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British Enterprise in 2014

29th December 2014

It’s been a mixed year for British businesses with some of our more established names struggling to increase sales and being hit by accounting issues, but many small businesses are thriving.

Management Today has picked out 5 start-ups that have experienced fantastic growth in 2014.

1.    Funding Circle
Funding circle has become one of the most successful financial technology start ups that focusses on peer-to-peer lending. By being able to take advantage of the discontentment that many businesses feel with the banks and traditional sources of funding, the company has grown to be one of the major players in this industry. Since its launch in 2010, it has facililated the loan of £470m to small businesses. It obtained a ground breaking referral deal with Santander and raised a huge £43m when it went looking for investment this year.

2.    Crowd Cube
Crowd Cube was the first online crowd funding platform that allowed investors to buy a stake in an entrepreneurs business in the UK. The crowdfunding industry has become so significant that the Financial Conduct Authority has introduced specific regulations for the industry. This year, Crowd Cube broke crowd funding records by raising £1.2m in 16 minutes. It also increased its visibility by hosting a crowd funding campaign aimed at saving the struggling Formula 1 team, Caterham.

3.    Just Eat
Originally founded in Denmark in 2000, Just Eat came to the UK in 2006. Initially it was better known to students than investors but due to its IPO in London in April all that has changed. The company is now present in 13 countries and is valued at more than £1.75bn.

4.    JustPark
The JustPark app tries to solve the continuing problem of trying to find a parking space. It connects motorists with residents who have a spare parking space. JustPark, formerly Parkatmyhouse, rebranded after getting an investment from Index Ventures. This follows on from investment from BMW, which this year announced plans to incorporate the app into Mini dashboards.

5.    Transferwise
Founded by Estonians Kristo Kaarmann and Taavet Hinrikus in 2011, Transfrwise provides a money transfer service which beats banks charges by facilitating a peer to peer service. The venture has had backing from PayPal founder Peter Thiel and as part of its £25m funding round also achieved support from Richard Branson.

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