Meet the 25 fastest growing tech businesses in the Leeds City Region

Leeds has cemented its reputation as a thriving digital hub, with a growing number of startups, scaleups, and industry events such as the Leeds Digital Festival. But it doesn’t begin and end in the city centre.

Leeds has cemented its reputation as a thriving digital hub, with a growing number of startups, scaleups, and industry events such as the Leeds Digital Festival. But it doesn’t begin and end in the city centre.

The region’s tech ecosystem stretches far beyond, from Harrogate in the north to Barnsley in the south, and from Bradford in the west to York in the east (and all the other cities, towns and villages in between).

The digital sector employs 102,000 people and there are a wide range of tech businesses in the Leeds City Region,  from early-stage startups right through to some of the biggest in the UK; and spanning sectors from health-tech to gaming.

This year’s Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 league table, published on 8 September, featured four firms from the region, including Chameleon Technology, Pharmacy2U, BigChange and Smartsearch.

We know there are many more fast-growing tech businesses across the region, so we took to GP Bullhound’s 2019 list of the top 100 fastest-growing tech companies in the North of England and Scotland, published earlier this year. 25 of the 100 companies ranked are from the Leeds City Region, suggesting it punches above its weight as a regional tech hub in the league table which covers Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Hull, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Nottingham.

The league table ranks companies based on their revenue growth over the past three years from 2016 to 2018. And it’s important to note that this list is based on companies that applied to GP Bullhound’s Northern Tech Awards to take part, so it doesn’t account for every tech business in the region, so we’ve also listed a few other noteworthy companies for you, large and small.

Without further ado, here’s the list of the fastest-growing tech companies in the Leeds City Region.

The 25 fastest growing tech businesses in Leeds City Region

According to the GP Bullhound Northern Tech 100 list 2019

1. Big Change 

Location: Leeds 

What they do: Mobile workforce management platform and apps

Highlights: Big Change has seen remarkable growth since its launch in 2013 and has been winning accolades left, right, and centre, including being ranked the 10th overall fastest growing tech business in the GP Bullhound league table. The business helps clients manage their business operations using mobile apps.

 

2. Looking4.com 

Location: Leeds 

What they do: Airport parking and transfer comparison service

Highlights: Since launching in 2009 the business has seen rapid international expansion and is looking to extend its services to flights and hotels in the future. 

 

3. Smart Search 

Location: Leeds

What they do: Anti money laundering verification platform

Highlights: Checks take 30 seconds with no identity documents required, so it’s no surprise they have 3,000 clients and 35,000 users.

 

4. Pharmacy2U 

Location: Leeds 

What they do: UK’s largest online pharmacy

Highlights: Launched in 1999, they helped develop the Electronic Prescription Service with the NHS and they now support more than 300,000 patients each year with their repeat prescriptions. They’ve raised £58m in total from G Square Capital and the growth-capital firm BGF. Sales reached £61m this year. They won the judges’ entrepreneur award at the Northern Tech Awards.

 

5. Crisp  

Location: Leeds 

What they do: Social media issue detection and crisis monitoring software

Highlights: International expansion saw them open their North American HQ in Chicago in June. They won the judges’ innovation award and the young entrepreneur award at the Northern Tech Awards.

 

6. Vapour Cloud 

Location: Halifax

What they do: Secure network connectivity, voice comms, and storage

Highlights: Having secured £4.5m of equity investment the firm says it now boasts “one of the most comprehensive product roadmaps in the industry”.

 

7. 6B Digital 

Location: Wakefield 

What they do: Digital agency offering web and app design and development 

Highlights: The firm’s bespoke development capabilities include large-scale websites, CRM systems, apps, APIs and complex automation tools.

 

8. Chameleon Technology 

Location: Harrogate 

What they do: Smart home energy meter data and insights

Highlights: The company has installed more than four million smart in-home displays in the UK since it was established in 2010. Boosted by the UK government's smart energy rollout, sales hit £21.8m last year.

 

9. Mtech IT Solutions 

Location: Leeds 

What they do: IT services and development

Highlights: The 10-year-old company is a Microsoft gold partner in cloud solutions and works with more than 60 companies, providing IT support and management advice. 

 

10. BTL Group 

Location: Shipley 

What they do: Assessment technology and services

Highlights: The firm created Surpass,  a secure platform for large scale high-stakes paper examinations, language testing and computer-based assessment.

 

11. Techbuyer 

Location: Harrogate 

What they do: Enterprise hardware and equipment 

Highlights: The business operates from facilities across the world including the UK, USA, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand stocking 225,000 IT parts.

 

12. The Technology Group 

Location: Leeds 

What they do: Managed communications provider

Highlights: The Technology Group won Fast Growth Business of the Year at The Business Desk’s Yorkshire Business Masters Awards earlier this year.

 

13. Answer Digital 

Location: Leeds 

What they do: Digital transformation services 

Highlights: The business has received numerous accolades including being featured in the top 10 fastest growing companies in the Public 100 report, the top 100 digital agencies in Econsultancy’s annual list, and was recognised as one of the most exciting high-growth scale-ups in the UK in Megabuyte’s Emerging Stars programme.

 

14. Inventry 

Location: Leeds 

What they do: Sign in and visitor management systems 

Highlights: Started in 2010, the firm’s software is used by more than 5,000 schools and colleges. The business was named in Deloitte’s Fast 500 list of companies in 2017.

 

15. Parallax 

Location: Leeds 

What they do: Digital agency offering digital products, development, design and PR

Highlights: The business has led digital projects for clients such as Unilever, NHS, UEFA, British Airways, American Express, Dyson, and The Sunday Times

 

16. Sonocent 

Location: Leeds 

What they do: Audio note taking software 

Highlights: The Audio Notetaker tool is transforming learning by making audio as easy to access and manipulate as text. The software is used by hundreds of thousands of students

 

17. Advancery 

Location: Bradford 

What they do: Managed service provider including cloud, virtualisation and system consultancy

Highlights: The business was shortlisted for the ‘Next Generation MSP Award‘ at the ‘European MSP Innovation Awards’ 2019 which brings together the highest performing MSPs and MSSPs in Europe.

 

18. Nexus Vehicle Rental 

Location: Leeds 

What they do: Online vehicle rental management software 

Highlights: The software, called IRIS, was developed in-house and connects businesses to the UK’s largest vehicle supply chain with 550,000 vehicles. The business won the judges’ leadership award at the Northern Tech Awards.

 

19. Virtual College 

Location: Ilkley 

What they do: Online learning platform

Highlights: The business has over three million users and aims to reach 20 million learners by 2020.

 

20. Panintelligence 

Location: Yeadon 

What they do: Analytics and business intelligence software 

Highlights: CEO Zandra Moore is a trailblazer for women in tech and set up the Leeds LeanIn group, a support network for local women to connect and discuss the challenges they face and help one another. The business champions flexible working to encourage diversity.

 

21. Fleetondemand 

Location: Shipley 

What they do: Enterprise cloud technology applications to vehicle leasing, rental and automotive service providers

Highlights: Their latest product, Mobilleo, uses machine learning to analyse user behaviour, measure real-time data to calculate the total cost of mobility, and source the most cost-effective journey across thousands of supplier APIs.

 

22. Concorde Technology Group 

Location: Wakefield 

What they do: IT support services

Highlights: The business has formed strategic partnerships with companies including Microsoft, AWS, Cisco, BT and HP.

 

23. Provu Communications 

Location: Huddersfield 

What they do: Voiceover internet protocol hardware

Highlights: The business is the market leader in VoIP hardware distribution in the UK and won the European distributor of the year award in 2017.

 

24. NGC Network Services 

Location: Wakefield 

What they do: Ultra-fast fibre broadband for businesses

Highlights: Founded in 2002, the business is committed to helping organisations across the north enhance their communications through bespoke solutions, using industry-leading technology from brands including BT Openreach, VirginMedia, TalkTalk and EE. 

 

25. Mitrefinch 

Location: York 

What they do: Workforce management software 

Highlights: Mitrefinch developed the first ever attendance system in the 1980s and it was featured on the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World. Their software now helps more than 7,500 organisations across the world.

 

Not on the list

There are of course many more digital and tech businesses in the region, from exciting startups to watch such as Data Shed, Synap, VetAI, Soc, The Car Buying Group and Calbot, to the stalwarts of the scene including SkyBet, NHS Digital, YBS Group, First Direct, Ten10, Lead Tech, EMIS, BJSS, and Exa Networks.

 

Which are the top tech businesses in the Leeds City Region in your opinion? Who are the startups to watch? Share with #LCRisDigital