Startups 100 2019: 51 to 55

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Startups 100 Ranking: 51
Company name: Edgify
Founded: 2015

High-tech startup bringing holistic privacy to AI development

Ask any artificial intelligence engineer to name their biggest headache and chances are they’ll come back with one word. Data.

Machine Learning (and its offshoot, Deep Learning) require huge amounts of data during the development and training process. Each model must be subjected to thousands of different images and records to ensure it can make a correct identification under real-world pressure.

Until recently, this has required AI developers to move vast swathes of information to the Cloud, with all its implicit security concerns. But now Edgify is offering a different solution, which will enable developers to retain all the key data at their edge devices – the entry points they use to access their systems.

Edgify’s technology, wrapped up in a fully functional dashboard, enables any edge unit to run a full training program locally, so no data ever has to leave the device. As well as being significantly more secure than the alternative, this technology ensures the data is never corrupted, giving developers peace of mind that their test is clean and reliable.

To make the system even smarter, the Edgify developers have an all-in-one collaborative training controller which collects the machine learning models from all edge devices belonging to the same client. Essentially, this means the client can create one central model and relay that model back to the edge devices – so, even if one of the models was only trained on one particular subset of the main data, it will gain all the intelligence of the full training program.
The Edgify team say they’re mission is to eliminate the Cloud forever. While that may be a tough ask, they’re certainly making the world of AI a lot simpler for the people who drive it.

Startups 100 Ranking: 52
Company name: Tide
Founded: 2015

Mobile-first business banking platform for SMEs

As many of our Startups 100 alumni will know from experience, banking is often the most painful part of starting a business. High street lenders invariably favour consumers and bigger companies at the expense of emerging enterprises, meaning applications take weeks to process and complaints inevitably fall on deaf ears.

Tide’s mobile-first business banking service is changing all that. Instead of having to join the back of the queue when they want to open a bank account, SMEs can access their sort code and account number in under five minutes using Tide’s intuitive interface. And they get a Mastercard that’s free to use both domestically and internationally.

The app is designed to enable users to manage all their financial administration in one place, from issuing invoices to categorising expenses, and those who need financing can tap into a rapid-fire business loan service. There are no account or transaction fees and each transfer costs just 20p – which, as Tide proudly points out, compares favorably with the high street giants.

Founded by former banker George Bavis and chaired by Passion Capital partner Eileen Burbidge, Tide has already signed up more than 85,000 small businesses. Things are very much turning in their favour.

The company has built a business-to-business (B2B) fintech app for small businesses which is designed to provide a fairer, not to mention faster service.

Interested in Tide? Find out more on our Best challenger banks page.

Startups 100 Ranking: 53
Company name: Switchee
Founded: 2015

Smart thermostat designed to improve the social rental experience for all parties

Let’s face it, the UK rentals market is broken. Exorbitant prices, shoddy practices, meddlesome agents… it’s a cocktail that’s created mistrust and contempt at all points in the chain.

Switchee is using technologies such as the internet of things to deliver a better quality of service. Focusing exclusively on the affordable housing market, the company has created a B2B smart thermostat which is already being used by 45 housing associations as well as four local authorities.

The Switchee thermostat using Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) instead of conventional WiFi, meaning it can be installed anywhere without jeopardising the connection. Then, once installed, it works away in the background with no need for intervention from the tenants, and even turns itself off when no-one is at home, providing an efficient solution to combat fuel poverty.

As well as being able to perform remote boiler tests, landlords are given all the key performance indicators they need in a simple, user-friendly dashboard, allowing them to spot emerging issues such as defective insulation or mould risk before it starts to affect the tenants.

The company raised £1.3m in ‘pre-Series A’ funding last year and is ideally placed to push for further growth. As the UK strives to build thousands of new affordable homes, its emergence is ideally timed.

Startups 100 Ranking: 54
Company name: Rentuu
Founded: 2018

Online equipment marketplace for everyone from travellers to event planners

Andrea Guzzoni was a true nomad. His busy business career, combined with a love of travel, allowed him to explore the world’s most glamorous locations. But there was a problem.

Every time Andrea wanted to move, he had to keep finding furniture to fill out his pad. It’s a problem that’ll be familiar to anyone who moves around regularly for work or pleasure.

So Andrea decided to do something about it. He and his business partner Dennis Helderman created Rentuu, an equipment hire specialist that allows clients to find and receive furniture without any of the old hassle.

Rentuu’s platform provides access to over 13 million items and directly connects clients with suppliers, automating an industry which has relied on traditional, outdated practices for too long. The platform now covers everything from furniture to music equipment, and is just as valuable to event organizers as it is to travellers and home-renters.

A quick glance at Rentuu’s online reviews shows that customers love its speed, transparency and ease of use. With the events industry growing at such a furious pace, the company is ideally placed to capitalize.

Startups 100 Ranking: 55
Company name: Muzmatch
Founded: 2015

Muslim match-making site which is discreet, subtle and highly intelligent

As Startups Young Guns-featured Muzmatch’s founder Shahzad Younas put it, “Muslims don’t date. We marry.” In one short sentence, this explains why conventional dating sites can never truly cater for the Islamic community.

To fill this yawning gap in the market, Younas and his team have built an app which is both sensitive and intelligent, honouring Muslim traditions while giving followers a better chance of finding the right partner. The app has acquired one million founders in the four years since launch. By the end of 2019, its founders hope to double that figure.

A proprietary algorithm emulates the finely tuned matching process seen on other dating sites, and takes it a stage further to consider each user’s specific faith. Selfie verification provides additional security, as does the ‘wali support’ option which enables users to include a guardian in their chats. ‘Tinder for Muslims’ this most certainly isn’t.

Although Muzmatch is far more niche and demure than many of its competitors, this hasn’t stunted its trajectory. In fact it regularly makes the UK’s top five dating apps for gross revenue, a considerable achievement given the heavyweights it’s up against. With funding of $1.9m safely banked and billions of potential clients to aim at, Muzmatch will fancy its chances of overtaking those more decadent rivals.

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