Top tech companies in Bristol, UK

Bristol is a unique and thriving international hub for computer tech, electronics, aerospace, and media. Together with the nearby cities of Gloucester and Swindon, it forms a region in South West England sometimes referred to as the Silicon Gorge triangle.  

Home to highly successful ventures such as Airbus and Aardman Studios, Bristol also constitutes a vibrant incubation environment for smaller startups. Named the best incubator in the world by UBI Global, Bristol’s SETSquare has given a boost to more than 2,500 new companies. Bristol’s Engine Shed offers space for entrepreneurs, businesses, and academia to interact and collaborate. 

So far, collaborations in Bristol have included Bristol VR Lab, the digital partnership Connecting Bristol, and a smart city initiative called Bristol Is Open, for example. 

Bristol is also the first city in the UK to win the European Green Capital award, which recognises innovative responses to urban environmental challenges. 

In literally countless ways, Bristol continues to pioneer across emerging areas such as green tech, VR and AI as well as more traditional enterprise sectors like cybersecurity, finance and human resources.

Here are details about six of the hottest top tech companies in Bristol. 


Just read the news headlines and you’ll notice some of the dazzling progress AI is making in fields ranging from medicine and manufacturing to digital music and internet search engines. 

Still, the vast bulk of these feats are getting accomplished without the help of computer processors specifically designed for AI.

Bristol-based Graphcore has created a silicon chip intended to fill that void. Graphcore contends that its new Wafer-on-Wafer Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) enables AI developers to run current machine learning models orders of magnitude faster. What’s more, the startup purports that the chip will enable new types of AI solutions not possible with existing technologies. As example, Graphcore mentions applications such as biotech, finance, scientific research and computer vision in its marketing materials.

Top tech companies in Bristol - Graphcore
Graphcore Poplar® software stack integrates with a number of machine learning frameworks

The chip is already in use among AI innovators, according to Graphcore, and the company hopes it will become a new standard in the  AI industry., an AI research newsletter, identified more than 25 companies known to be working on AI chips in 2023. However, aside from Graphcore and a sprinkling of other startups, the primary activities of these competitors are not geared toward building silicon for AI applications. The recipient of more than $300 million in funding from investors such as Microsoft and BMW, Graphcore already has an estimated worth of more than $2 billion.


Generally speaking, end users need some type of external device to interact with computer systems, whether that’s a keyboard, touch screen, microphone or VR controller. 

Emerging hand-tracking technology, however, tracks hand movements in 3D space for interaction with digital content.

Ultraleap is developing technology that uses ultrasound in conjunction with hand tracking to add this sense of touch in mid-air.

The company envisions that, separately or together, these technologies can enable touchless interaction across a wide gamut of applications, including extended reality (VR & AR), kiosks, digital signage, consumer electronics, automotive, industrial automation and entertainment.

The Bristol-based company is a global effort by experts in human-computer interfaces, acoustics, ML and computer vision located in three continents

Sopra Banking Software (SBS)

Software for banks and other lending organisations is not a cookie-cutter matter. Needs among finance companies range from risk management software to digital auditing, and way beyond. Many lenders specialise in specific sectors, such as home or auto loans. 

Internal development costs can be very hefty, however, and individual finance companies can find it burdensome to “reinvent the wheel” by creating custom software for their organisations. 

Formerly known as the Apak Group, SBS addresses such issues with componentised software for risk management, digital auditing, and wholesale finance. The components can be used either together as a suite or as individual solutions integrated with a finance company’s existing infrastructure.

The wholesale component is a front-to-back solution for facilitating the financing of any asset inventory. For more specialised requirements, the cloud-enabled Sopra Financial Platform (SFP)  is also able to integrate into its architecture external solutions from the fintech ecosystem.

The SVP platform is live in 50 different countries. Customers include financing giants like Santander, Mercedes-Benz, TD Auto Finance, the Nationwide Building Society, and more. 

Top tech companies in Bristol - SBS
Sopra Group, of which SBS is part of, was founded in 1968 by Pierre Pasquier


As their name implies, edge computing devices are located at the edge of the Internet or other networks, where human end users interact with computer systems.

In many industries, edge devices tend to be much more limited in storage and sophistication than larger computers on the network, whether we’re talking about retail stores, factories, or oil rigs, for example

StorMagic aims to help organisations modernise their IT infrastructure to provide greater data access and better security to end users without adding complicated and costly hardware systems to the network.

The startup maintains that its products are already in use by customers at thousands of sites around the world. 

The products include SvSAN, A highly available two-node virtual SAN for edge sites and SvKMS, a security encryption key manager for the edge, data centre and cloud.

StorMagic President & CRO Brian Grainger recently celebrated being named a CRN Channel Chief for the 4th year in a row
StorMagic President & CRO Brian Grainger recently celebrated being named a CRN Channel Chief for the 4th year in a row


In selecting new tech tools, some 62% of C-level execs prioritise productivity over the user experience, according to a study by Avanti. Yet 49% are frustrated by the technology their employers provide, and 26% are considering quitting their jobs as a result.

Facing ongoing pressures to recruit and retain qualified employees, HR professionals are likely to be particularly aware that a raft of other research points to the importance of the employee experience to both employee satisfaction and productivity.

Meanwhile, XCD is targeting HR pros with a SaaS service aimed at streamlining HR tech by removing payroll as a separate function demanding a separate technical skillset.

The stated goal is to free up time for HR departments by combining HR and payroll as a single SaaS service. All data and processes take place in the same space, without the risk of in-house software integration. The startup estimates that its solution can cut administrative workloads by up to 70%, enabling HR to focus more on people.

XCD claims to be the only single HR and payroll solution running on’s widely popular cloud platform.


Despite the reams of money spent on cybersecurity each year, a full 93 per cent of organisations are still vulnerable to attack, according to a recent study.

Still, some types of cyber threats are much less commonplace and harder to detect than others.

AppCheck specialises in pinpointing even the most evasive threats. Positioned as a complete security testing environment, the company’s tools combine dynamic application security testing (DAST), for simulated attacks on a customer’s systems, with hourly feeds from its own VulnFeed service, which aggregates and sorts through industry threat reports.

Beyond that, its scanner carries out active checks to identify other security exploits as well as security misconfigurations which can leave a system vulnerable to malicious hackers.

Scanning and testing include Single Page Apps (SPAs) as well as APIs such as Swagger (Open API), GraphQL and SOAP endpoints.

Top tech companies in Bristol - AppCheck
Some of AppCheck’s clients

Top tech companies in the UK and Ireland

Jacqueline Emigh
Jacqueline Emigh

Jacqueline Emigh (pronounced “Amy”) has been writing about technology and business for many leading websites for a long time. Lately, she’s looking into topics like hybrid and remote work tech, generative AI (artificial intelligence), and ESG (environmental, social and governance), to name a few.