Report: UK tech retains top spot for VC funding in Europe despite Brexit

London FinTech

UK tech companies received more venture capital investment than any other country in Europe since the Brexit referendum.

According to London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s promotional agency, record levels of VC investment at the start of 2017 helped London maintain its crown as Europe’s number one technology hub for global investors.

The data suggests that more than £1.1bn was pumped into London’s technology sector over the past six months, wihile the total amount of cash invested across the UK between 1st January and 1st June topped £1.3bn.

London received more than £1.8bn in VC funding across 544 deals – more than double the amount of investment poured into Berlin (the second largest city for VC investment), which saw £775m invested across 136 deals since the EU referendum.

According to London & Partners’ research, the start of 2017 saw four times the amount of investment than the same period in 2013 and more than any other six month period in the past decade.

Laura Citron, CEO of London & Partners, said: “London remains Europe’s leading hub for global investors. The Brexit vote has understandably created some uncertainty but it is no surprise to see that London continues to attract more than double the amount of investment than any other European city.

“The fundamental strengths of London as a centre for technology and business have not changed and we have everything companies need to be successful: policy makers, finance, infrastructure, world-class universities and talent. This year’s record investment levels show that London’s tech sector continues to thrive and remains open to investment from all over the world.”

The record investment levels have been boosted by a series of huge funding rounds such as those closed by Improbable ($500m), Funding Circle (£82m), Zopa (£32m) and Monzo (£22m).

Improbable CEO Herman Narula commented: “For a technology business looking to raise growth capital and scale, investment can come from anywhere in the world, but London is a great place to be located. London provides access to the UK’s tremendous tech talent, and is also an attractive place to work for the global talent vital to growing a tech business.”

“The investment we received earlier this year will accelerate the growth of our business and is helping us to build our SpatialOS platform for massive-scale virtual worlds. The money investors such as SoftBank are putting into London’s tech companies will benefit the tech ecosystem as a whole, and will play a vital part in building foundational technologies for the 21st century here in Britain.”

Private equity investment

The same time period also represented a strong start to the year for private equity investment in UK tech.

According to the findings, London tech companies raised £4.5bn worth of investment across 34 deals – significantly more than the previous five years.

Likewise, UK tech firms also saw a record 6-month period, with a total of £5.3bn of private equity funding since the beginning of 2017 – more than the total amounts raised in the same period in 2016 (£4.2bn) and 2015 (£1.7bn).

M&A activity is down, however. The data shows that 2017 has so far seen less M&A activity involving London and UK technology firms in comparison to that of the first half of 2016.

To date, London tech companies have been involved in £1.8bn of M&A activity, while UK firms have seen £3.7bn worth of deals.

Despite this, the analysis produced by London & Partners shows that post-Brexit data suggests M&A activity in London and the UK remained buoyant since the EU referendum vote.


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