UK tech sector “on course” for biggest ever year in investment

UK technology firms raised a record-breaking £13.5 billion in the first six months of 2021, the latest figures have revealed.

The Digital Economy Council and Tech Nation, who published the figures, said the UK is “on course” for the biggest year in tech investment ever.

According to the report, technology start-ups, scale-ups and established enterprises raised a combined £13.5 billion in venture capital investment in the first half of 2021 – three times what was raised in the first six months of 2020.

This includes several “mega rounds” – investment valued at £72m ($100m) or more – with Neobank, Revolut, Synk, Cinch, and Hopin raising billions of pounds alone.

The analysis also shows that 20 new tech “unicorns” – defined as businesses valued at more than $1 billion (approximately £0.73 billion) – have been created in 2021.

This pushes the total number of UK unicorns to more than 100 and the total number of “futurecorns” – defined as high-growth firms with the potential to become unicorns – to 153.

The UK is also now home to 12 “decacorns” – firms valued at over $10 billion (approximately £7.3 billion).

Commenting on the figures, Tech Nation’s Head of Insights George Windsor said “we are in the midst of the fastest and most astonishingly high growth we’ve ever seen in the UK tech ecosystem”.

“So much so that when it comes to the size of VC investment rounds, we are going to have to re-evaluate what we think of as being significant,” he said.

Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook vice president for Europe, Middle East and Asia, and member of the Digital Economy Council, also commented on the rapid growth of the sector.

“The UK tech sector is fast maturing and the country now has leadership status alongside Silicon Valley and China,” she said.

“This is an exciting time to be part of this industry and we should be encouraging talented young people to understand that the best careers of the future can be found in those companies that are creating innovative products and services that help businesses and individuals.”

Click here to access the report.

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