The Startups 20 Winners
Over the last two decades, our Startups 20 winners have shaped, disrupted, and transformed both their sectors and the UK economy
Startups.co.uk is 20-years-old this year. And in the last 20 years, we've seen the UK's business landscape change a lot: from the start of the new millennium to the global financial crash in 2008, on to the new challenge of COVID-19 in 2020.
We still don’t know what eventual impact the recession caused by the coronavirus will have on UK business, but we do know that the last crash introduced new ways of working and new businesses that went on to become world-leading brands.
From the gig economy through to app-led products and services, businesses have transformed how the world works over the last 20 years. With coronavirus rocking the foundations once more, who knows what new innovations will shape the next 20.
And at a time when the business landscape looks bleak, these 20 businesses testify to the endurance of great ideas. They're no strangers to hardship themselves and, as you'll see, each story of success is equally inspiring and equally unique.
We’ve featured thousands of great businesses over the years – from our annual Startups 100 campaign to our Young Guns awards – and many deserve a place in this list.
But the Startups 20 is a chance for us to recognise and celebrate the most successful, the most disruptive, and the most inspiring of those businesses.
The Startups 20
The criteria for the Startups 20 was simple. First, we identified every one of the UK businesses founded in or since 2000 that we had featured on the site over the last 20 years.
Next, we reviewed this list of thousands of businesses to sort the wheat from the chaff. Only high calibre businesses stood a chance of making it onto our longlist.
From there commenced the gruelling process of choosing just 20 businesses from among hundreds.
It was tough, and many amazing companies didn't quite make the final cut. But in the end, we're sure we've chosen the businesses that have really shaped, defined and disrupted their sectors, and that represent major change in the UK startup scene at large.
So without further ado, here’s our list of the top 20 startups of the last 20 years.
|JustGiving||Zarine Kharas, Anne-Marie Huby||2000|
|Mumsnet||Justine Roberts, Carolyn Longton||2000|
|Zopa||Richard Duvall, Tim Parlett, Giles Andrews, James Alexander, David Nicholson||2005|
|Ella's Kitchen||Paul Lindley||2006|
|GoCompare||Hayley Parsons, Lee Griffin||2006|
|Not On The High Street||Holly Tucker||2006|
|Brewdog||James Watt, Martin Dickie||2007|
|Levi Roots Reggae Reggae Foods||Levi Roots||2007|
|Zoopla||Alex Chesterman, Simon Kain||2008|
|Crowdcube/Seedrs||Luke Lang, Darren Westlake, Jeff Lynn||2009|
|Transferwise||Kristo Käärmann, Taavet Hinrikus||2010|
|Deliveroo||Will Shu, Greg Orlowski||2012|
|Gymshark||Ben Francis, Lewis Morgan||2012|
|Pip & Nut||Pippa Murray||2013|
|Tails.com||James Davidson, Graham Bosher||2013|
|What3Words||Chris Sheldrick, Jack Waley-Cohen, Mohan Ganesalingam, Michael Dent||2013|
|Mindful Chef||Myles Hopper, Giles Humphries, Robert Greig-Gran||2014|
|Starling Bank||Anne Boden||2014|
|Bulb||Hayden Wood, Amit Gudka||2015|