Here's the outlook of UK tech startups right now - and how they feel about Brexit, business confidence and hiring talent

 
Lynsey Barber
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Challenges face UK startups, especially finding talent (Source: Getty)

More UK tech startups are now worried that Brexit will be bad for business as the referendum on Britain's membership of Europe inches ever closer.

In a comprehensive new survey of startups in the UK by Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), 70 per cent believe Brexit will have a negative impact on their businesses, a rise on the 64 per cent who felt the same way last year.

"Leaving the EU would significantly reduce U.S. investment and jobs in the UK as they transfer their business to other EU countries,” said one executive. Just six per cent believe Brexit would be positive.

The survey echoes similar conclusions from several tech groups, including Coadec, Tech London Advocates and TechUK which have gauged many of the country's most innovative new companies on the matter of EU membership.

The views on Brexit are just one of the findings from SVB's latest annual startup outlook survey, gauging how businesses are feeling and the challenges they face.

Although the majority are confident about what the year ahead holds, the survey reveals they are less so than last year, with confidence dropping 21 percentage points.

Four out of five said the fundraising environment was challenging, and nearly all agreed that finding the right talent remained a problem.

And it was access to talent which was identified as the biggest policy issue for starups, followed by international trade.

While startups are expressing a more negative outlook than last year, the bank called it a "recalibration".

“Whilst global markets have slowed in 2016, we’re cautiously optimistic about the UK innovation economy,” said SVB's Europe, Middle East and Africa boss Phil Cox.

“We’re expecting a healthy recalibration in terms of tech valuations, but funding will always be available for startups solving real problems. This year, businesses will be focusing on profitability over growth at all costs – which will ensure that the UK innovation economy continues to thrive and maintain its position on the global stage.”

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