The UK is dominating the global tech market and our digital tech industries are growing 32 per cent faster than the rest of the economy (in turnover), according to the Tech Nation 2016 report, released this month. What’s more, London has become the European tech capital, attracting record investment levels. The capital’s digital technology sector is growing faster than both the London and wider UK economy and is forecast to do so for the next decade, finds research from London & Partners, with over a quarter of a million people are currently employed in the digital sector in inner London alone.
However, despite the fact that this sector is driving London’s economy, 98 per cent of the UK’s digital companies are still defined as small businesses. But with the right mix of media support, and by exploring commercial partnerships and shared reward structures, the growth of companies like these could be greatly accelerated. There is huge untapped potential in companies that might already have a proven business model and funding, but have yet to make the move from online leadership to mass awareness.
By combining the significant entrepreneurial talent that we have here in the UK, with access to some of the world’s most in-demand yet hard to reach consumers, we can cement Britain’s position at the forefront of Europe’s tech revolution. The technology scene has developed around transforming industries where London already excels – such as fashion and lifestyle, finance, and advertising.
As a result, we have seen the emergence of attractive, fast-growing e-commerce and FinTech companies. These businesses are greatly compatible with the London Audience, which has a high density of wealth, and consolidation is really low, creating opportunities to use Out-of-Home campaigns to develop a market leader with a highly recognisable brand.
Media for Equity is a funding model pioneered in Germany and it has been commonly used since early 2000. While there is currently an active and supportive early-stage investment community for startups, there is a lack of later stage capital and many see it as the reason behind why there are less billion dollar companies in the UK and why some companies decide to move to the US.
Media for Equity is an alternative to alleviate this constraint and offer a cost-effective brand and awareness building medium. By offering a share of equity in return for valuable outdoor advertising space and other services, businesses with fast growth potential can connect with urban audiences, helping to build market awareness, accelerating customer take-up, but also raising their profile among investors.
Let’s grow a UK tech industry to rival the US and keep our home-grown talent on this side of the pond.
Shaun Gregory, CEO at Exterion Media