Deloitte announces 2019 UK Technology Fast 50 winners

Deloitte has announced the winners of the 2019 UK Technology Fast 50 awards.

 The awards recognise and rank the 50 fastest-growing technology companies in the UK, based on the last four years of revenue data, and are sponsored by DLA Piper, Oracle NetSuite and Silicon Valley Bank.

This year’s cohort of winners represent companies at the forefront of the sector, with more than 8,700 employees across the 50 companies, an impressive average growth rate of 3,878% and total revenues in 2019 of over £650m.

Revolut revealed as 2019 Fast 50 winner

FinTech business Revolut is the overall winner of the 2019 UK Technology Fast 50 award, having achieved an average three-year growth rate of 48,477% to the year 2018/2019 – the fourth-highest growth in the history of the UK Fast 50 competition.

Fintech businesses ranked as the top three fastest-growing companies in this year’s competition, with credit providers OakNorth (37,449%) and Dividebuy (23,878%) achieving second and third place respectively.

Overall, fintech businesses comprise 30% of this year’s winners, including six businesses in the top ten. Software businesses continue to make up the largest proportion of winners, up to 48% from 40% last year.

Duncan Down, lead partner for the Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 programme, commented: “The pace of growth from this year’s Fast 50 is nothing short of exceptional, and testament to the innovation and success enjoyed by the UK’s technology industry today.

“The sector continues to thrive despite market uncertainty, which is largely due to the drive, resilience and creativity of the teams being celebrated in these awards. I would like to offer my personal congratulations to every one of this year’s winners on the outstanding growth they have enjoyed.

He added: “Revolut achieving the fourth-highest growth in the history of the Fast 50 competition within an uncertain economic climate is remarkable. Fintech businesses have performed particularly strongly in this year’s awards, demonstrating that the UK is fertile ground for start-ups in the sector.”

Richard Davies, chief operating officer at Revolut, said: “We are just in the first stages of expansion, and see phenomenal potential to create a truly global brand in the coming years. Our challenge now is to make sure the business and structure scales at the same pace, and that we continue to invest in our people and processes.

“Deloitte’s Fast 50 ranking is a fantastic showcase identifying the success of technology start-ups in the UK. Revolut being recognised in these awards highlights just how far we have grown in the industry.”

The path to becoming a Fast 50 CEO         

When it comes to success in launching a profitable technology company today, the majority of leaders have experience of working in the industry and founding a previous company, while a strong minority also share experience of failure.

As part of the UK Technology Fast 50 programme, Deloitte carried out a survey among the 80 entrants of this year’s awards which looks at attitudes towards building a business, leadership and the personality traits of a successful CEO in technology today.

81% of entrants started the business they lead today, with over half (56%) being co-founders and 25% solo founders. While 70% of survey respondents had prior industry experience, the remaining 30% did not have this experience before taking on the role.

Fast 50 CEOs have experienced their share of setbacks, with almost 30% starting or being employed at a company that failed. Of this group, four-fifths of CEOs who failed believe this experience was important in helping them in their current venture, while some found it enhanced their ability to form highly effective teams.

London remains the launch-pad for tech success

This year’s winners hail from across the UK however London continues to dominate, with 64% of the winners based in the city, including eight of the top ten. The capital maintains its particularly strong performance in fintech, being home to 13 of the 15 winners.

Outside of the capital, standout performances include DivideBuy (3rd place overall, three‑year growth rate of 23,878%), the Newcastle‑ under‑Lyme‑based interest‑free credit provider, and Oxford Nanopore (8th place overall, three‑year growth rate of 4,259%).

Duncan Down added: “Supported by the presence of large financial institutions, a strong international talent pool, and proximity to potential investors, the capital continues to be the heartland for the country’s leading technology companies. However, standout performers are notable across the country in this year’s competition.

“No matter how the UK or global technology landscape changes, this year’s Fast 50 companies have demonstrated their ability to prosper in a period of uncertainty, and look set to shape the UK technology sector for years to come.”