Edinburgh the largest start-up hub outside of London
- Published: Wednesday, 17 February 2016 12:19
- Written by National Centre for Universities and Business
Record year of fundraising puts Scottish technology companies in pole position for global success
· Edinburgh created 44 university spin-outs last year – now the largest start-up hub in UK outside London
· University of Edinburgh spin-out PureLiFi launches 5G light based communications product LiFi-X at Mobile World Congress
· Scottish “unicorn” Skyscanner closes funding round to secure £128 million
Thirty-five ambitious Scottish technology companies are heading for one of the world’s largest technology trade shows, Mobile World Congress, to grab a bigger slice of the ($3 trillion) global mobile technology market after a record year in raising equity finance.
The trade delegation’s mission to Barcelona on 22-25 February 2016, comes after a record year of fundraising where the sector successfully raised more than £85m in risk capital in 2014 and reinforced its position as a hotspot for technology innovation and start-ups.
2014/15 marked the year in which Scotland produced its first two ‘unicorns’ – technology companies with valuations in excess of $1 billion and the country’s capital, Edinburgh, took pole position in the UK for the most technology start ups outside of London with a record number of 44 university start ups and spin outs in the year.
Joining the delegation at Mobile World Congress, is one of Edinburgh’s most successful technology companies and acclaimed unicorns, Skyscanner, which has recently closed its latest successful round of funding and secured an additional £128 million from five new investors.
In addition, award-winning university spin out company, PureLiFi, which specialises LiFi, the use of light based communications to transmit data, will join the delegation to launch its latest product the LiFi-X.
LiFi is increasingly viewed as a transformative technology that can change the way the mobile internet is used as part of future 5G cellular networks while being an enabler of the emerging Internet of Things. LiFi-X is a system with a USB powered dongle for high speed networked wireless communications using off-the-shelf LED lights, and it supports user mobility.
Harald Haas of PureLiFi, commented: “It’s exciting that so many of the tech giants are now engaging directly with LiFi through the technologies we have invented and developed at PureLiFi. The miniaturisation and integration of high performance LiFi in a dongle is a ground-breaking move towards a LiFi connected world. I am excited that we have exceeded our technical roadmap, and with LiFi-X we can develop large-scale pilots in 5G, the Internet-of-Things and Industry 4.0.”
Neil Francis, director of international operations at Scottish Development International (SDI), who will be hosting a Scottish pavilion at the event to showcase some of the brightest and best digital technology companies in Scotland, said: “Scotland’s innovative technology sector has gone from strength to strength in recent years and is benefitting from, not only a very active risk capital market, but a unique set of science and innovation assets clustered around its capital, Edinburgh.
“It is now widely recognised as one of the UK’s most successful technology start-up communities and thanks to the strength of the region’s higher education sector and business environment for start-ups, continues to produce, nurture fast growing digital companies with true global potential.
”We’ve been working close with the sector in Scotland to help support with across a wide range of areas including access to finance, commercialisation and internationalisation.”
To find out more about our work in Scotland, please visit our Growing Value Scotland pages.