A Cornish company has been ranked as one of the UK’s top ten tech start-ups.
Tech Nation today announced the ten winners of its fourth Rising Stars competition, which recognises the brightest and best early-stage tech scaleups from every area of the UK.
And among the winners is Latchley-based xigxag, which has created a digital reading app.
xigxag’s success as an early-stage tech company reflects the strength and fast growth of the south west’s tech sector overall.
According to data from Tech Nation, the south west is now home to three of the UK’s tech ‘unicorns’ (companies valued at over $1 billion), and received $425 million in VC investment funding last year.
Tech job creation is also growing rapidly in the south west, with over 78,000 people currently employed by tech start-ups and scaleups in the region.
This year sees the most regionally and gender diverse set of winners in Rising Stars history, which showcase the pockets of innovation and entrepreneurship right across the UK, as 7 out of the 10 businesses hail from outside of London and the south east.
Six out of the ten companies have a female founder or co-founder – including xigxag – and this representation mirrors the strength of female-founded businesses overall, which have already attracted more investment in 2022 so far than the whole of 2021 and 2020.
90% (9 out of 10) of this year’s winners also stated they have taken steps to make their businesses more diverse and inclusive over the last year, citing strategies including using inclusive language in job descriptions, providing D&I training to their teams, and having transparent pay structures.
Kelli Fairbrother, co-founder and CEO at xigxag, said: “It is an absolute honour for xigxag to be recognised as one of the most innovative tech start-ups in the UK in 2022.
“Our aim has always been to make reading more accessible, more engaging, easier and more sustainable, so everyone can enjoy more books. We are grateful to receive recognition for creating the first ever listen-and-read concept, the best-ever digital reading app and content platform in the industry – an exciting alternative to big tech.
“We are also proud to represent the tremendous potential of Cornwall as an innovation hub within the UK tech ecosystem.”