Now that the sun is shining in Britain once again, it’s almost possible to forget the Brexit mist that’s been haunting the country’s consumers and companies. Almost. But while that particular economic nightmare will continue rumbling on until Halloween, there is some comfort for UK plc – the tech industry.
Business network Tech Nation has released its 2019 report, which revealed the UK is the European leader for tech investment with VC funding hitting £6.3bn in 2018. And of that sum, UK scaleups accounted for an overwhelming £5bn. The report highlighted that this places the UK in a strong position to continue creating tech unicorns – an accomplishment that has very common themes.
On a worldwide basis, the study showed that fast-growth digital tech companies secured more than £245bn of investment across four years between 2015 and 2018 and, of that amount the UK raised 5.2% last year. In terms of scaleup investment globally, the UK ranks fourth following the US, China and India, while it’s ahead of Sweden, Germany, South Korea and France. It’s even more impressive as Tech Nation noted that UK tech scaleup investment is 2.5 times more than expected based on the size of the country’s economy in 2018.
However, breaking down into sector specifics of tech investment, the UK suddenly became the number one globally for fintech with £4.5bn of funding over the 2015 to 2018 period. And on a growing basis, fast-growth businesses in London scaled by 56% between December 2018 and February 2019, with Lehi, Tokyo, San Francisco and Beijing rounding off the top five behind the Big Smoke.
Seemingly elated by the news, prime minister Theresa May said: ‘‘The UK is a global tech powerhouse. I am immensely proud of our country’s ambitious tech scaleups. 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.”
Building on that, Tech Nation chair Eileen Burbidge said the UK’s role in the global tech industry is “incredibly pivotal” and pointed to the success of the fintech sector as evidence of that fact. With results like this, all entrepreneurs should be encouraged Britain is still an attractive destination to do business, regardless of the current economic climate.