Cardiff identified as one of the fastest growing tech cities in the UK.

Cardiff’s tech sector is thriving according to new research carried for the Digital Economy Council.

Cardiff is one of the UK’s fastest-growing tech cities, according to new research from the Digital Economy Council.

Its ranking of ninth in the top ten of UK cities, in research carried out by Dealroom and job search engine Adzuna, is based on high levels of venture capital funding, available tech job opportunities, advertised tech salaries, number of high-growth tech companies and future high-growth companies.

Start-ups in the capital have raised £39m this year, with 13 venture capital rounds taking place. Cardiff is also home to one future unicorn (futurecorn) – defined as a high-growth tech company predicted to be worth $1 billion in valuation in the next few years, -in the form of fintech platform Sonovate, which provides finance and tech solutions to recruitment agencies and other businesses to engage contractors and freelancers.

The new tech investment flowing into Cardiff has seen companies across the city increase their tech hiring. There are now 601 IT vacancies available in Cardiff, an increase of 81.6% from 2020’s figures. This demand has seen average advertised salaries rise too – from £41,505 last year to £49,612 in 2021, an increase of 19.5%.

Cambridge is ranked first in the tech league table, followed by Manchester, Oxford, Edinburgh and Bristol.

The Digital Economy advises the UK Government on how to promote and boost the tech an digital sector.

Digital Minister Chris Philp said: “Wales is a tech hotspot and it’s great to see Cardiff named in the top ten regional UK cities for the amount of capital raised. The success is testament to the talent and ingenuity of those working in the city’s tech sector.

“We are determined to capitalise on this golden age of UK tech and level up the country with investment in skills and pro-innovation policies to drive growth and create jobs.”

Across the UK start-ups and scale-ups in the UK tech sector have raised £26bn this year, nearly double the figure raised in Germany (£13.5 million) and is more than three times that raised by France companies (£8.6bn). UK tech investment made up 35% of the total £76 billion that flowed into the European tech ecosystem this year.

The majority of the money coming into UK tech is from the US, with 38.2% of all funding coming from the States, up from 31.5% last year, with the majority of it going into fintech and health tech companies. Over 28% of UK venture funding came from domestic capital. Of all the unicorns created in the UK, 35% are outside of London and 35% of futurecorns are also based outside of the capital. The increased levels of money going into UK tech also mean companies are in need of trained technical and business staff. There has been a 50% rise in overall UK tech job vacancies advertised this year compared to 2020’s figures, with advertised tech vacancies hitting 160,887 in November. Currently, tech vacancies make up 12% of all available jobs in the UK, with just over 50% of these jobs available outside of London and the south east of England.

Saul Klein, partner and co-founder at LocalGlobe, said: “It’s taken 20 years for UK tech to get to the starting line and things start to get interesting in the next 20 years. We have all the ingredients to become the leading tech ecosystem in the world, with record levels of R&D, financing and established tech hubs across the country from New Palo Alto in Kings Cross, to Cambridge, Edinburgh and Manchester. But the key differentiator for investors in future will be a willingness to take an ethical approach to building businesses. We can be world-class in this and over the long term this will set our companies apart from those built in the US and China.”

Yoram Wijngaarde, founder and chief executive at Dealroom, said: “The UK tech ecosystem has exploded in the past year, with an increasing number of mega rounds minting new unicorns and futurecorns every day. This is significant because we know from research that employees at $1b-plus companies often go on to found their own startups, some of which become unicorns themselves, which helps to shore up the ecosystem and lead to a new generation of global companies.”

Andrew Hunter, co-founder at Adzuna, said: “The growth of tech companies across the UK has led to a surge in hiring across the country. The number of IT job openings is higher than its ever been and is consistently growing week on week. In particular, it’s great to see strong hiring in cities like Manchester and Birmingham which are showcasing some of the highest figures outside of London.

“The struggle for businesses across the country is having enough skilled staff to fill these positions to allow them to keep growing.”

Source: Business Live
Image: Matthew Horwood