The UK’s longest-running index of disruptive new startups, the Startups 100, has released its 2021 lineup and named Multiverse, the startup launched by Euan Blair, as number one.
Run by Startups, the UK website for entrepreneurs, Startups 100 offers a showcase of new businesses that demonstrate innovation, solid financials, economic impact, and the ability to scale. The list has previously identified brands including Revolut, Deliveroo, HelloFresh and Bulb.
The 2021 list is reflective of the post-pandemic world, with an at-home care service, digital wills provider, and petcare app all in the top ten, representing the most disruptive businesses of the past year. Startups on this year’s list have raised over 951 million in finance and over 696 million in revenue.
The Top Five:
Founded by Euan Blair in 2016, Multiverse (formerly WhiteHat) is bringing apprenticeships into the digital age, and making top jobs in law, media, tech and finance accessible for those from ethnic minority and lower socioeconomic backgrounds. The Multiverse platform measures potential beyond academic achievement, using applied learning programmes and matching software to help its 16-24 year-old candidates secure jobs at the likes of Google, Facebook, and KPMG.
Digital-first healthcare company Cera provides nurse and carer visits, home medication delivery services and telehealth calls to those in need. Since appearing 24th in last year’s ranking, Cera has seen astonishing growth. It has over 6,000 staff and delivers more than 30,000 healthcare visits a day – equivalent to 40 NHS hospitals. Now licensing its technology to more than 2,000 businesses, and having expanded to Germany and Spain, Cera is showing no signs of slowing down.
Founded in 2016, Farewill is on a mission to make “everything to do with death simpler, faster, and fairer” by bringing it online. Its will-writing service costs just £90 and can be completed in 15 minutes, and it claims its funeral plans can be £2,500 cheaper than a traditional funeral. With over £1 trillion set to pass between generations over the next 10 years, Farewill is well positioned for growth.
KIDLY was founded by James Hart, the first employee at ASOS. KIDLY is a one-stop shop for products aimed at 0-5 year olds. It now sells more than 4,000 products, and generates 15% of its revenue from its own-brand products. It’s the details that we admire about KIDLY: all of its packaging is recycled or biodegradable, every product is tested by kids and approved by parents, and its live chat is staffed entirely by parents.
Virti is using virtual and augmented reality to allow professionals in healthcare and Fortune 500 companies to learn and train for infrequent, high-risk, high-pressure scenarios. Its education analytics software then enables video analysis and CGI training simulations in order “to treat employees like high-performance athletes”. Claiming to improve knowledge retention by 230% and decision-making speed by 17%, Virti is already used internationally by large healthcare providers and has early customers in oil and gas, aviation, and corporate training.
Managing Editor of Startups, Richard Parris, comments: “After a particularly difficult year for businesses we are happier than ever to celebrate UK success stories. Every year the Startups 100 shows how UK businesses are responding to the issues, concerns and trends of the time. Entrepreneurs solve problems – whether that is the home care crisis being tackled by businesses like Cera and Birdie, diversity in hiring being challenged by Multiverse or the recent pet boom being capitalised on by Vet AI – you can see UK businesses innovating to meet the challenges of the time – and being very successful whilst doing it!”