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United Kingdom

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Introduction

Over the past decades, the United Kingdom (UK) has become one of the world’s most established startup ecosystems thanks to a variety of factors including a wealth of world class education hubs, a thriving job market, and a beneficial regulatory environment.

The UK startup ecosystem is now worth over $1.1T as of 2023, making the UK the 3rd most valuable startup ecosystem globally.

On a global scale, the UK ranks 3rd globally for VC investment, is home to over 150 unicorns as well as 25k+ funded startups.

Venture Capital

On a global scale, the UK ranks 3rd globally for VC investment with London being one of the top global hubs for startups and venture capital, attracting over $20B in VC investment in 2022.

Venture Capital investment in the UK reached $31B in 2022, a 25% drop from 2021.

Greater London continues to make up the larger share of the total VC investment, driving 70% of total investment in 2022.

By region


Emerging and high growth regions

When inspecting early-stage VC investment (<$15M), we see Belfast, Sheffield and Cardiff experience the highest positive growth during the past year.

For early stage investment, in 2022, London experienced a 17% drop against 2021, 2022 still saw a 10% growth in investment raised when compared to 2020.

Although London remains the top hub in the UK and where venture capital activity is most intensified, other regions are emerging throughout the country.

East Midlands, Northern Ireland, Yorkshire and the Humber have more than doubled in investment growth since 2020. This is partially driven by some larger investment rounds in startups such as The Access Group, Weev and Raw Charging respectively.

Whilst London attracts the largest proportion of VC investment, other startup hubs across the UK such as Liverpool, Belfast and Birmingham are growing rapidly.

By stage

VC investment into the UK has seen significant growth across all stages over the years, with the highest growth in the Pre-Seed and Seed stages.

Pre-Seed investment into the UK has increased five fold since 2010 and a similar pattern is observed for Seed sized investment rounds.

Investment in later-stage stages, such as Series A, B, and C, have show a more gradual increase in investment, with investment rounds larger than $100M accounting for a large share of investment.

Early stage
Access early-stage funding rounds into UK startups here on the Dealroom platform.

Breakout stage
Access breakout-stage funding rounds into UK startups here on the Dealroom platform.

Scaleup stage
Access scaleup-stage funding rounds into UK startups here on the Dealroom platform.

By industry

The top three UK industries for VC investment in terms of total investment raised in 2023 are Energy, Fintech, and Health.

These three industries combined accounted for almost half of total VC investment into the UK startup ecosystem for 2023.


When comparing industry investment for the UK and Europe, there is a higher degree of investment into Fintech within the UK while Transportation and Food related startups receive a higher proportion of investment in Europe.

Sources of capital

Over half of VC investment has come from sources outside of Europe such as the US and Asia.

Explore this investment data here on the Dealroom platform.

Over the past decade, VC firms have consistently made up between 40-50% of total funding into the UK startup ecosystem.

Other sources of VC investment into the UK comes from corporates, private equity firms, angel investors amongst others.

Explore this data here on the Dealroom platform.

Investors

Top Investors

Explore the data for the most active investors into the UK startup ecosystem as well as the most active UK based investors here on the Dealroom platform.

New Funds raised

UK VCs have more dry powder than ever before. Over $25B raised in the last three years.

Explore the data on new VC firms headquartered in the UK here on the Dealroom platform.

Unicorns

The UK startup ecosystem has minted 150+ unicorns and is home to 200+ future unicorns.

After the peak in new unicorn creation in 2021, the creation of both new unicorn and future unicorns has slowed down significantly, signalling that new unicorns are once again becoming rare beasts.

International comparisons

Country benchmarking

The UK's startup ecosystem ranks 3rd globally in terms of VC investment raised, a position it has maintained since 2019 with the exception of 2021.

The UK leads in the European continent for VC investment, raising over double the amount compared to its closest European counterpart, France.

It's important to note that despite the challenging economic climate and the negative growth in VC investment compared to 2021, the UK ecosystem showed improved resilience when compared to half of the top 10 largest ecosystems including the United States, China and Germany.

Related content

Reports: UK tech ecosystem year in review
Reports: Browse all existing UK reports on Dealroom
Dealroom Data: Explore all UK startups and scaleups
Dealroom Data: Explore all UK funding rounds