Welcome to the last Best of the West of 2017. We’ve really enjoyed keeping our ears to the ground for positive news emanating from businesses large, small and everything in between that have their roots here in the Bristol/Bath area of the South West.
Long may it continue!
Our final three companies to bring to your attention this year are all relatively new businesses with technology firmly at their hearts.
Going to the gym can get a bit repetitive after a while. Wouldn’t it be great if your gym membership also gave you access to loads of other activities taking place in your city?
Well, it doesn’t. That’s not how gyms work. But thankfully, it is how MoveGB works. Sign up, and your membership gets you access to a whole bunch of classes and activities in different locations around you.
Entrepreneur Alister Rollins launched the business in 2013. Since then it has gone from strength to strength, growing its user base to over 300,000 members who can access activities from over 5,500 providers.
These range from big names like Virgin Active and PureGym to local yoga and spin classes.
The company’s rapid ascent this year was recognised recently when MoveGB was named the UK’s third fastest-growing tech firm of 2017 in Deloitte’s Fast 50 list.
Congratulations to Alister and his team on a remarkable year. Here’s to an even better 2018!
Living Map is a Bath-based company that creates custom digital maps for busy and complex places such as museums and airports.
Their approach allows the maps to be hyper-accurate, rich in detail and integrated with other technology such as indoor location trackers and internet of things (IoT) data.
It’s impressive stuff, and the company received a boost last month when it was awarded two grants to continue developing its offering.
The grants, worth a combined £125,000, are from Innovate UK, a government agency responsible for supporting businesses to realise the potential of new technologies.
We’ve actually met the Living Map team through our Bath connections. So we can’t wait to hear what the future has in store for them and their talented team next time we chat to them.
Chances are, you may not have heard of Graphcore.
But if we told you that this start-up out of Bristol has just raised $50m from an investor that has previously backed Apple, Cisco and Google with similar funding, you might ask yourself why you haven’t come across them yet!
The truth is that Graphcore is a fledgling business. Launched in 2016, the company makes chips for AI and machine learning that are much more efficient than current products on the market.
Tech investors have been queuing up to get a slice of the Graphcore pie, and the latest round has come from Sequoia Capital, a powerful player in the tech venture capital scene.
All this adds up to a business that is set to take the tech world by storm. So if you don’t know, get to know! We’re not the only ones predicting very big things from Graphcore in years to come.