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18% of UK tech companies have international founders, report finds

Tech Nation Visa report

Tech Nation has released its latest annual report on its Global Talent Visa, which allows international tech talent to work in the UK.

The report found that one or more non-UK nationals were part of the founding team of 18% of British tech startups. Companies founded by non-UK nationals accounted for £8bn (approximately 23%) of UK tech venture capital investment in 2021.

Isaac Oladipupo, co-founder and CEO, Afrilearn said: “I love working in UK tech because of the rare privilege it has afforded me to work with global tech companies and rub minds with some of the best brains in the world. It has also enabled me to scale the reach of our startup Afrilearn across Europe and beyond.”

More visas have been granted by Tech Nation already this year (659) than the total of 2021 (619).

TechNation is a growth platform for UK technology scaleups. Notable alumni include Darktrace, Monzo, Revolut and Wise.

“The concentration of high-profile talent and collaboration with the world’s top companies helps to build the company I’ve always wanted,” said Anita Koimur, co-founder and COO, LiveFlow.

Around 25% of the more than 2,500 people who have been accepted by the visa to date are founders. Fintech is the most popular area with 20% of all recipients working in the sector.

Gerard Grech, founding chief executive, Tech Nation, said: “The UK’s record level of tech job vacancies demonstrates that the need for outside talent has never been greater.

“Even with our buoyant, currently well-funded and diverse ecosystem, the UK cannot afford to be complacent in our pursuit of international talent.”

The Tech Nation visa report further found the UK is offering more technology roles compared to last year, advertising 181,000 jobs in May this year compared to 145,000 in May 2021.

International venture capital support for the UK’s tech companies has further strengthened with 73% coming from abroad investors, a 2% rise from 2021.

Tech Nation however now has competition for funding, due to an invitation from the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) to other organisations to bid for financial support from the government.