Silicon Valley Bank Releases Startup Outlook UK 2016

London - 10 March 2016

Fourth Annual Report Reveals Perspectives from Startup Companies in the UK

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), bank of the world’s most innovative businesses and their investors, released its Startup Outlook report today. The report, now in its fourth year in the UK, is based on an annual survey of technology and healthcare startups that gauges their perceptions on business conditions, fundraising, hiring and policy issues. Silicon Valley Bank also surveyed startups in the US and China this year.

“Whilst global markets have slowed in 2016, we’re cautiously optimistic about the UK innovation economy,” said Phil Cox, Head of EMEA and President of Silicon Valley Bank’s UK Branch. “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.”

Highlights from the UK survey follow and are based on responses from primarily private technology companies with fewer than 50 employees and less than $10M in annual revenue:

Business Conditions

  • 58% of startups said they expect 2016 to be better than 2015, a 21 percentage point drop over the last two years


  • 72% said leaving the EU would have a negative effect on their business, up from 64% the prior year


  • 80% said the fundraising environment is somewhat or extremely challenging
  • 40% of startups expect their next source of funding will come from venture capitalists
  • 59% said their realistic long-term goal is to be acquired; 17% said complete an IPO
  • 83% said the M&A market will stay the same or there will be more acquisitions over the next 12 months


  • 60% said access to talent is their most important public policy issue
  • 95% said it is challenging to find people with the right skills to grow their business, up from 89% in 2013
  • 42% said the lack of access to talent has inhibited product development and 48% said it makes it more difficult to scale their operations


  • 61% of startups had no women on their board and 47% had no women in executive positions
  • 15% have programs in place to increase the number of women in leadership positions

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