Glasgow is bucking a largely downward European trend for startup and scaleup venture capital (VC), according to a new investment platform showcasing the city’s tech scene.

Dealroom, the global data platform for intelligence on startups, has released a new ecosystem report and platform for the city which shows eight per cent growth in VC funding in Q2 in 2023 compared to 2022, with £170m raised by startups.

The city ranks third on a list of UK cities for VC investment, behind Manchester at 25 per cent growth and Birmingham on 18 per cent, with others such as Nottingham, Cardiff and London falling behind.

More widely, against selected European cities, Glasgow fared better. It secured more VC investment than Milan (4.5 per cent), Zurich (-25 per cent), Madrid, Oxford (both -32 per cent) and Edinburgh (-43 per cent), according to figures put together by the Dutch data giant.

Last year saw a record value set for external investments in Scottish university spinout companies with Glasgow-based universities featuring twice in the top 20 in the UK for most spinouts, the report showed.

The Glasgow City Region Ecosystem Report, initiated by the Digital Economy team of Glasgow City Council and supported by Invest Glasgow, showed that the enterprise value of the region’s tech ecosystem currently stands at £3.4bn – having risen by 89 per cent since 2018.

The report showcased regional cluster strengths in healthtech, precision medicine, net zero/climate technologies, space, fintech, advanced manufacturing and the digital and creative economy.

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow’s reputation for innovation, invention and ambition continues to define the city and this report by Dealroom shows that across the region we are attracting new businesses and new entrepreneurs. This confidence in our city as a place to do businesses is creating hundreds of specialised, high-value jobs across the city.”

Mark Logan, the Scottish Government’s chief entrepreneur, said in the report: “The Glasgow tech ecosystem has entered a virtuous cycle. Catalysts such as the Innovation Districts, Techscaler, and an increased focus from our universities on entrepreneurship are combining to create more, and stronger startups.

“These, in turn, create more belief, and strengthen the ecosystemʼs experience base, leading to further start-up creation. Itʼs the most exciting entrepreneurial environment weʼve seen
in Glasgow in living memory.” is a global data platform that comprehensively tracks the performance of regional tech businesses ranging from start-ups to high growth companies and their associated investments.

Glasgow City Council’s collaboration with Dealroom was officially announced six months ago at its 24th State of the City Conference when it unveiled its Glasgow City Region Tech Ecosystem Platform.

It is the UK’s first standalone regional Dealroom platform, designed to support local government, academia and other public-private agencies.

Showcasing the value of detailed analysis of start-ups, scale-ups and innovation assets headquartered, founded or with a key presence here in Glasgow.

It is providing reliable data important for entrepreneurs, potential investors and enablers operating in, or considering entering, the Glasgow marketplace.

It also provides all start-ups and scaleups with a valuable and free, open-source business platform and profile. Meanwhile their data contributes to and helps inform the overall picture of growth across Glasgow’s tech ecosystem.

Highlights from the inaugural annual report shows:

  • Startups in the Glasgow metropolitan area continue to attract increasing levels of investment in stark contrast to many of Europe’s leading and emerging ecosystems, with 8% investment growth over the past 12 months
  • Startups in Health, Energy, Real Estate, Fintech and Semiconductors industries have raised nearly two thirds of the total investment rounds over the past 5 years in Glasgow, including: EnteroBiotix, HVS, arbnco, AlbaCo and M Squared Lasers.
  • The first quarter of 2023 has been Glasgow City Region’s third highest on record for venture capital investment with notable investments since the start of the year in companies like Phlo Technologies, Causeway Therapeutics, DxCover and IbisVision.
  • Research carried out across city regional universities has led to the creation of more than 100 spinout companies. Regional companies including Solasta Bio, Krucial and Novosound have all contributed to this.
  • Generating more than 1,000 jobs and encouraging a bold new wave of alumni to choose an entrepreneurial career.

Anne McLister, head of digital economy, Glasgow City Council, said: “As Scotland’s biggest city, Glasgow has huge business appeal offering an abundance of talent and collaborative networks across our flourishing tech and creative communities.

“Our emerging tech ecosystem benefits from the resources that our renowned higher and further education institutions offer including a highly educated pool of talented people who possess strong research and innovation capabilities.”

Glasgow’s three distinct university-anchored Innovation Districts underline the region’s unrivalled appeal as an attractive high-quality, low-cost living environment for entrepreneurs and start-ups, supported by the city’s high graduate retention rate.

This landscape is encouraged by the increasing commercialisation of research associated with cutting-edge technologies like IoT, quantum tech and nano fabrication, photonics & optronics and 5G to 6G.