VCs pledge to support UK tech despite Brexit vote

UK Brexit tech vote

A number of investment firms have committed to continue supporting the UK’s tech sector despite the country’s Brexit vote.

The pledge comes after Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, launched the #LondonIsOpen campaign last week in an attempt to show that the city remained open for business following the EU referendum.

Khan said: “This is further proof that London leads the way when it comes to technology and, because of its diversity and entrepreneurial spirit, continues to attract investment from across the globe. This investment in the capital shows that London is open for business, open for new ideas and will continue to welcome the best talent from around the world.”

Eileen Burbidge MBE, partner at Passion Capital said London remained the biggest tech centre in Europe and continued to attract the best talent and companies from all over the world. “These are attractive factors for any investor and there will be plenty of opportunities for investment in the coming months and years ahead. London’s success has been built on strong entrepreneurial spirit and it is important that we remain positive and continue to promote our tech sector at home and abroad,” she added.

London’s tech companies, a statement issued by London & Partners said, have attracted $6.64bn across 2,894 deals in the past five years; outperforming other European cities such as Paris, Berlin and Stockholm.

With this in mind, Rob Kniaz, partner at Hoxton Ventures, commented: “London is and will remain the leading European city for investing in technology companies. There’s still far more capital, resources and talent in London than any other place on the continent. It is very much business as usual for us. Hoxton Ventures is committed to investing in UK technology businesses as demonstrated by our recent investments in funding rounds for Darktrace and Behavox, to name a few.”

A leader in M&A activity

Further research by London & Partners found that private equity investments and Merger & Acquisition (M&A) activity in London had remained strong over the past five years in comparison to its European counterparts.

Since 2011, London tech companies attracted more private equity and M&A deals than any other major European city including Paris, Frankfurt and Madrid, the research revealed.

David Slater, director of trade and investment at London & Partners, noted: “With a world class financial services hub and Europe’s fastest growing technology sector, it is no surprise to see that London’s tech businesses have attracted more investment than any other European city in the last five years. Moving forward, it is clear that the investor community remains committed to London and we have already seen $177 million raised since the referendum vote alone. London remains very much open for business and investment from all over the world.”

Tech investment in London has been boosted as a result of a number of venture capital firms choosing the UK capital to setup funds and operations.

According to London & Partners research, 253 venture capital firms now have a presence in the capital, with a number of these choosing London as a strategic base to invest in European tech startups.

Jon Coker, managing partner at MMC Ventures,added: “It is still too early to understand the full implications of Brexit on the investment landscape of the UK. In the weeks since the referendum we have seen no let-up in quality deal flow, nor any diminishing appetite from our institutional co-investors.

“In essence, whatever the lasting effects of Brexit, we believe that the UK will remain a centre of entrepreneurship and innovation, and an attractive place to start and scale a business,” he concluded.