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UK News UK tech firms attract record £13.5bn in funding

17:35  20 september  2021
17:35  20 september  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Technology companies in the UK raised more money in the first six months of this year than they did during the whole of 2020, new figures have shown.

Investors put $18billion (£13.5billion) into British-based tech startups from January to June, compared to just $8.7billion in Germany, $5.3billion in France, and £13billion throughout last year.

The new analysis from data firm Dealroom.co, the Digital Economy Council, and TechNation UK also found that more than half of investment from venture capital firms came in funding 'megarounds' exceeding $100million.

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Used-car platform Cinch attracted the highest funding mega-round of £1billion, Revolut brought in £577million in a Series C funding round, and satellite internet provider OneWeb also raising hundreds of millions.

More than 1,700 startups raised money during the period, with the fintech sector raising the most of any industry and seeing the highest number of new companies achieving unicorn status - startups worth at least $1billion.

Twenty new companies achieved such a categorisation during the first half of 2021, including secondhand clothes app Depop, insurer Zego and artificial intelligence firm Tractable.

By comparison, it took 24 years to create the first 20 unicorns, the report noted. In total, the UK has 105 unicorns and 151 'futurecorns' - companies valued at between $250million and $1billion that have the potential to become unicorns.

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Gerard Grech, founding chief executive of Tech Nation, said: 'The UK tech industry is on course for another record high in terms of investment in 2021.


Video: Fintech Startup Xendit Sees 'Massive' Opportunity to Grow, CEO Says (Bloomberg)

'The success of established companies like Wise, Darktrace and Depop show there is a clear pathway for UK tech companies to make an impact on a global scale.'

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In June, the country became the third in the world after China and the United States to have 100 unicorn companies. On a per-capita basis, though, Sweden and Israel have a much higher prevalence of unicorns.

Relative to their population, London-based tech firms also earned a disproportionate amount of venture capital investment - 60 per cent - and the capital is home to around two-thirds of futurecorns.

However, Oxford is also becoming an increasingly strong destination for inward investment due to its strong biotechnology sector, which includes companies like Oxford Nanopore, which makes DNA sequencing technology.

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The firm intends to float on the London Stock Exchange in October and has received £150million backing from Oracle founder Larry Ellison.

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In Scotland, startups raised £53.5million this year, including £35.9million for alternative protein company Enough and a seed round by the on-demand workspace platform Desana.io.

The figures come at the start of London Tech Week, and the UK Government hopes to use the data to showcase the country's position as Europe's tech centre.

Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook's Vice President for the EMEA region and member of the Digital Economy Council, said: 'The UK tech sector is fast maturing and the country now has leadership status alongside Silicon Valley and China.

'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.'

Meanwhile, new Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said: 'As Digital Secretary, I'm going to push our pro-tech agenda to even greater heights and make sure every corner of the UK benefits from the tech revolution.'

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