Friday 21 September 2018

UK races ahead of European rivals with record tech investment

St Mary Axe also know as the ‘Gherkin’ and Canary Wharf at sunrise from the City of London (PA)
St Mary Axe also know as the ‘Gherkin’ and Canary Wharf at sunrise from the City of London (PA)

Ben Woods

The UK has emerged as Europe's leading destination for tech-sector investment, outstripping rival nations by attracting nearly £3bn (€3.37bn) in funds last year.

Venture capital investment in Britain's burgeoning tech industry almost doubled to a record £2.99bn in 2017, comfortably beating second-place Germany, which notched up £694.49m.

London proved the driving force behind the investment splurge, hauling in £2.45bn over the period compared to £1.23bn in 2016, according to research by PitchBook for London & Partners.

The amount was underpinned by a string of mega injections, including £391m Series B funding into Improbable, £364m for food delivery app Deliveroo and £255m for Truphone.

Eileen Burbidge, partner at Passion Capital, said: "The UK remains one of the world's leading hubs for technology investors and it is no surprise to see that UK tech companies attracted double the amount of venture capital financing than any other European country last year.

"It's a testament to our exceptional entrepreneurs that the UK tech sector continues to produce companies that are leading in the development of cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and fintech.

"This environment and ecosystem of innovation presents tremendous opportunities for investors and will help to attract global investment into the UK's digital economy for many years to come."

The UK's financial technology sector - or fintech - proved an attractive area for investors, securing £1.34bn in VC funding, while artificial intelligence rose 50pc to a cool £200m.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "Today's record investment figures are further proof that London is the undisputed tech capital of Europe and I am committed to ensuring we take over from Silicon Valley as the world's leading tech hub.

"Technology entrepreneurs and businesses are attracted to our great city for its diverse talent pool and unique business ecosystem and I am determined that London remains open to investment and the best tech talent from all over the world."

Press Association

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