UK Maintains Strong Position in Global Tech Ecosystem in H1 2024

Tracxn, a global SaaS-based market intelligence platform, has published its Geo Semi-Annual Report: UK Tech H1 2024. This report, leveraging Tracxn's extensive database, offers a detailed analysis of the UK tech sector.

In the first half of 2024, the UK maintained its position as the second-highest funded tech startup ecosystem, trailing only the US. UK tech startups secured $6.7 billion in funding, which was just 2% less than the $6.9 billion raised in H1 2023, and a 12% decrease from the $7.7 billion raised in H2 2023.

Late-stage investments totalled $3 billion in H1 2024, marking a 23% decline from the $3.9 billion raised in H2 2023 but representing over 30% growth from the $2.3 billion secured in H1 2023. Seed-stage funding reached $540 million, a 7% drop from the $575 million raised in H2 2023, and a 43% decline from H1 2023. Early-stage funding stood at $3.2 billion in both H1 2024 and H2 2023, reflecting a 12% reduction from the $3.7 billion raised in H1 2023.

The sector saw twelve funding rounds exceeding $100 million in H1 2024. Notable among these, Wayve, Abound, and Monzo each secured funding over $600 million. Wayve led with a $1.05 billion Series C round led by SoftBank Group, Abound raised $862 million in a Series B round, and Monzo raised $620 million through two Series I rounds.

Quarterly comparisons reveal a positive trend, with funding rising 27% to $4.41 billion in Q2 2024, compared to $3.47 billion in Q2 2023. This also represented a 62% increase from the $2.71 billion raised in Q1 2024.

Mews emerged as the sole unicorn in H1 2024, while H1 2023 saw two companies reach the $1 billion valuation mark. Additionally, 195 companies were acquired in H1 2024, down from 232 in H1 2023, but up from 190 in H2 2023. The highest-valued acquisition in H1 2024 was Darktrace's $5.3 billion purchase by Thoma Bravo, followed by EyeBio's $1.3 billion acquisition by Merck Sharp & Dohme.

Enterprise Applications, FinTech, and High Tech were the standout sectors in H1 2024. Enterprise Applications and FinTech companies each raised approximately $2.7 billion, mirroring the previous year. High Tech funding slightly increased from $2 billion in H1 2023 to $2.3 billion in H1 2024.

Only three companies – Marex, AWAKN, and Perfect Moment – went public in H1 2024, consistent with H1 2023 but fewer than the five IPOs in H2 2023.

London remained the top city for tech funding, with startups raising $4 billion in H1 2024. Cambridge and Oxford followed, securing $1.3 billion and $217 million, respectively.

BGF, Y Combinator, and Octopus Ventures were the leading investors in the UK tech ecosystem in H1 2024. Octopus Ventures, ACF, and Molten Ventures led early-stage investments, while CapitalG, BGF, and Notion topped late-stage investments. Techstars, Y Combinator, and SOSV were the most active seed-stage investors.

Since 2022, the UK tech landscape has faced a funding winter, aligning with global trends. However, the first half of 2024 indicated signs of stability, reaffirming the UK's status as a major startup ecosystem globally.