33 Brilliant British Blogs
Remember that one time when Sir Newton invented physics? Or when Lord Kelvin came up with temperature? Everyone’s still using those to this day. What a gift to the world. Without the UK, the Earth would be a cold, dark place, and it wouldn't even matter, because everyone would just float off into space with no gravity.
And that's not to mention trains, television, the first computer, and plenty of other neat stuff bestowed upon us by the Commonwealth over the years...
All that, though, was a good while ago. What has the UK been up to lately? After all that invention and innovation, has the British ingenuity and spirit of entrepreneurship finally fizzled out? Or perhaps the Britons feel they've already won history, so there's no need to keep trying harder?
Of course not.
From bionic arms to AI-composed music, the United Kingdom still has plenty to offer in the 21st century. The proof? Right here, on this very page.
Below you'll find a selection of 33 good blog posts by 33 good British start-ups. Some of these companies are already well on their way to global success, while others are only beginning their journey. All of them, however, have interesting things to say, and have shared them with the world through their blogs.
Regularly maintaining a good blog is harder than it might look, and we think truly insightful, sincere, informative or funny blog posts deserve to be recognised. Check out the list – you might find some interesting reading material, and perhaps even some new blogs to follow! Kudos to the listed companies, and keep it up!
http://www.openbionics.com | Founded: 2014 | Bristol
What they do: Open Bionics create custom prosthetic bio-electronic limbs for amputees at a low price point – around $3,000 rather than $100,000 for a typical high-functioning prosthesis. This cost reduction is achieved through the power of 3D printing.
What you'll learn: about the development of bionic arms that combine art, engineering, and science fiction.
The Phantom Limb photographed by Omkaar Kotedia.
https://www.neighbourly.com | Founded: 2013 (launched in 2014) | Bristol
What they do: Neighbourly are pretty cool. They connect community projects and charities with helpful people and companies.
What you'll learn: when you do good, it feels good. Who knew?
https://zonefox.com | Founded: 2012 | Edinburgh
What they do: ZoneFox strive to make regulatory compliance, security, and protection of intellectual property super easy and ultra reliable with an innovative, lightweight software agent.
by Jamie Graves (@DrJamieGraves)
What you'll learn: how the imaginative techniques used by David Bowie and William S. Burroughs can help you remain secure.
https://tibit.com | Founded: 2013 | Peckham, London
What they do: Tibit, as you might guess from the name, do tibs. What’s a tib? It’s “pocket change for the internet”. The company has grand plans, aiming for nothing less than an online social revolution by creating an easy way to make small donations and reward quality content.
by Carl Beetham
What you'll learn: why you shouldn't try to appear overly enthusiastic in your CV and at job interviews.
https://deliveroo.co.uk | Founded: 2012 (launched in 2013) | Soho, London
What they do: The food you love, delivered to your door. Home or office. Get amazing food from a selection of local restaurants delivered in an average of just 32 minutes.
What you'll learn: gourmet cooking? Maybe not, but new twists on a classic are always fun!
https://www.ratesetter.com | Founded: 2009 (launched in 2010) | London
What they do: RateSetter is a peer-to-peer platform that lets investors lend money to UK individuals, businesses and property developers.
by Luke O'Mahony
What you’ll learn: how to reduce your tax bill! Remember, the devil's in the details. Tax evasion is illegal, but tax avoidance is not.
https://www.unmade.com | Founded: 2013 | London
What they do: Unmade wish to change the fashion industry so that everyone can have access to unique clothing. Choose a design, modify the pattern, and they’ll knit it for you in central London.
What you'll learn: about Unmade collaborator Studio Moross, a vibrant London-based design agency with many talents and multiple adorable Shiba Inus.
https://www.appearhere.co.uk | Founded: 2012 (launched in 2013) | London
What they do: Appear Here make renting short-term space for brands, retailers and entrepreneurs as easy as booking a hotel room.
What you'll learn: about London’s first pop-up egg freezing shop. Wait, what?
http://playlists.net | Founded: 2009 (rebranded in 2013) | Newcastle
What they do: Playlists.net is a music-discovery tool. Have a Spotify account? They’ve got playlists for you. Over 170,000 of them, in fact. The site is visited by up to 1.5 million music fans monthly.
What you'll learn: This blog is all business, and the business is good music. If you’d like a taster, the link above leads to a “brilliantly curated playlist of female garage rock, punk, shoegaze, and dream pop artists from the 70s–00s." What's not to love?
https://www.import.io | Founded: 2012 (launched in 2013) | London
What they do: Import.io lets you quickly and easily extract data from the web. No coding required, just point and click.
by Lisa Winter | @importio
What you'll learn: exactly what questions to ask to tell if you're dealing with the genuine article or just a data poser.
https://www.seedrs.com | Founded: 2012 | London
What they do: Seedrs, based in East London’s Tech City, is an equity crowdfunding platform for investing in start-ups throughout Europe. Users can invest as little as £10 into the businesses they choose, and the total amount raised through the site has already reached £100 million.
by Alysia Wanczyk (@justmeleesh)
What you'll learn: A company that prides itself in being “equity crowdfunding done properly” better be able to produce a good crowdfunding video, right? In this blog post, Seedrs does just that, and explains every step of the process.
https://blippar.com | Founded: 2011 | London
What they do: Blippar use augmented reality and image recognition technology to bridge the physical and digital worlds. After downloading the Blippar app, people can scan objects they’re curious about and unlock content on their mobile device.
by Rob Stringer (@booleanBoy)
What you'll learn: how augmented reality can help students learn about the Solar System, sunflowers, and volcanoes. Yeah, science!
https://www.flavourly.com | Founded: 2012 | Edinburgh
What they do: Flavourly, working with small independent producers all over the UK, deliver members a selection of craft beers to their door for a flat monthly fee.
What you'll learn: which beers you should totally drink warm.
https://www.jukedeck.com | Founded: 2014 (launched in 2015) | London
What they do: Jukedeck’s artificially intelligent online composer lets users create unique, royalty-free music for their movies and YouTube videos in seconds.
by Ed Rex (@edrex_)
What you'll hear: "Probably the first AI-created piece used at a royal occasion?"
http://www.freeagent.com | Founded: 2007 | Edinburgh
What they do: FreeAgent was born from the frustration that managing company finances is just too damn hard for most small businesses and freelancers. Their software makes accounting easy for the UK’s nearly five million businesses with fewer than ten employees.
by Fiona Christie
What you'll learn: how to be better at getting paid. Useful!
https://www.bloomandwild.com | Founded: 2013 | Chelsea, London
What they do: Bloom & Wild make ordering and sending flowers super easy. Their app and website streamline the process of sending a bouquet, while the packaging allows for flowers to be delivered through letterboxes.
by Sally O'Kelly | @BloomandWild
What you’ll learn: how to make a lovely pumpkin vase.
https://www.laundrapp.com | Founded: 2015 | London
What they do: Laundrap is an on-demand laundry service. Order online or using an app on your phone – they collect, clean and deliver. It's like a remote control for your laundry basket!
by Joe Martin (@JoeThreepwood)
What you'll learn: how to dress like an octopus pretending to be a man... without anyone suspecting a thing.
https://www.openutility.com | Founded: 2013 | London
What they do: Open Utility is democratising energy. Their product Piclo enables electricity retailers to turn their renewable generation portfolio into an online marketplace, giving customers more choice and control over where they source their electricity.
by Alice Tyler (@altyler)
What you'll learn: how user experience design can be used to shape products and workplaces.
http://www.signkick.co.uk | Founded: 2012 | London
What they do: Signkick is an online booking platform for outdoor advertising, allowing businesses of all sizes to instantly book billboards, posters sites, and roadside panels.
What you'll learn: how to be better at advertising, outdoors.
https://gocardless.com | Founded: 2011 | London
What they do: GoCardless makes it easy for individuals and businesses to collect recurring payments via Direct Debit using an online platform.
by Jutta Frieden (@juttafrieden)
What you'll learn: why the little things matter.
https://dropletpay.com | Founded: 2012 | Birmingham
What they do: Droplet is a mobile payment and loyalty app which helps independent businesses build better customer relationships. Droplet currently supports 300 merchants, and has 30,000 users across the United Kingdom.
What you'll learn: As befits a company aiming to support local communities, on its blog Droplet shares the stories of its small business customers. One of them is The Ivy House, London’s first cooperatively owned pub, which nearly closed down in 2012, but was rescued by a group of local residents.
https://www.secretescapes.com | Founded: 2010 | London
What they do: Secret Escapes is a members-only website, dedicated to curating luxury holidays at the best prices available online.
What you'll learn: why Cornwall might be the British California. In detail. There are videos. Information. Graphics. You… might actually end up wanting to go to Cornwall?
Related news: Huge mineshaft opens up in Cornwall back garden (The Telegraph)
https://www.farmdrop.co.uk | Founded: 2014 | London
What they do: Farmdrop is an online marketplace that lets people buy food directly from local farmers and producers. Consumers are promised fresher food – delivered the same day it’s picked from the field – while the producers get a better deal than they would from supermarkets.
What you'll learn: how to poke a hole in a lemon, and why.
https://www.busuu.com | Founded: 2009 | London
What they do: Busuu is a social network that connects budding students to native speakers of 12 different languages, in addition to providing interactive courses.
What you'll learn: the Yule Cat is a big, vicious feline who stalks the snowy Icelandic hills and eats people who've not received new clothes before Christmas Eve.
https://www.uniplaces.com | Founded: 2012 | Lisbon and London
What they do: Uniplaces is an online marketplace for booking student accommodation.
by Francisco Peres
What you'll learn: what you shouldn't miss in Manchester while you're there.
Photograph by Flickr user Pea
https://www.carspring.co.uk | Founded: 2015 | London
What they do: Carspring is completely new way to buy or sell cars. No more hidden fees or waiting around for viewing appointments – simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
What you'll learn: The Land Rover Defender has been discontinued, but it lives on in our hearts, and in this blog post.
https://www.purplebricks.com | Founded: 2014 | London
What they do: Purplebricks is the world's first 24/7 estate agent – a clever and refreshing simple online platform that lets you sell your property for a fixed fee and potentially save thousands of pounds.
What you'll learn: how to be better at selling subliminally.
http://loaf.com | Founded: 2008 (rebranded in 2012) | London
What they do: Loaf makes laid-back furniture for people to really kick off their shoes and lead happier, more relaxed lives. When it comes to quality, though, they're champions of good old-fashioned craftsmanship.
What you'll learn: uncertain, but does anyone else suddenly feel like buying a Pavilion Chase after reading that post? Wait, what's a Pavilion Chase?
https://evrythng.com | Founded: 2011 (launched in 2012) | London
What they do: EVRYTHNG is a platform that connects any physical object to the internet. The platform gives each object its own discoverable profile – a little like a Facebook page – that contains digital information associated with that product, whether it’s used for warranty, logistics or entertainment purposes.
by Vlad Trifa (@vladounet)
What you’ll learn: more about Web of Things standards than you ever cared or might possibly need to know. Impress everyone with your excessive WoT knowledge!
"Building the Web of Things" by Dominique D. Guinard and Vlad M. Trifa
http://improbable.io | Founded: 2012 | London
What they do: Improbable is developing SpatialOS: a distributed operating system that makes building simulated worlds possible. As well as enabling completely new experiences in gaming, simulated worlds can solve significant problems in areas as diverse as defence, energy, city efficiency, health, and finance.
What you'll learn: information science.
https://www.commuterclub.co.uk | Founded: 2013 | London
What they do: Commuting in London is expensive. CommuterClub allows commuters to access the big savings of annual season tickets while paying via manageable monthly direct debits.
What you'll learn: about the many unusual varieties of people you may meet in the London Underground.
https://www.fundingcircle.com | Founded: 2010 | London
What they do: Funding Circle is an online marketplace that lets investors lend directly to small businesses in Europe and the US. Their ambition is to revolutionise the outdated banking system and secure a better deal for everyone.
by Antonia Lock
What you'll learn: how 451 investors are helping Hackney Brewery produce craft beer in East London.
http://www.vinaya.com | Founded: 2013 | London
What they do: VINAYA perfectly balances function and form with the world’s first fashion-conscious wearable technology jewellery range. Vinaya’s mission is to apply psychology research to the tech product creation process to try to build products that are more sensitive to human habits — and help promote emotional wellbeing.
by Sara Panton (@saralpanton)
What you'll learn: why prioritisation matters.
Good content should be shared. Know any great blogs that are missing from this list? Drop us an e-mail!
The listed blogs are welcome to add a retro feel to their website with an AWARD BADGE (to link directly to a particular entry, add #CompanyName at the end of the URL):