Funding for tech and smart cities businesses

Funding for products or services in development

If your company has a product or service that it is testing or still developing, but you’re not completely ready to go to market, you can grow your business in the UK through:

  • bootstrapping
  • angel investors
  • seed funding


Bootstrapping involves building a company from the ground up with nothing but personal savings and the cash coming in from the early sales or debt finance. UK government funding and tax relief can also help you, reducing cost and bringing in additional funds without releasing equity.

Government support for investors in tech and smart cities

The UK tax system provides an extremely powerful tool for entrepreneurs and their investors. The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) are UK government schemes that help younger, higher-risk businesses raise finance by offering generous tax reliefs of between 30% to 50% to investors.

Funding for growing and established companies

If you’ve developed a substantial user base and you’ve proven to investors that you’re ready for even greater success, you can access:

  • Venture Capital (VC) Series A and B funding
  • equity funding
  • crowdfunding

Series A funding, typically around £1 million upwards, is about optimising a business once it has developed a track record. This could be an established user base, consistent revenue figures, or some other key performance indicator. ​

Series B funding is typically for companies that have gone through earlier funding rounds and have proven to investors that they are prepared for success on a larger scale.

If you have an existing larger scale successful business model and you’re looking for market or product expansion you can access VC Series C.

Funding for all stages of growth and development

At any stage of development, if you’re a tech company coming to the UK you can access:

  • debt finance
  • corporate venture capital
  • regional incentives and funding
  • innovation grants and funding

Next steps

Find more information on funding for tech and other innovative companies in our [guide to incentives and funding]

Get advice on funding from UK experts – find their contact details on the Investment Support Directory

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