10 groundbreaking businesses

Virgin StartUp
Virgin StartUp
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
1 June 2021

Virgin StartUp has recently completed its latest investment readiness programme Collective Impact. Delivered by Virgin StartUp and Crowdcube, Collective Impact helps to accelerate growth and impact for businesses that want to create a positive change in the world. 

Here are the 10 businesses that took part in the latest programme:

Ammonite Wealth

Ammonite Wealth is helping to democratise access to financial advice, by making high quality, personal financial advice available to more people. It is doing this through a combination of AI-driven and human-powered advice. In doing this, the team is aiming to close the financial gap that exists in the UK.


Donaco is empowering charities to fundraise more efficiently online. It is building a data-drive, online donor acquisition programme. Leveraging data and AI, it aims to allow charities of all sizes to plan, launch and optimise digital fundraising campaign in minutes, rather than weeks – while also maximising the return on investment for the charities. Currently, the team is working with Crisis UK, Christian Aid, Teenage Cancer Trust and more.

Fertility Circle

Fertility Circle is a one-stop shop for your fertility journey. Its mission is to empower people to make the right fertility choices for them, providing access to trusted advice, resources and service providers.


FortyEight sits at the intersection of artificial intelligence, human rights and consent. It plans to provide ‘transparency-as-a-service’. Backed by Innovate UK, the aim is to increase trust and confidence in the use of artificial intelligence, facial recognition and other types of technological surveillance, including COVID-19 detection systems. It will do this by giving individuals greater oversight and control over how their personal data is captured, held and used.

FRUU Cosmetics

FRUU is a pioneering cosmetics company that specialises in turning fruit by-products into sustainable cosmetics. Masses of unwanted products are produced from fruit farming and the fruit processing industry. At the same time, most cosmetics are made from unsustainable petrochemicals and water, land and carbon intensive natural materials. FRUU is looking to fix both of these issues.


InsideOut provides on-demand early intervention and preventative mental health care to employees. It delivers confidential online video therapy sessions (using evidence-based frameworks such as CBT) and provides a self-help mental fitness toolkit, which can be accessed via a mobile app. Using an in-app diagnostic (developed with GPs and therapists), InsideOut matches users with therapists and coaches, meaning that users can confidently speak to someone within 24 hours.

Liminal Health

Liminal Health provides remote health coaching and personalised content to people affected by chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and long COVID.


OxWash is re-engineering the laundry process from the ground up. It is aiming to achieve net zero carbon emissions for the whole process, from collection, through washing and back to delivery. The goal is to be the world’s first truly sustainable and future-proof laundry company.

Petit Pli

Petit Pli is a material innovation and wearable technology company, that spun out from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. Petit Pli was launched to reduce the incidence of waste and CO2 emissions produced in the garment industry – the world’s second largest polluter – by creating new materials and processes. Its first innovation is a patent-pending fabric that ‘grows’. An early application has been in the manufacture of children’s clothing, allowing a garment that might normally be sized 0-6 months, become 0-3 years.


Wilton London is a Certified B-Corp producing eco-friendly household cleaning and laundry products. Aimed at the ‘affordable-premium’ end of the market, Wilton aims to produce highly effective cleaning products that maintain the highest levels of environmental and social responsibility.