UK doubles number of tech 'decacorns' in six months

Seven businesses have passed the $10 billion valuation threshold this year, including Revolut, Wise and Ocado

The UK has more than doubled the number of its tech decacorns – businesses worth over $10 billion – in the last six months.

That's according to Tech Nation, which announced that the country now has twelve decacorns, up from five in 2020, with seven businesses passing the prestigious threshold since the start of the year: Revolut, Wise, Arrival, eToro, Checkout.com, Farfetch, and Ocado.

Wise reached a valuation of $11 billion following its successful London Stock Exchange debut earlier this month. The fintech firm is also one of the six new decacorns whose founders were born outside of the UK, with Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus hailing from rising EU tech hub Estonia.

The recent influx of high-value businesses makes the UK the first in Europe and the third in the world for the number of decacorns, yet it remains far behind its competitors. Global leader US has 157 tech companies valued at more than $10 billion, while runner-up China has 38.

According to Tech Nation chief executive Gerard Grech, in order tocompete with the US and China, we must ensure that companies from every region of the UK are equipped with the tools and knowledge they need to become the tech leaders of the future”. 

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“At Tech Nation, we’re on a mission to accelerate the UK’s leading tech companies; providing them with the guidance, support and opportunities they need to expand internationally, scale exponentially and remain competitive for decades to come. Not only is this key to building a world-class tech sector, but it will boost economic prosperity and provide the jobs needed for the future,” he added.

Commenting on the findings, Tech Nation’s head of Insights, Dr. George Windsor, said that ”the rapid growth of the UK’s highest-value tech companies was accelerated by the pandemic, as consumers began to rely increasingly on tech for food deliveries, healthcare and solutions to societal challenges”.

“The growth of these high-value UK tech companies was also expedited by changing national and global priorities, such as the UK’s push towards reducing carbon emissions and becoming net zero by 2050, combined with the growing popularity of fintech, DeFi and cryptocurrencies. The UK is also a powerful tech incubator due to its commitment to helping startups scale and thrive,” he added.

Last month, the UK became the first country in Europe to reach 100 tech unicorns – firms valued at $1 billion or more.

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