Funding Circle, and SwiftKey amongst latest businesses to join Future Fifty

The second crop of companies to join the Tech City UK Future Fifty programme has been named.

Technology ventures eToro, DataSift and Shazam are set to benefit from tailored support to fast-track growth.

The three start-ups are part of 25 named in the second wave of companies to join the Future Fifty programme, eight weeks after the first set were identified.

Set up by Tech City UK and George Osborne in April, the Future Fifty initiative has been built to connect high-growth companies with what is described as ‘bespoke public and private sector support’.

Other companies included in the latest round are digital business card platform, online home and garden retailer WorldStores and marketing technology Unruly.

The selection process was made by consulting an independent advisory panel of 17 venture capital, growth capital, law, accountancy and communication specialists – including Business Growth Fund CEO Stephen Welton.

Joanna Shields, CEO of Tech City UK, says that UK government policies and programmes have facilitated the creation of a ‘record number’ of technology companies.

‘The companies on the Future Fifty programme prove that we have moved beyond a few digital start-ups to nurturing world-class high growth businesses across many sectors – all of which have one thing in common: they are digital at their core and they are powering ahead to generate long-term sustainable growth and jobs in the UK,’ she adds.

The Future Fifty is an extension of other government and private sector initiatives which have been launched to help growth companies scale. Recent examples include the elimination of stamp duty on AIM shares and creation of the High Growth Segment on the London Stock Exchange.

Stuart Rowe, CEO of ChemistDirect, a new Future Fifty company, says that the company’s addition recognises the hard work done so far.

‘It also provides us with an ideal platform to help achieve our ambitions and potential in 2014 and beyond,’ he says.

Having been set up in 2008, ChemistDirect retails ‘high quality’ health and beauty services. Its growth during the last few years has been five-fold and earlier in the year it closed a £6.7 million funding round involving venture capital firm Atomico.

Jon Reynolds, CEO and co-founder of SwiftKey, comments, ‘It is testament to the culture of innovation throughout our business and commitment to providing our users with the best possible smartphone experience.

‘We look forward to working closely with the Future Fifty team and benefiting from the expertise offered by the scheme over the next year.’

More on Future Fifty companies:

The Future Fifty announcement coincides with new statistics which show that there are now 88,215 technology companies in London.

The net growth of jobs in the technology/digital/media industry was, between 2009 and 2012, equivalent to 27 per cent of the net growth of employment across all industries – according to the Tech City UK report.

Xavier Rolet, CEO of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), comments, ‘The UK can proudly boast a number of innovative, high-growth companies that are helping to drive the economy forward, and the latest round of companies in Tech City UK’s Future Fifty are testament to this.

‘Initiatives championed by LSEG, such as the inclusion of AIM shares in ISAs, are helping simplify access to capital markets, so that Future Fifty companies and others can continue to grow and provide jobs.’

The Future Fifty: second wave of companies:

  • ACHICA – online members-only store for luxury products
  • – retailer of major domestic appliances
  • Chemist Direct – online healthcare business
  • DataSift – social data platform 
  • eCommera – big data and commerce platform
  • eToro – social investment network
  • Funding Circle – online peer-to-peer funding platform
  • Global Personals – digital online gaming and dating company
  • Graze – online snack delivery service
  • Masternaut – SaaS-based vehicle tracking
  • MATCHESFASHION.COM – luxury fashion retailer
  • MedicAnimal – retailer of food, medicines and accessories for animals
  • MODE – nano credits for pre-paid mobile users in emerging markets
  • – online platform for print products
  • MyOptique – retailer for prescription glasses 
  • Naked Wines – a customer-funded wine business
  • Nomad Digital – wireless solutions for transportation sector
  • – online marketplace for small businesses
  • PhotoBox – digital consumer service for personalised products and gifts 
  • – discounted designer brands online retailer
  • Shazam – media engagement company
  • Small World Financial Services – payments services provider
  • SwiftKey – keyboard app for smartphone and tablets 
  • Unruly – marketing technology platform 
  • WorldStores – online home and garden retailer

See also:

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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