Interviews

The best young companies in the UK revealed

17 min read

30 October 2017

Editorial Director

Here are the top young companies in the UK vying for the top spot at this year's Amazon Growing Business Awards.

The Amazon Growing Business Awards are back. Here’s everything you need to know about 2018’s finalists for one of the most competitive categories: Young Company of the Year. 

On 28 November, the finalists for the 2018 Amazon Growing Business Awards will congregate at The Brewery in London, hoping to win one of 18 accolades. Ahead of the big reveal, here’s what you need to know about the top X young companies that made the shortlist.

2018 Young Company of the Year finalists

Recognising the dynamic next generation of entrepreneurs.

Air Marketing Group

Air Marketing Group is an outsourced B2B telemarketing company in the UK that helps businesses generate sales leads.

The Air Marketing team

The Air Marketing team

Founder: Owen Richards
Growth story: Air was launched in Exeter in 2016. From employing fewer than 15 people in year one, Air has now created over 50 local jobs and brought business to the South West, which otherwise would have been based in London. The company has grown its revenue by 357% in year two alone.

“We push ourselves to provide high-quality marketing assistance to our clients. Through this we hope that our efforts are transforming the way in which people view the telemarketing world, we understand it isn’t a ‘sexy’, ‘dream job’ but we want our staff to work in an enjoyable company which is thriving.” – Air Marketing Group

Bevy

Bevy is a ‘beverage butler’, an on-demand app that instantly delivers drinks and snacks in 30 to 60 minutes at affordable prices.

The Bevy team

Founders: Guy Kemball-Williams, Kevin Kovar, Marco Saio
Growth story: For the first nine months of its operations, Bevy tapped into 24 hour off-license inventories across London, using 32 retailer partners. The company quickly realised that this made them dependent on the stock variety they can offer, as well as limiting its fees. The business quickly pivoted to store all products in a central supply warehouse, opening up over 100 brand partnerships, as well as partnerships with London’s largest restaurant delivery providers including. Bevy has seen 367% revenue growth in its first two years alone and has grown its workforce from one to 25 in three years.

“We have built a service which is unlike any other in the UK. We have built a simple, easy to use, scalable and accessible on mobile and web. (We’re) backed by owned central supply warehousing as well as retailers, whilst managing an instant logistics network so that products reach your door as fast as possible. We seek to implement this in other cities and leverage this hybrid model that no other on-demand company is currently doing in the UK, or as far as we can tell, globally.”

Borrow A Boat

The ‘Airbnb of boats’, Borrow A Boat is an app-based business that democratises yacht and boat hire.

Founder: Matt Ovenden
Growth story: Borrow a Boat saw the chance to impact a £50bn global yacht charter market by bringing the sharing economy to the market, with a web and app platform. Borrow a Boat currently lists over 13,000 boats in 60 countries and is making boating more flexible and accessible. Following their recent crowdfunding round on Crowdcube which saw Borrow a Boat secure 700 investors and raise £470k in equity investment in just over one month.

“We are the first and only British peer-to-peer boat charter marketplace in the UK. We offer more flexible durations of bookings, and short notice bookings via mobile app which enables you to book a boat near to you in any of 60 countries worldwide, providing unprecedented access to boating.”

Flash Pack

Flash Pack is a lifestyle travel company specialising in adventure trips for so travellers in their 30s and 40s.

Founders: Lee Thompson and Radha Vyas
Growth story: Flash Pack is solving a problem for a global niche of solo, mostly single professionals who struggle to find someone to travel with. Since its launch in 2014, Flash Pack has seen 400% YoY growth and are predominantly self-funded, profitable and cash-flow positive.

“We have reimagined the group travel experience by curating unique adventures exclusively for solo travellers in their 30s and 40s – an emerging consumer force overlooked by the industry. 68% of our customers have never experienced group travel before, so we’re not just stealing market share but opening up the market to a new audience.”

Home Made

Home Made is a hybrid ‘challenger’ real estate agency that offers 60%-90% lower fees than high street rivals.

Founder: Stephen Davies
Growth story: The company is growing by 25% month-on-month and has just secured venture capital funding to scale the business further.

“We offer a customer-centric solution to a huge problem – for both tenants and landlords – and benefit from high customer advocacy. We are the only disruptor in this sector to offer a viable profitable model, with compromising high growth rates since our inception. Our management team brings multiple skills from other sectors to help disrupt the letting agencies sector…(and) we were GBA finalists last year – this time we think we can win.”

Mindful Chef

Mindful Chef gives consumers weekly recipe cards and pre-proportioned fresh meat, fish and produce sustainably sourced from independent UK farms.

The Mindful Chef co-founders

Mindful Chef co-founders

Founders:  Myles Hopper, Giles Humphries, and Rob Grieg-Gran
Growth story: With 14-full time employees, Mindful Chef has shipped over one million meals to over 20,000 customers and is forecasting £10m turnover this year. Mindful Chef is proud to recently be certified B Corp, meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

“With its strong values around the suppliers it works with, the ingredients it uses and its impact on the environment – it hopes to create a social movement in the category and encourage its peers to be more mindful in business too.”

Pembroke Tutors

Pembroke is a tuition, schools advisory and education technology company that uses artificial intelligence and other tools to help Key Stage 2 level students.

Founders: Alexander Hatvany and Jake O’Keeffe
Growth story: Pembroke works with a small group of qualified teachers, education and artificial intelligence (AI) experts and full-time professional tutors. The company has grown by 71% in its first two years alone.

“We’re investing company profits in the future of education through our AI-driven learning platform, Atom Learning, which launched in September 2018 in partnership with a leading London prep school. Atom Learning will help to create a more equal education system for Key Stage 2 level students.”

Rayner Rowen Construction Limited

Rayner Rowen Construction Limited is a multi-disciplinary construction company that challenges the biggest issues in the sector.

FoundersJonathan Rayner, Sonia Rayner, Matthew Rowen, and Rebecca Rowen
Growth story: Rayner Rowen Construction Limited (RRCL) was founded with the lofty aim to change the way the construction industry works. Since its launch in 2017, the company has already seen over 1085% revenue growth, and has grown the team from 5 to 22 employees.

“RRCL is proud of the impact our client-focused approach has had in the North West demonstrated by our strong client portfolio, client referrals and reviews, and executed contracts. We know that people make the difference, not companies, and we are committed to the personal development and success of every employee.”


Amazon Growing Business Awards shortlist

Who’s who in British business revealed: An inside look at UK’s longest running business awards programme

Everything you need to know about this year’s Amazon Growing Business awards, from its 20-year legacy to the 125 finalists for 2018.


2017 Young Company of the Year finalists

AM Bid Services

AM Bid Services has been highly successful over the last three years. This is underpinned by increasing turnover, profit, employee and market-share figures, and this will only continue as operating at scale has been proven from the outset.

Driven by a highly experienced bid and business expert in founder Andrew Morrison, the business has challenged convention through its innovative operating model and customer-centric approach.

With a committed and growing team of all seniority levels, the business will continue to grow, and ultimately, be recognised within the next three years as the UK’s number one bidding consultancy.

ClickMechanic

The solution which ClickMechanic is offering is completely disruptive and will have a permanent effect on its marketplace. The innovation, as well as the impact, has already been recognised this year by Innovate UK, which awarded a £200,000 grant to ClickMechanic.

It is a truly unique company in that it supports both sides of the marketplace; drivers can easily find a trusted and qualified mechanic for the best price, and mechanics can find work and inevitably grow their businesses.

Ultimately, ClickMechanic aims to bring greater transparency, trust and convenience to the whole industry worldwide.

Climb Online

In under three years Climb Online has completely transformed the digital marketing sector, delivering a quality and innovative service that has generated impressive results for brands and businesses across the UK and overseas.

When comparing Climb Online to other digital marketing agencies it is clear to see it is so much more: More than “just a business”, workplace or service provider.

Climb Online is a brand, a culture and a movement that is believed in and supported by its team, its clients and brand ambassadors worldwide, successfully taking the digital marketing and business sectors by storm.


Amazon Growing Business Awards shortlistInspiring entrepreneurs and companies feature in Amazon Growing Business Awards shortlist

The 2017 edition of the Amazon Growing Business Awards will see the likes of CV-Library, webexpenses, Flight Club Darts and Revolut vie for accolades, with the awards shortlist featuring an abundance of talent.


Corinium Global Intelligence

Trading since 2013, as far as we can tell, we are the only remote-based conference / events company in our industry, with 48 staff across ten countries.

As a result, culture is everything to us. We are a company made up of outstanding people, who work together across time zones and continents, delivering events globally. It’s partly why our staff turnover is less than 5%.

With outstanding growth over the past four years, we are now developing new markets for the business – Corinium Digital, Corinium Training and Corinium Custom Events. We aim to be a £10m company in three years.

Fleximize

Fleximize has successfully established itself in a competitive market, growing from four founding employees to a team of 41, and more than doubling its lending to UK SMEs every year since 2014.

The company’s tech-focused, relationship-driven approach has proven popular with customers, while challenging the notion that banks are the only port-of-call for small businesses when it comes to raising finance.

With its roots in the heart of Suffolk, Fleximize has also shown that fintech companies can thrive outside of London. The company is well-positioned to become a household name in the alternative finance space, in the UK and beyond.

Home Made

We continue to grow 150-200 per cent every month. Within the past four months alone, we’ve served properties equivalent to four traditional estate-agencies. Our biggest growth barrier is the ability to recruit/train top-performing salespeople.

We make an impact on people’s lives every day. Through our technology and operating model we proudly shift the perception of the property industry by redesigning the customer experience. We’re taking an industry that is not known for innovation and customer service and making it so.

We make a positive impact on both tenants and landlords – we are able to reduce the cost-of-living by cutting agency fees 60-90 per cent.

The Goat Agency

Only 20 months old, The Goat Agency has become the UK’s largest influencer agency and has grown from three to 22 staff. Without funding, Arron Shepherd, Harry Hugo, and Nick Cooke have transformed the way influencers are used for the biggest brands in the world.

Goat has two years of unique data from 300+ campaigns using 4000+ influencers. Its unique CRM system allows it to be the only performance driven influencer agency in the UK, confidently guaranteeing results in advance.

From managing and growing the social for Nico Rosberg and Yaya Toure to working with Apple, Adidas and New Look.

The Amazon Growing Business Awards is sponsored by Santander, Bridges Fund Management and ECI Partners. It is supported by CBI, the Department of International Trade and Real Business. This year, the awards partnered with Beanstalk, a charity that recruits, trains and supports volunteers to provide consistent, one-to-one literacy support to children aged 3 to 13.

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Learn more about the Amazon Growing Business AwardsInterested in attending the Amazon Growing Business Awards?
Get your ticket or book a table here. 
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