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Audio and ebook app xigxag named Tech Nation 4.0 Rising Stars winner

Peter Evans
Authored by Peter Evans
Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2022 - 19:29

Cornwall-based audio and ebook app, xigxag, has been announced as a Tech Nation 4.0 Rising Stars winner.

It is the first time that a business associated with the publishing industry has won with Tech Nation.  The win acknowledges xigxag’s unique proposition in modernising audio and e-books. Tech Nation’s annual award, now in its fourth year, ‘recognises the brightest and best early stage tech scale-ups’.

xigxag are one of 10 winners chosen from over 400 applications whittled down to 55 regional winners then 20 finalists. The company had to demonstrate the essential ingredients of being a fast-growth scaleup including a passion for innovation, purposeful disruption and proven innovation. Financially, they were tasked to show that they had attracted more investment in 2022, than over the whole of 2021 and 2020. This key milestone is fundamental to set them on course for growth and place them in a position to help fuel tech industry stability, growth, and promote a stronger UK economy, society and future. Furthermore, the team had to evidence their intent and progress on diversity, inclusion and net zero ambitions.

With more than 26,000 downloads to date since launching, the UK-based startup is on a fast growth pathway, challenging the incumbents in the field. xigxag is leading the revolution in modernising digital consumption of books with their proprietary listen-and-read x-book®. Its catalogue holds over 95% of the Sunday Times bestseller list, with users enjoying the dexterity of flipping from listening to reading at their ease without being locked into an ongoing subscription. Readers are rewarded with better prices as they enjoy more books.

Esme Caulfield, Competitions Lead at Tech Nation, said: “I’m really excited to see xigxag as one of this year’s Rising Stars 4.0 Winners. Their innovative digital reading app and ambitious vision has truly set them apart at every stage of the competition. I wish them every success in their future and look forward to following their scaling journey.”

Kelli Fairbrother, Co-founder and CEO at xigxag, said: “It is an absolute honour for xigxag to be recognised as one of the most innovative tech start-ups in the UK in 2022. Our aim has always been to make reading easier and more accessible, engaging, and sustainable so that everyone can enjoy more books.

"We are grateful to receive recognition for creating the first-ever listen-and-read concept, the best-ever digital reading app and content platform in the industry - an exciting alternative to big tech. We are also proud to represent the tremendous potential of Cornwall as an innovation hub within the UK tech ecosystem. Thanks to Tech Nation, our team and all our supporters!”

xigxag’s success as an early-stage tech company is reflective of the strength and growth of the UK’s South West’s tech sector, which received $425mn in VC investment funding in 2021 and is home to three of the UK’s tech ‘unicorns’ (companies valued at $1bn+). Tech startups and scaleups in the region currently employ over 78,000 people and this number is growing rapidly.

This year’s winners were selected by a panel of 7 judges, including Emma Jones (Founder of Enterprise Nation), Nahu Ghrebremichael (Partner at Singular Ventures) and Jess Jackson (Head of Investment at GC Angels).

Cornish startup xigxag opens £250,000 funding round

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