Leeds may not be the first place you associate with tech, but the city boasts some of the biggest names in the business: Rockstar Games, Sky Betting and Gaming, Jet2 and NHS Digital all call it home. Tech Nation reports that Leodensians turned over a cool £1 billion in digital tech business in 2017, and the number of new startups formed rises every year.
The Leeds Digital Festival is the largest of its kind outside London, and incubators, workspaces and groups like She Does Digital provide a real sense of community for tech entrepreneurs. As small businesses in the north and particularly around Manchester continues to thrive and grow, Leeds is one city to keep a close eye on.
Huddle Capital is a peer-to-peer lending platform designed to support the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK. The company assesses both lenders and borrowers for their suitability, then matches them to each other; lenders can typically expect to receive between 12% and 16% per annum in interest.
Rebuilding Society combines peer-to-peer lending with crowdfunding to help small businesses to raise the capital they need. Businesses can borrow between £25,000 and £300,000, making repayments over a number of months to years. Lenders can see at a glance which loans are risky and the average interest rate offered by other lenders.
UOWN is a property crowdfunding site that lets anyone invest in new developments and buy-to-lets from as little as £1. Rental income is paid while projects are funding, so you may make a little extra as soon as you invest.
Leeds healthtech startups
Aerobit Health applies smart hardware and software to asthma inhalers in order to simplify treatment and prevent emergencies. Smart sensors help patients to use their inhalers properly, while Bluetooth connectivity monitors usage for doctors and caretakers.
Pharmacy2U takes care of NHS repeat prescriptions, simplifying the ordering process and delivering batches to your home with no postage fee. The company also offers a speedy, discreet online doctor service for common conditions such as eczema, situational anxiety and erectile dysfunction.
Vet-AI is the first company to use artificial intelligence in pet care. The startup hopes to use AI to predict and prevent conditions before they begin, improving work-life balance for vets and also making care more expedient and affordable for pet lovers. Co-founder Robert Dawson has 25 years’ experience as a vet and investment has already surpassed £2.3 million.
Leeds edutech startups
Signin lets students earn course credit by completing micro-internships online. Each micro-internship teaches a company’s core values and uses real work scenarios to test new skills.
Synap is a learning management system that uses Spaced Learning algorithms to create personalised courses for learners. Richly customisable, secure and fully scalable, the platform supports businesses and educational institutions alike. Customers include Oxford University Press and the NHS.
Tutorful‘s network includes over 10,000 qualified, student-reviewed tutors. Book in-person lessons or alternatively take tutoring online with video chat, shared documents, screen sharing and an online whiteboard; pricing starts from £15 per hour.
Leeds lifestyle startups
Cocoon is an AI-powered home security system that monitors sound across the home and identifies unusual activity, sending real-time alerts to the app via WiFi. Unlike other systems, Cocoon is able to learn new patterns and adapt its idea of security.
JigTalk is a dating app that takes the focus away from appearances and incentivises real conversation by covering other singles’ faces with jigsaw puzzles. The more you talk, the more you’ll see of your match.
Positive Plus One
Positive Plus One is an award-nominated online community and dating site for people diagnosed with HIV. Founder Christian Mercer hopes to combat the stigma of being HIV-positive and provide an app where people can find support, friendship and love in a safe space.
Resooma collates flats, house shares and halls for students looking for rental accommodation on a budget. The platform filters search results by city, type of housing, budget and rooms required.
Vintage Cash Cow
Vintage Cash Cow makes it simple to sell your vintage items and antiques, even if they are broken or you aren’t sure of their provenance. Post your goods in for a quote and receive payment through bank transfer or have your items returned for free.
Branswer‘s intelligent software helps startups and charities to find their voice and write their own copy. Completely automated, it creates press releases, content and social media with tone of voice perfectly matched to customer base. Businesses are empowered to tell their stories themselves and unlock promotional power that would normally be out of budget—pricing starts from just £5 per month.
Delhop offers third-party logistics for restaurants and takeaways on a pay as you go basis, exactly when drivers are needed. Rather than handling orders like Deliveroo or Uber Eats, Delhop works exclusively on delivery.