The UK’s 50 Most Disruptive Companies Revealed

D/SRUPTION’s final Disruption50 companies are revealed… But where will they rank?

Applications to the first Disruption50 Index – a pioneering project to seek out the 50 most disruptive companies in the UK – closed on May 31st. The Index, developed in partnership with Hotwire and Unanimous AI, celebrates British organisations driving disruption in a specific industry, or in society and business as a whole. 

The final 50 have just been unveiled, but finalists will have to wait until Disruption Summit Europe on the 10th of September to find out where they rank in the UK’s disruptive landscape.

Finding the 50

After receiving applications from a wide range of early stage and more established companies from across industries, the initial list was whittled down to 100 by D/SRUPTION. The list was then submitted to an expert judging panel. Judges from the likes of IBM, Shell, Digital Catapult and Remitly scored each applicant on their fulfilment of 10 criteria. This included broad indicators of disruption such as fast growth, replacing incumbents, and changing the structure of their market. Our experts, selected from a range of backgrounds and businesses, used their experience of working with scale ups, start ups, and corporates to judge each application. Some applicants performed highly in specific areas, but there was also a general score given to indicate overall disruptive potential.

Human + AI

Following this, the scores were added up to form a shortlist of 50 companies. The pure scores, however, did not allow judges to collaborate and assess together, and nor did they enable companies to be judged relative to one other. D/SRUPTION therefore leveraged the power of Swarm AI technology provided by Unanimous AI. In an industry first, the Swarm AI platform made it possible for judges to rank companies in a collaborative and comparative way. On the 25th of June, all judges used the platform to decide, as a group, how disruptive they considered each company to be. The swarm asked judges to rank companies based on their potential to disrupt an industry or service, as well as how likely they would be to significantly impact society, business, and business models across sectors.

“It was fitting that our judging decisions were augmented by the use of AI,” says Matt Cross, Head of B2B, EMEA at Hotwire and Disruption50 judge. “Plugging into Unanimous AI’s Swarm was a very cool experience and brought a whole new level of collaboration to our decision-making process. This was a glimpse of the future perhaps… Hand in hand with the machines!”

Diverse disruption

The variety of applicants for the Disruption50 Index serves to show just how important disruptive innovation, technology, and business models have become across industries. From startup to social enterprise, each organisation demonstrates that disruption is a critical pillar of corporate success. Many have experienced rapid growth and now serve clients and consumers at global scale. Not only are these companies disrupting their own industries – they are disrupting the world.

Who’s on the list?

Provenance, for example, uses blockchain to provide secure supply chain traceability to support transparent trading. Since 2014, the platform has attracted a customer base of over 200 retailers including Fairfood, the Co-op, and a number of global fashion brands. 

Similarly, cybersecurity vendor Darktrace was set up in London in 2013 and now has 40 global offices. The company spans all sectors, leveraging machine learning to hunt for cyberthreats within corporations and also national infrastructures. Darktrace is one of the most influential cybersecurity companies worldwide, reaching unicorn status last year with a valuation of $1.65bn. 

Another example is EVRYTHNG, a fast growing Internet of Things and data management company. Just one year after its incorporation, EVRYTHNG partnered with IBM and the World Wide Web Consortium as part of the EU COMPOSE project to create an open technical framework for IoT services.

Niall Murphy, Co-founder and CEO of EVRYTHNG, said: “It is a huge honour to be named among the Disruption50. EVRYTHNG was founded in the spirit of innovation and solving real world problems. Today we are disrupting the way consumer product brands do business by bringing billions of products to life with a digital identity on the web.”

GreenTech and data control

Other disruptive companies in the Index include Cup Club, a GreenTech startup that has developed a reusable cup subscription service, and CitizenMe, an AI powered platform that helps businesses and individuals to take control of their personal data and understand its value.

The Index also features a number of social enterprises such as eWaterPay, who were identified within the top 100. Working with the likes of AWS, M-Pesa and Unicef, eWaterPay has created a low cost, prepayment water dispenser for African communities that harnesses IoT, cloud, and mobile technology. In 2018, they won a Global Mobile Award for their pioneering work.

How disruptive is your business?

While the top 50 companies have now been announced, their final rankings remain under wraps until the 10th of September, where a presentation will be held at Disruption Summit Europe. During the Summit, guests will be able to meet the top 50 companies and understand how they are successfully disrupting business today. They’ll also be able to pick up a copy of the Disruption50 Index report – with full profiles of these innovative businesses. If that wasn’t enough, Unanimous AI will also be on hand to take us through the swarm intelligence process in depth.

Prior to the ceremony and presentations, shortlisted companies will be invited to an exclusive networking lunch with the judges. A number of high performing companies from the initial Disruption100 will also be given the opportunity to attend. This year, Disruption Summit Europe will be held at 133 Houndsditch, London on 10th September. Registration is open now.

To view the final list of Disruption50 companies, click here

Preregister for the exclusive Disruption50 Index report here.