Startups 100: The annual list of “most disruptive new UK businesses” released

Photo shows: Virti teaches trainee medics via VR

The UK’s longest running index of disruptive new startups, the Startups 100, has released its 2021 lineup and named Multiverse, the startup launched by Euan Blair, as number one. was established in the year 2000 and is a comprehensive small business advice platform.

In 2018, 99.3 per cent of all private sector businesses in the UK were small businesses. These businesses generated a combined annual turnover of £2 trillion, and accounted for 60 per cent of all private sector employment.

The Startups 100 offers a showcase of new businesses that demonstrate innovation, solid financials, economic impact, and the ability to scale. The list has previously identified brands including Revolut, Deliveroo, HelloFresh and Bulb.

While Multiverse, founded by Euan Blair in 2016, who clearly didn’t listen to his father about the apparent benefits of going to university, Multiverse (formerly WhiteHat) is bringing apprenticeships into the digital age, and making top jobs in law, media, tech and finance accessible for those from ethnic minority and lower socioeconomic backgrounds. The Multiverse platform measures potential beyond academic achievement, using applied learning programmes and matching software to help its 16-24 year-old candidates secure jobs at the likes of Google, Facebook, and KPMG.

Predictably, most of the companies in the list are based in London, but there are a number of businesses across the region which appear in the listing:

Virti was founded by a Bristol orthopaedic surgeon with a passion for gaming and in July this year, raised £7.2 million in Series A funding for his business. Virti, which has offices in New York and Bristol, is developing virtual reality technology for trainee medics to safely learn and hone their skills. The round was led by deeptech investors IQ Capital and joined by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a new, UK-based learning technology VC fund.

Claiming to improve knowledge retention by 230% and decision-making speed by 17%, Virti is already used internationally by large healthcare providers and has early customers in oil and gas, aviation, and corporate training.

Oxwash, Oxford.
Oxwash is aiming to bringing simple, sustainable laundry to everyone, everywhere. By leveraging NASA-inspired washing technology and zero-emission logistics, Oxwash is powering the global transition to a circular fashion economy. Its mission to bring net-zero washing to everyone, everywhere. Its received £4.3M in funding to date from investors including a co-founder of Twitter, a cofounder of and Reckitt, the multinational behind Dettol and our partners, Vanish.
 iLof, Oxford
iLoF is an agnostic platform technology enabling a new era of personalised medicine, using Artificial Intelligence algorithms and a patented, portable and low-cost Photonics device to build a cloud-based library of diseases biomarkers and biological profiles.

Kinherit, Bristol

Kinherit was established in 2018 to improve end-of-life planning. Kinherit says it is the UK’s first and only Will platform – a combination of time-tested legal skill and  technology – designed to ensure that a person’s assets are recorded,  beneficiaries are listed and, when the time comes, a person’s wishes are made real.

Managing Editor of, Richard Parris, said: “After a particularly difficult year for businesses we are happier than ever to celebrate UK success stories. Every year the Startups 100 shows how UK businesses are responding to the issues, concerns and trends of the time. Entrepreneurs solve problems – whether that is the home care crisis being tackled by businesses like Cera and Birdie, diversity in hiring being challenged by Multiverse or the recent pet boom being capitalised on by Vet AI – you can see UK businesses innovating to meet the challenges of the time – and being very successful whilst doing it!”

To feature, all businesses in the index had to have launched in the past 5 years, be UK-based, and be privately owned (at the time of entering)