Good year for UK tech, says Tech Nation’s 2021 report

Tech Nation’s 2021 report reveals that Britain’s tech sector is showing strong growth despite COVID and Brexit.

Investment in deep tech like AI, quantum computing and blockchain is up, and so is the UK’s relative attractiveness to investors. In fact, only the US and China have raised more venture capital investment this year, making the UK the world’s third tech superpower.

There’s now an emerging tech trend for almost every sector, with healthtech, edtech, CreatTech, and climate and agricultural tech on the rise, and FoodTech, Mobility Tech, TravelTech, and InsurTech tipped for future growth.

That means the job market is booming, with the number of unique tech jobs advertised in 2020 259% ahead of the average for our European neighbours.

And while many British industries have gone digital thanks to the pandemic, so has the British public, with 66% reporting that the way they use tech has changed, particularly around communication and socialising, remote work and learning, and entertainment.

The report in numbers

  • Venture capital (VC) investment in the UK tech sector hit a record high of £15 billion in 2020, putting the UK in third place behind the US and China.
  • Deep tech investment rose by 17%, the highest growth rate in the world.
  • Overseas investment is up from 50% in 2016 to 63% in 2020.
  • Since 2016, impact tech investment has grown by 160% in the UK—and just 15% in the US.
  • London is the world’s fourth best city for VC investment in tech, behind San Francisco, Beijing, and New York.
  • The UK’s start-up and scale-up ecosystem is the most valuable in the world at over £585 billion, more than twice that of its nearest rival, Germany.
  • The tech sector’s GVA contribution to the UK economy has been growing at around 7% per year since 2016.

Despite tremendous challenges, the report shows that the British tech sector has played a key role in helping the nation adapt to the pandemic and looks set to play a key role in our recovery.

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