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Tech Nation Report reveals UK tech boomed in 2020

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by Startacus Admin


The annual Tech Nation Report has been launched and highlights the resilience and innovation of the UK's tech sector despite the challenges caused by the pandemic and the EU Exit

tech-nation-logo-vectorIt’s that time of year again - Tech Nation, the leading scaleup accelerator, has released its annual Tech Nation Report, the ultimate state-of-the-nation report on the UK tech sector.

After what was an extraordinary 2020, the report reveals how the sector has changed, its top performers, and the challenges and opportunities the UK now faces.  

Gerard Grech, founding chief executive, Tech Nation, comments: “This year has highlighted the UK tech sector’s enormous resilience and world-beating innovative spirit. In the face of a major global crisis, it has not only survived; in many areas, it has boomed. From EdTech to HealthTech, tech scaleups are at the centre of rebuilding the British economy and setting new standards worldwide. 

These are truly exciting times for UK tech. The successes of the past decade have shown what the UK is capable of when policy foresight, investment and a diverse and ambitious pool of talent come together. By continuing to set our sights high, the next decade promises to be the most innovative yet."

unnamed (1)In 2020, the UK tech scaleup ecosystem continued its strong growth. Valued at $585bn, startups and scaleups more than doubled (120%) their collective value since 2017. 

The report highlighted 10 superstar scaleups, which between them secured 20% of total UK tech VC investment, at $3.5bn including Revolut, Ki and Karma Kitchen. 

Octopus Energy, Arrival, Cazoo, Gymshark, infobip, Gousto and Hopin were the seven unicorns to make it into the unicorn class of 2020, bringing the UK’s total unicorn count in 2020 to 80 and an additional 6 unicorns have already been created so far in 2021.

Despite uncertainty caused by the pandemic, UK Tech IPOs gained strong momentum in 2020, signalling the UK’s attractiveness for tech companies and the continued health of the UK late-stage tech ecosystem. Eight of the UK’s tech companies IPO’d on the LSE in 2020, raising a total of £3.1bn. 

unnamed (1).pngThere was also a record level of VC investment in 2020 into UK tech companies, despite the backdrop of the global pandemic. The UK hubs driving investment were London, Oxford, Bristol, Cambridge and Edinburgh. 

In terms of tech sectors to watch, data reveals a surprising UK sector champion - transport tech - which had a 160% boom in VC investment in 2020. VC investment in deeptech also increased as did investment into impact startups.

With UK tech going from strength to strength, it’s becoming increasingly fundamental to UK economic growth although it does still face significant challenges in an increasingly competitive global landscape. 

Check out the full report for more detailed analysis of the state of the nation and what lies ahead!


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Published on: 16th March 2021

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