Scotland’s future ‘Unicorns’ thrive after decade of tech success

Reports | Technology
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Scotland’s track record for creating unicorn tech companies like BrewDog, FanDuel and Skyscanner is helping to create a new generation of fast-growing tech businesses.

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These ‘unicorns’ – private companies valued at $1bn (£718m) or more – have inspired growth in four more Scottish businesses, now identified as ‘futurecorns’, fast-growing firms set to achieve the all-important $1bn valuation.

Four Scottish companies – Amphista Therapeutics in Motherwell; Roslin Technologies in Edinburgh; Interactive Investor in Glasgow; and NuCana BioMed in Edinburgh – are identified as Futurecorns, fast-growing companies set to achieve a $1bn valuation, according to analysis by Dealroom.co and the Digital Economy Council.

Scotland’s futurecorns are part of the huge expansion of the UK tech sector, which has grown 10 fold in the last 10 years, enabling the creation of hundreds of fast growing tech companies across the country, including in Scotland.

Since 2010, the UK has experienced a sustained increase in the venture capital flowing into the tech sector, which has resulted in a huge expansion in the number of startups that are scaling rapidly in sectors as diverse as fintech, food delivery, e-commerce and healthtech. Scottish startups last year attracted £345m in venture capital investment, despite the pandemic and a recent report recognised that 13,000 digital tech job opportunities were created every year in Scotland.

Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said: “Tech companies across the UK are improving our lives through creativity and innovation. With three unicorns and four fast-growing scaleups, Scotland is one of the UK’s leading tech hubs. The UK Government is dedicated to supporting investment in tech in Scotland. Our recent commitment to create five new innovation hubs in fields such as robotics and space technology will ensure the industry has a bright future.”

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