12 start-ups set to shine in the 2021 Techstars London accelerator

14 Sep 2021

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This year’s cohort includes two start-ups with Irish connections – Kindora and Asset Reality.

Techstars has revealed the 12 start-ups participating in its 2021 London accelerator programme.

Marking the London accelerator’s 10th anniversary, managing director Eamonn Carey said it had a “bumper crop” of applications this year from a record number of countries around the world. Just like last year, this year’s cohort features two companies with Irish connections, including the first woman-led company from Ireland to make it to the programme.

Here, we take a look at these 12 start-ups and how they are looking to shake up the world of tech.

Asset Reality

This asset management start-up, co-founded by Northern Ireland-born Aidan Larkin last year, aims to help governments and law enforcement agencies maximise profits from the sale of seized assets and proceeds of crime.

Asset Reality has created a platform for recovering, managing and selling seized assets, including cryptocurrencies and other complex assets. Earlier this year, Larkin told the Belfast Telegraph that only 1pc of criminal assets are recovered, indicating a huge untapped opportunity in the sector to help boost public finances. The company has offices in London and Belfast.


Awabah is a Lagos-based digital pension platform that helps self-employed Nigerians plan for retirement. Its platform aims to make financial planning more accessible to people who do not have regular nine-to-five jobs by digitally setting them up with the national Micro Pension Plan.

The start-up was founded in 2020 by Tina Oluwabukola Ajishebiyawo, Tunji Andrews and Gboyega Olatunde. In July, the fintech raised $200,000 in angel funding.


Dimensions is developing a productivity platform for organisations, using data to help product managers make better and faster decisions. It integrates with SaaS platforms such as Zendesk, Salesforce, Intercom and HubSpot with the aim of giving managers the right data and insights so they don’t spend too much time aggregating and analysing information.

It describes itself as a “mission control for product, success, support and everything in between”.


The second Irish-founded start-up in Techstars’ 2021 cohort, Kindora, is an online retail platform for buying, selling and renting premium children’s products such as prams and cribs. It connects buyers with sellers and provides a space for brands to sell additional stock.

It was founded by entrepreneur and CEO Sarah Ouellette in 2020. According to the Irish Times, Kindora is the first woman-led Irish company to make it to the Techstars programme in London. The publication also reported last week that Kindora raised €500,000 in a funding round led by investor Heather Morris, with participation from Tier Mobility chief product officer Georgie Smallwood and entrepreneur Desmond Green.

Legal Nodes

Legal Nodes is a legal-tech company aiming to make it easier for companies to get legal help on demand. Its cloud-based subscription platform is aimed at companies with no in-house legal teams looking to find appropriate expert counsel. Lawyers and data protection officers can maintain a Legal Nodes account to offer services and manage workflow.

Based in London, the start-up was founded in 2018 by legal experts CEO Margarita Sivakova and COO Nestor Dubnevych along with software developer and CTO Max Maliuk. It raised $300,000 in a funding round announced last month.


This digital news start-up has created an app to curate fact-checked news stories and summarise them for its users. NITL connects creators of news content from more than 100 sources with readers by offering an ad-free experience to all users. Each news summary on the app consists of around just three lines, allowing users to consume news stories in a short span of time.

It was founded last year by entrepreneurs Maanas Mediratta, Rishabh Lohia and Saikiran Marripati and is based in Barcelona.


ProGrad is a tech start-up that connects financial institutions with third-level students looking for funding for their university courses. Using data analytics and advanced machine learning, its platform aims to help lenders find young customers and reduce lender defaults while simultaneously creating more credit lines for students. Its AI-powered credit-scoring software gives users a detailed picture of a student’s credit rating – including a metric for future earning potential.

It was founded in 2020 by CEO Ethan Fraenkel and chief product officer Marco Logiudice and is based in the UK.


This automated notification service helps the family of people who have recently died to notify multiple parties of the death, including financial services, utilities, social media accounts and service subscriptions. The Settld platform looks to help family members manage the notification process by requesting account transfers or closures on behalf of the clients.

Settld was founded in 2020 by Vicky Wilson and Julie Wilson and is based in London. It raised £500,000 in seed funding from SFC Capital in June.


Skindays is an online cosmetics marketplace that helps people find premium beauty products customised to their specific skin needs.

The start-up aims to bridge the gap between customer experience in shops and online by hosting a wide range of brands, recommendations, educational content and personalised skincare tests to help customers figure out what they need.


This is a mobile app start-up that helps users organise their messages on WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook and revisit old chats. TextVibes, formerly known as Deary, uses artificial intelligence to import, scan and find memories that may be of interest to the user.

It was founded in 2019 by CEO Federico Allegro and CTO Luca Soldera, who are both software developers based in London.


This video conferencing platform distinguishes itself from established players in the sector by allowing users with similar interests to hold multiple group conversations at once and jump in and out of virtual interactions. The features of Toucan include ‘about me’ profile cards, labelled meeting spots and the ability to control volume between the presenter and the group. The company has two primary services: Toucan Events for big events and Toucan Spaces for smaller virtual spaces.

The social-first communications start-up was founded in 2020 by siblings and Stanford grads Ethan Hellman and Antonia Hellman, along with Ivo Rothschild, Michel Cassius and Paul Murphy. It is headquartered in New York City.


UMA is an edtech start-up that creates educational video games to make learning interesting for school-going children and teenagers. By using immersive experiences instead of textbooks, the company aims to offer an alternative to traditional methods of teaching and learning in secondary education. It is currently developing a mobile game that teaches players the basics of algebra through challenging puzzles and storytelling.

It was founded in 2020 by former Citi investment banker Alice Ursini and Novella Mazzei. Ursini is the CEO while Mazzei is the chief creative officer.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic