26 late-stage companies are the latest to join Tech City’s Future Fifty growth programme.

Household names Just Eat and Zoopla are among previous graduates of the two-year programme.

Future Fifty gives these 26 fast-growing companies immediate access to a valuable peer network, expert-led classes and workshops designed to take their businesses to the next level as well as a higher profile amongst the wider tech ecosystem.

The companies represent some of the country’s most exciting growth-stage tech businesses, while changing the sectors that they operate in fundamentally.

Companies join the Future Fifty for two years, so these 26 will join 24 of last year’s experienced participants. This year’s programme also welcomes five alumni companies from other Tech City UK programmes.

Trouva, Paddle, Firefly and EDITED join having previously completed Upscale, the six-month Series A-stage growth programme for fast-growing UK tech companies.

BigChange Apps, which provides paperless planning and management for the mobile workforce, make the step up to Future Fifty, having been crowned one of last year’s 10 Northern Stars.

Other faces in the intake include Darktrace, which specialises in machine learning and AI cyber security, EDITED, which focuses on analytics for fashion retailers and research platform ZappiStore.

Of those that have been through the programme since 2014, Future Fifty’s track record now includes five IPOs on the London Stock Exchange and over $5.5bn raised in funding, including $1.7 billion in 2017.

It also boasts 23 M&A’s of which seven were in the last year, including MatchesFashion.com (acquired for estimated $1bn), JustGiving (acquired $120m) and Shazam (acquired $400m).

The companies have created 27,000 jobs around the world, demonstrating the extent to which tech is rapidly creating jobs and wealth throughout the UK, and have offices in 59 countries.

We’re delighted to welcome 26 new exceptional high-growth companies onto the Future Fifty programme for 2018, and to welcome back 24 of last year’s experienced participants,” said Parveen Dhanda, programme lead for Future Fifty at Tech City UK.

“The Future Fifty class of 2018 includes companies from right across the UK, operating in sectors as diverse as cutting-edge FinTech solutions, and innovative music hardware. But all these companies face common challenges in scaling their teams and operations, and share an ambition to build world-beating global digital businesses.

“The Future Fifty will get access to some of the world’s leading innovators and experts in the form of our advisors and partners, and join a powerful network of the UK’s fastest-growing late-stage digital businesses, working to grow further, faster, together.”

Gerard Grech, CEO, Tech City UK, said: “In the tech sector, small and growing businesses are providing high-quality jobs, employment to more than a million people and great career paths.

“Future Fifty helps 50 of the UK’s most promising businesses to accelerate their growth and shows how Tech City UK, soon to be Tech Nation, can connect ambitious people and companies across the country.

“By sharing knowledge and expertise Tech Nation can help these exciting businesses build faster and compete on the world stage.

“The prize for backing ambitious tech companies is huge: average salaries are almost £51,000, 44 per cent higher than the average non-digital salary and the digital tech turnover of the UK is now worth £170bn and increasing all the time.”