10 great start-ups from Glasgow to watch

3 Aug 2018

Clyde Arc Bridge, Glasgow, Scotland. Image: Yvonne Stewart Henderson/Shutterstock

Glasgow is a hotspot for entrepreneurial activity and its tech start-up community is driving innovation at full throttle.

Glasgow is just as potent a location for tech entrepreneurs as Edinburgh, and here are 10 young start-ups to prove it.

According to Tech Nation, tech businesses in Glasgow recorded a turnover of £1.05bn in 2017 and 184 digital businesses were forged in the city in 2016. More than 10,000 people in the city are employed in digital and tech roles, with the average tech employee generating a turnover of £104,000.

The city is apparently awash with data science activity. The Data Lab Scotland is funding university places for students in this field and the city hosts DataFest, an annual celebration of data-driven innovation.

Space technology is also a big deal in Glasgow, and Clyde Space was acquired by Sweden’s ÅAC Microtec at the end of 2017.

Popular tech meet-ups in Glasgow include DevOps Glasgow, Ladies of Code, Glasgow Tech Social and Lean Agile Glasgow, to name a few.


A spin-out from the University of Strathclyde, 3fbio was established to develop and commercialise a novel patented technology that transforms the production economics for the meat-free food product mycoprotein. This is done by integrating the production within existing biorefinery operations producing bio-ethanol and animal feed. Founded by Jim Laird, Craig Johnston and David Ritchie, it has raised £6.6m to date, including a £6.2m Series A round in April involving University of Strathclyde, Scottish Investment Bank and Data Collective.


Adimo integrates with any form of marketing to make it shoppable, removing the fuss of buying while allowing shoppers to add products directly to their baskets for later purchase. Founded by Richard Kelly and Colin Brown, Adimo raised £1m in a seed round last year from various investors, including Scottish Investment Bank and Galvanise Capital.


Bird.i gets big data from space. The start-up provides real-time imaging and intelligence to businesses from satellites and it is used for monitoring changes on the ground by infrastructure operators, construction firms and urban planners. Founded in 2016 by Corentin Guillo, Bird.i has raised $3.6m to date, including a $2.6m investment led by Accelerated Digital Ventures last year.


Carcela is an online car buy-and-sell platform with offices in Glasgow and London. Founded in 2016, the bootstrapped company led by Dagmawi Belay is on a mission to disrupt the traditional car dealership sales model in a digital way. The company was founded after Belay’s previous start-up, Hiddier, was acquired and he had a disappointing experience trying to buy a car from a dealership.


Encompass robotically automates information and news discovery for know your customer (KYC) requirements of financial and professional services firms. Co-founded in 2012 by Roger Carson and Wayne Johnson, Encompass has raised £4.2m in funding to date from investors Scottish Development International, Scottish Investment Bank and Adcock Private Equity.

Global Surface Intelligence

Global Surface Intelligence (GSI) is efficiently transforming drone and satellite data into valuable business intelligence for customers. Put simply, GSI can continuously measure land use, forests and crops; and detect changes, such as growth, disease and harvest, across large geographic areas. Founded by chief scientist Matt Tyburski and led by CEO Gavin Tweedie, GSI has just raised £800,000 in a funding round led by Par Equity and Scottish Investment Bank.


Houseology is an innovative e-commerce platform that has become a top interior design destination for home furnishings, lighting and accessories. It was founded in 2010 by former CEO Kate Mooney out of a traditional architecture practice, with the goal of demystifying the design process. Houseology has raised $6.1m in funding to date.


MindMate develops software for people living with cognitive decline. The app is used by more than 1m people to stimulate grey matter, stay active, collect memories, and enjoy content such as TV and music. MindMate was co-founded by Patrick Renner, Rogelio Arellano and Susanne Mitschke. It was inspired by Arellano’s experiences of caring for his grandfather who had Alzheimer’s, with the ambition to create a tool to improve the quality of life for individuals living with the condition. MindMate has raised $2.8m in funding to date from investors including Mucker Capital, Telegraph Hill Capital, Potential VC and Luma Launch.


Apparently established in a former autopsy room at the University of Glasgow, My1Login is the creator of next-generation identity and management solutions for enterprises. Led by CEO Mike Newman, My1Login enables single sign-on solutions for organisations via SaaS technology. It has raised $3.2m in funding to date.


Swipii has created an automated marketing platform for small, independent, bricks-and-mortar retailers, giving them the power to compete with larger players. It has a vision of becoming the Salesforce of hyperlocal retail. The company was co-founded by Chitresh Sharma and Louis Schena in 2014 and has raised £1.7m in funding to date.

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years