years ago meant the city’s wine bars – remember that? – full of talk about the next big IPO or a whisper of a junior market minnow making you rich.
Now, if it wasn’t a “dry January” and most of London wasn’t hibernating at home, the hot money conversation could focus on early-stage companies: start-ups the finest in Shoreditch and King’s Cross.
London’s top VCs and investors told Standard which of the brightest start-ups they’re watching this year: companies they haven’t (yet) invested in but which they think will be the biggest new ventures which no one has (yet) heard of.
What? Recruitment site that promises to remove unconscious bias and helps improve interview technique
Funding? £1.9m so far.
Hussein Kanji, partner at Hoxton Ventures, looks on in awe: “It was all started by a serial founder [Jay Radia of e-commerce tech site Yieldify] and Head of AI at Revolut, Anton Boner.
“As many job interviews are conducted online and on channels like Zoom, their software ensures that no inappropriate questions are asked, the right topics are covered, and employees are coached to become successful. “Excellent investigators. It’s starting to gain momentum, albeit at the beginning of its journey.”
What? A job platform for flexible roles
Covid’s WFH diktat sent VCs rushing to review innovative recruiting and office start-ups. At Crista Galli Ventures, managing partner Fiona Pathiraja believes the search firm will be a big name to watch this year.
“The pandemic has made many of us realize that we value flexibility in our working lives – Flexa helps candidates find flexible jobs that work with their lives while connecting top talent with companies,” she says. “Clients include established companies such as Allianz and Far Fetch and growth-stage start-ups including Elvie.”
What? Helps the company employ, pay and support staff working remotely around the world
Reece Chowdhry, founding partner of RLC Ventures, says: “He was (and remains) well positioned to capitalize on the disruption that Covid-19 has caused to employment structures around the world. It’s starting to become clear that attitudes are changing toward remote work, and the infrastructure supporting that adoption will thrive.
What? Helps businesses facing an outage or data breach get back online quickly
This is the year of bug fixing, says VC Balderton Capital technology partner James Wise.
“Software has become a fundamental part of all of our lives, especially during the pandemic,” he says. “So when there’s a bug in your software, who are you going to call?”
He tips Incident, a start-up with founders of UK unicorns such as Monzo and GoCardless, “which helps software teams address bugs and other issues with their software to get things working again as soon as possible” .
What? Creates “non-intrusive” audio ads for mobile games
VC RTP Global Partner Gareth Jefferies backs AudioMob because “gaming has grown in popularity in the wake of Covid, but it has been difficult for advertisers to reach this audience as an invasive banner or video ad can ruin the [gaming] experience, so publishers refuse to run them.
“AudioMob has found a way around this problem with in-game audio-only ads that allow brands to connect non-invasively. I see huge potential here for them to dominate the game and become the advertising platform preeminent.
What? Insurance Pricing Platform
“Insurance is a massive industry and a lot has been done in recent years of new players disrupting the value chain,” adds RTP’s Jefferies.
“Hyperexponential arms both incumbents and newcomers with an exceptional combination of actuarial expertise, data science and modern UX. Its team of co-founders – all of whom came from senior positions in the industry – created the go-to software for one of the most important parts of the entire insurance product and is destined for great things in 2022.”
Mission Zero Technologies
What? Developing technology to help “close the carbon cycle”, uses electrochemical processes to release captured CO2
Start-up venture capital firm Talis Capital is eyeing carbon-fighting startup Mission Zero Tech for 2022. It is developing a highly modular “direct air capture” (DAC) technology to sequester CO2 from air. large-scale atmosphere.
Cecilia Manduca of Talis explains: “2021 has been a pivotal year for understanding that carbon removal has a key role to play if we are to have any chance of achieving ambitious net zero targets, as well as the fact that solutions Designed carbon removal solutions such as DAC could be as effective, if not more so, than nature-based solutions such as reforestation.
“Mission Zero Tech’s modular technology has the potential to make CO2 sequestration and reuse cheaper and less energy intensive – and sequester CO2 in gigatons!”
What? Helping businesses replenish inventory and make more eco-friendly packaging
Not sexy, but supply chain companies are leading the trend after a year marked by logistical issues and investors have taken notice. Wise, from Balderton, points to Sourceful.io, which was created in 2020.
“It helps businesses build more sustainable supply chains, reducing carbon emissions by providing businesses with better solutions on everything from packaging to inventory management,” says Wise. “The team has a lot of experience in packaging, with experience from The Hut Group, and raised investments early on from Eka, a fund known for its focus on climate.”
What? Logistics company providing e-commerce warehouses and distribution networks
Kanji in Hoxton is eyeing Huboo, a third-party logistics company that helps companies place customer orders faster, which he laments not investing in.
“We passed that on, unfortunately,” he says. “It is growing very quickly and becoming one of the largest third-party logistics providers in Europe.”
What? Solve scheduling problems in semiconductor production
Alliott Cole, Managing Director of Octopus Ventures, looks at Flexciton. It helps these vital semiconductor factories to optimize their production.
“The supply chain (especially in semiconductors) is still in bad shape,” Cole says. “It can take years and cost billions to build new factories, so it won’t solve the problem, and manufacturing individual chips can take months with hundreds of processes required – so optimizing what you have is a no-brainer. .”
What? Insurance model to reduce the cost of fertility treatments
“I love Gaia because the right to have a child shouldn’t be dictated by how much you earn.”