UK overtakes China with $15.6bn in tech start-up investment

13 Jun 2022

Tower Bridge in London. Image: © TTstudio/

London was ranked as the top European city for start-up investment, while around half of the funding raised in the UK so far this year was in fintech.

UK tech start-ups have raised $15.6bn in investment so far in 2022, ahead of both China and India for the first time, according to data from Dealroom.

Dealroom published a new report today (13 June) for the UK’s Digital Economy Council, which found that UK companies raised more VC funding in the first five months of 2022 than in the entirety of 2020.

The result puts the country second on the world stage behind the US, and followed by India, China and France.

The report said the UK has raised double the funding of any European market so far this year, with France raising $7.6bn. The UK also had its biggest annual opening on record, with $11.3bn raised by start-ups in the first quarter, compared to $7.9bn in the same quarter last year.

This boost in capital has helped the UK become home to 122 unicorns, with more than 20 cities and towns across the country having at least one unicorn. More than a third of Europe’s fastest-growing next-generation tech companies in Europe are based in the UK.

“It is a staggering achievement that UK tech companies are attracting more investment than countries more than 10 times our size,” said UK digital secretary Nadine Dorries. “This is a huge vote of confidence in the talent behind great British tech and the innovative, competitive market that we have here.”

London was ranked as the top European city for start-up investment, ahead of Paris, Berlin, Tel Aviv and Zurich.

The UK is also home to 248 potential future unicorns, according to Dealroom data, 151 of which are based in London. This is compared to 114 companies on track to reach a $1bn valuation in France and 106 in Germany.

Fintech leads the way

The fintech sector is currently the clear winner for the UK, accounting for around half of all the funding raised so far this year, with $7.8bn secured across 172 rounds.

This was far ahead of other sectors, with health coming in second at less than $1bn raised so far. This was followed by telecoms, transportation, marketing and energy.

“Despite the wider global challenges that have led to a slow down in public markets, private tech investment in the UK is continuing to grow,” Dealroom CEO Yoram Wijngaarde said.

“The UK has cemented its reputation as one of the best places to invest in fintech, with more fintech investment going into the country in the first part of this year compared to even the Bay Area.

“Nearly everything will be affected by the downturn we’ve entered into, but overall the UK tech sector is in a strong position than it’s ever been before in terms of breadth and depth of the entire ecosystem.”

In March, an analysis by Dealroom valued the UK tech ecosystem at $1trn. This made the UK the third nation in the world, after the US and China, to reach this landmark valuation following a period of stellar growth.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic