The 100 coolest people in UK tech

UK Tech 100 Improbable imageImprobableRob Whitehead (left) and Herman Narula (right) of Improbable.

The UK has a thriving technology industry that includes everything from financial technology (fintech) to artificial intelligence and fashion startups.

We sorted through the UK’s leading technology figures to bring you this list of the coolest people working in UK tech.

We looked at who’s done cool and interesting things in the past year, including companies that have raised money or been acquired, as well as people who have been promoted.

This list includes both startup CEOs and entrepreneurs, as well as venture capitalists, radio presenters and journalists.

Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments — we want to know about them. Now scroll down to see the 100!

100. Martha Lane Fox, Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho

Lane Fox launched online travel site in 1998 during the dotcom bubble. It was one of the few businesses to survive the crash, going on to be purchased for £577 million in 2005. She entered the House of Lords in 2013, becoming its youngest female member.

Lane Fox continues to campaign for a better technology industry. She launched an initiative called Dot Everyone in April 2015 that aims to bring about a fairer and more equal internet for all. Lane Fox has also joined the Government Digital Service advisory board and signed a letter urging Prime Minister David Cameron not to clamp down on immigration in case it hurts the technology sector.

Twitter: @Marthalanefox

99. Rodolfo Rosini of is building an alternative to Google Now that can mine tweets for context and bring up relevant data in other apps on your phone.

The company wants to transform the mobile experience using artificial intelligence (AI), contextual search and deeplinking, learning from users as it goes and offering them information and services from the other apps on a phone.

CEO Rodolfo Rosini previously cofounded AI company Storybricks, which used AI in video games. He was also the CEO of security company Cellcrypt.

Total amount raised: $118,000 (£80,000)

Headcount: 5

Twitter: @rodolfor

98. Former Google Ventures general partner Eze Vidra

One of Google's most high-profile executives in the UK, Vidra was part of Google Ventures' European fund. He was previously known as the head of Google Campus, Google's large coworking office space for startups in the middle of the east London tech scene. He's also behind the Tech Bikers charity effort, started in 2012, where startup founders and employees participate in a long-distance bike race from Paris to London to raise money for charity.

Vidra quit Google Ventures on Christmas Day, weeks after it was announced that the separate fund for European startups would be closed.

Twitter: @ediggs

97. Tech City UK CEO Gerard Grech

Tech City UK

Gerard Grech is the CEO of government quango Tech City UK, which was unveiled by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010.

The organisation was set up initially to support the thriving startup scene in East London but today it is tasked with supporting startups in tech clusters across the UK, from Edinburgh and Brighton to Manchester and Cambridge.

Over the last year Grech has launched a number of initiatives at Tech City UK, including Upscale -- a six-month pilot programme designed to accelerate the growth of 25 early stage high-growth digital businesses.

Headcount: 45

Twitter: @gerardgrech

96. Nick Beighton of ASOS

Nick Beighton took over as the CEO of online fashion retailer ASOS last September, having previously been the company's chief operating officer.

The online fashion retailer stocks a wide variety of youth-focused fashion labels and is popular with 20-somethings on a budget.

Beighton has a financial background and was an accountant at KPMG before joining ASOS.

Headcount: 1,580

95. Seedcamp cofounder Reshma Sohoni


Reshma Sohoni is cofounder and partner at Seedcamp, a fund launched in 2007 by a group of European investors, including Saul Klein.

In December 2015, Sohoni joined up with Taavet Hinrikus, one of the cofounders of TransferWise, to back a new online payments startup called Curve. Details on Curve are scarce as the company is running in stealth mode and yet to publicly disclose what its platform actually does.

Seedcamp focuses on investing in pre-seed and seed stage startups, backing ambitious founders in the process. In addition to funding, Seedcamp gives startups access to venture capitalists and mentors.

Total amount raised: $39.9 million (£27.5 million)

Headcount: 187

Twitter: @rsohoni

94. Jay Radia of Yieldify


Jay Radia is CEO of London-based Yieldify, an ecommerce software aims to help online retailers convince people to buy products online.

The marketing tech startup attracted investment from Google Ventures in June when it raised an $11.5 million (£8 million) funding round.

Yieldify's software tracks user actions online and sends personalised offers in pop ups if they go to leave the site and in emails if they do leave. The idea is to get people to think again about buying something they decided not to purchase.

The London startup also has offices in New York, as well as sites in Berlin, Porto, and Sydney.

Total amount raised: $11.5 million (£8 million)

Headcount: 162

Twitter: @J_RadiaYieldify

93. Sagi Shorrer of Peak

Former Googler Sagi Shorrer is chief operating officer and cofounder of Peak, a London-based company with a popular brain training app.

In April 2015, the company raised a $7 million (£4.8 million) series A round and there are rumours circulating that another big round could be on the horizon.

Over the last three-and-a-half years, Peak's app, which is underpinned by neuroscience from Cambridge University scientists, has been downloaded over seven million times.

Total amount raised: $10 million (£6.9 million)

Headcount: 31

Twitter: @Shorrer

92. Legacy Russell of Artsy

Legacy Russell works for Artsy, which is an online platform that aims to provide a way for people to discover art they will like, featuring work from leading galleries, museums, and private collections around the world.

Russell -- who bases herself in Rohan Silva's trendy London startup hub, Second Home -- is the UK gallery relations lead at Artsy. Her job involves building Artsy's presence and driving new Artsy initiatives within the UK.

In March 2015, the New York headquartered company raised $25 million (£17 million) from a cohort of investors, including IDG Capital partners, Sandy Cass, Catterton Partners, and Thrive Capital.

Total amount raised: $50 million (£35 million)

Headcount: 161

Twitter: @LegacyRussell

91. Former hacker Mustafa Al-Bassam

Photo: Mustafa Al-Bassam/ Twitter/ @musalbas

21-year-old Mustafa Al-Bassam made headlines for all the wrong reasons three years ago — when he was named as one of the individuals involved in the notorious hacking group LulzSec.

LulzSec hit everything from Fox to the NHS, and for his part, Al-Bassam was handed down a 20-month suspended sentence by the UK courts.

He’s now studying computer science at King’s College in London (after a two-year internet ban), and is rising in prominence in the UK tech scene — Forbes recently named him one of its “30 Under 30” to watch in European tech.

Twitter: @musalbas.

90. Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid wields considerable power over the UK tech scene: He's the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Conservative Party politician is MP for Bromsgrove, and was appointed in the position a little under a year ago, in May 2015.

While some politicians -- like Conservative Party London Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith -- have been critical of ride-hailing app Uber's presence in the city, Javid is more positive about the tech, warning about 'heavy handed' crackdowns on the service.

Though he only entered Parliament for the first time in 2010, he's being tipped by some as a potential contender for the Conservative Party leadership when David Cameron stands down.

Twitter: @sajidjavid

89. Gadgette editor Holly Brockwell

Holly Brockwell founded technology news site Gadgette in May. It's a gadget and technology news site that's focused on women, an audience that many tech sites struggle to write for.

Brockwell has been outspoken about the abuse she has received online by internet trolls. Trolls targeted her after she criticised an iPhone game called 'Stolen' that let people buy and sell Twitter users.

Read Business Insider UK's interview with Holly Brockwell about Twitter trolls and online abuse »

Headcount: 4

Twitter: @holly

88. Gett MD for Western Europe Remo Gerber


Remo Gerber is the managing director of Western Europe for taxi app Gett, which was founded in New York in 2010 by Shahar Waiser and Roi More.

Gett has raised $220 million (£152 million) in venture capital funding, with the most recent round taking place in April 2015 when the company raised $20 million (£13.8 million).

Over the course of the last year Gerber has launched new UK services within the Gett app, including on-demand champagne delivery and an on-demand courier service.

Total amount raised: $220 million (£152 million)

Headcount: 317

87. Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge

Jeremy Burge

To most people, emojis are little more than a curiosity -- a way to inject levity, or flirtation, into otherwise dry text messages. But for Jeremy Burge, they're quite literally his livelihood.

The 31-year-Australian is on a mission to catalogue and categorise the pictograms. Over the last three years, he has built a 140-million-pageviews-a-year-business around them almost singlehandedly: Emojipedia, an online encyclopedia of emojis.

Emojipedia began as a side-project, but after interest exploded, Burge went full-time in 2015. He works out of Google Campus in London, and the site also has a developer working for it nearly full-time, as well as a designer who comes on when required.

Entirely self-funded, Emojipedia had six-figure revenues in 2015 -- and that's set to double this year.

Read Business Insider UK's full profile of Jeremy Burge »

Total amount raised: Self-funded, undisclosed

Headcount: 2

Twitter: @jeremyburge

86. ROLI CEO Roland Lamb


Roland Lamb's startup ROLI wants to revolutionise the piano.

It's behind the 'Seaboard' -- a new kind of musical instrument that looks superficially similar to an electric keyboard, but with far more control and customisability.

The former philosophy student's company launched its third instrument -- the Rise 49 -- in January 2016, and it has bagged $20 million (£14 million) in VC money, with backers including Index Ventures and Balderton Capital.

ROLI has multiple design awards under its belt -- most recently the 'Best of Innovation' award at CES in Las Vegas this year.

Total amount raised: $20 million (£14 million)

Headcount: 81

Twitter: @RolandLamb

85. Alex Depledge of Hassle

Alex Depledge is the cofounder of on-demand cleaning startup Hassle, which was acquired by German rival Helpling acquired last July for a reported €32 million (£25 million).

In February 2015, Depledge became the chair of The Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec), a policy advisory group started by Mike Butcher, editor of tech news website TechCrunch, and Jeff Lynn, chief executive of equity crowdfunding Seedrs, in 2010.

The following month she became a board member of Sharing Economy UK (SEUK), which represents the sharing economy community, and lobbies for changes to protect consumers and sharing economy businesses.

Total amount raised: $6.8 million (£4.7 million)

Headcount: 47

Twitter: @adepledge

84. Dan Cobley of Bright Bridge Ventures

Dan Cobley/Brightbridge Ventures

Dan Cobley is the former managing director of Google UK and the founder of CEO of Bright Bridge Ventures, a fintech-focused venture fund.

Through Bright Bridge Ventures, which is based in London's Hammersmith neighbourhood, Cobley backed Onfido in the company's $4.5 million (£3.1 million) funding round last February.

Cobley chose fintech because of his expertise in both technology and finance -- before Google he ran European marketing for credit card company CapitalOne.

Twitter: @dcobley

83. Alex Hern of The Guardian

Alex Hern is a technology reporter at The Guardian.

Hern, alongside fellow Guardian writer Elena Cresci, launched a weekly tech podcast called 'Updog' last year that covers the latest internet memes and viral videos.

He was named as one of the '30 to Watch in 2015' by MHP Communications.

Twitter: @alexhern

82. Yavli CEO Tom Yeomans

Tom Yeomans

Yeomans is CEO of London startup Yavli, which first started its life as a software company that served sponsored content to millennial audiences. Around two years ago, the company pivoted in response to the huge rise in consumers using ad blocking software.

Yavli's software allows publishers to specifically target their ad blocker audiences with sponsored content. Last year, the company claimed to have more than 100 publishers on board.

Headcount: 8

Twitter: @tyeo86

81. BT Consumer CEO John Petter

John Petter is the CEO of BT's consumer business, meaning he presides over the company's internet and telecoms products. He's worked at the company since 2004, previously working as BT's COO.

It was announced in January that BT's deal to acquire rival telecoms company EE had received regulatory approval. The £12.5 billion deal took over two years to finalise.

BT also has a growing TV business and in February, its BT Sport division paid out £960 million to air 42 Premier League football matches per season over three years -- more than half of those in the lucrative Saturday early evening slot. Next season will also see BT Sport exclusively air the Champions League.

Headcount: 45,545

80. Hiroki Takeuchi of GoCardless


Oxford grad Hiroki Takeuchi was so convinced of the idea for GoCardless that he and cofounder Matt Robinson decamped to Silicon Valley's legendary accelerator Y Combinator to get it off the ground. The startup uses smart technology to make it much easier for businesses to accept and process direct debits.

GoCardless's clients include TripAdvisor, The Guardian, The Financial Times, and Box. The company is currently in the process of raising a big new round of funding, as well as expanding across Europe.

Total amount raised: $11.8 million (£8.1 million)

Headcount: 69

Twitter: @hirokitakeuchi

79. Tim Steiner of Ocado


Ocado is a British supermarket without a single store.

The 16-year-old publicly-listed British company delivers groceries ordered online, and is led by CEO Tim Steiner, who founded the company.

Earlier this year, rumours swirled that Amazon -- a key rival -- is interested in a takeover bid, although Steiner claimed to reporters in February 2016 that this is not the case.

The company has now hit £1 billion in annual revenue.

Headcount: 1750

78. Jason Trost of Smarkets


Former equities trader Jason Trost founded Smarkets in 2008. The site is a peer-to-peer online betting exchange that lets traders agree odds on everything from sports to politics.

Smarkets charges a base rate of 2% on transactions, 3% cheaper than its competitors. The Sunday Times reports that Smarkets attracted over £200 million in trades in 2013.

Trost told Business Insider in September that his site is now doing £6 million in revenue every year with £100 million a month being traded through its platform.

Read Business Insider's full interview with Jason Trost »

Total amount raised: $2.7 million (£1.9 million)

Headcount: 29

Twitter: @jasontrost

77. Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley OBE


Jason Kingsley is an unconventional CEO.

For starters, he's a knight. And not just the run-of-the-mill, honoured-by-the-Queen-for-services-to-industry knight. Kingsley is a real knight. He's a keen jouster, breeds warhorses, and spends tens of thousands on custom suits of armour.

When he's not on horseback, he's running Rebellion, an Oxford-based gaming company he cofounded with his brother in 1992.

Its main focus is video games, creating titles for a variety of platforms, but also has smaller operations in other areas, including book publishing and comic books. It owns 2000AD, the comic anthology responsible for the famous dystopian Judge Dredd series.

Kingsley is also on the board of TIGA, a games industry body, and Rebellion plans to launch its first virtual reality game this year -- a remake of classic arcade tank-shooter 'Battlezone.'

Read Business Insider UK's full profile of Jason Kingsley and Rebellion Games »

Headcount: 214

Twitter: @RebellionJason

76. Dominic Smales of Gleam Futures

Dominic Smales/Instagram

Dominic Smales is the founder and managing director of Gleam Futures.

The company manages big-name social influencers including Zoella, Jim Chapman, and Tanya Burr. The new breed of celebrities that Smales manages have made their names on digital platforms like Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, and Vine.

Smales said in October the talent on Gleam's roster will probably drive around '4 billion views this year on YouTube alone'

Before Gleam Futures, Smales spent 15 years in media and production at USP and Chrysalis Group.

Headcount: 28

Twitter: @domsmales

75. David Jones of You & Mr Jones

You & Mr Jones

David Jones, the British former CEO of French advertising agency holding group Havas and a former advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron, founded You & Mr Jones last summer.

Described as 'the world's first brand tech group,' the firm has raised $350 million (£242 million) in funding.

You & Mr Jones has invested in tech companies including viral news site Mashable, crowd-sourcing company Mofilm, data company Fifty-Five, ad tech company Beeswax, GIF platform Gfycat, and content marketing platform Pixlee.

Read Business Insider UK's interview with David Jones from July, when he explained why he thinks the traditional advertising agency network model could be dead in 10 years »

Headcount: 6

Twitter: @davidjonesOYW

74. Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group

Photo: Jim Killock/ Twitter.

Open Rights Group (ORG) is the British equivalent of the Electronic Frontier Foundation -- a famous American advocacy group that protects civil liberties in the digital age.

At the helm is Jim Killock, who has served at its executive director since 2009. ORG is now celebrating its tenth birthday, and with the ongoing controversy around the proposed Snoopers' Charter and global debate on encryption, its work is more important than ever.

Headcount: 23

Twitter: @jimkillock

73. Steve O'Hear of TechCrunch

Steve O'Hear is a write for TechCrunch, covering European technology companies. He's broken news on subjects like promotions at Balderton Capital, and the closure of meal delivery startup Dine In.

O'Hear is also working on a tech project of his own, the music discovery site that shares music through the format of weekly emails. He was previously the CEO and cofounder of Q&A site Beepl.

Twitter: @sohear

72. Avid Larizadeh Duggan of Google Ventures


Along with Tom Hulme, Larizadeh Duggan is one of Google Ventures' two remaining partners in Europe. She's also the only female general partner at the fund. Larizadeh Duggan led Google Ventures' investment into Yieldify, a two-year-old e-commerce startup that helps online retailers convince people to buy products online.

Aside from investing, Larizadeh Duggan also led the UK Hour of Code project and is a mentor for the Girls in Tech London scheme.

Before joining Google Ventures, Larizadeh Duggan was the cofounder of fashion retail startup Boticca. She also held product management roles at Skype and eBay in addition to being an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Accel Partners.

Twitter: @avidl

71. David Buttress of Just Eat

Just Eat

Just Eat is an online ordering service that lets people search for local restaurants and order takeaway food. CEO David Buttress joined the company in 2013 after working in sales for Coca-Cola for eight years, where he won the account manager of the year award.

Just Eat announced in February 2016 that it had acquired four online food delivery companies in a £94.7 million deal. It now owns Spain's La Nevera Roja, Italy's PizzaBo/hellofood Italy, Brazil's hellofood Brazil, and Mexico's hellofood Mexico.

Headcount: 977

Twitter: @davidjusteat

70. Sarah Drinkwater of Google Campus


Sarah Drinkwater works for Google as head of Campus London, a seven-storey space operated by Google for entrepreneurs near Old Street Roundabout.

Since its inception just over three years ago, Campus has developed a community of 45,000 people. It aims to provide open access education, mentorship, working space and events that are of interest to the startup community.

In 2015, Drinkwater became a mentor to Girls in Tech London, which aims to help talented young women learn skills for tech roles.

Twitter: @sarahdrinkwater

69. Sonali De Rycker of Accel Partners

Accel Ventures

Accel Partners is one of London's most respected venture capital firms, with a strong stable of tech talent. And de Rycker is one of Europe's most experienced capitalists, having worked for over 14 years investing in startups.

De Rycker lead Accel Partners' investment into British online fashion startup Lyst, and also lead investment into online job hunting app Job Today, which raised $10 million (£7 million) in January 2016.

In recent years De Rycker has overseen investments in big-name European startup successes such as Spotify, Moo, Seatwave and Wonga. She was previously an independent director on the board of IAC. Starting her career as an Analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Co., she went on to join Atlas Venture in 2000.

Total amount raised: $17 billion (£11.7 billion)

Headcount: 186

Twitter: @sonalidr

68. Jeff Lynn of Seedrs

The downside to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo is that you don't get any stake in the eventual company your investment helps build. When these companies cash out, it can sometimes leave an bitter taste in supporters' mouths, as was the case for some backers of VR headset Oculus when it sold to Facebook.

That's not the case with Seedrs, a London-based equity crowdfunding platform.

Users invest (as little as £10), and in return, they get a share of the company. It's clearly an attractive prospect: The company recently recently announced that £100 million has been invested through its platform.

It was cofounded by Jeff Lynn, a former corporate lawyer, who serves as CEO. In June 2015, tennis pro Andy Murray joined as an advisor.

Headcount: 46

Twitter: @jeffseedrs

67. Myke Hurley of Relay FM

Relay FM

The bearded and British Myke Hurley is a professional podcaster who lives 'just outside' of London.

He's one of the cofounders -- and hosts -- of Relay FM, a podcast network which launched in 2014, and has a focus on technology.

In November 2015, he was featured by Apple in one of its official podcasts, in which explained how he was able to become an independent podcaster and shared tips for other would-be podcasters.

Twitter: @imyke

66. Peter Smith and Nic Cary of Blockchain


Blockchain is a London-based bitcoin startup, with cofounder Peter Smith in the role of CEO and Nic Cary, another cofounder, acting as its public face.

It was launched in 2011, and offers a number of bitcoin services, including a tool for exploring transactions on the blockchain (the public ledger of all bitcoin transactions), and a wallet for holding bitcoin.

In October 2014, it raised $30 million (£20.7 million) in VC funding, which was then the largest ever raise for a bitcoin startup.

Back in July 2015, Peter Smith was chosen to accompanying British Prime Minister David Cameron on a trade mission in South-East Asia along with a host of other more conventional companies. Nic Cary is a regular on the conference circuit, speaking publicly on behalf of Blockchain about the possibilities that bitcoin offers.

Total amount raised: $30 million (£20.7 million)

Headcount: 38

Twitter: @OneMorePeter, @niccary

65. Christian Hernandez Gallardo of White Star Capital

White Star Capital

White Star Capital announced in November 2015 that it had raised a $70 million (£48 million) fund to invest in startups in Europe and the East Coast of the US. Backers include the Canadian government, the chair of auction house Christie's, and the founder of Cirque du Soleil.

White Star partner and cofounder Christian Hernandez Gallardo is a former Facebook executive who was the company's director of EMEA until 2013 when he left to join White Star Capital.

Total amount raised: $70 million (£48 million)

Headcount: 9

Twitter: @christianhern

64. Doug Monro of Adzuna


Adzuna, a search engine for classified listings, lets people discover jobs, cars, and houses online. The company's job- and housing-market data is reportedly used by Prime Minister David Cameron to monitor the UK economy.

The company brought in £2 million in investment in 2015 using crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. 500 investors brought the company over its £1.5 million target. Monro also signed a letter urging David Cameron not to cut immigration to the UK's tech sector.

Monro launched Adzuna in 2011, having previously worked as COO of property-listing site Zoopla, managing director of online listing site Gumtree, and a senior manager at eBay.

Total amount raised: $9.3 million (£6.4 million)

Headcount: 39

Twitter: @dougall

63. George Spencer of Rentify


George Spencer, in his late twenties, is CEO of a proptech startup -- Rentify, which provides tools for landlords to manage properties, as well as other rental-focused services. The company takes a cut of a property's rent in return for managing everything to do with it.

Created in 2011 (and formally launching in 2012), it's backed by London venture capital firm Balderton Capital, and raised £5.5 million last year.

Total amount raised: $16.5 million (£11.4 million)

Headcount: 27

Twitter: @probablygeorge

62. Elizabeth Varley of TechHub


Elizabeth Varley founded TechHub in 2010 after realising that London was lacking in shared workspaces for tech companies. TechHub was one of the first hubs for tech startups in London, situating itself around the Old Street area. In 2012 it opened up office space in Google Campus, a larger workspace for internet startups sponsored by Google.

In February 2015 it was announced that TechHub will expand its partnership with Google into three new locations: India, Latvia, and Romania. TechHub members in those countries now have access to Google for Entrepreneurs services.

Varley also signed a letter in October warning Prime Minister David Cameron not to clamp down on immigration into the UK in case it harms hiring for technology companies and startups.

Headcount: 69

Twitter: @evarley

61. Sherry Coutu of The Scale-Up Institute

Scaleup Institute

Sherry Coutu is an entrepreneur turned angel investor who's keen to promote and support the UK's fastest-growing technology companies.

In 2015 Coutu launched The Scale-Up Institute with LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman. Backed by Google, the Business Growth Fund, the London Stock Exchange and several advisory firms, the organisation aims to provide promising startups with advice on leadership, export markets and raising finance alongside, access to a network of advisors.

Twitter: @scoutu

60. Alexandra Chong of Lulu

Alexandra Chong is the founder of Lulu, the app that lets women review and rate the men they date. She started the company in London in 2010. The site launched with $1 million in investment from VC firms Passion Capital and PROfounders Capital. But it changed focus in 2013 to expand to the US and embrace the college culture there that had helped Tinder grow.

It was announced in June 2015 that Lulu would re-enter the UK market, and that followed Chong's star-studded wedding which was attended by Google cofounder Sergey Brin and actress Kate Winslet.

Lulu announced in February 2016 that it had been acquired by dating app Badoo, and Chong became the president of that company.

Read Business Insider's full interview with Alexandra Chong »

Total amount raised: $3.5 million (£2.4 million)

Headcount: 13

Twitter: @AlexandraCChong

59. Brent Hoberman CBE of Founders Factory

Getty Images Europe cofounder Brent Hoberman is an entrepreneur, investor and non-executive director at a number of British corporates, including Guardian Media Group and Talk Talk.

In 2010, Hoberman cofounded, an online e-commerce platform providing designer furniture without third party involvement. Today he is chairman of the company. Last July, raised $60 million (£41 million) in a Series C funding round.

More recently, Hoberman attracted investment from Guardian Media Group, publisher of The Guardian, for Founders Factory, an incubator/accelerator based in London.

Hoberman was awarded a CBE in the 2015 New Year's Honour's List for his involvement in the UK tech sector.

In February 2015 he also backed Onfido's background checking platform in a $4.5 million (£3.1 million) funding round.

Twitter: @brenthoberman

58. Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet MBE

Larry Busacca/ Getty Images

Natalie Massenet founded online fashion portal Net-a-Porter in 2000 when she was trying to find designer goods for a fashion shoot. The site sells clothes using a layout similar to traditional fashion magazines.

Net-a-Porter was merged with Italian fashion site YOOX in 2015. Massenet stood to earn £46 million from the deal. However, Massenet left the company in September following the merger. She reportedly received a payoff of over €100 million (£77 million.)

Before starting Net-a-Porter, Massenet worked as a fashion model in Tokyo, assistant at Tatler, fashion stylist, and also worked with photographer Mario Testino. She's Chairman of the British Fashion Council, and received an MBE in 2009 for services to the fashion industry.

Twitter: @NatalieMassenet

57. Miniclip CEO Robert Small

Miniclip is a British gaming company that often flies under the radar.

It's 14 years old -- practically ancient by startup standards -- and got started building browser games before moving to platforms like iOS and Android with the rise of the app economy.

Robert Small, its founder, serves as CEO.

His company hit a number of milestones in 2015. It passed half a billion downloads;, one of its most popular titles, was Googled more times in 2015 than 'Fallout 4'; and most significantly, Chinese gaming company Tencent bought a majority stake in the company in February.

Headcount: 155

Twitter: @RobertMiniclip

56. Mike Butcher of TechCrunch

Mike Butcher

Mike Butcher is the editor at large of technology news site TechCrunch and is a high-profile journalist on Europe's technology conference circuit.

Butcher started a movement in 2015 named Techfugees that aims to help Europe's migrant crisis by harnessing technology and startups. It started in London, but has since spread around the world.

Butcher also hosted another Europas conference in June and also helped present TechCrunch's annual Disrupt conference in London in December.

Twitter: @mikebutcher

55. Husayn Kassai of Onfido


Oxford graduate Husayn Kassai quit his job at Merrill Lynch in 2012 after just a week to focus on building a startup he'd cofounded at university.

That startup was background checking service Onfido, which has now raised over $5 million (£3.5 million) from a wide range of investors, including Spotify backers Wellington Partners and cofounder Brent Hoberman. It is now considered one of Britain's smartest companies.

Onfido -- which now employs 72 people across offices in London, San Francisco, and Lisbon -- boasts over 625 paying customers, including recruiter Morgan McKinley and Hays, and newspapers like The Daily Mail and the Evening Standard.

Read Business Insider UK's interview with Hussayn Kassia about how he left investment banking to do a startup here »

Total amount raised: $5.3 million (£3.6 million)

Headcount: 62

Twitter: @HusaynKassai

54. Philosopher Nick Bostrom

Likely the smartest person on this list, Nick Bostrom is a philosopher who specialises in artificial intelligence, human enhancement, and other topics relating to the future of humanity.

The 42-year-old Swede works as an academic at the University of Oxford, but his writing has mainstream appeal too: Superintelligence, his most recent book, published in 2014, was a New York Times bestseller.

He's been been cited as an influence by Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO -- another high-profile tech figure worried about the potentially adverse consequences of creating AI. In 2016, the issues that Bostrom writes about are more relevant than ever before.

53. Chris Morton of Lyst

Chris Morton is the cofounder and CEO of Lyst, a fashion ecommerce platform that allows people to shop from over 10,000 designers and stores in one place.

Lyst, founded in London in 2010, raised $40 million (£28 million) in April with money coming from well-known investors like Accel, Balderton, and DFJ.

Since launching, Lyst has expanded its platform, where users reportedly spend an average of $400 (£277) per order, to over 150 countries.

Total amount raised: $60 million (£41 million)

Headcount: 144

Twitter: @chrismorton

52. George Ergatoudis of Spotify

Ergatoudis is the new head of content programming for the UK at music streaming giant Spotify. He joined the company at the start of 2016 after over 10 years in charge of music at BBC Radio 1. He previously worked as the head of music policy for the BBC's hip hop and grime radio station 1Xtra.

Spotify is rolling out a lineup of non-music content, including videos from NBC and podcasts from the BBC. It's a good way for the service to set itself apart from competitors like Apple Music, as well as Jay Z's music streaming service Tidal, which prides itself on exclusive content.

Headcount: 2,040

Twitter: @GeorgErgatoudis

51. Guy Levin of Coadec

Guy Levin is the executive director of The Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec), a policy advisory group started by Mike Butcher, editor of tech news website TechCrunch, and Jeff Lynn, chief executive of equity crowdfunding Seedrs.

Over the last year, Levin has put pressure on the government to rethink its proposed immigration policies, which stand to have a negative impact on the UK tech sector, and championed the sharing economy sector.

He has also led delegations of startup founders to Brussels, and submitted ideas for the Government's Digital Strategy.

Headcount: 4

Twitter: @guy_levin

50. Government Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Ed Vaizey

Ed Vaizey is the Cabinet Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy -- so if you have anything to do with tech in the UK, his work will likely impact you in some way.

His portfolio ranges from the sharing economy (of which he is a strong supporter) to tech infrastructure and cybersecurity, along with culture, media, and the creative industries.

The Conservative MP for Wantage, he is a trained barrister and a regular speaker at tech events.

Twitter: @edvaizey

49. Zoopla CEO Alex Chesterman

British property listings site Zoopla was founded in 2007 by serial entrepreneur Alex Chesterman, one of the cofounders of movie-streaming service LoveFilm, which was sold to Amazon in 2011. As well as serving as CEO of Zoopla, Chesterman is an active investor; he has investments in sports e-commerce site SportsPursuit and student booking site Uniplaces. In June 2015 Chesterman invested in Farmdrop, a service that lets people buy food direct from farmers.

Zoopla said in August that Chesterman could be in line for £19 million worth of shares as an incentive to keep him involved with the company.

Chesterman is also taking part in the UK's Upscale programme as one its 'scale coaches.' The scheme is designed to help startups accelerate their growth.

Headcount: 235

48. Joanna Shields, Baroness Shields, OBE

Baroness Shields was appointed the UK's Minister for Internet Safety and Security in May. And in December she was named a Home Office minister, making her a joint minister at both the Home Office and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Shields previously worked as a managing director for Google in Europe, ran Bebo, worked at AOL, and was then recruited by Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg to run Facebook in Europe. She was also the CEO of Tech City UK.

Twitter: @joannashields

47. Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck of Entrepreneur First

Entrepreneur First
Matt Clifford (left) and Alice Bentinck (right) of Entrepreneur First.

Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck are the cofounders of Entrepreneur First (EF), which is a London-based company-building programme for individuals who possess exceptional technical talent.

In the last year, EF has raised £6.5 million in funding and expanded its platform to Singapore, which is also home to one of its key investors. It has also expanded the number of places on its course in London from 30 in 2011 to over 200 today.

EF has helped to create companies like Blaze, famed for its laser bike light, and StreetHub, which allows people to find products on sale at small and independent stores in their local area.

Total amount raised: $13.3 million (£9.1 million)

Headcount: 145

Twitter: @matthewclifford, @Alicebentinck

46. Emily Brooke of Blaze


Emily Brooke is the founder and CEO of Blaze, a London startup that has built a laser bike light that can help save cyclists lives.

Blaze's 'Laserlight' is designed to improve rider safety by projecting a green laser image five to six metres in front of the cyclist, thereby making them more visible to drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists.

Brooke, who took part in the first ever Entrepreneur First startup building programme, scored a major win for Blaze in December when it was announced that Santander planned to fit every 'Boris bike' in London with a Blaze Laserlight. The deal is said to be worth close to £1 million.

Total amount raised: $500,000 (£345,000)

Headcount: 9

Twitter: @buzzbrooke

45. Luke Lang and Darren Westlake of Crowdcube

Co-founders at Crowdcube. Luke Lang (left) and Darren Westlake (right).

Luke Lang and Darren Westlake are the cofounders of Crowdcube, Britain's biggest crowdfunding website. Over £138 million has been invested over the platform into businesses like burrito chain Chillango and Camden Town Brewery.

Old school City of London stockbroker Numis invested £6 million in the company last July and the pair are working together to do the world's first crowdfunded initial public offering.

Headcount: 76

Twitter: @lukelang, @dazwest

44. Jo Bertram of Uber

Jo Bertram joined Uber in 2013 after working as a management consultant for McKinsey and Accenture. Now she manages the on-demand ride service's operation in the UK.

2015 was a big year for Uber in the UK. It became even more of a political topic thanks to comments by London Mayor Boris Johnson and mayoral candidates. It also launched UberPOOL here, which allows strangers to share rides to get a cheaper fare.

Bertram also talked about the amount of abuse she receives on Twitter from cab drivers and internet trolls.

Uber has seen off two major threats to its business in London in recent months: Transport for London dropped plans for a series of harsh proposals that would affect ridesharing apps like Uber, and the company also won a High Court battle against taxi drivers who claimed that its driver app met the legal definition of a taximeter.

Total amount raised: $8.6 billion (£5.9 billion)

Headcount: 14,299

Twitter: @jo_bertram

43. Kate Unsworth of Vinaya


Kate Unsworth is the CEO and cofounder of Vinaya (formerly Kovert Designs), a London-based fashion startup that makes connected jewellery, including rings and necklaces that buzz when you receive a WhatsApp message or email, for example.

Vinaya raised a $3 million (£2 million) seed round in November with Passion Capital's Eileen Burbidge leading the round and Bebo's Michael Birch also taking part.

Vinaya said it was going to use the funding to set up a 'research lab' in Shoreditch that would provide insights on brain/human habits that could be used in its product design process.

Read Business Insider UK's review of a Vinaya ring »

Total amount raised: $3 million (£2 million)

Headcount: 24

Twitter: @kateuns

42. Bruce Daisley of Twitter


Bruce Daisley was promoted to become Twitter's vice president of direct sales for Europe in April last year. He was previously the company's UK country manager and is now the company's most senior employee outside the US.

Twitter represented 1.6% of digital ad spending in the region (or £129.3 million) in 2015, eMarketer estimates. The region made up 5% of Twitter's monthly active user base in 2015, according to eMarketer.

Prior to joining Twitter, Daisley was responsible for leading UK sales for YouTube and Google's online display advertising unit.

Headcount: 4,233

Twitter: @brucedaisley

41. Fred Destin of Accel Partners

Accel Partners

Though originally Belgian, Fred Destin now lives in London, where he works as a partner for top-tier venture capital investment firm Accel Partners.

Destin sits on the board of Deliveroo, a London-based rapidly expanding food delivery startup, after investing in its Series B in January 2015. Accel has invested in Deliveroo three times over the last year, most recently as a participant in a $100 million (£69 million) round in November 2015.

Read Business Insider UK's interview with Fred Destin at Disrupt London »

Total amount raised: $17 billion (£11.7 billion)

Headcount: 186

Twitter: @fdestin

40. Dave Palmer of Darktrace


Dave Palmer is chief technology officer (CTO) at cyber security startup Darktrace, which has a platform that can spot unusual email activity and suspicious file uploads.

Over the last year, Darktrace has raised $40.5 million (£28 million) from a number of investors that see potential in its 'immune system' technology.

Before joining Darktrace, which is backed by Mike Lynch's invoke capital fund, Palmer was a cyber security technical expert at GCHQ and MI5. During his time at Britain's spy agencies, he was tasked with looking after their IT infrastructure and keeping an eye on their networks.

Read Business Insider UK's interview with Dave Palmer about how Darktrace is finding new talent »

Total amount raised: $40.5 million (£28 million)

Headcount: 160

Twitter: @dveplmr

39. Kieran O'Neill of Thread


Kieran O'Neill is the CEO of Thread, which helps customers make sense of the world of fashion by matching them up with their own personal stylist through its platform. The stylist learns about users and suggests clothes that they think would suit them. Users can then purchase the items through the site. Thread is free to use, but the company takes a cut of any purchases that you make.

It was announced in August that Thread had raised $8 million (£5.5 million) from investors including Balderton Capital, Google DeepMind cofounders Demis Hassabis and Mustafa Suleyman, and former Saks Fifth Avenue president Andrew Jennings.

CEO Kieran O'Neill started his first online business in 2003 when he founded video streaming website while studying for his GCSE. He eventually sold the site for $1.25 million (£814,000).

Read Business Insider UK's feature testing out Thread for ourselves »

Total amount raised: $10.5 million (£7.3 million)

Headcount: 18

Twitter: @KieranO

38. Former Google Ventures general partner Peter Read

Peter Read is a respected London investor who joined the Google Ventures team in Europe when it launched in 2014. Google's European VC fund made a series of investments in companies such as Kobalt and Lost My Name.

However, Read left Google Ventures in July 2015 without announcing why he was departing the high-profile fund. Business Insider reported in August that there had been disagreements within the Google Ventures team in the UK, and that one source of frustration was a reliance on Google's algorithm that helps investors make decisions.

Google ultimately shut down its separate European venture capital fund in December. Out of the five people who launched the team, only two remained. Read jumped ship on his own terms and he's likely to make a return to investing in the future.

Twitter: @petermread

37. Murad Ahmed of The Financial Times

Murad Ahmed is the European technology correspondent at The Financial Times. Here he covers tech companies across the UK and Europe, as well as the goings on in Silicon Valley.

In November, he was named 'Tech Journalist of the Year' at the UK Tech Awards, thanks to scoops on Google, Uber, Microsoft, and Europe's startup scene.

After graduating with a degree in law from the University of Cambridge, Ahmed studied journalism at Goldsmith's College. He became a news trainee at The Times, after which he began his focus on the tech sector.

Twitter: @muradahmed

36. Former Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti

Shami Chakrabarti is a giant of British civil society. She's the director of Liberty, an 82-year-old London human rights organisation.

Liberty's remit extends well beyond the tech sphere -- but in the years since Edward Snowden's revelations about Western governments' surveillance, Liberty has championed digital rights just as it has traditional civil liberties.

A former Home Office barrister, she has honourary degrees from Southampon, Glamorgan, and Middlesex universities, and is the chancellor at the University of Essex. She was even a flag-bearer at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Having served as Liberty's director since 2003, she announced in January 2016 she is leaving once a successor is found. She hasn't revealed what she plans to do next.

35. Localglobe founder Robin Klein

Index Ventures

Robin Klein (Saul Klein's father) is a well-known investor in Europe that sits on the boards of several London startups. Klein is also on the Tech City Advisory board and an advisor to Silicon Valley Bank.

During the course of 2015, Robin made a number of investments through Localglobe, the VC fund he set up with his son. For example, he led a £1.1 million investment in online mortgage advisor Trussle earlier this month, alongside Betfair cofounder Ed Wray and former Google UK MD Dan Cobley. He and his son also backed education app Gojimo in a $1.8 million (£1.2 million) seed round in December.

While at Index, Klein invested in Adzuna, Citymapper, EDITED, Farfetch, Geckoboard, MOO, onefinestay, and TransferWise.

Headcount: 7

Twitter: @robinklein

34. Greg Marsh of onefinestay


Greg Marsh cofounded home swapping service onefinestay in 2009. Marsh, who is CEO of the company, had a busy year in 2015, raising large amounts of funding and bringing in a top hotel executive.

onefinestay, which allows people to stay in expensive, serviced houses in cities around the world raised $40 million (£25.4 million) in June from a range of well-known investors. Marsh also hired InterContinental's chief finance officer, Tom Singer, in a bid to beef up his management team.

Total amount raised: $80.9 million (£55.8 million)

Headcount: 304

Twitter: @gregmarsh

33. Suranga Chandratillake and Rob Moffat of Balderton Capital

Balderton Capital
Suranga Chandratillake (left) and Rob Moffat (right) of Balderton Capital.

Suranga Chandratillake and Rob Moffat are partners at Balderton Capital, which has raised $2.47 billion (£1.7 billion) in funding to date, making it one of Europe's largest venture capital funds.

Over the last year, Chandratillake made his first Balderton investments into student media title The Tab and online code editing platform Cloud 9.

Moffat, meanwhile, was promoted from principal to partner in January 2015. He led the investment in Carwow when he was a principal investor, and is also a board director or advisor at Qubit, Wooga, Housetrip, Rentify, Nutmeg, Prodigy Finance, and Patients Know Best.

Total amount raised: $2.47 billion (£1.7 billion)

Headcount: 35

Twitter: @surangac, @robmoff

32. The Tab founders George Marangos-Gilks and Jack Rivlin

The Tab
George Marangos-Gilks (left) and Jack Rivlin (right) of The Tab.

The Tab is a network of student news websites run by editorial teams across the UK and US. It started off as a Cambridge student newspaper, founded in 2009 as the university's first online-only paper. It made headlines after The Sun fell for its April Fool's joke about BNP leader Nick Griffin and for its 'Rear of the Year' competition.

The company announced that it had raised $3 million (£2 million) from Balderton Capital in December, and the money is going towards the expansion of its US site as well as its new general interest site that's not about a specific university.

Editor-in-chief Jack Rivlin told The Guardian that The Tab's had 3.2 million unique visitors in November 2015.

Total amount raised: $3 million (£2 million)

Headcount: 48

Twitter: @marangosgilks, @jackrivlin

31. Professor Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking is the acclaimed theoretical physicist at Cambridge University who has weighed in on the artificial intelligence debate on multiple occasions over the last year.

For example, Hawking, who has the motor neurone disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), signed an open letter in July calling for a ban on autonomous weapons.

He also revealed in an interview with the BBC that he believes AI could end mankind. 'The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,' he said.

30. Matt Brittin of Google

In February 2015, Google appointed Matt Brittin, formerly head of its Northern/Central European operations, its President of EMEA Business and Operations -- the first person to hold the role. In short, he's Google's most senior employee on the continent -- giving him serious influence in tech circles.

Brittin has taken the helm of Google in Europe during a turbulent time for the company: It is being investigated by the European Commission over antitrust allegations due to its dominance of the European search market. More recently Google has come under fire over a £130 million UK tax bill, which critics say is too little.

He originally studied at Cambridge University, where he was a keen rower -- even competing in the Olympics. He subsequently worked for McKinsey & Co., then Trinity Mirror, before joining the search giant.

Headcount: 4,000 (in the UK)

Twitter: @MattBrittin

29. Mike Lynch of Invoke Capital

WPA Pool / Getty

Mike Lynch has been busy reinvesting the money he made from selling Autonomy to HP for over £7 billion in 2011 through his new investment fund, Invoke Capital.

One of his most exciting investments is cybersecurity company Darktrace, which employs former MI5 and GCHQ worker Dave Palmer as its chief technology officer, who also features on this list.

Darktrace, which shares an office with Invoke Capital on Pall Mall in London, was backed to the tune of $18 million (£12.5 million) last March, with Invoke among the main investors.

Headcount: 160

28. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales

Salah Malkawi/Getty Images

Jimmy Wales is best known as one of the cofounders of online encyclopedia Wikipedia -- and that recently passed a significant milestone recently, turning 15 years old in January 2016.

But the 49-year-old Alabama-born Londoner has had other accomplishments to note over the last months. In July, his latest project, The People's Operator (TPO), launched in the US.

For those not in the know, TPO is an 'ethical' mobile network that gives a cut of its proceeds to charities of its users' choosing. It also launched social networking functionality in 2015, now framing itself as 'a social network with a unique business model' -- 'an ad-free social space that is supported by a one-of-a-kind mobile network.'

Wales also has a personal charity under his belt -- The Jimmy Wales Foundation, which focuses on championing freedom of speech causes worldwide.

Headcount: 484

Twitter: @jimmy_wales

27. Tom Blomfield of Mondo


Blomfield is the CEO and cofounder of Mondo, a new London fintech startup that's building a branchless bank using its debit card and accompanying app. Mondo cards are controlled through the app, and show users information about the purchases they make.

Mondo hasn't fully launched yet, but it has released a version of its card to alpha testers (you can see how we got on with it here).

Before founding Mondo, Blomfield was a cofounder of another London fintech startup: GoCardless. He left the company in 2013, and started Mondo in 2015.

Total amount raised: $3.1 million (£2.1 million)

Headcount: 14

Twitter: @t_blom

26. Leanne Kemp of Everledger

Everledger is a startup that wants to make diamond theft a thing of the past.

It uses the blockchain -- the ledger of all bitcoin transactions -- to make a public record that valuable diamonds can be registered to, recording their unique characteristics. This should make it harder to pawn stolen diamonds, and help cut down on fraud.

The company was created by the Australian Leanne Kemp in 2015, and took part in the Barclays Techstars accelerator in June.

Nearly 900,000 diamonds have been registered to Everledger's platform already, and another 900,000 are queued up. Later down the line, it intends to start registering other luxury goods.

Read Business Insider UK's profile of Leanne Kemp and Everledger »

Total amount raised: $118,000 (£81,000)

Headcount: 3

Twitter: @leanne_kemp

25. YouTube star Zoella

Zoella is the well-known British YouTube vlogger who shares updates about fashion, make-up, and her life. Earlier in February 2016 it was announced that she has reached 10 million YouTube subscribers, and her videos have been watched over 1 billion times.

Zoella has also released two books, the first of which had the highest first-week sales for a novelist since records began in 1998. And her second book was named one of the highest-selling books of 2015.

Twitter: @ZozeeBo

24. Nicola Mendelsohn CBE of Facebook

Tim Whitby/Getty Images for Advertising Week

Nicola Mendelsohn is Facebook's most senior executive outside of the US, and runs the social network's presence in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Facebook opened its first office in Africa in July, and Mendelsohn was there to oversee the company's expansion.

Mendelsohn was given a CBE in the Queen's birthday honours list in June for her work in creative industries. Aside from her work at Facebook, she's also co-chair of the Creative Industries Council, a joint forum between the creative industry and the UK government.

Mendelsohn joined Facebook in July 2013, having previously served as executive chairman of advertising agency Karamarama. She spent 20 years working for advertising agencies before making the move to the social-networking giant.

Read Business Insider UK's June 2015 interview with Nicola Mendelsohn »

Headcount: 14,352

Twitter: @nicolamen

23. Former Index Ventures partner Saul Klein

Klein is a well-known investor in Europe, formerly of Index Ventures. He joined Index in 2007, and invested in successful tech companies such as Songkick, Chartbeat, and MyHeritage. He left the VC firm in May 2015 to focus on his personal investments.

Klein is also known for cofounding movie rental service LoveFilm and serving as its CEO, being one of Skype's original executives, and cofounding the Seedcamp startup accelerator program. He cofounded DIY computer company Kano with his cousin Alex Klein back in 2013.

In 2016 Klein is planning to work more closely with his father, venture capitalist Robin Klein, to invest in early stage technology companies. He's also calling on the government to support technology 'zebras' (growing technology companies,) not just big-name, billion-dollar 'unicorns.'

Twitter: @cape

22. Claire Valoti of Snapchat

Claire Valoti was recently poached from her role as joint head of agency relations at Facebook to head up Snapchat's European operation from London.

She works as Snapchat's general manager of UK sales, overseeing the company's first office outside the US. The company has made a series of hires for its European team from rival digital media and tech businesses over the past year.

Total amount raised: $1.2 billion (£830 million)

Headcount: 607

Twitter: @clairevaloti

21. Ismail Ahmed of WorldRemit


Somali-born Ismail Ahmed worked for the UN to help crackdown on money laundering before setting up WorldRemit in 2010. The startup offers an app that lets migrants send money back to family in places like Africa, India, and Latin America, known as remittance.

The company was valued at $500 million (£345 million) in a $100 million (£69 million) funding round last year, led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), which has also backed the likes of Facebook, Spotify, and Netflix. WorldRemit recently secured a further $45 million (£31 million) line of credit to fund growth and is processing 400,000 transactions a month.

Total amount raised: $147 million (£101 million)

Headcount: 163

20. Julian Assange of WikiLeaks

John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Is Julian Assange part of the British tech scene -- or the Ecuadorian?

Because while the WikiLeaks founder is geographically located in London, he remains under Ecuador's jurisdiction: In 2012, he took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in Knightsbridge to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over allegations of sexual assault and rape, and has remained there ever since.

WikiLeaks, his whistleblowing organisation, has kept busy during his unconventional asylum. Over the last year, it has published drafts of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, as well as documents from the Saudi Foreign Ministry and details on covert NSA spying.

In February 2016, a United Nations panel ruled that his confinement in the embassy amounts to 'arbitrary detention' -- but British authorities insist they will still arrest him if he steps outside.

Twitter: @wikileaks

19. Mustafa Suleyman and Demis Hassabis of Google DeepMind

Mustafa Suleyman (left) and Demis Hassabis (right) of Google DeepMind.

Mustafa Suleyman and Demis Hassabis cofounded DeepMind with Shane Legg in 2011, before selling it to Google in 2014 for £400 million.

In January, the pair of artificial intelligence (AI) experts pitched their AlphaGo agent against the European champion of board game Go and won. They're planning to take on the world champion in March.

Over the course of the last year, both Hassabis and Suleyman have acknowledged the potential impact AI could have on humanity. To ensure they get their message across, they have attended several conferences and given talks about the ethics of AI.

Headcount: 150

Twitter: @mustafasuleymn, @demishassabis

18. Rob Whitehead and Herman Narula of Improbable

Rob Whitehead (left) and Herman Narula (right) of Improbable.

Rob Whitehead (CTO) and Herman Narula (CEO) are the two-man founder team behind Improbable, a London startup that wants to be the 'Google of simulation.'

The duo went to the University of Cambridge together, and in 2012 founded Improbable, which builds software that can power sophisticated simulations done by others. It provides the engine to do the heavy lifting, so you can get on with the business of actually modelling whatever it is you want to model.

The company's original focus was on gaming -- massive multiplayer game-worlds -- but it has applications in science, research, defence, and more.

It landed a $20 million (£14 million) in venture capital funding from well-respected US firm Andreessen Horowitz in 2015 -- its second ever investment in the UK.

In November 2015, it officially launched SpatialOS, its operating system. Alongside the launch, it announced an ambitious flagship project -- a virtual city run in collaboration with academics to answer questions about modern urban life. 'We're going to have an oracle for an entire city,' Narula told Business Insider. 'We'll be able to answer questions like 'what happens when we introduce autonomous vehicles,' or look at interactions between different things that have just been (previously) impossible.'

Read Business Insider UK's November 2015 interview with Herman Narula »

Total amount raised: $22 million (£15 million)

Headcount: 81

Twitter: @RJFWhite, @HermanNarula

17. Eben Upton of Raspberry Pi

Eben Upton is the man behind the Raspberry Pi, the wildly popular -- and crazily cheap -- single-board computer used to promote computer science education and beloved by hobbyists.

The company launched its smallest and cheapest computer yet in November 2015: The Raspberry Pi Zero, which retails for just £3.30, or $5. Predictably, it sold out immediately.

In February 2016, British astronaut Tim Peake notched up a new first for the Upton's company -- using the 'AstroPi' in space at the International Space Station.

Twitter: @EbenUpton

16. Azmat Yusuf of Citymapper


Former Googler Azmat Yusuf founded Citymapper in 2011 as a guide for Londoners to navigate the city's bus network. The app evolved into a multimodal travel platform and today it is used by millions of people worldwide.

In January, Citymapper raised $40 million (£28 million) from Index Ventures, Benchmark Capital, and a number of angel investors.

Citymapper is now available in 31 cities, including Hong Kong, Sydney, New York, Istanbul, Brussels, Tokyo, and San Francisco.

Total amount raised: $50 million (£34 million)

Headcount: 34

Twitter: @azmingo

15. Rohan Silva of Second Home

Rohan Silva/Second Home

Silva is the former government technology advisor who was part of the team that created the Tech City UK initiative. He worked closely with George Osborne since 2006, and oversaw the growth of the UK's startup scene, playing a key role in the government's relationship with the growing tech cluster.

Silva left government in 2013, and went to work for VC fund Index Ventures. But he quickly decided to launch his own project, and created East London coworking space Second Home.

It was announced in January that Second Home had raised £7.5 million from investors including Yuri Milner, Tencent chairman Martin Lau, and venture capital firm Index Ventures, and that it would use the money to expand to Lisbon.

Silva is also planning to double the size of Second Home, and his plans include a 'huge indoor lake.'

Total amount raised: $10.7 million (£7.4 million)

Headcount: 9

Twitter: @silva

14. Janine Gibson of BuzzFeed UK


Janine Gibson was appointed editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed UK in summer 2015. She started in the role last September after losing out to Katharine Viner in the race to replace Alan Rusbridger at the helm of The Guardian. Previously she was deputy editor at The Guardian. Prior to that, she was responsible for launching Guardian US, where she was editor-in-chief.

While leading Guardian US, Gibson played a key role in the Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Edward Snowden leaks. The Oxford graduate began as a reporter in the media trade press, before becoming a media reporter at the Guardian in 1998 and rising within the organisation.

Total amount raised: $296 million (£204 million)

Headcount: 1,365

Twitter: @janinegibson

13. Gareth Williams of Skyscanner


Gareth Williams is the CEO and cofounder of Skyscanner, the Edinburgh-based company behind one of the world's most popular flight comparison sites.

Williams led the Edinburgh company through a £128 million funding round in January, valuing it at over a billion dollars. He also opened Skyscanner's first London office at the end of 2015, which is home to a team of engineers, led by former Amazon executive Bryan Dove.

Skyscanner also has offices in Shenzhen, Beijing, Barcelona, Glasgow, Miami, Singapore, and Sofia. During 2015, the company grew the size of its workforce to approximately 800 people.

Total amount raised: $197 million (£136 million)

Headcount: 740

12. Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Sir Martin Sorrell is the CEO of the world's largest advertising agency holding group, WPP.

WPP's agencies spend a huge amount on tech platforms, on behalf of their clients. Sorrell told us in January that WPP agencies spent around $4 billion (£2.8 billion) with Google (up 38% from 2014) and $1 billion (£693 million) with Facebook (up 56% on 2014) last year. WPP predict digital advertising will account for 40-45% of its revenue by 2019.

Over the past 12 months, WPP has struck a number of technology partnership deals and acquisitions including: acquiring Google's digital media agency Essence; striking a year-long partnership deal between BuzzFeed and WPP's media-buying arm GroupM; launching an ad agency called Truffle Pig in partnership with Snapchat and The Daily Mail; and taking an equity stake in internet audience measurement company comScore.

WPP was the most prolific acquirer in the media and marketing industry in 2015, according to corporate advisory firm Ciesco.

11. José Neves of Farfetch

José Neves launched Farfetch in 2008 as a way to marry boutique fashion retailers with customers, many of whom likely didn't know the products existed. The company has taken over $190 million (£130 million) in funding and is now worth over $1 billion (£690 million), making it a 'Unicorn.'

The company's investors include Conde Nast and Index Ventures. It's headquartered in London but has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Guimarães, Porto, São Paulo, Shanghai and Tokyo.

The average users spend over $600 (£400) on Farfetch in a single session and the company is doing over $160 million (£110 million) in revenue per year.

Total amount raised: $194.5 million (£135 million)

Headcount: 909

Twitter: @Farfetch_jose

10. Scott Button and Sarah Wood of Unruly

Scott Button (left) and Sarah Wood (right) of Unruly.

Button and Wood, Unruly co-CEOs, sold their video ad tech company to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp in September last year for $90 million (£62.4 million) in cash, plus up to a further $86 million (£59.6 million) if the London-based startup meets its performance targets.

Unruly specialises in serving and analysing video advertising and brand videos that appear outside the confines of YouTube and Facebook. Its technology allows marketers to buy 'native' video ad formats using automated technologies and track their performance across social. The company also offers an analytics tool that predicts whether videos are likely to viral.

Unruly posted a 35% increase in revenue year-on-year to $45.9 million (£28.7 million) in 2014.

Read Business Insider's interview with Sarah Wood from September 2015, shortly after Unruly was acquired by News Corp »

Total amount raised: $25 million (£17.4 million)

Headcount: 224

Twitter: @scottbutton, @sarahfwood

9. Jon Reynolds of SwiftKey


Jon Reynolds started SwiftKey straight out of Cambridge University. The mission, according to Reynolds, is 'to make it easy for everyone to create and communicate on mobile.' The app, which is available on iPhone and Android, is used by more than 300 million people and relies heavily on artificial intelligence to predict what, exactly, the user is trying to say.

Microsoft was interested and acquired SwiftKey for $250 million (£175 million) in early 2016. The team will be incorporated into the company, meaning that Reynolds is now an employee of Microsoft who will work on AI, an area that Microsoft is intensely focused on.

Total amount raised: $21.6 million (£15 million)

Headcount: 148

Twitter: @thejonreynolds

8. Sean Murray of Hello Games

Sean Murray is the CEO of Hello Games, a Guildford company that is building one of the most ambitious video games ever made. 'No Man's Sky' is an attempt to create an entire universe in an online video game environment, which will contain 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 planets.

It's a project of epic scale, and Hello Games has started to show off its progress. Stars like Kanye West, Steven Spielberg, and Elon Musk have all been given demonstrations of the game in 2015.

And the game now has an official launch date: June 2016.

Headcount: 16

Twitter: @NoMansSky

7. Nigel Eccles of FanDuel

Photo: Nigel Eccles/ Twitter/ @nigeleccles.

Nigel Eccles is the founder and CEO of Edinburgh-based FanDuel, which is a fantasy sports platform that allows people in North America to create one-day fantasy teams and enter them into leagues with cash prizes.

High-profile investors such as Google Capital, Time Warner Investments and Turner Sports backed FanDuel last summer in a $275 million (£176 million) round, which brought total investment in the company up to $361 million (£234 million).

FanDuel is perhaps the only British unicorn company not to offer its product to people in Britain. But that could be about to change as Eccles has hinted at the possibility of launching FanDuel in the UK for Premier League fans in the near future.

Total amount raised: $361 million (£250 million)

Headcount: 438

Twitter: @nigeleccles

6. Riccardo Zacconi of King


You have, of course, heard of 'Candy Crush.' You can't not. It's the insanely popular candy-swiping mobile app made by King Digital Entertainment.

Riccardo Zacconi is the man at the wheel at King, and he's had a very good year: In November 2015, Activision Blizzard (the gaming megacompany behind 'Call of Duty,' 'Starcraft,'' World of Warcraft,' and more) acquired King for a massive $5.9 billion (£4.1 billion).

Zacconi, who is Italian and lives in London, cofounded King in 2003, and is its CEO. At the time of the acquisition, the company boasted 330 million monthly active users.

Headcount: 3,261

5. Samir Desai of Funding Circle

Funding Circle

Samir Desai is the founder of peer-to-peer business loan platform Funding Circle. The platform lets savers lend directly to businesses and over £1 billion has been lent over the platform since it launched in 2010. The company was valued at $1 billion (£690 million) last year.

Former management consultant Desai moved to the role of Global CEO last year to oversee expansion into new markets and in October Funding Circle entered Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands with the acquisition of Zencap. Desai had the idea for the business while working on a project at Northern Rock.

Total amount raised: $273 million (£190 million)

Headcount: 266

Twitter: @samirdesai01

4. Kristo Kaarmann and Taavet Hinrikus of TransferWise

TransferWise founders Kristo Kaarmann (left) and Taavet Hinrikus (right.)

Kristo Kaarmann and Taavet Hinrikus are the Estonian co-founders of low cost online international money transfer service TransferWise. The pair's marketing savvy has helped turn the startup into one of the few London companies valued at $1 billion (£690 million) after attracting a $58 million (£40 million) investment last year from top Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Other investors include Sir Richard Branson and Paypal founder Peter Thiel. Before TransferWise, Hinrikus was Skype's first employee. TransferWise went global in 2015 and has already passed the $1 billion transferred mark in the US.

Read our interview with TransferWise's cofounders here »

Total amount raised: $90 million (£62 million)

Headcount: 364

Twitter: @kaarmann, @taavet

3. Julie Adenuga of Beats 1

The tech world was abruptly introduced to 27-year-old Londoner Julie Adenuga in June 2015, when she was announced as one of three global presenters for Beats 1.

Along with veteran BBC radio DJ Zane Lowe and New Yorker Ebro Darden, Adenuga is the face of Apple's flagship new internet radio station -- broadcasting from her London studio.

She may be a new face to techies, but she has strong roots in London's music scene. In 2010, she joined the city's underground radio station Rinse FM. 'We had no DJ experience, but we just played the music and were talking rubbish,' she said. 'It worked. Luckily.'

And let's not forget her family: Alongside Julie, there's also Joseph and Jamie Adenuga -- better known as London grime artists Skepta and JME.

Twitter: @JulieAdenuga

2. William Shu of Deliveroo


William Shu launched his restaurant food delivery company in London in 2012 after realising it was hard to get good quality food delivered to your home or office.

The former investment banker has subsequently expanded Deliveroo to more than 30 UK cities and over 20 international cities. The growth has been fuelled with $200 million (£138 million) in venture capital funding, half of which was raised last November.

Shu has managed to attract popular London restaurants such as Dishoom, Ping Pong, and Dirty Burger to Deliveroo, where they can access an even larger customer base in exchange for approximately 30% of every transaction.

Read Business Insider UK's interview with Will Shu about how Deliveroo plans to expand »

Total amount raised: $200 million (£138 million)

Headcount: 583

Twitter: @WillShu203

1. Eileen Burbidge MBE of Passion Capital

Eileen Burbidge

Eileen Burbidge founded investment fund Passion Capital in 2011 with Stefan Glaenzer and Robert Dighero. Since then, Passion Capital has invested in a series of successful London companies including DueDil, GoCardless, GoSquared, and Smarkets.

Burbidge was given an MBE in the Queen's birthday honours list in June for her services to business. And in July, Burbidge was named the UK Treasury's special envoy for fintech, a type of technology that London is particularly good at due to the tech sector's close proximity with banks and politics. She was also named as one of Prime Minister David Cameron's group of business advisors.

But the biggest news of 2015 for Burbidge was when she took the job of Chair of Tech City UK, the organisation that works to promote the UK's tech startups, in September. She's the new public figurehead for the organisation.

2015 was the year when Burbidge really became the face of London tech: she's been profiled in The Guardian, The Evening Standard, Techworld, Fortune, and The Sunday Times.

Prior to founding Passion Capital, Burbidge worked at Apple, Yahoo, Skype, and Sun Microsystems.

Read Business Insider UK's interview with Eileen Burbidge about her appointment to Tech City UK »

Total amount raised: $129 million (£89.5 million)

Headcount: 12

Twitter: @eileentso

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