UK is the most attractive European tech hub for Silicon Valley investors

Here’s why

The UK is the leading European destination for Silicon Valley investors, with British tech companies raising more venture capital from Bay area VCs than any other European country. According to the investment data released by London & Partners, over the last five years UK tech companies have received more venture capital investment from West Coast investors than France, Germany and Ireland combined.

Silicon Valley investors continue to pump large sums of money into UK tech companies despite Brexit, with 2017 already seeing a record $1.13bn raised since the beginning of the year. The findings have been released to mark the start of Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (SVC2UK), a week-long series of events bringing together leading figures from the Bay area and UK tech scenes.

Further analysis of the investment data reveals that London tech companies received the majority of venture capital investment from the Bay area, accounting for over 90 per cent ($1.04bn) of the total amount raised by UK tech companies this year. Over the last five years, London tech firms have also raised considerably more capital ($2.5bn) than their European counterparts, with Stockholm ($1.4bn), Berlin ($641m) and Paris ($500m) representing the next most popular cities for Silicon Valley investors. 

London’s thriving VC market has been boosted by the number of unicorn companies based in the capital, with separate research from investment firm GP Bullhound revealing that London is home to more unicorns than any other European city. Fresh analysis of its 2017 Titans of Tech report found that London accounts for almost one third of all unicorns in Europe. With 17 out of the 53 unicorns founded in London, the UK capital has more unicorns than Stockholm (7), Berlin (5) and Paris (3) combined. Recent London companies to join this year’s list include Improbable, Deliveroo and Purple Bricks. 

Sherry Coutu CBE, Co- Founder of SVC2UK and serial entrepreneur said:“With some of best global talent and a strong culture of entrepreneurship, the UK and Silicon Valley are two of the world’s leading places to start and scale a technology business. While London has grown to become Europe’s largest tech hub, we still have a way to go to emulate the success of Silicon Valley and there is a lot we can learn from each other.”   

“It is no surprise to see that British tech firms continue to attract more venture capital investment from the Bay area than any other European country and the figures released today suggest that Brexit has not had an impact. London will continue to be a diverse, outward looking city and we look forward to welcoming our friends from the Valley to encourage greater collaboration between the two centres.” 

Manish Madhvani, CEO and Founder of GP Bullhound added: “London’s digital economy has demonstrated unprecedented levels of talent, ambition, and investment, delivering an exceptional cohort of billion-dollar businesses. These pioneers have been critical to the rise of European tech and will drive the industry forward to create companies of scale to rival the US and Asia.”

To mark the start of the week-long series of events, SVC2UK has today announced the latest cohort of 50 high growth UK technology companies who will join to join the 2017 Scale Up Club. Together the firms have a combined revenue of £94 million in 2016, employing over 1,900 people across the UK. This year’s club is made up of some of the UK’s fastest growing tech businesses from across a range of sectors, from FinTech to FoodTech – including HomeTouch, the UK’s top online care agency, food-sharing app OLIO, and Mumsnet, the country’s largest online network for parents.

This year’s SVC2UK programme kicks off today in Cambridge, with a debate about ‘Our Future’, tech and the way it will shape our lives, at the Cambridge Union Society. The programme will then head to London tomorrow (1 Wednesday, November) with masterclasses on building strategic partnerships when scaling at campus London and then on accessing finance at Barclays’ innovation centre, Rise London, as well as insights from the likes of Renee La Londe, iTalent, and Ellen Levy, Silicon Valley Connect.

The week culminates with the Good Growth Summit on 3 Friday, November, bringing together inspirational women leaders at the Institute of Technology and Engineering. Speakers at this event include SVC2UK Founder, Sherry Coutu, Debbie Woscow, Obi Felten, Google X and a keynote address from Shiza Shahid, CEO of Malala Fund.

This year’s summit is being run by London & Partners with support from SVC2UK partners including Mastercard, Google Campus London, Barclays, Softbank, Pennington Manches, Buzzacott, Herbert Smith and Freehills, WSGR, GBx, Pitch@Palace, FieldHouse Associates, Cambridge Wireless, Bradfield Centre, Judge Business School and Bailey Fisher Executive Search.

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