Tech Companies in Bristol to Watch

Features Cogsy, Deazy, Huboo, Immersive Labs, Payaca, Saltare, spacebands and Vaarst.

Our grand tour of the UK’s tech scene now sends us to South West England and the city of Bristol.

A UNESCO City of Film, Bristol is one of the nation’s cultural hotbeds, and it’s also one of the tech hubs that helped the UK zip past China and India in tech investments as of May 2022.

As of November 2020, tech was Bristol’s fastest-growing industry with over 400 companies and $1 billion (£872 million) in venture capital. In addition to exciting startups like some of the companies in this list, tech giants like Nokia, Sony and Amazon have a presence in the area.

The following companies are a good primer of the bountiful opportunities available in Bristol tech.

Contents

i) Tech Companies in Bristol to Watch

ii) Previous Features on Companies in England

Tech Companies in Bristol to Watch

1. Cogsy

Founded in late 2020, Cogsy aims to provide direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands with a platform to turn operational data into actionable forecasts and insights for the business. Features include Replenish Alerts to help keep stores stocked before they run out of product, Backordering for out-of-stock products and New Product Planning. It comes packed with integrations for other tools like Shopify, Google Analytics, Skubana and ShipBob.

The young firm claims its tools can save clients 20 hours a week and increase revenue by up to 40%.

In December 2021, Cogsy received a big boost via $5 million (£3.7 million) in seed funding from a group of investors headed up by Accel Partners.

2. Deazy

Deazy aims to make finding developers easy for businesses through what it calls a “curated ecosystem” of devs who are “carefully vetted, intelligently matched, and available on-demand” via its automated platform.

Brands who have worked with the firm include mobile order and payment provider OrderBee, investment consulting firm AndCo and fast food chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

Deazy closed out a £5 million (£3.7 million) Series A funding round in late January 2022. As of March 2022, it received certification in popular information security standard ISO 27001 with the assistance of Exeter-based Securious Academy.

3. Huboo

An order fulfillment service provider for the e-commerce industry, Huboo was founded in 2017 and offers a variety of solutions, technological or otherwise, for clients.

On top of its self-titled software platform, it offers a software-powered “micro-warehouse hub” for clients. This micro-warehouse hub essentially means users divide their larger warehouses into smaller, client-specific spaces. The aforementioned platform can be integrated with e-commerce platforms like eBay, Shopify and Amazon.

In October 2021, Huboo secured £60 million in Series B funding. Shortly thereafter, it acquired fellow Bristol-based fulfillment firm Roseta.io and Roseta.io’s parent company New Vision for an undisclosed amount in February 2022.

4. Immersive Labs

Immersive Labs offers what it calls a “Cyber Workforce Optimization” software platform which can measure client company employees’ cybersecurity competency and help these employees improve their cybersecurity skills. It counts Crisis Simulation, Candidate Screening and Application Security as some of the features available on the platform.

The McLaren Formula 1 team announced Immersive Labs as an Official Partner in cyber workforce optimisation in December 2021 and will utilise its platform for the foreseeable future. Whether or not this partnership will help drive McLaren to the top of the F1 standings remains to be seen.

One month after partnering with McLaren, Immersive Labs added another component to its winning formula, buying Philadelphia-based Snap Labs for an undisclosed amount.

5. Payaca

Founded in 2018, Payaca offers job management software for customer-facing businesses.

Its software includes features like business analytics, quoting and invoicing management, and accounting integration with Xero, Quickbooks and Zapier. Its payments software comes equipped with Stripe integration as well. A Payaca mobile app is available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

In September 2021, the firm received a £331,000 investment from Gloucester-based investment firm Blackfinch Ventures. Payaca has several hundred business users across the UK, and said it will use the funds for adding to its CRM and job management capabilities, as well as a number of payment options, including a fee-free open banking solution.

6. Saltare

Saltare was founded in 2022 and claims its product, Early Pay, is “a groundbreaking tech-driven solution that will transform the way payments are made and received”. A bold claim from the startup which seems to be a side hustle of fellow Bristol native finance firm Optimum Finance, whose primary service is financing unpaid invoices for client companies.

Saltare offers its flagship product, Early Pay, which helps suppliers get paid more quickly.

The businesses also share a CEO in Anthony Persse. However, Optimum Finance is part of private equity firm JRJ Group’s portfolio. If Saltare also lives under that umbrella, it has not been disclosed.

7. spacebands

Shockingly not the name of a psychedelic indie rock act, spacebands is a yet-to-be-released product designed to make the working safer through a special wristwatch that it says can detect potential hazards and collate data to give users a more-informed look at their health and safety in the workplace.

The firm was founded in the middle of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and initially designed its product to help make social distancing easier. How these devices actually work and their full suite of features will likely be made publicly available as spacebands nears a full launch.

In April 2022, its crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs met its £250,000 funding goal. The campaign is still open as of this writing and sits at over £428,000. This cash is on top of the £450,000 investment it secured that same April. Life is sweet for spacebands as it won the StartUp Awards National Series ‘Young Entrepreneurs of the Year 2022’.

8. Vaarst

Moving on to the world of marine robotics, Vaarst describes its product subSLAM X2 as “the first data collection system to deliver millimetre accurate 3D point clouds for live digital reconstructions and autonomous navigation”.

The firm also offers a machine learning platform, 3D live streaming, and a cloud-based solution that Vaarst claims will enable “a truly autonomous cloud-connected future for all marine robotics systems”.

In April 2022, the company picked up $20 million (£15 million) in a Series B funding round. Vaarst seems to be the side project of another Bristol-based company in an adjacent field. In this case, Vaarst’s corporate big brother is Rovco, a hydrographic services provider. Both companies share a CEO, Brian James Allen; and exist in the same building, The Quorum.

Zephin Livingston
Zephin Livingston
Zephin Livingston is a content writer for eWeek, eWeek UK, IT Business Edge, and SoftwarePundit with years of experience in multiple fields including cybersecurity, tech, cultural criticism, and media literacy. They're currently based out of Seattle.

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