This year’s Tech Nation Report is hot off the press and gives a wealth of insight into the strength, breadth and depth of digital activity in the UK. For the third year in a row, the research provides clear evidence of why UK.com provides an outstanding ecosystem where technology businesses benefit from investment, succeed in a competitive international arena and nurture a collaborative community of like-minded innovators and entrepreneurs.
Here are the headlines:
The UK cements its position as a global technology leader.
Digital technology companies in our capital are the most connected in Europe, second only to Silicon Valley for international connections.
25% of entrepreneurs across the world say they have a significant relationship with two or more entrepreneurs in London. Topped only by Silicon Valley with 33%.
When ranked across 5 key dimensions – performance, funding, market reach, talent and start-up experience - London is the world’s 3rd highest ranking tech location, behind Silicon Valley and NYC.
The UK is among the top three countries for total capital invested in digital tech companies from September 2016 to August 2017 – behind only US and China. But only the US has a higher number of deals – suggesting that the UK does more smaller deals than China. The report suggests this may indicate:
Total investment and number of deals in digital tech companies have risen significantly since 2012. £984million was invested over 870 deals in 2012, to £3.3Bn in 2016 over 2645 deals – meaning deal count and investment has more than tripled over the four year period.
The report shows that high growth digital firms at venture stage are clustered in locations with concentrated equity investment institutions – such as London and Manchester. Seed stage organisations are more evenly distributed, suggesting these companies may be located to close the founder, rather than the investor.
There is a digital productivity power path from London to the mouth of the River Severn, running along the M4 corridor and spreading to Southampton and Portsmouth.
Top challenges faced by tech companies are 1) access to talent 2) access to funding 3) bad transport links.
Tech community meetup data reveals 3,527 UK tech groups with over 1.6 million members at 283 locations – indicating a vibrant, interactive tech community, encouraging collaboration in pursuit of innovation – with London being a clear hub.
Blockchain and AI are taking centre stage in the UK tech conversation, with IoT and augmented reality hot on their heels.
Summarising the take-aways for ambitious tech entrepreneurs
The report closes with top tips for savvy tech entrepreneurs as follows:
Here at Breed Reply we think this is great news. Firstly, because it suggests that the UK will continue to be a hotbed for the kind of technology innovation that is set to see us lead the world in IoT. But also - because a proliferation of talented start-ups and early-stage businesses flourishing in the UK also makes our location a hub for smart investment. With these two dynamics working in tandem, the UK tech economy is set to grow from strength to strength.
We are always happy to hear from dynamic and innovative early-stage tech companies looking for funding support [Link contact us]. Breed Reply invests specifically in Internet of Things businesses. To keep up to date with our tech funding opportunities, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
[For the full report, visit Tech Nation]