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British tech startup success: 2021 was record year for UK technology investment

21 December

2 mins

We are delighted with the news that UK technology investment has hit a record £29.4 billion this year – more than double last year’s numbers (just £11.5bn in 2020) and almost four times as much as 2016.

This is also significantly more than Germany (£13.5bn) or France (£8.6bn), representing more than a third of all investment in Europe.

With 29 companies reaching ‘unicorn’ status – i.e. worth more than US$1bn or £750m – that’s roughly one unicorn a fortnight (more than any other year previously), and represents approximately 25% of all UK unicorns (115). Many of this year’s unicorns are from the fin-tech sector, including Zepz (previously WorldRemit) and Marshmallow, the UK’s first black-owned unicorns. Health tech, AI, data solutions, and food and drink are also well represented.

These new unicorns join the likes of Just Eat, Zoopla and BenevolentAI (some of the UK’s first unicorns), Deliveroo, and Cazoo (yes, from that advert). We can’t wait to see how these unicorns integrate into our daily lives, and what new unicorns arrive in 2022.

As a firm we are especially pleased to note that the three strongest technology cities in the UK are London, Cambridge and Manchester; locations that are also home to our largest Mathys & Squire offices, and from which our teams offer clients a full range of intellectual property services, covering a variety of sectors and industries, including technology.

We also support the next generation of tech companies through startup accelerators and incubators such as the Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Hub, Plus X, and Central Research Laboratory.

For more information on how IP could support your tech startup in securing investment, visit our insights page, or get in touch with a member of our team.

Written by: Andrew White and Lindsay Pike