Almost one in three of Europe’s top technology companies since the turn of the century were founded in Britain, more than twice as many as France or Germany.
Researchers at the consultancy McKinsey have calculated that 319 of the 1,000 most valuable tech start-ups created since 2000 were British.
This compares to 149 for Germany, 143 for France, and 64 for Sweden, which has created some of the continent’s most valuable technology firms, followed by Switzerland, the Netherlands and Spain.
The report found that the UK was particularly over-represented when it came to financial technology, or fintech, companies, as well as artificial intelligence start-ups. However, it produces proportionally fewer enterprise software companies.
The figures are the latest demonstration of Britain’s status as a technology hub. Start-ups such as Revolut and Hopin have contributed to record fundraising in recent months, despite warnings that Brexit could chill investment.
Start-ups in the UK tend to raise more money than their continental counterparts, at €176m (£150m) compared to €164m, although on average they endure lower valuations.
Top countries for European tech start-ups
McKinsey’s report was presented as a long-term study of Europe’s technology industry, since start-ups can often take more than a decade to become established. It found that 15pc of so-called “network” companies, whose value derives from a large and self-sustaining user base, took more than 15 years to secure a €1bn valuation.
One in three “product”-based start-ups, which depend on innovative software to attract users, took more than a decade to reach the milestone.
The report found that British companies dominated when it came to areas such as fintech, which accounted for a quarter of Britain’s top companies compared to less than a fifth across Europe, and artificial intelligence, 3pc of start-ups compared to just 1pc across the continent. It was less well represented in business software, at 13pc compared to 19pc for Europe.
British success stories in AI include DeepMind, bought by Google in 2014, while a host of fintech companies including Revolut and Checkout.com have been valued at over £10bn.
Investment in start-ups in Britain jumped last year despite the coronavirus pandemic, with the companies raising a record $15bn (£11bn) last year, according to figures from industry body Tech Nation released earlier this year. This is expected to be surpassed this year.
The record private fundraising comes despite more technology companies, such as Deliveroo and Darktrace, turning to the public markets.