Top 10 tech startups maturing in Manchester
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Photo courtesy: pixabay.com

A centuries-old area filled with sports, music, and startups

A Roman fort in what became Manchester was built around 79 CE, so the city has been important for centuries. Well over 500,000 folks call the city home, with more than two million living happily in the surrounding area. That makes it the third largest city in England.

Becoming the most productive center for cotton processing for a time during the start of the Industrial Revolution, Manchester added the Ship Canal in the mid-1890s to increase trade volume. Trade brought money and that brought universities, including the Royal Northern College of Music. Popular music groups from the area include The Hollies and Herman’s Hermits from the 1960s to the Buzzcocks, The Smiths, Joy Division, and Oasis.

Trade also brought banking and business support services, not to mention the money to grow. All of this helps fuel the startup scene. And to relax, tech founders can go to the largest club football ground in the UK and watch Manchester United.

1. F2G

Photo courtesy: F2G

Fungal diseases may bring to mind grungy toenails, but nothing’s funny about diseases and infections of the lung, bloodstream, and brain. F2G identifies essential gene targets in fungi to create agents to treat serious fungal diseases.

Founded way back in 1998, F2G is a bit old to be a startup. Their first £6.3 million in venture capital bloomed in August 2008. The real startup fever started in September 2012 with a $30 million placement, followed by $60 million of funding in June 2016. Their total financing to date is more than $100 million.

2. UKFast

Photo courtesy: UKFast

You can’t be “on the Internet” unless your software is on servers actually on the Internet. One great way is with a reliable hosting provider such as UKFast, one of the leading hosting and colocation services providers in the UK.

Launched in 1999, when the web was just a few years old, UKFast earned money the hard way: providing excellent service to customers. Hard work tends to get noticed, and the Royal Bank of Scotland became their venture funding source in April 2016 when they deposited $40 million in their coffers.

3. Push Doctor

Photo courtesy: PushDoctor

When you’re sick, you want help immediately without having to slog to an office suite and sit with other sick people. Push Doctor is acknowledged as Europe’s largest digital health brand, and you can see a doctor via phone, tablet, or computer in as little as six minutes. Ninety percent of patient encounters are resolved within a single 10-minute consultation. Then Push Doctor follows up with referrals, prescriptions, and other services.

It launched in the summer of 2013 after the CEO and founder was sick in a hotel room in the US and wondered why his phone, which could get him a cab and an airplane ticket, couldn’t get him a doctor. Series A funding late in 2014 and January 2016 totaled $10.2 million, followed by $26.1 million in Series B in the summer of 2017. To date, they have raised $37.5 million.

4. Phagenesis

Photo courtesy: Phagenesis

Thanks to advancing medical technology, more people survive strokes than ever before. But recovery means relearning neural functions. Phagenesis relies on neuroplasticity and cortical remapping to help patients recover functions like swallowing.

Dr. Shaneen Handy, a practicing gastroenterologist and clinical academic at the University of Manchester, began his research in 1994. Starting the company in 2007, 2 million pounds of Series A money arrived in September 2010 and another 7 million pounds in October 2011. In May 2013, Inventages Venture Capital Investments, Inc. again was the sole investor of $17 million Series B money in May 2013. Their total financing to date is near $29.5 million.

5. Oxyrane UK Limited

Photo courtesy: Oxyrane

A pharmaceutical company dedicated to developing unique enzyme therapies for Lysomal storage disorders, Oxyrane UK helps stop Pompe Disease. Their treatment works to stop the building of glycose in muscles that damages the muscle tissue and nerve cells, especially in children. They address more than 40 inheritable diseases.

Research began in 2007, and in November 2011, Forbion Capital Partners, Morningside Group, and New Science Ventures provided Series D funding of $26.5 million.

6. Securus Group

Photo courtesy: Securus Group

A lock on the door is no longer considered a security system. Securus Group has put together one of the leading companies to tie all manner of security (CCTV, door control systems), life safety systems (telecare peripherals and nurse call), and fire (detection and suppression) together.

Beginning in June 2008 and growing by expansion and acquisition, Securus in February 2016 worked out a debt financing plan for growth and refinancing facilities worth $25 million.

7. RealityMine

Photo courtesy: RealityMine

When we get “valuable recommendations,” we respond positively. When we get crappy ads that don’t apply to us, we want to throw our phones. RealityMine works to keep our phones in hand by providing advertisers hints to what we want and need. Passive metering gives businesses plenty of information to “mine” about us so we see relevant ads.

Beginning development in early 2012, after the mobile phone had become critical to many people, RealityMine received their first venture funding of 600,000 pounds in July 2013 from AMX Venture Capital. Debt financing in November 2014 provided an unknown amount of funds, and in December 2015, Kennet Partners ponied up $17.2 million in a venture round. Their total funding is well over $18 million so far.

8. VST Enterprises

Photo courtesy: VST Enterprises

As the world becomes more digital, authentication is critical. VST Enterprises developed VCode to modernize financial transactions across the internet. Fraud protection, document verification, and even parking lot payment systems are just a few of the applications.

Beginning development work at the end of 2012, VST Enterprises earned a funding from 85 investors in May 2017 for almost $15 million.

9. DueCourse

Photo courtesy: DueCourse

Small businesses need all the help they can get, especially with back office operations that tend to get postponed or forgotten by busy owners and managers. DueCourse helps solve one important problem, and for free: reliable and convenient invoicing. And strapped businesses can get an advance against unpaid invoices.

A fairly young company, DueCourse got $200,000 of seed money to help them start in November 2014. Less than a year later they received 5 million pounds in debt financing and 1.25 million pounds in seed funding. In dollars, they have raised around $8.4 million.

10. Genedrive

Photo courtesy: Genedrive

Starting as a holding company in contract research services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies, in July 2016 the business was renamed Genedrive to better reflect their focus on diagnostics, pharmacogenomics, and contract research, usually at the gene level.

Work started in 2000, a little before computing could really help decode and design new gene sequences and therapies. But in July 2014, Global Health Investment Fund decided they were worth $8 million in investment funds via a convertible note.

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James Gaskin

About James Gaskin


James writes books, articles, and jokes about technology, and consults for those who don't read his books and articles.

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