London’s startup ecosystem is thriving. In the past 12 months the number of startups heading to Silicon Roundabout increased by 21%, with tech-focused ventures alone boasting an increase of 200%.
We’ve taken a look at some of the best talent coming out of the capital and suggest what you can learn from their success.
The city’s hottest food delivery service attracted £45 million of investment just last week. With Hungryhouse and JustEat already offering an online marketplace for takeaway food, Deliveroo fills a gap by bringing customers premium meals from their favourite restaurants straight to their home or desk. Whilst tube advertisements, prestigious partnerships with large chains and a pledge to maintain a base-rate service charge of £2.50 have undoubtedly contributed to the company’s growth, so has their clever social media strategy. It consistently delivers stylish photographs of food and regular competitions, most recently under their hash tag #mouthparty. Add to the mix an easy-to-use mobile app and you’ve got a tasty recipe for success.
Another venture that’s filled a gap in the market, CityMapper is a free app that collates data from the city’s transport infrastructure and transforms it into a user-friendly navigation guide. Since its launch in 2010, it’s become the go-to journey planning service for on-the-go Londoners, New Yorkers and Parisians. An anomaly for this list, the company has spent next to nothing on marketing. Instead, they choose to market themselves through their app update release notes – presented directly onto a user’s phone when the app is opened after an update. This is cleverly used as an opportunity to get across their off-beat, humorous and fun-yet-functional personality.
A website and mobile app that provides personalised news about live music events, Songkick is a Silicon Roundabout trailblazer and Y-Combinator alumnus. The company’s continual innovation adds it to our list: it’s transformed from scanning music playlists and notifying users when bands come to town, to providing a whole new crowdfunding platform called Detour, which allows users to efficiently pledge financial support to cover an artist’s venue costs. A true game-changer that’s changing how fans engage with artists!
Online print designer and startup heavyweight Moo.com recently received £3 million from Barclays’ brand new Fast Growth Tech Fund. The company can thank their 50% average year-on-year revenue growth to a great service offering and clever social media marketing. Their blog is consistent and friendly in tone, and includes interviews with other designers and innovators, whilst their Instagram boasts 38,000 followers and features playful and colourful photographs of stylish designs. They’ve put effort into gaining almost 500,000 Facebook likes and 100,000 Twitter followers – engaging them through interesting, visually stimulating and interactive content.
What can we learn?
These case studies demonstrate that win-win strategies that work for the business and their users are a sure fire recipe for success that others can emulate. As Steve Jobs once said, “design is not what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Startups that focus on consistent engagement, creativity and innovation are the ones that will reap the rewards.