Tens of thousands of entrepreneurs have worked out of Campus in the last two years. Some have worked out of the basement; others have been hosted at Campus by Seedcamp, TechHub or accelerators such as Bethnal Green Ventures and Entrepreneurs First. Informilo reviewed the start-ups that have been based on Campus and with the help of industry insiders came up with a list of the best and the brightest. Some, like Azimo, Adbrain and YPlan, have moved off Campus. Others are below the radar but unlikely to stay there for long.
Ad tech & analytics
What it does: Real-time, multi-screen advertising platform.
Why it’s hot: Adbrain’s vision is to help global advertisers use their data to better understand and reach mobile first, multi- screen consumers — whatever device they use. It works with agencies and trading desks that include Annalect, M&C Saatchi Mobile, Fetch and Somo. Following a $1.5 million investment from Notion Capital and a number of well-known angels in June 2013, in March 2014 Adbrain raised $7.5 million in Series A funding from Octopus Investments and Notion Capital.
What it does: Mobile high-engagement native advertising.
Why it’s hot: The company offers a range of native ad-units it claims result in higher engagement and more revenue. Avocarrot enables advertisers to reward users for in-app achievements; recommend interesting apps to users; and soon, engage users with short HD videos. Advertisers in its network include Uber, Sprite, Starbucks, L’Oreal and Unilever. Raised £100,000 in seed funding in July 2013 after going through the Collider accelerator.
What it does: Digital taxi-top advertising.
Why it’s hot: Eyetease has developed Europe’s first digital taxi-top ad service and the world’s first ads-for-access high- speed in-taxi Wi-Fi system. Ads can be scheduled and changed remotely, and targeted by location. The company has won a number of awards, including one for innovation at the HP Smart Business Awards 2013. Launched in 2012, in June 2013 Eyetease announced a deal with Verifone Media that will enable iTaxitop to be offered to 6,000 London cabbies.
What it does: Social TV analytics solutions.
Why it’s hot: SecondSync analyzes millions of daily social media conversations around TV broadcasts to provide insights to be used with traditional TV audience figures. Clients include every major UK TV network as well as advertising agencies. In January SecondSync announced a deal with Facebook that extends its reach to include anonymized interactions from Facebook. In August 2013 audience measurement firm Kantar Media took a minority stake in SecondSync.
What it does: Twitter analytics tool.
Why it’s hot: SocialBro enables Twitter users to learn more about their followers; determine the best time to tweet; find, engage with and segment followers; benchmark against competitors; and monetize services. In June 2013 it raised £1.2 million in Series A funding, mainly from Scottish Equity Partners (SEP). It has previously raised a €500,000 seed round from angel investors. The company offers a tiered pricing plan for its more than 5,000 paying customers.
What it does: Online peer-to-peer flat or room rental service.
Why it’s hot: FlatClub is an accommodation network geared towards alumni and students of top universities. It focuses on creating trusted networks within which members can rent and let properties. It has more than 50,000 members, and 465 clubs in 112 cities that feature properties from alumni of more than 50 of the world’s top universities. In November it received a $1.5 million investment from MLC50, Professor Eli Talmor of London Business School and others.
What it does: A new way to book a cleaner.
Why it’s hot: Hassle.com is a free-to-the-consumer website that enables consumers to search for a vetted cleaner, read ratings and reviews, and instantly book and pay (currently in London and Manchester). The company plans to roll out its platform to other categories such as caregivers, tutors, personal trainers, etc. Cleaners pay Hassle a finder’s fee and 10% of the value of one-off cleaning jobs. It has raised just over $400,000 in funding from Springboard and angels.
What it does: Events listings.
Why it’s hot: Planvine powers “What’s On” listings for content publishers in the UK and Ireland, including the Trinity Mirror Group and Bauer Media. Event listings can be integrated into customers’ websites, blogs or apps through an API. Also offers its own events app, Line-Up, that allows users to follow venues and create their own personalized guides. The app won Seedcamp London in January 2013. The company has funding from three angel investors.
What it does: Last-minute going-out app.
Why it’s hot: YPlan enables users in London, New York and San Francisco to browse through a curated shortlist of events every night and book in two taps. Launched in November 2012, the 100% mobile service had 150,000 downloads in its first three months. A year on YPlan has more than 500,000 users. In June 2013 it raised a $12 million A round led by General Catalyst Partners. Existing investors Wellington Partners and Octopus Investments also participated.
What it does: Male-focused online shopping service.
Why it’s hot: Currently in beta testing, BRANDiD allows users to try on any item of clothing from any brand in the world for free. A member of its team will suggest clothes in real time that customers can try on in multiple sizes; they’re only charged for items they keep. For anything else, the company offers free collected returns (currently in the San Francisco Bay Area only). The company has raised €50,000 from Seedcamp and another €70,000 from angel investors.
What it does: World’s biggest apparel data warehouse.
Why it’s hot: EDITD translates retailers’ raw fashion data into insights to optimize product mix, price, discounting and merchandising. It analyzes 50 million SKUs daily; tracks more than 4,000 webpages; and provides a database of more than 2,000 blogs and 600 million opinions from social media. The company works with more than 200 retailers, including ASOS, Gap, and Target. In February 2014 it raised $4.4 million from Index Ventures and new investor Frog Capital.
What it does: Virtual showroom platform.
Why it’s hot: Sayduck provides a virtual showroom platform that provides a single point of access for consumers to browse and purchase products. The service enables consumers to experience products in real size, 3D and photo-real quality, with all the material and color options. Sayduck clients include fashion brands like Adidas and Onitsuka Tiger. After Seedcamp Sayduck raised a €350,000 investment from IncubAsia Ventures, Arteel Ventures and angel investors.
What it does: Social shopping site.
Why it’s hot: Shoply connects small brands and local businesses with buyers worldwide. Its main product focus is on homewares, art, jewelry and crafts. Shoply charges either a 10% fee on sales or a monthly flat rate of $29.99; there are no set-up fees to create a store in its marketplace. More than 10,000 sellers use the platform. Shoply raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from angels Chamath Palihapitiya and Fabrice Grinda in 2012.
What it does: Social and mobile migrant remittance network.
Why it’s hot: The first player to let individuals make direct money transfers between international bank accounts via Facebook, in more than 190 countries. The company raised £300,000 from angels in January 2013, $1 million from eVentures in September and in March 2014 announced a $10 million round led by Greycroft Partners, with Accion’s Frontier Investments Group, eVentures, TA Ventures, RI Digital Ventures and KRW Schindler Investments.
What it does: Financial trading platform.
Why it’s hot: TRData is a financial platform designed for professional traders, brokers and analytics that promotes itself as “Bloomberg for emerging markets.” It claims to collect accurate real-time market information from remote places, from scattered and illiquid markets, where other systems fail. As of the end of 2013, TRData had 486 corporate customers; its clients include US AID and BNP Paribas. A Seedcamp company in 2012, it has raised $425,000.
What it does: Cyber security company.
Why it’s hot: PixelPin’s founders had long careers working with military intelligence and defense companies before developing their patented approach to online authentication: using personal pictures to replace passwords. Chosen as one of seven companies in this year’s FinTech Innovation Lab London, PixelPin is also a Wayra alum. The company has a few small live customers, and is now doing beta proof of concept trials with banks and e-commerce companies.
What it does: Social authentication.
Why it’s hot: Sedicii’s patented authentication technology solves the problem of password overload by eliminating the need for passwords to be transmitted or stored anywhere except in the user’s head. Eliminating the need to transmit and store information should increase the security of a person’s online identity. Sedicii is targeting ISPs and enterprises; its model is based on per-user license fees. Received €28,000 in pre-seed investment from Oxygen Enterprise Partners.
What it does: Healthcare informatics provider.
Why it’s hot: The company aims to improve outcomes for patients; create access to better care; and enable healthcare professionals to work more effectively. It is building a health record, analytics and open API, for an e-Health portal for patients and healthcare professionals. It won the Institute of Engineering and Technology 2011 Innovation Award for Best IT Technology and HealthInvestor 2012 Award for IT Innovator Of The Year.
What it does: Clinical appointment management.
Why it’s hot: One in ten hospital appointments scheduled through Britain’s National Health Service is missed, costing £900 million a year. DrDoctor’s online appointment service aims to reduce the number of people who drop out, saving a typical hospital up to £2 million per year. The company is now working with Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals and University College London Hospitals. So far it has raised £15,000 in funding from Bethnal Green Ventures.
What it does: Translator for spoken communication.
Why it’s hot: Babelverse offers real-time interpretation powered by people, on demand in any language. Its services are used for real-time interpreting at conferences, and to provide streaming video in multiple languages. The vision is to enable users to make a request for a given language pair, select a tier of service, and be connected to the best available interpreter. Babelverse currently offers translation into 155 languages via 5,000 interpreters.
What it does: Bike lights.
Why it’s hot: Blaze has re-imagined the light; in addition to providing a strong light, its Laserlight projects a green image of a bike five to six meters onto the road ahead, enabling the bike to be seen even in drivers’ blind spots. Blaze claims 79% of bike accidents occur when the bicycle is traveling straight and a vehicle moves into its path. Blaze raised its first £25,000 on Kickstarter in five days. Its first run sold out in January; the second batch will be available this month.
What it does: Ethically-sourced phones.
Why it’s hot: Fairphone’s goal is to make a phone that puts ethical considerations first. The social enterprise started in 2010 as a project aimed at raising awareness about conflict minerals in electronics and the wars that their sourcing is fuelling in the DR Congo. In 2013 Fairphone was established. After running a successful crowdfunding campaign in May 2013, 25,000 Fairphones were released in December 2013. These sold out; a second batch is due around June 2014.
What it does: Learning app.
Why it’s hot: Revision App lets students learn anywhere via its flash cards app; it provides more than one million study notes covering GCSE, A-Level and university subjects. The company claims it can improve grades by up to 20% if used an average of three minutes a day. Revision App says the average UK student spends £344 a year on text books and aims to help them save 50%. The app has been downloaded more than one million times since its launch in November 2011.
What it does: Language technology experts.
Why it’s hot: Builds apps that learn from their users to make text entry easier, faster and more productive. SwiftKey is one of the world’s best-selling Android apps. In 2013 and 2012, it spent more days as Google Play’s No.1 paid download than any other app. Currently supports 61 languages. In September 2013 SwiftKey raised $17.5 million in a Series B round from Index Ventures, Octopus, Cambridge Capital Group and angels, bringing total funding to $21.6 million.
What it does: Aiming to set the standard for reputation.
Why it’s hot: Traity aggregates information from social networks to build a representation of a person’s trustworthiness. It gained 800,000 registered users in its first year of operation. The company is backed by Horizons Ventures, Bertelsmann’s BDMI, Lanta Digital Ventures, Dave McClure’s 500Start-ups and Seedcamp. It has won a number of awards, including, in 2013, EmprendedorXXI Madrid 2013; BBVA OpenTalent 2013; and Spain Start-up 2013.