From fertility to fintech: meet the start-ups in TechNation’s Upscale 4.0 accelerator programme

A selection of the fastest-growing UK tech start-ups have been chosen as part of Tech Nation’s next Upscale accelerator programme.

The six-month-long programme is now in its fourth year and helps burgeoning companies navigate the challenges of growing to the next stage. Through a series of workshops, mentoring sessions and networking opportunities, the companies will come together to tackle the challenges of scaling their businesses.

Speaking about the announcement, Sinead Daly, mid-stage programme lead at Tech Nation, said: “I’m delighted to welcome this year’s companies onto the Upscale programme. As we enter our fourth year, Upscale has built an incredible network of over 100 alumni, who have a wealth of experience to share with the cohort.”

Of the companies including in this year’s programme, eight have a female founder, and 10 start-ups come from outside of London. Collectively, the companies have on average 40 employees and revenues of more than £1.5 million a year. Most of the companies taking part have already raised Series A funding and will be looking to graduate to the Series B stage.

Food-sharing platform Olio is one of the companies that will take part in the next programme of Upscale. Tessa Clarke, the start-up’s co-founder and CEO, said: “As Olio transitions from closing our Series A to being Series B-ready, we’ll need to take our performance to a new level – we can’t wait to benefit from being part of Upscale 4.0!”

Ecommerce and marketplace companies, as well as fintech start-ups make up 40 per cent of the cohort. This includes the likes of Cleo, the financial AI chatbot, Fluidly, a start-up focused on cashflow management for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), and Funding Options, which is an online comparison marketplace for SME finance.

Healthtech is also continuing to dominate in the start-up scene as new companies spring up to solve the problems faced by the NHS. London-based Doctify allows patients to search and book the best doctors near them, whilst Fertility Focus is a company focused on predicting ovulation for women trying to get pregnant.

Whilst the UK is often commended for its influential fintech scene, the Upscale cohort shows that edtech (education tech) is starting to grow in the UK too. Koru Kids, an online platform for childcare, is now the UK’s biggest childcare brand and deploys over 100 nannies each week.

Margot James, minister for creative and digital industries, said: “The UK is Europe’s undisputed tech hub and much of our success is down to the ambition of fast-growth companies like these. I congratulate all the companies joining Upscale today and the significant potential and innovation they have shown.”

Here are all the companies joining Upscale 4.0

Airsorted: Proptech start-up that helps people host their homes on Airbnb and other platforms.

Apperio: Focused in the legal tech space, Apperio provides a real-time view of every firm, matter, task and billable hour in an intuitive platform.

Automata: Wants to empower people to automate the physical work they should no longer have to do.

BookingLive: Provides scheduling, reservation and purchasing experiences for customers including government departments and NHS trusts.

Cleo: Uses AI to analyse spending habits in order to help people to achieve their goals and feel good about their money.

Doctify: Allows patients to search, compare and book doctors near them, 24 hours a day.

Fertility Focus: Provides an ovulation warning 24 hours in advance to double the chance of pregnancy.

Fluidly: Helps SMEs with cash flow management, to save them time and money.

Funding Options: The UK’s leading online comparison marketplace for SME finance.

FUTRLI: Another fintech, Brighton-based FUTRLI helps SMEs and their accountants plan for the future.

Healthera: Allows patients to order and track their prescriptions, access clinical services and monitor medication intake.

Hubble: London’s biggest online marketplace for renting flexible office space.

Immersive Labs: Helps organisations to upskill and access current cyber workforces.

Koru Kids: Edtech start-up creating a new childcare system for nannies.

LendingCrowd: Specialises in lending to SMEs by accessing finance from private investors.

MoveGB: The UK’s largest activity marketplace, featuring gyms, classes, and studios, with 300,000 users.

Olio: Free food-sharing app that wants to stop food waste and help people build communities.

Open Cosmos: Provides simple and affordable space missions to help solve the world’s biggest challenges.

OpenRent: The country’s largest letting agent that wants to make renting fairer, safer and cheaper for everyone.

Oxehealth: Oxehealth’s digital care assistant helps carers look after the elderly and vulnerable by paying attention to rooms without staff.

Patch: Online marketplace for plants, helping customers find the right plants for them and delivers them to their door.

Previse: Previse uses AI to predict when companies are unlikely to get paid from an invoice, and pays the rest instantly.

Shepper: A B2B inspection service which helps businesses to send contractors to a physical location to carry out checks and collect information.

Sweatcoin: A digital currency, Sweatcoin’s tracker app converts steps into a virtual currency and users can buy goods and services with their Sweatcoins.

Tessian: Creates machine intelligence to secure enterprises from threats.

The Accountancy Cloud: Automates accounting, finance and cashflow tasks.

The Plum Guide: Building a marketplace of the world’s best holiday homes using data and tech to find homes that deliver the perfect stay.

Voxpopme: A video insight platform with solutions to revolutionise capturing, analysing and sharing video feedback.

Wazoku: Helps companies become everyday innovators with its cloud-based management software.

WeFarm: The world’s biggest farmer-to-farmer trusted knowledge network for one billion small-scale farmers across the world with no access to the internet.

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