UK tech start ups increase almost 16 per cent

Audit, tax and consulting firm RSM has found the number of new UK tech start-ups has risen by almost 16 per cent this quarter.

A total of 10,435 software development and games businesses have been incorporated so far this year, according to data held by Companies House. In quarter three 2020 there were 3,641 tech start-ups incorporated, up by 15.5 per cent since quarter one, when 3,150 were recorded.

Commenting on the findings, David Blacher, Head of RSM technology, media and telecoms team, said: “At a time when many sectors are feeling crippled by the impact of the pandemic, it is encouraging to see the tech industry experiencing growth. This can be attributed in part to the lockdown, which drove an increase in demand for technology to support remote working. The huge increase in working from home, as well as leisure time spent at home, has meant far greater need for digital technology and a growing demand for digital entertainment.”

Regional figures demonstrated strong growth in many areas of the UK, with Scotland seeing a 57 per cent increase in the number of tech start-ups in quarter three compared with quarter one figures. Second highest was the west midlands with a 48 per cent rise, and Northern Ireland saw a healthy 44 per cent increase. The east midlands grew by 36 per cent, while the north east has seen 29 per cent growth since quarter one.

While most areas saw at least some growth in tech start-ups, in some regions the technology sector may be declining. Wales had a 6 per cent reduction in the number of tech start-ups in quarter three compared with quarter one figures, while the east of England dropped 1.4 per cent, and Yorkshire and the Humber was down by almost 1 per cent. The south east saw signs of growth, as London grew by 16 per cent and the south east of England grew 11 per cent.

Tech company incorporations by quarter

   Q 1 2020     Q 3 2020     % increase/decrease
 East Midlands (England)    89     121     +36%
 East of England     213     210     -1.4%
 London     1,618     1,875    +16%
 North East (England)     42     54     +29%
 North West (England)     182     221     +21%
 Northern Ireland     32     46     +44%
 Scotland     103     162     +57%
 South East (England)     320    355    +11%
 South West (England)     128     154     +20%
 Wales      61     64     +57%
 West Midlands (England)    140     207    +48%
 Yorkshire and The Humber     117     116     -0.8%
 Unknown    105     63    -40%
 UK Total     3,150     3,641     15.5%