A region renowned on both the UK and international stage for its contribution to football and music, the North-West tech and start-up ecosystem may not boast the same historic significance but is growing rapidly and beginning to command significant interest from the media.
While Venture Capital investment in to London start-ups continues to accelerate, investors are starting to see the immense potential that lies outside of the capital, with the North-West tech scene receiving the second most investment of any UK region in 2019. Manchester in particular’s thriving tech community is growing at pace and according to a recent report by Adzuna, 18.4% of all available jobs in the city are now in tech.
Pioneered by digital-first businesses such as boohoo and The Hut Group, there is now an opportunity for the North-West tech community’s next generation of start-ups to seize this momentum and establish their profile on the national stage. We shine a spotlight on five of the start-ups that are leading this revolution:
Peak: Richard Potter, David Leitch, Atul Sharma
Specialising in the commercial application of AI, Peak’s transformational technology enables businesses to dramatically improve their decision-making. Using its innovative ‘Decision Intelligence‘ software, Peak works with clients such as PrettyLittleThing, KFC and PepsiCo across a variety of functions including sales, marketing and the supply chain in order to help them make decisions over complex information faster, more consistently and more accurately.
Since the business was founded in 2014 it has achieved over $42m in investment and has established itself as one of the biggest names in the North-West tech community. Peak’s tool can be used by both technical and non-technical workers and can provide businesses with insight on decisions such as how much of a product to produce, when to increase and decrease warehouse headcount as well as how to manage stock. Ultimately, Peak’s business service and innovative software enables non-tech focused enterprises to increase their revenue and accelerate their profitability.
Prevayl: Adam Crofts, David Newns
Due to launch later this year, Prevayl’s products are set to revolutionise the world of sportswear. Connected homes and connected vehicles are two technologies that have penetrated in to the mainstream in recent years but the adoption of connected clothing hasn’t been anywhere near as widespread. Prevayl are one of the pioneers of this technology, producing clothing that not only provides the same feel as luxury apparel brands but also produces biometric data that users can access to improve and analyse their performance.
Founded by former personal trainer Adam Crofts and serial entrepreneur David Newns, the business has recently secured £7.5 million in investment from Stonebridge Capital to support their consumer launch in Q4 of this year. Pre-launch Crofts has put together a team of experienced apparel designers and tech specialists, ensuring that the business straddles both industries and produces products that are truly at the cutting edge of sportswear.
Mojo Mortgages: Nicholas Sherratt, Richard Hayes
Based just outside of Manchester in Macclesfield, Mojo are one of the most exciting names in PropTech. While businesses such as ex-PHA client PurpleBricks have successfully disrupted the home buying process, getting a mortgage is still an incredibly complex, painful and outdated experience for the majority. Co-Founders Nicholas Sherratt and Richard Hayes founded the business with a mission to bring getting a mortgage in to the 21st century, using innovative technology to streamline the entire process making it easier, faster and more effective for anyone buying a home.
Mojo’s innovative platform lets users compare thousands of mortgage in less than a minute, a far-cry from countless broker meetings, branch visits and time off work. Mojo handle the entire application for buyers, helping them to secure the best deal but without taking any broker fees – saving both time and money. Despite these benefits securing a mortgage the ‘traditional’ way remains to be the most popular avenue for consumers so building trust in a new way of doing things will be a challenge for the business but one they are well positioned to overcome.
Read more here about how we worked with peer-to-peer deposit saving platform Stepladder to build trust in their innovative solution and increase consideration among a traditionally sceptical market of first-time buyers.
Landscape: Joe Perkins
Focused on founders of ambitious, high-growth start-ups, the Landscape platform frames itself as ‘Glassdoor for the venture capital industry’. Providing founders with a platform to leave anonymous, honest and authentic reviews about their experiences with VC firms and accelerators, Landscape’s community helps improves transparency within the industry and helps future founders on their funding journey. Celebrating stellar VC firms and shining a spotlight on those that founders may be better avoiding, the platform helps entrepreneurs navigate a traditionally opaque world.
Founded by CompSci graduate Joe Perkins following his experiences raising capital for his EdTech start-up Coursematch, the platform launched in October 2020. Clocking up an impressive 700 reviews and more than 80 ‘verified partners’ in just its Beta phase, the business has already started holding investors to account and ensuring they take consistent and sustained action, rather than just paying lip service.
Arctic Shores: Robert Newry, Safe Hammad
Working with hundreds of clients around the world including the BBC, PwC and Capita, Arctic Shores specialise in behaviour-based assessments. Through interactive tasks, Arctic Shores’ assessment measures each individual candidate’s personality through their natural behaviour before mapping this against an employer’s unique needs. This innovative approach helps employers see beyond just candidate CVs and helps employees truly show their potential.
The software has tackling diversity at its heart and using objective behavioural insights allows employers to remove any subconscious bias that may limit the recruitment process.
Following the pandemic, there are more candidates looking for employment than ever so Arctic Shores’ products enable businesses to ensure they’re finding the right candidates in a market that’s more competitive than ever.
If your tech business is looking for support telling its story and reaching its key audiences, get in touch with our team of experts today to discuss how we could help.