Press releases

2016 UK Technology Fast 50 announced

18 November 2016

  • Brainlabs tops Deloitte’s annual ranking of the UK’s fastest-growing technology companies with an average four-year revenue growth rate of 8,255%;
  • The average four-year growth rate recorded for the Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 companies is 1,240% in the year 2015/16;
  • The Fast 50 companies generated £884m of combined revenue in 2015/2016, employing more than 7,100 people;
  • Almost half of Fast 50 CEOs cited recruitment as the most important contributor to growth, but a quarter fear that a lack skilled workers will threaten future growth.

Deloitte, the business advisory firm, has today announced the winners of the 2016 UK Technology Fast 50. The awards, now in their nineteenth year, recognise and rank the 50 fastest growing technology companies in the UK, based on the last four years of revenue growth. Supporting Deloitte’s initiative for the UK’s fastest-growing technology companies are the award sponsors Netsuite, Silicon Valley Bank and Taylor Wessing.

This year’s winner: Brainlabs
Brainlabs has been named the overall winner of the 2016 UK Technology Fast 50 competition. Based in London, the performance marketing agency delivered a staggering growth rate of 8,255% over the past four years.

Since being founded in 2012, Brainlabs has helped advertisers extract the maximum amount of value from their campaigns through the company’s expertise in automation and data analytics. Whilst the adtech company has been able to achieve this remarkable growth, the most demanding task of all has been the recruitment of almost 100 new people with the necessary skills to ensure they always provide a high quality service for clients.

Daniel Gilbert, CEO and founder of Brainlabs, explains: “The UK has one of the richest technology ecosystems in the world, with amazing conditions in terms of skills and technical capabilities, funding, advisors and ease of doing business.

“However, finding the right talent – and quickly – is a perennial problem for fast-growing tech companies such as ours. We want people who are willing to join us on a journey in which they are constantly enriching and broadening their perspectives.

“We don’t know what we will look like in six months’ time and could be a completely different business by then. This industry is constantly changing, so we have to as well.”

Regional picture
The regional make up of this year’s top ten is more diverse than in previous years, with representatives from the South East, the Midlands and Scotland featuring. London continues to dominate as the biggest producer of fast-growth tech companies, being the headquarters of six of the top ten and 54% of the winners (up from 50% last year). Scottish-based Exsel Group came third overall, recording a strong growth of 3,936%. The remaining regional winners in the top ten are occupied by the South East regional winner, Nervecentre Software (5th, 2,702%), and the Midlands regional winner, Peppermint Technology (7th, 2,331%).

The broader regional split is also more evenly distributed compared to 2015. The Midlands has seen the biggest increase in its number of winners in the top 50, up eight percentage points from last year.

CEO survey
As part of the awards process, Deloitte has analysed information submitted by the 122 Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 entrants and surveyed 74 CEOs from these fast growing companies.

Recruitment and hiring was a recurring theme amongst CEOs, with 45% of respondents citing employee talent as one of the three most important factors for their fast growth. Significantly, more than half (55%) of respondents stated that attracting and recruiting employees with appropriate skills and experience was the single biggest people challenge their company currently faces.

David Cobb, lead partner for the Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50, said: “The high growth rates achieved by our Fast 50 winners shows that the UK technology start-up scene is in rude health. However, attracting the right people can be a challenge for any business, but it is all the more difficult for Fast 50 winners. Business leaders of fast growing companies want to be able to scale in line with their ambitions. It is about getting the right people in the right positions, and, unless these businesses quickly recruit large volumes of skilled workers, they will become victims of their own success.”


Notes to editors

Photographs of the awards ceremony are available on request.

About the Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50
The Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 is one of the UK’s foremost technology award programmes. Now in its nineteenth successful year, it is a ranking of the country’s 50 fastest-growing technology companies, based on revenue growth over the last four years. The UK Fast 50 awards are all about growth driven by leading intellectual property and are a celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship. The UK Technology Fast 50 is part of an international programme run by Deloitte and qualifying entrants of the UK Fast 50 will be put forward to the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) programme. Previous winners have come from across the UK, are both large and small, and included some of the most dynamic players in all areas of technology, from internet specialists to biotech, digital media technology to life sciences, computers to semiconductors and software to telecommunications.
For more information visit

Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 eligibility criteria

  1. The company must have been in business for a minimum of four years;
  2. The company must be considered a technology company which, for the purposes of the awards, is defined as one that:
    1. owns proprietary intellectual property or proprietary technology that contributes to a significant portion of the company's operating revenues;
    2. manufactures a technology related product;
    3. devotes a significant proportion of operating revenues to research and development of technology;
    4. is technology intensive, or uses its own unique technology to solve problems.

      NB: Using third party technology or intellectual property in a unique way does not meet this definition. Consulting companies, professional services firms, resellers and others who don't rely on proprietary technologies to generate their revenue are not eligible.
  3. The parent company must be UK-owned and have its headquarters in the UK;
    1. NB: Companies headquartered in Northern Ireland can take part in the UK OR Irish programme, but need to choose one or the other and cannot enter both.
  4. Operating revenues must be at least £44,000 (€50,000) for the first financial year of the four year period and £806,000 (€1,000,000) for the most recent financial year;
    1. NB: The accounts for year four should have an accounting period ending between 1 June 2015 and 31 May 2016.
  5. All submissions must be accompanied by signed accounts for the first and last financial year being measured in the competition. Unless a statutory exemption is being taken, these accounts must be unabbreviated and audited.

If you have any further questions regarding whether your company qualifies, please contact

About NetSuite
NetSuite’s cloud business software suite is the top choice of technology companies who understand that the key to unlocking and managing growth is a back office system that can address today’s challenges while providing the critical foundation for future expansion.

Today over 30,000 companies trust NetSuite to run their mission critical business processes from accounting, procurement and HR through to marketing and sales. NetSuite’s track record as the business system of choice for high-growth tech companies is unmatched. NetSuite isn’t just for start-ups, companies of all sizes benefit from its comprehensive, global financial and accounting core that makes international expansion straightforward; improved visibility across the business; and increased efficiency from eliminating manual processes and disparate systems.

To find out more, please visit

About Silicon Valley Bank
For more than 30 years, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has helped innovative businesses, enterprises and their investors move bold ideas forward, fast. SVB provides a range of targeted financial services and expertise through its office in the UK. With commercial and international banking services, SVB helps address the unique needs of innovators. The UK's leading technology and life science businesses, in all stages of development, look to SVB’s niche expertise, experience and unparalleled network, as they grow at home and tackle new markets abroad. Learn more at

About Taylor Wessing
Taylor Wessing is a full-service international law firm, with more than 1,200 lawyers in 33 offices worldwide, working with clients in the world’s most dynamic industries. We take a single-minded approach to advising our clients, helping them succeed by thinking innovatively about their business issues.

Our focus on the industries of tomorrow has enabled us to develop market-leading expertise in Technology, Media and Communications; Life Sciences; Private Wealth and Energy. At Taylor Wessing we are proud of our reputation as a forward-thinking firm.

Taylor Wessing's Technology, Media and Communications Group is a leader in its field. The firm acts for clients throughout the eco-system, from start-ups through to global giants, often acting internationally. The firm's full service intellectual property offering provides clients with deep sector knowledge and experience, while its reputation management offering is recognised as being market leading. The firm is well positioned to advise around media and technology convergence issues thanks to the strengths of its technology and IT practice and its well-regarded corporate and M&A expertise in this sector.

For more information, please visit the TMC page on the Taylor Wessing website and follow @TaylorWessing, @TWTechCity and LinkedIn

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

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