UK found to be Europe's tech unicorn leader

Government research finds that the UK is home to more than a third of Europe's fastest-growing tech companies, including Deliveroo and Monzo

10Jun

The UK is the birthplace of more tech companies valued at more than $1bn (£786m) than any other European country, research from the UK government has found, with the country being home to more than a third of Europe's fastest-growing tech companies

According to the report, in the last 20 years UK-based entrepreneurs have created 72 tech unicorns – 13 in the past year. This number has only been topped by the US and China, with Germany and India having created 29 and 26, respectively.

Among the list of tech unicorns in the UK were London-based digital bank Monzo and food delivery service Deliveroo.

The survey follows the revelation that global tech giants have promised to invest more than $1.5bn (£1.2bn) in the country. UK Prime Minister Theresa May will announce the business pledge on June 10 at the opening of London Tech Week.

"Already we are one of the best places in the world to start and grow a tech business," May will say in her speech.

"British tech is growing over one-and-a-half times faster than the rest of the economy, adding more than $163bn (£130bn) to our economy every year. But if we are going to maintain our position as a global leader, our challenge is how we develop British tech and make it even better."

She will add: "We want this to be the place everyone thinks of – and comes to – first when they want to develop their world-changing tech ideas. This is a challenge shared between industry and government."

May is also expected to commit the government to invest £153m ($193m) into the development of quantum computing alongside an additional £205m ($258m) focusing on how the technology could accelerate drug development. 

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