Every year we take a look at 20 UK startups to watch and, well, here we have 20 startups to watch in 2013. Last year we think we did pretty well in our '20 UK startups to watch 2012'. Many had great years and even ended up in our '10 uk startups that smashed it in 2012' list. So without further ado...
SUMO Drinks - Richard Baister
First up is SUMO Drinks, founded by Richard Baister. The soft drinks company is like no other. It is a still, naturally fruit flavoured soft drink that contains functional ingredients which increase the metabolic rate and help the body to burn calories more quickly. That's right a surprisingly refreshing way to burn calories. Richard has previously founded and successfully sold a drinks company, which gives him the experience to help him make SUMO a success. In a rapidly growing market with a highly attractive USP & some major international distribution contracts, on an exclusive basis, in the bag. It seems like 2013 is going to be a real breakout year for this startup.
Casabu - Rachel Oxburgh
Having only just launched in April 2012, Rachel has seen Casabu, a daily flash sales site for mums, turn over £5million in 2012 and is on course to breakeven in mid 2013. The flash sales model has been growing with ever more popularity and bringing that to the mum's market is surely going to do well. The mums market is huge and offering deals on products for their kids is always going to appeal.
Internwise - Rui Zamith and Nuno Dhiren
Internwise connects those looking for an internship with employers from startups to corporate companies. It's your one stop shop for graduates from a number of disciplines and employers from across the country. Oh and it's totally free. They make their revenue from extra services they offer clients. With graduate jobs becoming harder to find, Internwise look set to capitalise and help match students with the jobs that are out there and is one of our startups to watch in 2013.
Peppersmith - Dan Shrimpton and Mike Stevens
Dan & Mike are two ex Innocent Drinks employees and seem to have taken some lessons in branding and incorporated it into their own startup. Peppersmith is a confectionery company specialising in natural chewing gum & mint products. Having been accredited by the British Dental Health Foundation for being actively good for teeth they also boast disposable papers with every pack to avoid gum littering. They are trying to change the negatives that come with gum while promoting the benefits. They have some big supermarket deals in place and starting to make moves into foreign markets. 2013 could be a big year for them as they expand further.
Flavrbox - Ruben Kostucki
Flavrbox works on a subscription model, bringing a new box of amazing food and drink for you to try each month. It is a food marketplace which focusses on discovery by hand picking and delivering high quality tasting boxes. People love food and being able to have a range of high quality new products delivered to your door each month will certainly appeal to foodies. I tried it over Christmas and was impressed by the variety of products on offer. It was Graze who had a big year last year, and although not the same offering, in a similar fashion I think this will gain a lot of traction. This makes it one of our startups to watch in 2013.
Droplet - Steffan Aquarone and Will Grant
This is a great little startup which is in the highly disruptive mobile payments space. With high profile successes in Square and iZettle, Droplet allows users to load money onto their mobile and send money to friends or family for free. Or to pay for items in shops that accept it. Setting up payee accounts or having the right amount of cash has always been a bit of a faff, but this makes the act of paying someone simple. The Birmingham startup has already got a bunch of local shops on board and as they grow I can see more and more people using Droplet.
Flubit - Bertie Stephens and Adel Louertatani
Flubit is next in our startups to watch in 2013. Why? Well Flubit is a demand driven marketplace. Flubit allows users to submit what they want and Flubit then looks at the demand for a product from users and then negotiates deals, for buyers, with the suppliers. This approach turns online shopping on its head by generating offers based on demand as opposed to pushing sales to the consumer. As they further increase user numbers, you'll be able to get better offers. I expect you to hear more and more bout Flubit as growth continues.
Bizoogo - Erez Nounou
Bizoogo is simply a community of entrepreneurs who come together to share knowledge, collaborate on projects or even find co-founders. It takes the startup community feel you get in startup hubs in cities across the world and brings it into one online platform where entrepreneurs can connect & collaborate. This is one of our startups to watch in 2013 as the more people use it the more word of mouth will help it grow. After a good start in 2012, I expect a big 2013.
TrueView - Andrew Ibbotson, Matthew Verity and Damian Mitchell
The one year old startup TrueView may be another dating app, but this isn't just any dating app. TrueView dynamically builds your profile. After putting in your picture and a couple bits of info, age, height etc... you just open the app whenever you are doing something, such as visiting a gig, going for a morning run, trying a new recipe. Your profile will grow and be matched with similar users. We live on our phones and shout about everything we do on social media anyway. TrueView recognise this and help you find a partner through real life experiences rather than a boring profile you wrote which never gets updated.
Swogo - Anthony Ng Monica, Lucy Foster, Dimitar Kazakov, Ivor Stankov & Andre Rego
Swogo helps consumers make a purchase decision like an expert in just 60 seconds. The founding team of 5 gives the team an early advantage with a good range of skills and they can put time into the challenge without high salary costs. The company has a strong proposition making buying decisions easier by recommending you a product based on a few questions that help assess the perfect product for your needs. It also rids you of an emotional purchase. With some of the team graduating from uni this year, I expect them to be one of the startups to watch in 2013 as they have more time to commit to Swogo and expand their range of products that can be compared.
Beulah London - Natasha Rufus Isaacs and Lavinia Brennan
The company combines high-end fashion with ethically sourced products. Natasha & Lavinia were inspired, when going to India & seeing the victims of human trafficking in the slums. They were inspired to create a high quality fashion label which dedicates itself to social justice through employment of Indian human trafficking victims to manufacture their clothing and accessories. The brand has grown massively in popularity after being seen worn by the likes of the Duchess of Cambridge & Kate Moss. People love a brand with a story & the two founders are genuinely passionate about their cause which shines through a high quality brand.
Sooqini - Tiago Mateus and Raj Singh
A marketplace where you can hire people to carry out tasks for you. In fact this week I had an interview transcribed & two videos edited and got replies in minutes. Sooqini see themselves as a reverse marketplace, where people put up what they want and others fulfill that need. In fact many people are creating a living by completing tasks for others. They have grown rapidly in 2012 & I expect them to continue with a great 2013 as they grow their user base beyond the early adopters.
BuyMyWardrobe - Kal Di Paola
Kal is a fashion designer who has started up BuyMyWardrobe to make it easy to buy and sell pre owned fashion. As places like eBay become less popular due to the fact that you can't really trust those reviews these days. I think the site will grow hugely next year since there is a huge market and having a targeted community site to facilitate the need for buying and selling pre owned fashion; especially in a tough economic climate seems like they're onto a winner.
DrDoctor - Tom Whicher, Rinesh Amin & Perran Pengelly
Quick and convenient online appointment booking at your local UK hospital. With years of experience in the NHS behind them, they are looking to make inroads into making life easier for patients at hospitals by allowing them to easily choose appointment times and rearrange them from one easy to use app. I think everyone is in agreement that the NHS isn't the most efficient of organizations and getting hospital appointments or dealing with cancellations isn't the often easy. These 3 founders are looking to make a change and with their experience and a strong yet simple proposition. I think they are certainly one of the startups to watch in 2013.
Scratch - Alex Neves & Phil Pinnell
A simple concept, meal kits with all the ingredients and the correct portions to cook a meal in under 10 minutes. And the best bit is it's cheap, available in Salisbury's and independent stores around London and expanding soon. As they close more supermarket deals in 2013 I can see these taking off big time. This is no microwave meal but doesn't require much effort either. The ease and simplicity of this product, in a market which is thriving due to our busy yet food conscious lives, make me believe that this is one of the hot UK startups to watch in 2013.
Prove My Concept - Mckenzie Cerri and Will Evans
I love the idea of this startup. Prove My Concept allows students to do just that! An online platform for students with a business idea to complete a thorough analysis of their business concept and transform the idea into a real business model. This education startup is making great strides in enterprise education, a space which is currently lacking and needs something like this. The founders have a wealth of experience in education and entrepreneurship which will do them well. I really hope to see this gain more tractions in schools up and down the country.
PixelPin - Bryan Taylor & Geoff Anderson
Passwords suck! I have so many, different variations and combinations for so many different logins. I have to write them down to remember them, rendering them insecure. PixelPin is trying to change this by replacing passwords with pictures. Pictures where you select points in a specific order. If the founders Bryan & Geoff can start getting this implemented on more sites, it can start snowballing with more and more people using it. As long as the user experience is great I think they can start making a name for themselves in 2013.
Myna - Noel Welsh and Dave Gurnell
Myna are trying to reinvent A/B testing for websites, mobile sites and email. What makes them different? They use machine learning algorithms to make real-time performance decisions to ensure that you're campaigns are as efficient as possible. The pair have plenty of software development experience and if the idea works effectively they will surely get more bookings. That should see them grow rapidly in the next 12 months. I will be watching their progress eagerly this year.
Vantage Power - Toby Schulz and Alex Schey
This startup has been around for a few years, building innovative hybrid systems. Now they have designed an innovative hybrid-electric powertrain which will replace the existing engine and gearbox currently found in conventional buses. Why I think they'll have a massive 2013? They have recently partnered with Ensign the UK’s largest used bus dealer. They also raised £800k to help fulfil extra demand. Saving operators over £20,000 in fuel a year for each bus is compelling for any bus operator. So next time you are on the bus you might be on a Vantage Power powered bus.
BankToTheFuture - Simon Dixon and Bliss Dixon
This husband & wife team have created a peer to peer funding platform for entrepreneurs looking to take their startup to the next level. The biggest challenge for most startups is funding. BankToTheFuture helps entrepreneurs crowdfund investment through loans or offering rewards in return for donations. Much like a Kickstarter alternative but BankToTheFuture want to offer more flexibility and alternative ways for entrepreneurs to raise money. And hey even Richard Branson backs this startup! (not financially)
Hope you enjoyed reading! Please share with others & let us know your startups to watch in 2013 in the comments!
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