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50 of the most disruptive British businesses in 2015

For the fourth year, Real Business has scoured the UK business landscape and can now bring you 50 companies that are breaking down barriers, creating innovative products and – most importantly – disrupting previously stagnant industries. May we unveil the Everline Future 50 2015.
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From financial technology heavyweights such as Funding Circle and TransferWise to online travel big-hitters Secret Escapes and HouseTrip, the Everline Future 50 has a proven track record of being ahead of the curve and identifying the promising businesses that may one day go on to become household names.

The submissions we had for our 2015 outing were no less amazing than in previous years. Beginning our call for submissions at the start of October, we then gathered the best on offer and asked winners from last year to pick this year’s cohort. Who better to identify disruptive businesses than disrupters themselves?

Unveiled in the technology startup hub of Old Street at LSO St Lukes church, the Everline Future 50 was brought together by comedian and rapper Chris Turner through an equally progressive and innovative approach.

This year’s Everline Future 50 also marked the first time we created special awards to recognise six particularly strong business in the list. The companies then joined us on stage for a panel discussion, examining how each created a disruptive concept and went about building it out.

Russell Gould, COO at Orange Money (trading as Everline and Ezbob), said: “The quality of entries to this year’s Future 50 has once again been outstanding. The innovation, growth, ideas and opportunities these businesses represent is truly inspirational. As a judge it was extremely difficult to decide on the winners.

“As well as celebrating the success of the 50 winners, this year we were delighted to introduce special awards for those businesses who have really stood out among our disruptors.”

Disruptor of the Year Award: CommuterClub

Friend to Business Award: Chaser

Environment and Sustainability Award: Flow Energy

Household Name of the Future Award: Payasugym

Profit Potential Award: Ve Interactive

Social Impact Award: Cause4

Below we’ve provided a snapshot of the 50, but full profiles of each are available by clicking through on the link at the end of each.

Name: 50cycles

Industry/sector: Retail

Date founded: 2003

Founder: Scott and Tim Snaith

Location: Loughborough

Disruptive idea

Originating when two brothers began importing electric bikes from Japan to sell in the UK, 50cycles has gone on to carve out a dominant position in the market. Not content with selling other makers’ products, 50cycles is now developing its own range of electric bikes which will be marketed and sold using a combination of retail destinations, ecommerce and franchises. If all goes to plan, it will produce the world’s first UK-manufactured electronic bike.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 50cycles profile.

Name: Big Sofa

Industry/sector: Technology

Date founded: 2009

Founder: Simon Lidington and Matt Lynch

Location: London

Disruptive idea

After two years of rapid growth, the Big Sofa business has become a global leader in video management/analytics by partnering with big brands such as Unilever, Barclays and the UK government. Helping others overcome the pre-conception that video is cumbersome, Big Sofa’s offering has already been taken to the notoriously difficult US market and the team has set an ambitious target of being a £100m business.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Big Sofa profile.

Name: Brand Gathering

Industry/sector: Services

Date founded: 2013

Founder: Christina Richardson and Vitaly Yakovlev

Location: London

Disruptive idea

Gaining access to new customers quickly at the start of a small company’s life can be hard work. Enter Brand Gathering. As the brainchild of Christina Richardson and Vitaly Yakovlev, it has already clocked up thousands of active members since launching in 2013 – all using its intuitive online tools and by partnering with others to boost sales. Morphsuits, Micro Scooters and A Suit that Fits are all members.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Brand Gathering profile.

Name: Cahootsy

Industry/sector: Retail

Date founded: 2014

Founder: Tarika and Paul Marshall

Location: London

Disruptive idea

Empowering consumers is the aim of the game for Cahootsy. Its platform provides a way for them to request the deals they want, after which retailers crowdsource marketing and provide those offers in return for word of mouth promotion. Describing itself as a reverse Groupon concept, Cahootsy is re-inventing retail marketing by allowing retailers and shoppers to collaborate directly and has 30 partners including M&S and The Body Shop.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Cahootsy profile.

Name: Captify

Industry/sector: Technology

Date founded: 2011

Founder: Dominic Joseph and Adam Ludwin

Location: London

Disruptive idea

London-based Captify was set up in the summer of July 2011 by entrepreneurial duo Dominic Joseph and Adam Ludwin to provide vital services to the search targeting ad tech industry. Backed by a heavyweight advisory board, Captify is disrupting by cutting out all wastage, poor targeting and inefficient media buying that was dogging the industry. With global display advertising worth $40bn, the two have a big market to tackle.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Captify profile.

Name: Cause4

Industry/sector: Charity

Date founded: 2009

Founder: Michelle Wright

Location: London

Disruptive idea

Michelle Wright established Cause4 because she knew, in the wake of the 2008 financial crash, that the charity sector would have to innovate because of government cuts and reductions in funding. Her disruptive approach was to set up a social business working with charities, philanthropists and social enterprises to develop strategies and new programmes scaling fundraising. Some £38m has been raised through the platform so far.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Cause4 profile.

Name: Chaser

Industry/sector: Finance

Date founded: 2013

Founder: David Tuck and Mark Woodbridge

Location: London

Disruptive idea

Late payments are the scourge of small and medium-sized businesses across the UK, but not for much longer. Chaser is helping solve cash flow problems by providing a new software platform for chasing unpaid invoices. All chasers sent against the relevant invoice are logged, as are the replies that come in. Chaser says it reduces debtor days by an average of 26 days, which for a £1m turnover business means a cash flow boost of £71,000.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Chaser profile.

Name: Clifton Asset Management

Industry/sector: Finance

Date founded: 2011

Founder: Adam Tavener and Neil Greenway

Location: Bristol

Disruptive idea

The rise in alternative finance has been impossible to ignore, but Clifton Asset Management is using a well-established pool of capital to create an innovative new route. Its Pension Led Funding service provides a way for business owners to grow by utilising their pension pot. Pension funds are transferred to a new self-invested pension vehicle for the director, allowing for the pension to complete a loan to the company.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Clifton Asset Management profile.

Name: CommuterClub

Industry/sector: Services

Date founded: 2014

Founder: Petko Plachkov and Imran Gulamhuiseinwala

Location: London

Disruptive idea

This year’s biggest disruptor, CommuterClub, is reinventing the way UK commuters buy public transport tickets by making them more affordable and convenient. By paying in monthly instalments, users are able to achieve annual savings of around £200. Since launching in the summer of 2014, CommuterClub has lent in excess of £1.5m to London travellers using financial support from peer-to-peer finance platform RateSetter.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 CommuterClub profile.

Name: Crowdcube

Industry/sector: Finance

Date founded: 2011

Founder: Darren Westlake and Luke Lang

Location: Exeter

Disruptive idea

As one of the early movers in the crowdfunding space, equity platform Crowdcube has helped former Future 50 companies such as JustPark raise valuable growth funds. Supported itself by the crowd and VC firm Balderton Capital, Crowdcube has now helped finance 200 businesses with over £60m. In February of 2014 it launched its own venture fund, after which it also lifted the lid on a mini-bond product – meaning an offering in the world of debt.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Crowdcube profile.

Name: Flow Energy

Industry/sector: Technology

Date founded: 2013

Founder: Tony Stiff

Location: Ipswich

Disruptive idea

Another of our special award winners, Flow Energy is an energy business with a big difference – it combines normal home energy supply with microgeneration technology. Its Flow boiler uses gas to heat a home and also generate low cost, low carbon electricity simultaneously. The boiler produces savings of £500 a year through the electricity generated and a dedicated Feed in Tariff. For every 500,000 Flow boilers installed, an entire power station can be turned off – now that’s a disruptive presence.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Flow Energy profile.

Name: Genius PPT

Industry/sector: Technology

Date founded: 2009

Founder: John Thomson

Location: Glasgow

Disruptive idea

Revolutionising the call centre side of business process outsourcing, Genius works on the premise that you only pay for what you use. Its pay-as-you-go technology has no contract, no installation costs, no training costs and zero capex. Whereas previously businesses were stuck with the licence each had signed up to, with no ability to scale down, Genius is competing against the major vendors and contributing to a massive shift in approach.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Genius PPT profile.

Name: Geonomics

Industry/sector: Technology

Date founded: 2011

Founder: James and Henry Oakes

Location: London

Disruptive idea

Disrupting another archaic industry that has long been averse to change, Geonomics is shaking up the lottery space. Worth more than the gaming, music and film industries combined, less than five per cent is transacted online. Geonomics works on the premise of winning big on a geographic location. Charged with investment, and aided by the former CTO of Betfair, the brothers behind the company have their targets set on a $1bn business.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Geonomics profile.

Name: Golfscape

Industry/sector: Technology

Date founded: 2013

Founder: Raghad Mukhaimer and Michael Galasso

Location: London

Disruptive idea

Taking advantage of the huge popularity of golf, golfscape is changing the approach to sorting out a tee time by taking the process online. Set up as a marketplace to connect the inventory of golf courses around the world in real-time, each golf course has a profile page. The booking engine is now available in 47 countries and is cutting out the legacy travel agents and tour operators which had been responsible for most or all bookings at some courses.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Golfscape profile.

Name: Gooey

Industry/sector: Technology

Date founded: 2014

Founder: Rachel Verghis

Location: London

Disruptive idea

The smartphone accessories market is big business. The Gooey cover has the added benefit of allowing people to stick their phone to a smooth or glossy surface. Founder Rachel Verghis wanted to find a way to hold a phone or tablet whilst doing other things, and now sells her products in 23 countries. Brand collaboration with Lancôme and Calvin Klein has followed suit, meaning Gooey’s disruptive approach is being taken seriously.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Gooey profile.

Name: Hosted Desktop UK

Industry/sector: Technology

Date founded: 2010

Founder: Adam Chetnik

Location: Exeter

Disruptive idea

While remote working is nothing new, Hosted Desktop UK’s offering combines the cost efficiency of a multi-tenanted system with a dedicated system to make sure clients have bespoke configurations to meet needs and requirements. Recent growth of its services has been clocked at 65 per cent, with global expansion earmarked as a way for this figure to be improved upon.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Hosted Desktop UK profile.

Name: Innoverne

Industry/sector: Technology

Date founded: 2011

Founder: Julian Thomas

Location: Reading

Disruptive idea

With 100 per cent of automotive dealers and independent garages using special tools in any one week, and less than 0.1 per cent able to afford such tools, Innoverne’s product-as-a-service platform meets demand with access. The business sees future growth being achieved by tackling the retail, manufacturing, hire, health & telecare and electrical sectors.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Innoverne profile.

Name: JobsTheWord

Industry/sector: Recruitment

Date founded: 2011

Founder: Lee Harding, Will Crandle and Keith Jones

Location: London

Disruptive idea

Adopting a big data-first approach to the task of matching the right candidates with good businesses, JobsTheWord has utilised its founders’ extensive knowledge of the recruitment sector. Partnering with startups and big brands such as American Express and Samsung, the business has access to over 10 million rich profiles. Its use of big data and analytics differentiates it from other offerings and provides a disruptive edge.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 JobsTheWord profile.

Name: Kuato Studios

Industry/sector: Technology

Date founded: 2011

Founder: Mark Horneff and David Miller

Location: London

Disruptive idea

Operating under the philosophy of “learnification”, Kuato Studios is a business centred on the application of powerful game mechanics to specific learning skills. Through a mix of teachers, developers and visionaries, Kuato Studios is getting involved in the UK education space and its game has been used in over one million coding sessions by school children across the world to date.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Kuato Studios profile.

Name: Landbay

Industry/sector: Finance

Date founded: 2014

Founder: John Goodall and Gray Stern

Location: London

Disruptive idea

Another of our peer-to-peer Future 50 members, Landbay opens users up to the residential buy-to-let market by providing borrowers with a fast and rational approach to mortgage applications. Its system then selects the most reliable borrowers possible. Truly at the bleeding edge of property innovation, the business hopes to take advantage of the planned move to include peer-to-peer funding in ISAs and SIPPs – as well as changes to annuities.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Landbay profile.

Name: Latimer Group

Industry/sector: Advertising

Date founded: 2010

Founders: Matthew Hay and Jack Woodcraft

Location: London

Disruptive idea

In a new approach to advertising and the ongoing digital battle, Latimer Group aligns with young people to produce cutting edge media content and campaigns. Powered by its network of over 30,000 young creatives, Latimer Group has produced campaigns for Nike and Unicef. Co-creation is proving a lucrative space for the business. A clear example of a company disrupting the world of advertising, Latimer Group has got the attention of some big brands.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Latimer Group profile.

Name: MendIT

Industry/sector: IT repairs

Date founded: 2011

Founder: Steve Ackers

Location: Lancashire

Disruptive idea

Tablets, smartphones and laptops have all become a major part of our lifestyle – much to the advantage of MendIT. Shaking up a well-established industry, MendIT turns a messy and time-consuming repair process on its head by providing a pain-free operation for IT resellers and end users. The concept involves providing a range of warranty and repair products, offered at point of sale, powered by specialist in-house repair engineers.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 MendIT profile.

Name: miDrive

Industry/sector: Driving lessons

Date founded: 2013

Founder: Scott Taylor

Location: Kent

Disruptive idea

Anyone who has been through the process of trying to pass their driving test will appreciate what miDrive is currently doing. Its mission is to reduce the stress of the 750,000 people who learn to drive in the UK each year by helping them find qualified driving instructors, as well as providing cost savings. Its system opens users up to a library of useful articles and videos and includes a way of tracking the learning-to-drive experience.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 miDrive profile.

Name: Mubaloo

Industry/sector: Mobile app consultancy

Date founded: 2009

Founder: Mark Mason

Location: London

Disruptive idea

Apps are a great tool for businesses to grow, but useless if you don’t know the right way to go about creating them. Mubaloo is a mobile consultant making this process a little easier and has now created over 200 apps for brands such as BP, DHL and William Hill. Its 2014 launch of MiBeacons means it can now help businesses deliver contextually relevant information to the right place at the right time though the use of bluetooth low energy beacon technology.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 Mubaloo profile.

Name: My Parcel Delivery

Industry/sector: Delivery

Date founded: 2010

Founder: David Grimes

Location: Manchester

Disruptive idea

This disruptive idea traces its roots to when founder David Grimes became frustrated with the two unattractive options of sending parcels: sit in a line and wait at the post office or pay through the nose of expensive couriers. His My Parcel Delivery business now makes sending parcels simple and sends 500,000 parcels a year on behalf of 100,000 customers via 14 different couriers to over 200 countries.

Read the full 2015 Everline Future 50 My Parcel Delivery profile.

Read on to discover the next 25

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