Abingdon attracted the third largest amount of investment in scaleup tech business in the UK between 2015 – 2018, according to the UK Tech on the Global Stage Tech Nation Report 2019.
The Tech Nation Report has been the UK’s State of the Nation report on tech since 2015. In preparation for a post-Brexit world, the report this year focuses on UK tech on the global stage.
The report shows that over the last 12 years, the South East accounts for 30% of UK tech investment.
London leads tech investment in the UK with £9 billion from 2015-2018, with other UK cities gaining ground. Second is Cambridge at £583 million, with Abingdon closely following in third place.
UK cities such as Newcastle, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Oxford, and Sheffield are within the top 20 invested tech cities.
According to the report, total venture capital investment in UK tech in 2018 topped £6bn, more than any other European country.
Additionally, investment for UK scaleup digital tech firms grew 61% between 2017 and 2018.
Globally, high-growth digital tech firms raised over £245 billion over the last four years (2015-2018). 5.2% of the global total was raised by firms in the UK.
The huge rise in high-growth digital tech firms born over the last decade may indicate one of a number of trends:
- The evolution of technologies and markets mean that digital tech companies are becoming increasingly viable investment propositions.
- Investors are becoming more aware of new and emerging companies in tech
- Investors target early-stage companies in order to leverage higher levels of equity
- Firms that were incorporated in the last 10 years are more inclined to actively seek institutional investment than their predecessors, who may be funding by alternative means.
- Low global interest rates since the 2008 financial crisis have led to an abundance to capital searching higher returns. Tech companies have therefore been able to stay private, longer, while raising funds from private investors.
Chair of Tech Nation, Eileen Burbidge, stated:
‘[The report] shows that the UK is a critical hub in the global tech ecosystem and a strong economic performer… The UK is a shining light, and a nation punching well above its weight in the world, so we need to keep these connections close to mind on the scaling journey of our ambitious, high growth companies… There is more to do to curate learning opportunities and create fertile ground for even greater success in the future.’
The report contains a list of recommendations on how we can make the UK the easiest place for global investors and companies:
- Dive into global networks – there are opportunities for entrepreneurs, investors and government officials to become embedded in international networks
Champion future UK tech leaders – we must not fail to recognise the teams of world-leading companies, and the roles they play in building the solutions that are changing the way we live, work and engage with each other