Startups.co.uk’s definitive ranking of the UK’s top 100 fast-growth, high-potential start-ups has been topped by Advertising technology company Captify.
The company, which specialises in retargeting ads based on users’ web activity, jumped five places after stunning the judges by almost doubling its seven-figure turnover between 2012 and 2013, with a run-rate that will put those figures in the shade.
Strikingly, a third of the businesses have female founders on board, with average turnover for the list close to £1m. Reflecting the desire to start young, the average age of the entrepreneurs behind the businesses is 34, with the oldest founder a sprightly 66.
Launched in 2008, the Startups 100 was the first index of its kind – a celebration of the best in new British businesses.
Startups.co.uk’s editorial director, Ian Wallis said: “Diverse and utterly brilliant in so many ways, it’s staggering to think the average turnover for the 100 companies in this list is close to £1m – and very reassuring to know that many are already turning a good profit.”
Now in its fifth year, the 2014 Startups 100 ranking identifies privately owned UK companies that launched on or after 1 January 2011.
Entrants are judged by Startups’ experienced business team against a host of criteria, but primarily for innovation, impressive financials, economic impact, and growth potential.
Against stiff competition, this year’s winners – revealed on the site for the first time today – will join an illustrious Startups 100 alumni, including Notonthehighstreet.com, Huddle, Naked Wines, and Hailo (brief details below).
2014’s brightest start-ups
With 176 entrepreneurs in this year’s list, ranging from 21 to 66-year-old’s, the list shows that fast-growth companies are emerging all over the UK, with 36 started outside London.
The list also reflects the diversity and growing popularity of new businesses offering data-based services, alternative finance solutions, gourmet food and drink, and personalised fashion, with retail standing out as the most popular sector.
There are 62 new entries onto the list this year, with two – Currency Cloud and SportPursuit – leaping straight into the top 10. Three companies – event planning app YPlan, internet of things solution provider EVRYTHNG, and ‘online department store’ Nuji – jumped more than 30 places.
Ian Wallis added: “Game-changing tech start-ups are all the rage, but don’t be fooled into thinking the best new businesses launching in the UK are not steeped in tradition. So many of the exciting businesses in this list have used technology as an enabler to provide a unique twist on products and services that have existed for decades.”
The full list can be viewed here and found in the separate doc, titled ‘Startups 100 list.’
2014 Startups 100 list in numbers
Total number of founders: 176 (2013: 186)
Single founders: 41
Three or more founders: 11
Geographical spread: 36 companies founded outside of London (2013: 37), 4 based in Scotland, 4 in Wales, with other hotspots in South West (7), South East (5) and North West (4).
Average number of employees: 13 (2013: 11)
Average age of entrepreneur: 34 (2013: 36)
Youngest entrepreneur: 21 – Oliver Murphy, Reviveaphone (2013: 22)
Oldest: 66 – Martin Freeman, PropertECO (2013: 68)
Gender: 33 businesses were started by female founders or co-founders, with 67 having male-only founders and co-founders (2013: 30 with female founders or co-founders, 70 male-only)
Average turnover for 2013 (for those that disclosed): £973,543 (2013: £731,778)
Businesses with turnover of £2m or above: 13
Average age of the business: 2.38 years (17 in their first year; 38 in their second year; 35 in third year; 10 in fourth year)
Most popular start-up sectors: Retail (12); Food (11); Data (8); Drinks (7); Fashion (7); Advertising (7); Finance (7).