Service Business of the Year 2014: Meet the finalists
Startups introduces the new businesses in the service sector competing for the prestigious title of Service Business of the Year…
Regardless of industry specialism, be it technology, recruitment, finance, media, or even transport, service businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy.
Whether disrupting an established marketplace or creating a new market, there is a wealth of new service businesses offering great quality and value to consumers which is where the Service Business of the Year Award comes in.
Supporting the UK’s best early-stage service companies, the accolade looks to identify start-ups that demonstrate fantastic growth potential and, of course, a brilliant service, although a better business with decent service will beat an average business with great service.
The app providing on-demand services in just three taps, London-based BIZZBY has had success from the get-go with over 5,000 service professionals joining the platform to support more than two million job requests less than nine months from launch. Backed by a New York hedge fund to the tune of $10m, BIZZBY’s proposition; helping time-poor professionals find local services, is shaking up the service industry and the BIZZBY team have ambitions to take the business nationwide, making them a definite one to watch.
For those who commute to London on a daily basis, a service that helps cut the costs of annual season tickets is sure to capture your interest and that’s exactly the service CommuterClub offers. Supported by peer-to-peer lending, CommuterClub enables commuters to benefit from the savings of season tickets by paying for their ticket in flexible monthly loan installments, which can be stopped at any time, with a 5.6% rate of interest. Said to save the average consumer £200 a year on their commute, and with the UK season ticket market currently worth more than £4bn, founder Petko Plachkov has chanced upon an attractive proposition.
Given the highly-competitive nature of recruitment, success stories such as Dartmouth Partners; “the fastest growing recruitment company in the UK”, demonstrate the power of great service, focus, and an innovative approach. Founded by serial entrepreneur Logan Naidu, Dartmouth has established its position as one of the leading recruiters of graduate and sub-director talent, placing over 200 individuals in new roles and scaling its headcount to a team of 25 – achievements reflected in its multi-million revenue figures. Growth shows no signs of slowing down with Naidu keen to employ an additional 25 employees by 2015.
Leading the judging for Service Business of the Year is Mitesh Soma, founder of Europe’s leading online chemist Chemist Direct and recently-launched internet group ecomfactor. Having scaled Chemist Direct to £5m turnover in its first year with over $10m investment from the founders of Skype and leading venture capital firms, former Startups Awards winner Soma will be scouting for businesses that look to be on a similar path to success alongside esteemed judges Justine Roberts of Mumsnet, Mark O’Dwyer of Big Red Cloud, and Michael Hayman MBE of award-winning PR agency Seven Hills.