With 126 companies listing in the UK in 2021, tech companies made up 29% of listings on the LSE, indicating the UK tech industry’s increasing maturity and driving much of the London market’s success.
Landmark IPOs of UK-headquartered businesses in 2021 included Deliveroo, Moonpig and Trustpilot. The 37 tech IPOs compare with just eight in 2020.
London also proved its international competitiveness by attracting companies from Denmark (Trustpilot), Canada (AlphawaveIP) and the US (Devolver Digital)
It follows then that this would be one of the dominant categories of tech companies making public debuts in 2021, with a total of seven fintech companies listing including LendInvest, PensionBee and Wise.
Ecommerce companies were another dominant category, illustrating the increasing trend towards online shopping which accelerated sharply during the pandemic.
A total of 10 ecommerce companies listed in London in 2021. This included consumer commerce companies such as Moonpig, Made.com and InTheStyle, as well as B2B companies including CMOstores.com which serves construction businesses.
The publication of Lord Hill’s UK Listings Review in March 2021 demonstrated that the UK Government wants the UK Capital Markets to be the global destination for innovative companies to fund themselves.
Proposals to reform dual class share structures, free float requirements and other elements of importance to founder-led businesses were picked up and taken forward by government and the Financial Conduct Authority, followed by a surge in tech listings seen last year.
The listing rule reforms also saw the evolution of the UK’s SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) regime to better meet the needs of those seeking capital, with investment firm Hambro Perks announcing in November that it was launching London’s first SPAC under the new rules.
Following the success of the UK’s tech sector in recent years, 2022 now has the potential to be another record-breaking year, with the maturity of the UK tech sector indicating a strong pipeline of companies ready to come to market.
According to the latest data by Dealroom, the UK is now home to 116 unicorns – tech companies that are worth $1 billion or more in value – and 213 futurecorns – high growth tech companies that are predicted to reach the $1 billion mark in the future, indicating a strong pipeline of listings to come.
“2021 was a brilliant year for UK tech and it’s great to see just how many companies have grown from startup to scale-up, to finally becoming publicly-listed businesses on the London markets,” says Digital Minister Chris Philp.