Leeds-List: The Best & Most Insightful Guide to Leeds

7 Leeds Scale-Ups That Are Making a Name For Themselves Nationally

· Darcie Hewitt-Dudding · Business

Leeds businesses are putting their mark on the map.

Vet AI

From idea to investment, seven Leeds success stories coming up…

Leeds isn’t just a great place to build a business, it’s a great place to grow one too – something that’s been made all too clear by these seven businesses. They secured hundreds of thousands pounds in funding and they’re making waves in the industry, not just here, but further afield. From sustainable banking to social networking for people with HIV, discover some of the most exciting businesses in the city right now.


Hero Software

Hero’s tech-led solution helps businesses keep staff happy, healthy and productive. Covering the four different pillars of wellbeing (mental, physical, financial and social), Hero offers a blend of in-person consultations and digital technology resources to deliver a holistic wellbeing programme for employees.

Having secured £825,000 in investment from Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund at the end of 2020, Hero has an incredible trajectory ahead of it. They already have over 100 clients, including Vodafone, the NHS and Arsenal FC, and have grown their staff to over 50. The investment will allow them to create even more jobs, as well as enhance their product offering.


Forget the flea medicine again? Time for a dose of worming tablets? Itch has got you covered. Just tell them a few details about your pet and they’ll send personalised treatments direct to your door, on time and in the right doses. Whether its parasite protection or joint supplements, Itch take care of it, so you can be a model pet owner.

Seedcamp and Accel Partners have recently injected £12.25 million into the company, helping Itch to solidify their presence in the UK and expand into the US. They’ve already onboarded a new management team and launched two new services, including pet insurance and a video vet service – the latter allows pet owners to access vets free 24/7, which is pretty revolutionary.

Positive Plus One

HIV can be incredibly isolating, the stigma alone can make forming friendships difficult – and that’s the inspiration behind Positive Plus One. It’s an app to help people with HIV to connect with one another without fear or shame. It blends elements of Facebook and Hinge to create a safe way for people to chat, find love and ignite friendships.

Founder Christian Mercer has been named as one to watch by Global Dating Insights for 2021, so it’s an exciting time to work at Positive Plus One. An initial round of funding in 2020 raised an impressive £260,000 to improve app functionality and grow the user base. Mercer is now looking for angel investors to further expand the app’s presence in the US.



Classroom learning is overwhelming. So much so that you can leave up to 65% of information behind. Glean takes care of note making, letting you engage fully in the classroom dialogue. It captures audio and structures your notes, so they’re easy to return to. Essentially, Glean helps you study more effectively and maximises your learning potential.

Glean recently shed their old brand, Sonocent. They’ve taken what they’ve learnt from helping students with disabilities and applied it to create a solution that helps learners of all abilities – and they’re certainly turning heads. With shiny new branding, Glean has just made it onto Tech Nation’s Upscale programme, which will support them into their next phase of growth.


Tired of vague carbon footprint calculators? Tred helps you get a detailed and accurate idea of the impact you’re having on the planet. Connected to your bank account, Tred converts every purchase you make into kilos of emissions, so you know what you need to reduce or offset. They then provide you with a personalised offsetting plan, tailored to your emissions.

Tred’s aim is to give the fintech market a sustainable option – after all, 1 in 2 of us want to be more socially responsible with our money. They’ve raised just shy of a million pounds on CrowdCube to fund the launch of their green debit card. It’s made of recycled plastic and helps you reduce your carbon footprint, plus they plant trees with the profits. What’s not to like?


Vet AI

Vet.AI’s mission is to make pet care affordable and accessible. The Joii app means you have a vet at your fingertips, wherever you are, whenever you need it. With a host of experienced professionals in their roster, you can access free advice, have video consultations 24/7 and even order products at a cheaper price than at an in-person vet.

Named as one of the UK’s top 100 disruptive startups for 2021, the Joii app is really making waves. An awesome £1 million investment funded the initial launch, and continues to support their growth. They’ve recently partnered with senior academics from University of Leeds to drive automatic diagnosis and skin condition prediction capabilities.



With Calbot, can spend less time scheduling and more time working, improving productivity and maximising profitability. It’s an innovative scheduler that integrates across email clients and software solutions, from Google Workspace to Zoom and everything in between, to help you provide a slicker, more streamline service to your customers.

At just a few years old, Calbot is going from strength to strength. They secured an undisclosed cash injection from Nephos Solutions in 2020, who have also committed to giving Calbot technical, marketing and admin support. Next steps? Expanding their customer base from just financial services into other professional services across the UK.