15 Top London Machine Learning Startups to Watch in 2021

15 london machine startups - zsah

The American computer scientist and cognitive scientist, John McCarthy, first offered the earliest and purest definition of Artificial Intelligence (AI) during the Dartmouth conference in 1956. He opined that:

Every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that can a machine can be made to simulate it.

An attempt will be made to find out how to make machines use language, form abstractions and concepts, solve the kinds of problems now reserved from humans, and improve themselves.

The last part of that definition/prediction "improve themselves" is what we refer to as Machine Learning (ML).

Looking at what's happened in the AI and ML industry since 1956, one cannot help but be awed by the sage-like wisdom of John McCarthy. It has all come to pass.

The global machine learning market will grow at a staggering CAGR of almost 39.2% and reach $117.19 billion by 2027, driven by venture capital funds. Venture capitalists have exhibited an insatiable appetite for machine learning startups.

Since 2011, AI has been the top-performing sector in the United Kingdom. Over 1400 high-growth AI and ML startups in the UK have raised close to £20 billion in equity investment. These machine learning startups employ roughly 24,000 staff and generate over £1.6 billion in revenue. Almost two-thirds of these companies have their headquarters in London.

The definition of what can be considered a startup changes over time, but there is a consensus among industry experts that a startup is a business in its first few years of trading up to a maximum of five years (founded in 2016).

Many London machine learning startups have attained Unicorn status. Unicorn startups have achieved a $1 Billion valuation, currently about £725 million.

Machine Learning Startups_zsah

Click on the icons below to view 15 of the top London machine learning startups:

Only two of these startups were launched last year, with the oldest on the list launching way back in 2015. But all of the listed startups have raised capital in the trying year gone by and each one of them continues the rich London tech ecosystem tradition of disrupting key business processes and industries.

#1 Machine Learning Startup in London - OneTrust

Year founded: 2016

Funding: £546m (Source: Beauhurst)

OneTrust Logo_zsah

OneTrust is a London machine learning startup that helps customers manage and secure privacy, cybersecurity, and third-party risk. Over 8,000 large and small businesses use OneTrust to help them comply with privacy and security laws.

The company has raised £546m in three funding rounds, with its most recent funding round in December 2020 raising an impressive £300m. During the last funding round, the company had a valuation of $5 Billion, making it one of the UK's top Unicorn companies.

OneTrust employs over 1300 people spread out across their offices in London, Atlanta, New York, Melbourne, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Paris, Sao Paulo, Munich, and Bangkok.

LinkedIn: OneTrust

Twitter: @OneTrust

#2 Machine Learning Startup in London - Graphcore

Year founded: 2016

Funding: £528m (Source: Beauhurst)

Graphcore Logo_zsah


Graphcore is a semiconductor manufacturer that develops Intelligence Processing Units (IPUs). These are processers specifically used to accelerate Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning tasks. Their unique architecture has made possible significant strides in AI and ML development.

The company has raised £528m in three funding rounds, with the latest in early 2021, which netted £162 million. Graphcore took a mere two years to become a Unicorn company and had a $2.77 billion valuation at the beginning of 2021.

With more than 400 employees in various locations around the world and growing demand for its processors, Graphcore is a top London machine learning startup to watch.

LinkedIn: Graphcore

Twitter: @graphcoreai

#3 Machine Learning Startup in London - Zego

Year founded: 2016

Funding: Over £145 million (Source: CityAM)


Zego is an insurance technology (insuretech) company and the first of its kind to attain Unicorn status. The company uses AI and ML to help organisations and individuals access flexible, usage-based affordable insurance fast.

People and businesses can pay for the right amount of insurance when they need it instead of the age-old practice of strait-jacketing customers into rigid plans that don't necessarily serve their needs. The company uses behavioural data from drivers to price policies more accurately.

Zego has raised over £145 million from backers, including DST Global, General Catalyst, Balderton, Target Global, and Local Globe.

LinkedIn: Zego

Twitter: @Zegocover

#4 Machine Learning Startup in London - Quantexa

Year founded: 2016

Funding: £71.7 million (Source: Beauhurst)

Quantexa logo_zsah

Quantexa is a machine learning startup that specialises in cybersecurity. The company develops AI and ML technology that flags potential illegal activity and secures customer data.

The company works jointly with organisations and industry associations that handle large volumes of data to create analytical models that expose data risk, reveal opportunities, and improve decision making.

Quantexa has raised £71.7 million from backers, including ABN AMRO, Accenture, AlbionVC, British Patient Capital, Dawn Capital, Evolution Equity Partners, HSBC Enterprise Fund HSBC Innovation Investment. Most of this funding came in July 2020.

The company has been featured on top tech lists such as the 2021 edition of The Regtech 100, the Telegraph Tech Hot 100, and the Fast Track Tech Track 100 in 2020. It also participated in the Tech Nation's Future Fifty accelerator and Microsoft ScaleUp (London) accelerator.

LinkedIn: Quantexa

Twitter: @quantexa

#5 Machine Learning Startup in London - Harbr

Year founded: 2017

Funding: £37.4 million (Source: Crunchbase)

Harbr Logo_zsah

Harbr is a machine learning startup that developed a one-of-kind internet-based platform that helps companies tap into each other's data for business intelligence. It's essentially a data collaboration platform that allows participants in the ecosystem to create, share, and sell information.

Once an organisation joins the platform, its data is secured and organised into an accessible format that includes visual formats. It also comes with granular analytical tools to allow participating organisations to extract value and interpret the data.

The company also assists organisations in commercialising their data and unlocking revenue potential.

Three funding rounds have yielded £37.4 million, and the firm is expanding rapidly.

LinkedIn: Harbr

Twitter: @HarbrData

#6 Machine Learning Startup in London - Chip

Year founded: 2016

Funding: £35.6 million (Source: Crunchbase)

chip logo_zsah

This London machine learning startup developed a savings account application that connects to users’ current accounts. Chip then uses artificial intelligence to determine an optimum savings amount for the user. This amount is then set aside automatically every month.

One of the firm's unique selling points is that it scours the market and works in the background to come up with the most competitive interest rate for the customer.

Ten funding rounds, predominantly from Crowdcube crowdfunding, have yielded £35.6 million. In a short period, the firm has managed to build a client base of over 300,000 customers and has more than 100 staff.

LinkedIn: Chip

Twitter: @Get_Chip

#7 Machine Learning Startup in London - ZOE

Year founded: 2017

Funding: £25.3 million (Source: Beauhurst)

Zoe is a healthcare science company. The firm's technology takes users' biological data and then uses machine learning algorithms to generate personalised dietary recommendations.

To build a user's data, the company sends a home test to the customer. The test determines the presence of stomach microbiomes and the body's blood sugar response. A mobile application provides the user with a gut health report and personalised diet program.

In 2020, Zoe helped the National Health Service understand the spread and effects of COVID-19. They also studied over 4.5 million app users to collect COVID-19 data, predict hotspots, and analyse the relationship between the virus and nutrition.

Three funding rounds have yielded £25.3 million.

LinkedIn: Zoe

#8 Machine Learning Startup in London - Kheiron Medical

Year founded: 2016

Funding: £23.4 million (Source: Beauhurst)

Kheiron Medical Logo_zsah

Kheiron Medical’s primary mission is to help doctors detect breast cancer using AI and ML technology. The firm's technology locates tumours faster and with greater accuracy. Its proprietary software, known as Mia, received European regulatory approval in 2018 following a clinical study in several locations.

Six funding rounds have raised £23.4 million from backers, including Atomico, Connect Ventures, Entrepreneur First, Exor Seeds, Greycroft Partners, and Hoxton Ventures. The company has also received a £1.59 million grant from Innovate UK.

LinkedIn: Kheiron Medical

Twitter: @KheironMedical

#9 Machine Learning Startup in London - Cognino AI

Year founded: 2018

Funding: £1.45 million (Source: Crunchbase)

Cognino logo_zsah

Cognino AI is a machine learning startup that specialises in explainable AI. Explainable AI refers to a set of tools and frameworks that help understand machine learning models' decisions.

This differs from most machine learning frameworks that use the concept of a "black box" where users cannot tell how the AI arrived at a decision. Cognino AI transforms all an organisation's large unstructured data into intelligence, enabling a company to connect with all its data points provides nearly human-like learning, understanding, and decision making.

LinkedIn: Cognino

Twitter: @Cogninoai

#10 Machine Learning Startup in London - V7

Year founded: 2018

Funding: £2.17 million (Source: Crunchbase)

v7 logo_zsah

V7 aspires to create the sense of sight through image recognition applications. The proprietary technology uses vision-based AI systems to learn from training data with little human intervention continuously.

The London machine learning startup's technology has applications in manufacturing, self-driving vehicles, agri-tech, life sciences, healthcare, and sports. Two years after launch in 2018, the company already boasted big-name clients like GE Healthcare, Toyota, and Merck.

The firm has raised £2.17 million from Amadeus Capital Partners, Miele Venture, Partech, and Air Street Capital.

LinkedIn: V7

Twitter: @V7Labs

#11 Machine Learning Startup in London - 10x

Year founded: 2016

Funding: £71.7 million (Source: Tracxn)

10x logo_zsah

10X is a cloud-based core banking Application Programming Interface (API) with a raft of features that include AI and analytics, security, process automation, compliance reporting, and much more.

Customers use the platform's machine-learning technologies to transform customer experience and services by leveraging real-time insights.

The company's backers include Nationwide, Oliver Wyman, Ping An, and Michael Lockett.

LinkedIn: 10x

Twitter: @10XBanking

#12 Machine Learning Startup in London - Cleo

Year founded: 2016

Funding: £41.5 million (Source: Crunchbase)

cleo logo_zsah

Cleo is an AI and ML-powered financial app targeted at Gen Z. The application connects to the client's bank accounts and provides timely regular financial advice delivered in a fun gamified manner.

This advice includes insights on recent spending, budgeting tips, and assistance with bills. The tool operates as a virtual assistant and proactively lets the user know whether they can afford a purchase. Clients can ask questions such as "can I afford it?" and get an intelligent response.

The company claims to have more than 3 million users, and the Cleo was voted the Best Money Management App of 2019 by This is Money.

Cleo has raised £41.5 million so far, including £31.9 million ($44 million) in its latest series B funding led by EQT Ventures. Other backers include Balderton Capital, SBI, and LocalGlobe.

LinkedIn: Cleo

Twitter: @meet_cleo

#13 Machine Learning Startup in London - Envisics

Year founded: 2016

Funding: £38.8 million (Source: Beauhurst)


Envisics isn't located in London, but they operate from Milton Keynes, just 50 miles northwest of London. Envision's mission is to deliver safer driving experiences.

This machine learning startup developed a proprietary Dynamic Holography Platform that seamlessly overlays data upon reality to provide drivers with important real-time driving information (hazards, warning signs, etc.) into HUDs (Head-up Displays) without being a distraction.

Envisics had impressive first funding round in 2020; the principal backers are major carmakers General Motors and Hyundai. Other investors include SAIC Capital and Van Tuyl Companies.

Envisics has more than 60 employees and is expanding rapidly.

LinkedIn: Envisics

#14 Machine Learning Startup in London - Secondmind

Year founded: 2016

Funding: £38.7 million (Source: Beauhurst)

secondmind logo_zsah

Secondmind is also located in Milton Keynes. The company develops explainable AI and ML technologies that amplify human intelligence and help with better decision-making.

The firm's platform, known as Secondmind Decision Engine, makes predictions, plans, influences outcomes, manages risk, and makes complex decisions.

Existing customers have used the platform for demand forecasting, inventory optimisation, and dynamic pricing. Some of their biggest clients include Mazda, Keuhne+Nagel, and Brambles.

The company has raised £38.7 million over five funding rounds from a raft of investors, including Amadeus Capital, Reefknot, and Tencent.

Secondmind currently has over 100 employees consisting of over 20 nationalities.

LinkedIn: Secondmind

Twitter: @SecondmindAI

#15 Machine Learning Startup in London - Neurons Lab

Year founded: 2018

Funding: Founder Equity (Source: Crunchbase)

Neurons Lab logo_zsah

Neurons Lab is a machine learning startup that offers consulting services that help businesses integrate AI in their products and services.

In early 2020, they were amongst the first companies to study CCTV video feeds and use deep learning algorithms to detect people showing symptoms on COVID-19. Their machine learning models could detect potentially dangerous individuals by their visual symptoms with up to 60% accuracy.

LinkedIn: Neurons Lab

Twitter: @neurons_lab

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Final Thoughts

Do we miss anyone?

Let us know which Machine Learning startups in London you’ll be keeping a beady eye on in 2021 in comments below or by reaching out to us on Twitter – @zsahLTD and LinkedIn - zsah. We’ll continue to update this list throughout the year with your worthy suggestions. 

Enjoy our article? You might be interested in this blog post as well - 15 Tech Startups to Watch Out For in London in 2021. Happy reading!

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