Posted on January 26, 2017 by staff

Tech City UK reveals 33 rising tech stars for Upscale 2017


Tech City UK has announced the 33 businesses and rising stars of technology taking part in its second ever Upscale series.

Launched last year, Upscale 2017 is a six-month programme aimed at helping some of the UK’s most exciting digital firms and start-ups to begin their scaling journey.

They will benefit from the mentorship of some of the UK’s most successful tech entrepreneurs including Candy Crush founder Riccardo Zacconi, founders Martha Lane Fox and Brent Hoberman, and Lesley Eccles of FanDuel.

The list represents a wide spread of sectors and reflects the UK’s strength in certain areas. But London companies make up its majority, with just seven based elsewhere in the UK.

These include Cambridge Intelligence (Cambridge), Cronofy (Nottingham), LivingLens (Liverpool) and DueCourse (Manchester).

This year’s Tech Nation 2017 report will reveal the full contribution of the UK’s digital and tech sector to the economy.

App & Software Development: Curve, Goodlord

FinTech: Trussle, DueCourse, Monzo, Pockit, Moneyfarm

Data & Analytics: Streetbees, Signal Media, LivingLens, Cambridge Intelligence

Digital Advertising & Marketing: StoryStream

Digital Entertainment: Mixcloud, Boiler Room

eCommerce & Marketplace: Wolf & Badger, Paddle, Urban Massage, Trouva

EdTech: Firefly Learning, Mastered, pi-top

Enterprise Software & Cloud Computing: Cronofy, GeoSpock, Grabyo, everyLIFE Technologies

Internet of Things & Connected Devices: Chargifi, Elvie, Bulb

HealthTech & biology: Echo, Live Better With

SaaS: Poq, CharlieHR

Hardware & Devices: Blaze

Jos Smart, Upscale programme lead, said: “One of the objectives of Tech City UK is to accelerate the growth of the country’s digital tech sector.

“The companies joining Upscale today have already overcome significant hurdles and have brilliant futures ahead.

“It’s great to see so many sectors represented in the cohort, demonstrating the great diversity this country has when it comes to digital technology.

“We’re excited to work closely with the founders and C-suite of each company over the next six months as they scale their respective businesses to the next level.

“It’s particularly great to see four fantastic female founders – Tania Boler, Tamara Rajah, Tugce Bulut and Emily Brooke – amongst the new intake but the industry needs to work harder to make sure that women are getting to senior roles in the sector.

“There are many successful women in tech and we must promote these role models and inspire more girls to consider tech as a job where they can build an amazing, global career that can change people’s lives.”

Upscale 2017 in numbers:

Average number of employees is 31

Average funding raised: $4.1 million

Average revenues per year: just over $1 million

Average company age: 4 years old

Business to Business companies: 42%

Companies addressing both consumer/ business markets: 39%

Consumer facing companies: 18%

Eileen Burbidge, chair of Tech City UK, said: “We welcome the next cohort to our Upscale programme.

“They can be confident that some of the most experienced, brightest minds in the tech ecosystem will be helping them to build their business over the coming year.

“We would like to thank all our partners and supporters who have helped to put together the programme and make it what it is by devoting time and effort to coaching and mentoring these young businesses.”


Blaze – urban mobility brand providing technology for bike sharing schemes and consumer cyclists globally

Boiler Room – online music broadcaster of live events. Six years old, it has now hosted shows in 100 cities worldwide

Bulb – an online renewable gas and electricity supplier, competing with the likes of British Gas and NPower

Cambridge Intelligence – an artificial intelligence company that helps companies see patterns and insights in their data

Chargifi – Chargifi supplies networked, wireless power to public venues like coffee shops, hotels, restaurants, sporting arenas, offices and transport hubs

CharlieHR – a free HR platform for small companies

Cronofy – calendar connectivity for enterprise applications

Curve – allows you to combine all your credit cards into one Curve card and link with an app to monitor your spending
DueCourse – online invoice factoring business

Echo – an app that takes the pain out of repeat prescriptions

Elvie – a company that focuses on women’s wellness with wearable tech

everyLIFE Technologies – provides a mobile platform for managing social care in real time, working with the NHS and social care providers

Firefly Learning – online tool for teachers, parents and schools to monitor pupils’ progress at school

GeoSpock – database technology that enables extreme-scale, real-time geo-spatial and multi-dimensional big data applications

Goodlord – end to end digital platform allowing letting agents, tenants and landlords to complete a rental transaction

Grabyo – Edit, publish and share video across mobile devices

Live Better With – community and marketplace for products for people living with cancer

LivingLens – allows companies to search hours of market research video by key word

Mastered – online courses for fashion professionals

Mixcloud – audio streaming service that allows users to listen to radio from all over the world

Moneyfarm – online wealth manager whose investors include Allianz, one of the world’s largest insurers

Monzo – one of a new breed of challenger banks. The mobile banking app receives its banking licence this year

Paddle – provides e-commerce and digital infrastructure for software businesses

pi-top – provides DIY laptop and desktop products for STEM education

Pockit – banking startup aimed at those excluded from mainstream banking

Poq – app commerce solution for major retailers

Signal Media – Artificial Intelligence-powered new monitoring

StoryStream – Live storytelling for brands: content curation and publishing

Streetbees – market research insights from around the world, collected through artificial intelligence and geo-location

Trouva – curated online shopping from 150 independent boutiques

Trussle – the online mortgage adviser, built upon a database of thousands of mortgage products

Urban Massage – booking massage online

Wolf & Badger – global online marketplace for independent brands