Startups 100 companies part of record investment into mid-stage tech companies

Four 2021 Startups 100 companies have been accepted into Tech Nation’s Upscale growth programme, which highlights the record investment in UK mid-stage tech companies.

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It’s already been a record year for investment in UK mid-stage tech companies, with data from the government-backed startup accelerator Tech Nation showing that these companies have already raised more in 2021 than during the whole of 2020.

And Tech Nation has picked 31 of the UK’s most rapidly growing mid-stage tech scaleups (including four from this year’s Startups 100) for its Upscale growth programme, designed to help tech firms overcome common growth challenges and scale faster.

On average, these companies have a growth rate of 250% and give great insight into the diversity and variety of the UK tech scene.

UK mid-stage tech companies have already raised more in 2021 than during the whole of 2020

What is the Tech Nation Upscale growth programme?

Now entering its seventh year, Tech Nation’s Upscale programme is designed to help UK tech companies that have raised Series A funding to keep expanding. As Tech Nation points out, this is a critical time for these companies – around 60% of firms that raise Pre-Series A funding fail to make it to Series A or beyond.

Companies accepted into the Upscale programme receive:

  • Over 60 hours of support at world-class coaching sessions
  • Invitations to networking events with key stakeholders, peers, corporates and investors
  • Access to online resources designed to tackle fundamental scaling challenges around culture, talent, international expansion, and financing

What do the Upscale 7.0 companies tell us about the UK tech scene?

This Tech Nation graphic gives an ‘at-a-glance’ picture of the Upscale 2021 cohort.

Upscale 7 graphic

Healthtech flexing its muscle

As you can see, Healthtech is a key growth area, accounting for seven of the 31 companies.

These include

And HelloSelf, which uses AI to give people personalised therapy, coaching, and psychological advice).

And the overall sector is in strong shape, with UK healthtech companies raising $5.6bn in 2021 – more than double the $2.5bn raised in 2020.

Edtech top of the class

Another rapidly growing area is Edtech (education technology) companies, which raised $319m in the first half of 2021 compared to $113m in 2020.

This sector accounts for six of the Upscale 7.0 cohort, and the selected scaleups showcase the variety within this increasingly important sector.

For example:

  • Learnerbly (No. 29 in this year’s Startups 100) focuses on the professional development of employees, and gives learners a personal budget that they can spend on the resources that fit their passions and goals.

While Kortext allows universities to digitally share learning materials with students, and Kidadl produces educational content for the whole family.

London leads the way

Unsurprisingly, the capital continues to be a magnet for the UK’s top tech companies, accounting for two thirds of the Upscale companies.

These disruptive scaleups include:

  • Urban Jungle (No. 12 in the 2021 Startups 100) – A forward-thinking home insurance provider that massively simplifies what can often be a bafflingly complex process.
  • PixelMax (No. 62 in this year’s Startups 100) – An immersive communications trailblazer that offers state of the art virtual events, unified communications and data visualisation to transform hybrid working.

The remaining companies are split between Scotland (2), Yorkshire (2), North West (2), Northern Ireland (1), Midlands (1), East of England (1), South East (1) and South West (1), meaning almost every part of the UK is represented.

Written by:
Alec is Startups’ resident expert on politics and finance. He’s provided live updates on the budget, written guides on investing and property development, and demystified topics like corporation tax, accounting software, and invoice discounting. Before joining, he worked in the media for over a decade, conducting media analysis at Kantar Media and YouGov, and writing a wide variety of freelance pieces.

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