Companies to Watch | #2

Babylon Health

Started in 2013 | €577m | Series C

Babylon Health has made itself plenty of friends in high places — and enemies too. The digital health company, which provides online consultations and has a symptom-checking app, has become known for making bold claims about what its AI can achieve and for butting heads with GPs in the UK. It’s also been used as a poster child for digital transformation in healthcare by the likes of UK health minister Matt Hancock and raised huge amounts of funding from Saudi Arabia’s investment fund.

Still, squabbles with UK doctors don’t seem to be where Babylon is focusing its attention now: it’s planning to launch in the US.

Improbable

2012 | €547m | Growth Equity

Simulation software startup Improbable has always had an aura of mystery about it — partly because it operated in stealth for a long time, gained a billion-dollar valuation not long after launching and has landed numerous deals with the military.

Founder Herman Narula has sold investors including SoftBank and Andreessen Horowitz on his vision to “build the Matrix”. The big question is whether he can actually pull it off.

Lendable

2014 | Secondary | €1bn

The Goldman Sachs-backed digital lender is now worth over £1bn following a secondary sale — having only raised £4m in equity to date.

But it’s long been one of those rare fintechs that’s actually profitable, previously trumping the combined profits of Azimo and Zopa. Phenomenally, it was started by two young graduates in their mid-20s in 2014 (who placed on Forbes’ 30 under 30 in 2018) with a mission to undercut traditional banks by fast-tracking applications and offering competitive rates. Today it approves a new loan every 30 seconds.

The company’s £1bn+ valuation is a big jump from the £500m it was last rumoured to be priced at when Balderton led a secondary sale in 2018.

It’s rumoured to be expanding into the US and new investors Stefan Glänzer and Eileen Burbidge — Goldman Sachs and Passion Capital’s top partners — are investing in a personal capacity.