BREXIT OR NOT, UK IS THE DOMINANT PLAYER IN THE EUROPEAN SCALEUP SCENE
34% of European scaleups come from the UK and 35% (30 out of 86) of the European scalers (large tech companies raising over $100M) live across the Channel.
Our research confirms that, to date, the UK has been the epicentre of Scaleup Europe.
This scaleup leadership role for the UK in Europe is beneficial for both the UK and the EU and it will be important that the Brexit negotiations reflect this over the coming year.
Getting this wrong could see the UK becoming a less attractive location for Scaleups and the EU losing access to its largest and most mature innovation ecosystem.
We refer to the UK, but in the end we’re mostly talking about London. 69% of the scaleups are based in the city (plus an additional 5% in Cambridge and Oxford).
The North West is rising as an upcoming hub, with the Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds cluster representing 4% of the scaleups.
If we look at the whole Northern Powerhouse, it hosts 8% of the UK scaleups. A quarter of all the UK scaleups if we do not include London.
Our research shows that the UK and US ecosystems have a clear preference for each other. The vast majority of the venture capital investments into UK scaleups comes from domestic investors (48%) and from the US (33%). Similarly, 43% of all startup acquisitions of UK scaleups were performed by UK companies and 38% from American ones.
At the end, scaleup venturing is mostly a UK-US play.
In this relationship, continental Europe plays a lesser role.
Consistent with the word on the street, our data confirms that fintech is the prevalent industrial specialization in the UK scaleup ecosystem.
But E-commerce, Mobility, Fashion Tech, Gaming, Artificial Intelligence/Big Data, Advertising, Travel and Digital Media are also present in the country.
In a nutshell: Scaleup UK is strong and is expected to continue to grow. We’ll soon see if and how Brexit will impact the ecosystem.
by Alberto Onetti & Marco Marinucci