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UK is Europe’s top tech ecosystem as investors pile in | Economic news

Although there has been much concern about the City’s competitive position this year – with Amsterdam overtaking London as Europe’s largest stock trading hub and the value of the French stock market surpassing that from the UK – new data suggests that the UK tech sector continues to enjoy a significant lead over their European counterparts.

Figures prepared by data and intelligence platform Dealroom for the Digital Economy Council suggest that fast-growing UK tech companies have raised £24bn this year, more than their French and German counterparts combined.

This brings the total raised by UK tech companies over the past five years to £97bn.

The numbers are all the more stark as, for much of the year, capital became harder to come by as interest rates rose and investors around the world grew more skeptical about the regard to the technology sector.

Figures from Dealroom suggest that the UK’s tech industry is now worth $1 billion, making it the third country, after the US and China, to take this step and take it on. confirm as the first European technological ecosystem.

Germany’s tech sector is now valued at $467.2 billion while France’s is worth $307.5 billion.

According to the figures, the UK tech sector not only attracts more venture capital than its European counterparts, but it also creates more value for investors.

Figures suggest that, since the turn of the century, the UK has created 144 “unicorns” – start-ups that have reached a valuation of over $1 billion – and 237 so-called “futurecorns”, companies that are valued north of $250 million and are considered to be on track to achieve unicorn status.

That’s up 116 unicorns and 204 future corns this time last year.

Paul Scully, Minister for Digital, said: “UK tech remained resilient in the face of global challenges and we ended the year as one of the world’s top destinations for digital businesses.

Paul Scully
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Paul Scully says the figures in the report underscore the importance of government investment in the tech sphere

“This is welcome news and reflects our pro-innovation approach to technology regulation, our continued support for start-ups and our ambition to build people’s digital skills.”

The figures underline the UK’s growing appeal to international venture capitalists.

This year, some of the biggest US tech investors, including General Catalyst, Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed – all of which opened offices in the UK last year – have bolstered their presence by hiring more staff.

They were joined in the UK this year by New Enterprise Associates, the 45-year-old US venture capital firm that has backed TikTok owner ByteDance, and Earlybird, the Berlin-based venture capital firm.

The UK-based funds have raised £9.2bn this year – just ahead of the £9bn they raised in 2021 – with which to support fast-growing companies and start-ups.

Chris Bischoff, Managing Director of General Catalyst, said: “We have established a presence in London because we believe the UK is an exceptional ecosystem on a global scale. Our experience over the past 18 months has reinforced our appreciation of this remarkable ecosystem, enabling us to find and support start-ups that are working to accelerate change in their industries.

“Equally important, our values ​​of responsible innovation and radical collaboration are perfectly in line with the British approach to innovation.”

Dealroom figures also suggest that technological innovation is spreading across the UK.

Cambridge University Library.  Photo: Cambridge University Library
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The university town of Cambridge is among those home to at least two tech unicorns. Photo: Cambridge University Library

There are now eight cities – Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Oxford – that are home to two or more unicorns.

Some of these are seen as now challenging the dominance of major US tech ecosystems in specific disciplines: Cambridge was recently named the third most important science hub in the world behind San Francisco Bay and Boston in Massachusetts . Oxford was fifth on the list.

The University of Cambridge also recently topped the global rankings for producing the most successful tech founders, with more than 500 of its alumni having raised at least $10 million in funding.

The universities of Oxford, Bristol, Nottingham and London all feature in the world’s top 20 alongside top US institutions such as Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Amid a tight labor market, with more than three million people now working in UK tech, the sector is hiring more and more people at entry level. Job search engine Adzuna reports that in November there were more than 15,000 entry-level technician positions, up from 6,596 in November last year.

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This has led to the emergence of a number of so-called ‘edtech’ start-ups dedicated to equipping people with the skills, such as coding and cybersecurity, needed to build a successful career in technology. They understand Multiversethe UK’s first edtech unicorn, founded by Euan Blair, son of Sir Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister.

Some of them, like Code First Girls, are specifically aimed at increasing the number of women working in the technology sector.

Anna Brailsford, Chief Executive of Code First Girls, said: “From using AI to tackle health inequalities to designing and building space missions, every day incredible tech companies are launched and developed in the UK.

“Yet too few women have the opportunity to work for these impactful startups because they weren’t previously encouraged to consider careers in tech or learn key skills.

“We aim to train 26,000 women in the UK over the next five years and place them in technical roles so they can use their knowledge and expertise to improve this industry.”

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