Tech scene is transforming Manchester’s economy


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Manchester’s transformation into a thriving tech hub continued in 2018, with the city’s tech companies raising more than £ 200million in funding.

Some of the companies that have raised significant funds include eLucid, mHealth and Push Doctor, event start-up TickX and fintech Shieldpay.

Manchester is the city with the most digital tech workers outside of London, according to the latest figures.

A Tech Nation analysis found that the city’s digital tech revenue rose 4% to £ 3.2 billion.

Manchester now has 69,837 digital technology jobs and digital technology turnover per employee reaches £ 105,000.

Billion dollar businesses – the unicorns – that have been built in the Northwest over the past few years include boohoo, AO.com, and The Hut Group.

Other digital tech successes include UKFast, the cloud hosting company that helps small startups grow, retailer PrettyLittleThing, virtual reality company Immotion Group, and AccessPay, a payments-based payment specialist. the cloud and a cash management automation provider.

According to Tech Nation research, Manchester’s digital technology sector grew steadily between 2006 and 2016, with a 130% increase in the number of businesses created per year.

In 2016, the latest year for which figures are available, 531 digital tech companies were established in Manchester and increasingly the city is also becoming a hub for blockchain.

Manchester startups that raised significant foundation rounds in 2018 include TickX, founded in 2015, which raised a £ 3million Series A funding round, led by BGF Ventures, this summer.

Peak, a member of Tech Nation’s Upscale program, raised £ 1.5million in June and Wonderwall, a startup that connects homes with thermostats and alarms, has also increased its investments this year.

Airtime Rewards, which joined Tech Nation’s first fintech program in September, raised £ 1million in May.

Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech Nation, said: “Manchester is a city with a brilliant reputation for science, commerce and creativity and is of course closely associated with Alan Turing, the father of modern computing.

“With multiple coworking spaces, private equity firms, a globally recognized academic talent pool, as well as many fast growing companies like The Hut Group and Social Chain in the city, Manchester has surpassed Amsterdam and Dublin in terms of growth in technology investments over the past few years. “

Hannah Anderson, Director of Social and Creative Media at Media Chain, said, “We love this city. It is the epicenter of creativity and disruption in the UK.

“We chose Manchester over London in 2014 because we were a group of Northerners who loved the North.

“We had an idea of ​​what we could create with the social influence we had built, and using the region’s incredible pool of digital talent, we have now created the most engaged social media portfolio in the world,” extending to London, New York and Berlin.

Gail Jones, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of UKFast, says: “Manchester’s strength is that community, business and government can work together collaboratively.

“Manchester led the industrial revolution and generations later, business leaders have great expectations of continually reinventing the city. The last few years have seen a huge acceleration in the growth of the digital technology sector in the city and Greater Manchester. “

Manchester’s digital tech sector has been helped by government agencies and businesses planning to open or expand in Manchester next year.

Government agency GCHQ and Moneysupermarket.com will open in the city while the main local tech company, The Hut Group, has said it will invest more than £ 750million in the area over the next three years.

Car maker Jaguar Land Rover recently opened a new software, IT and engineering center in Manchester that will work on its connected car technologies.

Meanwhile, Amazon is opening a new office in Manchester and booking.com has signed an agreement to open a £ 100million European headquarters in the city.

Earlier this month, Vodafone confirmed that it has chosen the city’s MediaCityUK as its incubator base to test 5G.

This will give businesses, startups and technology innovators access to 5G, Internet of Things, high-speed fiber optics and help transform the way city services, including transportation, energy and health, are managed.

Also in September, Cisco and Manchester Science Partnership announced that they would partner with GCHQ and Wayra to launch an ‘engineering accelerator’ in Manchester to uncover the UK’s brightest software engineering startups. .

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