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The Top Scottish Tech Companies to Watch in 2021

Ross Kelly

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Scottish tech companies
As we move into the second half of 2021, DIGIT looks at some of the most exciting companies to watch for the remainder of the year.

Despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic over the last 18-months, many Scottish tech companies have weathered the storm with relative ease.

Scottish tech companies are continuing to innovate, raise funding, scale and play a crucial role in establishing the country as a world-class technology hub.

As we move into the second half of 2021, DIGIT looks at some of the most exciting Scottish tech companies to watch.

These dynamic firms operate across a range of areas, spanning fintech, cybersecurity, big data and ecotech – all further underlining the growing strength and diversity of the country’s tech scene.

Boundary

Boundary is definitely among Scotland’s top startups to watch this year.

Founded in 2018 by Paul Walton and Robin Knox, the firm’s DIY smart home security system uses cutting-edge technology to protect customer properties.

Boundary’s alarm system boasts a range of features, including a recently-launched in-app panic alarm function, and can be fully integrated with Google Home and Alexa.

In May, the Edinburgh-based home security startup secured £1.5 million in funding, which the firm will use to accelerate product development and bring on new staff.

Definitely one of the most exciting Scottish tech companies to watch.


Desana

Property technology startup Desana hopes to transform how organisations and staff work.

Desana’s flexible workspace platform helps companies manage how their workforce uses office space.

Through the platform, employees can choose to work from company buildings or from Desana’s fast-growing network of flexible workspace operators, which boasts sites in over 40 countries.

Firms can also curate which spaces can be accessed by any member of staff.

Looking ahead, the Edinburgh-based startup hopes to capitalise on the post-Covid hybrid working boom, offering firms and staff greater work-life flexibility.

The firm recently secured $4 million (£2.9m) in funding to accelerate growth and expand into new international markets.

Keep your eye on Desana.


LiberEat

LiberEat, which previously featured on DIGIT’s list of Aberdeen’s top tech startups, has enjoyed a whirlwind year despite challenging conditions.

Founded by Barry Leaper and Louise Cahill, LiberEat aims to make life easier for people with allergies and dietary requirements.

The LiberEat platform provides users with menus, supermarket grocery options and even recipes catered specifically to their requirements.

Additionally, the platform enables businesses, such as restaurants and retailers, to improve accessibility for people with allergies.

In February, the Aberdeen-based firm was selected as a winner of Tech Nation’s Rising Stars 3.0 competition.

In June, LiberEat also won the inaugural Impact Summit competition, securing a top prize of over £20k and a place on the FutureX Silicon Valley Scale programme.


Aveni

Scottish fintech Aveni has big ambitions to support vulnerable customers across the UK.

The firm’s flagship product, the Aveni Detect AI tool, uses up-to-date AI and natural language processing (NLP) tech to automate processes directly from the customer’s voice.

This, the company says, will help organisations to greatly enhance efficiency in quality assurance, improve client experience, staff training, and give firm’s the ability to identify vulnerable customers.

Aveni’s AI-based tool comes at an important time for companies across a range of sector.

Following the FCA’s recent guidance on the Fair Treatment of Vulnerable Customers, the firm says its platform will help reduce compliance costs.

Aveni recently secured £1.1 million in funding to further develop the platform and help the firm expand into more regulated industries.

The firm also plans to accelerate its UK expansion, so watch out for this exciting fintech startup.


Zumo

In recent years, cryptocurrency has become one of the most talked about subjects in tech, and this shows no sign of stopping as we move further into 2021.

Edinburgh-based digital currency startup Zumo is capitalising on this boom time.

Founded in 2018 by entrepreneurs Nick Jones and Paul Roach, the firm’s decentralised finance platform aims to make cryptocurrency more accessible and work seamlessly with money.

According to Zumo, the startup’s smart wallet provides consumers with the “safest and simplest way to buy, store, send and spend cryptocurrencies and traditional money”.

In the first six months of 2021, Zumo has expanded its team by eight people and is among one of the most promising Scottish tech companies currently operating.


Gecko

Gecko provides software to help universities engage with, recruit and enrol students, and the company’s products are already being utilised by over 10 million students.

The EdTech firm currently works with a host of academic institutions, including the University of California, Western Kentucky University, San Francisco State University, the University of Cambridge, and the University of St Andrews.

Despite a challenging period, Gecko has flourished, experiencing a record-breaking year in 2020 by winning 17 new clients in Britain and the US.

Earlier this year, the company appointed a new chair as it prepares to embark on a new international growth phase.

Gecko is absolutely one of Scotland’s most exciting tech companies and worth keeping an eye on as the firm continues to expand.


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Pawprint

Pawprint is riding the wave of environmental awareness and hopes to encourage consumers and organisations across a range of sectors to manage their carbon footprint.

Founded by tech entrepreneur and Lingo24 founder, Christian Arno, Pawprint brings together technology, behavioural science and carbon data in a singular platform.

The Pawprint app enables users to measure, understand and reduce their carbon footprints – their own ‘pawprints’.

The app provides a carbon calculator which drills down into a user’s dietary habits, home and travel activities and then provides personalised challenges to cut aspects of our everyday carbon footprint.

Pawprint raised more than £1 million of investment in a crowdfunding campaign at the end of 2020.

To date, the Edinburgh firm has raised £2.2m from a series of angel investors, successful entrepreneurs and two over-funded crowdfunds.

Investors include early backers of Tesla, Amazon and Spotify alongside tech entrepreneurs such as Gareth Williams (co-founder of Skyscanner), Kevin Dorren (Dietchef) and Oli Norman (Itison).

Want to find out more? Check out our interview with Pawprint founder, Christian Arno.


Gravyy

Glasgow-based startup, Gravyy, has ambitious plans to take on the ‘Big Three’ food delivery services, JustEat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

Founded by Chris McColl, a veteran of the hospitality industry and owner of Glasgow eatery, NY Slice, the newly-launched firm aims to provide an alternative to the traditional delivery platforms.

This commission-free, community owned food delivery platform puts profits back in the hands of eateries and hospitality businesses, not faceless tech giants.

Looking toward the second half of 2021, Gravyy plans to expand and further develop the delivery platform and is embarking on a crowdfunding campaign.

Want to find out more? Check out our interview with Gravyy founder, Chris McColl.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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