UK tech investment jumps 44%, despite Brexit uncertainty

The country has sprouted eight unicorns in the past year – more than any other European nation

Investment in the UK's tech sector outstripped both the US and China in 2019 ,with 44% growth year-on-year, according to research. 

Venture capital investment leapt to a record high of $13.2 billion (£11.7 billion) in 2019, according to figures from Tech Nation and Dealroom, which is an increase of $4.1 billion (£3.6 billion) compared to the previous year.  

Related Resource

Small & Medium Business Trends Report

Insights from 2,000+ business owners and leaders worldwide

Download now

The numbers paint a healthy picture of the UK's digital sector, which many thought would struggle with the uncertainty of Brexit but in the past 12 months secured 33% of all tech investment in Europe

2019 also saw eight UK tech companies became unicorns – companies valued at $1 billion or above – which is twice the number created in Germany and three times as many as France. What's more, the number of early-stage investments grew by 20% with $5.1 billion (£4.5 billion) going to UK startups. 

"As we head into a new decade, we want to keep up this momentum ensuring the tech sector flourishes right across the country, helping more entrepreneurs turn their ideas into business successes and strengthening the nation's digital skills," said Matt Warman, the UK's minister for Digital and Broadband. 

Russ Shaw, the founder of Tech London Advocates, welcomed the news by praising the UK's tech startups, but warned that securing an additional £3.1 billion in a year "defined by political turmoil" was not a clear indication of long-term national economic output.  "The tech start-ups and scale-ups in Britain stand at the forefront of innovation on the world stage and have again claimed the lion's share of VC investment heading into Europe from the US and increasingly Asia," Shaw told IT Pro "I will caution that there are challenges to come for UK tech. Boris Johnson will need to negotiate a favourable trade deal on services with the EU whilst the tech community at large campaigns for free movement of labour to help keep the talent pipeline flowing." 

Featured Resources

Next-generation time series: Forecasting for the real world, not the ideal world

Solve time series problems with AI

Free download

The future of productivity

Driving your business forward with Microsoft Office 365

Free download

How to plan for endpoint security against ever-evolving cyber threats

Safeguard your devices, data, and reputation

Free download

A quantitative comparison of UPS monitoring and servicing approaches across edge environments

Effective UPS fleet management

Free download

Recommended

UK devising EU-alternative mechanism for global data sharing
data protection

UK devising EU-alternative mechanism for global data sharing

5 May 2021
The IT Pro Podcast: Navigating Brexit data transfers
data protection

The IT Pro Podcast: Navigating Brexit data transfers

5 Feb 2021
Border force reliant on 26-year-old tech due to digital upgrade delay
digital transformation

Border force reliant on 26-year-old tech due to digital upgrade delay

9 Dec 2020
UK data laws after Brexit: Your questions answered
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

UK data laws after Brexit: Your questions answered

30 Oct 2020

Most Popular

UK spy agencies supercharge espionage efforts with AWS data deal
cloud computing

UK spy agencies supercharge espionage efforts with AWS data deal

26 Oct 2021
Cryptocurrency: Should you invest?
cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency: Should you invest?

27 Oct 2021
Why the financial industry is turning to the cloud
Sponsored

Why the financial industry is turning to the cloud

25 Oct 2021