Tech Nation Rising Stars Winner
Written by Kelli
30 Mar 2022
xigxag tops the bestseller list as Tech Nation’s Rising Star Winner
Today, we’ve been announced as a Tech Nation 4.0 Rising Stars winner! It is the first time that a business associated with the publishing industry has won with Tech Nation. The win acknowledges xigxag’s unique proposition in modernising audio and e-books. Tech Nation’s annual award, now in its fourth year, ‘recognises the brightest and best early stage tech scale-ups’.
xigxag are one of 10 winners chosen from over 400 applications whittled down to 55 regional winners then 20 finalists. The company had to demonstrate the essential ingredients of being a fast-growth scaleup including a passion for innovation, purposeful disruption and proven innovation. Financially, they were tasked to show that they had attracted more investment in 2022, than over the whole of 2021 and 2020. This key milestone is fundamental to set them on course for growth and place them in a position to help fuel tech industry stability, growth, and promote a stronger UK economy, society and future. Furthermore, the team had to evidence their intent and progress on diversity, inclusion and net zero ambitions.
With over 26k downloads to date since launching, we are growing fast, challenging the incumbents in the field. We are leading the revolution in modernising digital consumption of books with their proprietary listen-and-read x-book®. Our catalogue holds over 95% of the Sunday Times bestseller list, with users enjoying the dexterity of flipping from listening to reading at their ease without being locked into an ongoing subscription. Readers are rewarded with better prices as they enjoy more books.
Esme Caulfield, Competitions Lead at Tech Nation, said: “I’m really excited to see xigxag as one of this year’s Rising Stars 4.0 Winners. Their innovative digital reading app and ambitious vision has truly set them apart at every stage of the competition. I wish them every success in their future and look forward to following their scaling journey.”
xigxag – and all of the 10 Rising Stars 4.0 winners – 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 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 UK economy, society and future.
Kelli Fairbrother, our co-founder and CEO, said:
“It is an absolute honour for xigxag to be recognised as one of the most innovative tech start-ups in the UK in 2022. Our aim has always been to make reading easier and more accessible, engaging, and sustainable so that everyone can enjoy more books. We are grateful to receive recognition for creating the first-ever listen-and-read concept, the best-ever digital reading app and content platform in the industry – an exciting alternative to big tech. We are also proud to represent the tremendous potential of Cornwall as an innovation hub within the UK tech ecosystem. Thanks to Tech Nation, our team and all our supporters!”
Mark Chaplin, our co-founder, and CTO added:
“It certainly is a fantastic end to the financial year. We have made incredible progress in building and improving the xigxag app and underlying tech-enabled content platform. We’ve expanded our development team and recently celebrated over 26K downloads. The audiobook market is continuing to flourish, the format is adored by a broader demographic than in previous years and is still on track for huge growth.”
xigxag’s success as an early-stage tech company is reflective of the strength and growth of the UK’s South West’s tech sector, which received $425mn in VC investment funding in 2021 and is home to three of the UK’s tech ‘unicorns’ (companies valued at $1bn+). Tech startups and scaleups in the region currently employ over 78,000 people and this number is growing rapidly.
This year’s winners were selected by a panel of 7 judges (industry experts with extensive experience in starting and scaling tech businesses), including Emma Jones (Founder of Enterprise Nation), Nahu Ghrebremichael (Partner at Singular Ventures) and Jess Jackson (Head of Investment at GC Angels). Tech Nation has been delighted to partner with multinational law firm Pinsent Masons to deliver Rising Stars 4.0.
Previous years’ Rising Stars 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 to scale quickly, and their potential to become the UK’s tech ‘unicorns’ (companies with valuations of $1bn+) of the future.
Watch xigxag’s pitch video here: https://vimeo.com/681857246/85ef73fee0
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