UK tech start-ups increase by 13 per cent

The number of new tech companies being set up in the UK rose by 13 per cent in 2020 according to new analysis by leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM. 

In total, there has been 14,301 tech businesses incorporated in 2020 according to data held by Companies House, a 13 per cent increase compared with 12,696 in 2019. London recorded the highest number of annual incorporations at 7,480. This was followed by the South East at 1,520, and the North West recording 888 new tech firms. 

The biggest regional percentage increase was 40 per cent recorded in the West Midlands as tech start-ups increased from 585 to 821, followed by London at 24 per cent; Scotland at 12 per cent; Northern Ireland at 10 per cent and the North East at seven per cent; East Midlands at three per cent; and the East of England seeing a two per cent increase.

The data also revealed distinctions between UK regions as Wales and Yorkshire and the Humber saw a decrease of six per cent; the North West slipped by five per cent and the South East and South West decreased by five and open per cent, respectively. 

Commenting on the findings, David Blacher, head of RSM’s technology and media team, said: ‘Despite the acute impact of the Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions, it’s encouraging to see growth in the UK tech sector as entrepreneurs seize the opportunities that the pandemic has revealed for technology to support new ways of working and digital entertainment. 

‘In 2020, the UK attracted $15bn in investment and sits third internationally for tech incubations according to the latest Tech Nation report – demonstrating that the UK continues to stride ahead of other European countries, despite Brexit, and remains the first-choice tech hub after the US and China. 

‘London will always be a target for investment due to the financial and private equity infrastructure; but it’s great to see double digit growth in the West Midlands, Northern Ireland and Scotland where thriving ‘deep tech’ and gaming industries are fuelling regional growth.’