Finance · 12 January 2017

UK tech sector receives more investment than any European rival

Tech investment
Investment in the UK’s tech sector remained strong even after the EU referendum

Britain’s technology industries received more private investment than any other European country in 2016, shaking off any fears that Brexit would spell the end of innovation in UK tech.

Total investment figures for last year were published by London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s not-for-profit business promotion company, and were calculated by totalling private equity and venture capital deals for UK tech companies.

According to London & Partners, total investment in the UK’s tech firms reached £6.7bn by the end of 2016.

Crucially, the data was able to play down any Brexit-effect on the future of tech. In the six months following the referendum in June, the UK still received more investment in its tech industry than any other European country.

The data also confirmed the dominance of London as the home of UK tech, with a third of all investment received by the capital’s tech hub.

In a statement, London Mayor Sadiq Khan praised the “important sector of our economy”.

“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,” Khan said.

A closer look at where the money went revealed record ecommerce investment, as companies secured £486m through 69 separate investment deals.

In recent years, courier platforms such as Deliveroo have emerged as UK tech success stories, and the data gave some indication of where the next may be waiting.

Artificial intelligence (AI) startups benefitted from £100m in venture capital investment in 2016, a record figure for AI firms that was almost three times the £27m raised in 2014.

Tech City UK chair Eileen Burbidge, a partner at venture capitalists Passion Capital and one of our small business decision makers for 2017, also responded to the figures.

“With a diverse talent pool, global financial centre and a strong culture of innovation, it is no surprise to see that London has attracted more investment than any other major European city in 2016,” she said in a statement.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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