An Aberdeen-based startup has been named as one of the rising stars of Britain’s technology sector.
LiberEat, a platform which offers bespoke menus, supermarket grocery options and recipes to users with allergies and dietary requirements, was selected as a winner of Tech Nation’s Rising Stars 3.0 competition.
The Rising Stars competition is a national early-stage tech scaleup competition aimed at showcasing some of the country’s most exciting companies. On average winners of the Rising Stars competition go on to raise £352k and grow their workforce by 70%.
Ten companies across the country were selected as part of this year’s competition, with winners seeing off more than 330 applications. Alongside LiberEat, winners include Liverpool-based startup, SupplyWell and Northern Irish firm Elemental.
Commenting on the announcement, LiberEat Managing Director Barry Leaper said: “We’re really excited to be named as a winner of Tech Nation Rising Stars, especially given the impressive group of finalists.
“The team at LiberEat have achieved a huge amount in the last year despite the difficult environment and it’s great to have this opportunity from Tech Nation to raise awareness of our story, just as we have begun growing the business rapidly and have several exciting announcements coming.”
The announcement from Tech Nation coincides with the release of new data highlighting the resilience of Britain’s early-stage tech sector.
Despite the disruption and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, pre-Series A investments have increased by 10%, up to $481 million in 2020.
In particular, the fintech, healthtech and edtech subsectors have raised the most money at pre-Series A, data reveals. Investment into fintech increased by 58% to $70 million, while investment in early-stage edtech companies increased rapidly, reaching £28 million last year.
London, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Nottingham were some of the leading locations for raising pre-Series A investment in 2020, Tech Nation stats also show.
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Esme Caulfield, Competitions Lead, at Tech Nation, commented: “The Tech Nation Rising Stars competition highlights the best-in-class companies in the UK at the seed and pre-Series A stages, and shows the amazing tech companies that make up the UK’s pipeline.
“It’s incredibly exciting to see the 2020 Rising Stars winners across a broad mix of sectors like healthtech and edtech.”
Hosted virtually this year due to ongoing Covid restrictions, the competition is also credited with increasing access for women founders. The 2020 Rising Stars competition boasts the “most diverse” cohort yet, Caulfield said.
50% of the winning companies have women founders and co-founders, marking an increase of 40% from 2019. Similarly, 80% of the winners this year are also from outside London.
Hazel Jane, Tech Nation’s Entrepreneur Engagement Manager for Scotland, believes the variety of companies represented in Rising Stars 3.0 underlines the growing strength and diversity of Britain’s tech sector.
She said: “Scotland is consistently creating scalable, values-led businesses, so I’m delighted to see LiberEat as one of the ten national winners of Rising Stars 3.0.
“The fact that they’re from Aberdeen showcases Scotland’s nationwide focus on tech, and shows, very practically, that you don’t have to be anywhere near London if you have a great product and the right support.”