Wednesday 25 January 2017 12:04 pm

Top dogs: 37 of the hottest startups to watch right now

Nearly 40 UK tech startups have been branded "ones to watch" and will be mentored by top entrepreneurs, founders and investors to get them scaling up to become tech giants.

A startup which lets wannabe pet owners borrow other people's dogs, BorrowMyDoggy, and an innovative mapping company which just landed backing from Daimler, What3Words, are among those chosen for Tech City UK's annual Upscale programme.

Read more: Meet 10 startups that just won cash for innovative Open Banking ideas

VoxSmart, which works with Blackberry to ensure financial clients can keep track of WhatsApp messages to comply with regulation, and Neos, an Insurance app backed by Aviva, are also among the 37 innovative firms which will embark on the six month scheme.

Some 30 mentors will include the entrepreneur turned investor Brent Hoberman, Balderton Capital's Suranga Chandratillake, Atomico's Siraj Khaliq, and Kindred Capital's Tracy Doree from the venture capital world.

Mentors from the startup side include One Fine Stay co-founder Greg Marsh, Blippar co-founder Jess Butcher, Graze boss Anthony Fletcher and Pact operating chief Divinia Knowles.

“Upscale is an important programme because it is a crucial showcase for some of the UK’s most promising startups," said Tech City UK chief Gerard Grech.

"This country is fortunate to have an amazing number of companies embarking on this journey but we still need to make sure that we continue supporting those ambitious entrepreneurs who make the bold decision to start or grow a business here in the UK.

Read more: Meet the fifty fastest growing tech firms in the UK

"Now more than ever we have to keep backing tech entrepreneurs because it is this pipeline of emerging businesses that is essential to keeping the UK at the forefront of a global industry that creates high-value, high-paying jobs right across the country.”

The cohort of startups have raised on average $5.9m (£4.1m) between them, employ 33 people, have revenues of £1.7m and is 4.5 years old.

Here they are…


A Biometric Identity as-a-Service platform for global financial institutions.


Creating equitable outcomes for all participants of the credit ecosystem.

ASI Data Science

Empowers clients to use AI to solve business problems.


Platform bringing target consumers into business decision-making.


A kids’ digital TV and game app.


Makes individual’s heartbeat the connection between their them and their devices.


Software for companies that want the best talent without applications.


Matches dog owners with borrowers for walks, sitting and holiday care.

Bought By Many

Creates better insurance for everyone.


Empowering schools to provide smart, modern university and careers guidance.


Quality men’s toiletries via an online subscription model.


Digital currency banking made easy.

Decibel Insight

Reveals how users behave online, making it easy to improve experience.


Platform providing bespoke live-in carers tailored to the customer.


AI startup that aims to improve the relationship between human and technology.


Connects consumer apps with physical venues.

Garrison Technology

Secure web access with scalability, performance and affordability.


Empowers drivers to find, reserve and pay for a space in seconds.

Makers Academy

Helps beginners learn to code and get their first job in tech.


Monese makes it easy to bank like a local in 20 countries.


Connecting secondary school learners with university students.


VR games and experiences.


Helps consumers protect and insure their homes all through an app.


Measures security automatically.


A data analytics-as-a-service that allows businesses to grow using data and AI.


Online wedding gift list company.


The world’s first principled AI platform for generalised decision-making.


AI-powered automated decision-making platform.

Reach Robotics

Robotics, Gaming and Augmented Reality.


Machine failure forecasting without the need for expert manual analysis.


Streamlines your retail operation so you focus on rapidly growing your business.


Building technology to deliver a new model and standard of care.


Leading publisher of Digital Trading Cards

Vita Mojo

Restaurant chain and software company.


Provides secure software solutions for highly regulated industries.


Making cutting-edge technology to help chefs reduce food waste.


Flexible insurance policies so workers can choose how, when and where they work.