In London alone, this year an estimated 600,000 new startups are going to be created.
As a staple in the modern age of business, startups are the way of the future. People don’t want to work for some big corporation anymore, because why would you when you can easily start your own business? Us “millennials” are independent-minded and don’t want to work for anyone if we don’t have to. Call us spoiled, but I think there is a lot of potential for greatness from people with this mindset. The dream from these startups is to grow to be a large and successful business, but the beauty is that, initially, there isn’t a lot invested in the business. If the idea doesn’t stick, it is relatively easy to scrap or sell, and start a new one. And even if the endeavour is successful, many entrepreneurs still move on to begin another startup.
Without further ado, here’s the list of the 20 British startups we should keep an eye on in 2016:
There are many apps that offer specific services, but Bizzby seeks to offer you as many as possible. Bizzby is an on-demand application that gives you access to services like electricians, handymen, plumbers, and many more professional services. The app was previously only available in London, but it has now expanded across the UK. Founder Rohan Sinclair Luvaglio launched the service in May 2014, and it has been growing ever since.
Vaping, or using an E-Cigarette, is another trend that is sweeping the globe. Originally created as a method for quitting cigarettes, vaping has become incredibly popular even with people that have never touched a cigarette. Andy Logan and Amar El-zayat have created a company that caters to “cloud blowers” everywhere. VapeEmporium sells E-cigarette equipment and liquid at their multiple retail stores, online, and wholesale. They have even begun thinking about opening up international stores outside of the UK. With projected revenue upwards of 1 million Euros this year, VapeEmporium is definitely a startup to look out for.
Any student knows both how important and painful it is to properly reference your work. Sure you can look up the proper format and write your citation manually, but who has time for that after spending a coffee-fueled night trying to finish up a term paper last minute? RefME was created by Tom Hatton, and it is an app that allows you to directly scan a book or journal and it will immediately create a citation. With 45 employees, Hatton and RefME will continue to grow and become more efficient to use.
Craft beer is a trend sweeping the globe, and the startup HonestBrew has taken advantage of this new phenomenon. Andrew Reeve, Annabel Causer, Craig Willmott and Timothy Armstrong created a service that buys craft beers in bulk and delivers them to the customer directly. It is the perfect place for people who are overwhelmed by the sea of choices that has flooded the world, or for people who struggle to find a large enough selection. They have even started offering a subscription service that delivers three of the best craft beers straight to your door. Cheers to you, HonestBrew.
Henry Smith was teaching a grade five class about the Roman empire when he asked his students to write a paper. For reference, one of the children asked him to show the class an example of another student. Having nothing but an academic paper, he realised there should be a place for teachers to share real examples of their students’ work. Thus the archival site Pobble was born. Thanks to Smith with the help of Jon Smith, Simon Blower, and Tom Garbutt, now over 50,000 examples of student work can be viewed on the site.
Liquiproof is a startup that has created a non-toxic protective coating for suits, ties, and shoes. The London weather was the main inspiration for pharmaceutical science graduate and founder Caner Veli, and he has really created a unique product. There are many others like it, but they use toxic chemicals and are supposedly not as effective.
For some reason, subscription packages of all sorts have become incredibly popular recently. Whatever your interests may be, there is probably a monthly box of something that suits you. Joseph Munns, Anna Bridgen and Elaina Mickelburgh started a service for the baking and sweets lover. The monthly boxes contain the ingredients and recipe for a special baked treat that you can make yourself. The recipes also are created with help from the renowned chef Michel Roux, so you know they will be delicious.
Anyone who has ever tried to book a vacation last minute knows how difficult it is. Hotels often charge excessive amounts for late bookings, if you can even find one with openings in the first place. Snaptrip partners with hotels and management agencies, to find and give you the best possible last second deals. Matt Fox and Dan Harrison came up with the idea after working in the Holiday market for years. By 2017 the startup will be highly profitable.
Men everywhere struggle with the timely and annoying process of constantly buying new razors and shaving products. Cornerstone wants to solve this problem. They provide a subscription service that regularly sends these products for a reasonable price. There are many other services like this, but Cornerstone claims to have the best razors and be the most flexible in terms of choosing how much and what type of product you want. Oliver Bridge started the London startup in 2014, and it has been doing very well.
Not surprisingly, this is the first startup on this list that created an actual physical product. One of the founders, Tim Antos, often struggled to get a good night’s sleep until he discovered the effectiveness of audio while sleeping. He and Richard Hall came up with Kokoon, which is a smart, sleep-sensing pair of headphones. They provide audio samples that will help the user fall asleep and develop better sleeping habits. People clearly struggle with the same thing Tim did, because they sell around 5,000 units a month.
This startup is incredibly simple but still very successful. SongKick is an app that allows you to track your favourite artists, and see when they are playing a concert or festival nearby. Music is one of the few things all people can connect with, so download the app or check out the website and never miss an opportunity.
Perkbox is only about a year old, and they have already made more than a few million dollars. It is an employee benefit program, founded by Saurav Chopra and Chieu Cao. Employers pay for the service, and it gives workers access to rewards like food vouchers, discounted travel, movie tickets, etc. Research shows that happy workers do better and more productive work, so really this is a win-win if you own a business. This is a great idea for a startup, so cheers to Saurav and Chieu.
There are countless car comparison websites and apps, but Carwow is seeking to make the process much more user-friendly and efficient. The real goal is to eliminate the awkward process of negotiating when buying a car from a dealership. The customer also is not charged for usage of the app, but only the dealer. David Santoro, Alexandra Margolis and James Hind brought the Holburn-based startup to life, and they have brought eight-figure sales to dealerships all over. If you need a car but suck at haggling, then check out Carwow.
For the fashion lovers, Lyst is a website that partners with countless designers and stores to make all your favourite brands accessible. They provide sales and discounts, in a single place so fashionistas don’t have to spend endless hours looking for that particular piece. Needless to say, CEO Chris Morton has tapped into the massive online shopping market and has created a very successful business.
Hostmaker is a hospitality management AirBnb service that provides cleaning services, a welcome-pack for your guests, and complete profile and listing management. If you are looking to host a more successful and profitable AirBnb, then this is perfect for you. Launched by Nakul Sharma in 2016, the London company has managed to raise over 1.5 million in funding, so they are obviously doing something right.
Revolut is the perfect app for those who find themselves travelling a lot. It allows you to create an account that lets you transfer currency immediately from your phone, or to use their card to pay for something in virtually any currency. This completely cuts out bank and exchange fees and makes the payment process seamless. Founded by Nikolay Storonsky, the London startup is shaping up to be incredibly successful.
— Velocity App (@velocityapp) November 5, 2016
This list is going to be filled with apps, but it is okay because apps are the future, right? This app is a great way to dine-and-dash without the guilt or legal trouble. Alex MacDonald and Zia Yusef created the London-based startup, which allows users of its app to pay for their meal at participating restaurants before they are even finished with it. The app takes payments from the users’ credit card during their meal, (including tip) so they can leave as soon as they are finished eating.
How many times have you gotten a gift card for a birthday or holiday, and couldn’t help but think that you have rather just gotten cash? For those who hate being limited to one store, or simply don’t like the store whose gift card you got, Zeek is the app for you. It allows users to buy and sell unwanted gift cards, which saves tons of money from going to waste. The startup is located in Israel, but it deserves a spot on our list regardless. Founders Ziv Isaiah, Daniel Zelkind, and Itay Erel have managed to secure millions in funding for their project. Next time you get that gift card from your nice Aunt that you don’t want, smile and say thank-you because you know you will be on Zeek later getting cash for it.
This is a startup for startups. It allows upcoming companies to find and rent cheap office space from other startups. Tom Watson and Rohan Silva created the London-based company in 2013, and it is currently doing very well. In this day, property and office space are getting more expensive by the day, so ideas like these are perfect for the current business environment.
The idea is layaway that works on any product, whether or not the seller wishes to be paid in instalments. Basically, Divido pays the merchant right off the bat for their product, and then allows the buyer to pay for the item with instalments for up to five years. Based in London, and founded by Christer Holloman, Anders Hallsten, and Frederik Borquist, the idea looks incredibly promising to me. They plan on quadrupling their turnover in 2016, so my positive prediction for the startup is not off base at all.
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