The Tech Nation report, in association with the World Economic Forum, explores the international tech landscape, looking at tech investment, areas of potential growth, related specialties and talent hubs. Presenting the report to a U.S. audience for the first time, Tech Nation hopes to collaborate with U.S. colleagues in order to support scaleup leaders and reinforce transatlantic links between the U.S. and UK tech sectors.
Key findings from the report:
- U.S. tech scaleups raised $148.75 billion, 49.3% of the global total, more than double that of China over the last 4 years (2015-2018 inclusive)
- The U.S. holds the record for the most scaleup investment deals made, with more than 100,000 deals in the past three years, putting it ahead of China, India and the UK
- $6.7 billion has been invested in UK tech companies in the first seven months of 2019, with more than half ($3.7B) of these investments coming from the U.S. and Asia – U.S. investors contributed $1.9bn of this total
- The U.S., China and the UK are the three major global AI players – since 2010, the U.S. Artificial Intelligence companies have raised over $40 billion, followed by China’s $15 billion and the $4bn in the UK
- Developers from the U.S. are dominating digital collaboration and innovation, with 24,580 authors on Github compared to 5,501 in the UK and 3,286 in China
- New York tops the list of U.S. cities for tech meetups, ahead of San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles
- In 2019 there are 958 UK-headquartered startups and scaleups with presence in the U.S.; over 50% of those companies were born in London (517). Most of these companies – 47% –are at seed stage, followed by growth and late stage.
Collaboration between the U.S. and UK tech sectors is already incredibly strong. This has been highlighted by recent high-profile U.S. investments into UK tech firms, including $230m from Insight Partner into Checkout.com, Monzo’s $117m round led by Y Combinator, and $575m Series G funding for Deliveroo from investors Amazon and Fidelity.
The U.S., UK and China are leading the world in the creation of $1bn tech companies, with the UK tech sector creating more unicorns than any other European country. The UK’s tech unicorns are increasingly expanding stateside, including Future Fifty program participants and alumni Revolut, Monzo, Darktrace, Lyst and OakNorth. The program, along with other Tech Nation initiatives, is designed to scale and grow the next generation of UK tech businesses at home and abroad. According to Tech Nation data, 70% of the companies that joined the Future Fifty program this year have operations in the U.S., while 958 UK-headquartered startups and scaleups have expanded operations to the U.S.
Talent flows between the U.S. and the UK tech sectors are also strong as demonstrated by applications for Tech Nation’s Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa. Launched in 2014, the visa enables the brightest and best tech talent from around the world to work in the UK’s digital technology sector, contributing their cutting-edge expertise, creativity and innovation. The U.S. comes in just after India in terms of the number of applications received.
Antony Phillipson, HM Trade Commissioner for North America and British Consul General in New York, said: “For many years, Tech Nation has presented the definitive overview of the UK’s digital technology industry and, as HM Trade Commissioner for North America, I’m delighted the report now includes the international outlook. The UK’s tech footprint is global, investment for UK scaleup digital tech firms grew 61% between 2017 and 2018, and collaboration between UK and U.S. firms continues to play a big role in this extraordinary growth. U.S. tech firms of all shapes and sizes continue to flourish in the UK market, thanks to our strong entrepreneurial culture and commitment to investment in cutting-edge innovation, and with Tech Nation’s research, we have a clearer picture of how our industries can work together most successfully for our mutual benefit.”
Gerard Grech, CEO, Tech Nation commented: “The U.S. continues to perform when it comes to investment in tech scaleups, securing half of all global investment, followed by China, India and the UK. What’s more, investment is increasingly coming from U.S. investors, now reaching 28% of total tech investment into UK tech in the first seven months of 2019, including headline investments such as Monzo and Deliveroo. This is mirrored by UK tech companies entering into the U.S. market. Tech Nation’s Future Fifty program, Europe’s longest and most successful late stage scaling program for tech companies, has witnessed a record increase in expansion into the U.S., at 70% up from 50% the year before. We expect to see UK-U.S. tech relations growing even stronger over the coming years.”
Dan Westgarth, GM Revolut USA commented: “Revolut’s mission is building the world’s first truly global bank by breaking down financial borders to give people access to their money, regardless of where they are. After having successfully expanded from the UK across Europe, we are looking forward to launching in new expansion territories, including the U.S., one of the most challenging, yet exciting, markets in the world. Building on the strong relationship that already exists between the U.S. and UK, we are looking forward to sharing our experiences, challenges and opportunities, as well as learning from other innovators.”
About Tech Nation
Tech Nation is the UK’s leading scaleup network for entrepreneurs. Its mission is to empower tech entrepreneurs to grow faster through knowledge and connections through running growth programs and developing digital entrepreneurship skills through its visa scheme for exceptional talent and through insights from reports, including the annual Tech Nation Report. Technation.io/report2019