The 2012 Startups 100: revealed

The hottest, most exciting start-ups in the UK

The British business press is often accused of pessimism. It’s great, therefore, to be able to share some good news: there’s a crop of phenomenal start-ups in the UK, of which the nation should be extremely proud.

How do we know this? Well, we’ve spent the last four months seeking out the most creative, original, disruptive and downright impressive new companies for the Startups 100 – our pick of the hottest, most exciting start-ups in the UK.

Our list spans franchises (Turtle TotsKids Bee Happy andA-Star Sports), social ventures (ImagematchBuzzbnk, andRaspberry Pi) disruptive tech companies (Stylistpick,Transferwise and GoCardless) and mobile apps (Hailo,Zeebox and Trueview).

We found some awesome product businesses (Righteous,Peppersmith and BEAR), alternative funding providers (CrowdcubeFunding Circle and MarketInvoice), innovative deals sites (BagThat,Secret Escapes and Casabu). And so much more.

There are businesses launched by seasoned entrepreneurs, such as Marc Worth, who sold his previous business, WGSN, for £142m; and David Darling CBE, who grew Codemasters into one of the largest video game publishers in the world. Then there are ambitious, young entrepreneurs, who’ve shown guts and initiative, such as the founders ofBBOXXFantasy Shopper and Universal Fuels. Some are names you’ll recognise, some are only just beginning to make their mark.

To be considered, companies had to have launched on or after 1 January 2009 and be UK based. After that, we were looking for innovation, impressive achievements, a viable business model and growth potential.

Launched in 2008, the Startups 100 was the first and bar-setting countdown of the top 100 start-ups in the country. It’s now our flagship feature, published every two years (you can check out our 2010 Startups 100 list here) and previous winners have gone on to phenomenal successes. Huddle, Shortlist Media, Naked Wines, Wonga and Zoopla are just a few of our alumni, and we have equally high hopes for the companies on our latest list.

Creative, exciting, and original, the 2012 Startups 100 are a force to be reckoned with. But don’t just take our word for it, click on the buttons above or below to see for yourselves…


What do you think of the 2012 Startups 100? Have we overlooked anyone? Are there any companies we should keep an eye on for our next list? Tell us on Twitter, using the hashtag #Startups100, or in the comment boxes below.

Words: Kate Walters, Georgina-Kate Adams, Ian Wallis, Abigail Van-West, Steph Welstead

Production: Jonathan Young