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South Yorkshire tech funding doubles in four years

Funding for tech startups in South Yorkshire has more than doubled in the last four years, according to new research, underscoring the growth of UK regional tech hubs.

The report from Team SY, launched alongside the inaugural South Yorkshire Tech Summit, found that tech startups in the county in the first 10 months of 2022 raised £52.6m, 42% more than last year’s £37m, and more than double 2019’s £23m.

It also found that the region’s tech industry now includes as many as 3,000 startups, with 400 new tech companies formed in 2022 alone, a 14% increase on the amount formed last year.

“Thanks to our entrepreneurs, world-class research universities and talent pool, South Yorkshire is not just attracting, but creating high-quality tech companies and high-value jobs,” said South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard.

“Innovation is part of South Yorkshire’s DNA, and we are going to make sure our region flourishes by working closely with stars of the sector to create an action plan for tech growth in our region.”

Funding for tech companies in the UK has been harder to come by in the second half of the year compared to 2021. However, that hasn’t thwarted the region-specific growth in South Yorkshire.

In June, Sheffield-based AI startup Opteran raised £10m for its machine learning AI chips that mimic the brain processes of insects.

Other top digital firms in the region include video game studio Sumo Digital, data startup WANdisco, and insurtech software provider The Floow.

“There is a lot to be proud of in South Yorkshire’s tech economy, but plenty of work to do to turn its emerging startup scene into a strong, self-sustaining engine of innovation and growth,” said Darren Balcombe, deputy CEO at Capital Enterprise and Team SY lead.

“South Yorkshire is home to several market-leading tech companies and thousands of startups that need investment to scale and create new jobs faster. We aim to give those startups and the wider tech ecosystem the best start in life so that South Yorkshire can be home to many more global leaders.”

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