Startups 100 2019: 66 to 70

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Startups 100 Ranking: 66
Company name: Scape Technologies
Founded: 2016

AI-powered startup helping cameras see better

At the time of writing, over 1,400 self-driving vehicles are being tested in the U.S. alone. Over two million drones are sold around the world every year. And commercial giants such as Amazon, Tesco and Dominos are trialling delivery robots to convey their products.

This armada of intelligent vehicles will reshape our world. But how can we ensure that they interact safely with the humans sharing their highways and airspaces? Scape Technologies believes the answer lies in a new generation of cameras, which go beyond taking photographs and can actually ‘see’ the world around them.

Since starting out in 2016, Scape has been using artificial intelligence to allow cameras to recognise their surroundings. The company’s proprietary ‘Vision Engine’ builds 3D maps and stores them in the cloud, providing hyper-accurate recognition of surrounding buildings and objects. Using Scape’s Visual Positioning Service, a camera-based device can tap into the Vision Engine to determine their location.

Scape says the technology is far more accurate than conventional GPS, and the use of cloud storage means it’s infinitely scalable. As if to prove this point, Scape’s 30-person team has already produced a detailed map of London. In fact the company has collected street view images in over 100 cities, spanning five continents, in just 12 months.

Investors are clearly impressed, judging by a seed funding round which accrued $8m at the start of 2019. Scape says it’s initially targeting augmented reality apps but believes its technology can also be applied to mobility, logistics and robotics.

Startups 100 Ranking: 67
Company name: OneFifty Digital
Founded: 2016

Brand consultancy which uses social data to reduce marketing waste

With surveys showing that 30% of marketing budgets are wasted, it’s time the industry got smarter – both to maximize the value of their campaigns and stop spamming people with adverts that don’t help them.

OneFiftyDigital is attempting to solve this problem – which costs the industry an estimated $20bn a year – using the power of digital data. The company believes digital data provides unprecedented insights into what customers actually want, and is determined to help its clients take advantage.

The company says its key service is “evolving existing marketing strategies for a socially driven world.” It helps clients move away from campaigns based on their own preconceived ideas and towards models based on proven social data, which enables the client to identify who is influential to their brands and how they network online. Then OneFifty’s experts help the client create a strategy to engage with these people.

OneFifty’s team comprises everyone from data scientists to potential instagrammers, facilitating the creation of campaigns which promote raw facts with the context behind them. Founders Katie Buckett and Alex Pearmain believe they’ve struck upon a winning formula, and have talked of creating the country’s most influential brand marketing consultancy.

Having already worked with clients such as BP, O2 and Unilever, there’s plenty of evidence to back up their confidence.

Startups 100 Ranking: 68
Company name: KASKO
Founded: 2016

Insurtech-as-a-service platform providing mix-and-match products for speed and flexibility

Insurtech-as-a-service remains a fledgling industry, but KASKO is becoming a market-leader with a platform which allows insurers and agents to create plug-and-play products which bypass tired legacy systems.

The company prides itself on its speed: new insurance products typically take up to 2 years to go to market, but KASKO’s products are up and running in 4-5 weeks. It’s cheap, too, costing between £20 and £50,000 per year (a conventional insurance product can cost up to £1m).

However perhaps the most important USP is flexibility.Instead of relying on one central product system, KASKO has built a loose framework of microservices which can be mixed and matched to create a unique combination. Any third party service can be integrated into the KASKO platform, and the company’s team of experts take a bespoke approach to each client, so they can choose the microservices that work for them.

Just three years on from launch, KASKO is already active in five countries and has built more than 30 products for 15 different partners.

Startups 100 Ranking: 69
Company name: Talentful
Founded: 2015

Tech-focused recruitment firm which prides itself on working hand-in-hand with clients

Let’s face it, recruitment has a bad rep. It’s infamous for its ruthlessness and an obsession with the bottom line at the expense of the client’s interests. But one tech-focused startup is striving to change things.

Talentful (14 in last year’s Startups 100) sends teams of recruitment experts to work in-house with clients on a project basis, getting to know their needs before sourcing candidates. The company prides itself on working hand-in-hand with clients to find long-term staffing solutions, rather than simply shoehorning candidates into the wrong roles for an easy 10%.

To this end, Talentful has moved away from the traditional commission model, believing it encourages quick fixes which aren’t geared towards the client’s actual needs. Instead it offers a flexible subscription model, ideal for long-term partnerships. Given that around 90% of Talentful’s clients renew their subscription, it’s a model which clearly works.

The company works with a number of renowned organisations in the tech space including Google, Netflix and WeWork, and just like its clients it’s committed to game-changing innovation: engineers are currently working on a psychometric platform which, according to the Talentful team, will “change the face of candidate engagement.”

Buoyed by its early success, Talentful will soon branch out beyond its UK base and open offices in Berlin and San Francisco. Given the widespread dissatisfaction with conventional recruitment firms, there’s a huge market to be conquered.

Startups 100 Ranking: 70
Company name: Broadstone
Founded: 2018

Smart staffing platform providing ‘labour as a service’ for regulated industries

Since the turn of the century the number of self-employed people in Britain has increased by 45%. This huge influx of people seeking freedom and flexibility has placed major demands on the temporary staffing industry, as more and more people migrate to the gig economy.

Broadstone believes it’s hit upon a solution which could change the industry forever. Its ‘Labour as a Service’ recruitment solution, built on artificial intelligence, allows job-seekers to find temporary vacancies in traditional industry with heavy regulation, such as security and logistics.

The company’s digital-first platform is packed with innovations including an AI-powered chatbot, facial recognition checks and even a geolocation punch clock. Information services company Experian has been brought in to provide background verification, vital for companies working in highly sensitive sectors.

Broadstone has been backed by Maven Capital and is already scaling fast. In June the company reported a 300% increase in revenue and a 700% increase in its user community over the previous six months. By 2020, it hopes to be facilitating transactions worth £1m per month.

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