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UK tech ecosystem reaches $1tn valuation

UK tech  Ameca, a humanoid robot by Engineered Arts, interacts with attendees at the entrance to the UK Pavilion during CES 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 6, 2022. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
The UK tech ecosystem is home to 13 decacorns — comapnies worth at least $10bn. Photo: Steve Marcus/Reuters

The UK's technology ecosystem has surpassed $1tn (£764bn) in valuation, becoming the third in the world to reach this landmark.

The US and China are the only other countries to hit the trillion dollar figure, according to data by Dealroom analysed for the UK's Digital Economy Council.

The UK’s digital economy is now worth more than double that of Germany’s and is almost five times larger than France and Sweden.

Read more: London tech IPOs raise record £6.6bn in 2021

In 2018, the UK's tech ecosystem was valued at $446bn and was steadily growing. In 2020 it surged 42% to $942bn. This has helped to catapult the valuations of many companies from unicorns to decacorns — companies worth $10bn or more.

The pandemic has triggered a wave of tech adoption, from digital health apps, to education platforms, video conferencing and e-commerce.

The UK is now home to 13 decacorns, of which 10 have gone on to IPO, and are the most highly valued tech companies in the country. They include Markit, WorldPay, Checkout.com, Revolut, ARM, FNZ, Wise (WISE.L), Rapyd, Ocado (OCDO.L), Admiral, eToro and Deliveroo (ROO.L).

Digital minister Chris Philp said: “The UK tech industry has gone from strength to strength in the past few years and all this hard work and dedication is paying off now that it's become the third ecosystem in the world to reach $1tn in value.

“It’s brilliant to see how every tech company in the UK, from early-stage startup to global leading decacorn, has a part to play in lifting up the ecosystem and making it thrive.”

In the first three months of 2022, UK tech companies have raised over £6bn, with more than half raised by fintech companies such as FNZ, Checkout.com and GoCardless.

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Gerard Grech, chief executive of Tech Nation, a platform for tech companies, said: “This is a watershed moment for UK tech. The industry has gone through difficult global challenges and come out stronger than ever. Ten years ago people said there weren’t enough startups in the UK. Five years ago people said there weren’t enough scale-ups.

“Every day, innovative and experimental tech companies are being launched across the UK that will grow into the next generation of unicorns and decacorns.”

The sector is also supporting Ukraine, with London-based Blue Lake VC, run by two Ukrainian founders, holding events to help business founders from Ukraine to raise capital by facilitating introductions to other UK-based investors, in a bid to help rebuild the country’s tech sector.

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