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These are the top UK start-ups to work for in 2020, according to LinkedIn

Businesspeople brainstorming work during the Covid-19 pandemic
Orbon Alija

While the pandemic has created a more challenging environment for emerging businesses, LinkedIn has identified U.K. start-ups that are managing to thrive despite the uncertainty.

Data last week showed that the unemployment rate in the U.K. had risen to 4.1% in the three months to July, with 12,000 fewer people in work on the previous quarter. 

Meanwhile, the value of investments in Britain's start-ups and fast-growth firms fell 31% between mid-March and August, compared with the same period in 2019, according to data from workspace provider Plexal and start-up database Beauhurst.  

However, some early-stage businesses have seemingly managed to weather the storm. U.K. electric car firm Arrival, which topped LinkedIn's list of top start-up employers, had a strong start to the year with a 100 million euro ($117 million) investment from automotive giants Hyundai and Kia. Arrival said the investment took its valuation up to 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion). 

But it isn't just Arrival's financial growth that LinkedIn highlights in its strengths as a start-up — the business has specialist "microfactories" located near areas of demand, making use of local supply chains and talent. 

To rank the start-ups, LinkedIn tracked companies' performance on its platform across four pillars between January and July 2020 — employee growth, jobseeker interest, LinkedIn member engagement with the company and its employees, as well as their ability to lure talent from the employers in LinkedIn's more general top company list. 

Digital bank Revolut, which is perhaps a more recognizable start-up, came second on LinkedIn's list. But it hasn't been an easy year for the fintech firm, with it reporting in August that losses had tripled in 2019, despite posting three times the growth in its user base and revenues rising by 180% to nearly $163 million on the previous year. 

However, Revolut has pushed forward with expansion, including its launch in Japan and the introduction of a bill splitting feature.

The U.K.'s top start-ups in 2020

10. Streetbees

Functions: Market research

Number of staff: 98

Headquarters: London

Founded: 2015

9. Cognism

Function: Business-to-business sales and marketing lead generation platform

Number of staff: 162

Headquarters: London

Founded: 2016

8. Starling Bank

Function: Digital bank

Number of staff: 970

Headquarters: London

Founded: 2014

7. 11:FS

Function: Digital financial services consultancy

Number of staff: 127

Headquarters: London

Founded: 2016

6. Monzo

Function: Digital bank

Number of staff: 1,300

Headquarters: London

Founded: 2015

5. Moneybox

Function: Savings and investment app

Number of staff: 140

Headquarters: London

Founded: 2015

4. ClearBank

Function: Clearing bank (giving fintechs and small banks access to the U.K.'s main payment network)

Number of staff: 252

Headquarters: London

Founded: 2016

3. Pure Electric

Function: Electric bikes and scooters

Number of staff: 160

Headquarters: Glastonbury

Founded: 2018

2. Revolut

Function: Digital bank

Number of staff: 2,125

Headquarters: London

Founded: 2015

1. Arrival

Function: Electric vehicles

Number of staff: 1,150

Headquarters: London

Founded: 2015

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