Meet our Disruptors to Watch

4th December 2019

Fast Track’s Disruptors to Watch are 10 companies with disruptive potential from a cross-section of industries, using new business models and innovative technology. From artificial intelligence to space technology, and from fintech to biopharma, these exciting early-stage companies are led by impressive founders and CEOs, including serial entrepreneurs, seasoned industry figures, professors and millennials. They have attracted support from angel investors, venture capital firms, and corporates.

Graphcore, the computer processor manufacturer founded in 2016, appeared on last year’s list with backers including Microsoft and BMW, and is now worth an estimated $1.7bn (£1.3bn). CMR Surgical, which featured on our 2017 list, raised £195m in September and is now valued at an estimated £1bn.

The judging for this year’s Disruptors to Watch was chaired by Ben Davey, CEO of Barclays Ventures, with help from the company’s chief customer officer Stephanie Waismann, and the Fast Track research team. Click here to see the list and company descriptions in full.

 

Tokamak Energy’s reactor

 

The 2019 Disruptors to Watch

 

Artios Pharma is developing treatments to stop cancer cells self-repairing, which makes them easier to eliminate. It has raised $122m from investors including Pfizer and Novartis.

 

Cazoo aims to disrupt the £50bn used car market with its online platform, and plans to deliver cars to the buyer’s home within 72 hours. It has raised £57m from investors such as Octopus Ventures and DMG Ventures.

 

Hummingbird Technologies applies artificial intelligence to data from satellites, drones and aircraft to analyse crops and help farmers identify problems. It has raised $16m from backers including BASF, the European Space Agency and Beeswax Dyson, Sir James Dyson’s agricultural firm.

 

Orbex plans to launch its Prime rocket, for delivering small satellites into orbit, from a new spaceport being developed in northern Scotland. The company has raised £34m from the UK Space Agency and High-Tech Gründerfonds, among others.

 

Prowler.io aims to use AI to help companies in sectors ranging from education to logistics to speed up and improve decision-making. It raised $34m in May – when Tencent was among the investors, and the company was valued at $100m – bringing the total raised to date to $50m.

 

Tessian has developed a security platform that uses machine learning to protect against human error when sending emails. It has raised $59m from backers including Sequoia Capital, Balderton Capital and Accel.

 

Tide has launched a digital current account for business owners, with benefits such as automated book-keeping and integrated invoicing. It has raised $95m from the SBI Group, Augmentum Fintech, Passion Capital and others.

 

Tokamak Energy aims to develop fusion power to provide a safe and cost-effective way to fulfil the world’s energy demands. The company has raised more than £50m from investors including Legal & General Capital and David Harding, the founder and chief executive of Winton Group.

 

Wagestream allows employees to receive wages before payday, so they can avoid going overdrawn or taking payday loans. The firm has raised £45m from sources such as QED Investors, Balderton, Northzone and Village Global, which is backed by Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg.

 

Wejo is creating a marketplace for data generated by connected vehicles, such as live traffic and parking updates, and analysis of trends. It has raised $143m from investors including General Motors, which owns a 35% stake in the company.

 

Orbex’s Prime launcher has the world’s largest 3D-printed rocket engine

 

National Awards Dinner

The founders and senior directors of the 10 companies will be invited to the Fast Track 100 conference and awards dinner in Oxfordshire in May, where one overall winner will be presented with an award. Past winners include Babylon Health, the healthcare app company whose investors include the founders of Deepmind, and Graphcore.

 

Ali Parsa, founder and CEO of Babylon Health

Nominations

If you would like to nominate a company for next year’s Disruptors to Watch, please email joe.kempton@fasttrack.co.uk

 

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