September saw 20 UK tech companies announce new funding rounds totalling $70.91m (£53.8m), according to the Tech City News UK Investment Tracker.
This pales in comparison to the amount announced in August – $385.92m (£294.96m) – representing an 82% decline. However, it must be noted August’s total was inflated dramatically by Deliveroo’s monster $275m round. Even if we exclude this outlier, $110.92m was raised by UK tech firms in August, so September saw a 36% decrease in the amount secured.
Harry Briggs of BGF Ventures, which invested in e-commerce platform Paddle last month, said: “September is always an extremely busy month for VCs, but most of the investments happening in September don’t get announced until October or November, so the quiet September figures likely reflect the July/August lull.”
Eight of the rounds raised in September were Seed, while seven were Venture funding, four were Series A and only one – the $15m secured by Android app monetization specialist Ogury – was a Series B.
In terms of the types of company that raised funding, or rather the verticals they sit in, there was a wide variety, with everything from a dating app (Once) and FinTech firm (DueCourse) to a machine learning/recruitment platform (ThisWay Global) and a AdTech/MarTech startup (Driftrock).
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“UK startups are specialising more in data technology, either through analytics, marketing or artificial intelligence, and this is evident by the startups that are raising funds. Nottingham for example has a strong stable of startup businesses in the data, tech and analytics space,” said Mark Onyett, partner at venture builder Blenheim Chalcot.
While August saw all but two of its rounds raised by London-based companies, September saw more geographical variety. Just over half (11) of the companies that raised funds last month are based in London, while three are in Cambridge and there is one each in Wiltshire, Bristol, Harwell (near Oxford), Manchester, Warwick and Newcastle.
“It is good to see startups diversifying away from London. The raise by DueCourse shows the strength of Manchester’s growing tech hub, which is on the way to rivalling the likes of Oxford and Cambridge. We have recently invested in the Manchester tech scene through Accelerate Places, and we expect to see many more success stories like this,” Onyett added.
Passion Capital cropped up a couple of times in the list of last month’s investors, with the London-based early stage VC firm investing in both AI startup Prowler.io and PropTech firm Nested.
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Commenting on overall investment across the month, Onyett suggested the appetite for risk could be subdued following the Brexit vote.
“September did not include a bumper fundraise equivalent to Deliveroo’s $275m round in August. It is too early to say whether this is a sign of a bear market or simply a coincidence, but for now it gives us pause for thought,” he concluded.