anuarys of old meant city wine bars: do you remember them? – full of chatter about the upcoming big IPO or whispers of a market minnow that it would make you rich.
Now, if it weren’t “dry January” and most of London weren’t hibernating at home, the hot-money chat could focus on companies at an earlier stage: Shoreditch’s coolest startups and King’s Cross.
London’s biggest VCs and investors told The Standard which of the brightest start-ups they are keeping an eye on this year: companies they haven’t invested in (yet) but which they believe will be the biggest new companies none of which ( yet) has heard of it.
What? Recruiting site that promises to remove unconscious bias and help improve interviewing technique
Financing? £ 1.9 million to date.
Hoxton Ventures partner Hussein Kanji looks on in admiration: “It was started by a serial founder [Jay Radia of e-commerce tech site Yieldify] and the head of Revolut’s AI, Anton Boner.
“Since many job interviews are conducted online and on channels like Zoom, their software makes sure that no inappropriate questions are asked, the right topics are addressed, and employees are coached to become great interviewers. It is starting to grow, albeit at the beginning of its journey “.
What? A Jobs platform for flexible roles
Covid’s WFH diktat has sent VCs rushing to look at innovative recruiting and office start-ups. At Crista Galli Ventures, managing partner Fiona Pathiraja believes the recruiting firm will be a big name to watch this year.
“The pandemic has made it clear to many of us that we value flexibility in our working lives: Flexa helps candidates find flexible jobs that work with their lives by matching the best talent to companies,” he says. “Clients include established companies such as Allianz and Far Fetch and growing start-ups including Elvie.”
What? Help the company hire, pay and support remote staff around the world
Reece Chowdhry, founding partner of RLC Ventures, says: “He was (and remains) in a good position to take advantage of the disruptions that Covid-19 has caused to employment structures around the world. It is starting to become evident that attitudes are changing towards remote working and the infrastructure that supports this adoption will thrive. “
What? Help businesses facing an outage or data breach get back online quickly
It’s the year of bug fixes, says James Wise, partner of VC Balderton Capital technology.
“Software has become a vital part of all of our lives, especially during the pandemic,” he says. “So when there is a bug in your software, who will you call?”
He’s tipping Incident, a start-up with British unicorn founders like Monzo and GoCardless, “which helps software teams respond to bugs and other problems with their software to get things back up and running as quickly as possible.”
What? Create “unobtrusive” audio ads for mobile games
Gareth Jefferies, partner of VC RTP Global, argues AudioMob because “games became popular due to Covid, but it has been difficult for advertisers to reach this audience because an invasive banner or video ad can ruin the. [gaming] experience, so publishers refuse to handle them.
“AudioMob has found a way around this with in-game audio-only ads that allow brands to connect non-invasively. I see huge potential here for them to dominate the games and become the preeminent advertising platform. “
What? Insurance tariff platform
“The insurance industry is a gigantic industry and a lot has been done in recent years by new players who have disrupted the value chain,” adds Jefferies of RTP.
“Hyper-exponential arms both incumbents and newcomers with a killer combination of actuarial expertise, data science and modern UX. Its team of co-founders, all from senior positions in the industry, have created the reference software for one of the most important parts of the entire insurance product and are set for big things in 2022. “
Mission Zero Technologies
What? The development of a technology to help “close the carbon cycle” uses electrochemical processes to release the captured CO2
Early stage venture capital firm Talis Capital is targeting carbon-fighting start-up Mission Zero Tech for 2022. It is developing highly modular “direct air capture” (DAC) technology to sequester CO2 from full-scale atmosphere.
Cecilia Manduca of Talis explains: “2021 has been a pivotal year to understand that carbon removal has a key role to play if we are to have the ability to achieve ambitious Net Zero goals, as well as the fact that engineered carbon removal solutions such as DACs could be as effective, if not more effective, than nature-based solutions such as reforestation.
“Mission Zero Tech’s modular technology has the potential to make CO2 sequestration and reuse cheaper and less energy-consuming – and sequester CO2 by the ton!”
What? Help companies with more environmentally friendly stock replenishment and packaging
Not sexy, but supply chain companies are trending after a year haunted by logistical problems and investors have taken notice. Wise, from Balderton, reports Sourceful.io, which was created in 2020.
“It helps companies build more sustainable supply chains while reducing carbon emissions by providing companies with better solutions on everything from packaging to inventory management,” explains Wise. “The team has a lot of experience in packaging, with the experience of The Hut Group, and soon raised investments from Eka, a fund known for its focus on the climate.”
What? Logistics company that supplies warehouses and distribution networks to e-commerce
Hoxton’s Kanji is keeping an eye on Huboo, a third-party logistics company that helps businesses get orders to customers faster, which it complains about not investing in.
“We passed this on unfortunately,” he says. “It is expanding rapidly and is becoming one of the largest third party logistics service providers in Europe.”
What? Addressing scheduling problems in semiconductor manufacturing
Alliott Cole, chief executive of Octopus Ventures, is watching Flexciton. Help those vital semiconductor factories optimize production.
“The supply chain (especially in semiconductors) is still in poor shape,” says Cole. “Building new factories can take years and cost billions, so this won’t solve the problem and individual chips can take months to produce with hundreds of required processes, so optimizing what you have is a breeze.”
What? Insurance model to reduce the cost of fertility care
“I like Gaia because the right to have a child doesn’t have to be dictated by how much you earn.”