UK startups less likely to seek government help than European counterparts

By Ellen Daniel

UK startups are less likely to accept government help than their French and German counterparts, according to a survey from Dealroom and LocalGlobe.

The UK government has launched its Future Fund, which provides loans of £125,000 to £5m to “innovative companies” struggling financially due to the pandemic. However, according to Sifted, only 53 out of 533 applications to the Future Fund have been accepted so far.

The Welsh government also launched a £5m grant for early-stage startups at the end of June.

The research revealed that 49% of European companies have turned to banks for government-backed loans during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the first two months of the crisis more likely to affect the revenue of later-stage tech companies. 40% of European companies are anticipating a fall in revenue of at least 25%.

Nearly half of French startups have applied for R&D grants targeted at early stage tech startups, compared with 13% and 17% of startups in the UK and Germany respectively. Only 7% of French companies surveyed believed that applying for grants was too much effort or that they were not eligible for them, compared with 48% in Germany and 21% in the UK.

A third of French startups said they would also consider applying for additional help.

This comes as Dealroom, along with Sifted, launches European Startups Dashboard, a dashboard that provides data on all startups across the EU and is designed to inform policymakers. The initiative is supported by the European Commission and European Parliament

Pēteris Zilgalvis, head of unit, Digital Innovation and Blockchain, DG Connect, European Commission, said:

“Europe’s innovation economy has flourished in the past few years and proved an important engine of growth for the broader economy and Europe’s competitiveness on a global scale. While the crisis has threatened the existence of some business models, it’s also generating great opportunities for innovation and creativity.

“As we enter the post-crisis era, data will prove to be an invaluable resource for anyone trying to capitalise on that new momentum. It will also be vital for navigating market.”

Read More: Covid-19 is paving the way for a digital renaissance.