Tech Nation has today announced the 5 South West Regional Winners of its fourth Rising Stars competition, which recognises the brightest and best early-stage tech scaleups from every area of the UK. In total, 55 fast-growing tech companies from across the UK have been named this year’s Regional Winners – 5 within each UK region.

Previous years’ Rising Stars Regional Winners have included Selazar (from Northern Ireland), Circa5000 (from the North West) and SeedLegals (from London), who have received a combined £33.79mn in investment to date, demonstrating the ability of the Rising Stars Regional Winners to scale quickly, and their potential to become the UK’s tech ‘unicorns’ (companies with valuations of $1bn+) of the future.

These Regional Winners have been selected by a panel of over 50 judges (industry experts with extensive experience in starting and scaling tech businesses) based on their value proposition, competitive advantage, market traction, team experience and potential to scale.  

This year’s South West Regional Winners are All About The CooksitsettledIntelligent AI and Lumio, and xigxag. These companies, the majority of which hail from Bristol – the UK’s third largest tech hub – are working to transform a range of different industries, including createch, ecommerce, fintech and insurtech, and have an average of 6 employees.

The South West tech sector is growing 

The success of these early-stage South West companies reflects the strength and fast growth of the tech market in the South West overall.

According to data from Tech Nation, the South West is now home to 3 tech ‘unicorns’ (companies valued at over $1bn), up from 2 in 2020, and has received $317mn in VC investment funding this year, as of November 2021.

In particular, tech job creation is growing rapidly in the South West, rising by 113% in the past year (from 62,751 in 2020 to 133,451 in H1 of 2021). 

This year’s Rising Stars Regional Winners are accelerating the tech sector across the UK 

This year’s Regional Winners demonstrate that the tech sector is growing quickly across all corners of the UK. 

An impressive 69% of the 55 Regional Winners are generating revenue, and 38% have at least one female founder. 27% of the Regional Finalists are Pre-Seed, 29% have no previous rounds of funding, and 36% are Seed funded. As for what’s next, 49% of the Regional Finalists are looking for Seed Funding, while 34% are looking to raise Series A.

The 55 Regional Winners are a mixture of B2B and B2C and 49% have previously attended an accelerator. 73% of the Regional Winners plan to expand internationally in the next 12 months, with 58% wanting to expand into the USA.

Rising Stars mission

Going forward, these 5 promising, fast-growth South West tech companies will continue to be supported by the UK tech ecosystem as they are inducted into the Tech Nation alumni network. 

Recognising and empowering all of the Regional Winners of the Rising Stars competition is at the core of Tech Nation’s mission to fuel the growth of tech scaleups who are helping us create a stronger economy, society and future. 

Esme Caulfield, Competitions Lead at Tech Nation, tells us, “With Tech Nation’s Rising Stars competition now in its fourth year, it’s amazing to see so many inspiring companies innovating to change our world for the better. This year, we reached the milestone of 1000 applications to Rising Stars (and surpassed it!). We had a record number of applications this year – 380 (nearly 400) – and we also saw our first applications – and our first Regional Winner – from the spacetech sector,  (Elestial, from the Midlands) and agritech (Cropsafe, from Northern Ireland).

From revolutionising modern healthcare and disrupting the finance sector to transforming education and tackling climate change, each of these fast-growing regional early-stage tech companies is helping us improve our economy, society and quality of life. This year’s Regional Winners represent the brightest and the best of UK tech and talent, and I’m excited to see what they do next.”

All About The Cooks

Bristol – Ecommerce

All About The Cooks aims to revolutionise the way we eat at home by bringing together a community of home-cooks. The marketplace website allows talented home-cooks to sell their food to people nearby via their postcode and filters on the site. Think AirBnB for food.


Bristol – Fintech

itsettled uses its bank-grade automated cash flow management & credit control platform to identify payment risks and automatically collects overdue invoices. The platform features include: Automated process; early warning alerts; unlimited users, invoices, and credit checker & credit reports; accountancy software integration; credit management resources; pause the process; customer support.

Intelligent AI

Exeter – Data analytics and insurtech

Data analytics company Intelligent AI focuses on the commercial property insurance sector, bringing together AI, Open Data, IoT and Satellite Image Analysis to deliver digital twins of risk on global commercial properties and assets. Clients can make the most of their company’s intelligent risk management, AI risk report readings, and online risk surveys too.


Bristol  – Fintech

Lumio allows customers to instantly track all their investments, bills, and savings in one place. The process enables customers to save money on upcoming and abnormal bills, and it will also set aside varying amounts of money according to your spending.


Latchley, Gunnislake – Createch

xigxag puts listeners at the heart of everything they do – all by innovating digital reading and shaping the future of books. The digital reading app boasts a proprietary listen-and-read x-book® concept, market-first features and a community platform for listener-readers. Xigxag promises a richer, more social, multi-mode digital experience which will ensure sustainable book consumption.