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Entrepreneurial network Tech Nation has selected 15 tech startups to join its 10th Future Fifty programme cohort, which is designed to assist the growth of late-stage digital businesses.
The startups selected include online events platform Hopin, online car retailer Cazoo, authentication software provider MYPINPAD, cyber security firm Tessian, and financial technology (fintech) company Wagestream.
All 15 firms have already collectively raised £1.6bn, employ 5,000 people between them, and have combined revenues of £283m.
In total, the new joiners are planning to increase their headcount by 60% on average over the next 12 months, with Japan being the top country they are planning to expand into, followed by Canada, Germany, South Africa and China.
To join the programme, companies must have raised funding from a Series B round or higher, or be generating annual revenues of over £5m, and be achieving 50% year-on-year growth.
As part of Future Fifty, the selected startups will benefit from peer-to-peer learning, open dialogue between experienced entrepreneurs and founders, in-depth masterclasses, sessions with key government officials and exclusive ministerial roundtables, as well as access to a dedicated Tech Nation Visa team.
Launched in 2013, the Future Fifty programme has involved 202 companies to date, collectively raising $36bn in venture capital (VC) investment. Of these, 11 companies – including Deliveroo, Darktrace, Wise and Revolut – have gone to an initial public offering (IPO).
Gerard Grech, founder and chief executive of Tech Nation, said the companies involved were a “shining example of the UK’s entrepreneurship, innovation and resilience,” adding: “Nurturing the growth of these scaling late-stage tech companies is critical to future-proofing the UK’s economy.”
Other startups selected for the programme are: sales intelligence platform Cognism; video game developer Double Eleven; fintech Form 3; healthtech provider Huma; education technology company Multiverse; autonomous vehicle software developer Oxbotica; sport analysis firm STATSports; property technology firm Strike; location and logistics firm What3Words; and e-commerce retail platform Wolf & Badger.
“We are delighted to be a part of this year’s Tech Nation Future Fifty as a programme partner and having the chance to support the great work that Tech Nation and these 50 ambitious and innovative organisations are doing,” said Ben Kingsley, emerging tech partner at Slaughter and May.
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“We always enjoy working with pioneers and helping to remove the legal and regulatory obstacles in their paths – so we are all looking forward to doing more of this with this fantastic Future Fifty cohort.”
The Future Fifty programme has served 30% of the UK’s 105 $1bn “unicorn” technology businesses. Of these 105 firms, 20 reached unicorn status in the first six months of 2021 alone, including Tractable, Zego and Depop.
By comparison, Tech Nation says it took from 1990 to 2014 for the UK to create its first 20 unicorns.
The rapid expansion in the number of unicorn businesses in the first half of 2021 coincides with an influx of £13.5bn VC funding in the same period, putting the UK tech sector on track for another record year of investment.
On 15 September 2021, Tech Nation announced that 32 climate technology startups will be joining the second cohort of its Net Zero Growth accelerator programme.
The announcement was accompanied by new data from Tech Nation and Dealroom which shows that the UK currently has 519 net-zero startups and scaleups – a 60% increase on the 323 climate tech companies it had in 2020.
This means Tech Nation’s Net Zero Growth programme will have supported 13% of the UK’s climate tech companies by the end of this second cohort.
Tech Nation is both publicly and privately funded, with about 80% of its funding coming from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the rest generated by sponsorships or paid-for educational programmes.