Having attracted an all-time high level of venture capital (VC) funding in 2021, the UK tech industry cements its position as an attractive sector for prospective graduates and mid-career hires alike. The $25.5bn in VC funding raised last year has more than doubled from 2020’s figure, backed by strong growth globally. With the sector not poised to slow down anytime soon, many are wondering how to break into it.
We have put together our list of the UK’s top ten tech SMEs to work for in 2022. These companies are fast-growing and unique in their own ways, making them the ideal employers to have in today’s fast-growing world.
Coming in #2 on LinkedIn Top UK Startups 2021, Revolut became the UK’s most valuable fintech startup last year with a $33bn valuation. Founded in 2015 by Nik Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, the company is building a global financial superapp offering money transfer and exchange at real-time exchange rates. Today, Revolut has a customer base of over 18 million and processes 150 million transactions in a month. Having raised $800m in Series E, the business is looking to IPO in the foreseeable future. Before that, however, Revolut has to sustain its growth and achieve billion-dollar sales. As an employee, one can look forward to a fast-paced work culture that guarantees professional growth and continued learning. The bank is also rolling out a “growth shares” scheme for its employees, which will be very rewarding if and when the shares go public.
With a valuation just shy of $50mn, this start-up pales in comparison to Revolut in size, but not in potential. Leveraging on the growth of the gig economy, Stint lets students find shiftwork of up to three hours in high street businesses such as Ted Baker and Topman and Reiss. The company raised $8.30mn in venture funding from Edwards Family Holdings in early 2021, and is still in very early-stage growth with 421 employees as of end last year. As of the time of writing, Stint has several open positions based in London mostly for its engineering and product departments.
Hopin is a proprietary video teleconferencing platform. Having launched in 2019, the company is already valued at $7.75bn having raised $1.15bn to date. Hopin gives users a seamless experience at hosting large virtual conferences with marketing and security integrations. This is a business that experienced its fastest growth during the pandemic, as demand for online events exploded. Since the start of 2020, Hopin has completed five acquisitions to deepen its competitive moat as well as expand its verticals. A key distinguishing factor of the company is its establishment of a Vibe Team. As a fully remote company since day one, the Vibe Team led by the Head of Remote and Head of Internal Communications and Culture seeks to cultivate a sustainable and thriving online work culture.
Cybersecurity firm Tessian provides email protection for employees and gives visibility to human security risk. In 2020, its Human Layer Security Intelligence platform was launched. It seeks to stop phishing, impersonation, data exfiltration and other undesirable security compromises in the online workplace. With over $100mn raised to date and a post valuation of $370mn, the company is well-positioned to capture growth in this increasingly relevant business area. Tessian is named as one of the top three medium-sized companies in the UK’s Best WorkplacesTM for Women 2021 Edition. Its Employee Resource Group for women – Tes-She-An is but one reason why people love working there.
The future of healthcare is online, and Babylon Health is doing just that. As a digital-first health service provider, the company combines artificial intelligence with virtual clinical operations. In late 2021, the company underwent a reverse merger with the special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Ark Global Acquisition and started trading on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol BBLN. Babylon’s growth is showing no signs of slowing down, with its recent acquisition of Higi extending its platform to millions of people in the U.S. With offices across the U.S., London, Rwanda and Singapore, the company gives employees access to opportunities across different geographies.
If there is any sector that is undergoing major revamp, it would be the financial services. And Lendable is a part of that revolution. As a peer-to-peer lending platform, Lendable allows lenders and borrowers to skip the intermediary and process loans at personalised rates. Since its founding in 2014, the company has already secured close to $300mn in financing and achieved a post valuation of $4.57bn. Working for Lendable means working for one of the fastest growing businesses in the UK and constantly developing new products. With job openings in 16 different departments including Credit Risk and Finance, there is a place for people of diverse backgrounds and work experiences.
In 2022, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are set to transition from NFT 1.0 to NFT 2.0. While NFT 1.0 involved mostly static images, NFT 2.0 is bound to see more creativity and wide-spread use. CoinBurp, the brainchild of Peter Wood and Bipin Bhanderi, is at the forefront of this transition. As a user-friendly trading platform for Crypto and NFTs, the company is in prime position to capture the exponential growth in Crypto market capitalisation and the normalisation of NFTs. With $2mn in funding from a private round, this start-up has serious potential to become the ‘Coinbase for NFTs’. An extremely lean team of 19 employees also means you can be sure your voice counts.
Matillion is a developer of cloud-based data integration systems capable of extracting and processing large datasets. In 2020, the company booked over $28mn in revenue, which is an impressive feat for a business in such a competitive industry. Compared to a lot of its competitors from the U.S. including Chartio and Stitch, Matillion has a much larger employee base of 400 and a very sizeable valuation of $1.49bn. Based on online reviews, a key selling point of the company is its strong emphasis on work-life balance which is very valuable in today’s fast-paced corporate world.
Wazoku boasts an Enterprise Innovation Platform that provides idea management, open innovation and innovation consulting services. Some of its clients include AstraZeneca, HSBC, NASA and Waitrose. Just a month ago, the company secured $2mn of debt financing from SaaS Capital. Employees at Wazoku thrive on a family-like culture and a robust support system, with mental health services, office hackathons and more. It’s no wonder that the business is ranked #29 on UK’s Best Workplaces in Tech 2021 for medium-sized companies.
Founded in 2007, Hedgehog Lab is a global technology consultancy focused on building software for other businesses. The company has expertise in the design and development of augmented reality, Internet of Things and more. As #21 on the UK’s Best Workplaces in Tech 2021 for small-sized companies, the business promotes a lean leadership structure with no hierarchy attached. There is an in-house Learning & Development budget and a Personal Wellbeing budget, with working days set aside to focus on these areas. At Hedgehog Lab, it is evident that people are their greatest asset.
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