The Sunday Times published its 17th annual Hiscox Tech Track 100, ranking Britain’s fastest-growing private tech, media and telecoms companies in 2017.
Topping the list was London-based Wonderbly, which creates personalised children’s books based on their name, birthday or location. Since launching in 2012, it has sold nearly 3 million customisable children’s books in 200 countries, growing its sales 294% a year to £25.9m in 2017.
The majority of the companies on the list are headquartered in London, but it is notable that 43 of the companies, including four of the top 10, are based outside the capital. Third on the list was Darktrace, a Cambridge-based cybersecurity developer. The firm has raised more than $180m and grew its sales by 268% to £31m in 2017. Ranking ninth was online entertainment community The LADBible Group, which is based in Manchester. It has seen annual sales growth of 208% and claims its flagship brand is followed by half of all UK men aged 18-24.
Furthermore, 68% of companies secured funding from venture capital/private equity firms or business angels, and 60 firms reported an operating profit in their last financial year.
However, a record number of 40 companies made losses this year, compared with the typical annual average of 25.
The most popular sector was software development, with 21 companies generating combined sales of £324m. FinTech and online consumer services also had 16 firms respectively, including global online luxury fashion store Farfetch (52nd). High-tech manufacturing also contributed 11 companies, including satellite maker Clyde Space (57th).
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Only 10 of the 100 companies are run or founded by women, but 37 were founded by serial entrepreneurs.
The Tech Track 100 is sponsored by Hiscox, Barclays, BDO, BGF and N+1 Singer, and compiled by Oxford-based Fast Track.
The full league table can be viewed here.