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Kuberno named one of the UK’s top 10 tech start-ups by Tech Nation

Tech Nation today announced Kuberno as one of the 10 winners of its latest ‘Rising Stars’ competition, which recognises the brightest and best start-ups from every region of the UK.

30th March 2022: Tech Nation has today announced the 10 winners of its fourth Rising Stars competition, which recognises the brightest and best early-stage tech scaleups from every area of the UK. Previous years’ Rising Stars Winners have included Selazar (from Northern Ireland), Circa5000 (from the North West) and SeedLegals (from London), who have received a combined £33.79mn in investment to date, demonstrating the ability of the Rising Stars to scale quickly, and their potential to become the UK’s tech ‘unicorns’ (companies with valuations of $1bn+) of the future.

This year’s winners have been selected by a panel of 7 judges (industry experts with extensive experience in starting and scaling tech businesses), including Emma Jones (Founder of Enterprise Nation), Nahu Ghrebremichael (Partner at Singular Ventures) and Jess Jackson (Head of Investment at GC Angels), based on their value proposition, competitive advantage, market traction, team experience and potential to scale. Tech Nation has partnered with multinational law firm Pinsent Masons to deliver Rising Stars 4.0.

The winners of this year’s competition are HR DataHub, Kuberno, Kythera AI, MYNDUP, Naurt, Renude, Settld, RDvault, xigxag and Zoa Rental. These companies are working to transform a range of different industries, ranging from fintech, healthtech and deathtech to gaming and retail.

Together, these Rising Stars have a combined average raise of £678,000 and a total combined raise of £6,780,000. They have an average number of 8 employees, and 8 out of the 10 winners are revenue-generating.

The most diverse set of Rising Stars winners to date

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.

6 out of the 10 Rising Stars 4.0 winners have a female founder or co-founder - including Kuberno - 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, including Kuberno.

The winners also come from a wide variety of sectors. These companies showcase the strength and depth of UK tech, which is reinventing how industries traditionally operate, including the legal and governance space.

The UK is an increasingly supportive place for entrepreneurs from all backgrounds to build successful tech businesses - and over three quarters of Rising Stars winners would choose to list in the UK

Tech Nation surveyed the winners of Rising Stars 1.0 - 4.0 (which ran between the years of 2019 and 2022). The feedback from the 35 respondent businesses showed the supportiveness of the UK tech ecosystem, as over three-quarters (77%) stated that they felt the UK was the best place they could have set up their business. An even higher percentage of the Rising Stars winners - 80% - said they would list/IPO in the UK.

The UK’s fastest-scaling tech startups embrace new opportunities as the UK tech landscape evolves

As tech boomed over the last two years, almost three-quarters (70%) of this year’s Rising Stars 4.0 winners said that the pandemic sped up their business’ growth. By comparison, slightly less (56%) of Rising Stars 1.0 - 3.0 winners - which are now further along their scaling journey - agreed with this.

The survey also highlighted the challenges for businesses in the Seed to Series A funding stage. The top three challenges for the 35 respondents was recruiting the right talent, accessing funding and maximising growth initiatives (e.g. advertising, sales, marketing, PR and branding).

When breaking down the findings by winners across the 1.0 - 4.0 cohorts, the survey showed how key challenges have slightly changed. 80% of this year’s winners stated recruiting the right talent as a challenge, however, only 32% of winners from the previous three competitions stated the same. Winners from the previous three Rising Stars competitions instead placed more emphasis on accessing finance, with 76% of Rising Stars 1.0 - 3.0 winners stating this was one of the top three challenges, and just 40% of this year’s winners saying the same.

A bright future for the Rising Stars 4.0 winners as they give back to the UK tech community - and the world

Rising Stars winners’ commitment to building more diverse and inclusive businesses was evident through the survey, with 90% of this year’s winners saying that they’ve actively taken steps to make their businesses more diverse. 75% of winners across Rising Stars 1.0 - 3.0 have done the same. This is indicative of a more diverse and inclusive future for the sector.

The Rising Stars are also contributing to the UK’s net zero goals. 70% of this year’s 10 winners stated they have taken measures to reduce their business’ impact on climate change in the past year, citing strategies such as eliminating the use of paper, embracing remote working, switching to more sustainable delivery providers, using energy efficient services and assessing the environmental impact of business decisions. This is even higher than in previous years, with 60% of Rising Stars 1.0 - 3.0 winners stating they have also taken measures to address climate change in the last year. Kuberno is a signatory of the SME Climate Hub, committing to Net Zero by 2030.

Rising Stars’ mission

Going forward, Kuberno - and all of the 10 Rising Stars 4.0 winners - will continue to be supported by the UK tech ecosystem as they are inducted into the Tech Nation alumni network.

Recognising and empowering all of the winners of the Rising Stars competition is at the core of Tech Nation’s mission to fuel the growth of tech scaleups who are helping us create a stronger UK economy, society and future.

Zoe Bucknell, Founder of Kuberno, said: “"Innovative" and "exciting" are not two words usually associated with governance! The whole team at Kuberno is over the moon that our new entity governance SaaS platform has been recognised as just that as a winner of Rising Stars 4.0 – we are putting Governance Technology on the map! We are immensely grateful to the Tech Nation team for their support during the competition and look forward to continuing to work with them as we scale and kick off our first funding round to support our growth.”

Esme Caulfield, Competitions Lead at Tech Nation, said: “This year’s Tech Nation Rising Stars 4.0 Winners demonstrate the very best of UK tech innovation. It’s been so exciting to see this year’s Rising Stars winners disrupting a wide variety of tech sectors. like fintech, lawtech and so many others, including - for the first time - deathtech. Perhaps even more excitingly, this is one of our most diverse cohorts yet, with the majority of winning companies having female founders or co-founders, and nearly three quarters hailing from outside of London.”

Ed Prior, Vice President at GP Bullhound and Rising Star 4.0 Judge, said: “Having been involved with Rising Stars since its inception, it gives me great pleasure in seeing the competition going from strength to strength each year. As the quality of the companies entering continues to increase, it becomes harder to select the overall winners; this year we received almost 400 entrants from across all regions of the UK and therefore it is a great achievement for all those companies which made the finals. I am proud that the competition is truly representative of the earlier stage tech ecosystem throughout the UK and, given the number of high quality applications and excellent pitches received this year, I am confident we are continuing to create one of the best environments globally to build a tech company regardless of a founders background, or geographic location.”

Nahu Ghebremichael, Partner at Singular VC and Rising Stars 4.0 Judge, said: "It was a pleasure to serve as a Judge in this year's Rising Stars competition; it's so important that we, as a startup community, continue to invest time, energy, and funds into fuelling entrepreneurship across the UK. I've been inspired by the level of engagement from founders, operators, advisors, and investors alike across the programme, and I'm so enthusiastic about how we're continuing to evolve as a collaborative tech ecosystem. Congratulations to all of this year's participants, as well as the winners, and thanks to Tech Nation."

About Kuberno: Kuberno's mission is to beat bureaucracy and give governance a good name. Kuberno provides Company Secretaries and other governance professionals with the tools and techniques to deliver truly future fit governance for their organisations. We have created the first global entity governance platform that combines world leading entity management functionality with a unique secretariat practice management system; built by governance professionals for governance professionals.

Watch Kuberno’s pitch video:

About the Rising Stars competition:

Rising Stars 4.0 is the UK’s only truly national scaleup competition, designed to be accessible to the best early-stage tech companies from all areas of the country. Entrants are supported throughout the application process, and given training and support at each stage of the competition to enable them to compete to their best ability and deliver the perfect pitch. The competition culminates in the top 20 companies being showcased and promoted to a highly curated audience of investors, corporates, influencers and the wider tech ecosystem. The judging panel then deliberate over the final 20, selecting 10 companies to be named as this year’s Rising Stars, who will feature in a high-profile celebration event on 30 March 2022.

Previous Lawtech winners include Seedlegals and Definely.

About Tech Nation:

Tech Nation is the leading growth platform for UK tech scaleups. Tech Nation fuels the growth of game-changing founders, leaders, and scaling companies so they can positively transform societies and economies. We provide them with the coaching, content, and community they need for their journey in designing the future. Tech Nation has years of experience facilitating and helping UK tech companies scale, both at home and abroad. Over 30 cohorts and 900 companies have successfully graduated from Tech Nation’s growth programmes. Alumni include Skyscanner, Darktrace, and Monzo, as well as 3 of the UK’s 7 new ‘decacorns’; Revolut, Wise, and Farfetch.

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