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Online safety tech is helping to make the Internet a safer place for millions of people and the UK is leading the way when it comes to innovation. Indeed, companies based in UK cities including London, Leeds, Cambridge and Edinburgh make up 25% of the global market share for safety tech products, an independent report reveals.
According to the study, ‘Safer technology, safer users: The UK as a world leader in Safety Tech’*, the number of dedicated online safety firms has doubled over the last five years and , while investment increased more than eight-fold in 2019, making it a record year. The report estimates that since 2016, the sector has witnessed 35% annual growth and by 2025, revenues could exceed £1 billion.
Despite the sector’s relatively recent emergence, nearly half (47%) of UK safety tech firms already have an identifiable international presence.
The report defines safety technology as “any organisation involved in developing technology or solutions to facilitate safer online experiences, and to protect users from harmful content, contact or conduct”.
At present, over 1,700 individuals are employed by more than 70 safety tech firms across the UK, with London, Leeds, Cambridge and Edinburgh all cited as emerging regional centres of excellence. Furthermore, the report says we can expect to see the UK’s first safety tech unicorn — a company worth more than $1 billion — in the coming years.
Among the innovations developed by UK Safety Tech firms is technology that helps detect and remove harmful content from social media and online games; fact-checking capabilities for tackling fake news and information; and online filters for schools.
Interested in getting into the world of safety tech and helping make the Internet a safer place?
While the research for the report was conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic, high growth rates are still projected for the UK Safety Tech sector due to increased demand for the products it produces.