UK Start-ups have raised £663million (825 million euros) since the country was locked out by the coronavirus has begun to mitigate the economic downturn, new research suggests.
The study, conducted by the Centre for Start-up Research at the London School of Economics and Political Science, analysed nearly 30,000 companies and focused on the performance of the top 20 UK technology companies in the first nine months of 2015.
Andrew Roughan, chief executive of Plexal, said in a statement: “If we do not act now to boost the market and ensure that funds are spread widely and quickly, we risk losing a generation and there is a fear that many companies will slip through the cracks. Last week, the UK government announced a £1.5bn investment fund for start-ups in the wake of the crisis.
Portable energy is becoming increasingly important for transport as electric cars, electric buses and electric bicycles gain in importance. British start-ups have been given seed capital from e-bike manufacturers to research and develop more efficient battery solutions.
B Babylon Health offers a GP service that allows you to chat with your doctor via video. Because many GP practices are closed due to the outbreak, Babylon offers people the opportunity to see a doctor at home.
Britain’s Digital Health Unicorn has also developed a symptom-tracking app for coronavirus. In early March, 19 Assistants were introduced, a free app to check and track symptoms and offer NHS-approved information for download. Dr Ali Parsa explains that this allows patients to determine whether they really need to talk to a doctor.
The app currently has tens of thousands of AI interactions a day, and that number has grown to an incredible 250,000. For Coronavirus, Babylon was able to conduct 3,000 simultaneous AI consultations and is helping the platform meet the growing demand.
Modoola is a London-based smart furniture manufacture and it has lately received private funds to expand its product range to target people working from home. Modoola after winning design awards in 2018, it has been selling furniture to coworking spaces in Europe and it is currently working on an improved design for safe coworking.
Food stocks of all kinds are increasing as people slide into isolation, and with eating outdoors no longer an option, many people are resorting to meals to ensure healthy and comfortable meals. Gousto, a London-based foodservice, has seen huge growth, with the number of family boxes increasing by 28%. It offers more than 50 recipes per week, packaged and delivered to your door, as well as a range of snacks, drinks and snacks.
The company says it currently delivers more than 4 million meals a month in the UK and aims to surpass 400 million meals by 2025.
This round of funding was led by Perwyn, who was joined in April by Joe Wicks of BGF and MMC. The start-up secured a further £33m for the business, which has flourished since the lockout.
Unmind is a London-based wellness platform that provides free access to its digital resources for NHS staff. The start-up, founded by former NHS nurse and co-founder of Unmind, Dr Michael O’Brien, hopes to help patients with mental health problems such as depression and anxiety cope with the impact of stress, anxiety and depression on their health and wellbeing.
The app provides tools and interactive content based on a range of mental health issues including depression, anxiety, stress and stress management. Clients include NHS staff, health professionals and patients, as well as private and public sector organisations.
While some start-ups have raised capital, others have struggled, and according to the study, there are currently 263 administrations and 707 liquidations. For more examples of international start-ups, click here and here.
Onfido, a digital ID verification service, received $100 million from investors on April 15 and $50 million in May from venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. Onfido chief executive Husayn Kassai told CNBC that while uncertainty usually diminishes investor enthusiasm, some are expected to perform well and attract disproportionate attention. So far, this seems to be an area that has to do with securities, artificial intelligence and more broadly.
International Start Ups
Walkabout – Remote Work
Walkabout, a US-based startup, is tackling the challenge of social isolation with a three-dimensional online workplace simulation. It creates an opportunity for teams from afar to keep themselves occupied and feel physically in the same building.
The Walkabout Office also includes other tools that help people work remotely, such as a mobile app and a web browser. Employees can also feel safe in the office, even when they are at home without an office.
Flow Lab – Stress & Anxiety Management
The German start-up Flow Lab uses gamification, personalisation and traceability to help users build up a regular mental fitness routine and avoid distractions and emotional strain. With just one app and headset, Flow lab provides guided audio sessions for individuals to minimize anxiety, manage stress and achieve maximum productivity.
Prometheus – Online Learning
The Ukrainian EdTech startup Prometheus wants to make learning more flexible, scalable and adaptable. The platform offers an open online mass course offering a wide range of courses from elementary to advanced for students of all ages and backgrounds.
Topics range from basic biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science, biology and biology. In March 2020, Prometheus will start a course on how to deal with a coronavirus pandemic.
Bawiq – Food & Grocery Delivery Service
The start-up from the United Arab Emirates has developed an app for food delivery that allows you to deliver food with just a few clicks, with GPS positioning and delivery.
It allows scheduling, tracking and individual search and promises to deliver selected items to the customer’s door within 30 minutes. It does not contain a minimum order and supports different payment methods. Bawiq is also promoting the use of its mobile app as an alternative to traditional delivery services such as Deliveroo and Uber.
Welcome Fit – Indoor Workout
Australian startup Welcome Fit encourages users to organise distance training and helps gyms to bring personal trainers online. Australian start-up welcome – Fit helps you get to the gym or personal trainer online and encourages users to organise distance training.
Users track their progress and achieve their planned wellness goals, wherever they exercise, and track and log progress. Live workouts are done via the app and trainers are hired to give users instant feedback. Support individuals and large groups with a range of fitness options such as cardio, weight training, yoga and yoga classes.