Almost 20,000 entrepreneurs started new tech businesses in the UK last year, the equivalent of a new company being launched every half an hour.
Scale-up network Tech Nation analysed data on the department of digital, culture media and sport, based on figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Companies House.
This showed that between January and December 2020, 19,465 new businesses were registered in the information and communication sector, the equivalent of a new tech business launching every half an hour throughout 2020.
This sector covers software development and applications, web building, computer programming and consultancy.
Job creation from the tech sector is also growing rapidly, with live vacancies of 116,000 seen in the first week in March, up sharply from the January figure of 85,000 roles advertised.
Vacancy levels in February 2021 (111,000) and March 2021 (116,000 so far) demonstrate that the tech sector is almost back to the same level of hiring that was seen at this time last year, prior to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the economy.
One in 10 advertised job roles is now in the tech sector, according to figures compiled by Adzuna for Tech Nation at the end of 2020.
Read more: UK tech sector shows its resilience in 2020
More entrepreneurs launched businesses across the information and communication category than in agriculture (4,955), production (14,435), motoring (6,405), finance (10,730), real estate (12,135), education (3,125), health and social care (5,915) and arts entertainment and recreation (10,830).
The ONS data shows that business launches were strong across all regions. While most businesses were founded in London (107,310), followed by the South East (54,730), company incorporation was also strong in the North West (43,420), Yorkshire and Humber (25,270) and South West (26,520).
In the tech sector four cities outside London, Oxford, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow, achieved record levels of venture capital investment in 2020.
“Even in the midst of a global pandemic, the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit cannot be dampened,” said Gerard Grech, founding chief executive of Tech Nation.
“Start-ups and scale-ups formed during these last few months will be ones to watch in the future.
“Just as companies like Zoopla, DeepMind and Wise were born out of the last financial crisis, these figures give hope that the UK’s next big tech firms will be born out of this one.”