London is the leading European city for tech investment
The new report shows that the city’s tech sector has received more than £1.1 billion investment from venture capitalists since January 2017 – more than any other European city in the same period. Investment for all of the UK was £1.3 billion for the year, showing a clear London bias.
Perhaps surprisingly, since the result of the Brexit vote more than a year ago, VC investment in UK tech companies stands at £2.4 billion, which is more than Germany, France and the Netherlands combined, during the same period.
But it’s not just early stage investment that continues to defy Brexit uncertainties, as private equity investment also grew across the UK to £5.3 billion, the highest figure for two years. In London, tech companies received £4.5 billion of that figure across 34 deals.
It seems that London remains Europe’s central hub for global investors. The city has the fundamental strengths required for investors, including positive policies, global financial centres, infrastructure, world-class universities, and a thriving technology sector. In addition, the city offers access to some of the world’s brightest technology talent, and is an attractive location for people to live.
Earlier in 2017, London mayor Sadiq Khan said that Brexit won’t affect the city’s tech sector, which will remain open to talent from around the world, which is good news.
It also follows the launch of the UK Government’s Digital Strategy on March 1, which aims to create a world-beating environment for digital economy businesses to invest and grow in the UK.
Part of that strategy is the creation of five technology hubs in emerging markets around the world, with the aim of creating partnerships between UK and foreign companies, based on the existing model of the UK-Israel tech hub, which has been running successfully for more than five years.
Again, 5G is expected to be one of the main areas for investment and growth, with the UK Government pledging more than £1 billion of investment to fund ultrafast broadband and to develop 5G technology.
Like most businesses, here at RMA we were surprised and disappointed at the Brexit vote. However, these announcements and developments suggest that there may yet be an opportunity to create an even stronger UK technology sector. We fully expect the entire ecosystem of the telecoms community to be leading that charge.