The Scaleup Index 2022: A Summary
Sam Peckett, 12 october 2023
Scaleups are the UK growth champions—in 2020, they contributed £1.2tn to the UK economy. That represents over 50% of the value of the UK SME community, despite these companies making up less than 0.6% its population.
Our 2022 ScaleUp Index report, developed with the Scaleup Institute, provides an in-depth analysis of the UK’s ‘visible’ scaleups—scaleups breaking through over £10.2m turnover and/or £5.1m in assets. Read through our summary below, and download the full report for more analysis.
Scaleup companies 2022 summary
The top scaleup sector in 2022 was business and professional services with 3,823, followed by industrials at 2,070. Built environment and infrastructure, technology/IP-based businesses and retail rounded off the top five.
The top region by number of visible scaleups was London at 2,345, nearly five times as much as second placed Scotland at 477. The South East (437), Greater Manchester (332) and Leeds City Region (286) followed.
Between 2012 and 2021, £43.5b has been invested into visible scaleups across 4,596 deals. Investment reached its peak in 2021 at £8.82b. In this time, the most common amount invested is less than £500k, totalling £268m across 1,857 deals. However, the most amount was invested from deals over £50m. Across 205 deals at this value, a total of £29.5b has been raised.
BGF Growth Capital has participated in more equity deals into visible scaleups from 2012-2021, with 128 deals. Crowdfunding platforms Crowdcube and Seedrs are second and third, with 76 and 60 respectively. In terms of combined value of deal participations, Softbank Vision Fund leads the way, with £2.54b across 12 deals.
Scaleup companies are headquartered across the whole of the UK. The most populous regions are London at 27.8%, followed by the South East, home to 14.5% of firms. This is reflective of both population density in the UK and the distribution of ambitious companies in the broader high-growth ecosystem.
Despite the concentration of scaleups in the south of the UK, it is notable that Leeds ranks as the fourth most largest local authority in terms of scaleup numbers, hosting 137 companies. Other local authorities outside of London with large volumes of scaleups include Buckinghamshire, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheshire East, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Download the full report to see a breakdown on local authorities and more details on each region.
Our 2022 report follows on from the 2020 edition of the Scaleup Index, implementing a new methodology that observes more recently scaling companies. To be considered a ‘visible scaleup’ a company must have met the OECD definition of a high-growth business within the last five years (2017-2021) and file full accounts at Companies House. An OECD high-growth company is a company with average annualised growth greater than 20% per annum, over a three year period, with at least 10 employees at the start of the observation.
For more detailed analysis, including exports, the people who work at scaleups, number of employees and scaling periods, download the full report.
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