7 UK Startups that Achieved Unicorn Status in 2021

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UK Latest Tech Unicorns 2021

Gaining unicorn status... the dream of every startup founder and 5 year-old child alike.

In the tech sense, a unicorn is any private company valued in excess of $1bn.

While we could write an enticing article on the questionable terminology used to describe unicorns (particularly as they become less rare) today we’ll focus on seven UK startups (or more appropriately businesses) that achieved the coveted status in 2021.

Lendable

VP / Principal Structuring and Origination - Lendable | Otta

Description:

Lendable is a Fintech solution that provides “fast loans [at] fair rates.” The company helps consumers get instant approval and access to loans, and users can get an immediate quote online without impacting their credit score.

Their platform harnesses technology so people can get financial assistance without having to sit in a musty bank to fill out forms and then wait on a lender to make a decision. Lendable makes loans easy, and its valuation would agree.

Year founded:

2014 

Money Raised:

$1bn+

Notable Investors:

Omidyar Network and Passion Capital

 

Starling Bank

 

Starling Bank – Logos Download

Description:

Starling Bank is a Fintech company (Neobank) working to redefine banking altogether. Their digital app enables users to open a personal or business account on their smartphone.

With personal accounts, users can get payment alerts, receive categorised spending insights, create savings goals, and split bills within the app. Business owners can open company accounts with no monthly fees and manage their finances through the app.

Year founded:

2014 

Money Raised:

$900m+

Notable Investors:

Fidelity and Goldman Sachs.

Marshmallow

Marshmallow - Current Openings

 

Marshmallow is an insuretech business that provides “car insurance with a conscience.” Their system utilises technology to offer cover to all customers, even those that were turned away by other insurance companies. They promise speedy results through their app, and they have an eco-conscious carbon offsetting programme.

If a user needs to make a change or alteration to their policy, Marshmallow offers this via their app without paying any admin fees. The app also provides live chat, a 24/7 claims hotline, and a solution to keep all insurance documents in one place.

Year founded:

2016

Money Raised:

$115m+

Notable Investors:

Passion Capital and Investec.

Touchlight

Home Page - Touchlight

Touchlight is a health-tech company that creates synthetic DNA with enzymes. Their trademarked “doggy bone” or dbDNA enables them to produce DNA at the speed, scale, and purity necessary to support the rapid growth of genetic medicines.

Their dbDNA offers solutions for multiple sectors within the medical industry, including mRNA, Lentivirus, AAV, Genome editing, DNA vaccines, and non-viral gene therapy. Touchlight offers support for pre-clinical services, GMP supply, development services, and regulations.

Year founded:

2007

Money Raised:

$115m+

Notable Investors:

Downing Ventures

Blockchain.com

Crypto Gathering 2021 | Real Vision

Blockchain.com (formerly Blockchain.info) is a cryptocurrency financial services company. The company began as the first Bitcoin blockchain explorer in 2011 and later created a cryptocurrency wallet that accounted for 28% of bitcoin transactions between 2012 and 2020. It also operates a cryptocurrency exchange and provides institutional markets lending business and data, charts, and analytics.

In 2021, Blockchain.com is a platform that offers ways to buy, hold, and use cryptocurrency.

Year founded:

2011

Money Raised:

$490m+

Notable Investors:

Lightspeed Venture Partners, DST Global and Lakestar.

Bought By Many 

Bought By Many - Most Trusted Pet Insurance In Britain

Bought by Many is an insurtech company with a twist: they provide pet insurance! They developed their pet insurance policies by surveying actual pet owners to discover their most desired needs.

Their complete policy comes with £15,000 of lifetime vet fee coverage, no penalty for claiming, online claim submissions, FirstVet upgrade capabilities, customer service, and a price guarantee. In the last half of 2020, they paid 97% of the claims they received to help owners take care of their furry friends. 

Year founded:

2012

Money Raised:

$480m+

Notable Investors:

EQT Ventures, Octopus Ventures and FTV Capital.

Tractable

Press kit | Tractable

Tractable lives on the other end of the insuretech spectrum, and the company uses AI for accident and disaster recovery for cars and homes. Their platform accelerated damage assessments while increasing accuracy and consistency. Coping with disaster is hard enough on people and businesses, so Tractable works to relieve some of the pressure.

Their powerful AI boosts the efficiency of existing processes rather than reinventing the wheel to provide more accurate estimates and a better customer experience. Additionally, the solution saves time for every person on the insurance chain.

Tractable’s AI is used for estimating and triage, review, inspection, and quoting property damage. They’ve teamed up with multiple insurance powerhouses, including Geico and Ageas.

Year founded:

2012

Money Raised:

$120m+

Notable Investors:

Insight Partners, Isomer Capital and Entrepreneur First.

 

Altogether, the UK has already given thirteen companies the rank of “unicorn” in 2021. The primary unicorn industries so far have been Fintech (6) and Insurtech (4). This year’s unicorns not mentioned on this list include PPRO Group, Zego, SaltPay, Zeps, and OnlyFans.

We’re excited to see if any other unicorns appear in the last few months of 2021, and will expect to see even more over the course of 2022.

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