The recently launched Tech Nation Report 2021 sets out the huge progress taking place in the UK tech sector at this crucial time in our history. Among the many highlights in the report, three shine especially brightly.
First, in 2020, amid a global pandemic, tech venture capital investment in the UK hit a record high of $15 billion. This positions Britain third in the world behind the US and China – and this year the gap between the UK and those two global powers is closing compared to previous years. Furthermore, both the US and China are investing more in UK tech companies than ever before.
Secondly, 2020 was a record year for investment in deep tech jumping by 17 per cent to just under $4 billion. From blockchain to biotech, this AI-driven sector is the bedrock upon which much of our future will be built.
Thirdly, the UK has experienced a surge in investment in impact tech. These are companies and products that have a positive impact on our environment and society as a whole. Our figures have more than doubled since 2018 to $2.6 billion, which once again puts the UK third in the world behind the US and China.
The UK’s tech success is the result of foresight, drive and dynamism. The strong and growing tech ecosystem nurtured over the years is delivering stellar results.
2021 provides the UK with a unique opportunity to rebuild with tech at the very heart of our economy. This is the moment for the private and public sector to work together to support founders from all four corners of the country to do extraordinary things in extraordinary times.
- UK tech VC investment is third in the world, hitting a record high of $15bn in 2020 in the face of challenging conditions
- UK deep tech investment rose by 17% in 2020, the highest rate of growth globally
- The UK is more attractive to international investors than ever; 63% of investment into UK tech came from overseas in 2020, up from 50% in 2016
- The UK is third in the world for investment into impact tech, which has increased 160% since 2018 while in the US it rose by 15% over the same period
- London is fourth for tech VC investment globally behind San Francisco, Beijing and New York at $10.6bn
- The UK tech startup and scaleup ecosystem is valued at $585bn – 120% more than in 2017, and more than double the next most valuable ecosystem, Germany, at $291bn
- Investment in seed stage companies is decreasing as a proportion of overall tech VC investment (14% to 6% over 5 years), and series B and C investment is rising in the UK
- Tech is becoming more important for the UK economy. The rate of tech GVA contribution to the UK economy has grown on average by 7% per year since 2016
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