Tech Nation, the national network for tech entrepreneurs, has revealed that the digital economy, with 2.1 million employees is now a bigger employer than sectors including hospitality, with 1.3 million people, and financial services, with 1.2 million people employed.
And new figures show the confidence global investors have in the UK’s tech sector, which has attracted more foreign investment this year than it did for the whole of 2018.
Between January and July 2019 the sector attracted $6.7 billion of investment, with more than half of these investments from America and Asia.
British-born unicorn ASOS has revolutionised shopping online for millions of men and women around the world while CityMapper, which is helping speed up peoples’ commutes, is now in 39 cities globally.
Companies such as energy supplier OVO Energy, which set up in Cirencester in 2009 before relocating to Bristol as it expanded, and supply chain finance firm Greensill attracted more than £1 billion investment from Japan and fintech firm Checkout.com received $230m from American venture capital company Insight Partners.
In February OVO announced it had taken on investment from Mitsubishi Corporation, in exchange for a 20% minority stake. The investment will accelerate OVO’s international expansion and the development of its electric vehicle charging and energy storage technology.
All the signs indicate 2019 will be another great year for the UK’s tech sector which is on course to exceed $11 billion worth of investment before the end of the year.
The government’s Digital Secretary, Nicky Morgan, said: “We are determined to support these companies. Alongside investment in home-grown talent, such as £84m for a world-leading new centre for Computing Education for Schools led by tech talent, the new Prime Minister recently announced new immigration plans to attract the world’s top scientists and bolster the UK’s standing as a hub for science and innovation.
“We are also investing millions of pounds to give digital skills training to career changers and underrepresented groups through our Digital Skills Innovation Fund.
“Today, Tech Nation, alongside the Government’s Digital Economy Council, is launching the Bright Tech Future Awards to celebrate the often unsung heroes building our fastest-growing companies and recognise the strength and depth of our talent.”