20 UK crowdfunding startups backed by Andy Murray. Tech and tennis champ.

Could Andy Murray win any more brownie points? Turns out the Wimbledon champion is busy on and off the tennis court and has invested in twenty British start-ups through Seedrs, the crowdfunding platform. The tennis star-come-active angel investor said, ‘I’m continuing to grow my portfolio through Seedrs and have tried to choose companies from different sectors as much as possible.’ In 2015, Murray joined the advisory board of Seedrs describing it as a ‘long-term partnership.’

His is perhaps a shrewd partnership; this month, Seedrs announced that over £85m was invested by the crowd in 159 crowdfunding campaigns in 2016. Since launch in 2012, Seedrs has facilitated over 450 deals raising £190million. ‘Giving recognition and support to British entrepreneurs is important to me, especially those who are the driving force behind growth-focused businesses,’ says Murray. ‘Every one of these entrepreneurs is inspirational and dedicated to their business and I’m excited to have invested in their team’s vision and work ethic.’

‘It’s great to see how active Andy has become in early-stage investment and his recent investments on Seedrs into Perkbox and WeSwap reaffirm this,‘ said Jeff Lynn, CEO and co-founder of Seedrs in a statement. ‘He is a great example of an investor who understands this asset class and the importance of building a broad investment portfolio, into which these two disruptive tech brands will add even more diversity.’ We take a look at 20 of the UK startups backed by Murray:

1. Oppo

The Glasgow-born tennis legend backed Oppo, the superfood, low-calorie ice cream startup that failed to secure investment on Dragon’s Den. Oppo was the Guardian’s 2015 Start-Up of the Year and has a record-breaking crowdfunding history.

2. CommuterClub

CommuterClub is the Startups Awards winner and annual travel ticket subscription service aiming to help rail passengers save money. The firm offers a cheaper way to buy Oyster travelcards and monthly train passes.

3. Tossed

‘Healthy eating is something I have to be passionate about as a sportsman, so Tossed was immediately one to consider,’ said Murray of the London-based healthy eating chain set up by Vincent McKevitt.

4. Landbay

CEO of online P2P mortgage lender Landbay commented on the tennis star’s investment; ‘We are delighted Andy Murray has invested in Landbay through our Seedrs campaign,’ Landbay has a strategic partnership with Zoopla and focuses on prime residential mortgages.

5. Readbug

The London tech startup Readbug describes itself as a ‘Netflix for magazines’ and is a digital magazine subscription app. They aim to make print media more accessible to everyone.

6. We Are Colony

Murray was one of the early shareholders in We Are Colony, the global film streaming platform started by BAFTA-winning filmmaker Sarah Tierney. The site provides content not offered by Netflix and Amazon Prime.

7. Trillenium

Murray has long been fascinated by the growth of virtual reality, especially its use in sport. In 2015, Murray invested in the firm Trillenium that creates 3D virtual reality shops for online retailers.

8. Fuel Ventures Fund

Murray sunk an unspecified amount of money into Fuel Ventures, the portfolio invests across the lifecycle of startups, including follow on investments in the earlier growth stages.

9. Perkbox

The tennis star said of the perks and benefit scheme Perkbox; ‘I was interested in Perkbox as I employ a number of people through my own sports management company, the 77 Group, as well as a number of independent contractors like physios, coaches and trainers. I’m sure they’ll all be wanting to hear lots about Perkbox.’

10. WeSwap

‘WeSwap was interesting to me because I travel so much around the world,’ says Murray of the peer-to-peer travel money platform. ‘I thought this was a really clever idea and could immediately see the gap in the market for this business to work.’

11. Dog Tracker Nano

Dog lover Murray, who has two terriers, invested in Dog Tracker Nano, the pet monitoring app that allows you to see where your dog is and how much exercise they do.

12. Blow LTD

Dubbed the Uber for beauty, Blow LTD is the on-demand hair salon and beauty service featuring expert mobile beauty therapists. Last year, the beauty firm raised over £1.1million last year.

13. Mindful Chef

Mindful Chef is the ‘Farm to fork’ healthy eating brand and recipe box company that launched in 2015 by health enthusiasts. They deliver food to the Beckham family and Victoria Pendleton, and won StartUps People’s Champion finalist 2016.

14. Beeline

Beeline is an innovative cyclist navigation device that is mounted onto bicycle handlebars. It links the mapping technology in smartphones to provide a compass-like bearing aiding cyclists to discover new areas.

15. Sell My Livestock

UK farmers launched a livestock auction website, the first of its kind, which works in a similar way to eBay. It now shows over 1,000 listings and 15,000 farmers allowing greater transparency during the selling and purchasing process.

16. Shaken

This start-up cocktail subscription service closed in 2016 due to cash flow struggles. It had raised more than £200,000 via Seedrs in January 2016 but they couldn’t scale fast enough to make the business successful.

17. MiTonics

Murray has stakes in the sports nutrition business MiTonics that creates recovery protein shakes personalised to the customer according to their training goals.

18. AdLudio

AdLudio is a multi-award winning company that develops and distributes a range of innovative, modern ads designed for the mobile generation.

19. ShaveKit

Murray won’t run out of razorblades after funding ShaveKit, the monthly subscription model that is dubbed a Seedrs success. The business has raised two separate rounds on Seedrs, recently over £304k.

20. MyMiniFactory

Murray remains committed to backing British entrepreneurs; he invested in MyMiniFactory which is a social media platform for 3D printable files.

January 2017