4 December 2017
Virgin Media Business today revealed the ten most disruptive British companies, in partnership with Fast Track.
Published in the 21st annual edition of the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100, the ten companies are recognised for having a business model, product or service on the cusp of creating a new market, or transforming existing markets.
The Virgin Media Business Disruptor 10 includes companies from a broad range of sectors that are seizing market share. Drawn from a diverse group of industries, they range from healthcare providers to challenger banks, sustainable food producers to a tech firm that has developed a new mapping technique.
This year’s “Disruptors to Watch” include babylon, which is aiming to make healthcare more accessible - its AI-driven smartphone app allows users to check symptoms and consult GPs, and was launched to NHS patients in London in November. The vision of another disruptor, Monzo, is to make managing personal finance easier for 1bn people; its digital current account avoids legacy banking technology and it is planning one of the UK’s largest ever crowdfunding campaigns next year.
Other disruptors are providing more sustainable alternatives in existing markets; these include AgriProtein, whose insect-based animal feeds are challenging the over-reliance on products such as fishmeal. Meanwhile, what3words aims to transform multiple industries. It has developed an alternative mapping system to traditional numerical postcodes with 57 trillion three-word codes corresponding to three-metre squares of the globe, which has applications from logistics to emergency services.
Peter Kelly, Managing Director of Virgin Media Business, said:
> We are delighted to reveal this year’s finalists who have seen an opportunity and made it their purpose to either disrupt long established markets and practices or create entirely new ones to great success.\n> \n> \n> For us at Virgin Media Business it is our purpose to help all businesses fulfil their digital potential and we recognise how much digital advancement has been a key focus for these new and disruptive companies.
The Virgin Media Business Disruptor 10
AgriProtein (Insect-based animal feeds) - 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 (Mobile healthcare app) - 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
Cambridge Medical Robotics (Surgical robotics developer) - 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 Farms (Sustainable agriculture developer) - 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 Health (Online mental health therapy) - 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, and has raised £18m
Monzo (Mobile banking app) - 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 Chain (Social media agency) - 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
TRX (Television rights marketplace) - 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
what3words (Geographic location platform developer) - 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
Zego (Pay-as-you-go insurance) - 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
An overall winner will receive a special award from Virgin Media Business at the Fast Track 100 national awards dinner in May next year, hosted by Sir Richard Branson.
Virgin Media Business provide internet, data and telephone services to UK businesses and the public sector. Virgin Media Business help companies innovate, evolve and keep pace with the disruption they face in their industry by designing, installing and managing high performance digital platforms and solutions. Built from a foundation of a £13bn network, these focus on getting data into, around and out of organisations in the most agile and efficient way possible.
The Virgin Media Business Disruptor 10 appears on page 8 of the Fast Track 100 supplement, which was published on Sunday with the business section of The Sunday Times, both in print and in the digital edition, and on https://www.virginmediabusiness.co.uk/fast-track/
Notes to Editors
The Virgin Media Business Disruptors to Watch 10 were selected from desk research and Fast Track’s database of UK private companies. To be shortlisted the companies needed to demonstrate a business model, product or service that had significant potential to create a new market, or transform an existing market and rapidly take market share from competitors.
The research was carried out by Fast Track between August and November. More than 200 companies were identified initially and, after extensive research, they were narrowed down to 14 who were invited to pitch at three workshops held in November. The final 10 were chosen by judges drawn from Virgin Media Business, Fast Track and founders of last year’s Disruptor 10 companies, including PureGym’s Peter Roberts, Andrew Heath of AlphaSights and Julien Callede of Made.com.
Luke Stallard, Virgin Media – 0333 000 2900, firstname.lastname@example.org, @VirginMediaCorp