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The UK wears the scale-up crown in Europe

A report launched by Mind the Bridge and Cisco claims the UK has become "the epicentre of tech scale-up" in Europe.
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There are 4,200 scale-ups across Europe, Mind the Bridge’s 2017 SEP Monitor found. The UK houses the majority – 1,550 – which have collectively secured $21.5bn worth of funding.

In comparison, Germany, France and “other Alpine states” accounted for 1,150 – and raised $18.1bn. The Benelux held 300 scale-ups, while the Nordic region housed 620. Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Malta and Cyprus lagged behind with 430 companies and $4.2bn in funding.

The UK has over three times more scale-ups than Germany, the report claimed. What’s more, the nation was expected to continue growing, maintaining its current lead position.

A deeper look into the research unveils that 78 per cent of scale-ups in the UK consist of small businesses, with medium-sized companies only accounting for 17 per cent. More, perhaps unsurprising figures were revealed.

“We refer to the UK as the scale-up centre, but in the end we’re mostly talking about London,” explained Alberto Onetti, chairman of Mind the Bridge. “Some 69 per cent of are based in the city (plus an additional five per cent in Cambridge and Oxford).

“The North West is rising as an upcoming hub, with the Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds cluster representing four per cent of the scale-ups. If we look at the whole Northern Powerhouse, it hosts eight per cent of UK scale-ups.”

Finance was a key theme, with the report suggesting that 80 per cent of $20bn invested into UK scale-ups were from venture capital and private placements. The remaining 20 per cent came off the back of IPOs. In fact, the nation raised four times more capital via the stock market than Germany.

Onetti further suggested: “The report confirms that without a doubt, the UK is the epicentre of scale-up Europe. It’s impressive too, to see that the tech UK economy continues to grow at double digits in terms of both capital and scale-up volume. Despite the uncertain political climate, scale-up development in UK is strong and is expected to continue to grow, which is fantastic to see.”

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Shané Schutte

Shané Schutte is the deputy editor of Real Business, with a particular specialism in employment and business law, human resources, information technology and sales/marketing.

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