Leeds ‘set for rapid digital expansion’

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Leeds’s burgeoning digital sector has been earmarked for boom time by a leading investment bank which has identified several of the country’s fastest growing tech businesses as being from the region.

GP Bullhound, a technology investment bank with large scale bases in London and Manchester, has published data showing one of the city’s firms, SkyBet, is classed as “unicorns” or a company which is said to have a worth in excess of $1bn.

In addition, two more Leeds firms were identified as having a worth of more than $500m -the Emis Group and CallCredit in Leeds.

The research has been published by GP Bullhound following a Northern Tech Tour, held in collaboration with Bloomberg, which brought a selection of the leading tech investors from across Europe to Leeds and Manchester for two days of presentations from 23 local technology companies.

SkyBet chief executive Richard Flint told The Yorkshire Post: “It is great to see Yorkshire’s strength in technology firms highlighted by this report.

“With fantastic universities and a growing digital sector, it’s a great place to build a tech company. I hope the new Government continues to recognise the role northern businesses like ours can play in rebalancing the economy away from London.”

Hugh Campbell, managing partner at GP Bullhound, said: “The message to tech investors in Europe and the US is clear – world leading tech companies don’t just exist in London.

“The tech ecosystem that has been established in the region has a proven track record of fast-growth tech success stories and the depth of talent, ideas and funding available is creating real momentum.”

Leeds is increasingly positioning itself as a top digital centre, with as many as 23,000 jobs now devoted to the sector within the wider city-region, generating £671m for the economy in the process.