5 start-ups we wish we’d thought of

VV 10 Feb 2

More than 55,000 start-ups have sprung up across the UK so far in 2015, StartUp Britain claims. The impressive figures follow a record-breaking year for start-ups in 2014, when 581,173 set up shop nationwide.

With that in mind, here are 5 successful start-ups that we wish we’d thought of first.

Cereal Killer Café

Customers can get their hands on more than 120 different types of cereal from around the world at the Cereal Killer Café in London. There are also 30 different varieties of milk and 20 different toppings to choose from.

The shop, which is the first speciality Cereal Café in the UK, is the brainchild of identical twins Alan and Gary Keery. It launched in December last year and is already doing a rip-roaring trade in the capital.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner is cereal. Different varieties are sourced from countries like America, South Africa, France, Australia, South Korea and the UK. Small bowls cost £2.50, medium bowls cost £3 and large bowls cost £3.50.


Flagging down a taxi can be an infuriating experience. That’s what drove a mix of cabbies and internet entrepreneurs, including Jay Bregman and Caspar Woolley, to create a mobile app called Hailo.

First released in London in 2011, it uses GPS to match black cabs and passengers nearby. The aim is to cut waiting times. Now it can be used in a host of other major cities like New York, Dublin, Chicago and Toronto.

Passengers registered with the app can e-hail, pay and tip for taxi journeys using the credit or debit card details they’ve stored within Hailo’s secure cloud wallet. Passengers and drivers have both reaped the benefits.


The online fashion industry continues to go from strength to strength. Lyst, a personalised fashion marketplace that allows users to create a customised shopping feed of their products, has made a big name for itself.

Launched by Devin Hunt, Sebastjan Trepca and Chris Morton in 2010, it aggregates the inventory of luxury e-commerce sites into a single destination with a universal shopping cart and a personalised experience for users.

The company has grown by 400% over the last three years and now has around two million visitors a month.


Popcorn as a pre-packaged snack food has never quite hit the heights of its sales in cinemas and theatres. But PROPERCORN, founded by Cassandra Stavrou and Ryan Kohn, is slowly changing all that.

The gluten free, low calorie and 100% natural popcorn first hit shelves in the UK back in October 2011. It comes in five different flavours and is claimed to be a legitimately healthy snack food that tastes good.

Around 1.5 million packets of PROPERCORN are sold every month, while the firm has recently started export operations to Benelux, Ireland, Norway and Switzerland in the hope of trebling revenues.

VV 10 Feb


Finding the easiest way from A to B became much simpler thanks to the launch of Citymapper in 2011. The travel planner app, which started out in London, tells you everything you need to know in one place.

It checks bus and train timetables, maps your way to a location and tells you about potential disruption, including factors like bad weather and traffic, not to mention updates you with the latest fares.

Citymapper is also live in New York, Berlin and Paris. Founder Azmat Yusuf has plans to expand his business and launch the handy app in more cities around the world after raising $10 million in funding last April.

Posted by The Secret Businessman