Venture Funded Business of the Year 2018: Meet the finalists

Sponsored by haysmacintyre, these small businesses have already raked in significant amounts of venture capital funding to invest in ambitious growth plans

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With more and more of the world running on software, demand for developers is outstripping supply. Fuelled by a £17.5m Series A, Diffblue is creating artificial intelligence technology that understand and write code. At its core is a mathematical reasoning and learning engine that uses a code analysis technology called bounded model checking, which is able to reason with the behaviours of a program.

Learn more about Diffblue and cast your People’s Champion vote here


eporta was founded on the belief that great design makes people’s lives easier and happier. It gives interior designers, architects and anyone delivering a commercial project access to the largest network of furniture manufacturers globally. It was started by Aneeqa Khan, after she found that sourcing great items for her new Brixton home was time-consuming and often futile. Now, she’s raised $8m to bring her idea to life.

Learn more about eporta and cast your People’s Champion vote here


Founded by 25-year-old school friends Gauthier Van Malderen and Matthew Davis, Perlego is a subscription service which gives users unlimited access to over 220,000 e-textbooks for £12 a month – less than a third of the cost of the average physical textbook. With UK students spending over £400 a year on textbooks, Perlego’s innovative and affordable alternative has attracted more than £4.3m investment from angels and VC investors.

Learn more about Perlego and cast your People’s Champion vote here


Zego is the global insurtech company providing flexible commercial motor, public liability, and employer’s liability policies to owners of small and large growing businesses. The platform – which has raised £8m to date – works with a range of insurers in a number of geographies, including Aviva, RSA and Calpe and has been designed to make sure that people are insured for exactly what they need but only for the time they need it.

Learn more about Zego and cast your People’s Champion vote here


Supported by £4.3m in funding (and its black Labrador mascot), Farmstand is positively plant-powered food business. Its mission is four words: feed the world plants.
It partners with businesses and uses physical locations and technology to acquire online customers on a profitable basis. All physical locations are also pickup points (as it doesn’t believe in ‘last mile delivery’ to individuals as it thinks the real delivery cost is £10 rather than the £2.50 being charged by Deliveroo).
Learn more about Farmstand and cast your People’s Champion vote here

Koru Kids

Koru Kids is the London-based childcare service providing after school childcare and summer holiday care with £4.1m in VC funding. It was founded by New Zealander Rachel Carrell after she found how difficult it was to access childcare in London, often making female friends unable to go back to work, or forcing them into career choices they didn’t really want to make.

Learn more about Koru Kids and cast your People’s Champion vote here


This three year old company is backed by more than £11m in funding and it’s not hard to see why. It’s revolutionary products, including a pelvic floor trainer (the Elvie Trainer), and the “world’s first” wearable, silent breast pump (the Elvie Pump), are helping to improve women’s health and lives.

Learn more about Elvie and cast your People’s Champion vote here


Spending eight years as a senior trader at Goldman Sachs, Rahul Parekh found it hard to juggle his professional life and eat well. Raising funding just before 28th birthday, he started EatFirst with the mission to create the world’s finest ready meals. Now backed by £12m, the company has now sold more than 500,000 freshly prepared meals with compostable eco-friendly packaging.

Learn more about X and cast your People’s Champion vote here

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