After a record-breaking, roller-coaster 2016, we look ahead with Tech City UK Fellow and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati US Expansion Lead Daniel Glazer to how UK companies can expand in 2017.
Investment into UK tech companies in 2016 totaled £6.7 billion ($9.5 billion), up from roughly $790 million in 2010 when Tech City UK was launched. 2016 was also a record-breaking year for UK tech M&A, with over £71 billion ($98 billion) in deals completed – including SoftBank’s £24 billion ($32 billion) acquisition of Cambridge-based giant ARM Holdings.
The UK is the place to be in Europe for both startups and scale-ups, as demonstrated by its top rankings in the European Digital City Index 2016. Further, many of Europe’s most successful incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces are UK-based. Digital businesses have an ever-growing list of early-stage support options: Seedcamp, MassChallenge, Ignite, Techstars, Entrepreneur First – the list goes on and on.
The UK has a critical mass of the core resources – talent, mentoring, funding, infrastructure, accelerators, and government support – necessary to sustain a world-class tech ecosystem. Heading into 2017, the UK tech conversation has fundamentally shifted from starting up to scaling up, from survival to sustainability, and from creation to growth – the most recent evidence being the 33 companies selected to join Tech City UK’s Upscale programme.
And because no discussion of UK tech is complete without addressing the events of 23 June, LocalGlobe’s pre-Brexit-vote “12 Reasons to Be Excited about London” are equally true today. Confidence remains high, as demonstrated by post-referendum UK expansion commitments from Apple, Facebook, IBM, and Google.
With the foundation and funding in place to create UK-based, world-beating businesses, where do ambitious UK tech companies go next? Just as there’s no better place to start a tech company than the UK, there’s no better place to expand than the US.
But where to start?
Tech City UK and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati are here to help. Starting this month, we will be regularly publishing guidance on launching, scaling, and raising capital in the States. This will form the core of a US expansion and fundraising resource for the UK tech community.
If there’s a topic you’d like to see covered – or if you just have questions generally about US expansion and fundraising – let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To kick off, here are a few US resources to provide a flavour of what’s to come:
Watch this space – much more to come!
‘Expansion to the USA’ is part of the transatlantic partnership between Tech City UK and Silicon Valley-headquartered Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.