Posted on August 22, 2018 by staff

15 UK AI Innovators to watch


Last week BusinessCloud undertook a quest to find 51 of the UK’s most innovative artificial intelligence businesses.

We were inundated with suggestions and nominations from across the country, which made for a tough decision-making process.

As such the judges identified 15 AI innovators that didn’t make the main list but were earmarked as being ‘ones to watch’.

BusinessCloud editor Chris Maguire said: “We feel that these innovative businesses are using artificial intelligence in a way that will ensure their success in the coming years.”

15 AI innovators to watch:

1. Ash TV

The start-up, founded by programmer Ash Lewis, provides an in-browser video advertising platform for mobile devices. The company’s AI analyses user’s locations and social media data to better target advertisements.

The company, based in the UK’s City of Culture Hull, recently raised £200,000 from a venture round to further expand its business into Europe.

2. Broadstone

Manchester-headquartered staffing platform Broadstone uses AI and machine to automatically match job-seekers in the security industry with work opportunities.

The company offers a marketplace of workers and jobs via its iOS and Android apps, and offers an AI-driven chatbot to boot.

The company was founded in 2016 by CEO Tom Pickersgill, who has previously featured on BusinessCloud’s ‘35 under 35’ list.

3. Echobox

Echobox is aiming to build the world’s first social media platform which uses AI to understand the meaning of content.

Through the technology, the company is aiming to learn how specific audiences respond to different content, which gives companies and agencies the ability to learn what works faster.

Its clients include The Guardian, Le Monde, VICE, Vogue and the New Scientist. The company has secured £26 million in funding since it the London-based company established in 2013.

4. Fantoo

Founded by entrepreneur Jordan Fantaay, this software company aims to provide a ‘personal intelligence engine for email and messaging platforms, effectively creating an automated secretary’.

The business makes use of AI to transform communication, such as emails, into a to-do list, and was hand-picked by founder and CEO of Dell Technologies, Michael Dell, as one of its first global start-up in residence.

Founded in London, it has raised £1.5 million since 2012.

5. Kare

Kare (previously named Gluru) aims to improve ‘customer self-service’ through AI. The company makes use of  ‘natural language processing’ to allow its users to find answers to their questions online, reducing the need for human representatives.

The company was launched in December 2017 and already has 17 customers and a long list of award wins including ‘Best AI Startup 2017’ at The AIconics Awards.

The London-company has raised £2.7 million through two seed rounds to date.

6. GTN

Founded in 2017, GTN’s software uses AI to build upon techniques from the world’s of machine learning and quantum physics to discover molecules that can be used to create new medicines.

Its co-founder and CEO, machine learning expert Noor Shaker, was previously a professor of AI and machine learningad Denmark’s Aalborg University. The London-based company has now raised £2.1 million in funding.


Retail sales aggregator, founded in 2013, introduced its own machine learning platform in 2017 to classify and categorise over one million products per day.

The company, which works with over 700 multi-national retailers, processes millions of products and developed its own ‘Minerva’ AI system to understand and categorise the millions of products that it lists on its site.

8. Ideal Flatmate

AI-powered flatmate finder Ideal Flatmate was founded in 2015 by Thomas Gatzen and Robert Imonikhe.

Frustrated by the lack of compatibility often encountered by flatmates, the pair built a platform which profiles flatmates on their personality, to match them with similar flat hunters.

The start-up, based in London, has raised £1.3 million from seed funding which included investment from Scottish entrepreneur Steve Leach.

9. Olly (from Emotech)

London-based AI startup Emotech has developed a robot voice assistant which is designed to have ‘an evolving personality’.

The consumer robot, named ‘Olly’, grows and changes with its user. It understands the facial expressions, vocal intonations and verbal patterns of its owner to communicate in a more human and empathic tone.

The company, founded in 2014 is backed by $10M of funding.

10. Mercanto

Mercanto helps brands to stand out with drag-and-drop AI email marketing platform.

The London-based company ensures that brands’ newsletters are filled with only the products and services that are relevant to the people receiving it.

Using machine learning and natural language processing, the tool builds up a customer profile based on real-time and historic interests, allowing marketers to build individualized campaigns in less than 10 minutes.

11. Piktical

Incorporated in January 2018 and still in the pre-launch phase, this AI-driven ticketing platform is developing cutting-edge AI-powered facial and image recognition to replace physical tickets.

The company hopes that this form of verification will put an end to ticket touts and bots, and a simple facial scan at the venue will ensure that only the buyer gets in.

12. Roborace

London-based Roborace is attempting to becoming the next Formula 1 by organising a global race series for driverless, electric cars.

Founded in 2015, the company’s ambition is to demonstrate the future of automotive technology, and it is in the process of organising professional racing for teams who want to build driverless and AI-enhanced cars.

13. Wattl

Wattl’s husband-and-wife team Emma and Matthew Ryan created an app for viral content, powered by AI.

Their tech analyses and categorises videos, putting the customised results in a ‘zoomable’ video grid rather than a standard scrollable news feed.

The free-to-download app has been developed by the couple at Manchester Science Partnerships’ (MSP) Bright Building.

14. Wordnerds

This Gateshead-based business is backed by a team of linguistic and AI experts, which helps businesses to better understand large collections of unstructured text.

One of Wordnerd’s products, Stargazer, helps eCommerce businesses to analyse their reviews and correctly derive meaning, without any manpower required.

The company, which was born out of a Hackathon organised by Nissan, now boasts the car manufacturer as one of its clients.


Founded in Oslo, Norway, but now headquartered in London, the company’s AI-powered marketplace of trusted health service providers gives users free access to health information.

Founded in 2012, the company has an ongoing partnership with Samsung Health and the NHS and has secured a total of $17.3 million through four funding rounds.