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The rise of UK decacorns: 13 flag bearers bolstering the tech ecosystem of Britain

UK Decacorns

As per Digital Minister Chris Philp, the UK tech sector is worth $1 trillion in terms of valuation. This makes the UK the third thriving digital economy in the world after the US and China. Also, it is worth over double that of Germany and 5x higher than France and Sweden. These details were revealed by a Dealroom report for the UK’s Digital Economy Council.

One of the growth factors includes the pandemic wherein there was dramatic tech adoption kept people connected at home. Apparently, the valuations of many companies that help people have reached new heights and taken the UK tech ecosystem into a new league.

It is estimated that 14 UK companies, including Snyk, Arrival, and Hopin, valued between $5 billion and $10 billion are expected to attain the decacorn (valued over $10 billion) status in the next few years. Notably, this number of future decacorns is higher in the UK while it is five in Germany and three in France.

The report further revealed that the UK tech companies have raised over £6 billion with more than half (£3.3 billion) raised by fintech companies in the first quarter of 2022. Another trend that it has been noted is the location. While most of the UK’s decacorns and unicorns are concentrated in London, it is likely to change as now 44 unicorns are spread across the regions and 100 regional futurecorns are doing the groundwork for future success.

Having said that, here we have listed the 13 decacorns in the UK right now ranging from fintech to e-commerce and big data specialists.

Markit
Image credits: Markit

Markit

Founder/s: Kevin Gould, Lance Uggla
Founded year: 2003
Total funding: $250M
Valuation: $46.9B

Big data company Markit from London is a part of S&P Global. It offers the next step in delivering data, technology, and expertise that accelerates progress. IHS provides information and analysis to support the decision-making process of businesses and governments in regards to various industries.

In 2016, the financial information services giant Markit signed a definitive agreement with US-based IHS to combine both companies in a new entity.

WorldPay
Image credits: WorldPay

WorldPay

Founder/s: Nick Ogden
Founded year: 1993
Total funding: $30.4M
Valuation: $43B

Another decacorn from London is WorldPay. It is a global leader in payments processing technology and solutions for its merchant customers. The fintech company simplifies payments by breaking through borders and obstacles to help businesses grow. WorldPay wants to be the partner for connected commerce for businesses around the world.

In February this year, WorldPay entered into a partnership with Crypto.com, the world’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency platform, to be a global validator and operator for the Crypto.org Chain. Notably, Crypto.org Chain is a public blockchain, which enables transactions worldwide between people and businesses.

Checkout.com
Image credits: Checkout.com

Checkout.com

Founder/s: Guillaume Pousaz
Founded year: 2012
Total funding: $1.8B
Valuation: $40B

One of the most valuable UK tech startups is Checkout.com, a leader in the massive market for next-gen payment solutions and the key digital payments partner for many of the world’s leading companies. The fintech company is all set to strengthen its position in Web3. Currently, it serves large-scale e-commerce and services merchants including Netflix, Farfetch, Grab, NetEase, Pizza Hut, and more.

The global payments processor Checkout.com raised a massive $1 billion in a Series D funding round in January this year. With this, it reached a valuation of $40 billion.

Revolut
Image credits: Revolut

Revolut

Founder/s: Nikolay Storonsky, Vladyslav Yatsenko
Founded year: 2015
Total funding: $1.7B
Valuation: $33B

London-based Revolut is a financial services company that specialises in mobile banking, card payments, money remittance, and foreign exchange. It includes a prepaid debit card, currency exchange, and peer-to-peer payments. It is on a mission to build a fair and frictionless platform to use and manage money around the world.

A few days back, the company announced that over €10 million has been raised by its customers and the neobank through a charity appeal to help those impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The funds will go to the Red Cross Ukraine appeal. Notably, Revolut is one of the few fintechs that has set up donation schemes to help those devastated by the conflict.

ARM
Image credits: ARM

ARM

Founder/s: Jamie Urquhart, Mike Muller, Tudor Brown, Lee Smith, John Biggs, Harry Oldham, Dave Howard, Pete Harrod, Harry Meekings, Al Thomas, Andy Merritt, David Seal
Founded year: 1990
Total funding: NA
Valuation: $31.7B

Headquartered in Cambridge, ARM Holdings is a semiconductor company that designs, produces, and licenses IP instead of manufacturing and selling actual semiconductor chips. These IPs are used by billions of devices. Besides processor IP, ARM provides a range of tools, physical and systems IP to enable optimised system-on-chip designs.

Recently, Cortex Hub announced the launch of the Arm Ecosystem lab in partnership with ARM. The lab will focus on demonstrating the latter’s IP products, software, and solutions capabilities, as well as introducing ARM’s technology ecosystem to South Africa.

FNZ
Image credits: FNZ

FNZ

Founder/s: Adrian Durham, Kate Hyndman
Founded year: 2004
Total funding: $1.4B
Valuation: $20B

Yet another London-based fintech decacorn is FNZ. It partners with financial institutions to enable them to provide multi-channel wealth management services to their clients across direct, intermediated, and workplace channels. FNZ develops long-term partnerships with customers to enable them to get to market with a market-leading digital proposition, transform their customer service offering, and grow assets under management across multiple distribution channels.

The wealth management platform provider raised $1.4 billion in February this year. The investment round was led by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Motive Partners.

Wise
Image credits: Wise

Wise

Founder/s: Kristo Kaarmann, Taavet Hinrikus
Founded year: 2011
Total funding: $396M
Valuation: $15.3B

Wise is a money transfer service allowing private individuals and businesses to send money abroad without hidden charges. It provides a core money transfer product, along with a borderless account for its audience of expats, freelancers, and travellers with over £2 billion in current deposits. The vision of this London fintech is to make international money transfers cheap, fair, and simple.

Rapyd
Image credits: Rapyd

Rapyd

Founder/s: Arik Shtilman, Arkady Karpman, Omer Priel
Founded year: 2015
Total funding: $770M
Valuation: $15B

Rapyd is another London fintech decacorn that has occupied a place in this list. The payments platform inserts fintech services into any app and simplifies the complex offering of local payment methods. With Rapyd’s payments network and Fintech-as-a-Service platform, businesses and consumers can engage in local and cross-border transactions in any market.

In 2021, Rapyd picked up $300 million in a Series E funding round led by Target Global alongside new investors, including funds managed by Fidelity Management and Research Company, Altimeter Capital, Whale Rock Capital, BlackRock Funds, and Dragoneer and existing investors.

Ocado
Image credits: Ocado

Ocado Group

Founder/s: Jason Gissing, Jonathan Faiman, Tim Steiner
Founded year: 2000
Total funding: $39.6M
Valuation: $14.1B

An e-commerce decacorn from Hatfield, Ocado Group, transforms online grocery through cutting-edge technology and automation. It offers fruits and nuts, wine, vegetables, grocery and household items, milk, eggs, and fish and seafood. Also, the company provides a slew of other essential products.

In 2020, the online grocer acquired two robotics companies Kindred Systems of San Francisco and Haddington Dynamics of Las Vegas. With these acquisitions, the company will tackle the hardest challenges in robotics – picking and packing of groceries.

Admiral Group
Image credits: Admiral Group

Admiral Group

Founder/s: Henry Engelhardt
Founded year: 1993
Total funding: NA
Valuation: 11.3B

Based out of Cardiff, Admiral Group, a fintech company is one of the largest car insurance providers in the UK with a presence in eight countries. The company is constantly investigating new products, services and markets. A few months back, the insurtech company Admiral Group appointed William Roberts as an independent non-executive director.

Global Switch
Image credits: Global Switch

Global Switch

CEO: John Corcoran
Founded year: 1998
Total funding: NA
Valuation: $10.6B

London’s Global Switch owns and operates state-of-the-art data centres across Europe and Asia-Pacific. With its data centers collectively occupying around 390,000 sq. metres of space, Global Switch caters to the needs of organisations of all sizes, including private and public sector entities. Enterprises can seamlessly integrate their data with internet service providers, telecom companies and cloud service providers.

eToro
Image credits: eToro

eToro

Founder/s: David Ring, Ronen Assia, Yoni Assia
Founded year: 2007
Total funding: $890M
Valuation: $10.4B

Yet another notable fintech decacorn is eToro, a social trading and investment network that allows users to trade currencies, commodities, indices, crypto assets and stocks. The multi-asset investment platform empowers people to grow their knowledge and wealth as part of a global community of successful investors.

Currently, eToro is a global community of over 23million registered users who share their investment strategies. Due to the simplicity of its platform, users can easily buy, hold and sell assets, monitor their portfolio in real time, and transact whenever they want.

Deliveroo
Image credits: Deliveroo

Deliveroo

Founders: Will Shu, Greg Orlowski
Founded year: 2012
Total funding: $1.6B
Valuation: $10B

The online food ordering and delivery marketplace Deliveroo is based in London, Deliveroo. The company lets users discover multiple restaurants by simply entering the postcode on the platform. The food is delivered by its own delivery team and it allows customers to track their food orders in real-time.

In early 2021, Deliveroo secured $180 million in a Series H funding round led by existing shareholders Durable Capital Partners LP and Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC.

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