Virgin Media Business reveals top 10 most disruptive UK businesses

5th December 2016

Virgin Media Business today announced it has identified the ten most disruptive businesses in the UK, in partnership with Fast Track.

Published for the first time in the 20th anniversary edition of the Fast Track 100, the ten companies are recognised for having a business model, product or service that is creating a new market, or transforming existing markets and rapidly taking market share from competitors.

The Virgin Media Business Disruptor 10 include companies from a variety of sectors that are creating new markets, making significant waves in existing markets, all driven by their innovative thinking, investment in technology and finding new solutions to old problems.

For example:

  • Currency transfer firm TransferWise primarily relies on its network of fans on social media to help it gain traction in new markets. It now sends money from over 55 countries and is valued at more than £1 billion.
  • Since it started in 2008, PureGym has attracted more than 800,000 customers across the UK with its contract-free, low price-point gym memberships, securing a 37% share of the value gym sector.
  • Crowdcube has helped pioneer crowdfunding in the UK, matching its 300,000 registered investors with more than 450 enterprises looking to raise funds - from craft brewers to app developers.
  • Online finance platform LendInvest set up in 2013, which already has a 10% share of its short-term mortgage lending market.
  • Blockchain, which says it has captured 50% of global transactions in the Bitcoin crypto-currency.
The Virgin Media Business Disruptor 10

Company Activity

Description of disruption

AlphaSights Business information services

Connects experienced experts with companies that require their specialist knowledge, challenging the business models of established consultancies and changing top-level corporate decision-making.

Blockchain Bitcoin wallet provider

Says its platform hosts 10m “Bitcoin wallets” and services 50% of the digital currency’s global transactions. Secured $31m (£25m) in 2014, which, at the time, was the largest first-round digital currency fundraising.

BrewDog Brewery

Sells its craft beer in more than 60 countries. About 6,000 of its beer-loving investors attended the company’s annual meeting in Aberdeen in April and it has raised £30m from 53,000 “equity punks”.

Crowdcube Crowdfunding platform

More than 10% of the UK’s public equity fundraisings were completed via this crowdsourcing platform in the first half of this year, including challenger bank Monzo, which raised £1m from 1,800 investors in 96 seconds.

Ecotricity Green energy supplier

Says it was the world’s first green energy company and that its “electric highway” of 300 charging points at UK service stations is Europe’s largest. It is now pioneering carbon neutral gas production.

LendInvest Online property finance lender

Its online finance platform is reinventing the £1.3 trillion mortgage market by cutting completion time to as little as seven days. Has taken a 10% share of the short-term mortgage market. Online furniture retailer

Raised £50m to develop its pioneering ecommerce model for designer furniture and, with almost 40% of its customers in Europe, it is now expanding its profitable UK business overseas. Online retail marketplace

Has raised £33m to develop its ground-breaking online marketplace, which was launched in 2006 and is now used by more than 5,000 creative small businesses to sell their wares.

PureGym Gym operator

With more than 800,000 contract-free members, it has taken a 37% share of the value gym sector in just eight years, with its innovative low-cost model and 24/7 gyms.

TransferWise Currency transfer platform

Says its faster, more transparent currency exchange system handles more than £800m each month and saves customers £1m in fees every day. Valued at more than $1bn after raising $117m.

Peter Kelly, Managing Director, Virgin Media Business, said: “These disruptors are re-writing the business rule book. Many of our 10 have gained an edge over larger companies by using the crowd to attract customers, develop new products or secure funding, and primarily rely on social media and word-of-mouth recommendations to help them gain traction in new markets.

“At the core of the disruptive forces in all these businesses are digital innovation and technology platforms. The success of these disruptors shows how digital has progressed in just one generation and is the now the backbone of successful companies who are taking market share away from companies who are less digitally focussed.”

Virgin Media Business helps large enterprises innovate, evolve and keep pace with the disruption they face in their industry by architecting, 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.

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.

The Virgin Media Business Disruptor 10 appears on page 8 of the Fast Track 100 supplement, which was published yesterday within the business section of The Sunday Times, both in print and in the digital edition, and on