Brightpearls Lightning 50

Welsh brand Au Vodka tops list of UK’s fastest growing online companies

Swansea-based premium drink brand, Au Vodka, has been revealed as the UK’s fastest growing online brand from 2019 to 2020 – the most challenging period ever for British retail.

The Lightning 50, launched by Brightpearl, which works with the world’s largest retail brands, reveals a comprehensive list of the 50 fastest growing ‘pandemic-era’ online retailers in the UK.

Researchers tracked growth rates for hundreds of companies across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Au Vodka finished atop the list, with a net growth of more than 10,000%. Au Vodka is a luxury vodka brand and is owned by Welsh duo Charlie Morgan and Jackson Quinn, and partially owned by DJ, producer and TV presenter, Charlie Sloth. 

As well as taking the title of Overall Winner, Au Vodka was also recognised as the fastest growing company within the Luxury Sector and Regional Winner for Wales. 

“I entered the Lightning 50 on a bit of a whim, not expecting to win,” said Jordan Major, Head of e-Commerce at Au Vodka. 

“Then the call came in to say we’d won not one but three titles, I was absolutely buzzing. I ran in to tell the rest of the team and they all started cheering – it was a real moment for us.

“We’re always working hard towards our next launch or next goal, so we’ve barely come up for air in two years. Winning the Lightning 50 has given us the chance to step back for a brief moment and see that we’ve achieved something that’s pretty awesome.”

To compile the Lightning 50, Brightpearl asked brands to submit annual growth figures from 2019 to 2020, with each brand ranked solely on its net growth percentage during that time frame. 

The Lightning 50 top ten, and the recorded growth for each are:

  1. Au Vodka – 10170%
  2. Powerhoop – 2960%
  3. Jericho Coffee Traders – 683%
  4. Candy Kittens – 608%
  5. The Sardar Co – 503%
  6. Olivia’s – 500%
  7. Maplin – 495%
  8. IndeJuice Limited – 488%
  9. Tradeprices Bathrooms – 423%
  10. CyberJammies – 372%

The full Lightning 50 list can be found here.

Looking at the combined revenue across the Lightning 50 over the past year, brands earnt more than £340m, with the average growth rate for online retailers at 518%.

In terms of the sectors which appeared most in the list, ‘Fashion & Footwear’ and ‘Homewares’ were on top, with each category recording a total of nine brands in the top 50 (36%). 

Delving further into the data, Brightpearl discovered that the South West is a booming region for e-commerce. This area had the greatest proportion of brands represented in the list with almost one in five (18%) of the fastest growing e-commerce brands based there. 

With the pandemic changing the way businesses operate and how customers shop, an internal study from Brightpearl of 2,000 Brits showed a huge shift to online shopping during the pandemic, which has accelerated into this year. Just under half (43%) of consumers are now buying things online more than normal, with 65% expected to increase online purchasing this year – leading to online sales rocketing. 

“As we are fully aware, the pandemic has seen a big shift to online shopping and that has introduced several operational challenges for retailers to overcome,” said Brightpearl’s Chief Revenue Officer, Nick Shaw.

“Many have risen to this and now the results are in, we can see some brands and whole sectors have seen exceptional growth and success, despite the difficult climate we have had.

“It’s wonderful for us to be able to celebrate and recognise the hard work that has gone into this growth, and I’d like to congratulate everyone who made it into the Lightning 50 list”

Bristol-based Brightpearl works with thousands of retailers introducing software that puts orders, inventory, financials, POS (point of sale) and CRM (customer relationship management) in one place.


About Brightpearl

Brightpearl is a Retail Operations System (ROS) for retailers and wholesalers that’s built for rapid scale. Brightpearl’s mission is clear: automate the back office so merchants can get back time and grow fearlessly. 

Brightpearl’s ROS includes financial management, inventory and sale order management, purchasing and supplier management, CRM, fulfilment, warehouse and logistics.

In addition, the solution has high-performing connectors to the major ecommerce platforms,

including Magento, BigCommerce and Shopify. 1,000 businesses in 26 countries use our platform. We manage over $5bn of business a year.

Our team guides commerce  businesses through a highly efficient implementation process which typically gets them up and running in less than 120 days – twice as fast as our competitors.

Brightpearl’s US headquarters is in the heart of downtown Austin with a global headquarters in Bristol, UK. You can connect with us on Twitter (@BrightpearlHQ), LinkedIn (, and Facebook (

Media contact:

Mark Hook

Sep 28, 2021