Tech City UK Blog

Today we’re announcing 33 companies joining Upscale in 2017. The Upscale programme from Tech City UK will power some of the fastest growing UK tech companies on their scaling journey.

Upscale is Tech City UK’s six month programme to help the most promising early stage startups to begin their scaling journey, under the mentorship of some of the UK’s most successful tech entrepreneurs including: Riccardo Zacconi ( Crush founder); Martha Lane Fox and Brent Hoberman ( founders); Lesley Eccles, (FanDuel founder); and David Buttress (Just Eat founder).



Broad sector representation:

The Upscale companies represent a wide spread of sectors and reflects the UK’s strength in certain areas, for example in FinTech and eCommerce. The increasing importance of sectors like data analytics and marketplaces is also evident.

  1. App & Software Development: Curve, Goodlord
  2. FinTech: Trussle, DueCourse, Monzo, Pockit, Moneyfarm
  3. Data & Analytics: Streetbees, Signal Media, LivingLens, Cambridge Intelligence
  4. Digital Advertising & Marketing: StoryStream
  5. Digital Entertainment: Mixcloud, Boiler Room
  6. eCommerce & Marketplace: Wolf & Badger, Paddle, Urban Massage, Trouva
  7. EdTech: Firefly Learning, Mastered, pi-top
  8. Enterprise Software & Cloud Computing: Cronofy, GeoSpock, Grabyo, everyLIFE Technologies
  9. Internet of Things & Connected Devices: Chargifi, Elvie, Bulb
  10. HealthTech & biology: Echo, Live Better With
  11. SaaS: Poq, CharlieHR
  12. Hardware & Devices: Blaze

Upscale 2017 in numbers:

  • Average number of employees is 31
  • Average funding raised: $4.1 million
  • Average revenues per year: just over $1 million
  • Average company age: 4 years old
  • Business to Business companies: 42%
  • Companies addressing both consumer/ business markets: 39%
  • Consumer facing companies: 18%

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Regional representation

Almost a third of the companies selected come from outside London, showing that the UK’s tech sector is creating jobs and opportunity nationwide. The full contribution of the UK’s digital and tech sector to the UK economy will be revealed by Tech City UK in the coming weeks when it publishes its Tech Nation 2017 report, publishing the statistics and stories behind the rapidly expanding digital economy. Companies from outside London include Cambridge Intelligence (Cambridge), Cronofy (Nottingham), LivingLens (Liverpool) and DueCourse (Manchester).


Jos Smart, Upscale Programme Lead, said: “One of the objectives of Tech City UK is to accelerate the growth of the country’s digital tech sector. The companies joining Upscale today have already overcome significant hurdles and have brilliant futures ahead. It’s great to see so many sectors represented in the cohort, demonstrating the great diversity this country has when it comes to digital technology. We’re excited to work closely with the Founders and C-Suite of each company over the next six months as they scale their respective businesses to the next level.”


“It’s particularly great to see four fantastic female founders – Tania Boler, Tamara Rajah, Tugce Bulut and Emily Brooke – amongst the new intake but the industry needs to work harder to make sure that women are getting to senior roles in the sector. There are many successful women in tech and we must promote these role models and inspire more girls to consider tech as a job where they can build an amazing, global career that can change people’s lives.”


Eileen Burbidge, General Partner of Passion Capital and Chair of Tech City UK, said: “We welcome the next cohort to our Upscale programme. They can be confident that some of the most experienced, brightest minds in the tech ecosystem will be helping them to build their business over the coming year. We would like to thank all our partners and supporters who have helped to put together the programme and make it what it is by devoting time and effort to coaching and mentoring these young businesses.”


Tania Boler, CEO and Founder of Elvie, which develops wearable technology for women, said: “I’m extremely excited about taking part in Upscale. Our company is poised on the brink of making huge breakthroughs and I’m looking forward to learning more from the Scale Coaches and from sharing experiences with my fellow companies. We really want to make a mark with Elvie in 2017 and I’m certain Upscale will help us do that.”


Carl Wong, CEO of Liverpool-based LivingLens, which provides brands and agencies with a way of searching and using hours of video content, said: “Joining Upscale is a huge opportunity for our company and I’m excited about exchanging ideas and inspiration with people who are at the same stage of growth as us.”

The programme:

As part of the programme, the 33 Upscale companies will work with experienced and recognised Scale Coaches. This year, some of the graduates of Tech City UK’s first Upscale programme will return to mentor the new intake, demonstrating one of the strengths of the UK’s tech ecosystem where successful companies work hard to help the next generation.

Companies will take part in as many as 30 sessions and socials, that are designed around their specific needs. The challenges discussed will include maintaining team morale, managing the board, raising future funds and taking the company global.

Our supporters:

The Upscale programme would not be possible without the support of our amazing programme partners! Thank you to Cooley, Amazon Web Services and Silicon Valley Bank.

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Blaze – urban mobility brand providing technology for bike sharing schemes and consumer cyclists globally

Boiler Room – online music broadcaster of live events. Six years old, it has now hosted shows in 100 cities worldwide

Bulb – an online renewable gas and electricity supplier, competing with the likes of British Gas and NPower

Cambridge Intelligence – an artificial intelligence company that helps companies see patterns and insights in their data

Chargifi – Chargifi supplies networked, wireless power to public venues like coffee shops, hotels, restaurants, sporting arenas, offices and transport hubs

CharlieHR – a free HR platform for small companies

Cronofy – calendar connectivity for enterprise applications

Curve – allows you to combine all your credit cards into one Curve card and link with an app to monitor your spending

DueCourse – online invoice factoring business

Echo – an app that takes the pain out of repeat prescriptions

Elvie – a company that focuses on women’s wellness with wearable tech

everyLIFE Technologies – provides a mobile platform for managing social care in real time, working with the NHS and social care providers

Firefly Learning – online tool for teachers, parents and schools to monitor pupils’ progress at school

GeoSpock – database technology that enables extreme-scale, real-time geo-spatial and multi-dimensional big data applications

Goodlord – end to end digital platform allowing letting agents, tenants and landlords to complete a rental transaction

Grabyo – Edit, publish and share video across mobile devices

Live Better With – community and marketplace for products for people living with cancer

LivingLens – allows companies to search hours of market research video by key word

Mastered – online courses for fashion professionals

Mixcloud – audio streaming service that allows users to listen to radio from all over the world

Moneyfarm – online wealth manager whose investors include Allianz, one of the world’s largest insurers

Monzo – one of a new breed of challenger banks. The mobile banking app receives its banking licence this year

Paddle – provides e-commerce and digital infrastructure for software businesses

pi-top – provides DIY laptop and desktop products for STEM education

Pockit – banking startup aimed at those excluded from mainstream banking

Poq – app commerce solution for major retailers

Signal Media – Artificial Intelligence-powered new monitoring

StoryStream – Live storytelling for brands: content curation and publishing

Streetbees – market research insights from around the world, collected through artificial intelligence and geo-location

Trouva – curated online shopping from 150 independent boutiques

Trussle – the online mortgage adviser, built upon a database of thousands of mortgage products

Urban Massage – booking massage online

Wolf & Badger – global online marketplace for independent brands



Alexandra Depledge, Founder

Anne-Marie Huby, Co-Founder Just Giving

Brent Hoberman, Co-Founder

David Buttress, Founder Just Eat

Greg Marsh, Co-Founder One Fine Stay

Jess Butcher, Co-Founder Blippar

Joel Gasgione, Founder Buffer

Lesley Eccles, Co-Founder FanDuel

Martha Lane Fox, Co-Founder

Michael Acton Smith, Founder Mind Candy

Patrick Campbell, Founder Price Intelligently

Riccardo Zarcconi, Founder King

Saul Klein, Co-Founder Lovefilm

Toby Moore, Founder CTO Space Ape Games

Wendy Tan White, Founder Moon Fruit


Amir Kfir, Board Member, Million Peacemakers

Anthony Fletcher, CEO Graze

Joe Zawadzki, CEO MediaMath

Lenn Kurztman, CFO Threat Quotient

Matt Buckland, Head of Talent Lyst

Shane Corstrorphine, GM Skyscanner


Dan Hynes, Partner Atomico

Simon Calver, Chairman Moo

Siraj Khaliq, Partner Atomico

Suranga Chandratillake, Balderton Capital

Tom Hulme, Partner Google Ventures

Tracy Doree, Partner Kindred Capital