Tech Nation, the growth platform for UK tech companies, today announces the latest 22 companies joining the Future Fifty programme, including three high-growth scaleups founded and based in the South West – cybersecurity scaleup Immersive Labs, interactive technology company Ultraleap and entech firm Pure Planet.
Future Fifty is a late-stage growth programme, designed to bring together, empower and accelerate the growth of the most successful tech companies in the UK. Programme alumni include Monzo, Starling Bank, Darktrace, among others. 131 companies have taken part in the programme since its inception, collectively raising $11bn, with 9 companies going on to IPO.
The acceptance of 3 South Western scaleups into the exclusive programme reflects findings from the Tech Nation Report 2021, the annual report on the state of tech, around the exponential growth of tech in the UK’s South West.
According to the report, Bristol is currently the UK’s third biggest tech hub, raising £339mn in VC investment last year. The South West as a whole turned over an astonishing £9bn in 2020, despite challenging conditions, and is currently home to 2 unicorns (companies with a valuation of over £1bn), with 3 futurecorns (high-growth companies valued between $250m and $800m) created last year.
All of the South Western companies joining this year’s Future Fifty programme are transforming the lives of people and businesses across a range of different industries.
- Bristol-based tech scaleup Ultraleap, which specialises in haptics and hand tracking software, has developed ‘TouchFree’; a way to make public touchscreens touchless in a bid to help businesses continue operating without spreading germs during Covid-19.
- Pure Planet is also impacting society hugely as Britain’s first digital green energy supplier. The entech scaleup is a Which? recommended energy provider 2020, and the first domestic supplier to offer 100% renewable electricity and 100% carbon offset gas.
- Funded by Goldman Sachs and Summit Partners, cybersecurity scaleup Immersive Labs is on a mission to empower organizations to equip, exercise, and evidence human cyber capabilities. In March, Immersive Labs announced their new global partner programme, which aims to increase the growing number of organizations using Immersive Labs to increase, measure and demonstrate human cyber capabilities.
Ana Lucia Buckman, Future Fifty Lead, Tech Nation, commented: “Despite the challenging year for UK businesses, and the rigorous selection process of the Future Fifty programme, the companies in this year’s cohort have overcome tremendous obstacles and achieved unprecedented levels of growth. They have demonstrated their position as UK tech leaders and I would like to congratulate them for having a real impact on the UK economy and the world at large.”
About the South Western companies joining the Future Fifty programme in 2021:
Cybersecurity | Founded in Bristol in 2017 | Series B | 200 employees
Immersive Labs is empowering organizations to equip, exercise, and evidence their own human cyber capabilities. With this platform, organizations can align their human assets with actual cybersecurity risks, battle-test teams against real-world threats and crises, and track and report cyber skills. It’s challenging the role people play in cybersecurity and defining the human cyber readiness space, so every person in every company can stand prepared for every cyber threat.
Interactive Technology | Founded in Bristol in 2013 | Series C | 160 employees
Ultraleap allows people to engage with the digital world naturally. The core technologies are 3D hand tracking that allows you to interact with digital content, and mid-air haptics that use ultrasound to add a sense of touch in mid-air. These technologies enable touchless and hygienic solutions that are applicable to a range of industries, including extended reality (VR & AR), digital signage, kiosks, automotive, industrial automation, consumer electronics and entertainment.
Entech | Founded in Bath in 2015 | Series A | 165 employees
If renewable is a sacrifice, everyone will lose. Pure Planet uses smart technology and a shared community to make being sustainable the easy choice. Pure Planet is Britain’s first digital green energy supplier. They are a Which? recommended energy provider 2020, and the first domestic supplier to offer 100% renewable electricity and 100% carbon offset gas.
James Hadley, CEO and Founder of Immersive Labs, commented: “We’re proud to be part of this year’s Future Fifty programme, following in the footsteps of some of the most successful UK tech companies. Immersive Labs has experienced exceptional growth even in these challenging times and we have big plans for the next few years. Having the support of the Future Fifty will help us continue to challenge the role people play in cybersecurity and define the human cyber readiness space, so every person in every company can stand prepared for every cyber threat.”
Steve Cliffe, CEO and President of Ultraleap, commented: “Ultraleap is proud to have been selected to join the Future Fifty programme in 2021, one of the top growth programmes in the UK to support scale-up companies. As we look to expand our business further, the Future Fifty network of partners and peers will be sure to provide invaluable support and expertise that will help us become the world’s leading interaction company.”
Andrew Ralston, Co-founder and Chief Executive of Pure Planet, said: “We’re privileged to be part of Future Fifty 2021 and to be among a select cohort of Britain’s most exciting companies. As a young digital renewable energy supplier, Pure Planet is resolutely committed to being a brilliant employer, as well as helping Britain get to Net Zero and tackle climate change.”