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This article was published on March 28, 2014

Meet the UK’s fastest growing tech companies: Tech5

Meet the UK’s fastest growing tech companies: Tech5
Paul Sawers
Story by

Paul Sawers

Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.

Ladies and gentlemen, the results are in. Well, sort of.

Here at The Next Web, we meet and write about a lot of young and promising startups. But this year, we’ve been thinking about the companies that are no longer just ‘promising’, companies that are making money, growing and proving over a number of years that they have much more than a good idea. They have a business.

Given the exposure already meted out to US startups and, more specifically, Silicon Valley, we teamed up with Adyen to eke out the top five fastest growing tech startups across Europe. Last night was the UK leg of the project, where the final national Tech5 assembled in the funky, tech-focused CitizenM hotel in London, to explain not only what they do, but how they got to where they are.


It’s worth adding here that while many startup competitions are based on purely subjective data, the criteria for the Tech5 is based on numbers – things like revenue, traffic, and rate of growth. The main entry criteria was that they must’ve launched in 2009 or later, have more than €500,000 in revenue (2013), and build its own (scalable) product or service driven by technology.

The single fastest-growing startup for each country will be announced on April 11, after which they will each be invited to present at the TNW Europe Conference in Amsterdam, where a final European Tech5 will be established.

For now, however, here’s a look at the five companies that make up the UK’s national Tech5. In no particular order, of course…

Introducing the UK Tech5


housetrip_transHouseTrip is a property-rental website for holidaymakers. The company was established in early 2010 with the goal of making the online rental process as easy as booking a hotel, and now counts around 300,000 listings in more than 15,000 destinations globally.

The London-headquartered company has garnered around $60 million in funding, including a whopping $40 million Series C round in 2012.


SwiftKey-LogoIf you’re an Android user, you may know SwiftKey well. The smart, predictive keyboard app has been downloaded millions of time for Google’s operating system over the past few years, and as of January this year it has started making small inroads into the iOS realm too.

But via its SDK, SwiftKey is becoming much more than a handy keyboard to expedite your text-messaging – its going in-car too, as well as becoming embedded in healthcare and other enterprises.

Headquartered in Southwark, central London, SwiftKey now has offices in San Francisco, Beijing and Seoul too. It has raised north of $20 million in funding.


HailoHailo‘s presence in London has been growing steadily since it launched exclusively in the UK capital back in 2011. Today, the taxi-hailing app is available in a myriad of key cities across Europe, North America and Asia. When you download Hailo, you see the real‐time location of the closest cabbies, including how many minutes away they are, and a couple of taps on your screen will beckon the closest one.

Last February, Hailo closed a chunky $30.6 million Series B round, which included Richard Branson as an investor. The company has garnered almost $80 million in funding to date.


affectvFounded in 2011, Affectv is setting out to revolutionize how brands advertise to people.

The company’s technology tracks Web-browsing data and online customer behavior, including aggregating social data to join the dots between individuals and establish how they’re connected, letting its clients target groups of people with tailored ads.

Affectv has raised more than $3 million in funding to date.

madecomIf you’re a fan of furniture but not particularly fond of Ikea, has likely been on your radar for a while. In a nutshell, the company cuts out all the middlemen and brings high-quality designer furniture to you at a fraction of the high street cost.

Indeed, says it bring savings of up to 70% on goods by connecting directly with the furniture-maker – no warehouses or no stores get in the way. Now serving, the UK, Ireland, France, and Italy, has secured more than $10 million in funding.

The European Tech5

We will be announcing the national Tech5s for each participating country over the next couple of weeks, after which the overall winner from each market will be revealed. So do stay tuned…


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