The UK tech sector achieved its best year ever in 2021, with unprecedented VC investment in unicorns across the country. The industry now has a combined value of £540 bn. With tech investment growing 2.3x last year and the labour market achieving its biggest yearly increase since 2013/14 (MP Philp, 2021).

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Tech has become an indispensable part of our culture and modern economy, enabling transactions, communication, and continuation during unprecedented times. It has led the way in growth, facilitating new ways of working and keeping the economy afloat. So, it is no wonder that 29 more unicorns were created last year raising the UK’s total to 116, meaning that 25% of the UK’s total unicorns were created in 2021 alone.

A total of £26 billion was invested in the tech scene, with around £9 billion going directly to scaleups and startups located outside of London and the South East. Manchester came a close second to Cambridge as the leading regional tech city in the UK, with the number of tech jobs in Manchester increasing by 164.6% in 2021 (MP Philp, 2021). This was aided by the increase in remote and flexible working in technology sectors. Incredibly, 21.6% of all job vacancies in the tech sector are advertised as remote positions. This is beneficial to the tech sector outside of London as businesses can employ across the country and find the perfect candidate regardless of where they are based.

What does this mean for your business?

So, the UK tech industry has truly experienced unprecedented growth in terms of VC investments in 2021. Such investments have resulted in many job openings and high-quality roles being made available, with close to a 50% increase in jobs.

While acknowledging the impressive growth, it’s important to remember that the burgeoning demand for highly skilled tech talent could affect your company’s ability to scale and recruit more talent. The competition for skilled candidates has never been higher and with the increasing number of scaling companies, it’s not uncommon for candidates to be enticed by outlandish wages and benefits from venture capital-backed companies.

Therefore, if you are interested in growing your business, talent attraction and retention should be towards the top of your agenda.

Although this boom in hiring may seem daunting with scarce candidates for senior roles, the prospect of working remotely could act as a structural advantage for hiring within any geographical region in the UK. As always, time will tell what the future holds for the tech industry in the nation.



2021: Best year ever for UK tech sector with £26bn in VC, 116 unicorns, record London listings and more jobs

A quarter of the UK’s unicorns were created in 2021 alone as the tech sector shines

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