Having been launched in April 2013 by chancellor George Osborne and Joanna Shields, CEO of Tech City UK, the Future Fifty initiative has announced its first list of companies.
The programme, which is looking to connect high-growth businesses with tools needed to secure an initial public offering (IPO), is drawing on companies in the financial services, leisure and consumer goods spaces.
The first 25 companies have been named, including: cloud content service Huddle; online fashion brand and shopping site Farfetch; furniture retailer MADE.com; peer-to-peer lender Zopa and travel search company Skyscanner.
Future Fifty’s selection process was led by an advisory panel of 13 individuals in the venture capital, growth capital, law, accountancy and communication fields. Serial investors such as Robin Klein of Index Ventures, Business Growth Fund CEO Stephen Welton and Tim Bunting of Balderton Capital contributed.
The initiative follows on from new reforms brought in by The London Stock Exchange and the government back in February 2013 which provided an easier, and less onerous, route to the capital markets.
Shields, who was former head of Europe for social media business Facebook, comments, ‘The Future Fifty programme will help the most promising companies make the UK their home and solidify London as the world’s digital capital – the most attractive destination for entrepreneurs, start-ups and their investors.’
Companies picked as part of Future Fifty will now receive ‘concierge-style’ support to help with business needs as well as a continuous programme of press and promotional backing.
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- Growing pains: Just Eat’s Klaus Nyengaard
- Secret Escapes: The stars of Tech City
Alex Chesterman, founder and CEO of The Future Fifty company Zoopla Property Group, says, ‘We have been one of the fastest growing online businesses in the UK since 2008.
‘Our focus is on continuing to develop our brands and grow our business in a sustainable way and the Future Fifty programme provides us with the ideal platform to help realise our ambitions and we’re delighted to be on board.’
The online property website, which provides resources associated with buying and renting, recently scooped Europe’s Most Exciting Investor Backed Company at the GrowthBusiness Investor AllStars awards 2013.
Future Fifty judge Klein says that for a long time it has been clear that the UK needs to do more to take full advantage of its growing digital sector.
‘Action such as this sends a clear signal to investors, entrepreneurs and the world that we’re serious about the positive potential of technology business and the economic impact they create.’
Applications for the second wave of the programme are now open for those looking to be connected with investors ahead of a next major liquidity event.
The Future Fifty: first wave of companies
- Zoopla Property Group – online property service
- Skyscanner – travel search company
- Onefinestay – home stay service
- Omnifone – cloud-based digital music services
- Neomobile – mobile payment and advertising services
- Mind Candy – entertainment business
- MADE.com – online designer furniture retailer
- Lyst – personalised fashion marketplace
- Just Eat – on-line ordering service for the restaurant industry
- HouseTrip – holiday rental website
- Green Man Gaming – social commerce platform
- Farfetch – online fashion brand and shopping site
- Box – cloud-based data provider
- Acturis – cloud-based SaaS platform for commercial insurance
- Calastone Limited – cross-border transaction network for global funds
- Hailo – free smartphone app for taxi booking
- Horizon Discovery – biotechnology company
- Huddle – cloud content collaboration service
- Lumimobile – engagement through mobile devices
- Mimecast Services – cloud-based email management
- Repknight – open source intelligence (OSINT) platform
- Zopa – peer-topeer lender
- Secret Escapes – flash sales site for luxury travel
- Skimlinks – monetisation solutions for publishers
- Synthesio – social media monitoring