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6 September, 2018 - 13:09 By Tony Quested

Five Cambridgeshire companies in Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100

Five Cambridgeshire companies with expertise ranging from cyber security to CleanTech feature in this weekend’s Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 league table which ranks Britain’s private technology, media and telecoms companies with the fastest-growing sales.

Darktrace, Featurespace, Arcus Global, dB Broadcast and geo make the hot 100. 

The five – down from six last year – have grown sales by an average of 105 per cent a year over three years to a total of £138 million and together now employ more than 1,000 people.

Three are new entrants to the table. Among them is Cambridge-based Arcus Global (placed 56th), which develops software to help local authorities digitise and integrate their operations. 

It also offers an AI-enabled automated call centre system which is used by the NHS. In May, Arcus Global secured a £3m investment from private equity firm YFM, valuing it at £27m. It had annual sales growth of 76 per cent to £9.7m over the three years under review.

It joins fellow Cambridge firm Darktrace, which appears for a second year and is highest ranked of the Cambs cohort in ninth. It has developed software using machine learning and advanced maths to spot cyber security threats. 

In May, Darktrace became a unicorn, a privately-owned company valued at more than $1bn, when two of its early backers sold some of their shares in a secondary sale. It is now worth $1.25bn. The company reported annual sales growth of 196 per cent and now employs 694 people.

Second highest Cambs company is dB Broadcast in 19th. As the name suggests, the Ely-based business is a broadcast technology provider and has sales growth of 144 per cent over the three years to £34.9m. Customers include Sky, YouTube, Bloomberg and the BBC.

Analytics software developer Featurespace, like Darktrace in Mike Lynch’s coveted Cambridge tech stable, was 85th with annual sales growth of 57 per cent. The company is recruiting an additional 100 staff on top of the current 113 headcount this year – to meet growth in demand in the UK and US.

Smart energy monitoring company geo, also headquartered in Cambridge, is 96th with annual sales growth over the three years of 51 per cent and estimated sales of £29.4m. Customers in Norway, Sweden and Luxembourg are among those using its technology.

The companies in Cambridgeshire appear with businesses from around Britain, including currency transfer provider TransferWise, peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Circle and online entertainment community LADBible Group. 
Past stars range from travel search engine Skyscanner, which was bought by Ctrip, China’s largest travel company, for £1.4 billion in 2016, to listed takeaway website Just Eat, now worth £5bn.

The Tech Track 100 is sponsored by Hiscox, Barclays, BDO, BGF and N+1 Singer, and compiled by Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events firm.

Steve McGerr, head of direct commercial at Hiscox Insurance UK, said: “Technology businesses in Cambridgeshire are thriving thanks to the fearlessness and determination of those that run them. We have great admiration for the talented entrepreneurs that make up the companies on this year’s Tech Track 100.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Bloomberg’s London HQ, with studio facilities delivered by dB Broadcast

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