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tech company of the year award
sponsored by Arma Partners
The tech company of the year award is the big one! The award is the ultimate accolade for a business and proof it has reached the very top.
In addition to its outstanding technological achievements, the tech company of the year will have produced sound commercial and financial success to become a fully accountable, well-managed business that is capable of delivering outstanding long term growth potential and building shareholder value.
Our shortlist contains shining beacons in the sector – they are:
The group has been nominated in two categories at this year’s awards for good reason. Access demonstrated above-market organic and inorganic growth, in addition to its proven track record of increasing recurring revenue. Despite the pandemic, the group maintained its strong customer base and delivered growth due to its exceptional sales and marketing engine with industry-leading sales KPIs.
The Access Group is an acquisitions hungry business and this year was no exception. With its acquisition of CoreHR in March, the business demonstrated its ability to successfully acquire and integrate larger acquisitions. Its acquisitions of Eclipse and DPS Software added a new legal vertical to the business, enabling Access to become one of the leading providers of legal technology in the UK.
2020 was a monumental year for Ceres, with the group achieving several ‘firsts’. One of its notable achievements includes developing its first zero-emission combined heat and power system, designed for exclusive use with hydrogen fuel, proving its technology can provide practical solutions. This was further demonstrated with its core technology being manufactured outside the UK for the first time, with the Bosch ‘power station’.
Ceres remains on a clear path to profitability, doubling revenue again for the fourth year running. The group has an asset-light, licensing business model, in addition to good visibility of future revenue, with a combined order book and pipeline in excess of £70m.
Frontier has paved the way for the gaming industry in the UK and continues to be the poster child for this burgeoning tech sector, both quoted and private. The group has harnessed its bespoke technology, its passionate team and reputation in the gaming industry to reach unprecedented success in the period. Frontier’s highlights include, launching its fourth self-published game (Planet Zoo), which was its biggest and most successful PC game launch to-date. This was in addition to securing strategic IP for new partnerships Formula 1 and Games Workshop to create Frontier’s strongest ever roadmap of new game launches.
Frontier achieved record performance in the period, with revenue increasing over 160% year-on-year and profit rising by nearly 600%. Its market value has increased ten-fold in the last 4 years, recently exceeding the £1bn mark.
Another double nomination for Ocado, with CEO, Tim Steiner, also in the running for tech CEO of the year. The group had a stand-out year, with its revenue growing by 27% in the first half of 2020 and sales growth up over 40% in the second quarter in response to the heightened demand for online grocery brought on by the pandemic.
Ocado’s Joint Venture with Marks & Spencer represented a fully aligned partnership, combining M&S’ highest rated food brands with strong product development capabilities and Ocado’s pioneering OSP technology and operational efficiency. The deal resulted in the group’s shares rising 103% this year, giving Ocado a valuation of £19.5bn.
Also shortlisted in two categories at this year’s awards, Revolut is a power-house of a tech company on a clear growth trajectory. The group has experienced exponential growth in customer numbers in the period, now reaching 12m customers and supporting usage in 35 countries. Revolut also recently expanded its offering by launching Revolut for Business.
In February this year, Revolut raised a large Series D round of funding of $500m, valuing the company at $5.5bn.