As 2024 starts up we have already identified the future trailblazers, the best tech startups that will set the world ablaze in the upcoming year. We look for the visionaries on the cusp of transforming the tech landscape. Whether they’ve harnessed groundbreaking technology or uncovered innovative avenues for value creation, these pioneers are the architects of tomorrow’s success stories.
We reviewed dozens of interesting, promising UK tech companies across many different industries. We’ve covered companies pursuing the latest technology trends (e.g. AI and sustainability) and those forging a new path in traditional markets (e.g. publishing, beauty care products). It was hard work but we had a lot of fun in the process.
Here are SAGE’s “Top 15 UK Startups to Watch” in 2024. It is a varied list representing, in no particular order, a broad range of innovations, from cyber-security to revenue security, from semiconductors to software.
The one common theme is that these are all promising UK tech companies who are definitely on to something and we’ll be watching them closely come January 1st.
1. Beyond Work
Founder/s: Christian Lanng
Founding year: 2023
Total Funding: $2.5M
The vision of Beyond Work is encapsulated in the question: What if we could redesign computing so that language is also the most powerful way to communicate with computers?
Beyond Work believes that there are fundamental problems with most if not all business software applications. In their view, people serve the software and not vice versa. Interactions based on data entry and clicks make the system smarter in the hope that eventually it will be useful to someone down the line. They have developed a platform that aims to ‘humanize’ software interaction through the utilization of Large Language Models (LLMs).
The answer to this problem, the company believes, is making software interaction more human by tapping the power of language — our most powerful tool for understanding and communicating. This is where LLMs will come in.
Founder/s: Christopher Doman, James Campbell
Founded year: 2020
Total funding: $31.5M
When everyone is putting out the fire, Cado wants to help you catch the arson.
The industry is awash with companies that focus on cloud threat prevention and detection, Cado Security has decided to focus on the next step; incident response. As more data moves to the cloud and more threats target cloud environments, security teams must have the ability to respond efficiently.
We identified Cado as one of the UK startups to watch because this is the first platform to enable security teams to efficiently perform forensics and incident response in the cloud. By building a cloud forensics and incident response platform, the solution automates forensic-level data capture and processing across cloud, container, and serverless environments. Limitations on time and tools are preventing good security teams from becoming great. Cado helps achieve in minutes what used to take analysts days, so they can get to the root of the problem faster.
Cado Security empowers security teams with a robust platform that helps them get to the bottom of what happened and perform cross-cloud investigations, container investigations, triage and full disk acquisition, evidence preservation, incident containment and analysis of incident response preparedness.
Founder/s: James Hogbin
Founded Year: 2016
Total Funding: N/A
Fingerprint has recognized that the same tools companies must use for legal compliance can become solutions that they want to use for commercial success.
The Fingerprint Platform revolutionizes communications surveillance and monitoring for regulated firms and compliance service providers. By bringing ALL communications data into one platform, risk ranking all activity for immediate review, and including all the tools needed to conduct supervision well, Fingerprint supports the need to supervise communications cost-effectively and at scale.
The company works closely with compliance professionals from across the Financial industry to create a communications supervision platform that is fit for purpose for any business, regardless of size or complexity. The full potential of Fingerprint extends far past compliance requirements – with many using it as a business intelligence tool, from conduct monitoring to sales practice insight… the possibilities are endless!
Above all the Fingerprint platform offers customers peace of mind – that they have total oversight over risk within their communications, they are meeting regulatory requirements, and their compliance team is armed with the right tools to do their jobs well.
Founder/s: Michael Rubanovich,
Founding year: 2010
Total Funding: $7M
Fornova is on a mission to provide an entire industry with the data and analytical tools to help every stakeholder in the ecosystem make better decisions.
Fornova offers a comprehensive business intelligence platform for the travel and hospitality industry that is capable of addressing the challenges and opportunities of every function in the organization of every player in the ecosystem.
Fornova’s vast market presence, partnering with large hotel chains and tracking the activity of over 100,000 websites and points of sale across the globe, pools together such a broad data set that they can identify and filter out misleading or fraudulent data. That data powers a suite of products, each focused on a different aspect of the business: Competitive Intelligence, Distribution Intelligence, E-Commerce Optimization and Revenue Intelligence.
Using these tools companies can understand how their rates compare, what the occupancy will look like, where their best-performing marketing avenues and which audience segments they’re appearing in front of. The entire organization can make better decisions faster, navigate through changing market environments, and stay ahead of the competition.
5. Gravel AI
Founder/s: Karen Ho and To Hong Chan
Founding year: 2022
Total Funding: N/A
Gravel understands that for suppliers of ingredients to be successful, they need independent visibility and insights into the behavior of the markets they are targeting.
Ingredient suppliers are often insulated from the markets in which their customers operate, obstructing their ability to proactively anticipate threats and opportunities. In markets where ingredients are often highlighted and used to create marketing value, suppliers have a unique opportunity to gain insights into the behavior of those markets and capture valuable business intelligence. Gravel AI generates market data insights on the supply of ingredients in the personal care industry, helping suppliers to thrive in this competitive landscape by staying current with all factors that matter – their current and potential customers, other suppliers, and the end consumers. This unique, highly focused approach put them on our list of UK startups to watch.
Gravel AI enables manufacturers to understand how the market for personal care and beauty makes use of specific ingredients, making it easier for companies to anticipate market trends, identify potential opportunities using ingredient commercial success indicators, and prioritize their existing accounts based on AI-empowered ingredient consumption estimates.
Founder/s: Will Dean, David Spindler
Founding Year: 2018
Total Funding: $42.5M
Immersive Gamebox gives an all-too-literal take on the terms immersive entertainment, augmented reality, and…game box.
Immersive Gamebox is about making immersive experiences more captivating and making augmented reality more realistic. This technology platform is redefining in-person gaming by producing self-contained “gameboxes”, hosted anywhere from entertainment centers to public spaces to offices, where customers can enter the game with their friends.
The founders are capitalizing on consumer demand for highly interactive, physical entertainment experiences that can be shared with friends. Augmented reality smart rooms, with motion tracking, touch screens, and more, provide an authentic, memorable experience. When they say that they’re on a mission to take immersive entertainment to a whole new level, they’re not kidding.
This startup may seem like “a gaming company’, but there is such a well-thought-out business strategy behind it that the technology is almost an afterthought. The modular nature of the gameboxes allows them to be installed wherever there might be consumer traffic and the broad appeal makes them “people magnets”, which is at the core of the win-win-oriented business case. By encouraging gamers to play in groups, in-person the company fulfills its mission of bringing people together through shared play.
There is also, however, a commercial imperative: helping venues to capture a generous slice of the social experiences revenue pie, with themed birthday parties, corporate events, and holiday celebrations. Gaming culture is a growth industry and Immersive Gamebox is in a good position to ride that wave.
Founder/s: Anthony Kenyon
Founded year: 2017
Total funding: $12.3M
Intrinsic wants to solve the 50-year embedded memory problem.
Spun out of The University College of London, Intrinsic aims to create a new generation of small devices with embedded intelligence. The technology will also make it easier to store and process data locally, which can enhance privacy.
Intrinsic is working to transform semiconductor memories, making them both more efficient and more powerful. They aim to deliver a non-volatile memory that can not only be easily integrated on the same chip that is doing the computation, but a memory that is faster, cheaper and lower energy than the Flash memory that is used today.
By boosting the level of computing power that can be integrated into microcontrollers and edge processors, Intrinsic reduces the need for constant communication with the Cloud, thereby decreasing the danger of data being intercepted.
Founder/s: Arsim Shillova and Arion Krasniqi
Founding year: 2023
Total Funding: $2.5M
Libraro is showing that taking a tired, old industry and mixing in the latest technology is a recipe for disruption.
Libraro is using web3 technologies to reshape the publishing industry by bringing together authors, readers, and publishers in a collaborative communal ecosystem to unleash, and simultaneously reward, creativity.
Libraro, acting as a digital literary agent, develops a blockchain-based platform that seeks to disrupt the largely unchanged book publishing industry by connecting undiscovered authors with publishers and a community of readers. Authors get the support and guidance they require, readers get direct access to beloved genres as well as undiscovered gems, and publishers can connect with new writers and diversify their catalogs.
The transparency and democracy of the blockchain give a bigger voice to the readers and more control to creators so authors can find and engage with their audience. This major disruption to the book publishing industry changes the role of the publisher from a gatekeeper to the market that tries to pick winners and losers to a facilitator of the market whose function is to nurture those winners that the market has already identified.
Founder/s: Paul Newman and Ingmar Posner
Founding year: 2014
Total Funding: N/A
Oxa has the solutions to enable any vehicle to become an autonomous vehicle for any purpose. That’s right, you heard it.
Oxa is accelerating the transition to self-driving technology. The vision is simple and powerful— to build software that enables any vehicle to be self-driving, anywhere, at any time. This includes solutions for passenger transportation, logistics, delivery, mining, and any business with transportation in its value chain to get the most from its fleets.
In perfect alignment with the recently announced UK Automated Vehicles Bill, Oxa enables, operates, and scales any application of autonomy using a single universal platform. The operating system for autonomy combines software that self-drives any vehicle, a suite of tools that accelerate deployment, and mission-control software for fleets of autonomous vehicles. There is a reason we consider them one of the best tech startups to keep an eye on.
The Oxa Driver combines sensor data from cameras, lidar and radar, enabling it to gain a more comprehensive view of the world around it than vehicles that rely on cameras alone. This fused sensor technology is the first of its kind deployed in a passenger shuttle in the U.S. The software uses AI to accurately sense and predict changes to the vehicle’s environment while learning from previous journeys, which is key to improving the capability of the technology over time.
10. Peak AI
Founder/s: Richard Potter, David Leitch and Atul Sharma
Founding year: 2015
Total Funding: $119M
Peak is excited about the possibilities and opportunities that AI can bring to the decision-making of retailers. “Decision Intelligence is the new superpower.”
Peak understands that now is the time to put AI applications at the heart of commercial decision-making to amplify competitive advantage. Businesses have access to more data than ever before, yet unfortunately that often leads to information overload.
Decision Intelligence makes data meaningful and actionable for everyone and applies the predictive power of machine learning and AI to everyday work, guiding decision-making across every team.
Peak, one of the best tech startups in the UK, offers off-the-shelf AI applications that are fine-tuned and configured to a company’s processes and seamlessly integrated into their systems. The result powers all the small decisions that must be made quickly and often, such as promotions and markdowns, optimal stock levels and order volumes, audience segmentation and recommendations.
The company plans to make available in Jan. 2024 a new generative AI model, Co: Driver, that will provide business teams with an interactive layer between them and their data, speeding up manual interpretation of data outputs, and highlighting critical areas of focus.
Founder/s: Richard Price, Scott White
Founding year: 2010
Total Funding: $203.4M
The flexibility to put a chipset into anything…
FlexICs – flexible integrated circuits – make it quick and easy to embed intelligence almost anywhere. Ultra-thin and highly cost-effective, they enable novel solutions that are simply not possible with conventional silicon semiconductors. And when the company’s vision is that chipsets should go into everything, including smart packaging of consumer goods, the ability to manufacture chipsets with a significantly lower carbon footprint is crucial.
It is this compelling vision that helped Pragmatic Semiconductor recently raise $230M, the largest European semiconductor funding round, to expand its manufacturing capacity in the UK.
Perfect for bringing intelligence to low-cost items as part of the Internet of Things (IoT) – or anywhere ‘tiny technology’ is needed – FlexICs excel in applications such as smart packaging, recycling and reuse, traceability and product authentication.
Founder/s: Miroslav Gasparek and Marian Kupculak
Founding year: 2021
Total Funding: $4.2M
Sensible Biotechnologies is making sure that there are enough raw materials to develop and manufacture the next life-saving vaccines.
Sensible Biotechnologies is hastening the future of vaccinology by using living cells to manufacture high-quality mRNA and unlocking the full potential of mRNA to power the development of the next generation of therapeutics and vaccines.
The COVID-19 crisis highlighted the real need to be ready for the rapid development of new vaccines and the life-saving potential of mRNA research. However, legacy manufacturing methods are constraining the future potential of mRNA therapeutics and vaccines.
Sensible Bio is working to resolve a major bottleneck that constrains the research and development of mRNA therapeutics and vaccines by turning living cells into factories that produce abundant, highly stable, and non-immunogenic mRNA in a scalable and cost-effective way. Combining principles of cell engineering, computational biology and precision fermentation, Sensible Biotechnologies is creating a cell-based platform for the manufacturing and design of mRNA vaccines and therapeutics. This is what makes them one of the top UK startups to watch in 2024.
Cheaper mRNA in high quantities improves access to mRNA technology and strengthens biosecurity and supply chain resilience. Furthermore, by leveraging processes in engineered living cells, the resulting mRNA can also open a path toward novel mRNA-based modalities and increase the efficacy of mRNA therapies.
Founder/s: Michelle You and Aaron Randall
Founding year: 2021
Total Funding: $13M
Supercritical recognizes that companies who truly wish to reach net zero emissions need help accessing high-quality carbon removal projects that will achieve these offsets.
Climate-conscious businesses have become suspicious of conventional emissions avoidance offsets, which have been exposed to have very little climate impact and at worst are outright fraud. Supercritical, following established standards, has realized that carbon removal offsets offer the only legitimate route to net zero. For that reason, they have established a rigorously vetted marketplace to enable buyers of carbon removal to build portfolios from the world’s best carbon removal projects. Customers can put their trust in a platform that applies a thorough 8-point scientific vetting process and market expertise to identify projects with future availability at scale. The portfolio of approved projects includes biochar, enhanced weathering, direct air capture, woody biomass sinking and others. Fewer than 6% of the projects reviewed make the cut.
Supercritical customers are leading the way to a net zero future with the efficient, easy, and expert climate plans that the platform makes available to them.
Founder/s: Jack Hodkinson, Rudolf Lai
Founding year: 2020
Total Funding: N/A
Tactic ensures that every whiteboard in your organization consistently displays the most relevant AI-driven target list.
Tactic made its way to the top list of UK startups by helping companies make data their competitive advantage by generating new customer insights that are derived from key data points extracted from unstructured customer data. Tactic uses LLMs and AI to help companies prioritize the right target markets, find the most promising target accounts, highlight the most likely stakeholders and identify the correct pain point to zoom in on. By harnessing automation, revenue teams can focus their efforts by helping them to remove manual research and data entry.
Tactic unifies many raw data sources — company databases, the internet, job postings, annual reports, and more — anywhere your customers write about themselves. It saves your team valuable time and puts you on a path to true revenue efficiency.
Founder/s: Jonathan Bush, Ada Glover, Philip Wickline
Founding year: 2020
Total Funding: $40M
Zus Health is on a mission to help the health industry make sense and collaborate usefully around the enormous amounts of data that are digitally available
The human body is complex and its healthy operation relies on many different subsystems functioning in sync; bad things happen when they don’t. The same can be said of the healthcare industry. The Zus Grid helps facilitate healthcare by centralizing and connecting input from previously siloed sources. This helps caregivers in real-time by elevating and highlighting patient insights, proactively presenting them with relevant information about incoming patients to drive meaningful change in the outcomes.
Healthcare professionals have a rising number of patients and exponential growth in the amount of data that is available digitally. The Zus Aggregated Profile is purposely designed for collaboration, converting the ongoing stream of data into readily accessible intelligent insights at the speed of information. The currency of healthcare systems is efficiency and outcomes and Zus Health is helping improve both.
At SAGE Marketing, we understand that the heartbeat of innovation lies in the realm of tech startups, and our commitment to nurturing this dynamism is unwavering. As we unveil the 15 most promising UK tech startups in 2024, it resonates deeply with our ethos at SAGE, where we have consistently played a pivotal role in fueling the growth of such groundbreaking ventures. Our experience extends beyond the conventional; it’s a narrative woven with success stories of startups that dared to dream big.
Having partnered with some of the brightest minds in the industry, we’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative power of strategic marketing. From leveraging cutting-edge digital campaigns to crafting compelling narratives, our expertise aligns seamlessly with the aspirations of these startups. As we conclude our exploration of the future trailblazers, we invite emerging tech ventures to join hands with SAGE Marketing—an ally dedicated to propelling your vision to new heights.