Published date 9 April 2024

South West highlighted as one of five ‘unicorn’ regions

Clifton Suspension Bridge
Image credit: Nathan Riley

The Startup Coalition and ClimateTech VC 2150 have launched the ClimateTech Index, spotlighting the fundraising of the top 1,000 UK-based ClimateTech startups. Valued at £26 billion, these firms have raised £15 billion over two decades and employ 24,000 people.

Among the standout features of the Index are three unicorns—Octopus Energy, Zenobē, and Ovo Energy—exemplifying exceptional entrepreneurial success. Additionally, the Index identifies five "unicorn regions" where ClimateTech ecosystems have flourished, each valued at over £1 billion.

Energy firms emerge as leaders in fundraising within the Index, amassing a remarkable £7.4 billion. However, despite witnessing a commendable 50% increase in funding between 2022 and 2023, firms in the built environment and nature-based solutions sectors continue to face funding disparities, raising, on average, a third less than their counterparts.

However, there are concerns as overall funding dropped in 2023 for the first time since the pandemic. Furthermore, the sector's overall value plummeted by £500 million during this period. Additionally, 2023 witnessed the highest number of firm failures, with 24 companies going bankrupt, coupled with only nine exits—the lowest since 2019.

The launch of the ClimateTech Index underscores the pivotal role of climate innovation in driving economic growth and sustainability. As the UK continues to navigate the evolving landscape of climate entrepreneurship, addressing funding gaps and fostering a supportive ecosystem will be crucial in unleashing the full potential of ClimateTech startups.

View the full report here.

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