32. Bubbleology

A quirky chain of London cafes, bringing Brits a taste of tapioca-based, Taiwanese tea

Founder: Assad Khan
Founded: April 2011
Website: www.bubbleology.co.uk

As far as career changes go, leaving the equities trading floor at JP Morgan for a Taiwanese tea café is quite a drastic move. But founder Assad Khan clearly believed bubble tea – a tea-based soft drink made with chewy tapioca balls – had a bright future in the UK.

So far, his instincts have been proved correct and just three months after opening Bubbleology’s first bubble tea café, in Soho, in mid-Spring last year, he launched a café concession in Harvey Nichols. A branch in Notting Hill is set to follow. Assad estimates that 500 bubble teas were sold per day in 2011 – a number which continues to rise – and international expansion is already underway.

Startups 100 by Startups.co.uk