25 top startups doing well during Covid Antifragile businesses riding out the crisis curveball


At Splento we work with startups, SMBs and enterprise clients worldwide and we can see from the inside who is antifragile, who’s doing great and even who is growing during the current pandemic.

Back in 2017, we took a look at businesses that were set to thrive despite Brexit.

As it has turned out, 2020 is offering even more of a challenge than those turbulent times.

Here, in no particular order, are 25 of the many startups who, according to industry observers, are all worth a mention on this list.



Sector: Energy – Renewable

The fastest-growing startup in the UK in 2018, Bulb is an electric and gas provider. Dedicated to renewable energy, Bulb provides 100% renewable electricity and 10% renewable gas. Bulb offers great customer controls for direct debit amendments, submission of meter readings and statement viewing, online or through a simple, intuitive phone app.

Bulb logo

Founded:  2014

By: Amit Gudka, Hayden Wood

Total funding: $61.4m

Web: www.bulb.co.uk

IG Wines

Sector: eCommerce. Wine. Financial

IG Wines is an investment advisory service, aiding clients to develop a robust wine investment portfolio. They offer an accessible process of wine investment providing buying and selling opportunities as well as the continuous management of clients’ wine portfolios. They have developed a proprietary two-way live trading platform and Vinvault, their own unique cellar platform. They also have a phone app which allows clients to manage their portfolio, view live market prices and portfolio performance.

IG Wines logo

Founded:  2011

By: Paul Hammond, Jon Hirsch

Total funding: nk

Web: www.igwines.com


Sector: Fintech

Checkout.com allows international companies to process cross-border payments from credit and debit cards, banking Apple Pay, etc… all from within a single package. Having seen a 250% increase in online transactions in the year to May 2020, they have now (June 2020) announced a $150M Series B funding round. Checkout.com has recently been named as one of the most valuable fintech companies.

Checkout.com logo

Founded: 2012 (begun 2009 as Opus Payments)

By: Guillaume Pousaz

Total funding: $380m

Web: www.checkout.com

Wool Couture

Sector: eCommerce

Wool Couture is a leading designer and retailer of luxury yarns, DIY knitting and crochet kits, DIY weaving and macramé kits. They have made themselves the online store for all things creative in the world of wool; from yarn to craft kits and everything in between. Of the current Covid crisis, in a recent interview, Claire said “[Only] through having the support of all the people in this office…we are open today…our staff are our biggest asset”. It is during this time that Wool Couture has experienced sales of 500% to 1,000% year on year, in every week. For the full video interview with Claire, check out the eCommerce Founder Experience.

Wool Couture logo

Founded: 2015

By: Claire Gelder

Total funding: nk

Web: www.woolcouturecompany.com


Sector: Real Estate. Rental Property

Flatfair offers a solution to rental property security deposits. Their payment technology platform is succeeding in energising the rental market and means that new tenants no longer have to struggle to find 4 (or more) week’s rental money as a deposit. This makes life smoother and faster for everyone involved in the letting process. It enables tenants to rent faster, whilst at the same time offers protection to the landlord against damages or rent arrears.

Flatfair logo

Founded: 2016

By: Bartosz Alksnin, Daniel Jeczmien, Franz Dörr

Total funding: $13.2m

Web: www.flatfair.co.uk

Starling Bank

Sector: Banking. Fintech

Alongside several other similar businesses (ie. Revolut and Coconut), Starling Bank provides consumer banking services based around a mobile banking app and a debit card.

Granted a UK banking licence in 2016, they launched the UK’s first digital business bank account in 2018. They provide personal, joint, euro and business banking all from the customer’s mobile. Starling’s personal account won them both the Best British Bank and Best Current Account awards in 2020.

Starling Bank logo

Founded: 2014

By: Anne Boden

Total funding: $363m

Web: www.starlingbank.com


Sector: eCommerce. Fashion

Depop was founded by the co-founder of PIG magazine and RETROSUPERFUTURE sunglasses, Simon Beckerman. It quickly evolved into an app fashion marketplace powerhouse, for users to trade new, used, vintage and modern clothing and accessories that may well not be found anywhere else! Depop now has over 200 employees worldwide and over 15million users.

Depop logo

Founded: 2011

By: Simon Beckerman

Total funding: $105.6m

Web: www.depop.com


Sector: Fintech

GoCardless is in the business of making it easier for companies to collect payments via direct debit. They have created a global bank debit network and created a platform designed and optimised for taking invoice, subscription, membership and instalment payments. They currently process $13bn in transactions a year, working with 50,000 businesses around the world, from small businesses to household names such as TripAdvisor and the Guardian.

Gocardless logo

Founded: 2011

By: Hiroki Takeuchi, Tom Blomfield and Matt Robinson

Total funding: $122.3m

Web: www.gocardless.com


Sector: Geospatial

What3Words is about simplifying geolocation. They have assigned every 3m square in the world a unique 3-word address that will never change. Their vision is to become the global standard for communicating location. For example, the entrance to their headquarters is ///filled.count.soap, which is far easier to remember or to pass on (to emergency services, for example) than “51.520847,  -0.19552100”. Find anything – anywhere – in just 3 words.

What 2 words logo

Founded: 2013

By: Chris Sheldrick, Jack Waley-Cohen, Mohan Ganesalingam

Total funding: $13.8m

Web: www.what3words.com


Sector: Fintech

Moneybox is a mobile savings and investment app that enables users to round up their digital spare change into a Stocks & Shares ISA. Once linked to your bank account (via Open Banking), the app analyses your spending and rounds up all your transactions to the nearest whole number. Eg. spend £4.45, and the app will “round up” by deducting £0.55 and place it into a savings account invested in one of several ISAs of your choosing.

Moneybox logo

Founded: 2015

By: Ben Stanway, Charlie Mortimer

Total funding: $60.9m

Web: www.moneyboxapp.com


Sector: Healthcare

Simplifying pharmacy, helping everyone get the medicine they need. Echo is an online pharmacy that you connect to through an app. They can handle new and repeat prescriptions and deliver (free) within 48 hours of GP approval.

The app also has reminders for taking medication and also for prescription renewals.

Ultimately, they say, they want to help patients understand and do more for themselves.

During Covid, with large numbers of vulnerable people shielding at home, services such as Echo have become invaluable.

Echo logo

Founded: 2015

By: Sai Lakshmi, Stephen Bourke

Total funding: £8.8m

Web: www.echo.co.uk

World Remit

Sector: Fintech

Offering online money transfers in 90 currencies and sending to 150 countries (usually within minutes), World Remit now have over 4 million customers.

They allow you to send money from several sources, via a mobile app and arrange for delivery to be by bank transfer, cash pickup or in several other ways, such as mobile money transfer.

WorldRemit logo

Founded: 2010

By: Ismail Ahmed, Catherine Wines, Richard Igoe

Total funding: $407.7m

Web: www.worldremit.com


Sector: eCommerce

Papier started with beautifully designed and personalised greeting cards and stationery, with an aim to inspire people to connect with each other more often and in more meaningful ways. Since then, they have added to their range with wedding invitations, birth announcements, family photo albums and several other items, all created around beautifully designed paper.

Papier logo

Founded: 2015

By: Taymoor Atighetchi

Total funding: £12.4m

Web: www.papier.com


Sector: Education

By inspiring people to create, Skillshare enables them to make life-changing discoveries, advance their skills and careers, and learn about themselves.

Skillshare is an online learning community for creators. They host thousands of inspiring classes for creative and curious people, on topics including illustration, design, photography, video, freelancing, and many more. Their focus is on enabling creatives to master real-world skills from project-based classes.

Skillshare logo

Founded: 2010

By: Malcolm Ong, Michael Karnjanaprakorn

Total funding: $50.8m

Web: www.skillshare.com


Sector: Food. Delivery

Allplants are a prepared meal delivery company who plan, prepare, cook and deliver plant-based (vegan) meals which are delivered frozen to customers. They operate on a subscription service which can be changed, paused or cancelled by the customer at any time. Offering a large selection of menu options, they are on a mission to be the Earth’s most forward-thinking food company.

AllPlants logo

Founded: 2016

By: Alex Petrides, Jonathan Petrides

Total funding: £10.3m

Web: www.allplants.com


Sector: eCommerce. Apps

Poq is an eCommerce app creation platform. Poq platform provides tools for app creation and management, for eCommerce stores, so that they can have a permanent presence on their customers’ mobile devices. This provides bespoke shopping experiences and is a gateway to building stronger customer relationships.

Poq logo

Founded: 2011

By: Jun Seki, Michael Langguth, Mike Hann, Oyvind Henriksen

Total funding: $18.3m

Web: www.poqcommerce.com


Sector: Fintech

Shieldpay is an instant digital escrow facility that enables secure high-value transactions between both individuals and businesses.

Online fraud, they say, is as high as £11bn per annum, with payment fraud increasing by 53% per year. Shieldpay aims to eliminate payment fraud so that everyone, everywhere, can transact with each other with total confidence.

Shieldpay logo

Founded: 2016

By: Jerome Gudgeon, Peter Janes, Tom Clementson

Total funding: $6.4m

Web: www.shieldpay.com


Sector: eCommerce. Delivery. Software

Scurri is a simple, effective and adaptable API and dashboard created to optimise eCommerce ordering, shipping and delivery. They provide software that connects and optimises these processes. Scurri adds value at multiple stages along the eCommerce journey – from selecting the most effective delivery option for each package to providing tracking from despatch to delivery. Scurri enables eCommerce merchants to confidently scale and reach customers all over the world.

Scurri logo

Founded: 2010

By: Eugene Crehan, Josephine O’Connor, Rory O’Connor

Total funding: €6.5m

Web: www.scurri.co.uk

Babylon Health

Sector: Healthcare. AI

Babylon Health is an online/app health tool which can offer advice and assistance with a wide range of symptoms. It does this by using a combination of one of the largest medical databases, AI, patient history and an intelligent natural language processing (for understanding customer interactions). They also offer online GP consultations – their GP at Hand NHS service has over 75,000 patients registered. They aim to provide accessible, affordable healthcare by combining AI with doctors.

Babylon Health logo

Founded: 2013

By: Ali Parsa

Total funding: $635.3m

Web: www.babylonhealth.com


Sector: Transportation. Apps

This is a transport app for cities. Citymapper combines a mobile app and public transport data to help people navigate cities. They also provide a contactless card ‘Citymapper Pass’ which can be used on a growing number of public transports seamlessly, such as tube, train, bus, bicycles and even black cabs and other taxi services. This is based on a subscription model but offers benefits in return.

Citymapper logo

Founded: 2011

By: Azmat Yusuf

Total funding: $50m

Web: www.citymapper.com


Sector: Software. Graphic design. Developer

Figma is a collaborative interface design tool that enables live collaboration from the whole team working on a project. Its professional-grade tools are created specifically for interface design and enable product teams to create, test, and ship with ease. It can also be used for visual whiteboarding, diagramming and slide creation, and virtual design sprinting.

Figma logo

Founded: 2012

By: Dylan Field, Evan Wallace

Total funding: $132.9m

Web: www.figma.com


Sector: Apps. Home security

Notion combines up to date home security hardware with app technology. Notion’s multifunctional sensors can monitor for opening doors and windows, sounding smoke/CO alarms, water leaks, and temperature changes. Notion Bridge connects them all to your home WiFi and on to your mobile app, giving you peace of mind whether you are at home or away.

Notion logo

Founded: 2013

By: Brett Jurgens, Ryan Margoles

Total funding: $16m

Web: www.getnotion.com


Sector: Apps. Education

Zuoyebang is an online education provider that offers tutoring services for primary and secondary students in China. The company works alongside 113 educational organizations and 370,000 schools. It is best described as a platform where students can receive education and answers to academic questions, through lectures, interactive classrooms, video, teaching aids and apps.

Zuoybang logo

Founded: 2014

By: Hou Jianbin

Total funding: $1.3b

Web: www.zybang.com


Sector: eCommerce. Wine

Independent together: a new collective of small artisan wineries from the Languedoc. DDWine (Direct Delivery Wine) is a dedicated platform showcasing producers and their award-winning wines, delivering to England & Wales direct from the vineyard. A direct sales site made up of several independent winemakers from the Hérault Valley.

DD Wine logo

Founded: 2020

Total funding: nk

Web: www.ddwine.uk


Sector: Content creators. Content marketing. Photography. Videography

The only photo and video service you’ll ever need. Splento provides professional photography and videography around the world and delivery within 24 hours. They provide high-quality services to event organisers, venue marketplaces, holiday rental, food delivery startups and anyone else that needs visual content – from a single image up to thousands of sessions on a regular basis. There are no binding contracts and no minimum spends. Booking is made online or via API/CRM. Being creatives themselves, they are constantly pushing the envelope on services, such as developing Splento Platform for online project management and the integration of AI.

Splento logo

Founded: 2015

By: Roman Grigoriev

Total funding: £1m

Web: www.splento.com


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