to Watch

Fast Track researches and compiles two 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 10 Fast Track Ones to Watch features companies that are set to grow rapidly; and the 10 Disruptors to Watch focuses on companies with the potential to disrupt their market.

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 event, where they receive a certificate, with one overall winner presented with an award.

Ones to Watch

The 10 Fast Track Ones to Watch showcases a cross-section of companies that 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.

This 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 WhiteHat, the innovative apprenticeship service.

This year’s 10 Fast Track Ones to Watch was published in the Fast Track 100 supplement in The Sunday Times on the 6 December; and the overall winner will be presented with an award sponsored by Virgin at the Fast Track 100 awards event in May.

Company HQ location Year end Sales £000s Staff Founded
AllplantsVegan meal delivery North London Aug 20 *5,254 105 2016
BrandfuelCreative design agency Central London May 20 *31,314 59 2005
First Response GroupFacilities services provider Leeds Jul 20 *18,598 300 2007
KwickScreenHealthcare partition manufacturer West London Mar 20 *1,943 45 2009
Lucy & YakFashion retailer Barnsley Jul 20 *9,706 85 2017
Parsley BoxReady-meal producer Edinburgh Dec 19 †*8,173 44 2017
Pasta EvangelistsPasta kit delivery service North London May 20 *4,083 62 2016
PatchOnline gardening store Southwest London Dec 19 *5,251 38 2015
The Cheeky PandaSustainable tissue products Central London Jun 20 *5,782 31 2016
Transcend PackagingSustainable packaging manufacturer Caerphilly Dec 19 *2,704 51 2017

* supplied by company   † annualised figure

Disruptors to Watch

The 10 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 Graphcore, the chip manufacturer backed by Sequoia Capital and the co-founder of ARM Holdings.

Company HQ Location Disruptive activities
BulbRenewable energy provider Central London More than 850,000 households have signed up to its single, transparent green energy tariff since 2015, attracted by its renewable credentials, innovative technology and customer service. A £60m funding round in August reportedly valued the company at more than £400m, although it is operating in a competitive industry in which seven rivals went bust this year.
CallsignAuthentication platform Central London Its artificial intelligence-driven cyber-security software removes the need for customer passwords, using data to enable smartphone users to confirm their identity with a single swipe. It raised $35m (£27m) in 2017 from investors including Accel to expand in the UK and US, and was valued at more than $100m.
Culture TripLifestyle content platform Central London This company’s online lifestyle, cultural and travel content — created by editorial hubs and more than 300 local freelancers — is viewed by 18m people a month. It uses AI to recommend content for its millennial audience. It has raised $103m in funding, including $80m in April, to drive revenue through booking links in the 1,600-plus stories it publishes each month.
Evox TherapeuticsDrug therapy developer Oxford Its technology delivers drugs directly to patients’ brains and central nervous system, overcoming the limitations of traditional therapeutics, and potentially providing a new way to target cancers and rare genetic diseases. It raised £35m in September from investors including Google's venture capital arm.
FiveAIAutonomous vehicle developer Cambridge Aims to develop and operate a fully driverless shared urban taxi service for Europe’s $400bn transport market, using AI-driven software and hardware that can be integrated into any modern car. It has received $35m in funding from venture capitalists, the highest sum for an autonomous car firm in Europe.
GraphcoreComputer processor manufacturer Bristol Says its computer processors are 10 to 100 times faster than existing products, with the potential to revolutionise advances in machine learning. It has raised $110m to launch its first product from Silicon Valley investors such as Sequoia Capital and UK angels including Robin Saxby, co-founder of ARM.
MoneseMobile banking service Central London Offers a smartphone-only, multilingual current account that can be opened in minutes, even without a UK or EU address — making access to banking easier for those who travel for work or study. The business has attracted more than 650,000 customers in 20 countries since 2015 and raised $60m in September from investors including PayPal.
NestedOnline estate agent Central London Its data platform helps calculate the value of a house, on which it is prepared to offer sellers a cash advance of up to 94%, removing problems associated with property chains. It has sold more than £100m worth of property since 2016 and raised £165m in funding, including £120m in November from investors including Northzone.
Owlstone MedicalDiagnostic breathalyser developer Cambridge Aims to save 100,000 lives and cut costs for healthcare providers by $1.5bn a year with its breathalysers that can detect cancerous cells earlier and at a lower cost than existing alternatives. Its products are being used by Glaxo Smith Kline and it has raised £56m from investors including Foxconn Technologies.
Oxford NanoimagingMicroscope manufacturer Oxford Makes the world’s only portable super-resolution microscope, which offers resolutions 20 times higher than room-filling legacy models. The product is generating interest from life sciences researchers and pharmaceutical companies. The company completed its third funding round in July, raising an undisclosed sum from investors including Oxford Sciences Innovation.