Venture Funded Business of the Year 2014: Meet the finalists

Startups unveils its shortlist of fast-growth, well-funded start-ups with enormous potential

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For many fast-growth start-ups, venture-backing is an important validation of your business proposition but, more importantly, it provides a fundamental cash-injection to help propel growth.

However, securing venture capital is not easy. Businesses need to demonstrate innovation, potential and sufficient traction.

This award recognises young businesses with significant venture capital backing from leading and well-regarded firms that can already demonstrate signs of achieving real greatness.

The finalists

Currency Cloud

Having processed over $7bn in payments since launch in 2012, FinTech start-up Currency Cloud is fast-becoming the go-to platform for businesses looking for a quick, easy-to-use and secure way to move money around the world. After funding rounds in 2012, which included a $4m investment from Atlas Ventures and the Anthemis Group and a subsequent $3m investment from Notion Capital, the currency conversion platform announced a $10m Series B round in April 2014, bringing its total investment to a whopping $19m to-date.

Read the full Currency Cloud profile here.

Gousto

After a somewhat rocky start that saw founders Timo Schmidt and James Carter plough through all their savings, the recipe-delivery start-up has since seen incredible growth – growing 900% year-on-year to become one of the market leaders in this emerging sector. Whilst they failed to impress the Dragons, the duo have certainly struck a chord with venture capitalists, raising an impressive $10m in venture funding over the last year. Following a $2m round from MMC Ventures in December 2013, in September this year, Gousto secured a further $8.3m funding in a Series A round led by Unilever Ventures.

Read the full Gousto profile here.

Pact Coffee

Started from founder Stephen Rapoport’s kitchen in late 2012, the coffee subscription service has since secured strong financial backing from a range of high-profile investors and venture capital firms including Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of TransferWise, Songkick co-founder Ian Hogarth, Robin Klein of Index Ventures, founder of Naked Wines Rowan Gormley and Connect Ventures. In August this year, the burgeoning brand secured a further £2m funding round, led by MMC Ventures. Having just shipped its 200,000th bag, the latest investment will help the firm further accelerate growth.

Read the full Pact Coffee profile here.

The Judges

With a judging group including last year’s Funded Business of the Year winner, Crowdcube founder Luke Lang, and co-founder and CEO of TechHub Elizabeth Varley, the judges will be looking for the business that best demonstrates how it is utilising its funding to disrupt its marketplace.

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