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Digital Risks favourite start-ups of 2016

Charlotte Hall
20 April 2017
5 minute read

It was another awesome year for start-ups, with StartUp Britain estimating around 80 were created EVERY HOUR throughout 2016 – wowsers!

Here at Digital Risks, we love being part of the start-up community and take an avid interest in who's launching what, which industries are being disrupted, and trying out any exciting innovations we can lay our hands on.

Here's our pick of some of the best:


My choice is easy. I haveto go with Slack for the simple reason that it's changed the way we work! Less emails means more personal communication within the team. It allows us to maintain every aspect of the business digitally, and I can honestly say there's not a day that goes by when I don't communicate in team chats, private groups and individually with members of the team. Messages, random giphs, file sharing – you name it! The collaborative working environment it instils is great. It also has the added bonus that when one of us is working remotely they can feel part of the daily discussion, communicating without endless email chains.

One final feature which makes Slack so innovative is the ability to integrate with different systems, quickly and effectively. When building our systems, we used Slack to alert us as customers were interacting with our products. This allows us to react in real-time to our customers' needs and we all know when we've on-boarded new people – something we're always happy to hear!

Cam, Communication superhero!


I would like to throw in my 2 cents (poor finance pun!) and vote for the digital challenger and FinTech genius that is Monzo (formerly Mondo). The user-friendly, data driven approach to personal finance is a refreshing break from the big banks, while the real-time breakdown of your spending habits is particularly useful when you're a bit of a shopaholic…*ahem*. Not only this, but the foreign exchange rates are reasonable, (particularly important at the moment) freeing up precious Euros to spend abroad! Quids in.

And from a marketing perspective, I can admire Monzo's clever use of growth hacking techniques; in particular the infamous waiting list driving exclusivity, the golden ticket queue jump (which Annabel actually sent to me!) and the hierarchical numbers on their debit cards (which I might add has been the source of some one-upmanship in the office!)

Overall, I think the team at Monzo have built a great, innovative product, which looks set to give the traditional financial corporations a run for their money (!), one luminous orange card at a time!

Charlotte, Marketing guru


"Nothing is new" Ecclesiastes – we all saw (and possibly benefitted!) from the success of Tinder, the simple swipe dating app. It's shallow, fickle and materialistic – just like a shopaholic buying new clothes…GRABBLE gets my vote because they designed their model off the back of this concept, and with incredible success. It's mirrored the idea of swipe right to grab the item you like or flick left if it's not your style. Not only have they made shopping simple and efficient, but also fun – they've gamified "window shopping".

The most innovative part to their model and why they are my first pick is how they have taken the concept of online shopping to the next level. From personal experience, I find clothes shopping hard work and dull, but with Grabble I no longer see it as a sacrifice of my time. It does the hard work for me, lining up a collection of glad rags to flick through at my leisure, each suggestion a relevant add-on to the last. And all this just from mimicking an already successful industry game changer.

Grabble demonstrates that to be a leader in innovation, you don't have to come up with a brand new concept or idea, just an eye for a different perspective and an insight to customer demand.

In just two taps and two swipes, you can be the best dressed date ever. Cheers Grabble.

Edward, Account Manager & part-time Fashionista!


This year I've started using Revolut, which I think is one of 2016's best startups. Revolut is a card that you can top up in Euros, dollars or pounds and you spend your money in almost all currencies at the best available exchange rate. You can use the card as a Mastercard when you make purchases, as well as making transfers to your friends. You get a handy app that shows you how much you've spent, in what currency and what you have available.

Revolut really takes the pain out of paying with a credit card all over the world without paying horrendous exchange rates and fees. A must-have for frequent travellers!

Annabel, Financial mastermind

I know I'm not alone when I say I'm fed up with companies misusing my data to target me with online advertising. With a staggering 82% growth in the adoption of ad-blocking technology, most of the UK population agrees with me. But companies will always need ways to reach their target audiences, which is where comes in.

The team at have designed a secure digital marketplace where you can monetize your data and attention by licensing it to brands in return for a payment or reward. Sound simple? It really is! But there are a few other aspects of the company that stand out for me as a frontrunner for 2016.

Firstly, and most importantly, the platform is secure and has strong privacy safeguards in place, meaning that your data is never shared with a third party, brand or advertiser (another bugbear of the UK population I'm sure!) Secondly it's great that the rewards you receive are instant and transparent. explains the value associated with each question, leaving no room for misinterpretation. The rewards are appealing and attainable such as a £25 Amazon voucher – not bad. Lastly the concept works so well because the platform analyses your data to ensure that whenever a brand wants your attention they're sending the right message – a win-win situation for both the advertiser and the customer!

Ben Rose, Insurance legend!

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