10 Manchester-based startups to watch in 2021 and beyond

It’s no news that the UK is one of the hottest startup ecosystems across the world, which is why we introduced you to 10 super promising UK-based startups to watch in 2021 at the beginning of the year. It’s also true that London is always the superstar when it comes to UK-based startups lists, so today we’re shifting the focus on Manchester. 

Once a powerhouse of industry, Manchester is famous for the two Premier League football teams, Manchester United and Manchester City, and music icons like The Smiths, Joy Division, and Oasis. But more importantly for this article, Manchester recently made it into our annual ranking of Europe’s biggest startup hubs.

For this article we’ve scouted promising early-stage startups based in Manchester, founded in the last 3 years, taking into consideration team size, funding, growth rate, innovation, and market size. Here are 10 exceptionally promising Manchester-based startups worth following in 2021 and beyond.

The Modern Milkman is on a mission to reduce plastic waste and revolutionise consumer habits by delivering fresh ways to return and reuse packaging and shop ethically. Founded in 2018, the startup has raised over €18 million to grow its network of independent dairies, farmers, and suppliers who are mutually committed to sustainable produce and plastic-free packaging. Their platform connects eco-friendly suppliers to customers via online ordering, facilitating convenient doorstep deliveries. Their drinks come in returnable glass bottles that are washed and reused on average 25 times. 

Prevayl is an intelligent sportswear startup. Founded in 2019, Prevayl aims to offer insight and analysis of the body from comprehensive ECG (electrocardiogram) data that identifies heart rate and variability including heart rate zone and recovery, orthostatic heart rate, cardio age, heart function, atrial fibrillation, and ectopic heartbeat. With over €8.8 million and a team of 40 preparing its launch, the brand will consist of three distinct elements; sportswear, hardware, and the app. For this, they’re integrating technologies such as biometric data, AI, machine learning, and blockchain. 

TapTrip is a B2B end-to-end travel technology solution. It makes booking business travel easy for its clients’ customers, helping them control their costs, and access great savings.  Founded in 2018, the travel startup has raised over €3 million. TapTrip is designed to make finding, reading, and using data easier: quick reporting, simple expense creation, and easy exportation. With 60% lower transaction fees compared to the current leading travel booking tool and monthly savings through travel policy compliance and budget setting, TapTrip makes using corporate travel management affordable for SMEs.

PixelMax is a 3D technology software business that helps businesses solve any problems and ‘wow’ their audience. Founded in 2019, the startup has raised over €2.3 million to tackle the hybrid working challenge. The communications platform is delivering box-office-branded virtual events and is allowing customers to visualise and digitalise anything. All delivered through an engaging 3D interface that revolutionises the experience. They also create fully branded 3D virtual events for maximum impact, a fully immersive 3D world for people to explore and interact with.

B-North is an SME banking service aiming to disrupt the UK business lending market. Born in 2018, the startup has raised over €32.6 million to build a bank with the purpose to provide finance to UK businesses in a timely, professional and frictionless way. They promise to deliver up to 10x faster than the market standard by combining cloud-native technology with the trust of face-to-face relationship banking. Their decentralised model will place core banking functions closer to the customer, in a regional context, including relationship, credit, and valuation professionals. 

Holiferm was founded in 2018 and is a purpose-led company that aims to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. How will they do this? By developing and supplying sustainable, non-fossil-based, fermentation-derived ingredients for industrial and consumer products. Holiferm’s patented integrated gravity separation and fermentation tech is a plug and play system that increases fermentation process productivity by 3-4 times, reducing production costs by more than 50%. It also enables low-cost production of biosurfactants: renewable, biodegradable, and mild alternatives to the chemical ingredients used in household cleaning, laundry, and personal care products.

BankiFi is a technology platform designed to make business banking better, enabling banks to provide a set of integrated services like accounting, invoicing, and payments. It is designed around the processes customers use to run their business. Founded in 2018, BankiFi empowers banks to become customer-centric, rather than product-centric, increasing revenues and reducing costs while allowing businesses customers to thrive. By embedding banks within business workflows through simple-to-deploy financial tools, BankiFi aims to help businesses take on the challenges and become indispensable to their customers.

Summize is a platform bringing contracts to the digital era. Their intelligent software makes contract review, creation, and management easy for legal teams, wherever they work. With Summize’s instant summaries, in-house legal teams, law firms, and SMEs are able to understand, manage, and review contracts their way. Teams can find and define key terms, create contracts from scratch, perform health checks, and access playbooks. Summize was founded in 2018 and works alongside lawyers, rather than forcing them to change their habits.

The Modular Analytics Co is an artificial intelligence and machine learning provider that helps people make better decisions faster. Founded in 2018, they’ve raised over €740K to deliver affordable AI and ML SaaS solutions in customer engagement, customer service, coaching, and marketing across a variety of industries including retail, banking, financial services, media, outsourcing, and consultancy. The Modular Analytics Company aims to empower businesses to learn, develop, and optimise their customer lifetime value through innovative technologies and analytics.

Sourceful.io was founded in 2020 and is a sourcing and supply chain platform specialising in finding the most sustainable auxiliary goods that accompany each company’s core products. The sustainability-driven startup aims to make a difference in each business by leveraging their direct-to-manufacturer relationships, developing intelligent tech solutions, and helping them to offset the carbon footprint with Sourceful’s smart logistics. With aggregated logistics, Sourceful finds ways to reduce both the financial and environmental cost of freight, helping businesses and the planet. 

By the way: If you’re a corporate or investor looking for exciting startups in a specific market for a potential investment or acquisition, check out our Startup Sourcing Service!