One of the best things about working at DevOpsGroup is getting to know interesting companies that are shaking things up with news ways of using technology.
Here are some of my favourites that we’ve worked with over the past 12 months or so.
The app commerce platform from Poq enables retail brands to maximise their presence in this rapidly growing space as part of a cohesive omnichannel strategy.
I am a big fan of native apps over (supposedly) mobile-optimised websites. When they’re done right, they can completely transform the way you interact with a company. So Poq’s inclusion in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 for two years running is totally justified. With Poq’s platform model, it’s really simple for retailers to create brilliant, intuitive apps that deliver a far superior experience to mobile web.
This is such a great use-case for building a ‘platform’ capability. Building and maintaining a native app requires a lot of heavy lifting. But with Poq handling the undifferentiated back end, brands can simply focus on the creative elements. So, app development becomes less about technology, and more about on-trend, dynamic customer engagement.
With clients including Pretty Little Thing, Oasis and Warehouse, Poq is at the forefront of smartphone shopping, making it easier and more enjoyable for brands and consumers alike.
Tyre comparison site Motokiki helps people find the right tyres at the best prices. The business is completely impartial, simplifying the process of choosing and buying new tyres.
I have always found buying new tyres to be a disheartening experience. Do you go to a well-known ‘high street’ tyre fitter, all the while feeling you’re probably being ripped off? Or use the local garage that you sort-of trust, in the knowledge that tyres aren’t their speciality, so they probably don’t have economies of scale?
Either way, I’m an uninformed buyer and can’t imagine I’m getting value for money. But traditionally these have been the only options for most of us.
Motokiki changes everything.
Simply enter your registration number and postcode online, and they immediately know what wheels you have and hence what tyres you need. You’re presented with a range of options with info on fuel efficiency, weather performance and even noise. Naturally, you’re given a choice of providers in your local area too.
Unlike other players in this newly formed market, Motokiki is wholly independent from tyre manufacturers. We’re delighted to work with one of the latest stars in online comparison from our native South Wales.
Small business owners often lack the time to fully explore funding options, but Funding Xchange brings transparency and efficiency to the process. Borrowers submit a simple funding request, then would-be lenders compete for their business.
Access to capital is the number one challenge small businesses face. And their number one risk is running out of cash.
SMEs are woefully underserved by the traditional financial services establishment, falling into a chasm between the midsize B2B and consumer markets. Yet they account for 99.3% of all private sector businesses, and 60% of all private sector employment in the UK. So, anything that democratises the funding process and makes capital more accessible to SMEs is worthy of attention.
Enter Funding Xchange. We met the team when we became neighbours in the Rise London co-working space. And we were impressed at how their offering accelerates credit checks and decision making so SMEs can access funds more quickly.
As well as helping SMEs tap into the bigger banks, Funding Xchange works with other super-exciting FinTechs like iwoca. It’s a true convergence of technology and finance, making the world a better place for small business.
Investment and software engineering expertise join forces at Wealthify, an innovative online service that helps people do more with their savings. The goal is to make investing easy and affordable for everyone, across a diverse mix of funds containing shares, bonds, property and commodities.
Wealthify is another fantastic South Wales FinTech start-up. It’s on a mission to democratise investing, busting myths that hold people back, and making the process easy and affordable for everyone.
You sign up online, indicate the level of risk you’re comfortable with (on a scale of 1 to 5) and how much you want to invest on a one-off or regular basis. Wealthify combines algorithms with expert insight to continually rebalance your investment plan and keep it on track. Then you can keep an eye on how it’s performing through their app.
The small, friendly team operates a slick process that gives people a great alternative to index-linked savings, without the hassle or expense of using an IFA. Fees start at 0.7% per year, and while they encourage long-term investing, you can access your money whenever you like.
Wealthify was one of the first brands on the online investment scene. It’s now part of Aviva and is taking strides to broaden its product set and define the future of online investing.
Commercial, trainee and recreational drone pilots can access flexible insurance from Flock, with policies underwritten by Allianz, the world’s leading aviation insurer. Cover can be purchased by the hour, day or month with new features, like predictive risk analytics, released regularly based on customer feedback.
What’s not to love about drone insurance. Flock is a pioneering InsurTech, offering pay-per-flight and flexible subscription options rooted in real-time, hyperlocal analytics of weather conditions and flight plans.
Pilots can adjust their proposed flight plan to bring their premium down. So, the proposition is inherently customer-centric. Flock essentially inverts the traditional insurance model, using data modelling to tell people about potential risk, enabling them to mitigate it, rather than simply charging a premium to protect it.
Stats prove that customers do indeed adjust their flight plans to decrease risk and reduce costs, meaning Flock is increasing overall safety for this burgeoning market. It’s going to be interesting to see how this innovative business unfolds as commercial applications of drone technology take off.
From disruption to domination
Simplicity, customer-centricity and ingenuity are common features of all these businesses. Their offerings are diverse, but they’re all rooted in the core principle of making life easier for their target market.
As tech start-ups like these gain momentum and roll out their offerings at scale, they have the potential to change the face of their respective industries. It’s a massive privilege to help them on their journey.