UK creating $1bn tech ‘unicorn’ every week

The UK is creating a “unicorn” technology business – with a valuation over $1 billion – every week according to statistics from the Digital Economy Council (DEC) and Tech Nation.

UK technology companies received £13.5 billion of venture capital (VC) funding in the first six months of 2021, almost three times more than the same period last year according to the statistics, topping the overall figure for 2020.

During that period, 20 ‘unicorn’ companies were created including InsurTech firms Tractable and Zego and peer-to-peer shopping app Depop.

Tech Nation predicted that 2021 is set to be the biggest year ever for UK tech investment based on these results.

In addition, the research found UK tech now has 105 unicorns, more than France and Germany combined.

The research attributed the strong results to a growth in “mega” fundraising rounds worth over £72 million, including rounds by neobank Revolut, car sales platform Cinch, cybersecurity platform Snyk, and online events company Hopin.

FinTech is leading the way in terms of funding; 11 FinTech firms raised £4.2 billion in total according to the statistics, the most of any subsector.

HealthTech attracted the second largest amount of overall funding, raising £2.7 billion.

The enterprise software and transportation subsectors took the third and fourth spots, raising £1.3 billion and £1.1 billion, respectively.

“Record levels of investment and unicorns show that tech companies are driving the economic recovery in cities across the country and consolidating the UK’s position as the world’s third global tech ecosystem – alongside the US and China,” said Russ Shaw CBE, founder of Tech London Advocates and Global Tech Advocates. “This is no longer a story just about London, or just about fintech – UK tech has proven it is capable of producing world-class tech companies in AI, BioTech and cyber nationwide.”

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