Sector trends

The technology leaders of the future

What do the UK’s best performing scale-up tech companies look like? Here are four traits we’ve identified from Megabuyte’s 25 Emerging Stars report 2023.

According to figures compiled by Dealroom for the Digital Economy Council, the UK tech industry showed its resilience in 2022, reaching a combined market value of $1trn. The sector ended the year as Europe’s leading ecosystem, keeping its position as the main challenger to the US and China amid a global backdrop of difficult economic conditions.

In the March 2023 Budget, the Chancellor announced numerous initiatives to ensure the UK remains a leading location for digital and technology companies to innovate and do business. He said the government will work to maximise potential and spur UK growth and innovation.

Neil Bellamy, National Sector Head of Technology, Media, Telecoms and Services at the bank says: “The UK is renowned for its entrepreneurial and innovative technology market, showcased here in Megabuyte’s Emerging Stars of 2023 awards."

“It’s vital we continue to celebrate the success of thriving businesses and recognise the contributions to growth they make across the country. I congratulate this year’s winners, and in particular the overall winner and best performing company, Lightfoot. I wish them every success for the future."

Thriving amid tough market conditions

  • Megabuyte Emerging Stars averaged organic revenue growth of 47% in their latest financial year
  • They invest heavily to support growth with average adjusted EBITDA margins of 5%
  • The 2023 cohort favours growth over profitability
  • Most of this year’s cohort are on course to outgrow the Emerging Stars revenue criteria (£3m - £10m)
  • Most emerging stars have received external investment.

Traits of mid-sized enterprises

What do we commonly see among top performing technology companies?


Outperforming businesses provide an important point of differentiation in price sensitive markets

Lightfoot provides fleet telematics hardware and software and solutions for live, in-cab coaching to help drivers improve their driving safety and vehicle efficiency.


Early movers that invest over the years tend to see dividends

Bromcom Computers provides Management Information Systems to UK schools. It is one of the key beneficiaries of being an early mover to the cloud and stands out for still being owner managed and self-funded.


Businesses that carve a niche in established markets tend to benefit from strong partnerships

Elucidat provides a platform to create, manage and measure e-learning solutions. It has nurtured deep, embedded reseller, integration and referral partnerships that continue to drive revenue growth.


High performers have their sights set on international expansion

Lightfoot’s recent investment from Volpi should help the business consolidate its UK presence and expand within Europe (including Germany, France, and Benelux.)


Download the full report (PDF, 2.3MB) to discover the top 5 performing companies and more.

This material is published by NatWest Group plc (“NatWest Group”), for information purposes only and should not be regarded as providing any specific advice. Recipients should make their own independent evaluation of this information and no action should be taken, solely relying on it. This material should not be reproduced or disclosed without our consent. It is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction in which this would be prohibited. Whilst this information is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by NatWest Group and NatWest Group makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any kind, as regards the accuracy or completeness of this information, nor does it accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage arising in any way from any use made of or reliance placed on, this information. Unless otherwise stated, any views, forecasts, or estimates are solely those of NatWest Group, as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Copyright © NatWest Group. All rights reserved.

scroll to top