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UK tech sector produces unicorn firm ‘each month’ amid record investment

It has been revealed that the UK produced 13 firms valued at more than 1 billion US dollars over the past year.

The UK tech sector has produced one unicorn firm each month over the past year, according to new figures released ahead of London Tech Week.

The UK has created more unicorn tech companies, firms valued at more than 1 billion US dollars, than any other country except for the US and China, according to new data compiled by Tech Nation and Dealroom.

Ahead of this year’s London Tech Week, which starts today, it has been revealed that the UK produced 13 firms valued at more than 1 billion US dollars (£784 million) over the past year, taking its overall total to 72.

More than a third of Europe’s fastest-growing tech companies are now based in Britain, following 35 billion US dollars (£27 billion of investment in the British tech sector between 2013 and 2018.


London leads digital growth across the continent, with 45 unicorns based in the city, including 18 fintech firms, such as Monzo, Revolut and OakNorth.

The new figures also reveal that the UK has six cities outside of the capital which are home to at least two tech unicorns – Cambridge, Oxford, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol and Edinburgh.

Since the start of 2019, a number of UK firms have confirmed their unicorn status with major funding rounds, including Starling Bank, Deliveroo and Ovo Energy.

Digital secretary Jeremy Wright said: “As entrepreneurs and investors arrive in the capital for London Tech Week, we must celebrate the achievements of the UK’s booming tech industry which is attracting record levels of investment and employing millions of people up and down the country.

“These brilliant figures show we are currently punching high in the global pecking order and, thanks to our strong fundamentals of skills and talent, business environment and world-leading research, the future is extremely bright.

“The tech sector is playing a crucial role in helping us deliver an economy that works for everyone through a modern industrial strategy for jobs and growth.”

Gerard Grech, chief executive officer of Tech Nation, said: “These figures show the extent to which the UK digital tech sector is rivalling those in the US and China, after an incredibly strong year of investment backing for fast-growing UK companies.

“The UK’s digital tech sector continues to go from strength to strength with unicorns now being produced right across the country.”