a third of European 'unicorns' made in UK


Thirty-five per cent of so-called unicorn tech companies - businesses valued at more than $1bn - based in Europe and Israel were created in the UK.

The annual Tech Nation report highlights the UK's record in creating tech unicorns and the 61 per cent increase in investment in digital tech firms during 2018 to underline the UK's position as a global tech hub.

The report estimates that the UK is the fourth largest economy in the world (after the US, China and India) for scale-up tech investment, with two and a half times the size of investment in tech, relative to the size of the UK economy.

In Fintech, the UK is the world-leader in investment, with £4.5bn put into UK companies in the Fintech category between 2015 and 2018. 

During 2018, the total amount of venture capital invested across all areas of UK tech topped £6bn - again, this figure was more than any other European country

The UK also remains a hotbed of tech talent, employing 5 per cent of all high-growth tech workers globally, placing the UK ahead of Japan, France and India.

Cyber, AI, and Cleantech all feature in the top ten sectors for employment in high-growth tech firms. Investment data shows that AI, Cyber and Big Data are growing in importance for UK tech scaleups. More UK jobs may be generated in these sectors as a result of these trends.

UK Prime Minister, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, commented: ‘‘The UK is a global tech powerhouse...These companies are delivering significant economic value to the nation through the investment they raise, the jobs they create and the innovative products and services they deliver’’.

Eileen Burbidge Chair, Tech Nation and Partner, Passion Capital: "The UK holds a pivotal role in the global tech sector. Ambitious tech entrepreneurs across the country are more networked than ever, and they are accelerating growth through international connections. This report presents UK tech on the global stage."

The report's authors recommend that in order to continue to succeed, the UK should ensure it remains open to international collaboration, encourages stakeholders to build international networks and should encourage development of future tech leaders to champion the sector.

In creating this report, the Tech Nation Insights team used data from Companies House, Dealroom, GitHub, Meetup.com, the OECD, Pitchbook, Stack Overflow, Streetbees and World Economic Forum.

More on the report here.


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