1. Trouva

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Founders: Alex Loizou, Mandeep Singh, and Glen Walker
Founded: 2015
Website: www.trouva.com

When compiling our list of the top 100 startups in the UK, there are things we always look for. Strong financials are up there of course, as well as how much investment a business has raised – and a stellar founding team is always a plus.

But what really makes us smile is a business with a simple, compelling solution to a common problem.

So we’re pleased to say that, in Trouva, our top startup of 2020, we’ve found all these qualities and more.

Trouva’s “offline to online” tech platform gives independent homeware boutiques around the world the digital tools they need to compete against the dominance of ecommerce giants and chain store rivals.

More than 900 brick and mortar stores have signed up to Trouva since it launched in 2015, selling a variety of beautiful and unique pieces for the home. It’s facilitating millions in annual sales for its members, while top performing shops have managed to hit revenues of more than £250,000 directly through its platform.

So, what makes it worthy of the top spot?

Well, we could tell you about its 1.5 million unique monthly visitors, or the $36m it’s raised in funding to date. We could highlight its expansion to 100 towns and cities around the world, and shout about its numerous industry awards. These are all valid justifications.

But what we really want to celebrate is this: at a time when “death of the highstreet” has become a near constant refrain from many quarters, Trouva is proving that there’s still an appetite for quality, independent goods. Essentially, it’s a business that’s helping other small businesses to thrive – and that’s a mission we can get behind.

This has never been more important than during the COVID-19 crisis. Over the last few months, Trouva has acted as a lifeline for many of the independent boutiques on its platform, enabling 70% of them to continue trading while their physical stores have been forced to shut.

As a five year old business, this will be Trouva’s final appearance in the Startups 100. But we have no doubt that founding trio Alex Loizou, Mandeep Singh, and Glen Walker will continue to drive their business onto even bigger and better things, in turn helping even more independent businesses to not just survive, but to thrive.

Congratulations Trouva, and good luck for the future.

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