Online Businesses that Changed the UK

 

The internet has come a long way in the past ten years. Look around you and it's easy to see how much the web has had an impact on every part of our lives; the way we do our grocery shopping, or how we order taxis. While we're always going to have internet staples like online casino and sports betting, many game-changing ‘disruptive' businesses have sprung up like a fever in the past few years, altered our lives forever. We've put together some of the top online businesses that have changed the UK.

Skyscanner

Who are they?

Skyscanner is a travel search engine that allows you to compare the price of flights across a tonne of airlines. Like Google, but with more wings.

Where did they come from?

The company was founded in Edinburgh all the way back in the Stone Age of 2001 by Gareth Williams, Barry Smith and Bonamy Grimes. The site was originally created due to their shared frustration of finding cheap flights to ski resorts from the UK – a problem these chaps will never have again.

How much are they worth?

Revenues for the 2014 financial year increased by 42% to a cool £93m. That's a lot of flights!

How have they changed the UK?

Quite simply, Skyscanner has made it much easier for people in this country to search for the cheapest flights, taking a lot of the stress out of doing the legwork yourself. Cheers, Skyscanner.

Uber

Who are they?

An app-based taxi service that introduces "no-cash" fares. Also your best friend on a late night out with your mates.

Where did they come from?

Uber was founded in 2009 as ‘UberCab' by Garrett Camp (who also founded StumbleUpon) and Travis Kalanick. By 2012, the cab firm had spread internationally with pilot projects in key cities like Toronto, Paris and London.

How much are they worth?

Uber is currently valued at a very tidy $62.5bn. Not bad for a taxi service.

How have they changed the UK?

Simply ordering a taxi via an app, and being able to track and rate your driver is a huge advantage for UK consumers. We're moving away from the traditional ‘black cab' to a digital future where we have more control over our taxi orders. It also plays into the very British aversion of talking to people on the phone. Winner.

 

Netflix

Who are they?

For those who have been living on another planet, Netflix is an on-demand TV and movie streaming service. It's also the biggest time-sink to ever exist.

Where did they come from?

Founded in the States in 1997, Netflix made its name through subscription-based service, sending users rental videos and DVDs. The business grew in the early 2000s to the mass streaming giant we see today. You can now use Netflix in most countries.

How much are they worth?

The year to September 2015 revenue was a healthy $4,956,178,000 and it shows no sign of slowing down.

How have they changed the UK?

Netflix has changed the way we consume media. Whereas once we might wait a week to watch an episode of our favourite show, Netflix has brought binge-watching to a whole new level. Also, ‘Netflix and chill' is now a thing.

 

ASOS

Who are they?

The largest independent fashion retailer in the country – despite not being on the high street.

Where did they come from?

ASOS was founded in 2000 by Nick Robertson and Quentin Griffiths under the name AsSeenOnScreen. After dropping the full name in 2008, ASOS went on to gain over 4000 employees and a global presence.

How much are they worth?

At 2015 year end, ASOS was worth a neat £1.1bn.

How have they changed the UK?

ASOS revolutionised the way people shop, bringing brands to "the online high-street" with over 80,000 products and attracting a whopping 89.8 million visits per month. While online shopping for clothing is common as muck now, ASOS paved the way and reaped the rewards as a result.

Facebook

Who are they?

Seriously? There's a film about it for Pete's sake!

Where did they come from?

Back in the heady days of 2004, Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg and a few of his peers launched a social media site specifically for students at his university. Soon, it expanded to other universities and colleges until 2006, when anyone aged 13 and over could sign up for an account. There are now around 1.49bn users in the world, with more than 30 million of those being in the UK.

 How much are they worth?

In 2014, Facebook had a revenue of $12.46bn - which isn't too shabby considering it was thought up in a dorm room.

How have they changed the UK?

The odds are that you're on Facebook. In fact, you've probably got Facebook open on a separate tab right now. This mammoth social network has changed the way we communicate with friends, from general chit-chats to organising get-togethers. It has also changed the average number of baby pictures we see in a lifetime from twenty to a billion.

We've shown you some amazing online businesses that have bucked the trend and changed the UK forever. It's easy to see that the future of business is digital, which is why Ladbrokes is ahead of the curve with taking the traditional casino experience online. Playing with us is so much easier than leaving the house, so what are you waiting for? Go and play.