The City of London has always been famed for its innovative strength; we have cultivated an experimental and innovative culture through the right tax incentives, legal systems and language. Brexit will not change this. London has in fact just cemented its standing as the capital of Europe’s billion-dollar tech industry.
Figures released today by Dealroom and prepared for Tech Nation and the Government’s Digital Economy Council, indicate the UK has now created 60 so-called unicorn startups, that is companies with a valuation of $1bn (£769.6m) or more, since 1990.
London houses 36 of those UK startups and represents more than a fifth of all unicorns in Europe. That is a total valuation of $132bn. This figure is astounding when compared to Berlin, the second biggest city spot, which has just eight unicorn startups, worth a respectable, yet hardly comparable $32bn. For those calling that leaving the European Union would spell the end of the UK’s dominance in this sector, don’t quite realise the level of investment in the UK.
In 2018 alone, UK tech companies have raised almost £3bn on London Stock Exchange markets and the country has added nine new unicorns to its roster, the same amount as Germany, the Netherlands and France combined.
But it’s not just London; other cities including Oxford, Cambridge and Manchester are beginning to rival European cities with much larger populations. Oxford and Cambridge combined have produced more fast-growing tech startups, such as Darktrace and Arm, than Paris and Berlin.
David Richards, founder and chief executive of WANdisco, said: “There’s never been a better time to be involved in UK tech, with so many great companies coming through the pipeline.
“From my perspective in the US, I can see that people are really starting to wake up to and respond to Europe’s potential and in a very short time the UK has made itself the clear leader of a vibrant, technology network based on great science and entrepreneurship.”
We need to heed this positivity. Europe can hardly rival our success in this space and Brexit will not diminish our innovative streak, our strong tax incentives and our common and unrivalled legal system.