Thu 18th Nov The term ‘metaverse’ has been thrown around a fair bit in the past few weeks, following Connect 2021 in late October. This deeptech itself isn’t a new phenomenon, for instance, in this article it’s argued that Fortnite gave us a taster into what the metaverse could provide us. The metaverse is a deeper virtual reality experience, where instead […]
The term ‘metaverse’ has been thrown around a fair bit in the past few weeks, following Connect 2021 in late October. This deeptech itself isn’t a new phenomenon, for instance, in this article it’s argued that Fortnite gave us a taster into what the metaverse could provide us.
The metaverse is a deeper virtual reality experience, where instead of the past focus on simply gaming we shift a focus to also integrating work and non-gaming socialising.
An example of this greater integration into our everyday lives is Barbados hoping to be the first nation with an embassy in the metaverse. We could probably write a whole thinkpiece on the metaverse (Forbes, hit me up), but what’s more relevant is that this is creating a new space for startups. Perhaps, a meta-startup industry. So who’s making some new meta moves?
MakeReal is a UK based studio that creates immersive software for education. It claims immersive education is far more efficient than conventional methods – and boosts some famous clientele such as: McDonald’s, Porsche and Lloyds.
Swedish Scapin’ social communication platform enables you to create a customised virtual space. It has also racked up 2.9 million euros in its seed round in July!
London startup Dubit is using some of it’s £41 million investment for a MGL (Metaverse Gaming League). The intention is to offer a more inclusive environment, compared to traditional professional esports which traditionally hosts exclusively for elite players.
Finally, US based Failed to Render thinks this is all oh so funny. It’s the world’s first professional stand up comedy club in… you guessed it… virtual reality. Now some of you can be unfunny in real life and virtually!
We’ve not sure to what extent the metaverse under Meta will take off. The speculated reason for the name change was to distance, now ‘Meta’, from Facebook related scandals. Is creating its metaverse really the right way to go post-scandal? Likewise, VR has been around for a while, and has never really taken off the way Meta thinks Metaverse will take off. But hey-ho, Robert Metcalfe claimed the internet would collapse in 1996 and yet here we are.
Thu Nov. 4, 2021 Finally, some of us had an excuse to justify why our social media was so dry. It was no longer that none of my friends liked me anymore – it was actually a global crisis: Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp were down. God, only if it were Teams. Oh, WhatsApp is down! […]
Finally, some of us had an excuse to justify why our social media was so dry. It was no longer that none of my friends liked me anymore – it was actually a global crisis: Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp were down. God, only if it were Teams.
Oh, WhatsApp is down! That’s why you haven’t responded to my messages for the past three months!!!
Every 20 minutes or so, I would go to Instagram anticipating something to change even though, unsurprisingly, it did not. It felt like going to the fridge every so often expecting to find food, but the only thing staring back at you is a sad-looking, shriveled up, half chopped bell pepper. Maybe I’ve been Pavlov-ed into a salivating social media dog. After 6 hours, things were back to normal.
Yet, what is most surprising about this situation is the sense of vast disconnectedness many of us felt. At this moment in time, in all worlds possible, we are the most connected we have ever been. So in preparation for a future doomsday of social media, let us explore some exciting social network startups.
Social Startup Replacements?
If you’re wondering about a world without Whatsapp, what about Wonder? The highlight of the Wonder experience is being able to move a small picture icon of yourself around the ‘room’ backdrop. I love putting myself on top of Big Ben for attention in the Wonder virtual room.
Inspired by old-school newspaper personal ads, Lex is a text-based social app for both friendship and love within the queer community. This form of innovation is vital, creating virtual queer-friendly spaces.
Bored of scrolling through Reddit or Twitter? WhoYou brings specificity to the game. They build connections based on search words and phrases within the app – making it a pull rather than push-orientated connection application.
Most social networks focus on text or image, but audio-based networks change this. Betty Labs, which created Locker Rooms (now, technically Greenroom), has been acquired by Spotify! The aim is to create conversation within the Spotify ecosystem in-app.
Last but not least, why not check out Work In Startups? Not a social media app, or remotely a replacement for Instagram, but is the go-to stop for startup jobs.
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 The Growing Grocery Landscape On-demand grocery startups are sprouting quicker than carrots. Their main targets seem to be cities – and rightly so. Especially in central parts of a city – large supermarkets are rare. On-demand grocery services (especially with their speedy delivery times) fill this demand. In fact, what sets […]
On-demand grocery startups are sprouting quicker than carrots. Their main targets seem to be cities – and rightly so. Especially in central parts of a city – large supermarkets are rare. On-demand grocery services (especially with their speedy delivery times) fill this demand.
In fact, what sets them apart is the delivery time. Most of these startups tend to sell their products at the retail average or slightly more. Therefore, using them isn’t exactly a bargain (although many have major discounts for first time users).
In comparison, chain supermarkets usually deliver food in 3-5 days (if you’re lucky to get a slot). This poses questions: will supermarkets meet the competition or will their delivery services attract fewer users? On-demand grocery services do not directly oppose food delivery services but will definitely take up space in the overall ‘Foodtech’ world. To put it into context, they can be seen as the lovechild of food delivery services and meal prep services.
Let’s Talk Money
Of course, stating groceries could be the next gold is a slight stretch. But what isn’t a stretch is the large amounts of funding many on-demand grocery startups are receiving. Below, we have a table looking at some of the biggest names in on-demand grocery at the moment, along with their funding so far.
This year in the UK alone, these startups have raised more than £68m in equity funding, from big names including crowdfunding platform Seedrs. It’s almost impossible to go out of the house or take a scroll on Instagram without seeing an ad for one of them, (Dija, Gorillas, Jiffy, Weezy, Zapp (to name a few) along with their large promos and freebies to reel you in (how can I say no to a free tote bag?!). Sifted.eu have put together a really useful cheat sheet on all the latest on-demand grocery delivery launches and expansions, watch this space!
During the peak of the pandemic, it wasn’t just pandemic babies popping up. We saw startup growth doubled. One of these startups was Koia. Backed by Monzo and Freetrade co-founders, Koia shows a promising future. If you could explain Koia’s mission in one sentence, what would it be? Koia aims to open up access to […]
The Case Of Koia: How To Launch a Startup In a Pandemic 2021
During the peak of the pandemic, it wasn’t just pandemic babies popping up. We saw startup growth doubled. One of these startups was Koia. Backed by Monzo and Freetrade co-founders, Koia shows a promising future.
If you could explain Koia’s mission in one sentence, what would it be?
Koia aims to open up access to alternative assets. We want to provide access to new, exciting and rewarding investment opportunities that were previously only accessible to the very wealthy.
What inspired the idea behind Koia?
At Koia, we enable anyone to invest in alternative assets like fine wine, watches or Pokémon Cards. We fractionalise high-value collectibles so that our app users can, for instance, buy 1% of a €100,000 watch.
It’s a new concept, so we indeed often get asked how we came up with the idea. As founders, even before we got to know each other, we’d all been interested in getting more people to invest and getting more people engaged with investing. We came to the conclusion that in order to do that, we couldn’t build just another investment app that was slightly better than the ones out there. Instead, we wanted to build something that was truly unique, more engaging and that’d tap into people’s passions and interests. By allowing anyone to invest in what they know and love we believe we can attract seasoned and new investors alike and build something that excites our users.
How did you meet your co-founders?
We met here, on Work in Startups.
It wasn’t our first attempt at finding co-founders, as all of us had previously tried working with people from our personal networks or joining incubators. But, finding the right co-founders is not easy. There are so many criteria that you don’t want to compromise on: you need to be passionate about the same business problems and areas, have complimentary skills, have a similar vision for how you want to build a business and, last but not least, get along. Given that only a few out of many people you cross paths with might be a good match, I believe it only makes sense to cast the net as wide as possible and explore every avenue that’s available!
Do you have any tips for finding co-founders online?
The way I approached it is that I posted a rough outline of the business idea I’d been exploring, but I made it clear that this was flexible, because you want to be equal as co-founders and everyone wants to have their input.
Aside from that, I was quite clear on what type of skill set I was looking for and after initial conversations simply started working with people to see how it felt, before formalising things and putting contracts in place. During that initial period, it was very important for me to chat through all the important things, from practical matters like personal runway, to motivations for starting a business and the envisioned “end goal”.
As a growing startup, what was the biggest challenge you have faced thus far?
Every day there are new challenges! As mentioned earlier, the first big challenge was finding the right co-founders. After, given that we’re in the fintech industry and are offering a completely new service, it of course also took some time to find the right set-up and make sure everything was fully legally compliant. We’re now in a stage where we’re starting to look for product-market fit which I am sure will be another interesting challenge with some twists and turns!
How have you found recruiting?
Recruiting has so far been going well. We’ve done both job ads as well as a lot of direct sourcing on LinkedIn. Of course, it takes time, but that is expected. The fact that Koia is one of the first platforms of its kind and is bringing something truly innovative to the market is very exciting for many early-stage startup people, who like creating and building new things.
What are three things you would look for in your future co-workers?
Whereas many things depend on the role and the stage of the company there are a few things that I’d try to look for no matter what:
Biased towards action: in a startup it’s all about getting things done, typically with limited guidance, processes and resources. I look for people who’ve proven that they are able to execute and are great at solving problems.
Growth mindset: it’s important that people are willing to learn, are open-minded and always looking for ways to improve the company. As a startup, we have to be ahead of the curve, and not be afraid to experiment.
Data-driven: not everyone needs to be a data wizz, but what I mean by this is that we look at the facts and make decisions based on evidence, not opinions. Where no data is available, of course we may sometimes have to trust our gut or experience, but generally, being data-driven enables us to build a culture that is meritocratic and fair and where we can make the best decisions possible.
Where do you see Koia in five years?
We envision that in five years, investing in alternative assets has become completely mainstream. Buying a share in a Rolex watch will be as easy and common as buying a fractional share of Apple. Not only do we envision that the concept of fractionalisation will be applied to collectibles, but to anything of value: be that music royalties, land or NFTs with Koia playing a key role in enabling people to own a piece of and trade anything.
When you think of a startup, what and who do you think of? Is it the cast of The Social Network? Or that one guy from your university rowing team? Perhaps you imagine a ping pong table or two. Although such characters do exist, they aren’t the majority nor the monopoly. Startups aren’t just filled […]
When you think of a startup, what and who do you think of? Is it the cast of The Social Network? Or that one guy from your university rowing team? Perhaps you imagine a ping pong table or two. Although such characters do exist, they aren’t the majority nor the monopoly.
Startups aren’t just filled with people who repeat that pen selling scene from the Wolf of Wall Street (you know what I’m talking about). In this blog post, I’m going to debunk some startup stereotypes – and confirm some too.
Stereotypes that are false
1. Startups only offer tech jobs
Some startups seem very techy, and some of them are. In fact, being tech-savvy is quite important in this day and age. Yet, like any other business, you can’t survive on tech alone to be a functioning organisation. Startups actually offer a plethora of roles – marketing, sales, human resources, operations, finance and many more. Of course, you can’t be completely illiterate in your digital skills. However, working in marketing at a tech startup won’t require you to code and working in finance doesn’t mean you need to handle the social media accounts.
Thus, don’t feel discouraged by the world of startups if you don’t think you’re the next Mark Zuckerberg (apparently he’s the Elon Musk of people over 30). Perhaps you could be the next Kris Jenner of marketing or that overzealous HR recruiter on LinkedIn.
2. Startups are full of hedge fund bros
There’s nothing wrong with these bros. However, they can contribute to a sense of gatekeeping or inaccessibility in the world of startups. There are many within startups that have been helping to contribute to diversity and inclusion.
One way in which the startup world has tackled the traditional lack of diversity is through AI, as demonstrated by Talenya – which has a diversity AI to create a more level playing field.
3. Startups don’t pay well
There are startups that do pay well, and some don’t. There are a lot of startups that pay competitive salaries and industry standard. For startups that don’t, the positions they offer often require a lower threshold of experience. Thus, they are great for graduates, those wanting a career change or those with less experience to secure a job. This is also a good opportunity to plug our other latest article, how to find a job as a graduate.
There are also stock options, where the employee then has the option to buy equity at a significantly reduced price. A good guide to compensation in startups can be found here.
Stereotypes that are true
1. Startups prioritise impact over hours
At startups, there tends to be a priority of your impact or efficiency over hours. This is in comparison to *some* traditional office jobs that may require you to clock in/work certain hours even if you aren’t being productive with your time. As a result, working at a startup can provide greater autonomy with how you use your time and energy.
2. Startups have a defined culture
Startups tend to be seen to have a different culture than other office jobs. Usually, this consists of smaller teams, more of personal culture, perhaps even working closely with the CEO. There are often perks such as snacks and fancy coffee. Being valued by team members and unlimited fancy coffee? No thank you! I’d rather be exploited at a corporate job.
3. Startups provide flexibility, flat hierarchy and a real say in the business
Being a valued member of a small team? Being able to have my opinion and actions valued? Not being cut off by a C-suite structure? Gross. No wonder startups have a bad rep.
All jokes aside, the structure of most startups allow all employees to develop and improve skills. Moreover, there is a real sense of ownership as employees can single-handedly shape the business rather than be another number at a desk.
To conclude, there are stereotypes of startups that simply are not true. Startups provide many perks and challenge traditional office roles that are stuck in the ways of rigid structure, schedule and impersonal culture.
Every few months Work in Startups do an in-depth analysis to check out what the latest hiring news is amongst the top UK tech companies. In September 2021, we revelaed that they are continuing to hire at record rates post-pandemic, with a 128% increase in jobs on offer since September 2020. These companies are currently […]
Every few months Work in Startups do an in-depth analysis to check out what the latest hiring news is amongst the top UK tech companies. In September 2021, we revelaed that they are continuing to hire at record rates post-pandemic, with a 128% increase in jobs on offer since September 2020. These companies are currently making up around 5,000 vacanies within the UK, which can be viewed here!
The switch to online services that accelerated during the pandemic has been fueling the industry, creating an abundance of opportunities right across the UK. The Office of National Statistics reported almost 20,000 new tech companies had registered on Companies House during the pandemic, so the record growth in tech jobs comes at no surprise.
Which tech companies are hiring?
The UK Foodtech scene remains very well-positioned and has continued to show the largest growth in hiring. The pandemic has notably accelerated the online food delivery business, with London creating a strong foundation as a global hub for FoodTech innovation. Foodtech giants, Deliveroo (239 vacancies), Gousto (117 vacancies) and Hellofresh (41 vacancies), continue to flourish post-pandemic with huge increases in their number of vacancies compared to this time last year.
Citypantry, the UK corporate catering marketplace who were acquired by Just Eat in 2019, has seen the largest growth in number of vacancies (75 vacancies), indicating employees returning to the office and is now in full swing.
Amazon remains the highest advertiser (1,571 vacancies) amongst the top UK tech firms with their number of jobs doubling from last September.
Deliveroo is notable for a further reason, which it shares with FTSE 250 cyber security AI business Darktrace: both were among the thirty tech and consumer internet companies to list their shares on the London Stock Exchange so far this year and both raised money when doing so. They therefore have enhanced funds to drive expansion, including by recruitment. Darktrace is actively recruiting across all roles, with over 70 vacancies in the UK and over 250 globally. The growing popularity of the tech IPO has demonstrated the vital link between strength in stock markets and the real economy.
What tech jobs are in demand and where are they?
Tech vacancies have been analysed by the most popular searched job titles within the industry to indicate where the demand is. With online presence being more important than ever, it’s no surprise that SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) has seen the largest year-on-year growth, at 274% and a creation of 6,997 jobs.
Programming and Developer jobs continue to lead the way with 74,000 vacancies currently on the market. This growth has continued right through the pandemic and isn’t showing signs of slowing.
London and South West England remain to be the strongest regions with the number of tech jobs available however, Eastern England and the West Midlands have seen a similar growth (130%) since September last year, with an additional 10,000 jobs on the market between them.
In March 2021, we celebrated the milestone of hitting 1 million vacant jobs in the UK after seeing a real low last May, with just 350,700 on the market. There are now over 1.2 million jobs on the market with tech jobs making up 13% (150,000) of the total UK vacancies according to Adzuna data. Comparing this to May 2020, that is a 348% increase.
Table 1: Vacancies & Growth rate by Job type
September 2021 vacancies
YoY % Change
Front End Developer
Social Media Manager
Table 2: Tech Job Vacancies, Growth rate and Average Salary by Region
September 2021 tech vacancies
Average advertised salary
South East England
North West England
South West England
Yorkshire And The Humber
North East England
Vicky Vitkay, general manager at Work in Startup comments: It’s exciting to see UK tech unicorns and startups continuing to thrive. We can certainly celebrate the UK being the global capital of innovation, however efforts and focus need to go into ensuring diversity and inclusion are fulfilled within this huge ecosystem and importantly, we need to be providing more entry level job opportunities for graduates who are entering the market.
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Welcome to Work In Startups X Women In Tech series! For the tech industry in particular, the equal representation of women and men may still have decade’s worth of work left to go. With the tech workforce being made up of just 19% women, it bodes the question…what can we do to encourage more women […]
Welcome to Work In Startups X Women In Tech series! For the tech industry in particular, the equal representation of women and men may still have decade’s worth of work left to go. With the tech workforce being made up of just 19% women, it bodes the question…what can we do to encourage more women to enter the tech industry, but additionally, what can be done to also attract women in to more senior and leadership positions. In the second part of this series, we speak Joey Rosenburg from Women Who Code, a platform that provides services for women pursuing technology careers and a job board for companies seeking coding professionals.
Hello! I am Joey Rosenberg, Chief Leadership Officer at Women Who Code, the world’s largest community inspiring diverse women to excel in tech careers. We are working hard to create a world where women are better represented as technologists and tech leaders.
Is there one piece of advice you wish somebody gave you at the beginning of your career?
Go for it! Whatever your dream is, follow it fiercely. You will very likely be surprised by all of the opportunities that unfold if you dare to walk down the path. Also, value the small steps – they add up to greatness!
What’s your opinion on the state of the FemTech Sector currently?
FemTech is all about solving problems that matter for women. It’s a daring industry that isn’t afraid to tackle topics that have been seen as taboo. For far too long, these problems have been overlooked because decisions about which problems are deemed worthy of solving are often made by people with power, influence, and access to capital, frequently leaving women out of the conversation. Today, FemTech is on the rise. Women are boldly stepping up and speaking out about the change they want to see, and finding ways to make it happen.
What’s your opinion on the state of gender diversity within the tech industry?
The reality is that women are being left behind. Women of color are being left behind at even higher rates. When these voices are missing from the table, it’s less likely that their needs will be at the forefront of decisions made about products that shape our world. Rather than turn away from these challenges, we should be investing in every aspect of the talent pipeline to ensure that diverse women are supported to consider careers in tech, thrive while in industry, return to the industry after breaks, and excel into leadership.
Looking at the rise in Femtech companies and the importance of having women within this sector, do you think it will help accelerate a change from a male dominated tech industry?
Femtech has the potential to help women see that tech can be used to solve problems that are highly relevant to their needs, which may generate greater interest in the field. The real influencers will be those with access to resources. This is a huge market, but we are just in the early stages of seeing it’s potential. Hopefully, investors will recognize that women are uniquely positioned to drive this sector of the industry forward, and demonstrate this understanding by increasing the portion of their investment portfolios going to women-led startups in the field.
What do you think we should be doing more of to encourage more women to consider a career in tech?
We need to make tech tangible and accessible. From a young age, we should assume that anyone can be an engineer. We should be showing girls what it’s like to work in technology, giving them role models they can relate to, and sharing resources to help them develop their skills. This should be echoed from early education all the way up through to professional career services.
How have you found it best to promote and nurture women in the workplace?
Be intentional. Inclusion doesn’t happen by desire, it happens by design. Companies should be reviewing their policies and practices to ensure that bias is acknowledged and reduced at every step from hiring to career advancement. Team leaders should consider how projects are determined and allocated, ensuring that diverse teams have the opportunity to elevate the most pressing challenges that they want to solve. Finally, address bias and discrimination head on. Companies should be actively listening to and believing their employees when they say that they face discrimination, and taking tangible and visible steps to address it.
What is your advice for female entrepreneurs entering the industry?
Know your worth and believe in yourself. Your viewpoint might not be immediately amplified because it might not fit the status quo. The world needs those voices more than ever. Find a community, like Women Who Code where you can build a supportive network, keep your skills fresh, and find a sense of belonging in tech. This goes a long way to creating the staying power and resiliency you’ll need to excel in this industry.
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