Brighter tomorrow as D&B Accelerate50 is set to be unveiled

Powered by its data and insights, Dun & Bradstreet will unveil the inaugural Accelerate50 on the 23rd March, revealing and celebrating the UK’s top 50 high-growth technology companies


A brighter tomorrow

As the UK slowly emerges from what it hopes will be its final lockdown, buoyed by a vaccination programme admired around the world, there is a burgeoning sense of optimism in the air. And March 23rd brings some more welcome positivity, with a dose of celebration, as Dun & Bradstreet reveals the Accelerate50: the UK’s top 50 high-growth tech companies.

The inaugural Dun & Bradstreet Accelerate50 awards event follows the launch of the global Dun & Bradstreet Partner Programme D&B Accelerate. The partner programme strives to build powerful relationships, combining Dun & Bradstreet’s best-in-class data with its partners’ innovative technology platforms to present complete solutions for organisations. 

Technology, of course, has been pivotal to minimising the impact of successive lockdowns on businesses’ productivity and keeping people connected to vital services, and each other, online. Equally, innovation has a crucial role to play as we enter a post-pandemic world, with organisations utilising its transformative powers to reimagine how we work and live.

Fast-growth companies, particularly those in the Accelerate50, can play a part in the UK’s economic revival through higher investment, competitive exports and employment creation

As governments ordered citizens to stay at home, technology companies took on a greater importance. Out of sheer necessity, in a few short months organisations speeded up their digital transformations by several years, according to research by McKinsey & Company. A study by Twilio, meanwhile, noted that digital communications strategies advanced globally by an average of six years. Coronavirus has been a digital accelerant like no other. 

Through the amplified need for digital services, solutions and platforms, the savviest tech startups have seized the moment to accelerate their growth ambitions. As people have worked, learnt, banked, exercised and socialised from home, they have learnt more about what can be achieved digitally than all the technology marketing campaigns in the world put together. 

Crucially, it has also widened the opportunity for technology businesses to disrupt traditional industries. The Accelerate50 presents the leading digital disruptors across the financial, manufacturing, computer and communications sectors.

The Accelerate50 programme is powered by Dun & Bradstreet’s recognised and trusted data intelligence and insights. The technology status of each company, defined by having technology products, platforms, hardware and services forming a primary revenue resource, was verified and validated using Dun & Bradstreet’s in-house proprietary analytics tools. 

The process for selecting companies started with the use of D&B Hoovers to generate a list of UK-based companies with revenues greater than £40,000 in 2016 and £3 million in 2019. Having established the top 50, sorted by their three-year revenue CAGR, the list was then scanned using Dun & Bradstreet third-party risk and compliance checks to identify and remove any companies in which significant ethical or compliance issues were flagged.

Dun & Bradstreet captures financial data from a variety of sources, including Companies House, Companies Registration Office, Charity Commission and some other GOV.UK official sites. For listed entities, it is able to source data directly from companies’ websites.

Fintechs on top

It is perhaps no coincidence that, as you will discover tomorrow, the top three companies in the Accelerate50 are fintechs. Over the last decade, a raft of technology startups have set their sights on the financial services industry, spotting an opportunity to serve customers in a better way than incumbent players weighed down by legacy. 

The fintech market has continued to help expand access to financial services during the pandemic, with strong growth in all types of digital financial services except lending, according to a joint study by the World Bank, University of Cambridge and World Economic Forum. While other industries faced near-collapse, most types of fintech firms reported strong growth for the first half of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.

Consumers and businesses have been striving to interact differently with financial services for some time, but the pandemic added an extra impetus for more seamless alternatives across digital channels. Online banking usage grew by a fifth during the first lockdown last year, according to research by PwC, which also recorded a significant acceleration in the shift to digital payments and predicted a 25 per cent uplift in mobile payments by 2022. 

Of course, just by virtue of being a technology firm during a time of such heavy reliance on technology does not guarantee success. The impact of the pandemic, and further disruption from the Brexit transition, has been felt just as severely by many technology companies as it has in all other industries, which led to Dun & Bradstreet downgrading its real GDP growth forecast for 2020 to -10.5 per cent, compared with 2019’s 1.3 per cent growth.

Indeed, a record number of tech startups folded in September, after months of early-stage businesses struggling to attract investment to stay afloat. This makes the achievements of the Accelerate50 companies all the more impressive. In a deeply challenging year for most organisations, they have displayed enormous resilience and agility to outpace expectations.

“The Accelerate50 celebrates these organisations and how they grew in such a tumultuous period, whether through digital transformation, agility in the time of COVID-19 or investing in data to improve business performance,” says Neeraj Sahai, President, International at Dun & Bradstreet. “Fast-growth companies, particularly those in the Accelerate50, can play a part in the UK’s economic revival through higher investment, competitive exports and employment creation, paving the way for rapid economic growth in 2021 and beyond.”This unveiling of the Dun & Bradstreet Accelerate50 will not only present the winning companies, and compare financial results within their respective sectors, but it will also delve into the stories of those at the top of the list. Through interviews with their founders and leaders, we discover the key ingredients of a fast-growth technology company during such an unprecedented time. Don’t miss out as these tech trailblazers reveal their views on upcoming challenges, opportunities and the power of data to inform their decision-making.

To learn more about the D&B Aceelarate50 award winners, click here