UK entrepreneurs continued developing new online businesses at a rapid pace in 2012. Some of those online enterprises are following paths of success initiated by some proven performers. A review of the UK’s most successful and up and coming online startups reveals that the Silicon Valley is not the only place good ideas are launched.
UK entrepreneurs have a strong record of achievement in online startups. Below are a few of our favorites.
Shutl – Tom Allason founded Shutl in 2008. The product was launched in March 2010. Allason used his experience with another startup eCourier.co.uk to help providers and their clients narrow down delivery times for shipped goods. The premise behind Shutl is to ensure that online purchasers receive goods at their convenience. Shutl has forged working arrangements with some of the UK’s biggest retailers; Laithwaites Wine, Argos, Oasis as well as an exclusive distribution agreement with Maplin. Shutl successfully procured £650,000 in new funding in 2012.
Fetch Media – Fetch is poised to increase turnover by 400 percent over 2012 this year. The business has a turnover of about £20 million last year. Fetch is the brainchild of James Connelly and Declan Reddington. Fetch has opened another office in San Francisco. Fetch’s amazing growth has been fueled by contacts with SONY, Hotels.com, William Hill and Cancer research UK.
MVF Global – MVP Global was founded in 2009 and takes a different view of lead generation. One if the founders, Titus Sharpe, had previously disappointing experiences with the pay-per-lead generation model. MVF Global charges its members a fee for every lead that the online provider generates. The business has a publishing platform of more than 60,000 members. The company has been developing new e-mail behavioral software. 2012 turnover was £16.5 million.
Stylistpick – Felix Leuschner launched Stylistpick as a subscription–based fashion site in 2010. The site offers shoes and accessories from top stylists. Leuschner has benefitted from an exclusive arrangement with Cheryl Cole to handle her online sales. Subscribers can complete a “style profile” which is reviewed by leading stylists who make recommendations based upon the review and the marketplace. Stylistpicks has more than 600,000 members. Fidelity Growth Europe, Index Ventures and Accel Partners have provided £12.2 million in funding.
Bear – Founder Hayley Gait-Golding launched her site in January 2009. A former fitness trainer, Gait-Golding realized that even her healthiest clients could not avoid some unhealthy treats. Bear creates healthy treats from freshly-picked seasonal fruit. Bear had first year revenues of £2.2 million and has not looked back since. Bear’s online presence has expanded into online games, collectable cards and forest-based events.
Neon Play – Neonplay.com is a developer of apps for smartphones. Founder Oli Christie combined his digital marketing creative director experience with a perceived absence of quality in gaming apps and is now downloading about 20,000 apps every day. Neon Play has created hundreds of branded games for clients. Neon Plays more popular apps can be found on iPhone and iPads. One of the games, Rovio, has been more downloaded than the popular game Angry Birds. Look for Neon Play to move into Androids and Nokia devices next.
Hailo – The Hailo app has been downloaded more than 300,000 times. Hailo is a city-centric app that allows the user to book a cab in two easy clicks. Hailo has caught the eye of big players like Facebook, Groupon and Spotify. It is the largest app-based cab network in the world. Best of all, three of the founders were at one time London Cab drivers. The program presently works in London, Toronto, Dublin and Chicago. The potential for growth is excellent.
The founders of these successful online startups have similarities in that they had experience in a certain field and found a way to advance their cause via the Internet. That is the nature of the online entrepreneur. If you have an idea, a website developer can get you up and running.