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Disrupt South West: Top 25 Disruptive Businesses

Published on Tuesday, 21st November 2017, contributed by Foot Anstey
  • South West cements position as global innovation hub with Ultrahaptics, FiveAI and GraphCore topping the Disrupt South West index
  • Over £130 million invested into the top 25 companies since 2015  
  • Top ventures operating in artificial intelligence, cloud computing and 3D technology

 Released today, Disrupt South West is a collaborative index from Tällt Ventures, FootAnstey and ADLIB identifying the region’s top disruptive ventures.

In the first of its kind, the index recognises the top 25 ventures with headquarters in the region who hold the greatest potential to influence, change or create new markets.

Revealed at an exclusive event last night, the index highlights the disruptive business success stories from the South West, furthering the region’s growing profile as a global technology hub.

See the full listing.

The index contains startups and scaleups from a myriad of sectors – from artificial intelligence and machine learning to 3D printing technology – each venture holds the potential to influence, change or create new markets

Across the 25 ventures 20% are using artificial intelligence and machine learning, 20% are developing cloud and X-as-a-service tools and 16% are using 3D technology.

It is unsurprising therefore that investment into the 25 ventures has been substantial. Since 2015 the 25 ventures listed in the index have received over £130 million in funding, with over 80% of the total investment going into the top three ventures; Ultrahapics; FiveAI and Graphcore.

Matt Connolly Founder & CEO at Tällt Ventures explains “Not only is it brilliant to see local companies receiving financial backing but it cements the South West as a brilliant place within the UK for new ventures to set-up and scale their business.”

The index has tracked startups form the region, analysing each venture against a scoring matrix to determine their disruptive potential with particular analysis on the people behind the business, the product they’ve created and the potential they have to scale and disrupt markets.

 Spotlights on Disrupt South West Top 3

  1.  Ultrahaptics - Founded in 2013, Ultrahaptics is changing the way we connect with technology by enabling people to ‘feel’ virtual objects, without the need to wear or actually physically touch anything.

In May the business raised £17.9m in Series B funding and September saw Ultrahaptics open their first US office in Silicon Valley.

See their full write-up here.

  1. FiveAI - Founded in 2015, the Bristol based startup is building software for autonomous vehicles that will be safe to use in complex urban environments. The startup has two aims - first, to develop a self-driving system, and second, to build a software platform that will manage an autonomous taxi service.

See their full write-up here.

  1. Graphcore – The tech startup is changing the way machines operate by altering the way they learn. Their technology not only reduces the cost of improving AI, but also helps to incorporate the technology in low-power devices.

Graphcore completed their latest funding round in November 2017, raising $50m from Sequoia Capital, putting their total investment figure to date at $110 million.

See their full write-up here.

Nick Dean, MD at ADLIB adds “Through recent years we've continuously seen the South West region grow and transform into the thriving and recognised tech cluster it is today. This has called for us here at ADLIB to continually evaluate and adjust our own proposition to meet the demands, growing out our own digital and technology teams. Businesses are evaluating, growing and transforming, the driving force of which comes from the people within them. We’re proud to be part of such a recognised region, amongst a prime line up of businesses, testament to and proof of that we’re home to (and able to attract in) real talent."

Looking forward

Martin Cuell, Head of Technology and Partner at Foot Anstey, commented:

"It's fantastic to see the South West tech scene thriving. We're observing an abundance of new ventures and innovation across industry sectors with investment and funding available for those who seek it. Being part of Disrupt South West has been part of our effort to help showcase and celebrate all this great activity, so the region gets the recognition it deserves. One of the interesting challenges for the future is how we harness all the energy, enthusiasm and great news stories  to support companies destined to be the next big things in the tech sector and how we ensure that innovation benefits the end consumers and perhaps even more importantly the wider community."