The 17th annual ranking of Britain’s fastest-growing private companies by sales will not be revealed until 10 September. But before then, we can provide a sneak peek into some of the key findings gleaned from our four months of research.
In good company
Our winners this year are in good company. From takeaway website Just Eat and travel search engine Skyscanner to cyber-security software developer Sophos, the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 has featured many diverse stars of the UK tech sector.
Other home-grown heroes that have featured include online bookmaker Bet365, now with ebitda profits of £508m, property websites operator Zoopla, valued at £1.6bn on the London Stock Exchange, and SwiftKey, the smartphone keyboard developer that was bought by Microsoft for $250m last year.
What does this year’s table tell us? It is clear that emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and the internet of things are playing an increasingly important role in powering Britain’s digital economy. These emerging technologies are being successfully commercialised in sectors as diverse as healthcare, space and defence.
Investors from Silicon Valley to China have taken notice of the innovations created by the UK’s leading tech firms, and the high number of companies that have raised external funds on this year’s table suggests Brexit has not scared them off.
London again shows its strength as a tech hub, but we also see clusters of hyper-growth companies in cities including Manchester, Cambridge and Glasgow. Wherever they are based, the majority of this year’s companies are generating revenues overseas – the sector is truly global.
League table trends
While the 100 includes several companies started by founders when they were in their early 20s, the league table also shows the benefit of experience. You’ll see a significant cohort of serial entrepreneurs – both male and female – some of whom have led other businesses onto previous Tech Track 100 league tables. One impressive entrepreneurial duo has even managed to achieve a place for two of their companies on this year’s table. Hiscox will be taking a closer look at the lessons some of these serial entrepreneurs have learnt in the league table supplement in the Sunday Times and on its Tech Track 100 hub.
Also look out for university spin-outs, firms created by ex-Googlers and family ventures.
All will be revealed in the Sunday Times on 10 September.
Fast Track has been identifying the most successful private companies in Britain and ranking them in its league tables published with The Sunday Times since 1997. Find out more about the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100.