UK start-ups built to enhance SDGs secure £2bn investment

The impact tech companies are driving innovation and solutions to fighting climate change and improving health

Pathway to COP26 report

British impact tech start-ups that were set up to help bring the world closer to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have received £2 billion in investment during 2021.

Impact start-ups are companies that are set up to have a positive influence on their communities, industries and ecosystems.

Data published by Dealroom revealed that since 2018 investment in UK impacts has increased by 127%.

The UK is now home to 12 impact ‘unicorn’ companies, which are businesses worth more than $1 billion (£749m) in value.

The companies are Arrival, Octopus Energy, Babylon, ITM Power, Ceres Power Holdings, Vertical Aerospace, Compass Pathways, Depop, Ovo Energy, Britishvolt, Tractable and BenevolentAI.

These companies are developing varying innovations and solutions to make the world greener and cleaner, including zero-carbon flying taxis being developed by Vertical Aerospace and hydrogen energy systems being built by ITM Power.

The report has found that 22 impact start-ups are ‘futurecorns’ and have the potential to reach ‘unicorn’ value within the next few years.

In the UK alone, there are close to 900 impact start-ups that are using technologies such as blockchain and AI to fight climate change and improve health.

According to the study, climate tech companies account for 65% of the deals and investment within the impact space – with Octopus Energy raising the most investment this year of £438 million.

Digital Secretary, Nadine Dorries, said: “From world-class AI discovering new treatments for COVID-19 to green energy solutions paving the way to a net zero future, UK tech is transforming the world for the better.

“Our ‘impact’ start-ups are raising investment with nearly £2 billion in funding this year to help fight some of the most pressing problems we face as a planet.”

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