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Edinburgh, Brighton, and Cambridgeshire: UK’s Fastest Growing Innovation Hubs

Fintech has reclaimed its dominance as the most-funded startup sector in the UK, with $1.4billion raised across 73 rounds in the first quarter of 2024, according to analysis from HSBC Innovation Banking and Dealroom.

Despite energy briefly surpassing fintech in 2023, fintech has regained its supremacy with notable late-stage investments in companies like Monzo, Flagstone and PPRO. While fintech is back on top as UK’s most-funded startup sector, semiconductors and quantum computing are also gaining momentum.

London still holds its position as the top city in the UK and Europe for venture capital raised in 2024. However, funding is now spreading to various innovation hubs across the country. Edinburgh  Brighton and Cambridgeshire have experienced the most significant growth in venture capital this year compared to 2023.

Significant rounds for a diverse set of companies largely drove this, including those for videogame developers Build a Rocket Boy (Edinburgh), drug discovery company Enterprise Therapeutics (Brighton), and quantum computing firm Quantinuum (Cambridge).

Simon Bumfrey, head of technology and life sciences at HSBC Innovation Banking UK, commented: “This data reflects a busy start to the year for the UK innovation ecosystem – from growth in investment in established and emerging areas like fintech and quantum computing to expansion of regional tech hubs across the length and breadth the country, there is much to celebrate.

“We remain optimistic and excited about UK innovation in 2024 and are committed to supporting and partnering with innovators, investors and the broader ecosystem.”

In the first quarter of 2024, UK startups collectively raised $3.9billion, indicating a potential stabilisation of VC investment levels in the UK following a sharp global reset from H2 2022.  Early-stage investments in Q1 surpassed the levels of the two previous quarters, reaching $1billion.


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