The unicorns of the future will be in retail tech

Tech London Advocates predicts that retail tech will see the next billion-pound companies. And it looks like London is in a good position kickstart this latest trend

The unicorns of the future will be in retail tech

Investors are always looking for the next big thing but it can be hard to predict where the next billion-pound company will come from. Fortunately, the tech leaders, experts and investors of Tech London Advocates have lent a helping hand and predicted that retail tech will be the best place to find the next generation of unicorns.

In a recent survey, the organisation polled 251 members to find where its advocates thought the next billion-pound businesses would come from. Retail tech was a firm favourite, with 17% of advocates thinking it would be the place to look for future unicorns. Meanwhile, 16% of advocates chose internet of things as the next massive growth area, 15% went for health tech, 11% picked cyber tech and 10% plumped for creative tech. Despite this, however, fintech is still believed to have been the most successful sector for the UK, with 86% believing it currently stands as the only industry in which London has a globally competitive advantage.

Tech London Advocates’ members also felt that London was particularly well set up for producing unicorns, with the city currently serving as home to 13 of Europe’s 40 tech unicorns. Advocates said they believed a number of advantages over the past two years have helped with the increasing success of the capital’s technology sector, with 33% of advocates pointing to greater access to funding, 19% greater indicating better support from government and 19% citing closer relationships with established corporates. 

Unsurprisingly, as a result of these benefits, 74% said they believed London is now the technology capital of Europe.

Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates, commented: “London has a reputation for excellence in financial services and the creative industries and technology is already disrupting and redefining these areas. Indeed, fintech has given London’s digital sector a global platform to showcase the city’s unique skills and innovation. 

With retail tech at the forefront, from fashion tech to food tech, clean tech to cyber tech, we are seeing emerging specialisms will the potential to transform the tech landscape in the capital yet again.”

It sounds like investors better get out their unicorn nets. 

Jess Mackinnon
Jess Mackinnon

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