Monday 1 July 2019 4:01 am

Tech startups’ confidence rises despite political uncertainty

Confidence levels among UK tech startups has ticked up fractionally over the last quarter, despite the impact of the unsettled political landscape.

New data from tech firm Studio Graphene revealed 80 per cent of tech startups are either confident or very confident about their growth prospects for the coming year, a one per cent rise on the previous three months.

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Despite the confidence boost, the research showed businesses were taking a more cautious approach to expansion.

Only 73 per cent of startups said they planned to hire more staff in the next 12 months, while only 59 per cent intended to raise finance. This marks a drop of 18 per cent and seven per cent respectively.

However, there was a slight rise in the number of firms planning to expand into new territories.

“It’s positive to note the vast majority of these businesses remain optimistic about their growth prospects for the year ahead, regardless of Brexit and the Hunt-Johnson showdown,” said Studio Graphene founder and director Ritam Gandhi.

“However, the slight dip in the number of companies seeking investment or planning to hire more people should sound a warning that the ongoing political and economic uncertainty is resulting in a slightly more conservative approach among some entrepreneurs.”

The report also showed that hiring the right talent remains the biggest challenge facing UK tech startups, with 54 per cent citing this as an obstacle to growth.

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The UK has secured its reputation as a leading tech hub in recent months, with recent figures revealing a huge rise in tech visa applications and a surge in tech investment projects in London.

However, ongoing uncertainty around Brexit and the UK’s immigration policy has sparked warnings that the country must not take its booming tech sector for granted.