While there has been much concern about the city’s competitive position this year – with Amsterdam overtaking London as Europe’s largest center for stock trading and the value of the French stock market overtaking that of the UK – new data suggests that the UK’s tech sector continues to enjoy a significant lead over its European peers. .
Figures compiled by Dealroom, the data and intelligence platform for the Digital Economy Council, show that fast-growing British tech companies have raised £24bn this year – more than their counterparts in France and Germany combined.
This brings the total raised by UK tech companies over the past five years to £97 billion.
The numbers are all the more surprising because, for much of the year, capital has become more difficult to come by as interest rates rise and investors around the world become more skeptical of the technology sector.
Dealroom figures show that the UK’s tech industry is now worth $1 trillion – making it only the third country, after the US and China, to achieve the feat and confirm it is Europe’s leading tech ecosystem.
Germany’s technology sector is now worth $467.2 billion while France’s sector is worth $307.5 billion.
Not only does the UK’s tech sector attract more venture capital than its European counterparts, according to the figures, it also creates more value for investors.
The figures show that, since the beginning of the century, the UK has created 144 “unicorn companies” – start-ups that have gone on to achieve a valuation of more than $1 billion – and 237 so-called “futureruns”, companies valued north of $250 million that are on the way. Right to achieve unicorn status.
That’s up from 116 unicorns and 204 futurehorns This time last year.
Paul Sculley, Minister for Digital, said: “Technology in the UK has remained resilient in the face of global challenges and we ended the year as one of the world’s leading destinations for digital businesses.
“This is good news and reflects our pro-innovation approach to technology regulation, continued support for start-ups and ambition to enhance people’s digital skills.”
The figures underscore the UK’s growing attractiveness to international venture capital firms.
This year has seen some of the largest US technology investors, including General Catalyst, Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed – all of which opened offices in the UK last year – boost 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 the likes of TikTok owner ByteDance and Earlybird, the Berlin-based venture capital firm.
The UK-based funds raised £9.2bn this year – ahead of the £9bn it raised in 2021 – to support fast-growing companies and start-ups.
Chris Bischoff, Managing Director, General Catalyst, said: “We have built a presence in London because we believe the UK is a world class ecosystem. Our experience over the past 18 months has enhanced our appreciation of this wonderful ecosystem, enabling us to find and support companies in their stages early adopters that accelerate change in their industries.
“And just as importantly, our values of responsible innovation and radical collaboration are perfectly aligned with the UK’s approach to innovation.”
Dealroom figures also indicate that technological innovation is spreading across the UK.
There are now eight cities – Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Oxford – that are home to two or more unicorns.
Some are seen as challenging the dominance of the US’s leading tech ecosystems in specific disciplines: Cambridge was recently named the world’s third most important science center behind only the San Francisco Bay Area and Boston, Massachusetts. Oxford is ranked fifth on the list.
The University of Cambridge also recently topped global rankings for producing the most successful tech founders, with more than 500 of its alumni raising at least $10 million in funding.
Oxford, Bristol, Nottingham and London Universities feature in the top 20 globally alongside leading US institutions such as Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Amid a tight job market, with more than three million people now employed in technology in the UK, the sector is increasingly taking in entry-level people. Job search engine Adzuna reported that in November, there were more than 15,000 entry-level tech jobs — up from 6,596 in November last year.
This has spawned a number of so-called “edtech” startups that are dedicated to providing people with the skills, such as coding and cybersecurity, needed to build a successful career in technology. they include multiversethe first educational technology unicorn in the United Kingdom, which was founded by Ewan Blair, son of Sir Tony Blair, former Prime Minister.
Some of these programs, like Code First Girls, specifically aim to increase the number of women working in the technology sector.
Anna Brailsford, chief executive of Code First Girls, said: “From using AI to tackle inequalities in healthcare to designing and building space missions, tech companies are being launched and expanded every day in the UK.
“However, very few women have the opportunity to work in these impactful startups because previously they were not encouraged to consider a career in technology or learn basic skills.
“We aim to train 26,000 women in the UK over the next five years and place them in technical positions so they can use their knowledge and experience to change the industry for the better.”
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