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British regions buck trend of global investment drop in science and tech

By April 2, 2024No Comments

Science and technology start-ups in regions across the UK broke global trends to grow private sector investment in 2023, according to new research.

Businesses in Yorkshire and Humber saw a huge uplift of 20% in venture capital investment through the period, reaching new highs of over £200 million of investment in 2023. Welsh companies also attracted more investment in 2023, with funds raised increasing by 8.7% to £112 million.

Investment levels around the world tapered off after the pandemic and this downward trend did impact the UK, however the UK maintained its lead in Europe, and returned investment closer to pre-pandemic levels.

According to the research from Barclays Eagle Labs, who have partnered with BIVDA on the Springboard Programme, more than half of founders (54%) say the availability of funding is holding back their company’s growth.

These results follow the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) launching a new campaign aimed at driving up domestic investment opportunities in scale-ups. The ‘Science and Tech is our Superpower’ campaign aims to make sure growth-ready firms in the sector can access the funding they need from the UK to scale their success, boost long term economic growth and create jobs.

When looking at mergers and acquisitions, tech founders were overwhelming optimistic (65%) about what the UK landscape meant for the next stage of their start-up journey.

Though preferences were split, founders suggest that selling their business to an international buyer (15.8%) is their most preferred ‘exit strategy’.

While this was closely followed by selling through private equity (15.5%) or to a UK buyer (14.4%), it shows that many of Britain’s best home-grown investment opportunities could move abroad.

DSIT’s new push to promote private sector investment in high-growth companies comes after the Chancellor’s Mansion House Reforms, which are unlocking up to £75 billion for high growth businesses like tech start-ups, underpinned by a commitment from UK pension funds and the venture capital community to work together to drive even more finance into scale-ups.


Ben Kemp