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Entrepreneurial network Tech Nation has selected 13 tech startups to join its 11th Future Fifty programme cohort, which is designed to assist the growth of late-stage digital businesses.
The startups selected include Wayve, a mobility startup that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop autonomous driving systems; Yapily, an open banking platform that allows companies to access financial data and initiate payments; and digital identity platform Yoti, which is already trialling biometric age estimation technology for the sale of alcohol in UK supermarkets.
Collectively, the Future Fifty 11.0 companies employ more than 4,200 people and have so far raised over $2bn in venture capital (VC) investment.
To be eligible for the Future Fifty programme, firms must be headquartered in the UK, be at the Series B funding stage (or otherwise generating annual revenues over £5m) and be achieving 50% year-on-year growth.
Tech Nation said the latest cohort was the most regionally diverse yet, with nearly half (46%) of the companies based outside of London.
This includes Paragraf, a manufacturer of high-purity graphene – a key component in a range of everyday electronic products – from Somersham in east England; Cambridge-based artificial intelligence (AI) company Speechmatics, which is developing automatic speech recognition tech; and a household waste reduction app called The Modern Milkman, based in Manchester.
Tech Nation is expecting rapid growth for selected firms in the coming months, with their average projected headcount increase for the next year sitting at over 400% and plans to expand to 44 countries collectively in the next year.
As part of the programme, the 13 firms will benefit from access to peer-to-peer learning opportunities, open dialogue between experienced entrepreneurs and founders, in-depth masterclass sessions run by seasoned coaches, sessions with key government officials and exclusive ministerial roundtables, and access to a dedicated Tech Nation Visa team.
“Over the past decade, Tech Nation’s Future Fifty programme has been the definitive list for identifying the UK’s best and brightest scaling technology companies,” said Hussein Kanji, a partner at Hoxton Ventures and a Future Fifty 11.0 judge.
“This is the strongest cohort I have seen to date in terms of ambition, innovation and scaling potential. It’s amazing to see both the winners and applicants improve year over year, as the UK’s tech ecosystem continues to mature.”
Hussein Kanji, Hoxton Ventures
Other tech firms selected to join the cohort include applied AI firm Faculty; locum staffing software provider Florence; semiconductor firm Graphcore; e-commerce platform Huboo; tech-driven insurance firm YuLife; open banking company Zilch; and car financing transparency firm Zuto.
HSBC UK, Evelyn Partners, and Slaughter and May have been selected as the programme partners for this year’s cohort, which they will provide with support, expertise and insights.
At the start of August 2022, data from Tech Nation showed that while more UK startups are scaling to exit than ever before, with the percentage of firms reaching exit now greater than the percentage that fail, around half are still languishing at the early stages of growth without adequate support.
Late-stage firms, on the other hand, have already raised $18.7bn in 2022 so far, an eight-fold increase on the level of investment in 2012. Over the past year, late-stage tech firms have also raised 50 “mega rounds” (those which attract $100m or more), compared with just two this time a decade ago.