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Top tech stats: the sharing economy, Q3 UK startup funding decline & more

sharing economy

Welcome to your round up of some of the past week’s most interesting surveys, statistics and reports relevant to those involved in the UK tech industry.

This week, we have statistics relating to the sharing economy, digital disruption, the collaborative economy and a decline in startup funding in Q3.

Sharing economy

A third of UK adults are engaging in sharing economy transactions, according to Lloyds Bank Insurance’s bi-annual ‘Britain at Home’ report.

Additionally, 22% of UK adults surveyed have adapted their homes in order to take advantage of the sharing economy. Of those that say they are engaging in the sharing economy, 30% claim to be looking to increase or maintain the same level of usage of these services in the future.

The report found the most popular services and items rented in the UK to be short-term holiday lets (27%), car rental (18%), long-term lets (14%), and parking spaces or driveways (12%).

Men are taking advantage of the opportunities the sharing economy presents more than women. The research found nearly a fifth of men earn money from renting out items such as DIY tools (17%) lawnmowers (13%), compared to 9% of women (DIY tools 9%, lawnmowers 9%).

Tim Downes, senior claims manager at Lloyds Bank Insurance, commented: “The growth in the sharing economy offers homeowners a great opportunity to make extra cash from their homes and possessions, while those renting them can save a few pounds too.”

Digital disruption

Research by Microsoft titled Digital Transformation: The Age of Innocence, Inertia or Innovation?, found 50% of UK business leaders fear that their industry will face significant digital disruption within the next two years.

The financial services sector demonstrated the most anxiety, with 65% of respondents fearing significant digital disruption.

Additionally, 44% of UK business leaders say their existing business models will cease to exist within the next five years, and 46% of business decision makers say leaders in their organisations are unwilling to disrupt their existing model in order to compete.

Nicola Hodson, general manager of marketing and operations at Microsoft UK, commented: “The dawn of the fourth industrial revolution is a massive opportunity for British businesses but many are still living in an age of innocence or inertia when they need to be innovating.

“Whilst this research indicates that business models are breaking, many business leaders appear unwilling to address them,” she added.

Untapped collaborative economy

Research by innovation foundation Nesta revealed just 9% of Brits used a collaborative economy platform for a social purpose in the last year.

Whilst almost a third of 16-34 have used a collaborative economy platform for a ‘good cause’ within the last year, only 6% of all British adults surveyed accessed support for themselves from someone else in this way.

Similarly, the research found only 3% of adults aged 55+ have used a collaborative economy platform for health and care support.

As 87% of people have not used a collaborative platform to access support from someone else or to offer support to others, the research shows some 45 million Brits are not yet aware of the potential benefits. 22% of adults would be interested in using one in the future, however.

Helen Goulden, executive director of the Innovation Lab at Nesta, said: “The popularity of sharing economy platforms like Airbnb and Uber remain undimmed, with billions being invested into digital commercial platforms that enable people to access the things they need in different ways. While these disruptive businesses raise important issues, we’ve become utterly fixated with an incredibly narrow definition of the sharing economy.

“But entrepreneurs from across the sectors are now showing us new, exciting ways of harnessing the sharing economy to meet societal, not just consumer, needs,” she concluded.

Funding

Beauhurst has released a report outlining the equity investments made in UK startups, including both tech and non-tech firms.

The research showed that deals completed by equity crowdfunding platforms fell 20% compared to last quarter. Private equity and venture capital deal numbers also fell by 10%.

Additionally in Q3, overall deal numbers fell over 16% compared to the previous quarter. Deal numbers decreased in most regions, except for the East Midlands (133% increase) and the North East (100% increase).

Pedro Madeira, head of research at Beauhurst, commented: “The continued slowdown of equity fundraising is worrying, but to be expected given recent events.

“We fear the re-emergence of a real gap in venture funding for early-stage companies looking to grow, which could turn Brexit uncertainty into Brexit calamity for UK startups.”