Last year saw the launch of more than 10,000 new tech firms – a whopping 60% more than in 2016.
With figures like those, it’s fair to say the UK tech scene is booming. Not least because US companies are queueing up to make investments. Last year also saw a record amount of investments coming into British tech from across the pond, reports The Week. According to research by audit firm RSM, last year 10,016 software development and programming companies were incorporated in the UK. In 2016, that figure was just 6,300.
A core factor impacting this boost within UK tech investment is driven in part by the country’s higher education institutions. The academic excellence coming out of British universities is playing a “key role in developing and nurturing exceptional talent,” explained by David Blacher, head of RSM’s technology, media and telecoms team.
Secondly, recent rule changes in the EIS and VCT regime are re-focusing the spotlight on technology and the Knowledge Intensive sector. It will be interesting to see how this impacts the information, communications and technology sector in the future, which in 2016-17 accounted for 37% of all EIS investments.
According to data compiled by the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency, London & Partners, companies in the UK are attracting more than their European rivals. For example, last year, reports the Independent, UK businesses saw nearly four times more funding than Germany, and more than France, Ireland and Sweden combined.
In terms of sector, the UK’s fintech space is leading the field, attracting an impressive £1.34 billion.
According to data from UK law firm Pennington Manches, Silicon Valley injected £1.1 billion into British tech companies in 2017. Companies spanning the east coast of America invested an additional £1.3 billion.
So what is the main driver for US investors and what is on the horizon for UK Tech? Those behind one-third of last year’s investment in UK tech startups claimed that the level of skills found in the UK was enough to warrant them making their investments. Backed by the rule changes outlined in the finance bill, we have everything in place to continue to nurture our skilled workforce through investment.
Christian Elmes, Partner
Christian Elmes trained at PwC and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1999. From there he moved to Morgan Stanley (2000-2002) as Associate in the Investment Banking Division (IBD).
He was appointed Director of Finance, Teather & Greenwood Investment Management in 2002 and moved with the Tax Efficient Solutions team to Smith & Williamson in 2004, becoming Deputy head of the department. Christian left to co-found Enterprise in 2011.
Over the last ten years, Christian has been responsible for developing a number of tax efficient products, particularly Enterprise Investment Schemes. He is able to lead on tax efficient product development from inception through to completion. He has a financial and tax background and commercial experience.