IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

UK's AI startup scene has grown 600% over past decade

The country's £32.76 billion AI sector brought in £2.41 billion worth of investment in 2020 alone, according to Tech Nation

The UK's AI startup ecosystem has grown 600% over the last ten years, jumping from just 180 firms to 1,300 by the start of 2021.

These AI companies are also growing across all regions of the UK, according to figures released by Tech Nation, with 50% of the country's top 10 AI firms outside of London.

The collective valuation of the sector is around $46.3 billion (£32.76bn), according to Tech Nation, with economic growth across the UK in areas such as fintech, cyber security, and healthtech. What's more, UK AI startups also employ almost 30,000 people and attracted $3.4 billion (£2.41bn) worth of investment last year.

The data has been released ahead of an AI summit on Wednesday, held in collaboration with the Office for AI and the AI Council. Key government and AI industry stakeholders will be in attendance to discuss how the UK is levelling up the AI ecosystem as the government develops its National AI Strategy and releases its 2021 AI Roadmap.

"The UK is a central hub for transformative AI technologies, and the staggering growth we are seeing in the sector is encouraging and exciting," said Gerard Grech, the chief executive of Tech Nation.

Related Resource

Seven steps to successful digital innovation and transformation

What to invest in and what to avoid when pursuing digital transformation

Seven steps to successful digital transformation - whitepaper from IBMWatch now

"Last year alone, UK AI saw a 17% increase in VC investment, more than any other country. At this pivotal time, we must work to support and accelerate these businesses as they continue to shape our future; from transforming financial processes to tackling climate change and revolutionising modern healthcare."

Some of the country's most prominent AI firms include Darktrace, Graphcore, Signal AI, Benevolent AI, Tessian, and Tractable. While some of these are based in London, the UK can also point to growing AI hubs in Cambridge, Bristol, and Edinburgh.

For example, Bristol-based Graphcore is building next-generation AI chips, while Cambridge-based Darktrace launched a successful IPO earlier in the year.

Featured Resources

Join the 90% of enterprises accelerating to the cloud

Business transformation through digital modernisation

Free Download

Delivering on demand: Momentum builds toward flexible IT

A modern digital workplace strategy

Free download

Modernise the workforce experience

Actionable insights and an optimised experience for both IT and end users

Free Download

The digital workplace roadmap

A leader's guide to strategy and success

Free Download

Most Popular

Universities are fighting a cyber security war on multiple fronts
cyber security

Universities are fighting a cyber security war on multiple fronts

4 Jul 2022
Hackers claim to steal personal data of over a billion people in China
data breaches

Hackers claim to steal personal data of over a billion people in China

4 Jul 2022
Latest LockBit ransomware strain 'strikingly similar' to BlackMatter

Latest LockBit ransomware strain 'strikingly similar' to BlackMatter

4 Jul 2022