UK’s digital tech sector has created one tech ‘unicorn’ a month for last year

UK’s digital tech sector has created one tech ‘unicorn’ a month for last year

A year on from when we first reported with Dealroom on the UK’s tech unicorns for the Government’s Digital Economy Council, it can be revealed that the UK has created 13 new unicorns – privately-owned tech companies valued at over $1bn – in the last year, ranking the UK third behind only the US and China in creating fast-growing global tech companies.

UK is third in the world for producing successful tech companies

  • The UK is behind only the US and China for total number of unicorns created
  • London ranks second to the Bay Area for the number of fintech unicorns, at 18
  • UK tech has created more $1bn companies than any other European country and Israel
  • Since last year’s London Tech Week, 13 new unicorns have been created bringing the total number of UK unicorns to 72

Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said:  “As entrepreneurs and investors arrive in the capital for London Tech Week, we must celebrate the achievements of the UK’s booming tech industry which is attracting record levels of investment and employing millions of people up and down the country.

“These brilliant figures show we are currently punching high in the global pecking order and, thanks to our strong fundamentals of skills and talent, business environment and world-leading research, the future is extremely bright.

“The tech sector is playing a crucial role in helping us deliver an economy that works for everyone through a modern Industrial Strategy for jobs and growth.”

View the full report deck on SlideShare >

In the past year, 13 UK companies have reached valuations of more than $1bn – the equivalent to creating a tech unicorn every month – and this takes the total number of UK billion-dollar firms to a staggering 72. More than a third of Europe’s fastest-growing tech companies are now based in Britain and only the US and China – with vastly bigger populations and resources – have done better than the UK. London remains the acknowledged centre of Europe’s tech sector, producing 1 in 5 (21 per cent) of the continent’s fast-growing unicorns. The capital has produced 45 unicorns worth $148bn.

Eileen Burbidge, chair of Tech Nation and partner Passion Capital: “There’s never been a better time to be working in the UK digital tech sector.  We are really punching above our weight, as demonstrated by the fact that a third of Europe’s unicorns have been produced here and 30 per cent of future unicorns are also based in the UK. I am delighted to see that in addition to tech overall, in quite a few sub-sectors such as fintech we are already global leaders with more fast-growing unicorns than cities like New York, Shanghai and Beijing. I’m confident that we will be producing many more world-class fintech companies, uniting our country’s expertise in financial services and deep tech, along with world-leading digital tech companies across all categories.”

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