Tech Nation has recently published its CreaTech report, highlighting the growing attractiveness of this sector.

Creative technology (CreaTech) is used to describe new tech that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of creative services. CreaTech is utilised to support both companies and consumers better manage their operations and processes by applying specialised software and algorithms that are used on computers, smartphones, consoles and other Internet of Things devices.

Sectors that fall within this analysis include Design, Crafts, Music, Museums, Fashion, Film/ TV/ Radio, Music and Entertainment, esports, Marketing Tech, Architecture, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Adtech, Gaming and Media.

Key statistics from the report

  • CreaTech companies in the UK raised nearly £1bn in VC investment in 2020, a 22% increase from 2019
  • The UK is third in the world for CreaTech VC investment, behind just the US and China
  • CreaTech investment constituted over 9% of total tech sector investment in 2020, compared to 6% in the US and China
  • CreaTech companies raised more than Energy tech in 2020, with just under £1bn, compared to Energy tech’s £846mn
  • CreaTech VC investment represented approximately 25% of that invested in Fintech in 2020
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning based companies received the highest proportion of CreaTech investment in 2020 with £478mn raised

UK overview

Despite tough economic conditions for creative enterprise, CreaTech companies raised a record £981.8mn in 2020.

There were several notable deals within CreaTech including Moonbug, a digital entertainment platform raised £95mn pushing their total investment to £209m illustrating the resilience of this area of activity.

Since 2017 CreaTech companies have seen steady growth in investment which started to show real promise in 2017 with £499mn raised, increasing by 50% in 2018 to £759mn and reaching £981.8mn in 2020.

These CreaTech deals were across several areas of activity including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), Technology, Media and Telecom and Mobility Tech. A company may be in more than one area of activity – definitions do not separate companies but rather companies can be intertwined and be a part of multiple spaces.

(Source: Tech Nation, Pitchbook, 2021)

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning companies received the highest proportion of CreaTech investment in 2020 with £478mn

This highlights the importance of deep tech as a prominent driver of innovation within the CreaTech space. This huge influx of investment went to companies such as Edited which raised £22mn for a platform which AI to develop real time analytics for retailer decision making. Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) companies raised £440mn whilst Mobility Tech companies raised £285mn.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual (VR) companies combined to raise over £130mn showcasing growth in reality platforms.

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