Startups 100 2015: Meet the UK’s brightest businesses set to scale

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The wait is finally over. After an impossible task trying to choose just 100 winners from an incredible selection of entries, (the quality – and sheer amount – of entries really did skyrocket this year), the sixth Startups 100 index is now live.

Following last year’s record numbers, we’ve seen this year’s illustrious 100 smash through previous records once again – with more entries, higher turnover figures and more employee numbers than ever before.

What’s more, with over £140m investment between them, several businesses with £6m+ turnover last year and some eye-watering 2015 projections from a whole host of companies, there was a noticeable shift this year in the businesses with the potential to truly scale. Our ranking is based on a unique scoring system that looks at turnover, net profit, funds raised and employee numbers – but aside from the numbers we also look at the founders, market innovation and disruption and future potential impact.

As pressure mounts for the UK to deliver scale-ups as well as great start-ups, we feel, more than ever, that the Startups 100 index serves as a positive indication of the potential heights we can expect from British business in the next few years.

To be considered for the list, start-ups must be UK-based, privately owned and have started trading on or after 1 January 2012. As always though, as well as our basic criteria we were looking for innovation, the potential to scale, global ambition and more.

Launched in 2008 as the first ever ranked ‘top 100’ index, this year’s winners join an extremely impressive alumni spanning from recent victors Hello Fresh and YPlan to industry giants Hailo, Shutl and

While the success of the companies in this list can make growing a business seem easy, we know it is anything but – the grit, determination and hours of dedication that entrepreneurs devote to their businesses is to be commended, and the success that the companies featured have achieved in such a short period is truly astonishing.

With everything from fintech businesses such as digital current account Ffrees Family Finance and global currency transfer platform Currency Cloud, to product businesses such as gourmet marshmallows Mallow & Marsh and luxury tie maker Reef Knots – the list is as diverse as ever.

We’ve also got a number of businesses capitalising on the business opportunities we identified as hot business sectors for 2015. From on-demand services such as dry cleaning disrupter Laundrapp and concierge service Henchman to free-from products like Rebel Kitchen’s dairy free ‘mylks’ and proptech investment platform Property Partner.

While it certainly involves some blood, sweat and tears, working on the list really is a joy – being given the opportunity to discover and write about the best of British business is an honour – so we really hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

If nothing else, we hope that the list has done three key things. Impressed you – there’s plenty of businesses included that should leave you in awe. Intrigued you – hopefully you’ll be encouraged to find out more about some or all of the businesses in the list. And finally, and most importantly, inspired you – to start, run, or scale your business – after all, that’s what we at Startups Towers are all about.

Ranked from 100 to one, discover our pick of the UK’s brightest businesses from the hottest start-up industries right now…

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What do you think of the 2015 Startups 100? Have we overlooked anyone? Are there any companies we should keep an eye on for our next list? Tell us on Twitter, using the hashtag #Startups100.

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