UK’s tech industry leads the way for billion-dollar businesses

The UK produced six billion-dollar tech businesses in the past year, more than anywhere else in Europe.
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The UK is leading the way in producing tech titans, with the highest number of billion-dollar companies in Europe since 2000.

A new report from GP Bullhound shows that, in the past year, the UK has added six billion-dollar tech companies worth $12.4 billion to the 26 it already has. These company contributed $64 billion to Europe’s $240 billion ecosystem of tech companies.

“Despite ongoing concerns around Brexit, it appears that the UK is still home to the highest concentration of ambitious entrepreneurs in Europe with successful business models that span a wide range of tech sectors,” said GP Bullhound.

“And with 102 tech start-ups fast approaching a billion-dollar valuation, it looks like the prospect for Brexit Britain is strong.”

While this is great news for the UK tech sector, Simon Wax, Partner at Buzzacott, has cautioned that although this research is positive, not every company will be a tech titan, and scale-ups and startups are a huge part of the tech sector.

“It’s great to see that the UK is leading the way in Europe, with six billion dollar tech businesses created in the past year. With investment at an all-time high, the UK should certainly feel proud of its position in the market,” said Wax.

“However, not all tech companies will be a titan, and it’s important for businesses not to be discouraged by this. Products and services may be fantastic, but niche in the solution they offer - and that’s ok.

“Success is not defined by becoming a multi-billion pound company. The UK is a great place for large companies, but the start-up and scale-up scene is thriving too, and you don’t have to look far to see this. It was recently reported that the UK has been leading the start-up scene for five years.”

Wax continued: “Scale-ups need to focus their efforts on long-term success not being the biggest money maker. The risk is companies may lose sight of what they originally set out to do, a trap in which young companies can easily fall into, when not careful. Leaders must take a methodical and responsible approach to fundraising, bring in investment which matches their aims, rather than taking the first offer of funds.

“There are many options out there such as UK R&D funding, through sources such as the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund or Innovate UK. Scaling tech companies must address and identify their sweet spot in the market, and develop a business plan focused on which best suits their model.”

He concluded: “That way, scaling businesses can secure their success in the market, and grow in a way that is right for their business.”

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