The North West of England is the perfect breeding ground for tech start-ups, scaleups and unicorns, a new report has found.
According to the North West UK Tech Report, which was released by London Tech Week and the UK Tech Cluster Group, the North West is already proving to be a hotspot for tech growth and international investment, and this growth is showing no signs of slowing down.
The UK is home to 35 per cent of Europe’s unicorns and, over the last four years, it has created more unicorns than Germany, France, Sweden and the Netherlands.
Of the 14 digital tech unicorns created in the UK, six of these (43 per cent) are located in the North West. These include The Hut Group, The Very Group, Radius Payment Solutions, AO.com, AutoTrader and Boohoo.
The report put this trend down to the North West’s tech talent, entrepreneurial spirit, feeder universities, support services, an increasing number of local angels and inward investment.
“The North West has a long history of pioneering technologies, from being at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, to its key role in the early days of computing,” said Suzy Pallett, director of London Tech Week Festival.
“And in the 21st century, the region is forging new paths, with a focus on modern specialities – healthtech, e-commerce and fintech.
“Already home to six digital tech unicorns and attracting inward investment from far and wide, the North West is unsurprisingly showing no signs of slowing down.”
The North West’s increasing confidence as a technology hotspot is also reflected in growing investment activity.
According to Beauhurst, there were 389 announced and 502 unannounced tech investment deals in Greater Manchester between 2011 and 2020.
“While a few regionally focused investors once dominated dealflow, an increasing number of venture capital firms and angels with relevant domain expertise are now active in the area,” said Pallet.
“And North West companies seem increasingly successful at engaging with investors in London, the USA and beyond.”