Investment, acquisitions and exits
2017 proved to be a record-breaking year for the UK digital tech sector with some of the biggest fundraisings and exits seen in years. ,
- British digital tech companies raised £4.5bn in venture capital investment during the year, almost double the previous year.
- Notable exits for the sector during 2017 included Matchesfashion.com which was sold to a private equity investor for almost £750m and Leeds-based CallCredit acquired by TransUnion for £1 billion.
- Game development platform Improbable raised £370m from Japan’s Softbank, food delivery service Deliveroo raised £284m and mobile network Truphone raised £249m.
- In total the UK has seen £42bn venture-backed exits between 2013 and 2017.
Tech towns and suburbs
The 2018 Tech Nation Report also reveals the rise of ‘silicon suburbs’ and tech towns across the UK where the digital tech sector is growing in urban areas not usually associated with startups and tech businesses. These smaller population centres are attracting more digital tech businesses, as the UK tech sector gets bigger. In no particular order: Newbury, Reading, Basingstoke, Burnley, Slough and Heathrow, Livingston, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City, Guildford and Aldershot, High Wycombe and Aylesbury, Southend, Enniskillen, Telford, Cheltenham, Stafford, Huntingdon, Swindon
Eight cities are also showing above average tech employment, demonstrating how the UK’s tech boom is spreading beyond locations like East London and Manchester where it already well established. The cities are: Portsmouth, Bristol, Cambridge, Southampton, Oxford, York, Salisbury and Bath.