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Britain home to eight $1bn techies

Britain now boasts at least eight 'unicorns' - young technology companies valued at $1bn or more. The peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle and VE Interactive, an ecommerce software outfit, are among five start-ups with billion-dollar valuations that feature in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 list. The fantasy sports game developer Fanduel and travel search engine Skyscanner, both based in Edinburgh, and fashion site Farfetch, complete the quintet. Britain has spawned a further three private tech companies of unicorn standing, including money-transfer service TransferWise, music-recognition app Shazam, and mobile ecommerce firm Powa Technologies. The UK's collection of unicorns puts it far out in front of its European rivals. Sweden trails in second place with three billion-dollar companies; while Germany boasts two unicorns. The US remains the most fertile terrain for young and fast-growing tech companies: over 70 American start-ups are now valued at more than $1bn, according to estimates.


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