The mobile industry in Britain is thriving, led by dozens of innovative new companies who are striving to push the boundaries in areas such as apps, services, hardware and many more. But who are the hottest startups in mobile at the moment?
The top startups in 2015
In this post, we briefly describe some of the most interesting British companies with huge potential going into 2015. So without further ado and in alphabetical order, here are the companies Ewan has selected as the top mobile startups today.
Founder: Lee Stonehouse (CEO)
BLAP is a greatly enhanced conferencing app, which can be instant or scheduled and requires no PIN.
The BLAP mobile app enables users to instantly create and manage groups that are then stored as a single contact in the smartphone. Call participants can be anywhere in the world and when dialled all their phones will ring at once for an instant conference. No PIN is required, so calling a group is simple with no time wasted waiting for people to join.
Conferences can also be automatically record, a great feature if you want to review what happened in a meeting. BLAP calls are not VoIP, so call quality is excellent and not dependent on persistent Wi-Fi or 3G data connections – so call anyone, anywhere, any time.
Here’s what Gartner said about BLAP:
“Empowering workers with mobile collaboration capabilities through smart devices, personal cloud sharing and mobile apps is a smart move for organizations to innovate in the workplace and stay competitive”
For salespeople, BLAP is also available as an extension to Salesforce so that you can select multiple contacts from an account inside Salesforce, and then instantly call them all and bridge them in to a conference. BLAP looks like an extremely versatile app and a fantastic alternative to Skype with lots more features. Check out one of the product videos on YouTube to learn more.
Founders: Ravi Patel (UK) and Daniel Blomberg (Sweden)
HomePay is a mobile and social payment solution for families and communities, which uses smartphone technology connected to pre-paid cards (or cash cards) to allow families and their members to transfer money and spend responsibly.
HomePay is a first-of-its-type household planning and payment solution for families in Singapore. With smartphones connected to prepaid cards, Moms and Dads can instantly transfer money to kids or other dependents with household essential features at their fingertips. HomePay gives families greater control, more convenience and total peace of mind.
The initial target markets of Singapore, Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates are deeply penetrated in terms of smartphone technology, where HomePay aims to become the world leader in smart mobile payment solutions.
Founders: Matt Sutton (Product Architect & Co-founder) and Scott Taylor (CEO)
Launched in 2013, the London-based startup miDrive is reinventing learning to drive with technology. By delivering digital tools that provide everything someone needs to learn to drive, miDrive makes learning to drive easier, safer and quicker.
Billed as the essential driving lesson toolkit, miDrive has helped thousands of learner drivers to improve their driving skills, find the best local driving instructors and pass their driving tests. For example using the iOS or Android app, users can tell miDrive when they want to pass the test and then receive a personalised toolkit of activities designed to make time on the road as easy and as rewarding as possible. Users receive prompts to track a drive, watch a video or read an article exactly when they’ll be most useful.
The miDrive app also enables learners to find suitable driving instructors: you can search by instructor name, town or postcode before comparing and contacting the relevant instructors, as well as filtering results so see only male/female driving instructors, lessons under a certain price, or automatic driving lessons.
miDrive has had a total investment to date of £3 million. Investors include MBM Capital Partners and Holiday Extras.
Founder: Henry Firth (CEO)
The ‘Human Music Network’, PingTune is the UK’s first music messaging app (available on iOS and Android). It searches SoundCloud and YouTube from directly within the app, and allows users to quickly share songs and artists they like with the push of a button, so you can send as many of your favourite songs to friends and family as much as you like.
PingTune’s mission is to change the way the world listens to music by personalising discovery, with users creating conversations and connections around the music they love. They recently partnered with Lethal Bizzle for the release of his ‘Rari Workout’ single, helping it reach number 11 in the UK charts.
It’s great to see some real innovation that merges music and technology – PingTune achieves that and after using the app we can see why it’s generated a lot of buzz.
PingTune has raised $1.6m of seed funding so far. You can contribute to the crowd fund campaign on crowdcube.
Founders: Benjamin Dyer (CEO) & Chris Barling (Chairman)
Powered Now is a business administration app for iPads and iPhones (Android available soon) that takes the pain out of paperwork and payment for trades people such as plumbers, electricians and builders who are often in the field at customers’ premises and working from vans rather than offices.
This is the kind of solution that is really making the most of mobile technology, enabling ordinary people to transform the way they run their business.
In 2013 it won The Next Web ‘Best Mobile App’ award at the Microsoft BizSpark startup rally & now has over 10,000 users. In August 2014, the company overfunded by 167% to secure £585,580 on Crowdcube within five weeks of listing, and is using the seed capital to on product development and marketing.
Founders: Fergal Walker (CEO and Co-founder) and Ken Johnson (Co-founder)
Quikkly makes the real world as “clickable” as the web by creating personalized, scannable Action Tags. Quikkly is what QR Codes should have been, solving the issues surrounding the bridging of the physical and digital worlds.
For brands and agencies, Quikkly engages consumers more effectively than anything else out there due to the simplicity, clarity, manageability and traceability of Action Tags. Using the Quikkly app, the scanning of an Action Tag immediately invokes a direct action – listen on Spotify, add to contacts, connect to WiFi and lots more.
The app is convenient and simple to use, and also lets users easily make their own custom tags for any real-world objects. Using the app is an enjoyable experience, besides being much more intuitive than QR Codes.
Founders: Corbyn Munnik, Frankie Kearney, Paul Johnston
Sliide is creating a new mobile inventory by putting curated content on the front of the smartphone lock screen – giving brands the first impression on the fastest growing point of sale – and agencies an unparalleled insight into consumer behaviour.
Most importantly, Sliide gives users a rich and rewarding experience before the unlock – before Facebook, before Twitter and before Whatsapp. Users get to discover, engage with and share great brands, articles, deals and events from their lock screen, and earn money through a gamified in-app experience linked to sharing content, inviting friends and providing feedback, to improve their experience as well as provide insights back to brands.
Sliide allows you to make use of your Android lock screen to find tailored deals and local offers that keep you up-to-date with all the things you love. Simply slide left to see more – or slide right to unlock as usual.
Sliide is a great, innovative concept that we hope to see much more of.
Founder: Michael Venn
Website: www.tagstr.co / Twitter:
Tagstr is a UK-based social media platform and app (available on iOS, with an Android version this month) that allows users to share media based around hashtags. Focusing on user privacy and media sharing, Tagstr categorises high quality pictures, video and audio files into hashtagged trends, allowing users to view all media types around certain events. Users also have a minimal sign up process, where their data isn’t stored.
Founder Michael Venn has been an entrepreneur since he was 12. After leaving school he moved to London from Zambia to start a number of technology-related businesses, including Tagstr, using a dedicated team of UK developers.
The company has raised a total of £1m of seed funding so far, and has offices in Cheltenham and London.
Founders: Chris Sheldrick (Co-founder & CEO), Jack Waley-Cohen (Co-founder & COO)
what3words is an absolutely amazing idea which stemmed out of the fact that the whole world is really badly addressed. Not knowing exactly where you are, precisely where you are going or not being able to share a specific location is frustrating at best and dangerous at worst.
what3words is a unique combination of just 3 words that identifies a 3m x 3m square. Anywhere on the planet. It’s far more accurate than a postal address and it’s much easier to remember, use & share than a set of GPS co-ordinates. It’s a tiny piece of code that works across platforms & devices, in multiple languages. It works offline, where there is no data connection and it works with voice recognition.
For example, if you want to tell a friend the location to meet, find the what3words address and share that – much easier to remember. Rather than a street address for example, you could use the w3w-generated address.
I have just tested out the service, and it turns out my location right now is: “awakes.choirs.sunset” !!! It’s definitely something that I will use and recommend to friends.
What3Words have raised $1.5m so far in Seed funding, and is available is iOS and Android in addition to the website. You can also find lots of excellent videos about the service on their Vimeo channel.
Founders: Alex Meisl and Dan Parker
WiForia’s platform allows retailers to recognise and communicate with their customers to deliver engagement, loyalty and most importantly, sales. It allows retailers to monetise their Wi-Fi networks (or iBeacons) and deliver a true omni-channel experience in-store…with a typical 10-fold ROI. WiForia’s solution does not require a mobile application and therefore works on most handsets.
WiForia’s Software-as-a-Serivce (SaaS) platform turns public Wi-Fi into a marketing communications channel. Suitable for locations where there is high recurring footfall, Wi-Fi is an effective channel for enhancing customers’ brand experience. The service can identify registered users every time they enter or leave a location, enabling the pushing of offers, promoting content and driving social sharing in personalised and contextually relevant ways.
We hope you enjoyed reading about the companies we have selected for the hottest British startups in the mobile industry for 2015. There’s certainly lots of exciting products, apps and services in the list, and we look forward to seeing how they all progress during the year.
If you have experience with any of the products mentioned, please let us know in the comments below – as always, we love to hear your feedback.