Investment into UK tech companies from Silicon Valley has increased by 252% since 2011.
That’s according to the ‘Golden Gate to Golden Triangle’ report produced by law firm Penningtons Manches, which found that software companies had taken the lion’s share of the investment – attracting £2.2bn over the past seven years.
According to the findings, many of the firms benefiting from the investment are based in the UK’s Golden Triangle – with 79% of all US investment into UK firms going to those based around London, Oxford and Cambridge.
Companies operating in the life sciences space raised a combined total of £472m from West Coast investors since 2011. Hardware companies and MedTech firms received £207m and £58m respectively.
Interestingly, the research shows that despite West Coast investors having been involved in more details, investors based in the East Coast of the US provided more capital. The data highlights that these invested £1.31bn into UK companies last year. The total number of deals by East Coast investors into UK companies rose by 48% from 29 to 56, between 2011 and 2017.
The report argues that the investment reflects a wider trend of inward investment into UK companies which is reportedly seeing a rise across the board. Despite concerns about Brexit, the data collated in the report shows an increase of 62% in foreign investment into UK firms in 2017 – a third of which were completed by North American investors and a quarter by those in the US.
Investors from outside of the UK were involved in £5.9bn worth of deals, a 187% rise on the previous year and eight times the amount in 2011.
James Klein, a partner at Penningtons Manches, commented on the findings: “We are delighted that the findings from the report reveal such appetite from West Coast investors to nurture Britain’s most innovative, high potential firms.
“Penningtons Manches has a long history of working with technology firms, their innovators and their investors, and we launched our San Francisco office to better support our growing client base in the Bay area and to develop meaningful connections between our US clients and the fast-growth tech businesses in the UK that we represent. We look forward to supporting this continued interest from US investors into the future,” Klein added.
According to the report, the top reasons why UK firms are looking to the West Coast of the US for investment, include:
1. Greater access to US markets – 83% of non US-backed firms cited access to markets as a reason to take US investment
2. Existing relationship with investor – 48% of UK companies who have already done deals with US-based firms said that their primary driver for taking more US investment was their existing relationship with their investor
3. Technical expertise of investor – 46% of non US-backed firms firms cited this as a reason for seeking US investment
4. Favourable investment climate – 44% of non US-backed firms cited this as a reason to take US investment