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Who Is Making Tech Headlines In The UK

  • In Employment
  • 28 Dec 2022, 09:45 AM
  • By Technologist Confidant
FinTech, FinTech Companies, UK FinTech Companies
growth of the technology sector of the UK underlines the country’s ambition to be the best place in the world to start and augment a digital technology business. According to a report by Tech Nation, the VC investments in the UK technology sector is third in the world, hitting the $15 billion mark in 2020 and $26 billion in 2021 despite the pandemic.

The pioneers in the UK tech sector are creating the future by developing groundbreaking technologies, creating employment and supporting the economy to thrive across the globe. In the event of extreme challenges posed by the pandemic, profound disruptions and uncertainties, resilient technology leaders are rebuilding the country's economic landscape.

The UK has a historically strong background in deep tech like research and development intensive, innovation of new products and innovative technology developments. However, more venture capital investments, new technology creation, and application innovation are required to continue global leadership. According to the Tech Nation report of 2021, the UK deep technology investments rose to 17 per cent in 2020. The UK is home to several international investors; 63 per cent of the tech investments came from overseas in 2020, from 50 per cent in 2016.

From sectors like HealthTech and FinTech to Net Zero, technology has had a transformative impact on various organizations and people in the world. Recently, there has been relentless investments and innovation in the UK tech sector. Moreover, according to the Government of UK website, these mentioned companies have been in the news ever since the starting of 2021.


Octopus Energy

Octopus Energy Group, a global energy tech pioneer, was launched in 2016 with the aim to use technology for affordable green energy. The organization operates in 13 countries in the world, and the certified BCorp is a part of the Octopus Energy Group. The company’s domestic energy arm serves 3.1 million customers with cheaper green power. Along with cheaper green power, the group is also working on making clean transport affordable and bringing smart technologies to home. According to Business Wire, in September 2021, Octopus Energy Group was valued at $4.6 billion after a venture capital investment of $600 million from Generation Investment Management.

Recently, the Canadian Pension Plan invested $300 million initially to support the Octopus Energy Group’s plan to expand globally. The CPP investment is to support Octopus Energy Group’s technology arm, Kraken Technologies, to deploy smart energy technology across the full supply chain of the energy sector. The investment made by CPP in Octopus Energy will enable the organization to add more 30 wind turbines for cleaner and affordable energy. At the same time, this will also value to drive the energy technology development and help in the expansion of the company more rapidly across other countries.


Babylon Health

Babylon Health, founded in 2013, is one of the world’s fastest-growing digital healthcare companies with an aim to provide high-quality healthcare accessible and affordable to everyone. The company’s technology and clinical services support a patient network globally across 15 nations in 15 different languages. According to a report published by Berkshire Hathway in their Business Wire, Babylon Health will manage approximately 350,000 lives globally by 2022. In the same report, it was also reported that in the first half of 2021, the organisation helped patients every 5 seconds with an approximate 1.7 million AI interactions and 1.3 million consultations.

Babylon Health and Palantir Technologies Limited have recently drawn a new partnership to use data for improving clinical delivery and care. With the partnership taking place, Palantir provided Babylon with development to integrate 100 data sources which resulted in 80 billion data points, thus enabling the organisation to accelerate its AI capabilities. Moreover, Babylon Health, in their year-end report, mentioned 371 per cent over year growth in revenue to $74.5 million in the third quarter of 2021. Another reason why Babylon is making headlines is because of the launch of an AI-powered triage tool in Rwanda that will help to further digitalise the healthcare system. This AI-powered triage tool is used by Babylon’s call centre nurses to increase efficiency and the decision-making process.


ITM Power

ITM Power, incorporated in the year 2004, innovates and develops materials and technology to reduce the cost of hydrogen production. With new innovation procedures and development, the company is innovating equipment to convert renewable energy to clean fuel. ITM Power stores energy as green hydrogen for decarbonising industrial, residential and transport applications.

Recently, the UK government has awarded a project worth £9.4 million to ITM Power in partnership with ScottishPower and BOC based at Whitelee Windfarm at East Renfrewshire. The project aims to help Glasgow reach net zero by 2030. The funding would help to eventually produce clean energy to power the next generation of public transport. At the same time, it will also help in the development of electrolysers, converting water into hydrogen.


Vertical Aerospace

Vertical Aerospace was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick to create the most advanced eVTOL in the world. The vision of the company was to decarbonise air travel using innovative technology from the aviation, automotive and energy industries. The company expects to design flagship aircraft VA-X4 to be the first zero-carbon aircraft that most people will fly on.

The Bristol company, Vertical Aerospace, developing a “flying taxi”, is in talks with American special purpose acquisition company Broadstone Acquisition Corporation that will value the company at $2 billion. The agreement is expected gross proceeds of $300 million with investments from American Airlines, Avolon, Rolls Royce, Honeywell and Microsoft venture capital fund M12.


BenevolentAI

BenevolentAI is the leading clinical-stage AI drug discovery company. The company builds new technology that empowers scientists for exploring interconnected networks of diseases. With the help of data across different fields of study, BenevolentAI tries to understand the complex nature of biology by deriving novel insights and ultimately discovering new and better treatments. Moreover, scientists try to visualise the differences between health and diseases that help them design pathways and mechanisms to identify optimal treatment interventions swiftly. The organisation uses various ML/AI tools to analyse clinical databases, thus enabling researchers to spot novel molecular targets and develop new drugs for treating complex diseases.

Recently, BenevolentAI has announced that AstraZeneca has added a novel target for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) discovered using the organisation’s platform to its drug development portfolio. The news comes to be the second novel target that is identified, validated and selected to be in the drug development portfolio of AstraZeneca. The innovation collaboration started in the year 2019, where scientists and technologists from two companies worked hand-in-hand, combining the AI-driven platform of BenevolentAI with the biomedical knowledge graph of AstraZeneca.


Monzo

Monzo is an online bank based in London, United Kingdom. It was founded in 2015 by Tom Blomfield, Jonas Huckstein, Jason Bates, Paul Rippon and Gary Dolman. In 2016, Monzo set the record for the quickest crowdfunding campaign in history by raising £1 million in 96 seconds using the investment platform Crowdcube.

The challenger bank Monzo has raised $500 million in the new funding round, with investments coming from Abu Dhabi Growth Fund. The deal closure has resulted in the valuation of the FinTech Monzo to be $4.5 billion. Other new investors include N26-backers Coatue and Alpha Wave Ventures. According to Reuters, the digital bank is also making progress by improving its finances with doubled revenues in 2021 with the help of more paid for services. The approximate figure is 300.000 for using paid accounts. Monzo staff members have also increased 60 per cent from January 2021 to 2100.


Cazoo

Cazoo is a British online car retailer founded in 2018 by internet entrepreneur Alex Chesterman. The organization launched its e-commerce used car platform in 2019. The mission of Cazoo is to transform the buying and selling experience of cars across the UK and Europe by providing value for money, convenience in dealing, transparency, better selection of cars and peace of mind. The organization aims to make the process of buying and selling cars easy and transparent for customers.

As of December 2021, Cazoo has launched its services by driving expansion into mainland Europe. The company has expanded its services in France and Germany and aims to deliver relentless customer service in order to bring peace of mind and satisfaction to customers.


Zopa

Zopa was founded in the year 2005 with the innovative invention of peer-to-peer model services, which help match investors with potential borrowers. The business idea behind Zopa was to provide the borrowers with a fair finance system similar to traditional banking institutions and credit card providers.

The company management has decided to not continue with the peer-to-peer (P2P) business or lending arm after 16 years and concentrate more on banking. P2P platforms bypass the banking institutions by linking investors with lenders looking for loans. However, the Financial Conduct Authority has dubbed P2P a high-risk investment causing turmoil in the industry. With the structural shift from a P2P platform to being a bank, according to The Guardian, Zopa has contacted 60,000 P2P investors to let them know that the company will hand over the money to the latest by 31 January 2021.


Tessian

Tessian aims to elevate human efficiency by empowering people to do their best without caring much about security. The organization uses machine learning technology to stop data breaches and security threats caused by human errors like accidental data loss, data exfiltration, phishing attacks and business email compromise. The company was founded in 2013 and is now backed by investors like Sequoia, Accel, March Capital and Balderton. The headquarters are located in London, with offices in Boston and San Francisco.

Tessian has recently made headlines as the human layer security company integrates with KnowBe4 to provide companies and organizations with enhanced visibility into phishing risks. The integration of KnowBe4’s phishing simulation and training insights with Tessian’s Human Layer Risk Hub will enable risk management teams to have a more comprehensive view of their riskiest employees.


Thought Machine

Thought Machine is one of the UK’s leading FinTech companies, which is undergoing a phase of rapid expansion. The organization aims to cure the problem of reliance on outdated IT infrastructure, which is one of the key problems of the banking industry.

Thought Machine has become the latest UK FinTech unicorn by crossing the $1 billion valuation mark. The FinTech startup that sells cloud-based B2B banking services has recently finalized the $200 million Series C round. Series C is led by the New York and San Francisco based Nyca Partners with new investors like JP Morgan Chase Strategic Investments, ING Ventures and Standard Chartered Ventures.

With the technology sector rapidly growing across the UK and Europe, various organizations have recently been in the news. While some have been a unicorn and some have attracted investors, the organizations have made the UK the global hub for technology revolution and innovation.