59. Nifty

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Founders: Piers Ridyard and Steve Levey
Founded: March 2012
Website: http://eu.minidrive.bynifty.com/

Marking its second appearance in the Startups 100 index, Nifty is steadily making its transition from a shed start-up to a fully-fledged tech business.

Specialising in creating solutions “to everyday problems”, Nifty’s first product – the MiniDrive – is a flash storage device for Apple Mac laptops which allows users to “seamlessly add up to 64GB of storage” as and when they need it.

The idea stemmed from co-founder Piers Ridyard’s own frustrations with flash storage. Unable to find a portable Macbook solution on the market, he set about making his own device with the help of co-founder Steve Levey.

Ridyard and Levey hadn’t anticipated that the business idea would grow legs; referring to Nifty as an “accidental tech company”, but thanks to an “unbelievable” Kickstarter round which overfunded its initial $11,000 pitch to raise a staggering $384,000, the duo have been able to turn the concept into a reality.

Having officially launched the MiniDrive in September 2014, the Manchester start-up has already begun delivering on its 9,800 orders and now has a network of 25 distributors across six continents with Apple (both online and retail) among its key customers. Levey and Ridyard have also recently begun exploring the wearable tech industry and plan to launch a smartphone charging belt – the XOO – over the coming year.

With a Series A round in the pipeline and a raft of other products also in development, this ingenious start-up definitely warrants its namesake.

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