Celebrating London’s financial and business community and its most successful individuals and firms
Innovative Company of the Year
This category seeks a winner with an unapologetically disruptive approach to business, taking on dominant players and shaking up sometimes-stale industries. Nominees this year range from bakers to bankers and from fintech to electric cars. Which business will revolutionise the way we live in years to come?
Leyton UK is delighted to share its 10 year anniversary with City Am and is marking this by sponsoring City Am’s award for Innovative company of the year.
Innovation is at the heart of Leyton – as a global innovation funding consultancy we are dedicated to enabling and improving our clients’ business performance. We work with businesses of all sizes to find a better way of delivering value. As a business, Leyton helps to uncover hidden potential and is a strategic partner for our client’s evolution and growth. We pride ourselves on finding openings in processes and ways of working that others can’t see, then exploiting these to create value efficiently. In the UK, our specific expertise is in innovation funding, energy consultancy and capital advisory.
This London fintech firm is confronting in-work poverty by changing how employees receive their wages. Rather than having to wait until the end of the month, workers can draw down a percentage of their income at any point the month for a small, flat fee, giving them financial flexibility. Its social impact business model could undermine the credit card and payday loan sectors. This year, Wagestream raised £15m in a series A funding round led by Balderton and Northzone, and a funding facility of up to £25m from Shawbrook. Currently 120,000 UK employees belonging to a range of companies including David Lloyd Gyms and Camden Town Brewery have access to Wagestream’s services.
Budget lunchtime specialist Greggs has been in defiant mood this year – defying a slowdown on the high street, a trend towards higher-end snacks, and a shift towards non-meat products. Greggs famously embraced the latter with its vegan “sausage” roll and a product launch right at the beginning of 2019 that could go down as one of the most successful in marketing history. Inquisitive, hungry shoppers rushed to check it out and post their reactions on social media, as the greasy pastries flew off heated shelves like you know what. Shares are up nearly 90 per cent since the start of the year after sales self-raised to over £1bn, with Greggs on the verge of opening its 2,000th store. Sweet.
Launched in 2016 by Ben Stanway and Charlie Mortimer, Moneybox is an app designed to help people get their finances in shape and plan for the future. Moneybox currently has around 200,000 users and is the market leader in Isas for 18-34 year olds, with over 100,000 of this age group contributing to their Isa each week through the app. The founders are continually adding features to give customers what they want (they recently launched a socially responsible fund which appeals to its younger users). The company partnered with OakNorth Bank this summer to launch a cash Lifetime Isa with a market-leading savings rate in order to help customers who are saving for their first home.
One of London’s top seed-stage venture capital investors, LocalGlobe has pushed on in 2019, raising two new funds to the tune of $295m. The firm was founded by a father and son team including Lovefilm founder Saul Klein, who insists the UK will remain fertile ground for some of the world’s most exciting startups – irrespective of Brexit. LocalGlobe is a fund with a difference, focusing on sustainable and socially responsible investing. It is well-known for backing the likes of Improbable and Zoopla, and has supported community projects in London’s “Knowledge Quarter” (the tech-heavy area of Kings Cross and Camden which is dominated by Stem professionals, Google and Facebook).
Legendary vacuum-maker Dyson started the year on a high, announcing profits of more than £1bn – results that saw founder Sir James Dyson propelled from 12th to 5th in the Sunday Times Rich List. The Brexit-backing designer provoked some anger by moving the firm’s HQ to Singapore, where he also rewarded himself with a £43m penthouse, yet has ploughed millions into electric vehicle technology in the UK. The firm revealed patents for its electric car designs this year as it looks to continue its range of products having succeeded in rolling out hand-driers, hair-driers, lights, cleaning robots, and an air-purifying fan that includes the Queen among its fanbase. Will Dyson’s car shake up the established old giants of the automotive sector? Watch this space.
- 2018: Starship
- 2017: Farmdrop
- 2016: DeepMind
- 2015: MasterCard
- 2014: Uber
- 2013: Mind Candy and WanDisco
- 2012: Market Invoice
This category began as “Innovation of the Year” in 2012, before taking its current name from 2013 onwards.