LONDON / NEW YORK - 6th September 2020 - Published today, the 20th anniversary Sunday Times Sage Tech Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s private technology, media and telecoms (TMT) companies with the fastest-growing sales – Signal AI was nominated at number 23, and in the top 2 fastest growing AI companies on the list.
"We're truly excited to be part of the infamous Sunday Times Sage Tech Track," David Benigson CEO and Founder at Signal AI said. "It's great to be named alongside so many fantastic UK companies, and also as one of the fastest growing AI companies on the list. We are creating a future where AI can really augment decision making at the top, which is becoming an increasingly critical key to success."
The 100 companies grew their sales on average over the last three years by 94% a year to a total of £2.8bn, before the Covid-crisis struck. They employ 21,500 staff, having added 16,000 employees over the period; and at least 50 of the companies have increased their workforce since March 2020, although some others have made redundancies.
The companies include seven “unicorns” valued at $1bn or more, with two providing medical support in response to the pandemic ― mobile healthcare app Babylon Health, which launched a Covid-19 care assistant, and Oxford Nanopore, which developed a saliva-based test that returns results in one hour and was rolled out by the UK’s Department of Health in August.
The top spot on the league table goes to London-based fintech unicorn Revolut, which provides digital banking services. Launched in 2015, it is the first company to retain the No 1 spot, after securing the same rank last year. It was valued at $5.5bn at its latest fundraising in July, and has raised a total of $917m in funding from the likes of Balderton Capital and Index Ventures. It grew sales an average 310% pa over three years, to £162.7m in 2019.
The Tech Track 100 is sponsored by Sage, Barclays, BDO, BGF and N+1 Singer, and compiled by Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events firm. Paul Struthers, managing director, UK & Ireland at Sage, commented: “Being tuned into the drumbeat of the UK’s tech innovation is in our blood and it is fantastic to see the companies on this year’s league table thriving despite the challenging environment. The Tech Track 100 is a great platform for us to support and showcase the next generation of the country’s brilliant tech businesses.”
Signal AI uses machine learning technology to analyse more than five million online, print, television, radio, regulatory and social media sources, which it translates from more than 100 languages. Customers include Deloitte, E.ON and Amnesty International, which use this real-time market intelligence to uncover trends and support decision-making. In 2019, Redline Capital led a $25m (£19m) investment round, taking total funds raised to more than $50m. Founded by David Benigson, 32, and Miguel Martinez, 35. Its free Covid-19 feature detects coverage of the disease in the media, which peaked at nearly 1.2 million mentions globally on March 25.
20th ANNIVERSARY This is the 20th anniversary of The Sunday Times Sage Tech Track 100 and it has featured many of Britain’s most successful private tech companies, including 23 “unicorns”. Past stars include Ocado, which first appeared in 2006 with sales of £143m, and is now valued at £19bn; Just Eat, which first appeared in 2011 with sales of £19m, and earlier this year completed a £6bn merger with Takeaway.com; and THG, which first appeared in 2007 with sales of £5.7m, and plans an IPO this month valued at £4.5bn. Since its launch, a total of 1,200 companies have featured on Tech Track 100 and our 10 Tech Track Ones to Watch, with 390 merging or being acquired, 50 floating on stock markets; and 100 going bust – less than 10%, whereas according to the Office of National Statistics over half of companies go bust within four years. The two spectacular failures have been Wonga and VE Interactive. The vital statistics of the league table companies have changed significantly over the 20 years, including:
38 companies are online and/or app-based, vs only two online recruitment firms on the first list which predated the smartphone
77 firms on this year’s table have been funded by VCs/business angels, almost double the 41 on the first list
A record number of 12 health and medtech companies, vs 6 in the first year
Fintech firms are down to 11, from a record 24 last year and 13 in the first year 60 directors and shareholders of 42 Tech Track 100 alumni appeared on the latest Sunday Times Rich List, with combined wealth of £60bn.
Notes for Editors
League table criteria of The Sunday Times Sage Tech Track 100 The Tech Track 100 adopts the London Stock Exchange’s techMARK definition of a technology company as one that shows a ‘commitment to innovation, research and product development’ and operates in sectors including software, internet, telecoms and biotech.
Companies had to be registered in the UK and be independent, unquoted and ultimate holding companies. They are ranked according to the compound annual growth rate in sales over the latest three years. Annualised sales had to exceed £250,000 in the base year (2016 or 2017) and £5m in the latest year (2019 or 2020). Companies did not need to be in profit. Trading weeks in the base and latest years have to exceed 25. Page 5 of 12 Where available, sales for online platforms (including energy, tickets, gaming, consumer goods and services) are net of the cost of goods and services sold, media agencies’ sales are net of advertising spend on behalf of clients, and we do not accept gross written premiums for insurance companies’ sales.
IT consultancies and IT services companies are required to generate a significant proportion of their sales from proprietary technologies. Excluded companies include payday lenders, computer resellers and companies that are equal joint ventures, or majority-owned by quoted or other companies. The research was carried out by Fast Track principally between March and August 2020. Most of the companies were interviewed by telephone or met via video calls with the Fast Track research team.
Georgie Weedon, Head of Communications, Signal AI