The UK’s technology sector drew more investment than that of any other European country in 2016, according to data from London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s promotional company.
The research also showed London remains a leading hub for tech investment, attracting significantly more money than any other major European city last year.
Measuring activity across private equity and venture capital deals, more than £6.7 billion ($9.5bn) was invested into UK tech firms in 2016, with London accounting for more than a third of the total.
The research also shows that the UK remains attractive to investors despite the vote to leave the EU, with UK tech firms receiving more venture capital investment than any European country post-referendum. UK tech firms have also looked attractive to deal-makers with a sharp rise in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity during 2016, with British companies seeing more investment than any other European country after the 23rd June.
Since the EU referendum vote, a number of the world’s leading technology companies have demonstrated their long term commitment to investing in London with Google putting forward a £1 billion investment plan for a new headquarters in King’s Cross, Facebook announcing an additional 500 jobs for London and Apple revealing its plans for new headquarters in Battersea. Earlier this week, Snap Inc, the company behind messaging app Snapchat, also announced it has established its international hub in London.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “With our unbeatable blend of talent, creativity and access to finance, it is not surprising that London continues to go from strength to strength as the undisputed tech capital of Europe. Despite the Brexit vote, the capital continues to attract record levels of investment and remains the best place in the world to grow a business. I have no doubt that this important sector of our economy will continue to generate jobs, investment and world-leading technology for decades to come.”
Eileen Burbidge, Partner at London venture capital firm, Passion Capital, added: “The UK is undeniably a leading destination for investors, entrepreneurs and businesses alike. With a diverse talent pool, global financial centre and a strong culture of innovation, it is no surprise to see that the London has attracted more investment than any other major European city in 2016. Recent investments announced by the likes of Facebook and Google further demonstrates the strength of London’s tech sector and shows that London is still very much open for business and investment.”
London-based tech companies again proved to be the most attractive European destination for venture capitalists with firms securing around £1.4 billion ($1.9bn) of the total £1.9 billion ($2.6bn) raised by UK tech firms in 2016. VC investors continued to pump money into London tech companies following the EU referendum, with London companies raising over £668 million ($862m) during the second half of the year.
Capitalising on London’s attractiveness to venture capital investors, today London & Partners launches the ‘London VC Club’ - a bespoke programme to connect some of London’s leading investment firms with the capital’s fastest growing companies. A number of high profile VC firms, angel investors and crowdfunding investors have already signed up to participate in the scheme including the likes of Salesforce Ventures, Octopus Ventures and Seedcamp.