The Prolific North Top 75 Tech & Ecommerce Companies 2021

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

Today, Prolific North has revealed its full ranking of the best and most successful tech and ecommerce companies in the North of England.

The list, compiled by research partners Mustard, brings together those companies making huge impact as part of one of the UK's most exciting sectors, putting the region on the map nationally and internationally.

It was sponsored by The Candidate, which helped make the ranking a reality, as well as last night's event at Colony Jactin House in Manchester where the list was revealed exclusively.

Attendees from digital and tech came together to get a first look at the list, network and socialise, as well as hearing from industry leaders including musicMagpie Co-founder Steve Oliver, TalkTalk Business Direct MD Mark Sellers, and Buy It Direct MD Nick Glynne.

The function was hosted by Prolific North Editor David Prior, who first of all gave a welcome to the venue along with Laura Walters, Recruitment Board Director at The Candidate.

Prior then sat down with Steve Oliver of musicMagpie to discuss the Northern digital success story. Oliver discussed the history of musicMagpie and its journey to IPO, as well as new innovations and models within the company.

He chatted about disruption and musicMagpie's successful expansion into the US, on top of the realities of being a publicly listed company.

This was followed by a conversation with the MDs of TalkTalk Business Direct and Buy It Direct - Mark Sellers and Nick Glynne - in which the impact of COVID on both digital businesses was covered.

They discussed supply chains, operations and sustainability, as well as the extent to which the pandemic has changed culture within the companies.

The business leaders also reflected on their local success - TalkTalk Business being based in Salford, and Buy It Direct having its headquarters in Huddersfield.

Before and after the conversations, attendees had the opportunity to network and enjoy food and drink with their peers, and enjoy the brilliant surroundings of the Ancoats venue.

Analysis

The list reveals that many of the region's tech companies have thrived this year, although a significant number have taken a hit to their turnovers - while remaining big players.

Bet365 Group remains the region's largest tech company, with The Very Group making it into the Top 3, behind Radius Payment Solutions.

Greater Manchester is well-represented within the Top 10, but doesn't get a look-in to the five leading companies. Eight of the Top 10 are from the North West, with one in Yorkshire and one in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

Overall, 14 entries in the ranking hail from Manchester; eight operate in Leeds; and four in Newcastle.

  • The total turnover of the entire Top 75 in 2021 is £24.7 billion, with the average at £329 million - up £2 million from 2020.
  • The list shows that these companies alone employ more than 88,000 - nearly two-thirds of the companies listed (48) have experienced headcount growth. The average employee count of the leading tech and ecommerce companies in the North was 1,176.
  • Looking at the Top 10 entrants, their combined revenue is £16.5 billion, and they employ 48,000 between them alone.
  • On the list, the leading 36 brands are making a revenue of more than £100 million each year.
  • Seven of the Top 25 are ecommerce brands, five are telecommunications brands, and three are in gaming. Software is once again strongly represented across the whole Top 75, making up 18.7% of the entries.

The Prolific North Top 75 Tech & Ecommerce Companies 2021

Sponsored by The Candidate

2020 ranking in brackets

Ranking Company Activity Location Employee Count Turnover (000s)
1 (1) Bet365 Group Gaming technology Stoke-On-Trent 5,177 £2,811,400
2 (2) Radius Payment Solutions Fleet services Crewe 1,484 £2,203,900
3 (4) The Very Group Ecommerce Liverpool 3,133 £2,058,000
4 (5) Sage Software Newcastle-Upon-Tyne 12,506 £1,903,000
5 (3) ARRIS Telecommunications Shipley 8,483 £1,723,500
6 (7) The Hut Group Ecommerce Manchester 6,083 £1,613,625
7 (6) TalkTalk Telecommunications Salford 2,077 £1,353,000
8 (9) AO World Ecommerce Bolton 3,227 £1,046,200
9 (8) Booking.com Comparison website Manchester 1,908 £1,029,320
10 (10) Daisy Group Telecommunications Nelson 3,661 £664,423
11 (12) Boohoo Ecommerce Manchester 2,352 £600,733
12 (-) Sky Betting & Gaming Gaming technology Leeds 1,540 £581,528
13 (11) BetFred Group Gaming technology and software development Warrington 6,993 £524,943
14 (14) PrettyLittleThing Ecommerce Manchester 411 £516,334
15 (13) Plusnet Telecommunications Sheffield 1,049 £418,453
16 (15) Auto Trader Group Automotive Manchester 853 £368,900
17 (16) Moneysupermarket Comparison website Chester 780 £299,800
18 (19) Buy It Direct Online Retailer Huddersfield 693 £295,491
19 (18) NCC Group Cyber security Manchester 1,873 £263,700
20 (17) KCOM Group Telecommunications Hull 1,454 £262,847
21 (20) Ebuyer.com Ecommerce Barton-upon-Humber 250 £243,461
22 (25) GB Group Identity data Chester 1,047 £217,659
23 (22) Missguided Ecommerce Manchester 400 £201,957
24 (21) Communisis Integrated business services Leeds 2,106 £188,600
25 (26) BJSS Software Leeds 1,366 £187,125
26 (24) True Potential Financial Services Newcastle-Upon-Tyne 305 £184,901
27 (23) Emis Group Healthcare Leeds 1,579 £159,500
28 (31) Blue Prism Group Robotic process automation Newton-Le-Willows 1,005 £141,400
29 (43) Pharmacy2U Healthcare Leeds 400 £139,824
30 (27) Hocomm Software York 132 £139,319
31 (29) Tombola Gaming technology Sunderland 608 £120,119
32 (33) musicMagpie Ecommerce Stockport 501 £116,180
33 (35) SSP Topco Software Halifax 784 £111,773
34 (30) Nycomm Travel Retailer Manchester 206 £110,859
35 (41) PC Specialist Computer Assembly Wakefield 158 £102,649
36 (28) Chess Utilities Alderley Edge 493 £101,736
37 (36) Parcel2GO.com Comparison website Bolton 219 £92,974
38 (32) Redcentric Hosting services Harrogate 311 £87,485
39 (73) Team17 Video game developer Wakefield 200 £82,969
40 (34) Beauty Bay Ecommerce Salford 129 £82,230
41 (40) Ikonic Technology IT Distributor Heywood 79 £80,588
42 (38) Paymentshield Insurance and Protection Southport 218 £76,117
43 (45) UKFast Server solutions Manchester 351 £60,930
44 (47) CDL Group Software Stockport 612 £52,720
45 (44) Proactis Software Wetherby 516 £49,600
46 (56) Giacom World Networks Cloud Services Hessle 71 £48,891
47 (37) K3 Business Technologies Supply chain solutions Salford 473 £48,819
48 (51) Tracsis Transport Leeds 449 £47,998
49 (55) Godel Technologies Software Manchester 1,208 £45,915
50 (50) ANS Group IT Manchester 266 £45,695
51 (52) Rockar 2016 Consultancy and system development York 76 £43,861
52 (58) Pure Technology Group IT services Pudsey 134 £41,926
53 (53) Desk Top Publishing Micro Systems IT Leeds 111 £41,208
54 (61) Zoo Digital Group Subtitling and dubbing provider Sheffield 250 £39,525
55 (48) Mobica Software Wilmslow 696 £39,171
56 (54) Atom Bank Financial Services Durham 402 £37,966
57 (64) Performance Horizon IT Newcastle-Upon-Tyne 336 £37,799
58 (62) Cloud Technology Solutions IT services / Software Manchester 135 £36,674
59 (57) Technology Services Group IT Newcastle-Upon-Tyne 332 £35,736
60 (71) Surpass IT software Shipley 169 £33,286
61 (59) M247 Data centre Manchester 231 £31,536
62 (-) Trak Global Group Telematics technology Crewe 251 £30,059
63 (-) Matillion Software Altrincham 213 £29,980
64 (63) Love Energy Savings Comparison website Bolton 258 £29,118
65 (49) Helical Industries Property rental Lytham St Annes 371 £28,391
66 (-) Twinkl Online education publishing Sheffield 498 £27,084
67 (-) Cloud Imperium Games Game development studio Wilmslow 432 £26,359
68 (68) Digital ID Group ID printing Stockport 100 £26,137
69 (-) Crisp Thinking Actor risk intelligence Leeds 173 £23,718
70 (65) Centriq Group IT Blackpool 132 £23,566
71 (60) Beyond Trust Software Manchester 148 £23,561
72 (66) Aspire Technology Solutions Computer consultancy Gateshead 148 £23,276
73 (67) MDS CEM Software Warrington 220 £23,056
74 (69) ITPS IT services Gateshead 132 £20,166
75 (-) Chameleon Technology Smart energy technology Harrogate 39 £18,102

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