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Scottish tech sector's venture capital cash haul revealed



Scottish digital firms attracted £200 million of venture capital in 2019, according to the sxith annual Tech Nation Report.

Edinburgh alone experienced a 67% rise in annual VC investment from £70 million in 2018 to £120 million last year, found the body which promotes the tech industry.

But no Scottish-based businesses made it into Tech Nation’s Future 50 8.0 list for 2020.

The report calculated that, between 2015-19, £93 million was invested in emerging tech and £25 million in Artificial Intelligence in Scotland.

Hazel Jane, Tech Nation entrepreneur engagement manager for Scotland, said:  “Scotland’s tech sector is growing fast and is attracting considerable amounts of investment. I’m looking forward to seeing continued growth in Scotland’s tech sector, building on our growing reputation in the fintech sector, and in emerging areas of  technology too, including Healthtech and Spacetech.”

The median digital tech salary in Edinburgh in 2019 was £43,000, revealed the report.

Three Scottish companies were singled out by Tech Nation as “ones to watch”.

Edinburgh-based Ecometrica, which analyses environmental data from satellites, and TVSquared, which helps advertisers manage television campaigns, were mentioned.

Also praised was Forres-based small satellite launcher Orbex Space were highlighted in the annual publication.

Scotland attracted £200 million of venture capital investment in 2019, according to the report. Investment in the wider UK technology sector hit a record £10.1 billion,

Notable investments in 2019 included a £1.5 million for Edinburgh fintech Float, led by Marchmont Ventures; a £2 million round led by Archangels in Query Click of Edinburgh; and Techstart Ventures’ £800,000 investment in Machine Labs of Livingston and £500,000 in Edinburgh fintech Visible Capital. Par Equity led an unspecified funding round in Amiqus Resolution.

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UK-wide, digital tech attracted just over £10 billion from investors in 2019, up 44% year-on-year and reversing the previous year’s 17% fall.Fintechs attracted the largest share.

The digital sector grew six times faster than any other industry, with its £149 billion accounting for 7.7% of gross value added (GVA).

In 2019, 2.9 million people worked in digital tech economy, up 40% from 2017 and accounting for 9% of the national workforce.

The UK is the third largest market for tech investment behind the United States and China, says Tech Nation, swallowing more cash than the combined totals of nearest competitors France and Germany.

More than 80% of UK investment was pumped into “high-growth, high-productivity potential scale-up firms”, which Tech Nation defined as those with at least 10 employees and growing by at least 20% year-on-year.

The report said: “UK tech companies have continued to attract global attention for their investment potential. A maturing ecosystem, perhaps encouraged by a weak pound, have led to new heights for UK tech investment, significantly bolstered by investment raised from overseas.”



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