An overwhelming majority (76%) of international tech and business leaders believe London can create the first FinTech company with a $10bn valuation this year.

According to new research released by the organisers of London Tech Week and TechXLR8, only 10% of those surveyed said they did not believe London had the tech talent required to scale startups into global technology giants.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, FinTech regained its top position as the dominant technology vertical in the capital – with 30% of participants stating that financial technology businesses would attract the most investment over the coming year.

FinTech was closely followed by cybersecurity (22%), AR/VR (12%) and smart cities (12%).

Commenting on the findings, Zoe Osmond, festival director of London Tech Week, said: “This survey demonstrates the widespread confidence that 2018 could be the year a London tech company breaks the $10bn valuation milestone.

“Fuelled by substantial investment in key growth verticals, such as FinTech, cybersecurity and AR/VR, London’s change makers continue to break boundaries and drive transformational impact, strengthening the capital’s position as a global tech hub.”

Despite the seeming optimism of the findings, it’s also apparent that business and tech leaders are aware of the challenges faced by the industry.

Almost half (47%) of those surveyed felt that cybersecurity and digital privacy was the single biggest challenge facing tech companies this year. Additionally, a quarter (26%) said they thought 2018 would be the year questions are asked about the rate and efficiency of digital transformation.

The industry’s lack of talent and diversity were also noted as challenges – with 14% of respondents saying it was the biggest problem being faced by tech companies.