April 2022: a month in review with Tech Nation CEO

Tech Nation, May 6, 2022 6 min read

This article is also available on Linkedin.

It’s been another busy month, and I’m excited to share a quick update on all the things that have been going on both within Tech Nation and the wider UK tech ecosystem recently – and all the things we’ve got to look forward to ahead!

Year to date UK Tech Investment

UK Tech investment has so far hit over $14B (source: Dealroom). To give this some context, 2021 was a record high with $40B in total.

So far in 2022, $0.47B of that $14B has been invested in pre-seed and seed-stage companies, while $1B has been invested in Series A companies. This means that 10% of the total so far in 2022 has been at pre-seed, seed and series A.

Celebrating Earth Day and the strength of climate technology

April 22nd marked Earth Day; a fantastic opportunity to come together and celebrate the work of the climate tech scaleups empowering our journey to net zero. Tred, one of the amazing companies on our second Net Zero growth programme who have created the world’s first green debit card, were featured on BBC Radio Leeds (listen here from 1 hr 42 mins).

We also saw the work of our other Net Zero scaleups – including electric vehicle subscription service Voltric and affordable clean energy tech company Sero – celebrated across regional media (including Wales247, Northern Ireland’s Newsletter and Bristol Live). That evening, I also had the pleasure of appearing on London Live (watch the full segment here from 23:00) to talk about the incredible work UK climate tech scaleups are doing across the UK for our world.

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Speaking to Helena Wadia at London Live TV News on Earth Day regarding UK-based climate technology companies such as Connected Kerb, Olio and Better Diary.

An exciting Fintech Week at the beginning of April

Not only is the UK home to some of the world’s most exciting climate tech scaleups, it’s also a global powerhouse for fintech. The UK is #1 in Europe and #2 globally for fintech, and our nation is now home to over 40 fintech ‘unicorns’ (companies valued at $1B+), with some of them being the most successful fintechs worldwide, such as our own alumni companies Revolut, Monzo and Checkout.com, which strengthen the UK’s economy and society by driving capital and skill.

This month alone, we saw our alumni company Moneybox (who are empowering people across the UK to spend and save more wisely) raise £35 million in its Series D funding round, and the Chancellor announced a plan to make the UK a global cryptoasset hub.

Innovate Finance’s Fintech Week 2022 marked an important moment to celebrate how far we’ve come with our UK fintech sector, but also to think about how we can move forward providing financial products and services which are not only innovative but accessible to everyone. You can read more about my thoughts on the importance of accessibility and affordability to ensure UK fintech’s continued success in my recent op-ed for Finextra here.

Celebrating IPOs and London Stock Exchange’s important role

Right at the start of the month, Tech Nation had a fantastic afternoon with the London Stock Exchange together with the Future Fifty 10.0 cohort closing the capital markets that day, to celebrate the end of the programme. The Future Fifty 10.0 program has seen more than 13 IPOs already, and many more on the way.

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Market Closing at the London Stock Exchange (LSEG) with companies from our Future Fifty 10.0 cohort, together with the London Stock Exchange CEO and Technology Minister.

It was also a privilege to hear from the Technology Minister Chris Philps MP on the UK tech scene, which keeps going from strength to strength. More importantly, it was great to have so many of our Future Fifty cohort companies in the room to celebrate their achievements, share stories and see familiar faces.

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From left: Julia Hoggett, Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange, Chris Philp MP, Technology Minister at the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports and myself.

Championing tech across all regions of the UK

We were thrilled to be involved with Leeds Digital Festival recently, where our team spoke about the opportunities for scaling tech companies in Yorkshire, and our own Rising Stars Semi-Finalist and climate tech company The Data City discussed challenges facing growing climate tech companies in the UK during a fascinating panel on ‘5 Hard Truths About The Road to Net Zero’.

Our Chair, Stephen Kelly also spoke at the UK Startup Conference 2022 at the University of Bath, sharing his insights into what the UK startup ecosystem is doing well – such as driving innovation and using tech to solve important societal, economic and environmental issues – as well as exploring areas where we can improve, such as increasing diversity in UK tech, and driving even greater cultural ambition.

A busy month for the International team

This month, our International team have been continuing their exciting national roadtrip around the UK; visiting Yorkshire and Scotland — on the hunt for the next wave of UK tech scaleups wanting to accelerate their international growth to Asia Pacific. The road trip has seen the team visit 6 cities across the UK, and meet over 120 UK tech scaleups looking to expand internationally.

A quick reminder that applications close on May 8th for the third cohort of the Tech Nation International Growth Programme, which will support entry into Australia, Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asian markets.

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Tech Nation International Director, Sam Evans with Jess Hougrave, Chief of Staff at Checkout.com.

Our Visa team is full steam ahead

April has seen a really strong continuation of applications for the Global Talent Visa from all over the world. This month, our visa team has largely been preparing for and then adjusting to new changes to Immigration rules, allowing even more incredible tech talent to access the UK tech ecosystem more efficiently – long may this continue!

On top of this, we followed on from a hugely high-profile March, with speaking slots at both the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, followed by a panel discussion at the Fintech Global Summit, discussing the role UK fintechs can play in supporting Ukrainian, Russian and Belarussian tech talent, wishing to relocate.

Coming together as a team

With so many exciting things going on this month, my personal highlight was the in-person Tech Nation workshop and social we hosted last week. It was a chance to catch up with everyone in the company, stay aligned on our vision, mission, values – and start preparing for a busy and exciting year ahead.

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During the day, we also had the pleasure of listening to Oleg Mukhanov (Founder of fast-scaling fintech SteadyPay) who shared eye-opening insights into hiring, leadership and other scaling challenges facing UK entrepreneurs as well as hearing from Dave Bolton about the importance of positivity, perseverance and mental resilience in the face of overwhelming adversity from facing multiple cancers and a motorcycle accident. As a flexi-first company (as more and more companies are), bringing people together is critical to maintaining a strong company culture and colleague well-being.

Coming up soon

Among the many exciting things coming up in May, we are excited to be opening applications for all of our growth programmes on the 16th of May. So if you’re a UK tech scaleup, please do consider whether one of our free growth programmes could be right for you. We’ve also got an exciting announcement coming very soon about a brand new growth programme coming your way, so stay tuned for that!

The next iteration of our Advance: Scaling Leaders courses will be kicking off on the 24th of May; a series of cohort-based, expert-led training courses designed to help UK tech businesses grow faster and more successfully through the more challenging areas of their journeys – from raising investment and nailing your pricing strategy to expanding internationally and developing leadership skills. These courses are open to everyone, and the feedback so far has been truly incredible, so please do apply here if you haven’t already.

Until next time! ✌️