UK tech firms attract record US investment

Despite Brexit uncertainties, 2019 is already a record year for US venture capital investment in British businesses, according to latest data from PitchBook.

London cityscape with high tech illustration over
According to the research, American investors have been involved in $4.4 billions-worth of UK deals so far this year, with London businesses accounting for 77% ($3.4 billion) of all investment from the US.

Silicon Valley Comes to the UK

The figures were released to coincide with this week’s Silicon Valley Comes to the UK events - a series of gatherings in Cambridge, Oxford and London "designed to connect serial entrepreneurs, industry leaders, investors and leading academics to proven and aspiring CEOs to support their sustainable growth".Major funding rounds for UK companies involving US investors in 2019 include a $144 million funding round for London fintech unicorn, Monzo, led by Silicon Valley investment firm, Y Combinator; $70 million into London cybersecurity firm Snyk by Palo Alto-based investor Accel Partners; and a $200 million funding round into UK data privacy firm, OneTrust, led by New York-based investor Insight Partners.

London tech firms create large numbers of unicorn companies

The report said that, as London continues to produce high volumes of unicorn companies, US investors are increasingly looking to the UK capital as the scale-up capital of Europe, with the findings showing that over the past five years, London companies have received significantly more funding from American venture capitalists than any other European business hub.Investment ties between the UK and Silicon Valley were said to remain particularly strong, with Bay Area investment in British companies in the past five years amounting to $10.7 billion, compared to $5.95 billion in Germany and $2.87 billion in France.

UK a "top place for global investors"

Sherry Coutu, an 'angel investor' and co-founder of Silicon Valley Comes to the UK, said, “The UK remains a top place for global investors because it is now producing high volumes of scale-up companies."While Brexit has created some uncertainty, investors from the US and further afield continue to look to London as Europe’s leading tech hub because it is home to world class talent and an abundance of innovative companies – especially in areas such as fintech, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence."We’re excited to bring together some of the best minds from the UK and Silicon Valley this week as we see lots of opportunities for companies and investors to do business across both regions.”David Hornik, general partner at Silicon Valley-based investment firm August Capital, added: “The UK and Silicon Valley share strengths in technology and innovation. As an investor, I always like to keep an eye on what’s happening in London as it is a truly global centre for business with a large pool of companies building breakthrough technologies."

Read more news and views from David Sapstead

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