Top tech companies to watch coming out of Edinburgh

Callum Murray
Callum Murray

Scotland’s capital is the best location in the UK for establishing a technology company, according to the Tech Nation 2018 Report.  

Boasting successes such as Skyscanner and Fanduel, and with the backing of the £1.3 billion Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, Edinburgh’s tech eco-system continues to thrive as it aspires to become The Data Capital of Europe.

That’s why all eyes will be on the fifty ambitious, high-growth potential, tech companies pitching for investment at next month’s annual international technology investor event for data-driven innovation, Engage Invest Exploit (EIE).

Now in its eleventh year, EIE has a great track record, having been a springboard for over 350 companies who have benefited from the investor-ready programme and have gone on to raise in excess of £650 million, including the likes of mLED Ltd, Mallzee, and Two Big Ears.

Nine of this year’s cohort have now been selected to make an extended pitch at the event on 24 April at Edinburgh’s McEwan Hall.

Steve Ewing, director of operations at Informatics Ventures, which runs Engage Invest Exploit (EIE), said: “This year’s cohort of companies range from very early stage to 5+ years, and each of them will use the opportunity to pitch to a room of global investors. All of the companies pitching are seeking funding to scale their business and manage growth.”

The companies taking to the stage for an extended pitch are:

Company Name: Amiqus Resolution Ltd                 

Founded by:  Callum Murray, Robbie Manson, Kathryn McBean, Doug Kelly, Rik Hudson, Steve Easton

What is your product?
Amiqus ID, our first product, is an encrypted online tool that helps firms to collect, analyse and manage anti-money laundering and compliance information. It turns hours of paper-based admin into minutes of online compliance, keeping client data secure while reducing the admin costs.

It is now accredited and recommended by regulatory bodies throughout the UK and has been adopted across multiple sectors – legal, accountancy, property and recruitment.

What inspired you to develop and set up?
Amiqus was founded in 2015 after Callum, our CEO, experienced the civil court process first hand as a litigant and was motivated to help improve access to legal information and support.

How does your product benefit society? 
Our mission is to make civil justice accessible to everyone. Amiqus ID makes it quicker and easier for individuals and businesses to engage with professional advisors and access the help and services they need. In the long term, we’re building multiple products to provide small businesses and individuals with open access to legal information and expertise and helping to tackle societal issues like financial inclusion.

How much funding have you raised so far? £1.2 million

Company Name:    

Founded by:              Brian Smillie   

What is your product?          Progressive Web App (PWA) mobile app creation and marketing platform

What inspired you to develop and set up?

I was inspired by my experience of running an award-winning digital agency where thousands were spent by clients on building apps which often wouldn’t make it out of the app stores. Beezer bypasses the app stores and disrupts the way apps are created.

How will your product benefit society?

By democratising mobile app building – making what was previously out of reach for SMEs, organisations and individuals accessible and low cost. With Beezer, you can create your own app without technical or design skills. 

Company Name:       Blockchain Technology Partners                   

Founded by:              Duncan Johnston-Watt and Kevin O’Donnell

What is your product? Sextant™ – a blockchain management platform that helps organisations build, deploy and manage blockchain-based solutions using a world class open source technology stack.

What inspired you to develop and set up?
We quickly realised that our extensive experience in operations, automation and cloud could be applied to this emerging market opportunity and accelerate the adoption of blockchain technology.

How will your product benefit society?
Blockchain technology has the potential to bring unprecedented levels of trust and security to the internet, allowing people to take advantage of the openness of the internet; and transact with anyone anywhere in the world safe in the knowledge that the information that they are relying on is verified, traceable and secure.

How much funding have you raised so far?
The business was bootstrapped by the founders with the help of three angel investors.

Company Name:       Cyan Forensics Ltd                

Founded by:              Ian Stevenson (CEO) and Bruce Ramsay (CTO)

What is your product?
Rapid digital forensics technology, which allows police to search a suspect’s digital device for content relating to child sexual exploitation and counter terrorism investigations.

What inspired you to develop and set up?
Our technology represents a vital step forward for police investigations of this kind, helping them catch dangerous criminals and safeguard victims. The technology also helps internet and social media networks to find and remove dangerous online content.

What problem are you solving and what will be the impact?
Realising the potential to make the digital world a safer place by harnessing the power of technology.

How much funding have you raised so far?  £950,000

Company Name:       edjo                

Founded by:  Harjyot Singh             

What is your product?

A platform that helps the creative industries fight against plagiarism. The platform integrates instantaneous copyrighting and licensing using blockchain technology with a real-time AI driven tracker with the ability to track digital content (photographs, designs, music) across the internet. 

What inspired you to develop and set up?

My Instagram picture was being used to advertise trips to India on a very popular website, and it was only by chance that we found out about it. My research at university was into audio and photography fingerprinting. Put two and two together, and edjo was born.

What problem are you solving and what will be the impact?

Plagiarism in today’s digital world is rampant – the creative industries lose over £13 billion worldwide every year, this includes but is not limited to photographs, illustration, designs and music. On top of that, existing copyrighting solutions are time consuming and expensive, and only scour a small fraction of the internet.

Company Name:       MyWay Digital Health 

Founded by:              Debbie Wake and Scott Cunningham           

What is your product? 
My Diabetes My Way (MDMW) – an online self-management platform that supports people with diabetes and their carers, giving access to data, education and automated advice.

What inspired you to develop and set up?
There is a huge need for more efficient and cost-effective diabetes management.  People with diabetes spend on average less than two hours per year with a health care professional but must manage their condition 24/7. In response to this crisis, we developed My Diabetes My Way (MDMW), a low cost scalable online platform to support people with diabetes, providing access to data from health IT systems and patient home recorded data enabling personalised automated advice, education, support and communication tools.

How will your product benefit society?   
Diabetes is a massive and growing global health epidemic affecting 10% of the population and rising, costing £2.5 trillion annually. MDMW improves health and wellbeing of people with diabetes and reduces healthcare costs.

MDMW has been scaled across Scotland with over 50,000 registrants and is already improving health outcomes and significantly impacting on the £1.5million/hr UK spend. MyWay Digital Health is now taking MDMW to healthcare providers in NHS England and abroad.

How much funding have you raised so far? We have not raised any external investment funding to date. We have secured around £3 million in innovation and commercial funding since incorporation in 2017.

Company Name:  Trakz Labs Ltd    

Founded by:  Tom Butcher, Euan Mackenzie, Martin Ling

What is your product? We produce the world’s most advanced GPS and activity tracking collar for cats and dogs, along with engaging mobile apps and robust pet services platform. We design and build connected devices, mobile apps, and secure, scalable data-platforms to help pet owners globally improve quality, whilst reducing the cost of pet-care. Further products and data interpretation capability mean we are well placed to penetrate the €91bn pet services market.

What inspired you to develop and set up?

The idea for Trakz was born when the dog that Tom’s family got to train as a diabetic support dog decided to run off through gaps in the garden fence. This led the family to the conclusion that there was no suitable solution to this problem. Using his knowledge of how sensors could be used to more accurately manage claims and underwrite insurance policies, Tom was able to identify the type of solution that might solve this problem, as well as provide a meaningful business model.

How will your product benefit society?

Trakz is helping democratise pet-care. We bring down the cost of pet health care whilst solving the trauma and emotional wrench of losing one of the family.

How much funding have you raised so far?

£300k in seed funding from external investors.

Company Name:       Voxzio            

Founded by:              Michael McTernan and Matt Farrugia

What is your product?

Our product, Alli-Chat, creates AI driven, personalised conversations that help people become aware of their mental health, and how it affects their lives. It also gives them the language and understanding to talk about their mental health and delivers relevant personalised information that helps them support themselves and their friends.

What inspired you to develop and set up?

Alli-Chat was created in response to a question from youth leaders in Stirling: “How can we start conversations with young people about their mental wellbeing?”

The Scottish Youth Parliament calls mental health difficulties “our generation’s epidemic”. Two out of three young people would not tell someone if they were finding it difficult to cope with their mental health, because they fear being judged. Three out of four do not know where to go to get local support and information.

We chose to work with youth leaders to co-create our product, Alli-Chat, helping young people to talk about their mental wellbeing, and creating the basis for a product that can help anyone.

How will your product benefit society?

Around half of ill health in the under 65s is caused by mental health issues. Yet very few of us talk about our mental wellbeing, and indeed often ignore it. According to a report in The Lancet, failure to deal with mental health issues costs $16trillion globally. Mental health isn’t just a global crisis, it’s a personal one, affecting every part of our lives.

Through Alli-Chat we aim to enable people to improve their mental health, by helping them understand it, talk about it, and get the support they need in a way that works for them.

How much funding have you raised so far?

Voxsio is revenue generating and has not needed to raise funds yet. We are looking for investors who are passionate about mental health issues, and want to make a difference in the world.

Company Name: Vreo                      

Founded by:  Andreas Schemm and Alfred Steiof  

What is your service? 
Enabling non-intrusive advertising within the biggest entertainment industry, gaming, as well as providing trust and transparency to battle the 30-billion-dollar problem of advertising fraud.

What inspired you to develop and set up?

We have been gamers and founders for a long time, leading to frustration with both the current monetization options for games and the lack of accountability and viewability when evaluating marketing campaigns and budgets. Nobody likes pop-ups, interstitials or being preyed upon by gambling schemes, or just having to hope that the provided evaluation data is truthful. So we decided to offer a better way, combining solutions to both problems into one ecosystem.

How will this benefit society?

The current monetization models of free-to-play games (especially on mobile) are often either interruptive or encourage gambling, so we provide an alternative with embedded ads. We also provide a more transparent environment in an industry where fraud is rife, so companies all over the world can engage in campaigns together without trust issues.

How much funding have you raised so far?

Around 500,000 euros to date.

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