Described by Forbes as ‘the best technology conference on the planet,’ the annual Web Summit in Lisbon gathers fast-growing startups, tech company founders, heads of state and policymakers to discuss trending issues in the technology sector. It also provides a platform for professionals from all around the world to network and exchange ideas. This year’s Web Summit took place from November 4-7, and saw high-profile speakers including Margrethe Vestager (EU Commissioner for Competition), Edward Snowden (President at Freedom of the Press Foundation) and Tony Blair (ex prime minister of the United Kingdom) share their expertise. Amongst the 70,000 visitors and 2,150 startups in attendance we’ve profiled five UK companies, which have met one of our tracking triggers.
Flux was founded in November 2015 and has developed an app that allows users to go paperless and digitally store their receipts, all whilst collecting rewards on their spending. Flux is integrated within existing banking apps, where digital receipts and rewards can be displayed next to individual transactions. Currently, Flux is embedded into the Barclays Launchpad, Starling Bank and Monzo Bank apps and provides digital receipts when users from these banks purchase from a number of selected retailers such as KFC, Just Eat and Schuh. Flux also provides loyalty programmes for spending at certain retailers, such as KFC and Pure, with intentions to expand this program as it continues to grow. In the four years since it was registered, Flux has raised a large amount of capital – securing £7.07m in funds over three rounds. Flux showed further promise in its attendance of the 2017 Barclays Accelerator (powered by Techstars) and featured in the 2018 Startups 100 High-Growth List. With these recognitions of growth and collaboration with major banks, Flux is well-placed to expand its partnerships with banks and retailers in the coming years.
Real Links provides a platform which facilitates employee referrals for open job positions. Real Links operates in three stages; firstly, employees sync their connections with the platform, then these connections are matched to available jobs and finally, referrals can be made by existing employees where suitable. The main benefits Real Links aim to provide is to conduct a faster hiring process, increase employee retention and decrease recruitment costs. Real Links also intend to incorporate greater employee involvement in an organisation’s referral scheme. This is achieved through gamification of the process, with prizes offered to employees upon successful referral hires, which incentivises employees’ active participation. Since it was registered in January 2017, Real Links has raised £1.42m over two rounds. It has also attended the 2018 Entrepreneur Accelerator and is valued at £5.25m.
Nettoken develops digital identity software which enables its users to securely manage all their online accounts and passwords from one dashboard. The Nettoken dashboard is able to digitally visualise all the accounts a user has signed up to and securely store these passwords, making them available from any device. Nettoken also allows users to share access to their accounts with another person, without disclosing any confidential information. Nettoken has shown very promising signs of growth, having attended three accelerators since its inception in June 2015, and receiving a grant of £25k from its most recent accelerator attendance in November 2018. It is also an academic spinout, originating from the Royal College of Art, and has raised £125k over two fundraising rounds.
The Link App
The Link App developed an app designed to enable law firms to communicate with their clients. The Link App was created by Lauren Riley, a solicitor at the time, who aimed to rectify the outdated communication and working practices within law firms, whilst also providing a superior client experience. The Link App provides a number of functions such as instant message communications with clients, a portal which allows confidential documents to be securely shared and a timeline which allows clients to easily track the progress of their case, thus reducing the need for frequent updates from their lawyers. The platform uses smart technology and can be easily accessed by mobile and desktop from anywhere in the world. The company was registered in August 2014 and has since raised £717k over four fundraising rounds, whilst also receiving a grant of £5k from Innovation Vouchers. Its innovative platform was also featured in the 2018 Innovation 100 Greater Manchester high-growth list.
Eastnine was registered in May 2018 and is developing a digital fitness service designed to deliver on-demand fitness training and audio running sessions. The Eastnine app provides its users with audio professional sports coaching as they exercise whilst also incorporating a number of social features to encourage users to exercise more. For instance, the app provides a real-time leaderboard, enabling users who have completed a specific coaching session to race against one another and share their results. This is represented within the app as an action replay of a race between users and was conceived as an idea to reduce the isolation people feel when they run alone. Even though the app is currently still in beta, Eastnine has raised significant capital, securing £4.02m in funds across two fundraising rounds.