Record year for UK tech investment
British tech firms attracted more venture capital funding than any other European country in 2017.
According to data compiled for London & Partners by PitchBook, VC investment into the UK’s tech sector reached an all-time high last year with firms attracting £2.99bn – almost double the £1.63bn invested in 2016.
London’s tech sector attracted the lion’s share of the funding, with firms in the capital raising a record £2.45bn and accounting for around 80 per cent of all UK venture capital tech funding in 2017.
A £391m Series B investment into Improbably, a £364m investment in Deliveroo and a £255m investment in Truphone were among the biggest deals.
The data also shows that UK firms attracted almost four times more funding than Germany (£694m) and more than France, Ireland and Sweden Combined.
"Today’s record investment figures are further proof that London is the undisputed tech capital of Europe and I am committed to ensuring we take over from Silicon Valley as the world’s leading tech hub," Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said.
"Technology entrepreneurs and businesses are attracted to our great city for its diverse talent pool and unique business ecosystem and I am determined that London remains open to investment and the best tech talent from all over the world."
Eileen Burbidge, partner at Passion Capital, said the news was not suprising.
"It's a testament to our exceptional entrepreneurs that the UK tech sector continues to produce companies that are leading in the development of cutting edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and fintech," she said.
"This environment and ecosystem of innovation presents tremendous opportunities for investors and will help to attract global investment into the UK’s digital economy for many years to come."
FinTech was the leading sector for investment in 2017, with UK financial technology firms attracting a record £1.34bn in VC funding.
London’s artificial intelligence (AI) companies also saw elevated levels of funding last year.
Big deals for companies such as Babylon Health (£47.56m), Callsign (£26.92m) and Starship Technologies (£13.95m) saw investment in London AI companies reach over £200m – increasing over 50 per cent on 2016 funding levels. This trend was replicated nationally, with UK AI companies raising a record £488m last year and double the amount raised (£232m) in 2016.
Meanwhile, a number of the world's leading tech companies pledged their long-term commitment to the capital last year, with significant investments from Amazon, Apple and Google.
In the second half of 2017 , Spotify announced plans to expand its R&D operation in London and double its headcount, while Facebook confirmed it will create an additional 800 jobs for its new London headquarters.
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