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10 Most Promising B2B Startups in the UK for 2018

 Reading time: 5 inspiring minutes

When it comes to innovation, the UK tech sector is still dominating Europe, with startups popping up across the country. According to the influential Disrupt 100 report, that ranks the world’s 100 most disruptive ventures “with the most potential to influence, change, or create new global markets”. Almost a third (32%) of the firms listed are based in the UK. London, the major startup hub, unsurprisingly is being ranked number 1 in the European Digital City index.

2016, was a major year for startups in the UK, and the campaign group Startup Britain has counted over half a million. The UK has a culture of innovation and often sees an angle to an idea that is a little different. This cultural trait is creating some of the most exciting tech companies that are on our ‘must watch’ list for 2018:

1. Darktrace
Twitter: @Darktrace
Founded: 2013
Based: Cambridge, UK
Funding: Series D, $179 million

Field and innovation: Darktrace unique tech is inspired by the human immune system. By utilizing advanced machine learning and AI algorithms, Enterprise Immune System technology iteratively learns and correlates abnormalities across devices and users on the enterprise networks. The cool part? Darktrace does not require previous experience or knowledge of a threat to identify potentially threatening patterns in activity.

This capability allows Dartkrace to detect previously unencountered cyber-attacks, making headway in finding even zero-day vulnerabilities. With the total contract value of $200 million, 3,000 global customers and an impressive 140% growth in the last year, Darktrace are the ones to watch out for on the cybersecurity block.

 2. GraphCore
Twitter: @graphcoreai
Founded: 2016
Based: Bristol, UK
Funding: Series C, $110 million

Field and innovation: To reach its full potential, AI and Machine Learning technologies require more powerful chips that are capable of processing visual data. GraphCore has built the world’s first ever processor designed specifically for AI applications that is powerful enough to run the next generation of AI software. This unique piece of hardware accelerates the processing of complex machine learning models for training and inference and is claimed to be up to 100 times more powerful than current hardware. Pretty cool!

3. Improbable
Founded: 2012
Based: London, UK
Funding: Series B, $554 million

Field and innovation: Improbable are aptly named as their field of innovation is the world of virtual worlds. This UK based tech startup has developed a platform that enables third parties to build vast virtual and simulated worlds of unprecedented scale and complexity.
Another reason the name is so well fitting, is that the startup has landed a stratospheric round of funding, bringing its evaluation to an amazing $1 billion, making it the true unicorn of the UK tech startup scene.

Improbable dream big, and anticipate their platform to be used beyond for game development, but also for the enrichment of human behavior, building a better world by providing the tools to improve traffic networks and even entire economies by utilizing large-scale simulations in the cloud.

4. Ultrahaptics
Twitter: @ultrahaptics
Founded: 2013
Based: Bristol, UK
Funding: Series B, $28,6 million

Field and innovation: Ultrahaptics are the stuff of sci-fi movies. They are developing the technology that uses ultrasound to simulate tactile sensations and enable developers to construct 3D virtual reality objects that users can actually feel.

Possible applications of Ultrahaptics technology are virtually unlimited. The obvious fit is in the world of virtual reality and gaming, giving sensation and feeling to virtual worlds and bringing gaming to life. But other potential applications are equally exciting. For example enabling gesture recognition for in-car controls,touchless controls for household appliances or your connected home. Imagine the world where you can control your environment with the wave of a hand, or with the precision of a fingertip, in mid-air.
Ultrahaptics are generating a lot of interest and have already been approached by car manufacturers like Jaguar who see huge potential in this technology.

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5. Ravelin
Twitter: @ravelinhq
Founded: 2014
Based: London, UK
Funding: Series A, $5.7 million (£4,300,000)

Field and innovation: Ravelin are hitting the sweet spot in fraud analytics by utilizing machine learning. Ravelin is working to provide real-time fraud analysis and help make the fraud analyst’s job easier. As the level of sophistication of money laundering and identity theft rises, machine learning based fraud analytics will become ever more necessary - placing Ravelin in a great position to succeed.

6. Concured
Twitter: @concured
Founded: 2015
Based: London, UK
Funding: Seed, undisclosed

Field and innovation: Content is king and Concured bring Artificial Intelligence to the world of content marketing. Concured utilizes AI to analyze customer behavior towards content in order to recommend content that will perform best in terms of engagement and ROI. It shows show marketers exactly what topics drive engagement from their audience, and what to write about next. Content marketers’ dream indeed!

Concured is able to give deep insights, using deep learning, into how the brand is engaging customers through content and helps you generate data-driven content ideas that will work. These insights can help build more accurate and effective marketing strategies and reach wider and more receptive audiences. AI is likely to become the technology that gives marketers the edge in highly competitive markets.

7. Hadean
Twitter: @hadeaninc
Year of launch: 2014
Based: London, UK
Funding: Seed, $2,6 million

Field and innovation: Haldean is still in stealth mode, but certainly one to watch closely. They are building a peta-scale computing environment that will take big data computing to the next level. Haldean is all about big data across big scales. Their platform will allow next gen developers to really innovate with the help of high performance computing.

8. Wandera
Twitter: @wandera
Founded: 2012
Based: London, UK
Funding: Series C, $53.5 million

Field and innovation: As mobile overtakes desktop traffic, mobile security becomes a priority for global enterprise. Wandera are a startup to watch in the Enterprise Mobile Security space. They have taken the world of mobile security and data management by storm, already having won contracts with more than 500 global enterprises, including the likes of Bloomberg, Deloitte, KPMG and NATO. Wandera offers its customers a unique gateway architecture that protects and enables corporate mobility. The system is built for the enterprise and has made enrollment of mobile devices very simple, optimizing traffic, data, and cost.

9. Onfido
Founded: 2012
Based: London, UK
Funding: Series C, $60.3 million

Field and innovation: Identity verification is becoming increasingly important as online identity takes over the driving seat of many online transactions, from banking, to access government services. Onfido offer identity document checks, augmented using machine learning to optimize the identity verification process. Identity checks are becoming more common as Customer Identity Access Management (CIAM) takes more of a central role in the enterprise. Machine learning based verification checks, are likely to improve match rates, whilst ensuring an optimal user experience.

10. Benevolent AI
Twitter: @benevolent_ai
Founded: 2013
Based: London, UK
Funding: Round C, $100 million

Field and innovation: BenevolentAI unleashes the power of AI loose on already-published academic papers to enhance and accelerate new scientific discoveries. This unicorn startup company, currently valued at £1.4 billion, are focusing on disrupting the Big Pharma industry.

With a new paper released every 30 seconds, most of the information out there is not being used for discovery and development of new drugs. So why not use deep mining and AI algorithms to parse through pharmaceutical trials and research papers to find novel uses of their results? One of the disease areas that BenevolentAI is focusing on currently, is Parkinson's disease.

Do you know of other companies you believe are worthy of being on this list? Tell us!

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