Six start-ups to look out for in 2018
The start-up sector in the UK is booming, and in a year that’s set to bring more political and economic changes, it can be difficult to keep up with the best new businesses. Here’s my list of the most exciting start-ups you should keep an eye on in 2018.
Graphcore – making AI faster
This start-up is developing Intelligence Processing Units (IPU) designed specifically for AI (artificial intelligence). Graphcore aims to speed up AI and machine learning, as the industry enters what they call ‘a new era of computing’. The IPUs will be available soon and will allow innovators to run new AI applications that aren’t possible with current hardware.
Tandem – a new way to bank
The team at Tandem will soon launch an app that gives users insights into their account, including bills that are due. The app will switch the user to better deals to proactively save money. Tandem acquired Harrods Bank at the end of 2017, and will launch early 2018 with a credit card and two savings accounts. These products will work seamlessly with the banking app.
Oxbotica – self-driving tech
This self-driving vehicle software company is focusing in 2018 on a project called DRIVEN. The project involves seeing six vehicles through autonomous journeys from Oxford to London by 2019.
They are also exploring bringing cybersecurity and insurance into their remit. By the end of this year, the full fleet of autonomous vehicles will be working and running through the trials. Moving from autonomous cars from single vehicles to exploring how they work together as a fleet is part of the new levels of complexity that they will be working on.
Pockit – bring banking to everyone
The aim of Pockit is to make bank accounts available to anyone, regardless of their credit or income status. Its ethos covers simple, fair and surprise-free fees, and they provide customers with an app, a Master Card and an online account.
New technologies are making it increasingly simple for customers to access their finances in new ways, particularly people who traditionally struggle to access these kinds of products.
Mespo – helping customers manage money
This fintech start-up tells users when they’re overspending, and the app then offers solutions to fix it. Working on the basis of being ‘an impartial financial service’, the team at Mespo are looking ahead to a year where there will be more collaborations between established financial firms and fintech businesses.
TrainAsONE – pushing fitness into the future
This start-up is changing the way people access personal training. TrainAsOne provides users with personal coaching programmes and makes sure that they are training at the most optimal level. By analysing wearable devices and smartphones, it takes data from every fitness session and comes up with a plan to make sure the user is training in the smartest way possible.
For 2018, they are looking to improve their personalised training AI, include more sports and exercises and move further into disease management and general wellness. They are also looking to hook up with partners to bring TrainAsOne to a wider global audience.
It’ll be interesting to see how these start-ups pan out this year, and what else will emerge over the next 12 months. I’m expecting to see a lot of movement particularly in the fintech sector, as established financial firms begin to collaborate more often with innovative start-ups.
– Freddie Achom