New figures show
As London Tech Week begins, new figures prepared by Dealroom and Tech Nation for the Government’s Digital Economy Council illustrate the extent to which the UK is outpacing other European countries such as Germany and France.
The UK’s unicorns (private companies valued at $1bn) are Benevolent AI, Blippar, Darktrace, Deliveroo, Farfetch, Funding Circle, Immunocore, Improbable, The Hut Group, TransferWise,
Revolut, OakNorth Bank and Oxford Nanopore. The total value of these companies is estimated at present at $23bn, out of a combined value for all 34 European companies of $62bn. The UK’s current unicorns are now worth more than the $17bn value of France and Germany’s unicorns combined. Aside from London, the UK counts three additional cities with at least one unicorn – Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge – and Abingdon, a town in Oxfordshire. The UK has now produced 25 $1bn+ exits since 2010, which is as many unicorns as Israel, Sweden and Germany combined. Over a third of the European companies formed since 1990, that have gone on to be billion pound businesses, are from the UK. In the last few years, several of these companies have come to the stock market, including Zoopla, Blue Prism Just Eat and Purplebricks.
The UK is where Europe comes for startup funding, with seven of Europe’s top 10 venture capital investors based here. The UK provided 22% of all venture capital invested in Europe in 2017. Only the US is a bigger investor in Europe, providing 26% of funds, and the UK remains significantly ahead of Asia, which provides 13% of the VC funds invested in Europe. Within Europe, UK investors are those which are most actively investing outside their own country. In most European countries (including France, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Spain) about 20 to 25% of foreign investment comes from UK-based investors. During 2017, there were 229 non-domestic funding rounds led by UK-based investors. In contrast, German investors made 140 investments in companies outside their own country, while France had 86 non-domestic funding rounds during 2017.