Fifty fast-growing technology companies in the UK like Shazam and Transferwise are creating jobs at six times the national average, according to data out this week. 

The firms, all part of Tech City UK’s Future Fifty initiative, have increased the size of their workforce by 30 percent on average over the last year, surpassing the national average of 5.4 percent.


Tech City UK said Future Fifty members (and the 12 Future Fifty alumni companies) now employ over 17,000 people between them, with software developers accounting for 57 percent of hires over the last year. 

Since Tech City UK established the Future Fifty initiative in 2013, companies on the programme have raised a combined total of £657 million across 22 funding rounds, with £443 million raised in the last 12 months. 

Meanwhile, four of the companies on the programme passed or approached a $1 billion valuation. 

While the numbers are impressive, it’s important to ask how much money the companies would have raised and how many jobs they would have created if they weren’t on the government-backed scheme. 

Some Future Fifty companies have previously dismissed the scheme as being little more than hype, with enterprise collaboration firm Huddle saying it was “of little to no use” and One Fine Stay saying it wasn’t sure if Tech City UK knew what it was doing with the programme.   

Future Fifty is designed to be a fast-track programme of public and private sector support that catalyses growth, creates jobs and delivers economic impact to the UK. 

Tech City UK, funded with over £2 million of taxpayer money, insists that members of Future Fifty programme receive bespoke support, including guidance on policy, recruitment and global expansion.

Philipp Stoeckl, director of the Future Fifty programme, said: “Growth-stage companies are vital to the UK’s tech ecosystem. As a leading source of innovation and jobs, it is important that we continue to attract and support the world’s most promising companies to grow and scale their businesses in the UK."