March 27, 2024

SME neobank Allica Bank tops the inaugural Sifted 100: UK & Ireland Leaderboard

The Sifted 100: UK & Ireland is the first in a series of annual leaderboards ranking the fastest-growing startups by region

The Sifted 100: UK & Ireland Leaderboard and research report was produced in partnership with law firm Marriott Harrison.

London-based small business neobank Allica Bank has topped the inaugural Sifted 100: UK & Ireland Leaderboard — a ranking of the 100 startups with the strongest revenue growth over the past three financial years.

The fintech, founded in 2018 by serial entrepreneur Jason Scott, achieved a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1438.91%, thanks to revenues of £48.3m in the financial year to December 2022, which grew from £204k two years prior according to company filings. 


Its CAGR more than doubled second-placed Artios Pharma (697.38%), which specialises in advanced cancer treatments. Buy now pay later unicorn Zilch (540.12%) rounds out the top three.

Sifted 100: UK & Ireland Leaderboard.
Sifted 100: UK & Ireland Leaderboard.

The Sifted 100: UK & Ireland at a glance

Collectively, the top 100 have raised a total of £9.5bn in funding and generated £6.5bn in revenue in the past three financial years, averaging a two-year CAGR of 172%. Between them, they employ more than 16,000 people. 

A substantial 80 of the 100 companies are based in London; just three — financing startup Wayflyer, customer engagement platform Edgetier and energy company NovoGrid — are based in Ireland. Only one, Holibob, is based in Scotland. 

Fintech is the most dominant vertical (31 companies), followed by B2B SaaS (25), healthtech (17) and consumer (16). 

Investors with an eye

Out of 805 total investors, the most active backers were LocalGlobe, Seedcamp, Plug and Play, Amadeus Capital Partners and Tencent, with six companies apiece.

The most prolific angel investor is Wise cofounder Taavet Hinrikus, who has invested in five companies on the list. Wonga cofounder Errol Damelin and Cazoo founder Alex Chesterman have each backed four, while seasoned angels Chris Adelsbach and Simon Franks have each supported three. 

Of the companies on the list went through a Tech Nation programme; 13 of them — including Peppy, Birdie, Cleo and PolyAI  — have also been selected to join the relaunched Tech Nation’s 2024 Future Fifty programme to prepare businesses for IPO.

The 10 fastest-growing startups in the UK and Ireland

1/ Allica Bank — Bank focused on UK SMEs.

2/ Artios Pharma — Developer of novel cancer therapies.

3/ Zilch — Buy now pay later lender.

4/ Seat Unique — Ticket marketplace for events.

5/ Peppy Health — Healthcare app for employees.

6/ Yoti — ID verification and KYC checks.

7/ Hofy — Equipment and onboarding for remote companies.

8/ V7 — Turns images into training data for AI.

9/ Forest — London e-bike rentals.

10/ Veremark — HR tool for background checks and screening.

Sifted’s research team used their own proprietary data, along with information from Companies House and Dealroom to identify and contact relevant high-growth startups. Applications were accepted from February 12 to March 8, 2024.

To be eligible, companies had to meet the following criteria: headquartered in the UK or Ireland; founded in or after 2014; maximum headcount of 999; private and independent; majority of revenue must be generated by proprietary technology; at least three years of revenue data; and revenue (annualised if necessary) of at least £85k in the base year (2020, 2021 or 2022) and at least £850k in the most recent financial year (2022, 2023 or 2024). Companies were required to submit signed documentation to support disclosed financial information not publicly available at Companies House.

Sifted Leaderboards do not claim to be exhaustive as private company data can be difficult to obtain. Leaderboards are based on historical financial data and do not guarantee future company performance.