By Aisling Finn on Friday 31 January 2020
Alumni of the programme include Monzo, Improbable, Bulb and Bloom and Wild.
Tech Nation, a prominent network for entrepreneurial scaleups, has announced this year’s entries into Upscale 5.0, the fifth year of their flagship growth programme.
This year’s cohort is the fifth group of scaleups to take part in the programme that hopes to create a network of companies at different stages of their growth journey and will include sessions led by tech entrepreneurs from some of the UK’s successful companies.
Fintech scaleups such as Farewill, Tyk, Plum and Amplyfi, will now join previous Upscale success stories like Monzo, Improbable, Bulb and Bloom and Wild on the competitive programme.
Overall UK scaleups, like those included in the programme, outperformed their peers in 2019, raising £10.1bn, more than their peers in France (£3.8bn) and Germany (£5.4bn) combined.
James Hirst, Co-founder of Tyk, a sleek and modern API platform, commented: “We’re an ambitious company and want to continue to build on our successes at scale, and we’re looking forward to sharing our knowledge and journey with our peers.
“This programme also gives us the opportunity to learn and connect with entrepreneurs who have faced similar challenges as we enter the next phase of our growth.”
Several companies on the list have already raised a Series A round with the average funding increasing from £4.2m in 2017 to £7.2m in 2020.
Average revenues among the new cohort have also increased from £1.1m to £1.8m since 2017 and the average number of employees has grown by 48 per cent from 31 to 46.
The Upscale programme is designed to tackle the leadership challenge in UK tech. A recent report by Zenger Folkman found that organisations that invest in developing leaders are 2.4 times more likely to hit their performance targets and almost double their profits.
The programme hopes to create a network of companies at different stages of their growth journey and will include sessions led by tech entrepreneurs from some of the UK’s successful companies.
The judging panel for the selection process consists of tech entrepreneurs(including Anthony Fletcher, CEO of Graze), established VCs as well as entrepreneurs who have gone through the programme themselves, such Aron Gelbard, CEO of Bloom & Wild.
Speaking about the process Gelbard remarked, “Bloom & Wild was in the very first Upscale cohort back in 2016 and our team learned a huge amount and many of us are still in touch with our Upscale peers 4 years later.
“It's a joy to be able to support the programme as a judge. The calibre of companies was outstanding, with a large number of very promising companies from outside London in particular”.
30 per cent of the 2020 cohort hail from outside of London and are based in Manchester, Cardiff, Cambridge, Leeds, Brighton, Belfast and Newcastle, highlighting the UK tech industry’s growing expansion outside of London.
The Upscale programme has helped to foster some of the UK’s most prominent tech scaleups over the past five years and no doubt Upscale 5.0 will be the same.
The full list of companies can be found here.
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