Image credit: Starling Bank
UK tech companies founded by women last year secured £3.6bn in venture capital funding in 2022, an increase of £700m on the year prior but still just 15% of the £24bn raised by all tech firms across the country last year.
Data released by the newly formed Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) found that eight female-founded UK tech firms secured more than $100m (£83.2m) last year.
However, the findings show that woman-founded companies accounted for just 13, or 9%, of the UK’s 144 tech unicorns – tech startups with a private valuation of at least $1bn.
“I want the UK to be the best place for anyone – male or female – to start and grow a tech business, so it’s brilliant to see female-founded firms attracting more investment than ever before,” said Tech Secretary Michelle Donelan.
The highest funding rounds in 2022 where at least one founder was a woman are:
- FNZ – $1.4bn – fintech
- Newcleo – $319m – nuclear tech
- Lendable – $252m – fintech
- Multiverse – $220m – edtech
- Starling Bank- $157m – fintech
- GrowUp Farms – $120m – agritech
- Karma Kitchen – $120m – foodtech
- 5ire – $100m – fintech
- Proximie – $80m – healthtech
- Cleo – $80m – fintech
According to the Dealroom-compiled report, the largest slice of female tech funding in 2022 went to pre-seed and seed tech startups. The biggest sector for female tech businesses, like the whole of the UK tech sector, is fintech.
Behind fintech for funding in 2022 was energy, which saw notable rounds from Cambridge-based Nyobolt raise £50m in July and Hydro Wind Energy secure £44.5m. There are approximately 200 UK impact startups founded by women that combined employ more than 8,000.
“At GrowUp Farms we have been growing restaurant-quality greens for almost a decade. I co-founded the business because I’m passionate about making sustainable food affordable to everyone. We’ve just launched the UK’s first vertically farmed bagged salad brand,” said Kate Hofman, founder of GrowUp Farms.
Yvonne Bajela, partner, LocalGlobe, said: “Women founders are integral to the UK tech ecosystem but we need more of them to create and build companies that can challenge the status quo and make the world better.