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Leeds tech sector on track for record-breaking 2022


Leeds’ tech sector is on track for a record year according to data from Dealroom analysed by the UK’s Digital Economy Council, which acts as an advisor to the DCMS.

The latest figures show that the city’s tech startups and scaleups have raised £288 million so far in 2022, an increase of 88 per cent on 2021’s figures (£153 million). The new data also reveals that investment has increased to over five times the amount raised in 2020, when tech companies raised £42 million.

As well as the impressive financial results, Leeds’ tech sector has been growing impressively in terms of workforce with over 49,000 people currently working in tech startups and scaleups across the city. These are split between established players such as Sky Betting and Gaming and Pharmacy2u, and newer challengers, with Switchmobility, Event Genius, XR Games, Taskbox and The Data City – all singled out for praise in the latest report.

Across Yorkshire tech hiring has increased 49 per cent since July last year, rising to 64 per cent in Leeds. Tech hiring accounted for a fifth of all available roles in Leeds in July, with over 2,500 jobs available compared to nearly 1,400 for accounting and finance and just over 1,300 for engineering. The most in-demand roles include software developers and engineers, as well as more specialist roles such as devops engineers and IT systems architects.

The growth of the tech sector is helped by the fact that Leeds retains over 30 per cent of its students on graduation, making it one of the top five cities for retention in the UK. Organisations such as Yorkshire Graduates help former students to find jobs at local and regional.

The close-knit tech community is also a welcoming place, the analysis found, with over 70 regular creative, digital and tech meet-ups in the city alone and an annual, two-week Digital Festival in September, with events taking place virtually and in person covering everything from AI, data, cyber security and networking.

The analysis also revealed that sustainable tech and health tech are among the strongest-performing sectors in the city currently. One tech sector that has been attracting a lot of interest is sustainability. The biggest sustainability fund raiser of 2022 so far was RAW Charging, a supplier of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, which has raised £250 million in growth funding to expand its rollout of charging points.

In the health tech field, over 60 startups are based in Leeds, doubtless attracted in part by NHS Digital, which has been located in the city since 2018. These new health companies are tackling areas such as drug development for auto-immune diseases (4D Pharma PLC), preventative health tech (Hero) and animal health (VET-AI).

Minister for Tech and Digital Economy, Damian Collins, said: “The sheer ingenuity and ambition behind Leeds’ tech sector is a force to behold. The city is a hotbed for startups and professionals driving new innovations to help us have healthier and more sustainable lives. These figures show people’s talent directly translates into new jobs and investment and I’m determined to ensure this growth and success in the city continues.”












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