The UK attracted almost £3bn in venture capital investment to its technology sector in 2017 – almost four times the amount raised by closest competitor Germany.
This was nearly double the £1.63bn invested in 2016, and more funding than France, Ireland and Sweden received combined, according to Pitchbook, which compiled the data for London & Partners.
The UK’s capital city accounted for around 80% of the investment, raising a record £2.45bn, with some of the biggest deals of the year involving firms Improbable, Deliveroo and Truphone.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said the investment was proof that London is the “undisputed tech capital of Europe” and that he is committed to ensuring the city overtakes Silicon Valley as the world’s leading tech hub.
“Entrepreneurs and businesses are attracted to our great city for its diverse talent pool and unique business ecosystem and I am determined that it remains open to investment and the best tech talent from all over the world,” he added.
The data shows that London’s technology companies raised significantly more venture capital investment than any other European city, including Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris.
FinTech was the leading sector for investment last year, attracting a record £1.34bn in funding, with London accounting for over 90% of all the money raised.
This included major investments in TransferWise, Funding Circle and Monzo, which attracted £211m, £81.9m and £71m respectively.
London’s artificial intelligence (AI) firms received £200m – over 50% more than in 2016, with big deals recorded for Babylon Health, Callsign and Starship Technologies, which attracted £47.56m, 26.92m and £13.95m respectively.
This trend was replicated nationally, with UK AI companies raising a record £488m in 2017, compared with £232m in the previous year.
The record funding coincides with a number of the world’s leading technology companies pledging their long-term commitment to London, with significant investments from Amazon, Apple and Google.
In addition, US tech giant Facebook said last year that it will create 800 more jobs for its new London headquarters, while Spotify announced it will expand its R&D operation in the capital and double its headcount.
“The UK remains one of the world’s leading hubs for technology investors and it is no surprise to see UK tech companies attracted double the amount of venture capital financing than any other European country last year,” Passion Capital partner, Eileen Burbidge, said.
“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 AI and FinTech.
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