To date, London has been hailed as the undisputed tech capital of Europe! According to the latest report by Dealroom.co and London & Partners, the companies founded in the UK tech capital helped Europe reach record levels of tech venture capital funding in 2020.
Raised £7.6 billion in 2020
The findings also revealed that the UK capital received more tech VC investment than any European city in 2020. Despite the global pandemic, the UK’s exit from the European Union, London tech firms raised $10.5 billion (approx £7.6 billion) in 2020 – significantly more than the total amount raised in 2017 (£5.1B) and 2018 (£4.3B) and close to the record in 2019 (£7.8B).
London at the heart of growth
2020 was a record year for VC funding into Europe’s tech sector, with figures from Dealroom.co revealing European tech companies raised $43.1 billion (approx £31.4 billion) last year. London was at the heart of this growth, with its tech firms accounting for a quarter of all European tech funding.
Some of the largest deals involving London companies included: a $500 million (approx £365 million) Series D funding round for London fintech firm Revolut; a $400 million (approx £292 million) deal for electric vehicle maker, Arrival and two funding rounds totalling $527 million (approx £384 million) for a renewable energy provider, Octopus Energy.
The data also says that London based VC firms have unprecedented levels of fresh capital to deploy in 2021. In this regard, let’s have a look at the list of top VCs that have invested in London tech firms in 2020.
Founders: Adam M. Boujida, Alice Bentinck, Matt Clifford, and Odero Otieno
Entrepreneur First invests in individuals “pre-team, pre-idea” to help create new technology startups. The VC is funded by some of the most prestigious investors including Y Combinator, Index Ventures, and Octopus Ventures. In 2020, they made seed investments in London-based tech startups like Cosmos Video, Omnipresent, Novoic and more.
Founders: Robin Klein, and Saul Klein
Founders: Aviad Eyal, Martin Moshal
Entrée Capital provides multi-stage funding for innovative startups and companies all over the world. The VC firm manages over $500 million across six funds. With offices in Israel, UK, and the US, Entrée Capital has realised 23 exits and IPOs and its portfolio has 13 unicorns.
While they were a part of Rapyd’s recent mega deal, in 2020, they also made several seed investments in London-based tech startups, some prominent ones being Cazoo and Kuda Bank.
Founders: Leila Zegna, Mark Evans, Russell Buckley
Kindred is an early-stage venture capital fund based in London that practises equitable venture. As per the company’s claims, every entrepreneur they invest in becomes a co-owner of the fund – an ‘equitable venture.’ In 2020, they made some huge investments in London’s tech startups like Paddle and Ori Biotech including Series A and seed funding.
Founders: Reshma Sohoni, Saul Klein
Seedcamp identifies and invests early in founders attacking the large, global market and solving real problems using technology. So far, the company has invested in 260+ startups. In 2020, they made seed investments in Contingent, Habitual and more.
Founders: David Rimer, Giuseppe Zocco, Neil Rimer
Index Ventures is a London and San Francisco-based international venture with offices in London, San Francisco, and Geneva, helping entrepreneurs turn bold ideas into global businesses. The VC firm covers every investment stage, from the earliest seed through to explosive growth. In Series A, the VC backed Codat, Peanut, Argent in 2020.
Founders: Mattias Ljungman, Niklas Zennström
Atomico is an international investment firm that focuses on helping disruptive technology companies scale globally and has several unicorns in its portfolio including Klarna, Omio, MessageBird and more. In Series A, the VC backed LabGenius and Qatalog in 2020.
Founder: Klaus Hommels
Lakestar is a venture capital firm known for investing in technology companies like Spotify, Revolut, sennder and more. The VC firm helps companies to identify new markets and expand into them rapidly, with a focus on the US and Europe. The investments range from early-stage companies to those in their growth stage. In terms of Series A, the VC backed UK open banking fintech Yapily in 2020.
Founder: Bjorn Stray, Tellef Thorleifsson
Northzone prefers to make minority investments in seed-stage, early-stage, and later-stage companies. The firm has offices across the Nordics, London, and New York and has backed startups like Klarna, Kahoot, Tier and more. In 2020, they were behind the Zoom rival – Hopin and also the SaaS startup Infogrid.
Founder: Norman Fiore
Highland Europe invests in rapidly growing European internet, mobile, and software companies that address large market opportunities and have over €10 million in annualised revenues. The VC firm also provides acquisition finance or lead secondary transactions as well as making primary investments.
In 2020, the VC participated in growth stage funding rounds of tech startup from London include Farewill and Modulr Finance.
Based out of London, Eight roads is active in ventures, principal investments, and real estate. It is the proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International Limited (FIL). In 2020, they made growth stage investments in London-based tech startups like Hibob, Moneybox, Decibel,Cazoo and more.
Founders: Simon Cook, Stuart Chapman
Draper Esprit invests in disruptive tech companies at the early and growth stages. The company fuels its growth with long-term capital, access to international networks, and decades of experience building businesses. In 2020, they made growth stage investments in London-based tech startups like PrimaryBid, Form3, Ravelin, Cazoo, Thought Machine and more.